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Old 06-23-2004, 01:45 PM   #1
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tank is a mess again please help!

I have a 110 gal tank, wet/dry w/bioballs, skimmer, uv ster, 3 powerheads in main tank. I use aquarium pharm tap water filter for my water changes and top off. My ph is 8.2, amm is 0, nitrites are .1, nitrates are 75, phosphates are 2 and cal is 450. I only feed every other day with fresh food I blend and freeze myself. I also have a red and black algea bloom in my sand due to phos I am guessing. Well, I have been using kent phos remover for 2 days and will be swapping it for new bag in the sump today as per instrutions on the bottle. No change in phos though. Nitrates I constantly use nitrate sponge and still I have nitrates. I do 25% water change about every 2-3 weeks with IO salt mix. My coralline algea on my rocks is rapidly disappearing, my fish are going through ick and I just added a red slime algea remover powder 2 days at the same time I put in the phos remover and now my skimmer for the first time is going haywire and filling a whole gallon of clear water i about 5 min. It did it 5 times so yesterday I had to shut it down after adjusting it to the lowest level it stil kept filling. It is foaming like crazy. Oh I also have 100 lbs of LR. Please help before I just tear it all down and chuck it in the garbage. I did do a water change of 25 gal a few days ago and it didn't help. Where is all these sh** problems coming from? Oh the crazy LFS did have me dump some phos remover powder straight into the sump 2 months ago and now I know that could be seeping phos into the tank so there I think I may be out of luck, no? Please help!!!!!
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:09 PM   #2
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Where is all these sh** problems coming from?
Two possible big contributors are the "wet/dry w/bioballs" remove the bio-balls. they contribute to the Nitrates; the other could be the filter. I'm not familiar with that brand/model so I can't say for sure. but what I just saw on a quick google is that it's a single stage filter. I question it's efficiency. Perhaps if there are others here with more info on that filter they can tell you for sure. But you might want to consider upgrading your filter to a better RO/DI filter.

You LR is a little on the low side, you should have about 150-200# of rock. You can add base rock to the 100# you have. the bacteria and coraline will spread to it eventually.

IMO, stop adding the phosphate removers and algae removers. get a clean up crew (snails etc, check our sponsors) they will help with the algae and will be something you'll want in there anyway. All new tanks will go through a rough algae bloom period after they've completed the cycle. by your readings, I'm assuming you're just finishing your cycle?
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:23 PM   #3
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Perhaps if there are others here with more info on that filter they can tell you for sure.
I can vouch for the tap filter. It's excellent as long as you keep the flowrate down and replace the resin when needed.
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Old 06-24-2004, 12:37 AM   #4
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So you suggest I just take the bio balls out? That seems like it would throw things off even more so right now no? Isn't there good bacteria on the bio balls?
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Old 06-24-2004, 03:26 AM   #5
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Ok, for starter, stop dumping stuff in the tank. There are no quick fixes in this hobby.
Now, if your fish have ich, you will need to remove them to a qt tank for proper treatment, while leaving the main void of fish for 6 weeks to allow the parasites to go through their life cycle and die off. You can treat the fish easily in the qt tank with hypo or a good copper agent like cupramine.
You then need to get the nitrates and po4 down. like Billy stated, loose the bio balls. You can also up the water changes to like twice a week, siphoning out the algea. At the same time consider getting a R/O unit to improve the water quality Don't trust someone elses water. If you can get the nitrates and po4 down, it shoud help with the algea problem.
We will be happy to help you with specifics.
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:34 AM   #6
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Don't trust someone elses water.
She uses an API tap filter which IMO can be better than RO water. But then it should be for the price.
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Old 06-24-2004, 09:10 AM   #7
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Don't trust someone elses water.
She uses an API tap filter which IMO can be better than RO water. But then it should be for the price.
Good point, agreed. But maybe she should test that water to see if something is amiss.
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Old 06-24-2004, 09:23 AM   #8
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Yeah if the resin has been used up then it's not doing any filtering and may even be leeching nutrients. If your tap water is particularly harsh then this might have happened some time ago. Have you ever changed the cartridge?

I agree with quarryshark that you need to QT the fish and then sort out these problems properly (with many water changes).

And please don't listen to that crazy LFS again!
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Old 06-24-2004, 09:33 AM   #9
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Before removing the bioballs, do you have any LR and if so how much. If you have sufficient LR then take out the bioballs, they are fueling your nitrate level.

Second, test your tap water for nitrate and phosphate levels, then test the water after you have filtered it before adding salt, and then test after mixing with salt. This will let you know if you are introducing any nutrients into the tank via the water supply, filter or salt mix. Otherwise, get the cleanup crew and be wary of any chemicals you add to fix levels, the best place to start fixing anything with SW is with water changes.
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:55 AM   #10
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Before removing the bioballs, do you have any LR and if so how much. If you have sufficient LR then take out the bioballs, they are fueling your nitrate level.
Agreed but with only 100 lbs of rock in the tank there will still be insufficient surface area for bacteria to colonize and help keep water quality in check. You could easily add another 60-100 lbs of rock either dry base (easier on the $$) or LR. Once the filtration capacity is augmented, you can then slowly start removing small amounts of the bioballs weekly until they are gone. I would definately not suggest removing them all at once even with the appropriate amount of rock.

As far as the NO3 and PO4, I would also suggest looking at what types of foods you use and how often/how much you feed. This can be just as much a contributor as any water source. Bioballs typically are at their worst when the tank is overfed. They do not produce heavy nitrates unless they have something to trap.

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