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Old 08-30-2006, 12:44 AM   #1
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Adding LR to an established aquarium

I have a 55 gal FOWLR tank with 2 percula clowns and 27 pounds of LR. There's a fair amount of green hair algae on the rock and the sand.

I have 25 lbs of LR in my QT that should be almost cured. I'd like to know the best strategy for adding the LR to my display tank. In particular, I'm concerned about
* The green hair algae. Should I try to clean it up as much as I can before adding the new LR? Is it going to continue to spread to the new rock? It hasn't spread much in the last few weeks and I cleaned some off the LR already in the tank.
* Can I add all 25 lbs at once? Or am I risking an ammonia spike? I've heard to add it in batches of 10 lbs.
* What should I do with the fish while I'm adding the LR? I'm sure I will kick up some sand and the water will get cloudy. Will this stress them out?

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:45 AM   #2
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Green hair algae results from a tank with high Nitrates, lots of organics in the water. Do you skim? Use RO/DI or tap water? The hair algae will continue to grow until you fix your water problem, even if you scrub it off. I'd just leave it, to be honest with you. Once it has no more food (from your water) it'll die.

As for the LR, a good general way to tell if it's cured or not is to smell it. If it smells like the ocean, it's likely cured. If it smells like rotten eggs and other nasties, it's still a bit uncured. In 55 gallons, I would say you can add it all at the same time. Just test for ammonia afterwards.

My opinion, of course. HTH.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:19 AM   #3
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And ensure you're not lighting the tank too long. I don't like more than 10 hrs daily to help keep algae down. Then again, I have an algae blenny too. No sign of the green stuff with him around. Consider an algae nibbler fish.

I agree about adding the rock. Once cured, put it all in. If you're not changing the landscape in/on the sand, I wouldn't worry about the fish. I like to feed mine right after I fiddle with any rockscape to help'm relax and get back to normal quickly.

Test for ammonina and nitrite in the QT. That'll tell you if the rock is ready/cured. Adding small amounts is what folks do when it's not cured yet. A small piece of uncured and the ammonia will be absorbed of by existing cured rock. But if curing it first, you can add the whole thing.
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
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Both gave sound advice. If you have only LR in your QT, black out the tank and that should help wipe out the hair algae.
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the prompt advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilishturtles
Green hair algae results from a tank with high Nitrates, lots of organics in the water. Do you skim? Use RO/DI or tap water?
I have a Prizm skimmer that does an OK job and I use aged tap water. Algae was never a problem until I left the tank with my roommate for a week. Nitrates are ~10 ppm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
Consider an algae nibbler fish.
I'd like to add a tang once I get the new LR in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
If you're not changing the landscape in/on the sand, I wouldn't worry about the fish.
I will be taking LR off the sand and changing the landscape quite a bit on one side of the tank. Do you think this will bother the 2 fish?

Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
Test for ammonia and nitrite in the QT.
They are both zero but the nitrates are 20-40 ppm. Should I wait for them to drop?

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
I'd like to add a tang once I get the new LR in the tank.
Tank too small. Think blennies.

Quote:
I will be taking LR off the sand and changing the landscape quite a bit on one side of the tank. Do you think this will bother the 2 fish?
Probably a bit. Put'm in a bucket with an airstone for the hour you may need to situate the rock if you think it'll be hairy.

Quote:
They are both zero but the nitrates are 20-40 ppm. Should I wait for them to drop?
At some point there should have been an ammonia reading if it was un-cured. Smell it. Smell it, like Devlishturtles described. Maybe it was already cured. How long has it been in the QT? Did it ever stink? May need to add it real soon 'cause if it is cured, it'll need ammonia to consume (fish waste, food, etc).
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
At some point there should have been an ammonia reading if it was un-cured. Smell it. Smell it, like Devlishturtles described. Maybe it was already cured. How long has it been in the QT? Did it ever stink? May need to add it real soon 'cause if it is cured, it'll need ammonia to consume (fish waste, food, etc).
It's been in QT for 3 weeks and the store said they only had it for a few days before I bought it. It had a fair amount of die off and I'm not sure if ammonia ever spiked because it's so hard to read but I know nitrites read 0.5 ppm but are now down to 0.

Patrick
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