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Old 03-27-2015, 04:19 PM   #131
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It can, but I always suggest pointed up for better oxygen exchange.


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Old 03-27-2015, 04:23 PM   #132
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Do they come out with just actinics on?


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Old 03-27-2015, 05:17 PM   #133
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No, they don't come out with just actinics only. I stayed up last night watching. The television is not far from the tank, and although we use headphones, there are still flashing lights.
I had a small powerhead pointed at the surface, but decided to reposition it after I moved the big one. The larger powerhead blew a lot of stuff up for the skimmer to get, then when I moved the small one down, a lot more blew up. I had hoped the return on the skimmer would provide enough oxygen exchange but it's not, so I'll move the small powerhead back to the surface. Every so often, I'll let it blow on the rocks and I'll use my turkey baster on cleaning day. Everything sound ok?
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:34 PM   #134
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Maybe just leave them pointing at the surface and don't fiddle in the tank for a few days?


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Old 03-27-2015, 05:35 PM   #135
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What are your params?


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Old 03-27-2015, 08:34 PM   #136
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Haven't checked anything else since I cleaned the tank. Wanted to wait for the sand to settle. Yes, other than feeding, and testing tomorrow, I will leave the tank alone and, hopefully, they will start to feel more comfortable. Was hoping to get additional fish soon, but I'm going to wait until then.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #137
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Ok. I thought I was supposed to vacuum the sandbed. They were hiding before I vacuumed, so I guess I've really stressed them now. The tank is clearing rapidly, thanks to the skimmer.
Another question: if just vacuuming blew the sand around, won't the powerhead pointed relatively down and through the rocks?
Thanks for responding so quickly and straightening me out.
if you have the habit of regularly using a gravel-vac when doing water changes, then you will not encounter the issues Sniperhank mentions.
that only happens whenever the substrate has been left undisturbed for extended periods and then messed with.

vaccing the detritus and crud out of the substrate also greatly minimize any type of nutrient spike.
now if you leave the substrate undisturbed for a couple of months and then stir it up and leave it in the tank, well of course you will have problems.

using a gravel vac won't hurt a darn thing, unless you smoosh something in the sand...
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:08 PM   #138
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as long as you are circulating the lower layers of water to the top and vice -versa, oxygenation is usually fine. Oxygen will saturate the upper portion of the water column to about 1/2" almost instantaneously, so if you have it so the column of water is being fully circulated, it will generally stay oxygenated.
Disturbing the surface of the water creates greater water surface area for the gas exchange to take place, a rippled surface has more area than a smooth one.


there are times when you will need to increase the oxygen levels, when dealing with infection of course, bacterial blooms, DIATOM blooms, (basically any situation that clouds the water is also going to impose breathing difficulties on the fish), high temps, and if your system supports a large biological filter as the bacteria are the biggest oxygen consumers we have in our tanks.
that is one of the theories behind wet/dry trickle filters, there is so much air/water contact area that the bacteria do not need to utilize oxygen from the system water at as great a rate resulting in higher oxygen levels in the display. It works but has other caveats to it.


I have mine set-up with dual returns in each corner that oscillate back and forth at the surface and then in the center back of the tank is a powerhead pulling water from the top third of the tank and pumping it down to about 2" above the substrate blowing along both back walls and out to the front center.
so far it works pretty good at keeping the tank oxygen rich and debris kept in suspension until they reach the overflow and are removed.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:35 PM   #139
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Thanks for all the responses. I did move the small powerhead back up top, which keeps the water agitated right above it, but is slowly rippling the rest of the tank, left to right. I am just ending a diatom bloom, so I need the extra oxygenation. As this is a new tank, I expected diatoms, but had a full blown case, and was concerned it was Dinos for a while.
I read everything I can, and own over 50 books on fresh and salt, cichlids and reefs. There are so many opinions, from prominent authors, that I try to follow their advice, but even some of that differs. The guys on this site (and gals) handle day to day individual problems and, I believe, help those of us that are doing something new with things that are common to the average aquarist. So, I follow the advice here more than the books. The problem is, everyone still sees things differently. Should I, or should I not, vacuum the sand every couple of weeks? It did cloud my tank a lot, and moving the powerheads to blow on the rocks sent up additional clouds. Question is, did the cloudy tank stir up gunk my fish shouldn't be breathing? Is there a general consensus?
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:17 PM   #140
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Don't stir a sandbed. One of the reasons comes from the bacteria that grow in there that you want live in oxygen free zones...stir it and bring oxygen in means dead or no bacteria growth. That and there are other things that live in the sandbed that you want in there that you'll end up sucking out.
As for the cloudy tank, as long as it isn't long lasting things will be just fine and it shouldn't worry you.
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