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Old 02-05-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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MH light changes

No phosphate issues. No low flow issues. Nitrates at zero, but I keep getting this brown film with tiny bubbles on my sand. PWC and suck out that very top layer in the bad spots and itsback within a week or two.

Can old lights do this too? I'm using the Coralife Pro, 3x150 HQ and 4x96 actinic03 bulbs.

I've replaced the HQ once already maybe a year or so ago. Keep thim on only 8-9 hrs daily. Never replaced the actinic.

How often should the HQs be replaced? Could the actinic be giving me problems also if not replaced?

What else should I be looking out for?
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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OK. Phosphates measured at .5 or less.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
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How often are you feeding your tank? Brown with bubbles screams dinoflagelettes to me but could easily be cyano. Either of the two are a result of high nutrients in your system. All the basic things apply, increased water changes, less feeding reduced photo period, cleaning of all equipment with sponges.

Cleaning your skimmer out may help as well. A serious cleaning, take it off line and clean it out really well. I know you have lots of flow in the tank so that shouldn't be a problem. I try and replace my MH bulbs every 8 months. Actinics not as often but they get replaced a minimum of once per year.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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I feed every other day for the most part. Maybe that I leave my skimmer off for a month at a time or more???

I just turned it on. Never needed it before I thought. Used to go for months without it. I clean the sponges on the pumps and the fuge baffle filter about once every 3 weeks.

I guess I'll order 3 new MHs and 4 96w actinics. Ouch!! The actinics are original, approaching 3 years or so now.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:15 PM   #5
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Pics of the stuff...
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Anybody?
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:40 PM   #7
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.5 phosphate is pretty high...actually any reading is high. Are you running GFO?
Looks like some dinoflagellates in there too.
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Maybe that I leave my skimmer off for a month at a time or more???
That can definitely be a problem. What kind of skimmer are you using?
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Dunno what GFO is, but I doubt it.

Using the Aqua C EV 180 skimmer.

Wow, .5 being the lowest on the reading scale.... I had no idea that was bad. Just ran some RO/DI for a PWC soon. Gonna go test that.

I'll admit, Been doing a lot of flake foods for the last month. Also been doing the top off reservoir with tap water (don't ask me what that is, but I might as well test that too).
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:26 PM   #9
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GFO is granular Ferric Oxide - aka phosban basically.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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Will be getting some Rowa Phos tomorrow. I always knew ANY phospahate was not good, just forgot .5 can do damage in a reef.

Might explain recent changes such as; xenia not as prolific these days, lost a green hammer, brown hammer slowly receding, hair algae in a few places, and lost my year old coco worm -all in the last 5 months.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:42 PM   #11
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Save some $ and just buy GFO from Bulk Reef Supply. It's the same as RowaPhos, but much cheaper. And while your there, get a reactor to run it in. The ViaAqua comes with a pump and all the accessories you need.

That's a good skimmer. Use it. And tap water is good for flushing the toliet, not so good for a reef.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:02 PM   #12
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Awesome Larry! Thanks! I kinda like this reactor below. Not that I'm planning on using carbon, but just in case.

Plus, I like the mounting option on this one. I don't have any floor space down there.

BRS GFO and Carbon Reactor Bulk Reef Supply
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:36 PM   #13
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That will work. You just need a little maxijet 400 to run it. Very, very slow flow thru the reactor.

Here's my ViaAqua reactor in my sump next to the skimmer.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:46 PM   #14
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They recommend a MJ900. Too fast?
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:58 PM   #15
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I guess it depends on how far the pump is from the reactor. You only want about 100-200 gph thru it. Too much flow and it will pulverize the gfo from grinding together.
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Old 02-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #16
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I gotta put the reactor pump in the intake side (left) of the sump/fuge and the reactor output in the return side with the main pump (right). Are the Via Aqua's hoses flexible? Replaceable - in case they aren't long enuf out of the box?

Pump will be maybe 18" down and 25 - 30" away from the reactor. All flex/vinyl hose.

BTW, what's the hieght on that Via Aqua? Edited. Found it - 15" H, 4" D, & 5" W. I think I can hang it on the front. Haven't stopped looking at that BRS model too. The VA's got a pump . Hmmm....
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #17
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Think I'm going with the BRS model. Good reviews too, as does the Via Aqua. The BRS can stand up to backflushing and has comments about being very sound. Mine is gonna be an external (to the sump) install. Right at the cabinet door opening. 30" accros/horizontal and 18" down into the sump is where the pump goes.

With a MJ900, that should give me about 106 gph thru the reactor. A 1200 gets about 182 gph. An MJ600 gets 86gph - all factored with the head loss.

I'm leaning to the MJ900/106gph. Opinion??

The BRS clearly has barbed fittings so I can run flex hose and place the pump and output where I need them.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:49 PM   #18
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OK. I got it now. There are no barbed fittings on the BRS. And it's got push fittings for the maxi-jet. Also has the balve valve at the input. That's means I'd get the MJ1200/182 gps and slow it if needed.

Proly have to split and extend the intake hose provided to get the length I need to the MJ.

Thanks Larry, been talking to my self in this thread all day. Worked out just fine. Felt your presence!
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:57 PM   #19
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Glad you worked it out.
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