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Water change regime
Re: Biocube Stocking. Filtration area set up; maint. this time
Sudden Fish Death 8/13/15
Nano War; SW, op.
Sm./Nano water change frequency
95l Kent Bioreef tank question; sm. mar. maint./op.
Cyano outbreak!!! Sm. SW 5/18/13
Need Advice, Sm. SW maint. f'
A few questions 4/20/13
already cured rock, new aquarium, losing color?
Noob needs help getting water parameters stabilized
planning the softy tank, for two week
Something in Water Column 12/13/11
Quick pH/Skimmer Question 8/24/11
Re: Aqual Reefmax question, now... sm. SW sys.
maint. f' 5/4/11
Cyano? Rdg. 3/7/11
Re pH In A Reef Tank, Now Lighting Suggestion 1/19/11-
Candy Canes, sm. vol., allelopathy
Alkalinity Question/Nano Tanks
Another Cyano Question BGA in a 29 gallon.
Multiple issues 30 gal reef 6/1/10
Re: Multiple issues 30 gal reef 6/2/10
24G Nano Cube algae problem and skimmer addition -
Excess Nutrients in a Nano. 5/23/2010
Another Lighting Question Lamp\Bulb selection.
Stomatella Spawning Constantly in Nano! Help!
Nervous Newbie, SW, Sm., reef mis-stocking... maint.
f' as well 3/17/10
Reef tank, 30 gal., new, new life ID. Maint.
Cloudy Water 2/4/2010
Nano Aquaria; General Care, Tridacnids and Coral
Help for a novice? Certainly! Nitrogen cycle new tank
Watching my tank, Aquapod 11/11/09
Green Hair Algae Eater? 9/19/09
I killed my fish... using WWM
BioCube... High Temperature 08/05/09
Maintenance and Water Quality Issues in a 14g BioCube
New system setup: Stocking\water
Diary of a Nanowave... Sm. SW sys. maint.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Cyanobacteria/BGA- Nano
Algae: Control, (over)Stocking, Little Useful
Clownfish, Star Polyp system ... Sm. SW op. 2/26/2009 Greetings! <and Salutations!> Thanks so much for the wonderful website! Today I have have a few questions to pose. <Fire away!> First off, let me describe my tank and its parameters: AquaMedic Nano Wave 9 gallon AquaMedic Venturi Skimmer Refugium (I'm about to add some Macroalgae to it, could you recommend a species?) <Chaetomorpha - see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm> Sponge and Ceramic Filtration 7 lbs. of LR (planning to add a little more soon) SG 1.0245 Temperature 79-80 F pH 8.3 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Weekly 1 gallon water changes (soon to be increased to twice weekly) <Good idea.> Marine DT's Phytoplankton dosed every three days Livestock: 1 Ocellaris Clownfish (tank-bred) <This tank may be a bit small when he grows up - may try to sample some of your invertebrates> 1 Blue-Leg Hermit Crab 1 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab 1 Emerald Crab <Keep an eye on them as he gets bigger> 3 Snails 1 Xenia 1 Star Polyp Colony (about 3" wide) 1 Small Zoanthid Frag 1 Mushroom (> 1" wide, in refugium recovering from sickly period, considering ditching it) <You may want to consider adding some carbon in the filtration system, the Zoas can release some noxious chemicals into the water> Well, there's all the information, now for the questions (once again, thank you for your time). The clownfish was purchased about a week ago, and has looked exceptionally healthy, and is readily and greedily accepting food (frozen brine shrimp with Spirulina and high-quality marine pellets). He is intended to be the only fish in the tank, as I realize I have already reached my max bio-load. <Indeed you have.> Anyway, he has had for as long as I have owned him a series of roughly even black splotches. It is not Black Spot, I believe, and not an internal parasite, as he has been acting perfectly healthy. They are not protrusions and only appear on the orange areas of the torso, and not on the fins. Could this be the Mal-pigmentation disorder? It doesn't look like the pictures of that I have seen. Could it even be part of his coloration? <Hard to tell without a photo, but likely part of his coloration, my clown has a bunch of black speckles on his back. Also, at night, as soon as lights are out, he retreats to the same corner of the tank every night, and then proceeds to make a little indentation in the sand that he snuggles up into to "sleep". It sometimes does this in the day. Other than that it is completely active at all levels of the tank, swimming around and snapping up copepods. Is this normal behavior in Clowns? I hope none of this is anything to worry about. <Absolutely normal.> Another question - my Star Polyp has been doing fine over the past few weeks, until just yesterday it began to act strange. It just won't open up its polyps, as if something in the chemistry of the water is off. My Xenia, of all things, however, is doing fine. Could it be the mushroom in the refugium (I'm kind of ready to chuck it out the window, some of things I have read on WWM and other websites point to them competing with other corals). I tried spot feeding it with phyto, but to no avail. <My Star polyp colony has closed up for a few days at a time as well, So I wouldn't worry unless this goes on for more than a few days. n the other hand, there could be some chemical warfare going on. Try adding some carbon to your filtration system. If you have any recommendations, they would be much appreciated. Many Thanks! <You're very welcome> Isaac <Mike>
Sm. Reef Op. 2/22/09 I was searching for lifetime of Power Compact tubes. I calculate ~4300 hours from your staff's recommendation of replacement at six months of 24/7 use. My background is a BS Chemistry, Univ of Delaware (1979). I am a chromatographer by training. My current (personal) interest surround a quantitative chromatographic determination of ions in saltwater reef aquarium water. Specifically I'm interested in the Mg++ / Ca++ ratio (see below). <Interesting> I have been keeping aquaria since I was about ten years old. My current setup is a 30 gallon reef which has been in existence for about fifteen years. It's current incarnation has been up for almost two years. The original setup had a undergravel filter, a remnant of its progression from fish only to reef in the early ninety's. Needless to say the substrate turned into concrete. This drove me for better or worse to a bare bottom. Specifics of the setup are: ~30? pounds of live rock acquired over ~2 years many years ago, stacked loosely away from all tank walls, sitting a bare bottom with the fewest points of bottom contact for easy maintenance Lighting: 2x96w PC lighting, 1 50/50 actinic/10K, 1 10K 2x21w T5 no lighting, 1 actinic, 1 10K Controlled by 3 Coralife digital timers staggered on/off times ranging from 13 hr photoperiod for T5's, 11 hr 50/50 PC, 8 hr PC 10K 3x2 blue LED photoperiod off night illumination Filtration: Eheim 2215 Canister filter with surface skimmer driving a Countercurrent Protein Skimmer (name forgotten) ~24" tall Odyssea 350GPH powerhead w/sponge filter, also used for short term particulate adsorbents such as 3x/year carbon and/or occasional phosphate remover Flow: 2 Koralia Nano powerheads, opposed flow, staggered daytime operation with light timers 1 Koralia 1 constant on 1 Odyssea 350GPH photoperiod off nighttime flow Water quality stats (using mainly Red Sea test kits): temp = ~24.5 C +/- 1.0 C/0.0 C (25.5 C nighttime / 24.5 C daytime) sp gr = 1.0250 Ca++ = 425 ppm, test 1-3x/wk Alk = 10.5dKH, test 1-3x/wk Mg++ = 1525ppm, test 6x/yr NO3- = 0ppm, test ~4x/yr always no reading PO3-- = 0ppm, test infrequently, unhappy with color scale, difficult to read pH = ~8.2+??, useless, scale difficult to read I dose: Kalkwasser daily in the AM when pH is low Seachem Reef Calcium, 2cc/day in morning Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium as needed to maintain Ca++ ~425ppm usually 2 teaspoons/wk added in PM Seachem Reef Builder as needed to maintain Alk ~10-12 dKH usually 2 teaspoons/wk added in AM most recently Purple Up, 1cc/day at night before bed my own Lugol's sol'n, ~40uL/wk Water Change & Maintenance: 2gal ~2 wks, vacuuming stuff from the bottom Eheim cleaned 4x/yr Skimmer gunk parts cleaned ~month, broken down once per 2yrs Odyssea foam cleaned every 6 wks except if adsorbents are run glass cleaned weekly, very little algae growth Inhabitants: If you're interested I have some pictures at: http://mysite.verizon.net/goldgift/index.htm It's not the best web presentation, but it is a work in progress. Notes since the pictures were taken. The Galaxea has added ~1 cm of mantle around the entire periphery in the year I've had it. I have also added a specimen of Acropora that has grown ~1.5 cm on a dozen branches in the two months its been in the tank. For the first time in awhile I am forced to think about longer term (growth) consequences of my habitat. The yellow polyps are in decline, and I'm thinking my target temperature of 22-23 C is too low (summertime it gets to 25-26 and at the end of summer is when the attrition began). My new target temp is about 25 C. <Wow, thank you for sharing all that! It will be posted.> So to sum it up, I did not mean any hard feelings. If you guys read this far then you are troopers indeed. <No worries... we're cool.> Ed Dugan <Cheers, Sara M.>
Algae explosion- Help!!!, Sm. SW 2-19-09 Hi there. <Hello> I have a 15 gallon marine tank that's been going about 6 months now. I have constantly battled algae in it for the last 3 months or so, having to do a complete tank clean every week or so. Red Cyanobacteria and another kind of yellowish-brown algae now cover nearly every surface in the tank. It looks like a tank of sewage. What can I do? <Nutrient control.> I have heard that lack of water movement/oxygen is likely the culprit, but how can that be? <Water movement can be an issue, more likely nitrates and phosphates. Control those and you will most likely control you algae.> I have got the following in the tank: Aqueon 30 Power Filter, and a Koralia nano circulation pump (supposedly moves 240gph). I do not have a protein skimmer or any powerheads. Would either of those help? <Yes, a quality skimmer and good water flow will go far in helping with this situation.> -Nick Peterson <See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm.> <Chris> Thanks so much for the help. I will give that a try. <Welcome> <Chris>
Nano reef issue, maint. and Hang-on 'fuge f' 02/09/09 Dear Crew! I have a question regarding my 10G nano reef ecosystem. I hope you'll be able to answer ASAP because I am a bit afraid. Thank you in advance. I have a 3.5G HOB Aquafuge with 3" DSB and Caulerpa + Chaeto macros. About 2 weeks ago I noticed that my HOB refugium skimmer/CPR Aquafuge wasn't making any skimmate. At first I did not pay serious attention. After a few weeks I got suspicious. I did some troubleshooting and finally found when I took off the powerhead that runs the fuge (MaxiJet 1200) that there were 4-5 small scavenger snails at the intake. I cleaned the powerhead and reinstalled it, and the skimmer started to work again immediately. Previous to this my nitrate test reading was 0ppm. After fixing the powerhead issue the reading has been 15-20 ppm. I did a 20% water change this morning but it didn't lower the nitrate levels too much. I think nutrients have been pushed back from the fuge to the tank. <Hmm... it doesn't really work that way. But in any case, your 3.5G "refugium" with what you're calling a "DSB" is not functioning as either. I understand why these tiny HOT "refugiums" are tempting. I had one myself back before I knew any better. But basically, all you really have is a puddle of water with sand in it. The only good use for these things (imo) is macro algae growth (and maybe some gas exchange). But if you put sand in them, you're just asking for trouble. If I were you, I'd remove the sand, thoroughly clean the thing, and use it only for macro-algae cultivation.> I've never had nitrate problems with this tank before. What do you think? Will the DSB and the macroalgaes break down the nutrients again, or should I clean the fuge and introduce a "new" macroalgae colony? Should I wait a day or 2 and re-check? I'm very afraid because it is a fully grown 2 year old set up and I have put lots of work into it. <Again, if it were me (and it was me once upon a time), I'd remove the sand and just use macroalgae. If the macroalgae you have looks weak or dying (or is covered in debris)... maybe rinse it well, or get new macroalgae. That's your call.> Please advise! Thank you, Sonny <Good luck, Sara M.>
Sebae vs. Xenia, Green Hair Algae, Rio Skimmer... Sm. SW op. 10/23/08 Hello, <Shellie> Apologies in advance for the long post. I had a SW set up 20 years ago and have come back to the fold and a whole new world! <Welcome back> I've been reading this site for months, often till my eyeballs feel like raisins, but have been reluctant to ask questions hoping to find my answers within the myriad articles and FAQ. So much important information that I had to start a journal. I will confess right up front that I have done things in a very backwards and upside down manner but am working my way to where I should be by collecting missing information from WWM and other sources. My LFS is great but a little too laid back for me. I've gotten pretty good info from them but I need details & specifics. I bought "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and am working my way through it. I also use "The Reef Aquarium: Science, Art & Technology" by Julian Sprung - recommended by my LFS. In April 2008, I started a 20G tank with about 30# of LR, LS, 1 Condylactis, 1 Sebae, pair of Maroon Clowns (m/f), 2 Scarlet Shrimp, 1 High Fin Red Banded Goby, 1 Aurora Goby, Elegant Moon Polyp, Daisy Polyp, Xenia (multiplying like crazy), 1 Feather Duster (began as one, now, they're all over), 1 Sarcophyton, 1 Sally Lightfoot Crab - v. small, 1 Emerald Crab - v. small, 1 Pearly Headed Jawfish, 1 Fighting Conch, an assortment of snails and hermits. All fish and inverts are fairly small except: the female clown is 3x the size of the male and Jawfish is adult. My intent is to return the crabs when they get larger - both sport less than 1/2" bodies. I got them in hopes of Green Hair Algae control - see below. <Yikes... this is way too much, and disparate life for such a small volume> Filtration is a Rio Nano Skimmer (which I despise) and 1 100 gph Powerhead, lights are 24" hood w/2-65W Actinic and 2- 65W Regular lights. That's the set up. Water parameters are normal: SG: 1.025, pH: 8.3, ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 0. Temp at 79F. Habits: 5 Gallon water change every 5-6 days Problems: 1.) Green Hair Algae is rampant. Snails have afros. To combat, I cut back lighting to 6 hours actinic/4 white per day and I feed very sparingly. And I've increased the water changes to every 5 days. And I got 2 crabs (lightfoot & emerald). I do not want to use any algicides. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of it? <... a much more sophisticated filtration set-up is needed... and a much larger volume for the life you list... at the barest minimum three times this size... Otherwise, the options for control, prevention for Green algae posted on WWM...> 2.) I have one too many anemones. I realize (after the fact) that I should not have purchased that beautiful tiny electric yellow sebae at an LFS that I no longer visit. Upon introduction to my tank (with my established, happy Condy named Baby Doc), it moved all over and finally settled in a cave with it's foot on the underside - essentially upside down. I did some research and learned that it was 1.)dyed and 2.) should not be in a tank with another anemone. However, since it attached itself to the inside of a cave, I could not remove it without dislodging an 8# piece of LR so I left it alone. It willingly hosted the *large* female clown and she fed it while it was upside down. The large Condy hosts the tiny male clown who feeds it, too. Finally, after 3 months, the sebae color is now partly creamy white and part rusty brown which I believe to be its zooxanthellae coming back? In the last month, it's moved from it's cave and come to rest on the side of the LR but is UNDER the Condy's tentacles. I went to my preferred LFS and started talking allelopathy but got blank stares. I came back to WWM and read that this is a recipe for disaster. Not knowing who would win, I began increasing my water changes because I have no confidence in my Skimmer (in fact, I hate it, it never seems to work properly). Two months have gone by and the Sebae continued to live within the tentacles of the Condy. How is this possible? <Life can be tenacious> I did a 50% water change several days ago and the Sebae dislodged itself and was floating on the bottom of the tank. I placed it on a rock in front and away from the Condy but within 20 minutes, it put itself right against the trunk of the Condy. (The Condy is flourishing, BTW). This evening, just before lights out, the Sebae has moved away from the Condy. It is now sitting against the trunk of a large (5" tall) Xenia. Is there known conflict between Sebae and Xenia? <Can be> I'm thinking that this Sebae is finally healthy and is looking for action and I'm going to have to give him to my LFS. <Good> Last problem: I have a Rio Nano Protein Skimmer that does not consistently work. <A poor design, lack of engineering... it's not you> I rarely get any skimmate (but I water change a lot) but the bigger problem IMO is that I can't keep water circulating. No matter how I adjust the bits and parts, I'll leave it with water flowing freely through the carbon and back into the tank and within a short time, the returning water slows to a trickle then stops. I know it's only 20G tank but I'd like to keep skimming. Is the AquaC Remora a next step up/suitable replacement for the Rio? <A vastly superior product> And the Rio came with almost NO information/instruction. I can't effectively troubleshoot it without going online and reading blogs about it. Forgive me for the length. Please answer at your convenience. Many thanks, Shellie Huy <Do keep reading, sharing... And saving up towards a larger system... you need it. Bob Fenner>
Re: Nano Lighting/BGA, Filtration 10/22/08 Good day Scott V./WWM Crew, <Hello again.> Thank you for your help thus far. <Welcome.> My question is regarding diatoms and thereafter. I currently have some live rock in a separate tank. Once I start the new nano, after the cycling period, I expect the appearance of diatoms. <Possibly.> My problem is that I unfortunately do not have access to a clean up crew. <No value with diatoms/BGA anyhow.> How do I deal with the diatoms? Should I begin the tank with Rowa phos and carbon? <Carbon if you wish. Phosphate removing compounds can strip the water of all phosphate, some is needed. Your regular water changes should be enough to control phosphate with appropriate feeding. This will also be your avenue to combat the BGA/diatoms should it appear. More info here, same fueling factors: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm> Any other suggestions would be very helpful!!! <Sounds like you are well on your way.> Have already purchased the Deltec MCE-300 skimmer. <Nice skimmer.> Thanks!!! Adriel <Welcome, have fun, Scott V.>
Ailing Pagoda and angry Perculas 10/8/08 Hello! <Hi> I have a small 8 gallon BioCube at my office with some live rock, mushrooms, anthelia, polyps, and a pagoda cup coral. I have 2 false percula clowns, a neon goby and a yellow watchman goby. <That is too much life for such a small tank.> My tank has been up and running for about 1 1/2 years now with all the same fish and corals. Recently, my pH became very low (7.4) despite weekly water changes, and adding buffer. Out of desperation (my first mistake) I purchased a buffering powder that after adding 1/2 of a packet would miraculously adjust my pH to 8.2. Yeah, right. As soon as I added it, my pagoda seemed to shrink before my eyes! <Probably pH shock.> It's polyps retracted and it stayed like this for about a week. I was sure I killed it, however it is opening up again although the polyps are smaller? It's just not the same! So my first question is, what did I do and can it be remedied? <You most likely raised the pH too fast, not much can be done now except maintain good water quality.> My second problem is related to the percula clowns. They made their home in the pagoda cup and guarded it if I tried to get near it. I removed the pagoda to put it in a 58 gal we have at home in order to try to nurse it along. They are ANGRY!!! The female is attacking other corals in the tank now and is not a happy camper. <Is looking for a new home.> I didn't know if I should try to replace the pagoda with another coral in hopes that they might take to it, or if once they have a home they never adapt to another one? <Can find a new home if they find something to their liking.> Do I put the pagoda back in the tank and see if it recovers? <I would leave it in the more stable larger tank.> Another tidbit... I tested the 8 gal. and figured out the calcium levels were too high which was causing the low pH. I have since gotten the parameters back to normal. <Good, but the inherent problem of small tanks, parameters can change radically quickly in small water volumes.> Thanks for your tips! Wendy <Welcome> <Chris>
Water Movement 9/23/08 Hi Crew, <Hello Sam.> I have a 6 year old 10 gallon setup with live rock and sand, a penguin mini filter, 65w PC's, Candycane corals and some fish (more than you would approve). <'¦You said it!> I began having Cyano problems a few months ago. It started, I think, by my not changing the bulbs in time. <Or finally seeing the consequence of overstocking, as you say it.> It has improved but it is still there. When I do a cleanup it now takes a week till it is bad instead of overnight. I cut down feeding to once a day and I keep the lights off 2 days a week every once and a while. I have a small power head (rated 130gph) that faces the length of the tank. Would it be a good or bad idea to place it in mid tank facing the width. <It may help, but there are likely other fueling factors here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm.> It would probably hit the glass and divide itself in both direction which would probably be a lot more movement all around than what I have now. I know you guys think it is never too much movement so I am not sure why I am asking. <There can be too much, specifically of the laminar type: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm. Again, not likely the culprit, other factors here. > But I haven't emailed you for a while. Thanks Sam <Welcome, Scott V.>
T5 lighting/algae problems... reading, sm. SW maint. 9/2/08 Hello, <Scarlett> I currently have a nano-reef system of 15 gallons. I have 2 ocellaris clownfish, <Need more room...> 1 Royal Gramma, <Ditto> 3 hermit crabs, one turbo snail, one emerald crab <Predatory> and 3 Cerith snails in it with some live rock. I was trying to grow some Zoanthids, so I purchased a nova-extreme lighting system with 2 T5 bulbs in it. Ever since then I've been having green algae growing out of control!! I have to remove my live rock and soak it in hot water to be able to scrub off all the algae at least once a month. Can you recommend a good algaecide <...> or what bulbs I should get that maybe don't put out so much light. The corals I tried to raise died, so having lighting suitable for them is no longer an issue. Please help!! I'm so sick of algae!! Thanks! Scarlett Mooney <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/maintindex.htm scroll down to "Algae"... Bob Fenner>
Small reef maintenance question - 07/13/08 Hello pros! <Hello Sonny, Mich here with you.> I hate myself for asking a question like this, <Don't hate yourself!> after many years in this great hobby. I have a 10G nano reef tank, recently upgraded with a HOB refugium. I used to do 10% water changes weekly, about a Gallon at the time. <OK.> I was wondering since I set up the refugium, should I raise the volume of the water when I do the changing process? <I would.> With the refugium I add another approx. 3 G's of water to the total water volume. Does the extra water counts when I do the water changes? ( instead of the 1 G should I do 1.5 G or so? ) <This is what I would do though there is not hard and fast rule, but frequent small water changes are beneficial. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/scottsh2ochgart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watchgantart.htm > Thank you for your time, <Happy to share! Mich> Sonny
Nano tank questions, stkg, inherent limitations 7/12/08 Greetings WWM crew <Hello Sean! Benjamin here!> I have a question about chemistry, and also lighting for a Crocea clam. But first some background: I am a bit of a crazy jerk, with what I think is a WAY overstocked 20gal long nano: 2 ocellaris, 1 bicolor Dottyback, 2 peppermint shrimp, large brittle star, sand sifting star, 2 Tonga fighting and one queen conch, about 10 Ceriths,. 5 Astreas, about 5 or so blue leg hermits, about 1.5sq foot surface area of my live rock is covered in Zoanthids, 2 small finger leathers, one 9 inch deresa (got him when he was only 3 inches - he may soon go back to LFS store for trade/credit - TOO BIG now - if he slams his shell, it ejects water from the tank and sometimes hits the lighting) and one 3 inch crocea. Various sponges (blue and white encrusting types mostly) The above is not TOO badly overstocking (except the deresa), But... Get this: a *yellow tang*. <Another victim of yellow tang mania...poor fish> Yep, in a 20 long. For two years now. Believe it or not, he's fine and happy (he's small, though) Eating well, good color. He acts more like a puffer (personality wise) than a tang - he actually greets me when I come to the tank, will eat Nori right out of my hand... I got him when he was only 1.5 inches long. LFS tells me he was collected off of Christmas island. Now he's about 4 inches. Eventually (soon!) he WILL need a bigger tank, of course. Which will likely mean I trade him back to LFS for a new baby 1.5 inch tang. <Trade back for something else...health wise, a 1.5" tang should really have just as much space to live as a full-grown one> Or I may just bite the bullet and get a "real" tank. <Now you're speaking my language...> Things are lit with a single 150 watt AquaLine AB HQI 20000K bulb (yes, I know, 10000K or better yet a 6500K would give better PAR, but I like blue!) Aqua C nano remora skimmer with the stock MaxiJet 900 replaced with a 1200. JBJ nano chiller. 2 MaxiJet 1200's for circulation, alternating between the two on a 15 minute timer. (which means I have a total of 4 MaxiJet 1200's in that little tank - 1 for chiller, one for skimmer, 2 for circulation) I have a 4.5 inch sandbed, and about 10lbs live rock Water parameters: Specific gravity 1.025 Temp is kept around 77F. 8.1-8.4PH (and its LOWER in evening!?! I'll explain my theory of the swing presently) 8-10dKH, calcium 380-400. All nitrogen waste stuff is 0 or close enough that my SeaTest kit can't see any (including nitrates) Phosphates don't register on my SeaTest kit either. I lose about .25 to .33 gal a day to evaporation. I top off twice daily with RO. <Buffered, I hope?> About the swing... those parameter swings are DAILY! What bugs me is the reverse of normal for the PH swing: Lower after the lights are on all day? My theory is: the swing seems to be due to a combo of factors: the big Deresa in a tank with so little water volume? (figure maybe 12 gals total actual water in there) -- Calcium and carbonates seem to get sucked out fast -. Although there may be some anoxic chemistry in the sand bed driving down the PH as well -- denizens are awake and making more nitrogenous waste during the day, drive the anaerobic bacteria more... also the evaporation can't be helping. Things drop, and I add 2 part (b ionic) and bring it back up each day. I have to take a bit of water out and replace it with RO to compensate so the salinity stays stable. (or more correctly, the specific gravity, since I use a hydrometer for testing) I noticed I can get a bit less swing if I dose a little magnesium and try to keep dKH more close to 12 and the calcium nearer 400. Don't want to move to a calcium reactor because I have PH drops enough as is. Tried Kalkwasser for a while, (manual drip) but 2 part seems easier. Short of getting more water volume (which is the correct answer of course) do you have any suggestions? most 20 long tanks seem to be all tempered, so drilling so that I can add a sump is no good. And of course hang on overflow boxes can lose their siphon, jam up, and my landlord would NOT appreciate the contents of even a small sump being on my floor. <Do make sure your RO contains appropriate buffer to pH adjust, and to match the alkalinity your tank loses through the day. A small tank will tend to have larger alkalinity loss- and very rapid, to boot> On to the lighting question: I used to have a CoraLife 14000K HQI over the tank. Before that I had one 10000K 65w PC and one actinic 65w PC (CoraLife) With the PC's I had good coralline growth. When I switched to the HQI, all the coralline that was in direct light turned white on me within 3-4 days. (stuff in more shaded areas was OK) I switched to the bluer bulb, and it came back. I had gotten the HQI so that I could keep a nice little blue crocea in there. He liked the 14000K. He does NOT seem to like the 20000K as much. He has less color now. <Yes....20K bulb is about 1/2 or less the light (lumens AND PAR) of a 10K> Question: since the tank is only 12 inches high anyway, and the bottom 4.5 inches is sand, he is only in 7.5 inches depth when I have him on the substrate. Would moving him up another 4-5 inches make much difference? <Not much...with this spectrum> I could do this, but then he'll attach to the rock, and then it's a pain if I have to move him. He's so small the standard "put him an empty shell and let him attach to that" is not practical IMO - he and the shell will likely get knocked off the rocks. Substrate is the preferable location if he can get enough light there, IMO. -Sean <Benjamin>
Consistently High dKH In My Nano Reef Tank --
06/02/08 Hi crew :D <<Howdy Carolyn>> Sorry to keep
emailing with questions, but your advice is just so darn good!
<<Okay'¦flattery 'will' get you
somewhere>> Am slightly concerned about the dKH level in my reef
tank -- it's consistently reading around 14-14.4 using the Salifert
dKH/alkalinity profi test. <<Mmm'¦a bit high,
yes'¦but do verify with a new/another brand test kit>>
Calcium is 400ppm, so I don't want to risk messing with the
chemistry too much... <<I would allow this to fall a bit>>
What I need to know is if this high dKH will be a problem in the long
run? <<It is not likely to have a malaffect on your tanks
inhabitants of its own, but along with the high Calcium load, you may
be running the risk of a precipitous event'¦and this
'would' be a problem for your tanks inhabitants>> I live
in an area with very hard water (so high pH anyway, DI/RO doesn't
seem to get it down), and as it's a nano I do frequent small water
changes (approx. 5% volume every other day)... <<Mmm, these
frequent additions are probably a big part of the Alkalinity
problem'¦especially in a very small volume of water. Aside
from the fact that newly mixed saltwater is irritating to marine life
(the every-other-day additions are probably very annoying to your tank
inhabitants), the frequent additions of this still chemically active
medium is not allowing your tank to find its own chemical balance. I
would suggest you reduce the water changes to no more than 5% every two
weeks'¦give this a try for a while and see how things
go>> Thanks for your help in advance :D, Carolyn <<Happy to
Question on 24 gal Aquapod 6/1/08 Hello, I have had a 24 gal Aquapod running for about 6 days. The LFS suggested I have a MaxiFlo 400 pump in there for extra circulation. They also suggested 15 lbs of live rock. Which with displacement I have approximately 18-19 gallons of water. The temperature will not drop below 80 degrees. <Engineering... really can't be changed much... w/o having the system in a cooler setting, and/or adding/tying in a chiller> I have 2 questions; 1. Do I need the extra pump? <Mmm, might help with keeping circulation, dissolved gas issues...> 2. If I need the extra pump will it be necessary to remove a piece of live rock to allow for more water? <Not likely> Thanks for any help. Aaron <Do read re small marine systems: http://wetwebmedia.com/small.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
What went wrong!? Small SW tank troubleshooting 05/30/2008 Hello, <<Hey, Andrew with you today>> I have a 24 gallon aqua cube which has recently become a 24 gallon death cube. In the beginning we started out with a 12 gallon and moved to the 24 gallon, in recent months everything has been great. We had a good share of soft corals and live rock. In the tank we had an orange diamond goby, (Moby the goby), a Blenny (Lenny the blenny), a black and white striped damsel (pokey), Clown fish (primo) and half yellow half purple fish(mystery). We also had some crabs, 1 porcelain, 1 emerald and a few hermit. We had a turbo snail and a starfish and black sea urchin. Everything was great, levels were good and everyone was happy. <<Ok>> Then it happened. My wife and I went to a new aquarium store to look around, we were ah struck when we came across this slug, a Nudibranch, he is purple with yellow horns and flames out his back. <<Ah yes, could be a few different species of Nudi, please do identify from here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nudibran.htm >> We were told they are easy to care for and that they ate sponges, something we didn't have. <<Yes, this is true. All have their own specialist diet>> They sold us a light blue sponge also saying they were easy to take care of, just drop it in the tank and make sure it doesn't get exposed to air. So we got home and acclimated the slugs (we also purchased a lettuce Nudibranch) and put the blue sponge in our tank. This was on last Sunday. <<Ok>> Everything seemed to be happy, then my wife came home from work on Tuesday, called me and told me something was wrong, the soft corals were shriveled up and hadn't come out and 2 of the fish were dead (mystery and pokey). All the other fish were breathing heavy and sitting on the bottom of the tank. The blue sponge appeared to be dying, the blue was falling off and u could see the white spongy skeleton underneath. I immediately pulled the sponge out and tossed it along with the dead fish. I tested the water and the nitrates were showing 160ppm! <<Yikes>> I also tested the ammonia but it was fine. I immediately did a 10 gallon water change per a friend. The nitrates seemed to have dropped to around 80ppm, the next day (last night) when I got home from work (after picking up some supplies at our normal aquarium store) 80% of our soft corals were dead, Moby ,Lenny, black sea urchin, starfish and turbo snail were also dead. I pulled all of them out, did another 10 gallon water change, added charcoal and a bag of something (white) that is supposed to absorb nitrates and nitrites. This morning the water seemed crystal clear, Primo was still alive along with the Crabs. I did another water test last night after the water change and the nitrate was 40ppm. I hear that the blue sponge releases a deadly neurotoxin when it dies and that is what wiped everything out. Im not sure what spiked the nitrates. Any insight? <<Not "usually" blue sponges which release this, more so with some red sponges. Do not rule out the possibility of the Nudibranch releasing toxins. Please do read page 3 of the above linked web page on Nudibranchs. The spike in nitrates will be down to the death in the tank, ammonia --> Nitrite --> Nitrate. I would be tempted to remove the Nudibranch, return to the store>> John C. Curry <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>
Algae in Nano FOWLR 4/14/08 Hi, <Ed.> I have a 35l nano FOWLR tank, it contains 1 humbug damsel, 1 yellow tail damsel and 1 cleaner shrimp. Everything has been going great except from a rather large algae problem, I have removed the algae from the sides of the tank but the live rock is still thickly covered in the green stuff! <Uh-oh, ugly!> Will the cleaner shrimp solve this? <No, not at all.> And if not can you suggest something reasonably priced that would? I have heard that snails are good for eating algae but I would really appreciate some expert advice. <Snails can help control algae, but not to this extent Turbo or Astrea snails being good additions. The best thing you can do is prevent the algae through maintaining water quality and controlled feeding, difficult prospects in nano tanks. I have included a link for you below. This article and the related FAQ's will guide you through sorting this issue out.> Many thanks, Ed <Welcome, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm
Nano tank 04/11/2008 Hi <<Hello>> I have a 28 gal mini reef with a 3 an a half in DSB over 30lbs of live rock a Rena FilStar xp2 filter and no coral or fish as of yet. My question was regarding something I had been hearing allot about presently it seems that many forums and aquarists are saying that in a mini reef such as mine if you have proficient live rock/sand you don't need a skimmer, they say that the cost and disabilities (such as removing trace elements and micro-fauna) out way the benefits they told me that frequent partial water changes remove all the nitrates that need to be removed. <<I do run such a mini reef system, 7 gallons in total volume. I do not run a skimmer on this tank, water change 10% per week>> Cost isn't really an issue for me but if protein skimming can cause negative effects in such a small tank than I would rather not use it . Should I opt for the "natural method" of reefing? <<I see no reason why not, as long as your confident you know you're tank, as i do mine>> I intend to keep a mixture of soft and stony but none of the leathers that produce stony killing toxins and maybe two fish. Thanks! <<Sounds a good plan. Good luck with the nano. A Nixon>>
Attn: Sara Hello again (are you sick of hearing from me yet?) LOL <Haha, never.> As I mentioned before, I've got a 29 gallon BioCube with all the parameters where they should be. -- 04/10/08 The occupants are; 2 Ocellaris Clowns (constantly bickering) 1 Watchman Goby (constantly looks p*ssed off) 1 small Lettuce Nudibranch 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (won't leave my hand alone when I do ANYTHING to the tank) 1 "Halloween" Hermit Crab (yeah, the one with the blue striped legs 3 Nassarius snails (Only one comes to visit at feeding time) 2 Red-Leg Hermit Crabs 1 Turbo Snail Well, here's the issue - the Lettuce Nudibranch decided to hitch a ride on the Turbo Snail. Now, the Turbo Snail is excreting what appears to be a long (single strand) glop of slime, that coils around it's shell, and it's been there for over 24 hours. Did the Nudibranch do something to the snail? <Honestly, it sort of sounds like the Nudibranch is laying eggs on the snail's shell.> Is the snail doing this in self-defence? or did the snail possibly think the Nudibranch was trying to mate with it, and do what they do naturally? It sounds gross, but I'm just curious as to what is going on with this snail that never seems to get it's fill of algae. <A picture would really help here. It's pretty impossible to say without one.> Thanks again, (Gracias!) DJ <De nada, Sara M.>
Black ray shrimp goby... Hlth... Cnid. influence? 04/07/2008 Good Sunday Morning! <<Hello, Andrew today>> First off, sorry, in advance, for the long email and your site rocks! <<Thanks for the comments>> I am fairly new to the hobby and so far have been learning things a bit the hard way - did not find your site until after I had lost all my fish due to too fast and too much. <<Ahh...a hard lesson to learn>> I have a 34 gallon Red Sea system with about 3" of live sand and a gorgeous piece of live rock (can't find the receipt to know what the weight is). I started the system in July of '07. After losing all my livestock, I found your wonderful site, let the tank go fallow for 8 weeks and bought a 12 gallon QT. Through all, my cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, sand sifting starfish <<Would suggest this tank is not suitable for a sifting starfish as these really need a very well established sandbed>> and various 5 hermits, 3 Nassarius, 2 Trochus and 2 Turbos survived. I have a chiller that keeps the temp 78-80 and water tests out great (small amount of nitrate but all other numbers in your recommended parameters). <<Sounds good>> I do have some corals - torch, toadstool leather, Trachyphyllia brain and mushroom polyps - all spaced so that they stay out of each other's way. In retrospect, I would never have started with a nano set up and would not have the corals. Long story longer...I currently have 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 flasher mutt wrasse, one purple Firefish, and a black ray goby that paired up wonderfully with the pistol shrimp. All fish went through quarantine with the last 2, both gobies, being introduced into the red sea main tank in December - shorter quarantine for them, as per instructions from your site. All have been doing just great - except for the occasional scrapping between the wrasse, Flash, and the gobies, Frankie & Spike. <<Understandable aggression between these fish in a tank of this size>> Spike is my main concern right now. A couple of the mushroom polyps have broken loose from their original home and I just let them float freely until they found a new home. They have found new spots in 2 of the entrances that Spike (black ray) and Pete (pistol shrimp) use to go under the rock. I was not overly concerned about that because they also had 2 other holes that they used in addition to those places and I assumed that Pete would push the polyps out of the way if need be. Spike has always been very aggressive during feeding times and made sure that he got his share (I watch this carefully as the Yashia goby, Obie Wan, that came with Pete originally was very shy and did not make it). We have not seen Spike except for a couple of times since last Sunday - no worries as that seems to be normal behavior. I was going to try to gently move the polyps into a new spot in the tank so that the 2 entrances were freed up. I planned on doing that today along with all the other tank maintenance that I do on Sundays - clean up and water changes. <<Ok>> Unfortunately, late yesterday I noticed Spike swimming around near the surface of the tank and very erratically. Fortunately, I have a 6 gallon nano cube set up and going as a hospital tank - just in case. I was able to get Spike out of the main tank and into the hospital tank immediately (did not like doing that but was scared that the others would start harassing him or he would go back under the rock and I would not be able to help him at that point). I guess my question is could the polyps have had something to do with this? <<I would not imagine mushrooms having a negative effect on the goby>> Also, could the digging in the sand bed have unearthed some toxins? <<Very possible, yes>> Spike is in the HT and still swimming oddly (it is a bare bottom tank with some PVC for hiding). I tried to feed him some pellets this morning and mysis shrimp last night - he likes that food and I was able to put it right over his mouth - no luck on the eating. In fact, he even lets me touch him. Honestly, I don't think he is going to make it but I will keep trying. Next step is garlic supplement in the food. <<Indeed, i would add Selcon rather than garlic, as Selcon is a Vit supplement>> I really do not want to get another goby until I am a bit more sure of what happened. I have way too much respect for these gorgeous creatures to get another and risk it but I also am concerned about the pistol shrimp being un-aided. This all assumes the Spike does not pull through this event. <<Careful monitoring, feeding with Vit laden foods is the best way forward, to get the Goby to rebuild strength>> I searched your site for information on this but did not see anything specific to the polyps and the goby - so much information and so little time to help Spike. All other fish in the tank are just fine. I am looking into a bigger tank as the smaller ones are a LOT of work. <<I feel that a larger tank is really needed with you stock. I would expect aggression in the tank due to the size and the fish in there>> I wish that LFS would be more mindful of that before recommending them to new hobbyist's. <<Ahhhhhh..the good old fish shop just wants to make money>> I also wish the LFS would promote the use of a QT. I research everything extensively on your site, have "the book" by Dr. Bob and do not make a move without consulting you's. Thanks again and I appreciate any thoughts you may have - <<Angela, i would take my suggestions on board....I.E Really do consider a larger tank at least 50+ gals, start feeding the Goby on Vit laden foods and monitor very closely in the hospital tank>> Angela (Spike's concerned mom) <<Thanks for the questions, good luck, hope this helps. A Nixon>>
Impossible Situation... Small new SW system with natural/collected LR doing fine... 3/17/08 I am hoping you will be able to settle a discussion or at least give some insight to a situation. <... I'll try> I have been reading your site for years now and value the great information that you constantly provide. I have used this information to advise fellow marine hobbyist with issues with their tanks and constantly refer people to your great site! However this one has me stumped and seems to defy every word ever written or spoken about water quality. My friend decided to try to "play around" with a 29 gallon marine tank and local marine life from the gulf. <The Gulf... of Mexico I'll take it> He set up the tank with store bought salt and tap water and a water conditioner. He filled said tank with rock with a good deal of algae growth on it from the gulf and immediately placed some local inhabitants into the tank. <Mmm... this can be a daring... to precarious proposition... there is just SO much life/biota on/in such rock... The "curing" process many folks employ... from one point of view... is a "dying off" routine... to limit such life/death in our systems> Hermit crabs, anemone's, starfish, colon blenny, wrasse, sponge, pipefish, pink urchin and a few store bought damsels. <Yikes!> The tank started to cycle and I advised small frequent water changes so he would not lose anything from the tank. He was unable to keep nitrates and nitrites down and basically gave up on water changes. <... what about the life present?> I cannot provide exact levels on the nitrates or nitrates since BOTH are OFF THE CHART. Yes, levels of both are so high that the test kits cannot show the exact level. <Again... not unexpected... or to put this positively... to be expected> Both are over 200 and over 10. Normally this would mean disaster and the end of life in the tank and to be honest that is what I expected to happen. A month has gone by and the levels have remained the same for the entire month. The problem is, he has had ZERO loss of life in the tank. My first thought of course was a faulty test kit so I tried two others. The levels of nitrate and nitrite are correct. I would have expected at least the starfish and urchin to perish but nothing. <Mmm, marine life in general IS very tough> None of the life in the tank has died in fact it seems to be thriving. I am stuck sitting back scratching my head. I am sure we have all been there for a tank crash and lost everything but this haphazard approach seems to defy all logic. <Heeee! Actually "more to this game" than a few simple "windows", tests...> My question is do you have any clue why this is working for him? <The life otherwise introduced as/with the rock mostly...> I thought perhaps since he was using wild caught local life that perhaps it was able to better adjust but he did add a few damsels from the local fish store and they are doing well also. Yes I understand they are hardy but the levels are just insanely off the chart and based on everything I have ever read this tank should be void of life. Please help me understand what is going on. Perhaps I should find out where he purchased this "magic tank" and get one for myself. : ) Thanks so Much in Advance ! <No real simple, simplistic answer for you... but do know that the chemical constituency provided by more complex mixes of life can/does greatly affect the well-being of macro-life in closed systems... Some of this "magical bouillabaisse" is at play here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
odd algae destroying my tank. Sm SW, no reading -- 03/07/08 hi I am totally stumped on this one.. I have a 30g with about 36 - 37lbs of live rock. a MaxiJet 1200 and a 600, Corallife super skimmer I think?? (borrowing from a friend), and a Fluval 205 running 2 bags of carbon, a thing of Purigen and some rock rubble.. I have some LPSs and softies for coral. <... allelopathy, in a word> lately everything in my tank is ticked off and I have this odd algae that comes slowly once the lights turn on, the tanks looks great when lights are off, nice and clean, water looks clear.. after the lights are on for a while this odd algae comes out of the rocks, sand and shows up on my glass.. its long and stringy, kinda a dull greenish color I would say. I was thinking possibly Cyano from over feeding so after much thought I dosed Chemi-clean twice over a 4 day period and did a 20% water change.. followed the directions as the box stated and nothing happened at all, the stuff still comes out.. my zoas and hammer I would say are most pissed, <Can't be mixed in this setting...> and I really don't want anything to die I would be devastated! there was some time back when my tank was newer where my mom was watching it for me and I know she didn't take proper care of it, not that I can blame her its a lot of work to just ask someone to take care of, anyways my friend had this what I think is a crazy idea that there was something in the depths of my rock eating up any sort of phosphates as they got into the water and it just took some time to eventually take over.. my water tests come out perfect, all I dose is a little bit of iodine which I don't test for but I dose so next to nothing because of that and Kalkwasser. sorry I do not have a picture at the moment, let me know if you guys will need one.. thanks in advance <... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm scroll down to the tray on Algae... Read. Bob Fenner>
39 reef bow tank, Stocking and Nitrate 3/2/08 Hi, my name is Chris, I want to thank you in advance for any help you may give me on this issue I am having with my reef tank . <Hello Chris, glad to help.> I've had this tank set up for about 6 months now and am experiencing some problems, not major problems but I want to control what I can before it becomes a major one . <OK> Parameters are as follows: Alk 9.8, ph 8.2, amm 0, nitrate is between 10-20 ppm, and is controlled with water changes weekly but a day or two after the change it creeps back up . <A sign of something amiss.> I am running a 10 gallon sump with about a gallon of bio balls in it, a Prizm skimmer and two power heads in the tank; and I am down to feeding only once a day if that. I only feed what is consumed in two to three minutes and if the nitrates go up I may skip a day. <Be sure the food is consumed as it is added. You can easily add too much food that appears to be consumed in three minutes, with much going elsewhere.> The feeding varies from frozen to pellets daily and the live stock is as follows: mostly soft corals , polyps and mushrooms and a leather coral and one open brain , fish are a tomato clown , six bar goby , basset , small yellow tang . <Your tank is too small for this livestock.> Should I remove the bio balls . <If you have enough live rock (25-30 lbs. In this system) I would.> Thanks for the help. <A few links for further reading are included below for you. Welcome, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebrasom.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm
Re: phosphates and Kalkwasser for an AquaPod 24, small SW maint. f' 2/6/08 Hello! <John> I have an AquaPod 24 with the fully enclosed hood (wished I'd never gotten it, but it was a gift from the wifey). In any case, as you probably know it's virtually impossible to put anything onto this tank without drilling holes in the back of the hood and/or resorting to micro OR major "hood surgery". As a result, I only have a ton of LR rubble in the back chambers where the pump is (upgraded from stock to a MaxiJet 1200), no bio-balls, no blue sponge media etc. -just the LR. Oh, I forgot to mention that I DID purchase and install a Sapphire Aquatics AP24 skimmer that does fit neatly all the way inside the R/H back chamber (but as you may know this skimmer is no longer supported). <Yes> So, that's all I have. No refugium, no Kalkwasser reactor, no phosphate reactor. <I'd modify the top, drill the back... put a sump somewhere that is tied in...> What I am strongly considering is figuring out a way to add either of these to my tank. I have heard over and over again "Oh man, you GOTTA get a fuge" or "I wouldn't THINK about running a reef tank without a phosphate reactor!" so I am going to resort to surgery and cut holes in the back for the tubing. <Good> Which finally brings me to my questions! :-) 1. What brand/model of phosphate reactor and Kalkwasser reactor would you recommend for an AquaPod 24? I have NO IDEA where to start. There are many on the market and I need a starting point. <Am not a fan of either technology for such a small volume> 2. If I do NOT get a phosphate reactor I have been "told" that I can put ROWAphos in the water stream. Problem is, the water cascades over the top on the R/H side, through the plastic weir and into the back chamber. Could I just put a bunch of ROWAphos in a small media bag and jam it back there? <I would not> Thanks for your help! Regards, John Toro <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm Set Up 1 Index re Small Marine Systems Set Up 2 Index re Refugiums, Sump Design Maint. Index re PO4, Chemical means of reducing Bob Fenner>
Re: phosphates and Kalkwasser for an AquaPod 24 -- 02/07/08 Thanks for the advise. <advice> Please note that when I said 'wished I'd never gotten it" I didn't mean that I wished I hadn't gotten a marine aquarium. I LOVE it!!! <Yay!> What I meant was that I wished I hadn't gotten the enclosed hood model due to all the inherent limitations with adding things which require you to resort to drilling, cutting etc. Regards, John <This is what I'd understood you to mean... and I do understand the limitations of the top, difficulty in modification of these units... and/but the virtues in such. Cheers, BobF>
40 Gallon Question, maint. 2-05-08 Hi there, <Hey, Maddox here today> I have had my 40 gallon marine tank setup since September 2007 and it currently houses a small selection of fish (2 small Clowns, a Cleaner Wrasse, a Purple Fire Fish and an Algae Blenny) and a clean up crew which includes 2 peppermint shrimps, 2 skunk cleaner shrimps, three hermit crabs and three turbo snails. <Cleaner wrasses aren't species we here at WWM recommend keeping in captivity, as most are doomed to a slow starvation - please see the FAQs regarding this species> To maintain water quality I currently use an external filter (which contains normal filter pads and Rowaphos), a Deltec MCE600 skimmer (which contains a bag of carbon granules in the media chamber) and I also have about 10kg of live rock. For water circulation I also have three nano power heads running off a wave maker. My question is that although I am relatively satisfied with the water conditions in the tank, my Blenny and Wrasse are often seen to be rubbing off the bottom of the sand bed and the rocks. I have done some water tests and have noted that the ammonia levels are at 0.1mg/l and the specific gravity was slightly higher than normal at 1.026 (my water typically measures between 1.023 and 1.025). <Ammonia is a very bad thing. You're going to want this to be at zero at all times! Neutralize the ammonia with Kordon's Amquel+ or Seachem Prime, perform a large water change, and remedy your filtration/husbandry. See FAQs re. I wouldn't worry about your salinity> The other water tests conducted on my tank last night appeared to be fine (nitrates/nitrites/PH etc.). I understand that the Blenny and Wrasse maybe suffering from something called 'Saltwater itch'? <"Ich", aka Cryptocaryon. Do you see any white spots? Much information about this malady can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm and here http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.php. However, you may see this behavior cease when you take care of the ammonia> If this is the case what would be the best solution? Would a UV steriliser to help remedy the problem or will I need to do a large water change. <See above. A sterilizer couldn't hurt, and water changes are always good, but neither is a cure> On a more general note I have wondered if my tank set-up sounded ok or do I have too much equipment for a tank of my size? <Sounds like not enough or there is a lack of husbandry, given the presence of ammonia - a perusal of WWM will give you all the info you need regarding your current situation> Many thanks for any help or advice you can give me. <Anytime> Dave, London, UK <M. Maddox>
Water Issues 1/30/08 Dear Crew, <Chris.> First and foremost you have an amazing site that is very helpful and easy to navigate and understand. Your passion for the hobby is unparalleled. I have recently set up a 20 gallon long tank with a 15 gallon sump that houses my skimmer and filter material. <Some sort of biomedia included I assume.> A 30 inch Power Compact with a 65 watt 50/50 bulb sits on top of the display tank. I think my tank has finally finished cycling with live rock and two damsels after about 4 weeks of waiting. The ammonia and nitrites have dropped to zero, the nitrates are around 15, specific gravity of 1.023, and a temperature of about 78. <I would raise the salinity to 1.025-1.026. How about PH and alkalinity? These are very important to know.> I have just started livestocking and have encountered a serious problem. Everything I put in there dies! <Not good.> The damsels seem to be in great condition and have been since I purchased them weeks ago. I recently added a coral banded shrimp, a flame scallop, <These are difficult to keep alive, near impossible in a system this size due to starvation.> and small colony of green star polyps. The shrimp and scallop were acclimated with a slow drip for about an hour and then placed in the tank. They seemed to be doing fine but before I went to bed I realized that shrimp was not moving and would probably not make it through the night but the clam <scallop> still seemed ok with its shell open wide exposing its red center. This morning both the clam and the shrimp were dead. As for the green star polyps they have not come out yet and I know this is not out of the ordinary as they can take days to come out. <Yes, at times.> I live in a small college town and am worried the tap water has some hard metals I am unaware of. I used an ammonia detox at the initial setup to remove chlorine and chloramine. <Many of these products are not effective.> What I should have done was us my colleges deionized water unit. I just emailed a chem professor to ask if I could use their water. <Good.> Do you think the poor tap water could be my issue? <It could be, there is something amiss in this system to kill these creatures so rapidly. Ideally your nitrate should be lower. Also keep in mind these invertebrates are very sensitive to rapid water chemistry changes, making them that much more difficult to keep in a small system.> If so should I start doing water changes to take out the bad water and add the good water? <Yes, water change never hurt, when done properly. Make sure your salinity and temperature match.> If so how much and at what rate? <A few gallons a day until your nitrate comes down.> Could there be an issue here that I am not seeing/taking into consideration? <Those stated above as well as your system is still fairly new for these additions.> Any insight or information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again. Chris <Chris, do read up on the issues stated above as well as to research any future additions and stocking levels. A few links are included to get you started. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm
Fish compatibility, sandbed cleaning... small SW 1/6/2008 Hi there. <<Andrew here, good day and welcome>> I have a 29 gallon tank with 30 lbs live rock, 40 lbs live sand, sump (rated for up to 75 gallon), 500 GPH pump back to tank, getting the AquaC EV-120 skimmer soon, 130 watt 50/50 bulbs. So far I have 1 green Chromis, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 maroon clown, 1 Condy anemone. <<maybe consider a lighting upgrade for the anemone as it would be better to have T5 or Metal Halide lighting>> I made the usual beginner mistake of listening to the local fish store guy..thats why I have the occupants I have now. What should I keep / give back? <<Depending on the size of the Maroon clown, your on the borderline of tank size really, and these can be aggressive. These are the more aggressive type of clown fish, and don't really make good inhabitants for a tank of this size, so, I would take the maroon back, and get either a true or false percula clown fish. These are very passive for the most part and would be suited fine for your tank.>> I want a clown, but I understand my tank is a bit small for this guy. Love my shrimp. Condy seems okay (only had about 3 weeks), although he did change from bright white to a slight tan-brown color. Also, I have hundreds, if not thousands of all different bugs on sand and side of tank. <<This is one of the many wonders of marine aquaria, the life that we have in there>> What do you recommend to keep sand well sifted and bugs down. <<Cerith snails are a good choice for cleaning the sandbed, as they are scavengers and will come out of the sand at feeding time, clean detritus of the bed too>> I know they are a good sign...but I'd like someone to keep population under control. FYI- I have NO interest in a mandarin, as I know they are very difficult to keep and require much more than I can offer. <<The fish will pick and choose at the pod population, and will control it a little>> Right now I feed system Phyto Plex, Purple up, flakes, and frozen Mysis...anemone loves these! Really appreciate the knowledgeable advice. <<I would stop dosing the purple up, with good lighting and water parameters, your coralline will grow itself>> <<Thank you for your questions, Regards A Nixon>>
My sand bed, maint. -01/05/08 Hello! First, your site is quite informative, I love it. I have finally got my hands on Anthony's, Coral Propagation book and love it! Please let him know. I'm not a farmer just yet, but his book is great for all levels of aquariology. That being said, I have a 5.5 gallon mixed reef. I have various Zoanthids, Leathers as well as Blastomussa and Micromussa. My tank has app. 12 lbs of mixed live rock- I like all-. I have a 1 inch mixed sand bed of Florida crushed coral aragonite and fine white sand. My filtration, along with the live rock consist of an Aquaclear mini, with sponge then filter floss and carbon, a remora nano skimmer and a micro-jet powerhead for a little more movement. My livestock, other then the mixed coral consist of 3 Blue-legged Hermits, 3 Astrea snails, 1 Cerith, an Emerald crab for bubble algae removal, and a Bluefin Damsel ( he has another home once he's no longer juvenile). The tank has been up and flourishing for 10 months, with coralline and Chaeto flourishing. Everything is covered in purple. My levels are- Cal:500, alk:9, phos:0, nitrate:0, nitrite:0, ph:8.4, and salinity:1.26. I do every 3 days a 5 percent water change. My question after all this, will my 1 inch mixed sand bed give me problems further down the road? I have an alarming amount of life throughout it. Various worms, sandsifters, pods, snails. <The sand bed should be fine so long as the benthic populations stay healthy. However, being so shallow, it won't likely function as much of a nutrient filter/nitrate reducer.> I do not siphon my sand bed, but when I perform water changes I blast it. I take a turkey baster and blast the sand with it. In a way I think of it as a storm in the ocean stirring everything up. <...not a bad idea.> I have noticed on occasion that some of the sand bed seems to be fused together, not like a clump but as a loose clump. <Very small, loose clumps probably won't hurt anything.> Thank you for your time. Also on a side note I had a chance to get my hands on the elusive Blane's Purple People Eater Zoanthid and it since has budded. <cool... congrats.> Thank you again, and happy reefing, Joe <Best, Sara M.>
Three Concerns... Nano/Sm. SW... maint., set-up, circ. 12/20/07 Hello Crew, <Parker> Thanks for being such a reliable source. So I have a few concerns about the direction my hobby is going. After reading many hours of internet, I haven't really been able to pinpoint my problem. First, I have been trying a new route and I started a 12 gallon eclipse 12. I have to contest that keeping a small tank hasn't been very difficult or time consuming. <Can be done> To be able to be helped correctly, I had the standard bio-wheel and a small powerhead. Around 15lbs of LR, a small bioload, and about 3? of substrate. Also all good readings on my chemicals. Tank was in good shape. <Need real... hard data... actual species, test results... or in turn this becomes more of a guessing game> In the past, I had a 29g tank but I have never tried to add a fuge to the tank. I just put a 2.5g aquaquatics aquafuge2 hang on the back on my 12g. To be able to sufficiently place the fuge, I had to remove my bio-wheel filter from the system. In addition to adding the fuge, I added a HYDOR Koralia that pushes around 400gph thus removing the old power head. <... I do hope/trust the Koralia is not "turned up" all the way here> I do not have any LS. I was wondering if by removing the filter from the system can I have any additional problems keeping water quality excellent? <Can you? Sure> I really don't want to add a skimmer. I am hoping that the water flow will be enough with the LR and fuge to keep water in good condition. My concern about this is that my fuge has only been running for a couple days. <Takes time...> Secondly, by adding the Hydor and having the additional gph from the fuge pump, will I have too much water circulation in the display tank? <Could...> That would be roughly 400gph from the powerhead and 360gph going to the fuge. If not, should I place the overflow from the fuge and the powerhead on opposite ends of the tank? <I would not have this much actual water movement in a twelve gallon volume system> In essence, should I create a circular flow of water or should I place them against each other creating a more irregular flow? <Whatever prevents all from turning into a swirling vortex...> Finally, I recently added a watchman goby and I had only crushed coral as a substrate. To be able to help keep the goby happy and healthy, I added a small layer of sugar fine sand on top of the crushed coral. After a couple weeks, most of the sugar fine sand is still on top but another quarter has seeped into the coral. I have good growth within the substrate and can see small worms and other small creatures moving through the substrate. I was wondering if by adding the two different types of grades together, will I eventually cause major imbalances in the water quality? <Not likely. I would leave as is> Thanks guys for you time. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Trying to contact Bob Fenner... UW photo book, and Cyano in a small new SW tank 11/24/07 Bob, <Gino> Hi.. thanks for the fast response to my last email. Also thanks for the advice and hopefully soon I will be able to start working on my Reef Photography Book and will be moved to Melbourne, Australia. I will be definitely emailing you when I get going on this project. Please let me know when you get a direct email again.. <I still have my private hotmail account: fennerrobert@> Anyway, I need your advice on another problem Im having. Well it finally happened...I've been plagued with Cyano in one of my newer tanks. The tank is a 20 x 20 x 12 cube tank holding 21 gallons. <Smaller volumes are harder to maintain... keep stable...> Tank has a false back wall with 3 chambers behind it. Middle one has been set up to be a refugium. Currently the refugium has live rock rubble and live sand in it. I will also be adding Chaeto. <Should all help> The return pump is a 290 gph...plus inside the main tank ive added a maxi jet 900 power head. I have 1 bag of Boyd Chemi-Pure and 1 bag of Sea chem Purigen in the back chamber. I don't have a skimmer on it yet.. but will be adding one. <Also> 25 pounds of Live rock... and 30 pounds of CaribSea Aragonite Reef Sand <... and not much space/volume of water!> My Water is 12 Stage filtrated RO water that has no phosphates, no heavy metals, and is ran through a UV, prior to salt mixing.. <What's the UV for?> Lighting is Current Satellite Dual 65 watt Power Compacts. One 10,000k and one Actinic 03. Brand new bulbs. PH 8.3, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 0, Phosphates 0, Ammonia 0.25, Calcium 540, DKH 6 (I know... too low...One week ago it was 8 and I'm not sure how it dropped so much). I'm adding Kent Marine DKH to raise this and keep the Ph stable at 8.3. Stocking is: 1 Banggai cardinal 1 orchid Dottyback 2 button polyp colonies 1 green striped mushroom plus a CUC of emerald crabs, Astrea snails, red leg hermits, zebra hermits and a turbo snail. <Keep your eye on the Mithraculus> The Cyano problem started 2 weeks ago...First it was red slime and was only on certain parts of the sand. So I siphoned it out and it came back 2 days later and I siphoned again...and it came backless...So I siphoned again and it seemed to go away....along with this also came green hair algae.. but my emerald crabs are taking care of that. So then 2 days ago the slime came back... but it was brownish. more orange in color...it started to spread FAST and along with this, came this stringy red filamentous threads that appeared on all the rock, snail shells and the walls. Well needless to say this outbreak took over my tank faster then anything I've ever seen. Today I came home and almost all of the sand was covered with Orange slime!! So I siphoned all of it out...along with a 4 gallon water change. Because so much sand had been siphoned out through this whole ordeal. I added a few cups of freshly rinsed CaribSea sand to replace it. I added Kent marine DKH to help raise the alkalinity and keep the Ph at a stable 8.3.. <Good> After this massive cleanup, not more then 15 min.s... It seem like it started to form again in tiny spots on the sand!! I've never seen anything like this!!! For now I moved the polyps and mushroom into my other Reef tank until I get this under control. During this outbreak I've been sparsely feeding with frozen food. The Banggai and the Dottyback quickly ate all of the food. I know this frozen food is DOC...But its all the Dottyback will eat, well except live brine shrimp. He's kinda picky about his food. Along with my 25 pounds of live rock...I also had a very cool looking piece of Tufa rock <I would pull this... may be a source of soluble phosphate... take it out and place it in some heated water... and test for HPO4> that I put in there...I noticed at the beginning of this Outbreak, the tufa rock was the only piece of rock that the Cyano was forming on. The rest was on the sand only. <Bingo> This may sound like a stupid question...but could this piece of tufa rock be the cause of this outbreak or somehow be fueling it? <Ah, yes> All the Live Rock was established and came from a healthy tank. I have Removed this one piece of tufa rock out of the tank... <Oh, good> I cant figure what else is causing this...its very frustrating!! I've read everything on WetWebMedia several times and I'm trying to get a handle on this. Im hoping the addition of the Chaeto in the refugium will help starve it out. Also Im hoping that continued siphoning will cause chemical self-destruction, as you put it. Im just worried about too many water changes in such a short time period. As always any input would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks so Much!!!! Gino Carlini <Thank you for sharing. I do think the Tufa may be a prime culprit here, and that this little system is otherwise just settling in... I would go forward with the Chaetomorpha, skimmer... Bob Fenner>