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Old 05/19/2008, 09:20 AM   #151
WaterKeeper
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Over time the beneficial organisms in the bed tend to decline or at least lose diversity. Usually this occurs because of predation. About once a year I like to add some fresh LS to the bed to replenish the lost organisms. It doesn't take too much; about 5-10% of the original beds volume each year. It may even need to be less frequent in a tank with a good sized refugium containing its own deep sand bed.


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Old 05/21/2008, 12:03 AM   #152
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Advise on new setup

Hi. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to reply or start a new thread, but since this is the newbie corner feedback thread, I think this is where I should be!

I’m seeking recommendations on a reef tank set-up. My past experience: I set up a 75 gal tank about 6 years ago, my first shot. It was mostly a do-it-yourself. I had the tank drilled and configured with an overflow, lighting for reef, hood fans and reflector, protein skimmer, homemade wet/dry with media for biological filtration. I had some l.r., cycled it and added a few fish. I think I had the lights on too much b/c I was getting green stuff (algae I guess). I ended up going back to school (along w/ working full time and raising a family) and didn’t have the time for it. I never even got to inverts. I took it all down, never to return. I got rid of everything but books. (Including all my notes! Ugg!) But it’s calling me…. The best thing about this new start is now I know more of what I don’t know.

Right now I am in research mode and have bought nothing-- (I did order some more books today based on some postings I read here and on a friend’s recommendation.)

My general plan:
I’d like to minimize the do-it-myself efforts this time by going with a pre-configured tank w/ overflow and an all-in-one wet/dry filtration system (as much as possible). I don’t mind the plumbing and definitely plan to use check valves for ease of maintenance. I would like to contain as much equipment in the stand bottom as possible. Anything outside will be visible, so I’d like to avoid that. I have a little over 4 ft of length to work with, no height or floor weight limitations. I plan to go with between 75 – 100 gal tank, probably long rather than deep, more due to the footprint of the stand bottom for sump and equipment space, with some preference for this shape due to increase exposure to O2. I plan to go with a wet/dry filtration (is this the same as a trickle filter?) which includes forced water flow through carbon. I plan to use a protein skimmer, a wavemaker, of course pumps and powerheads, and timers. I am considering using a UV sterilizer, buying an RO system, and using a calcium reactor. I am also not sure if I should use a refugium, or if I even have room. I have MUCH more research to do before I’m ready to begin purchasing things, but I am eager to get started. I will probably begin to draft up my design over the next month or so.

I am seeking input for my general plan, recommendations on equipment makes and models, and input if there are things I left out of my plan or things I have in it that I don’t really need. I have attached a preliminary list of equipment I have been working on and would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!
Kari


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File Type: doc aquarium set-up list.doc (53.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 05/21/2008, 04:00 AM   #153
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Regarding re-seeding, I do not have a LFS that has any LS of any value.

I do however live very close to the ocean (in Scandinavia). I was therefore thinking: Could it be an idea to take sand from the ocean (here in scandinavia) and use it as LS ? The ocean in scandinavia is (as you probably know) MUCH colder than that surrounding a coral reef, so one might suspect that the critters in the sand would not do well in a reef tank. Any thoughts on this ??


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Old 05/21/2008, 12:43 PM   #154
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Hi Keri

To Reef Central

That's a pretty good list but would it be possible to talk you out of the biofiltration?

Your past problem with algae indicates you had a nutrient problem and my guess the main cause was nitrate build-up from the wet/dry. I would suggest using a sump instead and relying on LR and a DSB to provide the all important biological filtration. That approach will reduce nitrate levels to near zero and help curtail algal outbreaks.

Another item that I really don't feel you need is a UV sterilizer. To me they do little to control disease spreads in the home aquarium. I would use that money to purchase a Phosban reactor or some other phosphate removal system. This also is a key ingredient for alga outbreaks and removing it can save some headaches.

All the lighting choices should be adequate so take your pick. There is a series of articles in Reefkeeping Magazine that discuss tank set-up beginning with the October 2007 Newbie Corner-Reefkeeping 101, Water. A new subject on setting up the new tank is then available in each monthly issue following the October column. They are -

November 2007-Tank selection and placement
December 2007-Lighting
January 2008-Sumps
February 2008-Completing the initial set-up
April 2008-Natural filtration 1
May 2008-Natural Filtration 2

and next month Part 3 on Natural filtration.

Hope they help.

Roer

You guessed correctly; harvesting your sand form the North Sea is not going to do a lot for a "tropical" reef tank. I'm sure some organisms would survive as well as bacteria but for the most part few could take the 80° F (26.7 temps used in a true reef tank. You may take a look at some of our sponsors to see if you can get some mail order.

However, I'm no expert on the biology of North Sea sand. If you would like to try some then do it this way. Harvest a few pounds of sand and place it in a 4" (~10 cm) bed then heat it to tank temperature. For a couple of days check ammonia levels. If they go up sharply you are getting die-off. After a week or two take a red light and shine it on the bed a hour or two after lights out. If you see copepods and worms moving about it may be OK to use.

This months article, May above, talks about LS extensively.


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Last edited by WaterKeeper; 05/21/2008 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 05/21/2008, 08:15 PM   #155
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Talking

Thank you, I am very excited to receive your input. I will begin researching a sump as an option rather than the wet/dry. I was wondering what caused the algae buildup! I have read some on using LR and DSB to keep the nitrates down, so I will explore this new (for me) path. Thanks so much! I will also read all the links you provided. I know near nothing about phosphate removal and the Phosban reactor you mention, so I need to read up on that also.

When I have my design ready for review, would you recommend I post here or the new thread that was just started for newbie questions?

Thanks again!


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Old 05/22/2008, 11:09 AM   #156
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This may help--
Phosphorus, Algae's Best Friend
Phosphate Binders


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Old 05/22/2008, 02:19 PM   #157
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great read very helpful thanks!


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Old 05/22/2008, 09:47 PM   #158
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Thank you! I have read over once, need to do it several more times. I'm thinking I should pick up a chemistry cliff notes...


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Old 05/23/2008, 11:32 PM   #159
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My new tank has an external overflow the length of the tank. It's 55" long, 14" deep, and 4" wide. I have two drains with PVC sticking up from the bulkheads about 6". It get's very little light.

The DSB discussion got me thinking. Why not have a DSB in the external overflow? At 4" deep, it will be below the 6" PVC, so it should not impact the drains.

Is this is a good idea? Not sure, but since there is not much light the sand might clump since there won't be many sand shifters. Are there other drawbacks?


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Old 05/24/2008, 12:02 PM   #160
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Sure, you can use a HOB refugium in a small tank. You are only looking at a 15 gallon aquarium so I would suggest finding a small, HOB skimmer that can also serve as a sump.

Check around the Nano reef forum with solutions for the small tank.


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Old 05/29/2008, 07:40 AM   #161
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new to this site

ik this is probably a stupid question but i just have to know what exactly "bumping" is?

Thanks


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Old 05/29/2008, 10:36 AM   #162
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Bump


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Old 05/29/2008, 12:04 PM   #163
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That is the extremely poor taste practice of trying to keep a thread alive my making a meaningless post to bring a thread to the top of the forum, See also PaulBanism.




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Old 05/29/2008, 08:44 PM   #164
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Tom, I have a question based on your article "Reefkeeping 101 - Natural Filtration - Part 2", the section on Getting to the Bottom of Things with the use of a Deep Sand Bed (DSB) and getting this started. The starting position for my question is that the tank is bare, or perhaps the DSB is going in a refugium with little existing Live Rock so it an easy process to add the sand. Let’s say that you are luckily enough to have a number of hobby members agree to seed some sand for you (convert dead sand to live sand in their tank). I give them a container with 4" (about 10cm for us down under) of dead sand and sometime after this, bring the newly converted Live Sand back home to the place on top of the dead sand in my tank.

The Live Sand that we are taking home is hopefully Layered (zones of decreasing oxygen with different critters living in each layer). You suggested that we pour the Live Sand over the dead sand and then use the pencil to push some live sand into the dead sand. When we pour the Live Sand over the dead sand, you are going to mix up the layers – does this make any difference to the critters. Are they happy enough to start making new layers (with little loss of life)? Would we be better off trying to add the sand so that it had the same layers in the new tank as it had in the container (invert the container into a second container and then invert this container into the new tank) – but not on top of dead sand, directly onto the bottom of the tank. This would be a whole lot of extra work; do you think there would be any significant benefit?

Should I just give out a container with only say 1” or 2” of sand so that it comes back with only the top or top two layers of critters?

By the way, thanks for the column.


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Old 05/30/2008, 03:07 PM   #165
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Waterkeeper, is 13 watts per galon too much?

I ran across a deal for a 250 metal halide with 2 65 w CF and was wondering if it would be ok for a 29 galon biocube?

thanks for you help


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Old 06/10/2008, 12:30 PM   #166
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Seth,

The pencil push is just to provide bacteria to the lower levels of a "dead sand" base. It really doesn't count if you don't do it but it may speed up the process of bed development. As to seed sand, when one transports sand it pretty much mixes up the layers anyway. Once added to the tank, nature will take its course, and the layering effect will occur.

Hi Salud,

That depends on who you ask. Dana Riddle, a well known biologist, fees that photo inhibition of corals can occur under too intense of a PAR. On the other hand, many people do add such things as clams to very well illuminated tanks without a problem. My own feeling is that level is probably not too high. If problems develop simply elevating the lights will usually correct the situation.


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Old 06/13/2008, 12:00 PM   #167
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WaterKeeper,
I just finished this month's 'Newbie Corner'. You are the very first reefer I have ever seen recommend a bio-wheel for anything in relation to a SW tank. Having done FW for many years, I find the idea of using one for QT purposes interesting.

Question on that, though. Could I just take the bio-wheel and drop it in the back chamber of my Finex (or sump for those with a tank that has one), store the filter body and then put it all together when a QT was needed? In my situation with an AIO, I really do not want a power filter hanging off the back.

The inertly submerged bio-wheel should populate with enough bacteria to reproduce rapidly when placed on the filter given the high oxygen environment these kinds of filters where designed to create, true?

Thanks,
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Old 06/15/2008, 12:06 PM   #168
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I'd think it would help as well as established live rock.


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Old 07/06/2008, 10:16 PM   #169
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"The advantage of aragonite is that it not very dense (specific gravity ~2.94), lacks sharp edges and has buffering capability (can neutralize acids). "

I've noticed that many of the speakers and authors in the hobby(won't mention names) have not only stopped mentioning that this is an advantaged, but now stress that it is not an advantage. They claim that aragonitic substrates will not have any significant buffering effect until things are so far out of whack that most everything beneficial in your tank is already dead.

I'm no chemist, so I don't understand the complicated chemistry that occurs in my tank 100%, but I just hear what other reliable sources are saying and see if it makes sense to me. I was just curious your thoughts on this and if you disagree.

All that being said I only use aragonitic sands because of their weight, look, and texture. I just like to understand what is going on in my tank and talk with other people about there tanks intelligently.


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Old 07/07/2008, 04:44 AM   #170
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Quote:
My own feeling is that level is probably not too high. If problems develop simply elevating the lights will usually correct the situation.
I really hate to agree with Waterkeeper but he is correct.
I have been to many places where corals and clams grow.
We really can't re-produce the light intensity in tropical seas.
If we could, we would boil the water.
Many corals in the Caribbean are above water at low tide (which only ebbs a few inches) or just awash. The sunlight is very intense there with a full spectrum light that we also do not re-produce.
I took this picture in Bora Bora in a harbor that is filled with tridacna clams in 6" deep water. You trip over them near shore.
The light is very intense because Bora Bora is something like 6,000 miles from any mainland and there is very little pollution or haze.



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Old 07/08/2008, 01:19 AM   #171
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Paul - I was at Bora Bora and one of its sister island Moorea last year. Did you go to the top of the mountain and see all the old US bunkers, forts, bomb shelters from WWII?

It was truly a beautiful place. However, at the same time, it was sad to see that some of the reefs that used to thrive inside the lagoon have now almost completely disappear due to the increase in tourism among other things.

Now that I think of it, the place does seem brighter there. You are right in that we can never re-create what is naturally the tropical reefs.


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Old 07/08/2008, 04:46 AM   #172
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Quote:
Did you go to the top of the mountain and see all the old US bunkers, forts, bomb shelters from WWII?
Aaron, no we diden't tour the bunkers. The day we were supposed to do that we had a typhoon. We diden't see much of Moorea at all. Most of the rest of the week we dove.
We went on the Windstar Cruise.
I took this off one of the Islands.
http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/...iti0400081.JPG
And under another one
http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/13094act05.jpg


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Old 07/08/2008, 05:11 PM   #173
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I stayed at the hotels on both islands. The bungalows were pricey, but the best thing was that we had our own deck and was able to jump off and snorkel in the water right there.

We did go on the shark and ray feeding excursion -- a lot of black tip sharks around the lagoon though.


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Old 07/08/2008, 06:04 PM   #174
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I also went on a ray feeding expedition, There was only 6 of us in tiny 2 people boats. The sharks are like guppies there you have to be careful not to jump on them when you enter the water. Our ship had a dive shop aboard so we could dive right from the boat twice a day.
Take care.
Paul


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Old 07/21/2008, 02:00 PM   #175
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Tom,

Can you either point me at, or give a quick primer on what to expect and best practices for cycling a new tank with "dead" rock and sand. I killed it all with bleach, and then did a number of soaks in a dechlorination product. It then sat in the tank in fresh salt water for a week or so, I'm ready to start growing bacteria. What now?


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