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  1. #1
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Need some opinions...

    Here's my tank
    most recent test results:

    Temp 77F
    Salt 1.025
    pH 8.2
    calcium 440
    carbonate hardness 10
    nitrate 5
    phosphate 1.5

    lighting:
    2 250W 10k MH (one looks more like 15k but both the same bulb)
    2 54W T5 daylight
    2 VHO actinic (130W? --6')

    Skimmer coralife 220 needle wheel (just added to replace my home made piece of junk)

    Total flow is around 2500 to 3000 gal/hour

    sump is my old 90 gal tank and it runs almost full so about 200gallons give or take for total system

    Now using RO/DI water for waterchanges and top up, about 5g per week topup and 15g water change weekly

    occaisionally dose kalkwasser (when i think of it, every couple weeks to month)

    feed very sparingly as ive never had a good skimmer ( tetra colorbits for fish, they love it and a homemade seafood mess that makes my wife sick)

    OK heres the deal, corals do OK, but dont seem to grow very fast, no coraline algae growth to speak of (too many urchins may be part of the problem)

    I know the phosphates are high, but even after several weeks of water changes with RO/DI water and little feeding they wont drop. New skimmer has dropped nitrates from 15 to 5ppm, but not done anything for phosphate.

    What do you think would be the best way to deal with it, and any reccommendations?
    120 gal reef-90 gal sump/refuge
    120 gal planted tropical
    120 gal planted catfish/arrowana tank

  2. #2
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    here's a few pics

    have a look.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need some opinions...-reef-pics-003a.jpg   Need some opinions...-reef-pics-004a.jpg   Need some opinions...-reef-pics-005a.jpg   Need some opinions...-reef-pics-006a.jpg   Need some opinions...-reef-pics-007a.jpg  

    120 gal reef-90 gal sump/refuge
    120 gal planted tropical
    120 gal planted catfish/arrowana tank

  3. #3
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    nice pics, tank looks pretty darn good

    your flow is a little on the lower side, do you get much detritus on the bottom ?? do you vacuum the bottom??

    Phoshpates:

    do you have a fuge?? got chaeto??

    the new skimmer, while it may be an improvement from your old one is not of the best quality ( middle of the road ) and a little under rated for a 200G system. it will help remove the proteins before they can break down and become nitrates and phosphates but can do nothing to remove what you already have.

    how long were you using TW for water changes and top up??

    LR can absorb and store phosphates only to slowly leach them back into the tank as the ppm in the water drops.

    how well do you drain the "seafood mess"? and what is it?? the oils from the seafood will definitely add phosphates to a tank. the only meat i feed the fish is mysis shrimp, I thaw them on a paper towel then give a quick rinse in RODI, then marinate in garlic

    you have a few nems, what and how often do you feed them?

    IMO water changes are not a good method of removing PO4 ( or anything else ), you should try a phosphate removal material in a reactor. personally i like ROWAphos, it is more expensive but it really works.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  4. #4
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    The bottom has about 3-4 inches of err....silica sand >.> (but its from my original 90g setup and although it dosent do anything fo buffering the water i liked the look of it, bright white) I have an engineer goby in the tank and he constantly moves the sand around, added to the large number of various hermits and stars i have in there i never see any crap building up in the tank.

    I have to admit that until recently i didnt maintain the tank as well as i should have, tap water for water changes, when i did them... poor skimmer and so on. In the last few months ive been using RO/DI, testing more often, and added the new skimmer. And yes i know it isnt the best by any means, but im not ready to spend big bucks on a real good one at this point. I do conider it to be temporary.

    I do have a fuge section in my sump with some cheato, and recently some caulerpa resurfaced, lots of fuzzy green stuff too. And i had to throw in a couple of large long spined urchins that liked eating my acropora all of a sudden.

    I cant remember exactly what iput in the food, but i only feed a little once a week or so (icecube sized chunk)

    I feed the nems raw shrimp on occaision but not often.

    I did add some Fluval brand Clearmax resin, not the best stuff, but all i could get locally, no reactor though so the pouches float in the sump where the water enters.

    I have been looking at getting a reactor, its the next thing ill be buying.

    I think maybe im expecting to much to change all at once, the system is about 5 years old dating back to the 90g and ive only started looking after it "properly" since last fall when i got the 120g. I didnt really need to worry about it before with mostly shrooms and such with a few LPS coral. Sure there was algae but nothing serious.

    Now that im changing over to SPS corals im tryin to compensate for less than perfect maintenance.
    120 gal reef-90 gal sump/refuge
    120 gal planted tropical
    120 gal planted catfish/arrowana tank

  5. #5
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    the problem with neglecting the tank for so long is the LR will absorbs the bad, only to leech it back later. for a quick test, fill a Tupperware with water from the tank and place a piece of LR in it. place the container in the sun and wait an hour or so, then test the water in the container.

    the problem with silica sand is the shape, it is jagged and catches detritus easily. i would look more at the LR right now though.

    a reactor is a great investment ( <$100 ) and can be used to run a phosphate removal material when you need it and carbon the rest of the time. putting it in a sock in the sump doesn't usually work very good as the water will go around rather than through the material. and when it does go through it takes the path of least resistance, only making contact with some of the material. in a reactor the material is fluidized and the water makes contact will every grain, very efficient.

    also i would take a careful look at the food you are using, i am very picky and only use a couple of types of flake and rinse all frozen meaty food very well before feeding.

    HTH
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

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