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equipment list and water parameters
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southernfish
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Location: Amarillo Tx.

PostPosted: 2008.08.11(Mon)23:35    Post subject: equipment list and water parameters Reply with quote

I have a 55 gal tank with odyssea 260w pc's, proclear aquatics 75 gal sump (no refugium) with bio balls & overflow box with prefilter, rio 1700 return pump. In the sump is a motorized proclear aquatics 75 skimmer with a rio 800 pump.I have 2 aquaclear (walmart) powerheads flowing 170gph each, one at both ends and return coming in the middle facing front of glass. I use seachem phosphate remover (phosguard) in a water sock. I havnt used carbon since feb or april. I only use ro water from those quarter stations in parkinglots for top off. I buy my saltwater from my lfs and they use ro water. I have a 3 1/2 inch dsb with 70lbs of lr. I change 10-12 gal of water every sunday.

fish: 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 diamond goby, a black and tan serpant star and about about 7 or 8 crabs with about 4 or 5 snails (other than the many hitch hiker snails), 1 small sea slug. I feed frozen foods from a saltwater mutipack from petsmart that has squid, mysis, brine, and some sea veggies. I substitue with formula two marine pellets and flakes.

corals: small torch, a large star polyped xenia, 3 colonies of zoos, a large bright green star polyp colony, and two other types of polyp coral.
I feed zooplankton and chromoplex, essential elements, strontium & molybdenum and iodine all by kent all 1-2 times per week.

water parameters are as follows: pH 8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20ppm (up from 10ppm in the last month), calcium 500ppm, phosphate undetectable, KH 10, salinity 1.023. I live in the texas panhandle and its 12:26 am & temp is at 74.5. I don't have a chiller but the tank is directly across from the a.c. unit and gets to about 77-78.8 on hot days.

I beleive that my skimmer is somewaht ineffective. I say this because I don't get a lot of sluge or foam, maybe its the rio 800? the copperband died but I know that I am not dealing with ick again. both clowns look good and always did, I only removed them as a precautionary measure. about 3-4 months ago I treated with chemi clean for red slime algae, I was told that it just set my biological clock back to zero. lately the algae has returned but not as bad and I have left it alone other than just pulling some out every now and then. when I had my outbreak of ick I did not have a qt setup at that time, although I should have since I have the extra tanks and equip laying around and I did treat my main display at that time. I no longer treat my main dis for anything, I do that in my qt. In the past 2-3 months I have seen a decline in my pH to what it is at now down from 8.4. thats all I can think of as for history and regimen right now but anymore ?'s I can surely answer.

thanks for all youre continued help Floridaboy.
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gm333
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Joined: 30 May 2007
Location: Sand Springs OK

PostPosted: 2008.08.12(Tue)7:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea on your skimmer, although it sounds like it is not working properly. You don't have much of a bioload, but you should still be seeing some waste.

You state you use r/o water from water stations. Whereas it is better than tapwater, those stations generally still have a high tds. Look into getting an r/o unit for yourself or start getting it from your lfs. Personally getting your own would be your best route, this way you know exactly what the tds of your water is. Even making your own saltwater is the best way. Some lfs only mix there water to 1.019 because that is what they generally use in there own tanks.

Your nitrates seem to keep rising even with regular water changes I would look into removing the bioballs as they can contribute to nitrates if not properly cleaned on a regular basis. The best thing I have ever done for my tank was removing the bioballs and making sure my skimmer is performing adequately.

You should be running carbon at least once a month to take out any chemicals the corals might be releasing.

Also it would help your algae problems to get more snails and crabs.

Are you dosing any kalk or additives besides essential elements, strontium & molybdenum and iodine?

What are you using for a buffer?
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.08.12(Tue)9:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay just a few thoughts...

At first glance I see dropping pH and high nitrates...
you will likely need to reduce that sand bed if you ever hope to get a handle on this. At 3.5 inches you are in the "dead zone," it's not a DSB and it's not a shallow bed either, it's IN BETWEEN, in other words... it's a nutrient sink and it's slowly killing your system. IMO, most marine systems fail due to substrate issues. Water changes will help for now, but they will NOT resolve this problem long term, it will get worse.

I suspect that the "mystery disease" on the Copperband was actually an environmental issue, delicate fish tend to "break down" in poor water quality with rising organics and acidic conditions. What is your turnover rate? Are you moving water or stagnating... gm333 is correct about bioballs creating nitrates, consider retrofitting the sump with a refugium, maybe a real DSB (6 inches or more) and/or veggie filter, etc... see here:
http://www.reefland.com/rho/0105/main2.php

The clowns may be fine in there as is, but if you plan on more delicate species like sensitive butterflyfishes and inverts, you'll need to rethink your substrate issues. If the skimmer is not working, GET RID OF IT and find one that does, no room for worthless junk on your aquarium! Think about your goals, do some water changes... read this:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm

see below from my archives:

I am not an expert on sand beds but here's my 2 cents... sand beds, particularly live DSB's located in sumps in marine systems can be a real benefit in quickly reducing nitrates, if set up and maintained correctly... sand beds and other substrates, crushed coral etc. can also be a complete disaster if they are not understood/maintained correctly; there are different schools of thought here; some stir the sand with sifter species/critters, others advise never disturbing it... do your homework and proceed with caution before disturbing/removing or adding any sand. Some claim better success with no sand in the display at all. The general direction I am getting from Fenner's site is, sand should be less than an inch or more than 4 inches, which puts you in "no man's land," but it is beyond the scope of this reply to give you all the specifics... you will have to research it for your application. Less controversial, the algae filter is very promising in my opinion.
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southernfish
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Location: Amarillo Tx.

PostPosted: 2008.08.12(Tue)20:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a 2 part system from seachem, reef advantage calcium and reef builder cabonate alkalinity. what are td's in the water u refer to? the water station I use has an 8 stage ro system that uses activated carbon filtration, ozination, ultraviolet, hard water treatment, coarse and fine sediment filtration. I do not dose with kalk. I havnt fully learned about dosing with kalk yet.
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southernfish
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Location: Amarillo Tx.

PostPosted: 2008.08.14(Thu)21:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

how can I or should I tune my protein skimmer? it is a proclear aquatics motorized 75 with a rio 800.
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