6 months on - require advise to improve

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by nudibranch, 19 May 2014.

  1. nudibranch

    nudibranch

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    Hi All

    My tank is now 6 months old and I have had my ups and downs. I thought it a good idea to run everything I do and have past you all and get some ideas on where I can improve or maybe grow my knowledge and understanding to better the tank and stability. I would say the main problem I experience is with the stability of Ammonia and Nitrates and would like to get to the bottom of this. Also have spikes in Phosphate from time to time. Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium are stable due to dosers. I currently dose Red Sea A, B and C foundation. PH is also stable at 8.2. Tank is running around the 25.7 mark and salinity at 1.024.

    First some background on my tank
    20140518_172702.jpg
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    20140518_174506.jpg

    Total water volume (DT and sump) is around 350L. I run the following:
    1. Maxspect razor 160W 10000K lights
    2. Reeftek TS1 Skimmer
    3. 3000L return pump
    4. Bio cubes (bomb method)
    5. Carbon
    6. Phosphate remover
    7. Bio Balls and filter media
    8. Vortech MP40 flow pump
    9. Doser for Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium
    10. ATU

    Stocked with (might be over stocked)
    1 x Yellow tang
    1 x Midas Blenny
    3 x Clown fish
    6 x Chromis
    2 x Decorated firefish
    2 x Banggai Cardinal
    2 x lawnmower blennies
    1 x sand sifting starfish
    2 x Fire Shrimp
    1 x Cleaner Shrimp
    1 x boxer Shrimp
    6 x small Hermits
    5 x snails

    I test my parameters weekly and can report that my Ammonia and Nitrates fluctuate from week to week. My Ammonia between 0 and 0.2 and Nitrates 15 and higher. Nitrites seem stable from the tests. The fish all seem fine and have had no losses. Corals are most soft and a few LPS. All seem fine except that I lost 2 torch coral heads in the past few weeks. I would say my skimmer is running on a medium setting. I do water changes once a month of around 20%. I also dose Nite Out to try and reduce Nitrates. I also dose trace elements or reef snow every second evening. I also dose Special blend once a week.

    Besides any advice you may have I have the following questions
    1. The liquid(skim mate I think it is called) the skimmer produces, does it contain salt unlike evaporation? So what I'm actually trying to ascertain is that could salinity be reduced over time when removing this liquid? What else could reduce salinity?
    2. What are the problems with over stocking? What I'm experiencing?
    3. What should I be dosing for my corals and how often?

    Thanks in advance for any help
    Paul

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    20140518_174506.jpg
     
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  3. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    If your overstocked you will have nutrient problems....you dont seem to be battling that. But your fish will decide, if you see aggression and suffer losses you will know for sure.

    Before you look at adding aditives for your corals 1st decide what you are adding it for (growth/ health etc) dont just add for the sake of it. You have a well stocked tank so you may not need to feed your corals, if your corals are living and growing why chnage anything.

    I think your doing very well for how long you have been in the hobby....just find a regime that you can maintain and keep to it, dont over complicate things especially when you are so new. So many new members try over cook their systems and leave the hobby as its "too difficult"
     
  4. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Also remeber your tank is newish and will mature further (believe me it can tank a year +) so you will see it start to cope better with phosphate and nitrate and maintaining your other params will also become easier over time.

    Unless you add more fish or change your coral choices.....
     
  5. nudibranch

    nudibranch Thread Starter

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    Thanks Archie, I'm basically dosing the corals for growth. No plan to add more fish, actually plan to remove a few to the wife's new tank once it has cycled
     
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    here is some: :)
    dont fiddle, let the system reach a balance.

    keep Alk, Ca and Mg in check, find a value and keep it there.

    oh and dont fiddle

    Ca - 420 to 440
    Alk 8-9
    Mg 1290-1350

    the more stable the healthier the system
     
  7. Ridwaan

    Ridwaan

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    I agree with dallasg..

    Also, I say invest in a bigger skimmer because things are breaking down faster than the skimmer can take out of the system...In my opinion
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2014
  8. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Hey @nudibranch great system!

    I also have the razor and I wanted to find out something from you...

    On what percentages are you running yours, for how long etc... Also what is the distance between the light unit and the first coral the light touches?

    Reason im asking is that im running mine at about 50% and im scared it might be too much... I had some zoas rigth at the bottom of the tank and they completely bleached out, so im not sure if my light was too strong/weak...

    Thank
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    Thats weird as i run my razor on 100% without any problems and i have the 160watt 16000K
     
  10. nudibranch

    nudibranch Thread Starter

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    @ChrisRaubs, I also run mine at 100% as my water depth is just under 700mm and they are about 20cm above the water surface. My settings

    7am W=0%,B=1%
    10am W=50%,B=60%
    12pm W=100%,B=100%
    3pm W=100%,B=100%
    6pm W=50%,B=50%
    9pm W=0%,B=1%

    I have had no bleaching at all
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. nudibranch

    nudibranch Thread Starter

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    Thanks all for the advice
     
  12. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Ah ok cool. Thanks guys.

    Ill ramp mine up periodically. Who know maybe thats why ive had so many losses with my corals.

    Anyhow, not to derail your thread.... :blush:

    You have a great looking system and im sure with a little more time the corals will grow out quite nicely! :thumbup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Paul, your question about skimmer skim mate removing salt is correct. If you are skimming wet and topping up with RO water this could cause the salinity to drop.

    If you monitor the salinity between water changes you will know how much the salinity is dropping. Each week. If the salinity is dropping vastly I would recommend either skimming dryer or doing more frequent water changes to keep the salinity stable. There are other more eloberate methods you could consider but for now I would stick with the water change recommendations.
     
  14. nudibranch

    nudibranch Thread Starter

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    Thanks Keith
     
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