Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Zahed, 9 Nov 2010.

  1. Zahed

    Zahed

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    HI Sara

    Congratulations and welcome to the sleepless nights.

    My question is a DSB the only solution to filtration. I am confused. My setup is a 5 ft tank as the DT and I have a sump with 3 chambers, first chamber (protein skimmer) second chamber (floss, bio balls and ceramic rings) and third chamber live rock.

    From my understanding it seems I may have over time high nitrates and phosphates based on this setup. Is this true ? One of the LFS has the same setup for all their tanks and they have nennies, all types of fish, inverterbrates and corals.

    My objective for this tanl is to have a reef systems with a mixture of corals, reef fish, inverts and well balanced.

    Please advise
     
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  3. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    tagging along for the expert advice
     
  4. IMarine

    IMarine

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    Hi there the first thing is to remove bio ball and ceramic rings (nitrate,nitrite,phosphate bombs),filter floss can stay but pls you need to rinse it every 2nd or 3rd day in ro water, and replace once a week ,carbon you must add and phosphate remover as well ,what you should do is place phosphate in a fludized bed filter, but pls fludize level should only be about 1cm high so that water can just move through, and not fludize as water spinning fast ,and where a dsb is concern you should only use aragonite and not pls not play sand, it contains to much selica,a no go,if you do a dsb in a sump no prob but always remember by using caribsea aragonite you need no more than 5-7cm to work and if you using in your display pls no more than 3cm or 5cm , another way is to add a nitrate deductor but pls you need to do your home work on nitrate deductors or pm me i will give you tons of advice on them as i install a massive amount of them and have no problems whats so ever
     
  5. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Well, some people say that floss, bio balls and ceramic rings and such (hence forth referred to as "synthetic media") cause nitrates to build up over time. The theory I hear most is that they get "clogged" in some sense. I suppose you could prevent this by occassional cleaning the synthetic media, but I think that would kind of defeat the whole point.

    I've never used synthetic media other than maybe a sponge or "guard" around carbon, but I've seen many tanks that use some form of it or another. My thought is this that they're just totally unpredictable. I think that, depending on how they're laid/stacked/packed/oriented, what material their made of, how much and what kind of flow goes through/over them, they could favor one type of bacteria over another, or they could house both types or be entirely useless. And I think it's more or less totally unpredictable how they will help or not help any given system. In other words, in my opinion, from what I've seen and heard from the many people who use synthetic media, is that it's just a poop-shoot, a gamble, an unpredictable thing that could either really help your system, hurt it, or do absolutely nothing... and there's no known "formula" for making them work or not work every time.

    If I were you, I'd replace the synthetic media with live rock and just have two chambers of live rock. Because, well, live rock is the one "sure thing" that always seems to help any system. Maybe it helps more or less depending on the type of rock or how much flow is over it, etc.... but all-told, live rock, once cured is never going to hurt anything and it almost always helps.
     
  6. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    there we go.

    Zahed if you could also find out how long those tanks are running and how old is the oldest SPS coral in that tank and how bright are the colours it would also help you in your quest. As i doubt that those tanks have vibrant colorful well growing SPS corals.

    That setup is fine for Fish, Softies and possible lps as long as you keep the nitrates and phosphates from going to realllly high levels.

    It does work but is a system that is not used in modern reefkeeping esp for the more delicate corals.
    Have a look at all the Tank of the months here on Masa and any of the other forums from around the world and see the types of filteration that they are using. NONE are using bioballs and ceramic rings
     
  7. sihaya

    sihaya

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    After reading IMarine's post... I'll add, I agree, you could also replace the synthetic media with activated carbon. Activated carbon is awesome and another one of those things that seems to always help or at least never hurt. Activated carbon is great because it both removes bad stuff and it also acts as a media for good bacteria growth. For that reason, you never want to replace all your activated carbon at once. I would always replace 50% of it at a time, once a month (so as to never remove all the biofiltration of it at once).

    I've also used phosphate remover too, but I think activated carbon is better overall (if you're deciding between one or the other).
     
  8. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Yeah, I've read/heard a lot of stories from people about how, even when they worked, they only worked for a few months (or maybe a year even) before they became a problem.
     
  9. IMarine

    IMarine

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    Hey Sihaya sorry for posting before you only read the complete thread now and realized it was meant for you,so sorry again
     
  10. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Haha, no worries. It's meant for anyone/everyone. ;)
     
  11. IMarine

    IMarine

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    sweettttttttttttttt
     
  12. sihaya

    sihaya

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    ...especially since I've never used these synthetic materials myself. I've known, and known of, a lot of people who have though. And I've seen them sold and promoted all over the place and talked about at a lot of conferences, club meetings, etc. After hearing enough stories of people using them thinking they were great at first, then having to pull them out later because they couldn't control their nitrates, it just seems like there are better ways to go.
     
  13. IMarine

    IMarine

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    100% correct ,i got a client that has a reef tank of 1500lts that had a supplier fully fit his tank,and 2 down faults to his tank was first bioballs and second so called aqua medic aragonite that is sold ,first thing aqua medic does not advertise aragonite at all but dolomite and they advise that it should be used in malawi tanks ,the problem i had was trying to get my client to swap from a mixture of play sand and aquamedic dolomite to caribsea aragonite, and he just would not, i did massive water changes used ro water and phosphate removers and a nitrate deductor as well, and a skimmer rated for 3500lts, and the tank would be good for 2-3 months and then would just brake out with unwanted algae,so when he went on holiday for a month i stripped the tank and added caribsea aragonite and never looked back,it boils down to that the ocean contains aragonite and not man made sand, and if any body wants proof of what his tank looks like i will take pics and show how the tank looks after 4 months of aragonite and the growth of corals its just amaizing,like Sihaya says there will come a time you will have to pull out all synthetic materials ,and i would like aquamedic germany to pls correct the lfs that is selling the 25kg bags to reefers and saying its aragoinite, as i see this all the time,
    pls guys i now there is a lot of reefers using play sand and aquamedic dolomite pls dont shoot me for opening a can of worms, but 90% of international reefers are using true aragonite and another aragonite i have used with 100% success rate is eden aragonite excellent stuff and cheap as well
     
  14. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I disagree to an extent that you MUST add carbon and phosphate remover. Carbon I believe is purely a personal choice and can be run occasionally, phosphate remover can be added if you are experiencing phosphate issues, personally I think it is a waste of money to add all these extra reactors and media when there may be no need for them and the money could be better spent on good quality live rock, for example.
     
  15. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I think they're probably more helpful in smaller systems where maybe you can't build up as much, or as large, a natural filter.
     
  16. Zahed

    Zahed Thread Starter

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    Hi All

    I have made the following modifications based on the suggestions.


    2. Added some live rock in sump and plan to add a lot more in display.

    3. Fixed skimmer, added new impellar (needle wheel) and connected pump direct to skimmer. Much stronger and finer bubble formation and stronger thicker froth in waste cup cone.

    4. Added a reef octupus reactor and added 25% by volume of N-P pellets (1 week). Connected outflow directly to skimmer and added a 3000 l/h pump instead of the standard 1000 l/h standard. My thoughts are to get sufficient tumbling in reactor and direct aeration and skimming from skimmer. This morning added another 25 % of the N-P pellets.

    5. My my ammonia and nitrites are 0 but Nitrates and phosphates high before adding . I have not tested since adding the N-P pellets and will do so on Saturday. So far I have had no alga blooms, white slime etc.

    6. I would like to dedicate my budget to live rock, corals and fish howver my personal preference would be to be patient and spend the cash on a reactor or reactors and have system that will keep nitrates and phosphates low low low.

    6. I lost 2 chromis and I thought this was due to cycling etc with N-P pellets but the other day witnessed my firecracker shrimp catching and eating a chromis. Is this normal ? I feed twice a day ( flakes and alternativle myosis and mixed marine frozen foods) Any thoughts. My smaller dotty back is not troubled.

    Will keep you posted on the tank analyses on Saturday. Your advices are always welcomed.

    Added in phosphate reactor (with N-P) pellets
     
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