Do I ditch the rock and sand?

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by flappy, 20 Mar 2008.

  1. flappy

    flappy

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    Hi Guys

    As you might know I have just drained my tank and am now left with limestone base rock and Aqua Medic Calcium carbonate as substrate.
    My decision now is do I take the base rock out and sand for the following reasons.
    1.They may have absorbed P04 and release it back over time when I put new water in causing more algae growth!!!
    2.The die off of bacteria from draining the tank would be pretty harsh and prehaps cause Ammonia,Nitrite or Nitrate spikes when the tank is refilled.
    I have in the meantime saved my live rock in my sump.
    If I choose to chuck the rock and sand then I will go bear bottom and try to purchase liverock as and when I can afford it to supplement my existing liverock.I need many kg`s!!!
    Would you chuck the rock and sand and have a bear looking tank?
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Flappy - you will probably get a thousand different answers to your question.

    My personal opinion is:
    - depends on what you have and want to do
    ie = do you have a seperate refugium where you can grow pods/worms/larvae which won't be damaged by pumps when returning to the display tank? If not - I would still go with the sand - as live sand assists with filtration (according to me, is the MAIN form of filtration), AND supplies food for the tank
    = IF you are planning to keep LPS/softies, I would go with the sand - base rock is only base rock - you can either get some new one's or make your own....
    = IF you planning to keep ONLY SPS, and are going to have a 100 times water turnover in the tank, then go barebottom...

    Clearly, I am not a barebottom fan.... Others will tell you their reasons for having only a barebottom.....

    But - that's my 2 cents...
     
  4. robvdv

    robvdv

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    Flappy, have you tried testing the rocks for phosphate yet? Scrape a bit off and see if the phosphate test colours up. It really seems like a shame to break down your rather nice rockwork based on an untested theory.

    When I was there your nitrate tested really, really high. This was likely a bigger cause of your problems. Taking out the rockwork takes out one of your biological filters. That seems like the wrong thing to do.

    With no snails, no hermits, no urchins there's really nothing to eat the remaining algae in the tank. It could linger for ages, even with almost no nutrients.

    Find out what your true numbers are ITO phosphate and nitrate and then put in mechanisms to target those numbers. Much less effort if you ask me.
     
  5. flappy

    flappy Thread Starter

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    Jaques I have a 2m DSB/Plenum tank and a 1.2m tank DSB connected to this tank.
    The animals are FOWLR so no corals to wory about.
    Rob,I think the Nitrate values are as a result of algae die off and as I dont have any inverts Im not going to beat myself up about this however with my filtration currently in place this should be much lower.
    I will try a sample of rock however what if there is sporadic leaching,then my test will not be accurate as it could leach once every month if you know what i mean.
    I will be running ROWAphos on the `new` tank.
    I guess I will have to make this call.I just want to do everything as correcty as I can as I am going through huge effort here in draining the tank.
     
  6. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Flappy - as you say - you already have other means of filtration/feeding. So - I would say that you would not specifically NEED to have the rock/sand INSIDE the tank. BUT, personally, I would say that it does make the tank look more natural.
    Another alternative that you could perhaps try - IF you have yet another tank (that's not connected to your current system). "Cook" your current rocks. This means that you place yuor current rocks into this seperate tank, which has a power-head for water movement, for a few weeks. Keep this tank in darkness. You should see the nuisance algae die off, and you should see the crap come out of the rock, if there is indeed anything inside it.

    Then, if you want, you can slowly (one piece a day) return these pieces of rock into your tank.
     
  7. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Holy smokes Flappy; not a shabby tank. I have a 10 year old plenum (using the infamous crushed coral) that has gone through two major algae blooms. The one lasting over a year. Each time the algae disappears, i believe the tank looks stronger for it. Inoculated maybe.:)

    As for rock....damn its expensive.....i would cook
     
  8. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i would agree with Sunburst.cook the LR,rather safe than experiencing that dreaded hair algea...mines lasted almost a year
     
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