Substrate causing problem?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Sentari, 30 Aug 2010.

  1. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Hi all

    Okay so i thought about this long and hard.

    I have been struggling with a GHA problem for far too long now.

    I have done everything. From cooking rocks to changing lights to almost everything.

    My last resort is to remove the substrate.

    I have sugar fine crushed coral. Which i feel is fueling my GHA.

    The reason i say this is because when i agitate the substrate there is HUGE dust storms that occur.

    I started yesterday by removing some of the substrate and i'm going to continue to remove it until its all gone. I have also added a huge skimmer rated for double my systems volume.

    I will run bare bottom until i can see a change in the rocks and the GHA. Hopefully this will start going away and i can continue with a better reefing journey. I can then also start updating my thread.

    I am also moving rocks to the sump and "cooking" them there with no light etc and that should help alot. I will rotate the rocks slowly and see if this solves my problem also.

    Will keep you updated.
     
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  3. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    Keep us posted!! What alternative substrate are you considering? I strongly recommend Fiji Pink Sugar fine Aragonite!:)
     
  4. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    Either FijiPink or Playsand. Depending on cash etc.

    But will come see you guys soon and chat about it.
     
  5. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    Cool! Give us a call when you ready!!:thumbup:
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Forgot to ask, what is (was) the depth of your substrate.

    Playsand must be washed like 100 times. All the small lighter particles must be out, else the sand will always be blown up and you have smaller particles flying around. I got 2 Vortech pumps on one side, and I can see sand slowly shifting and blowing to the one side. That is over a week and not that big problem. Actually the cayno is gone in that area:). Any other substrate would do the same IMO. If you got the $$$, then aragonite is the Porche, but I have to be happy with my playsand and Mazda.
     
  7. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i experienced alot of teething problems with algaes by going with substrate and just persevered though it by implementing large water changes..+-300lt on my little 600lt system.. it did subsite as the substrate matured.. the maturation of the substrate took approximatley a year...

    was the substrate you used out of an old tank? re-used substrate?

    good luck
     
  8. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    Ya i'm thinking of going with Aragonite depending if this solves my problem. Otherwise i might just mix the sugar fine crushed coral with playsand and clean that 1000 times and see how that goes. Dont know how much of a good idea that is thou.

    It was about 1 - 2cm thick.

    Mine was 1 - 2cm thick. I dont think maturity is the problem. My tank is a year and a half old. I think it just trapped tooo much. If you saw the water colour when i siphoned 1 / 3 of the sand. You would understand. It was DARK brown.
     
  9. AfricaOffroad

    AfricaOffroad

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    Did you try using a phosphate remover in the system?
    I noticed my GHA start to diminish almost immediately once I started to run Antiphos.

    Detritus in the sand is pretty much par for the coarse, sure a regular siphon routine will keep things in check.
    You put new media in and its almost like starting up a new system.
     
  10. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    If the substrate is heavy enough then why not vacuum it. I battle to vacuum my fiji pink as it is still too light and I just end up sucking it all up.
     
  11. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    No i havent tried to use phos remover yet. I'm either considering using NP Bio Pellets or Phos remover pretty soon.

    Siphoning the sand with my rock work is not going to help. I have 2 caves and rocks all over the place.

    Oh well lets see what happens and see if the problem is actually the sand. No harm in trying
     
  12. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Sentari, I had the exact same thing i had algae growing everywhere including the sugar fine argonite. i had scrubbed cooked lights the works. I also thought it was my substrate i was considering changing it to something more course. As a last resort i add a phospahte remover and about 4 weeks later it was all gone!
     
  13. Hermanus

    Hermanus

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    What Phospahte remover do you use?
     
  14. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i was using the 2 little fishies PO4 remover but in moving over to ROWA soon
     
  15. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    Hmmm.... Everything keeps leaning towards phosphates thou.

    Think i'm gonna do that and see how things go.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  16. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    Next question if i were to attack the phosphates would i user phos remover or would i use NP Bio Pellets?

    Suggestions welcome.
     
  17. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Are your nitrates high?
     
  18. Sentari

    Sentari Thread Starter

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    Dont actually know. Should maybe check that.

    I have a elos phos kit also and i feel that was a waste of R500 because phosphates are very hard to detect.

    Algae is fueled by both nitrates and phosphates.

    If there's no Nitrates will the phosphates still fuel algae?
     
  19. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    no just means algae is eating the fuel faster that it can build up. My PO4 was zero but i still had algae.
     
  20. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

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    If I had to choose between Phos remover or NP Pellets, I would go for the NP Pellets. It's like having a second DSB that also removes phosphates!;)
     
  21. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Thats if the NP actually work. Mine never did. It works for some and doesn't for others.
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2010
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