water change

Discussion in 'New Members' started by zunaid, 12 Jul 2010.

  1. zunaid

    zunaid

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    hi everyone

    please help. i started a marine tank about a year ago. over time the tank has deveopled a lot of red algae. i decided to do a 50% water change last week. i removed all the rock and gave in a good scrubbing. (not sure if it was the right thing to do?)now 2 days after the tank has been topped up again and all rocks looking clean, the nitrate and nitrte levels are sky high. i only have 2 clowns 2 damsels, some snails and a cardinal in the tank. the fish look ok. but i am wooried about the levels. my tank is fairly large (about 800lts). i have a sump filter with a skimmer. i did not change the filter media when i did the water change. i would like to eventually put in "aggresive" type fish only (lions, clown trigger. etc). i had not much luck with corals and invertebrates. (wasted thousands of rands).i am an only a starter so if anyone can advise and help i would appreciate. tks
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hello Zunaid

    Best is to do weekly water changes, 10% every week. Is this the first time you do a water change?

    How long was the rock outside the tank? It might got too dry and your bacteria and sponges inside the rock had also died. Best option, when you do the water change and you do remove your rock, ensure that it stays underwater. After the final scrub, dip and rinse the rock in another tub, also with old tank water. Never use tap or RO water.

    You do not have a lot of fish in a big tank, so you fish poo should not be a problem, just check not to overfeed.
     
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    If you are getting Nitrite readings then it sounds like you may have kick-started a mini cycle. Get yourself some Seachem Stability and dose according to the instructions. If the levels are very high you need to act fast as Nitrite can be toxic to marine life and you may find fish start dying.
     
  5. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Agree with Viper375, you need to act quick.
     
  6. Yellow Tang

    Yellow Tang Salt Creep

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    Salaams Zunaid. An aquarium has to be left for the first three to six weeks of its 'life' without livestock so the natural nitrogen cycle bacteria can colonise all the surfaces. By scrubbing your rocks you've undone the many months of growth these beneficial bacteria have undergone. Also the aerobic and not so aerobic bacteria have thrived in the different parts of the tank which favour their particular needs. By taking everything out and returning it to the tank you've probabably disturbed this as well. It is, I believe, the single most common mistake aquarists make.

    I would have still kept to my usual water change volumes but when syphoning the old water I would have syphoned some of the cyano with it.

    As far the aggressive, predator types of fish go, do not keep many of these as carnivorous fish tend to put the filtration system of aquariums to the test. You will need better skimmers, etc.
     
  7. zunaid

    zunaid Thread Starter

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    salaams

    thanks for the reply. what is cyano?. this was the first water change i have done since the tank was set up. (abouth 11 months). right now should i just let it run again for a couple of weeks without doing anything?
     
  8. neo

    neo

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    cyano is a bacterial growth due to different reasons, looks like algea but it is slimy/sticky red stuff growing on you substrate mostly but can also grow on your rocks.
    your tank is going through a cycle due to stuff dying in/on the rocks when you did the scrubbing.
     
  9. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi zunaid
    Can show us a pic of your tank or the algae?
    Maybe show or tell us about your filtration system?
    What water did you use for the water change?
     
  10. Mad_Max

    Mad_Max

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    Also known as red slime algae, actually it is bacteria.
    Defiantly a cycle taking place. No water change in 11 months, that is bad.

    You also probably disturbed the detritus and now it is collecting in your filter causing a nitrate factory.

    You mentioned you did not clean your filter media. What media is in your sump? I hope it is not filter floss/ ceramic rings..... That also will cause your nitrates to climb.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    First water change in 11 months... Might explain why you can not keep corals and inverts alive.

    I do 10% every week. And so does a lot of reefers. Unless you got SPS or some specific livestock that needs something extra, then all you need to do is to do your weekly water change routine. No need to add any additives. Good quality salt have everything a tank with fish, softies and Zoa's needs.

    Check your water parameters, and try to get the levels back in line. Somebody said, dilution, is the solution to pollution.

    Now that you removed your rock, your tank is cycling again. but now with fish producing bio-load. But I do not think the cycle will be a long cycle. But you might get some outbreak of green hairy algae.

    Good luck. a couple of weeks and your tank could look better than ever before. And you can retry some softies.
     
  12. maj

    maj

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    I would say u need to get a experienced reefer to come pop in and check ur setup.
    Or post pics here and all the experts can assist you,coz 1st water change in 11 months:nono:

    Welcome buddy
     
  13. Yellow Tang

    Yellow Tang Salt Creep

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    Zunaid

    I've been away for the past two days. Riaanp is right in suggesting the 10% weekly water changes. I've looked after tanks with 5% weekly water changes and had good coralline algae growth (good, friendly stuff). But those tanks had low fish load and mostly herbivores.

    The reasoning behind directly syphoning the bad stuff is as follows. The nutrients in the water which stimulate the unwanted growth actually are incorporated into its tissue. Hence, by harvesting it you remove the very nutrients which are feeding it. Algal turf scrubers work in a similar way.

    There may be many contributing factors to cyanobacteria and algea but my point of departure would definitely be diong those weekly water changes. Even try syphoning small sections of your gravel (not all) when carryig out water changes. Perhaps do this every water change for first few weeks since you have such an algae problem, then decrease to once every month or so. Some people believe in never ever vacuum syphoning gravel though.

    Also make sure you have reasonable water flow and check you Alkalinity and calcium are okay.
     
  14. zayd

    zayd

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    Do you use RO water to top up evaporated water or tap water? You must use RO water for top up and water changes.
     
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