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Diatom Bloom, now what.

This is a discussion on Diatom Bloom, now what. within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> It looks like you have the skimmer producing to much. Cut it back a bit to try for a thicker liquid. The ultimate skimmer ...

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Diatom Bloom, now what.
Old 04-03-2009, 10:43 PM   #11
 
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It looks like you have the skimmer producing to much. Cut it back a bit to try for a thicker liquid. The ultimate skimmer will produce a foam so thick it won't fall out when you turn the cup upside down.

Your rock display is a great example of the correct way to arrange rock. Minimal sand to rock contact. Lots of gaps for good water circulation. Good shelf system for coral placement. Very nicely done.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
diatoms are a natural thing and happen to any new tank. the green "grass" sounds like its green hair algae which means theres either high nitrates and/or phosphates. are you using RO/DI water? are you feeding? how often?

the skimmer looks like its doing alright, i have def. seen better performance on skimmers. how long ago was this set up? a skimmer will take a week or so to "break in" so it can build up a slime to skim properly.
Todays tests were as per normal, although calcium went up, could be because I added some salt to my top up water?

Nitrate - 15 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Ammonia - 0 ppm
dKH - 11
Calcium - 520 ppm
pH - 8.2
Phosphate - 0.5 ppm (has been like that since day 1)

Temp was 78.9 at time of tests.
Is there a critter that eats this algae?
The skimmer has been in for just over 2 weeks, I will play with the air intake to try and get it working better. Thanks for the advice.

In a previous post, I had filled up the tank without RO water because it was disconnected beneath my kitchen cabinet by my father so I had no idea. Since then I have used RO as we do have the unit. I hope it doesn't harm me in the long run, could it? or would it just be an issue during start up, if even?

PS - not feeding, no animals in here yet, just cycling now. I did pick up 4 snails and I will be picking up a hermit sometime this week.

And thank you guys for the rockwork compliments, it is really nice to hear that from some real pro's.

Last edited by Bartman; 04-04-2009 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #13
 
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a couple of things:

1) why did you add salt to your top-off water? Top-off water should be freshwater only, since salt does not evaporate. The only time you should mix salt with water is for water changes. On that note, do you have a hydrometer (or better yet, refractometer), and can give us a salinity or specific gravity reading?

2) the calcium is pretty high. You'll want to maintain calcium levels between 420-460 ppm, its possible that the addition of salt caused an increase in calcium. The alkalinity is good, so you'll want to decrease the calcium... Pasfur will be good to tell you how to do that.

3) filling up the tank without RO water was indeed a mistake, though not a fatal one... thats probably why you have a non-zero phosphate reading. The result of this, will be ugly algae outbreak, possibly cyanobacteria which is tough to get rid of. I made the mistake of filling my tank up with tap water when I first set it up, and dealt with cyano for quite a while, in fact never got rid of it before i broke everything down to move from FL to NM. What you can do in the short-term, is to add a phosban (or other phosphate-removing media) reactor to the tank. Many of us run one of those anyways, its a good way to keep phosphates at zero.


As far as cycling, you are showing a nitrate reading, and no ammonia or nitrites, so you might be cycled... was the rock you added cured liverock? If so, you might be done with the cycle. It's still a good idea to wait a bit before adding fish, and you'll want to get that nitrate down before adding corals (maybe do a large/semi-large water change), but aside from the phosphate, things look good!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:06 PM   #14
 
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also on the skimmer (a question for the other guys), since his tank is pretty new, and has no livestock in it other than the liverock, is it possible that there simply isn't a tank full of dissolved organics for the skimmer to skim? He might get more stuff out of it once he starts adding stuff to the tank (?)
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #15
 
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Thanks conger,

I added salt to the top off water as my salinity was at 1.022 one point down from when I started the tank. I added a cup of salt, used a powerhead to mix it up in the bin, left it over night and added it last night, 12 hours before I made those tests today. Sg is at 1.023 now. I could lift it a little bit higher but we'll see.

Ya, calcium has been high from day 1, well outside that range at least. Can you actually bring it down or do you need organism's that will bring it down?

Yes the rock was cured live rock. I to, think the cycle is over but I may still wait another week.

How could I set up a phosban reactor with a hangon style set up, no sump. I still may add a sump, I am debating it right now, I still don't know if I want to actually upgrade the tank. We'll see. No rush
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:22 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
How could I set up a phosban reactor with a hangon style set up, no sump. I still may add a sump, I am debating it right now, I still don't know if I want to actually upgrade the tank. We'll see. No rush

That's a good question, I don't have an answer for you right this second. I run mine in my sump, and the other's who I know run them also have sumps. Another way you can reduce the phosphates (though not eliminate them), will be to perform a large (~50%) water change sometime soon, using your RO water to make the new batch of saltwater you'll replace it with. You should do something like that anyways, before you add livestock, to get the nitrates a little lower, so just do a really large one and kill two birds with one stone (reduce nitrates AND phosphates).

Such a large water change would be stressful on fish and corals, once you've got your tank stocked, but since you've only got a few snails in there now, it's probably OK to do it.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #17
 
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And that won't harm the live rock or anything? Would it raise ammonia if stuff dies off on the rock for being out of water for a couple hours? I think I am going to do that next week, replace it all back with RO and hopfully I won't have issues with cyano.
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:36 PM   #18
 
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well, you're correct that you don't want your liverock sitting out of water for a long time, but if you can get it drained then filled back up within 5 or so minutes, it'll be alright. Worst-case, just splash water on the rocks with your hand while you are filling it back up or draining it, to keep it wet. The rock won't dry out in that short of a time, so the bacteria population on the rock won't die. Doing a 100% water change, I don't know about, I don't know enough and would prefer to wait until one of the other guys chimes in to give their opinion on that.

I wouldn't expect an increase in ammonia, at least from a 50% water change, since it's the bacteria population that you've got on the rock and sandbed that is consuming the ammonia and nitrites. If you destroyed that bacteria population, then yes, you would go through another cycle while the bacteria population re-populates.

So to answer your question, letting the rocks straight up dry-out would kill everything on the rock, and it wouldn't be liverock anymore. Leaving the rock out of water for a few minutes probably won't devastate it, especially since as long as the rock stays wet, it'll be fine. Anytime you add rock to a new tank, even cured liverock, there is SOME die off, and that's what the nitrates you have in your tank right now are from. But that's not the same as drying out the rock and killing everything, and die-off from adding to a new tank shouldn't happen with every water change (assuming the saltwater you make for the change is mixed and made similar to the water you currently have in your tank).
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #19
 
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The tank is empty of fish? If so then i'd say your cyano bacteria is from your cycle. Many tanks go through different cycles and not all of them have an order. Yes diatomes is in the correct order but some people don't even see them ever, i didn't with my first 2 set ups and in my current 55g set up i did. Yes do a water change, but do only a 20% and not a 50%, i don't think this is EVER a good idea (even if something devastating happens). More flow in the tank and you need to clump all that junk togther and then siphon it out. Put another pump to keep it from attaching and put it into the water column. Then after you do this, perform the WC

As for the phostban reactor, you may want to look around, you might find some DIY fix's that'll get that taken care of for you .
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
Todays tests were as per normal, although calcium went up, could be because I added some salt to my top up water?

Nitrate - 15 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Ammonia - 0 ppm
dKH - 11
Calcium - 520 ppm
pH - 8.2
Phosphate - 0.5 ppm (has been like that since day 1)

Temp was 78.9 at time of tests.
Your calcium will be taken up by snails and corals and even fish, what brand of salt are you using? If it's something like reef Crystals, it's suppose to have high Ca for your corals, also if you aren't using a reef salt, did you shake the container before you mixed it?

Your temp is low. The avg temp of the ocean is 81.5F, just FYI
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