How much live rock. space or wieght?
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How much live rock. space or wieght?

This is a discussion on How much live rock. space or wieght? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> I am overhauling my sytem and turning it into a fish/invert/liverock sort of thing. I have a 55 gallon tank. The only circulation and ...

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How much live rock. space or wieght?
Old 10-24-2006, 12:32 AM   #1
 
How much live rock. space or wieght?

I am overhauling my sytem and turning it into a fish/invert/liverock sort of thing. I have a 55 gallon tank. The only circulation and filter I have currently running is a large 350 gph protein skimmer. I have some live rock right now fully cured and about a year in the tank. It is an assortment of real rock and tufa rock that I seeded with the real. I also have about two inches of live sand. My question is this. with the rock being my only real filter how much do I need? Do I measure it by amount of space it takes in my tank or do I wiegh it on a scale? I plan on having about two tangs, a blenny, a domino damsel, and mabey a clown fish. I will also have hermit crabs and snails.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:51 AM   #2
 
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Weight can be a vague referrence. Problem is it isn't actually the weight you are after. Kinda decieving and all when you buy it by the pound. Surface area is what matters most. Also right after the surface area you want tiny holes all through the rock. The more it looks like a brillo pad the better. Any rock with smooth or flat edges isn't doing anything but holding up your nicer pieces fr better viewing. I'd shoot for about 1/3rd of your tank full of really nice fluffy live rock if it is your only filter. What type and brand is your skimmer? Some like Sea Clown may rate the GPH turnover but size is more important. Stock very lightly and feed rarely if using only LR or expect Cyano troubles. 350GPH out of a skimmer is probably more like 200gph turnover. Only about 4 tank cycles per hour. Look into getting 2 Seio M620 or one Seio M800 power stream to help with currents. That protein skimmer isn't nearly enough. You aren't going to stir up the debri from the bottom of the tank for the skimmer to remove it. For example I have 240lbs of LR in my 75g with a 900 GPH return pump from my sump, 2x Seio M620 620 GPH streams and a Tunze 6060 1,800 GPH stream. That's approximately 4,000 GPH. I say it's 2,400 to be on the safe side. Nothing settles in my tank. My SPS love the currents.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:02 AM   #3
 
Its a back pak clone bought on ebay. I questioned the flow rate, but who really knows, it would be so hard to test. It seems to really push the surface water around, but I am now getting fairly frequent blackish purple carpet type algae on my live sand. is that the cyno you warn of? is it all bad?
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:13 AM   #4
 
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Sounds it. The cyano can be a birght red, green, blue or purple color. If you can wave your hand just above it and it sweeps away you've got Cyano. Cyano is the true trouble nuisance algae. It will kill corals dead. It accumulates due to organics breaking down.

If the color was brown I'd have said you have a normal brown diatom cycle that will clear on it's own.

If it is a blackish color and is stuck tight to the rocks and won't go away, now maybe the time for a sea hare or a lawn mower blenny. this stuff is tough and will creep all over the tank slowly suffocating it.

All algeas are indicative of too little flow. I swear everytime I tell somebody that has an algae problem to add more current, they always tell me that more powerheads cleared the problem. Algaes do not have root systems and are easily annoyed and blown away by excess currents. Most algaes take hold in areas of detritus and decay. By adding more currents you wil prevent those buildups. Also algae can be a sign of poor lighting or worn out bulbs. I'd have at least 150watts on a 55g and make sure the bulbs are not older than 8 months. Those bulbs shouls all be 12K spectrum or higher. Algaes thrive on 10K or less and grow even faster on old worn out spectrum bulbs.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:34 AM   #5
 
funny you mention the lights, mine are probably a little over a year old. I burn two two daylights and one blue. I did notice the problem though until I turned off everything exceept the skimmer. I guess I just need to turn my rio jet back on, and aim it across the bottom.
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:39 AM   #6
 
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Flourescents peak at about a year. It is time to save up for new bulbs. Keep this in mind.
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:10 PM   #7
 
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I'm down to 4 tanks since I put to much LR in my 20 gallon, it broke the bottom. So weight for sure.
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