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Warpig's 180 FOWLR Build

This is a discussion on Warpig's 180 FOWLR Build within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by reefsahoy phosphate of 2 is WAY TOO HIGH! You have to get that down to as close to zero as possible. ...

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Warpig's 180 FOWLR Build
Old 12-27-2010, 10:03 PM   #41
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
phosphate of 2 is WAY TOO HIGH! You have to get that down to as close to zero as possible. it should not even be detectable using a test kit. short of getting phosphate to undetectable there's nothing you can do to control the algae. That should be your #1 priority. It will take alot of patients, time, before you will be able to get to zero especially if it's been awhile that your tank has been high in phosphates. let me ask you, where did you get those rocks? phosphate may be coming from there. I know other reefers don't think they can act like phosphate sponges and then release it slowly in the tank but i would guess those rocks were high in phosphate before you even started your tank.
I bought the whole setup used. The tank was a reef tank. the day the owner broke it down I didnt notice an ounce of algae in the tank before we started. I decided I wanted to do FOWLR and we put the corals in my uncles tank. I did have the rock circulating in a fish tank use only rubbermaid garbage can for about a month before I got the tank up and saltwater in it then moved the rock in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
you also say you are topping off with salt water, i don't understand that, it should be topped off with fresh water otherwise sg will increase.
I do have some salt creep around the top of my sump. I have been topping mostly with fresh lately but after I started the tank my sg was low from the start . I topped with salt for quite a while just to bring the sg up slowly. there are also times that my sg was falling too. I dont have a clue why. It didnt make sense to me either. Allot of water was evaporating every day. I have since fired up the humidifier and there is MUCH less evap from the sump. I have the humidifirer set to about 50% humidity in the room and It puts about ~8 gallons of water into the air a day... good news is now most of it is out of the humidifier not my sump.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
BTW turn all yor lights off too. this will rid the tank of algae, however unless you get to zero phosphates and you turn the lights back on, algae will return.
I have had the lights off on the tank most of the past several days since there are no fish in it yet and my new T5HO Actinic's and 10,000's are currently on order as I do not know how old the previous bulbs are but they are blackening on the ends so they are way too old. I have ordered replacements waiting for their arrival. otherwise the lights have been off for about 80% of the past several days and the algae seems to be going away a bit.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #42
 
could you give me the run down on the rocks? meaning the entire process you went thru from buying the setup to starting and placing the rocks in your display tank with approx time frame and length of time? you probably had live rock from the previous owner and lots of stuff died off in the process so now the rocks are leaching phosphates into the water as the "stuff" deteriorates/rots inside the rocks.

Yeah water evaporates from the tank quickly especially in the winter! you should be topping off with fresh water. what are you using to test for SG? if it's a swing arm, make sure there are no tiny bubbles on the swing arm (and i mean tiny) when testing water, make sure the arm is clean by using vinigar every so often to get salt off the arm. Those SG swing arm devices can give misleading SG easily if you are not paying close attention to the quality of the swing arm. remember the accuracy of reading depends on the swing arm.

Run rowaphos to reduce the phosphates in the water, you can check the display tank water and the output water of the phosphate remover where is should be much lower. if not then re[lace the rowaphos with a new batch until your reading drops to undetectable.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:37 PM   #43
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
could you give me the run down on the rocks? meaning the entire process you went thru from buying the setup to starting and placing the rocks in your display tank with approx time frame and length of time? you probably had live rock from the previous owner and lots of stuff died off in the process so now the rocks are leaching phosphates into the water as the "stuff" deteriorates/rots inside the rocks.
About the last weekend of 9/25 I picked up everything from the PO. that day he pumped his two 44 gallon water change garbage cans each half full with water from the tank while emptying the tank. We put as much rock in each can as we could and kept it under the half full water level. After putting half a can full of rock/water (couldn't fill the cans or we wouldn't be able to move them) we put the balance of the rock in several empty salt buckets filled with tank water and covered with the lids. We transported the rock and accessories first lighting pumps etc. All the rock arrived at my place and all rock from the second can and most of the rock from the buckets was consolidated into one of the 44 gallon cans and the water pumped in from the second can to cover as much rock as possible. If you watch the video's on my You Tube channel YouTube - 00Warpig00's Channel you will see the noob mistakes I have made.. I see some of them now but didn't at the time obviously... still learning... the hard way...

In Part 1 it appears as if the right thing to do would have been to not pile the rock out of the top of the water in the bucket, or leave some sand in the 2nd bucket and reuse it after not having any circulation in that sand bucket for over a month.

The rock was put in that can and water circulated through the can with a pump at the bottom and the open end of the hose at the top. Another issue is the first night I didn't notice the water temperature was rising from the pump motor running in the can when I went to bed... Not enough time had elapsed for the water to heat up. When I awoke in the morning the water temperature in the can was around 90 degrees. I unplugged the pump and let the water cool into the ~75 degree range then adopted an 8 hours on 8 hours off duty cycle to keep the water between 70 & 80 degrees for the balance of the time the rock was in the can.

The weekend of 10/2 I built my stand. Rock still circulating 8 on 8 off to control temperature.

The following couple of weeks I moved the tank onto the stand. Worked on tank plumbing. Worked on the sump. Installed my RO unit. Filled the tank 2/3rds full of RO water for three days. Mixed my first batch of salt in the tank to 1.022. measured from day 1 with a CScope refractometer. Moved the rock from the can into the tank and started my skimmer pump circulating the tank water 24/7. water temp stabilized in the 75 degree range due to the skimmer pump not being as robust as the pump in the can.

The first week of November I mixed a can full of RO water and salt and pumped it into the tank stopping just shy of the overflow point. I still needed to check all my plumbing for leaks.

The second week of November I tested all my plumbing and set up my skimmer. I put the sand from both 44G cans into the tank. Looking back probably another mistake. I probably should have dumped the old sand in favor of new sand and a few big bags of new live sand as well. When I added the sand back a big layer of silt accumulated on all the rock and sand surface. I vacuumed as much of it out as I could.
I filled with RO water directly into the tank until the overflows were running how I liked. Then I started topping off any evap daily with salt water to start to raise my SG to 1.024 and set up the lighting. From this point I checked SG every couple of days prior to topping and if i was down on SG a bit I topped with Saltwater if not I topped with ro water.



Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
Yeah water evaporates from the tank quickly especially in the winter! you should be topping off with fresh water. what are you using to test for SG? if it's a swing arm, make sure there are no tiny bubbles on the swing arm (and i mean tiny) when testing water, make sure the arm is clean by using vinigar every so often to get salt off the arm. Those SG swing arm devices can give misleading SG easily if you are not paying close attention to the quality of the swing arm. remember the accuracy of reading depends on the swing arm.
No swing arm. I went for the CScope refractometer from day 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
Run rowaphos to reduce the phosphates in the water, you can check the display tank water and the output water of the phosphate remover where is should be much lower. if not then re[lace the rowaphos with a new batch until your reading drops to undetectable.
After my ~25% water change and waiting two days my numbers are similar than before the change they are as follows.

SG 1.022
pH 8.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20 ppm
Phosphate 2.0 (still)
Calcium ~350
Alkalinity 10dKH (down 2 from 12)
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:31 AM   #44
 
i think you have 2 problems here. 1. when you put the rocks in the can you had some die off from heat, no lights hitting the rocks on the bottom and so you have dieoff there. 2. the sand, yes you should have gotten new sand. you definitely have lots of die off there. did you at least wash out the sand with fresh SW?
if you don't have any corals, don't get any and turn off all light to the tank so the algae can die off (will cause some phosphates). use lots of phosphate remover and water changes until you get to zero. i'd seriously consider removing the sand too and when you finally get to zero phosphates i'd add new sand. you're gonna need lots of patients on this one, sorry.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:10 PM   #45
 
Formulating a plan... Any opinions...

Considering doing a few things to combat my phosphate issue.

All DT lights have been off all week and the green hair is turning white and starting to go away.
I tested my RO water for phosphates and it's undetectable with my API kit. YAY! Thats the good news. the bad news is... that means my phosphates are coming from the rock/sand. My tank water is still at 2.0 phosphates. MY RO is doing it's job. I dont have a DI stage (currently on order) or a inline TDS meter (also on order) and will add these before I do any of the following.

Idea 1. Pumping some water out into one of my water change cans then pulling out all my rock one piece at a time and attempting to rinse/wash/remove all debris & hair algae off of it in a 5 gallon (wash) bucket full of saltwater then into the can until I get all pieces out and washed/cleaned/rinsed. While the rock is in the can I am considering removing and ditching the 4"+ sand bed out of my tank with god knows what dead and decaying in it for a new 1 inch sand mix of new live sand bags and base sand. Then the rock out of the can back through a 5 gallon (final rinse) bucket back into the tank. Dumping the (dirty) water from the can and buckets and pumping a 50% water change into the tank while at the same time adding two Phosban 150 reactors to my sump with rowaphos media. Keep one reactor as a phosban reactor but most likely change the media in the 2nd reactor to carbon after the phosphate issue is resolved leaving them both run all the time afterward in the sump. Adding Chaeto to my fuge in my sump in addition to the live rock that is there now. I think I can pull this off in a weekend.

Idea 2. Add the two phosban reactors and rowaphos and leave all the rock and sand alone. Let my skimmer and the Rowa take care of the phosphate issue. Will this be enough?

opinions please if you have any... I have 5 yellow tail damsels in Q that are a few days from ready to go into the big tank. They have been in Q for ~37 days. I can delay this if I do idea #1... if idea # 2 not sure there would be a benefit to delay moving them into the big tank. Any opinions on this would be welcomed too.

Am I crazy or are either of these sound ideas

Nick
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:49 AM   #46
 
Installed my TDS meter tonight. 115 ppm input to the RO filter. 9 ppm on the output of the membrane. DI unit is on order should be here soon.
I also replaced all four of my T5 HO bulbs since I do not know the age of the ones in the fixture when I purchased it and assume they are OLD. I replaced them with two Actinic's and two 10,000K's.

I'm still looking for feedback on my proposed methods for attacking my Phosphate issue in my previous post. anyone have any comments or suggestions...

Nick

Last edited by Warpig; 01-11-2011 at 12:52 AM..
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:25 AM   #47
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpig View Post
Installed my TDS meter tonight. 115 ppm input to the RO filter. 9 ppm on the output of the membrane. DI unit is on order should be here soon.
I also replaced all four of my T5 HO bulbs since I do not know the age of the ones in the fixture when I purchased it and assume they are OLD. I replaced them with two Actinic's and two 10,000K's.

I'm still looking for feedback on my proposed methods for attacking my Phosphate issue in my previous post. anyone have any comments or suggestions...

Nick
are you sure the ro is set up correctly or did you make at least the first 10 gallons on the new membrane before measuring? most ro units have like 98 rejection ratio. this means if you have 115 going in you should have 115 ppm X .02 = 2.3 ppm out. so 9 is high out of the RO (not that it's not better but not in spec to the membrane). BTW make sure you change the carbon prefilter ( i changed both my prefilter to carbon) every 6 to 9 months because if chlorine touches the membrane it will be destroyed and that's the most expensive part of filtering and in doing this your membrane can last several years.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:10 AM   #48
 
No new membrane yet... looks like it may also be time to replace my filter media in my RO unit. I'm getting the impression that the previous owner wasn't forthcoming with information on how long he let things go near the end. I should have just replaced some of this stuff from the start.

Ok replacing filter media... 5 micron sediment filter and carbon stages. will run several tens of gallons through the new stuff then change the membrane to insure no bad water is getting into it.

Nick

Last edited by Warpig; 01-11-2011 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #49
 
yeah, if you are going to change the membrane, replace the pre filters! i would go with 2 carbon filters instead of 1 sediment and 1 carbon. this way your carbon will insure that no chlorine gets to the membrane. i also added 2 di cartridges after the ro. when the first one changes color and is totally exhausted, swap the first to the second and refill the first so the new di is second inline so you will always insure goo di filtration. in other words the newest di cartridge is always the second in line. this way you will have no waste in di media.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:24 PM   #50
 
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Originally Posted by reefsahoy View Post
yeah, if you are going to change the membrane, replace the pre filters! i would go with 2 carbon filters instead of 1 sediment and 1 carbon. this way your carbon will insure that no chlorine gets to the membrane. i also added 2 di cartridges after the ro. when the first one changes color and is totally exhausted, swap the first to the second and refill the first so the new di is second inline so you will always insure goo di filtration. in other words the newest di cartridge is always the second in line. this way you will have no waste in di media.
Can I pick your brain on my two proposed methods (a few posts up) of working out my phosphate issue? Do either of the above sound like they would be a workable way to work out my phosphate issue in addition to the RO filter media change and addition of a DI stage. I was thinking method 1 as I'd really like to replace the sand in the tank and go with a shallower sand bed. I figure while Im at it i will remove the algae from my rock and whatever else comes out of it. Do at least a 50% water change at the same time and set up a couple of PhosBan Reactors with some RowaPhos. There are a ton of snail shells in my tank that were/are part of the live sand. I honestly don't know if any of them have dead snails rotting in them, there are allot of shells and I have only looked into a few of them. I think getting rid of the sand and all those shells with whatever may be dead inside of them and laying down a fresh sandbed of 80lbs of aragonite and 40 lbs of new live aragonite would help. But I'm a newb so may not see some of the pitfalls to a plan like I have come up with.
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