Safe Zone for Nitrates in a Reef Tank - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 38 Old 08-15-2009, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I was determined to make this reef a sucess without tearing it down and starting over. I decided that my UG would stay, and I would keep after the nutrients with water changes. When I realized that I couldn't do that satisfactorily (I was doing three 15% WC a week) I bit the bullet and began my research on buying a skimmer. A quiet one was a must, and it had to fit in my 20 gal, and it had to have good reviews and recommendations. I reviewed, and compared, and read, and measuured, and made phone calls to mfgs until my eyes began to water.

On Tuesday of this past week, I installed my venturi designed Seaclone 100, and it's working even better than I had hoped. AND - it's quiet - really quiet. I also placed a small bag of Seachem de-nitrate in a small, low flow HOB filter. Again - a big surprise. Just as soon as I get a good picture uploaded to my web site I'll post it, with my results of the past week, and my latest water parameters.

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post #22 of 38 Old 08-15-2009, 06:25 PM
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I have always had good experiences with the SeaClone Skimmers on aquariums under 55 gallons. I'm not sure why they have gotten such bad press.
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post #23 of 38 Old 08-15-2009, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know either. I think the bad press came from owners of the old model before the improvements. The bubbles entering the aquarium was (is?) a sticking point, but with mine it's not a problem. Just a few once in a while. Aquarium Systems tells me that after the break-in period the bubbles will stop completely.

More nooz to come.
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post #24 of 38 Old 08-15-2009, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic of my reef taken yesterday (Friday). I haven't done a WC since Tuesday morning and my nitrates are still <10 ppm (about 5 ppm) and my phosphates remain at zero. I will do a WC tomorrow (Sunday) because I intend to do a WC once a week minimum, two if my measurements begin to creep.

I'm not about to admit that my reef is now stable. It should be interesting to see how my parameters go in the next week or two. I'm sure I'll have more questions, so you folks that have been providing me with helpful info will need to be at the ready. I appreciate all of it.

This pic was taken a few days ago, before I switched some shrooms around.
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post #25 of 38 Old 08-24-2009, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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The pic above of my reef tank is not the one taken Aug 15. I updated with the most recent changes and additions to the livestock. This pic was taken 2 days ago (Aug 22).

It appears that I will be able to keep my water parameters where I want them to be with 15% water changes every 4 or 5 days. For me that's 3 gallons for each change. Hardly a demanding chore, and not likely one that would allow me to fall into "lazy mode."
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post #26 of 38 Old 09-02-2009, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Starfish With Only Four Arms??

This hitch hiker appeared on my glass yesterday. In looking for info on starfish I found that starfish have 5 arms. Is this not a starfish? Any idea what it is? It's about 3/8" in diameter, and I'm sure it will grow.

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post #27 of 38 Old 09-02-2009, 10:27 AM
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The Starfish looks like an Asterina Star, they split loose legs.

What test kits are you using to test your water?

"I have always had good experiences with the SeaClone Skimmers "

What skimmers have you compared it to?
There is a chance you think its doing good, A good skimmer can full a collection cup with crap that looks like you did an oil change on your car.

There is a difference in skimmers Good ones like ETSS, BK, MSX, ER will pull a lot more skimmate out of your tank then a SeaClone.

I don't know if you are using a UG filter, that not good for a reef tank. & that rock on the bottom is not helping in lowering nitrates & others. SSB with cleanup crew or bare-bottom, RO/DI water & heavy skimming should improve water quality.
Just my 2

Last edited by tales; 09-02-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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post #28 of 38 Old 09-02-2009, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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The quote about skimmers was not my quote. I didn't compare my Sea Clone to anything. But, there were some conditions that had to apply to the skimmer, the most important being that it had to fit in my tank, meaning it had to be HOB. I only have a 20 gal tank, and no room at all for a sump and more pumps.

Everything that you've commented on has been commented on before. Everyone is upset about my UG filter. SO AM I. I know it's not a good filter for a reef - BUT - I had no intention of setting up a reef when I set the tank up 6 years ago. I did not want to tear down the tank and start over.

I slowly decided to convert it to a tank with just a few easy soft corals, and when they did well I added more, and I am now where you see it above. The tank is doing fine. This might be an experiment in how to do things backwards and still get good results. Or, it might crash Big Time some day soon. Nonetheless, as long as I can keep after the tank with simple 2 gallon water changes at a time, I'm not going to change anything. If things go south on me then I'll need to make some decisions.

I appreciate your input - even though you valued it at only 2 cents.
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post #29 of 38 Old 09-02-2009, 07:17 PM
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I don't think people are upset at your UG filter, Im not! I think people are trying to help, at least i was.
Honestly i was interested in your test kits.

Im new here, but not new to reef-keeping. Just trying to help. I hope i pulled the right starfish name out of my hat.

Good Luck!

Just my
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post #30 of 38 Old 09-02-2009, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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My test kits are Aquarium Pharm. I found a pic of the starfish - blue with four arms. You were right.
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