11-30-2010, 08:31 PM
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heres the top five things I would have done differently on my reefs if given a startover- thought Id add this for ten gallon options as well~
-do huge water changes is cardinal rule, no less than 50% weekly or nearly all of it bi weekly. if you are willing to trade this off you can offset hundreds of dollars in machinery and countless hours adjustment. It is the single most determinant factor of tank design that will translate into number of years before an algae crash. Its more important than the best skimmer. It controls waste penetration into the sandbed vs feeding modes where items break down completely, internally. it controls the metabolism of your corals and is invigorating to them, a form of tolerable stress to induce strength at least in my tank it does.
-shift feeding away from midweek, where the most waste stores up till water change, and more heavily right before the water change.
im convinced we all change water too infrequently and this causes most nano tanks to die of an algae crash in the first year.
-dose in addition to water changes with any two part doser. The extra alk support is critical in a nano where acid production can reign high due to fish and waste accumulation bioloading, and phosphates can be elevated due to concentrated feedings. the alk component of two part dosers directly precipitates phosphate, dosing equals algae control + stronger coral growth than nsw only approaches.
-tolerate no algae via manual removal. If you get any red or green algae, stock no animals to remove it. Remove it yourself up to and including removing the whole contaminant piece and replacing, then handling that removed rock in such a way as to bring it back to the tank eventually but free of the troubles. Do not rely on clean up crews, thats so 1998 lol. My point is stock them if you like, but you do the algae work, not them, they'll let you down. They eat feed like the rest of the tank, reverse the common game to make your tank run.
-add no other dosers to the system whatsoever, but use cyclopeeze in some ratio in your feed. There are many feed sources for iodine and cyclopeeze is great for it where you don't add I separately...the only additions to the tank other than saltwater are two part doser and feed, that's it. To me thats the simplest way to make a nano reef last ten years, the same setup- same rocks same sand.