Ive had my 55g tank set up for about 3 1/2 months now. All is well I suppose, water is stable, my parameters read as follows Calcium 480, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, PH 8.1. I do religious 10% water changes at least once a week, sometimes twice a week using RO water and Redsea Salt Mix . My tank mates consist of a small Tomato Clown, Bullseye PS, Yellow Watchman. Red Stripe Angel, and 2 Firefish a CUC few snails, and hermits. I have about 70 lbs of LR.
AS far as equipment goes, I have RedSea Berlin X2 Skimmer, Marineland Emperor HOB dual bio wheel with just LR rubble in the bottom of it (sometimes if I need carbon I with put in the pads. 2 Hydor Koralia pumps one 4 and the other is 2 and heater (temp is about 80). Lights, I have 2 Hagen GLO 54X2 T5 lights 2 blues an 2 whites, also a T8 single strip 36 watt Blue light.
Im begining to see a very light green algae form all over the rocks, its not slimey and is not easy to scrape off. There is no hairy or stringy stuff coming off it either. Is this the begining stages of coraline growth? I have a few splotches of different color coraline on the live rock that I had purchased, so a few weeks ago I took a tooth brush and lightly brushed over it hoping to spread it around. I also leave just my blue lights on most of the time during this whole process of attempting to get some coraline growth going. Now every time I turn on all my lights I notice that more and more of the light green algae is spreading over the rocks, so if anyone can tell me if this is normal for coraline growth and when does it actually start to turn purple? Thanks for any info!!
Whats up Kraken,
that was a good overview of your tank, thanks for the info :-) Your situation sounds pretty similar to mine. I would say that coralline growth will just take more time. my tank is going on 6 or 7 months, and is just barely starting to get splotches of coralline growing all around. However, much earlier, all of my rocks started to get coated in that hard green algae... doesn't really scrape off. It doesn't look very attractive, but I don't think it's a bad sign. My water quality has been premium as well, no hair algae ever and barely any diatoms, but that green hard stuff took over my rocks.
I asked around a bunch, trying to figure out what it was, and never could get a definitive answer. I don't think it's green coralline, but it might be. Coralline grows very differently than this stuff, but I don't know of any other hard, green algae.
Anyways, give coralline some time. As long as you keep your Calcium and Alkalinity in order, it will come with time. It also depends on how much you have to start with (i.e. if your liverock had a bunch on it when you got it, or if you barely had any to start). me personally, I didn't have hardly any on my liverock, coralline basically on existed on the shells of my snails and hermits, so it's taking a long time to really take hold in my tank. I can't wait though! I need it to cover up that ugly green stuff lol :lol:
BTW, you're probably going to want to get rid of the biowheel... i guess you can keep the pump/case since you've got some live rock rubble in there, but even that's not needed. But the biowheel itself is actually harmful to your tank in the long-run. Freshwater tanks, they're great for. Saltwater, not so much. You'll get all the biological filtration you need from your liverock and flow in your display, the biowheel will only contribute to higher nitrates and water instability in the long run.
Great advice Conger. I agree. The biowheels have to go. Just to play it safe, you may want to remove 1 biowheel, wait a couple of weeks, and then remove the other.
The original post does not give an alkalinity reading. Alkalinity is a key driver of coraline growth. You need to be testing this on at least a weekly basis and aiming for 10 to 12 dkh.
cool thanks for the replies! Ive been asking on a few forums lol and you guys have definately given me the best answers. Yeah my LR has a few splotches of coraline on. So hmm I should remove the bio wheels huh? I have no room for a sump do you think the skimmer and the ammount of LR I have would be sufficient for filtration? My skimmer is the Pro verson and rated for 125g aquariums. Ill keep the pump with the lLR rubble in it, but if I need to remove the wheels I will.
I would think you've got sufficient liverock and flow... you said you've got 70 lbs of liverock, plus two koralias (a 4 and a 2) in a 55 gallon tank? I think what you have is fine, also adding another 10-20 lbs of liverock would be cool too (but not necessary).
All the biowheel does, is provide a surface to grow bacteria that water flows over... the liverock does a much better job of that (you've got a lot more surface area of liverock than you do on those wheels' paddles), plus liverock won't trap stuff and let it break all the way down into nitrates like the biowheel does, and prevent it from being removed by your protein skimmer. Your protein skimmer is over-sized, which is also a good thing.
I'd definitely do that like Pasfur said (Pasfur thanks for adding the suggestion to remove the wheels incrementally, and not all at once!).
ok cool, thanks for the advice, Ill remove one of the wheels tomorrow and the second one in a few days after that. Yeah I have 70lbs of LR in there now and yep 2 koralias (4 & 2). One more question, my brother was going to build a nano tank out of a 10g but he suddenly got a job overseas and will not be able to do so, so I confiscated the 10g from him, he had a bought a bag of live sand (still with the water in it) it a 40lb bag, is it too late to add that to my tank? I have about a 11/2 SB right now. adding that 40lb bag would probably give me a 3-4 inch SB...good idea or not? Thanks in advance.
Biowheels... you might want to wait a couple of weeks between removal. A few days is pushing it.
Skimmer... Dude, your skimmer rocks for that size tank. You have NO issues when it comes to skimming.
Sand... You have this exactly wrong. As it stands now, you have it wrong. If you add the additional sand from the 10 gallon, it will still be wrong. When it comes to sand there are only 2 solutions. You need a maximum of 1'' of sand, or a minimum of 4'' of sand. Anything between 1'' and 4'' causes nutrient buildup. Why? The proper bacteria for denitrification will not thrive at these sand depths.
There is a problem currently. If you add sand, you will kill the bacteria underneath. If you remove sand, you risk exposing deeper sand bacterias to higher levels of oxygen. You goofed from day 1 and now you have to take a risk. You can keep it as is and expect a huge algae problem in the long term, or you can REMOVE enough sand to get under 1'' depth and hope for the best. I suggest removing some sand, but wait a few weeks after biowheels have been removed.
ouch!...about the sand, ok Ill attempe to remove some of the sand, slowly as to not start a huge spike, maybe a cup a day until it is at the level that I want it, or maybe Ill just bite the bullet..Q the fish for a while in the Qtank and just remove teh sand and check the params for spikes of amonia (which Im sure there will be then just add the fish back after all is done....sigh we live and learn huh lol...thanks for the advice :-)
Oh yeah, I was checking out the skimmer, and it is rated not for 125g but 225 g lol...so yeah I think Im good in that dept.
I would suggest that you siphon out small amounts of sand during your water changes. This would be safer and result in less cloudiness. Moving the fish... could be a bad idea.
oh ok, good call...thanks again haha for all the advice...really appreciate it :-)
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