Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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cr1220 04-26-2007 01:38 PM

cloudy water and ammonia spike, help!
I'm still kinda new to the sw game - only about a year, so please bear with me as I try play with the big boys! I'll list my tank specs below. For several weeks now I have been battling cloudy water. It can be crystal clear when turning lights on in the a.m. and 2 hours later be very cloudy or some days vice versa. But by about 5 or 6 p.m. it will be clear and stay that way until I turn lights out in the evening. I assumed lights were promoting algae growth, but why would it be cloudy first thing in the morning when it was clear the night before when I turned lights out? Second problem- which may or not be related. My ammonia has spiked to 1.0 and after several 20-25% water changes it has not come down. The fish seem to be ok, not stressed. I'd be heartbroken if I lost anyone, what can I do to lower? Saturday I added a coral banded shrimp and another clownfish, am I overstocked?

55 gal
power filter
protein skimmer
2 powerheads
260 watt current pc dual satellite light
3" cc substrate ( I know not best choice)
20-25 lbs live rock
temp 78-80
ph 8.0
nitrite 0
nitrate <10
ammonia suddenly 1.0
salinity 1.025
yellow tang, coral beauty,mandarin goby,hawaiian puffer, clownfish

usmc121581 04-26-2007 04:49 PM

What I noticed in one of my reef tanks is that in my 14 gal nano when my daughter gets a hold of the food and feeds the fish it gets cloudy. It get that way because of over feeding, and left over food decomposing. The other thing it could be is a algea bloom like you stated.

cr1220 04-26-2007 05:27 PM

do you have any suggestions on what I can do about it, I use only RO water for my changes, and I've tried to cut down on the lighting times.
How about my ammonia problem, I checked it today and I think it may even be a little higher. Any help would be appreciated, I know you guys are a whole lot better at this than I am!

caferacermike 04-26-2007 07:27 PM

What type of skimmer and what type of filter are you running? When was the last time you cleaned the filter? What do you feed and how often? I'd really suggest trying a lot of carbon in the filter or get a downdraft fluid filter, also known as phosban reactor. fill it with carbon and see if it clears your water up.

cr1220 04-26-2007 09:08 PM

Thanks for the help, I'll try to cut back on their grub. I try to be very careful, but maybe I do feed too much. I love this hobby, but sometimes I'm so confused about all this equipment! I thought maybe I should get a uv sterilizer for algae and such, but now someone suggests a phosban reactor? My experience is in fw, and I knew this endeavor would not be a cheap one, but I'm starting to think I'm gonna have to sell a kidney or something!

usmc121581 04-27-2007 06:59 AM

If you use RO water there is no point for a phosban reactor. Dont waste your money on that. I would invest in a nice skimmer first and then a UV sterilizer.

caferacermike 04-27-2007 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by usmc121581
If you use RO water there is no point for a phosban reactor. Dont waste your money on that. I would invest in a nice skimmer first and then a UV sterilizer.


Phosphates are created constantly in a captive environment. Every awesome reef tank I've visited run them, including myself after seeing the proof. Phosphates are created from decaying matter. Leftover food, rotting animals, fish wastes are all contributors to phosphates. Any tank left running for a year or more has the potential for a phosphate problem. I was showing signs of excess phos in my system from the growth of hair algae. Using a very sophisticated labratory testing kit I showed signs of phosphates that my regular API test kit did not detect. I run RO/DI water from my own set up and this includes a dual test meter, currently my RO/DI water tests at 0TDS with all new filters. I run a very nice Euroreef skimmer, barely feed the tank anymore, use RO/DI water, have tons of bio filtration, massive amounts of flow within the tank and still began to show signs of phosphates.

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