refugiums,ick,skimmers,and tap water
The title sounds funny but this can all work out togeather. When I was running my experimental tank (55gl no skimmer, tap water) everybody was saying you have to have a skimmer, never use tap water, your set up will never work. First of all i ran a large 40gl refugium for my 50 gl tank that housed cheato, 3 types of calurpa, and dragons breath. Tap water was set in a 40gl brute trashcan to naturaly remove chlorine and about half a cup of pickling lime was added after day 2 to saturate the water with calcium and remove heavy metals from the water.
This was set up this way to grow soft corals and some lps but mainly for the macroalgeas in the regugium which was given away and fed back to my tangs instead of nori. After seeing how new tangs will get ick after looking at them or sneezing in the same room as them, i decided to start feeding them live macro and also getting live rock with tons of algea from bad tanks. Being herbavores, the live stuff calmed them down and was better nutritionally which helped their immune system recover from ick. I had other people do this with their new tangs and the results was a faster recovery and acclimation and they never seemed to get ick again even with a tank crash.
I also grew some sps in the tank that actually grew quite well but the down side is they were a healthy color of brown. I added a skimmer for 6 weeks and used ro/di water which increased the coloration and growth of sps but I lost my xenia and had a reduced macro growth. The xenia could have died from lack of nutrients or just from a change of water condtion, it's xenia who knows why it does what it does.
The tap water was great for the growth in the refugium and I did have some hair algea in some spots and the rocks had algea growth which my one rescue tang found to be heaven but it was managable and I started to actually enjoy the natural look and my fish were healthier than ever before.
this is just to show that there are many ways to enjoy a sucesful saltwater tank and corals and ways to keep your fish at their healthiest.
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