I've converted from fresh. Carbon? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-06-2007, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks caferacermike! Your post will be the most helpful.

I knew corals would take nutrients from the water so I was planning to add STRONTIUM, CALCIUM and IODINE supplements according to the bottle directions.

We are told to maintain the levels of PH and ALK in freshwater tanks too but I've never had buffer either before. I always believed that if the water is clean, correct substrates are used, the tank is cycled and ammonia/stock levels are controlled that the natural bacteria would take care of the rest. Carbon would take care of toxins, chlorine and anything else that MIGHT go wrong and give it that sparkling drinking water quality!

At the LFSs, they're always pushing chemicals and test kits to noobs and it drives me nuts when my friends add stuff to their tanks when THERE'S NOTHING WRONG!!! Buffer, buffer, buffer... I go to the LFS and I see the salesman selling a brand new tank to a noob with test kits, additives and buffers.

Now with my marine tank, I know the water parameters are very specific and I'm not going to take any chances so I'm going to monitor everything. What would cause PH, ALK, and MAG levels to rise and fall? Could they be indicators of something? I will monitor them and buffer them as to your instructions.

The tank is and All-Glass 110X (110 gal extra-tall), the dimensions are 48x18x30 so the T-5 strip is 48" long and the tank is 30" deep. I don't believe my lighting is suffice so I will have to add or switch.

Does a deeper tank require more powerful lighting per gallon? The Liveaquaria.com catalog has coral light requirements of low, moderate, and high. If a coral that can't move is placed on a rock near the top of the tank, is it possible that that coral might get burned or over exposed by light that is too powerful?

Thanks again for the super helpful post!
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-06-2007, 09:19 PM
250w MH are rated for 24". Anything deeper than that 400w. BUT I would not recomend you run out and buy 2 400w bulbs. I'd stay with your budget and plans. If SPS corals, anemones, or clams are in your picture then I'd try to set up 2x 250w 10-14K MH with 200w of T5 or PC lighting in 20K full actinic. Just plan to support your corals higher in the tank. You'll still be able to grow plenty of low light corals like leathers and mushrooms down low. You should still be able to run a few LPS down there. My only concern at this point is gas exchange. Get a reall ygood power head or 2. I'd recommend Tunze Streams for your application. They come in many flavors a 1,600 GPH would be a good place to start. Your tank is so deep that CO2 and ammonia can stay trapped under the surface. CO2 can react with the elements in sea water creating carbonic acid. This is what will cause your PH to suddenly swing out. To help stabilize PH use a 2-4" pure aragonite sand bed and plenty of live rock. As they decompose they will help elevate all of your levels and help prevent sudden PH swings. You were accurate in assuming that the proper set up can help maintain PH levels, but unlike freshwater the PH can change much more rapidly. Generally most fresh tanks are kept at 7.0, some African tanks are kept around 7.8 and some S American tanks (like my pleco tank) are kept in the sixes. A huge piece of driftwood will generally neutralize PH in freshwater and keep it at 6.0. A lot of limestone in an African tank will keep the PH higher than normal. But in reef tanks the PH is so high that it takes a lot of buffer to stabilize it. When it swings out it drops fast and there isn't mucht hat natural scaping can do to help. Water changes contain buffers put directly in the salt mix so you can either do frequent water changes and/or additioonal supplements. If you ever add a CA reactor to the tank the dissolved CO2 in the effluent can drive down the PH quickly if not monitored.

Things to consider for an easier running tank.

Tunze Turbelle stream maker to create massive currents and tank turnovers.

Sump set up to help churn over your water and allow gas exchange. Ammonia tends to release itself when combined with O2 in the falling pipes leading the sump. Sumps can help lower the tank temp as well. Sumps allow for direct placement of skimmers.

Skimmer. To help permanently remove organic wastes. Completely different then any canister filter you've ever used. Can virtually elimnate any need for carbon.

refugium. Allows seperate place for algaes and microfauna to grow without fear of predation. By allowing nuisance algaes to thrive in ideal conditions they will deplete teh water of excess nutrients. This will really help prevent algae from growing in the tank. By having a revers lighting schedule it will also prevent the build up of CO2 at night when the lights go off and the photosynthetic corals and algaes stop intaking CO2, therebby creating an excess of CO2 in the display. What did we learn about excess CO2 and high PH?
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