too much filtration? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-16-2009, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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too much filtration?

i have a 55 gal with a fluval 404 and aquaclear 500 and both are rated for about 110 gallon each.i have a cynobactera problem dew to nitrates and i am thinkin that i have too much biological filtration ,so i took sum material out of both filters but now my water is not as clean so i thought of using a scrubber system. i am aslo trying to join a tank as a sump but i dont know how to connect the two without a expensive overflow box and i dont want to drill a tank that has live stock or even water in it. i have had the tank set up for a long time and have fish tanks all my life but i never had a saltwater tank for this long i also was thinkin that it could be "old tank syndrome". i never had a prob with alge that i could not control , i have to do water changes more often now than before and still nitrates are high!
any advice anybody?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 05:45 AM
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It has been a long time since i heard the phrase "old tank syndrom", but your tank fits the description. This is a perfect example of why you do not want to set up a marine tank using exclusively biological filtration.

Please provide more details of your setup, including livestock, so that we can properly offer advise.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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well i got male and female clownfish(amphiprion ocellaris),one tomato clown(amphiprion frenatus) ,canary blenny(meiacanthus ovalanensis),and one (fridmani pseudocromis) i have 12 hermit crabs,four turbo snails,a sally light foot crab ,and a pepperment shrimp. i have about 1 1/2 inch of sand(40 lbs),i had most of the rock work when the tank was setup for brackish water and i had 2 figure 8 puffers that i converted to full salt and then gave them back to the pet store when i got my clowns .i got sum live rock to fill the rest wall of rock.probabaly 100 lbs of rock. i have a regular shop light with 2, 6500k bulbs and i have an atinic light on one end.i have button polyp rock and two kinds of star polyps under the atinic light witch i have had for a year and they are growing fine .i supplement with seachem reef advantage calisum and seachem reef builder. i have an aquaclear 500 with just a sponge in it ,a fluval 404 with sponges and prefilter and biomax.i have two power heads ,and rigged a in tank refugium with cheatomorfia* alge and a little fountain pump fof circulation .the tank has been running for like 2.5 years.i had a seastorm sand filter on there too but i took that off because i could not keep snails without them dieing. i hope this has helped you help me thanks
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 07:04 PM
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Great information.

First, I would remove the sponge filters from the AquaClear. You can continue to run the AquaClear empty, or use a bag of activated carbon to help remove organic acids. This will increase light penetration, so don't be surprised if your polyps close for a few days. Also, be certain to clean the carbon bag several times per week under running water, to prevent organic waste from breaking down into phosphates and nitrates.

I would wait about 2 weeks and then remove your Fluval. Again, you can run it empty for water movement if you choose, or with activated carbon only, following the above guidelines.

The goal here is to allow the live rock to serve as the ONLY source of biological filtration inside your aquarium. This will dramatically lessen Nitrate buildup.

Moving forward, the real goal should be to reduce Nitrate to zero, for long term success. Allowing the system to run as it exists, or even with the modifications above, will eventually result in nutrient buildups. You NEED a protein skimmer very badly. The protein skimmer has allowed the marine hobby to advance to the level of success it experiences today. Every successful marine hobbyist begins the conversation by discussing the type of skimmer he uses and why. There is a reason for this... they work!!!

Finally, I would do something about your sand bed. You have the exact wrong amount of sand. You could remove sand, to less than 1/2'' depth, and be fine. Or you could slowly add more sand to a 4-5'' depth, and have the benefits of a DSB. Anything inbetween, or greater than 6'' depth, tends to cause a variety of long term problems outside the scope of this thread. Just beware that sand depth at your levels is a generally not accepted marine reefkeeping practice that has been proven to fail.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-17-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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this is awsome!i want to try a "scrubber" before i go and get a skimmer. i know skimmers work but i want a bigger tank and i want to get a huge skimmer for it when the time comes so i was gunna give the scrubber a try( its almost free)
how much sand should i have, i have bout 40 lbs in it now
i also have a 20 gal long under my 55 not attached ,it has a nasty blue damsel in it and it has bout 20 lbs of sand in it should i put this sand in my 55 little by little,i also have 40 lbs of crushed coral ,dry in a bag should i put this in the 20 gal .the 20 has a fluval 1 w/ a costom spray bar and a heater and sum reef rubble

my rocks are not all store bought live rock there a mix from when i had my brackish setup (maroonish "volcanoe" rock very poreis,and "lace"rock ,both bought dry and i put them in my brackish setup and they have been in the tank ever scince but when i went full salt i got like 30 lbs of live rock to fill up the wall of rock i was cerating has the non live rock become live with bactera?i have got corriline alge growing over sum of them...
please help me dude
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-18-2009, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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ok i have taken the foam out and the water clairity has gotten not so good kinda expedid it would but scince i have removed materital from my fluval weeks ago there is not a lot of mechanical filtration
my star polyps and button polyps have been lookin a little sketchy too scince the foam was removed i havent checked my nitrate leval yet i was waiting on the water to clean up.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-25-2009, 08:46 PM
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I would leave the tufa rock and lace rock in the tank. It is very porous and will become live in time, assuming you have a reasonable supply of live rock to "seed" this "base" rock.

I do not care for crushed coral at all. The grain size is horrible. It works from for African Cichlid tanks.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-25-2009, 09:38 PM
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i personally would get a larger quality now, one way over rated for this tank which allows upgrading options for the future. just be sure to read online reviews as some are golden and others garbage.
i think a skimmer is more important then a scrubber for the simple fact that it breaks down whats in your water and removes it when a scrubber is algae that feeds off your nitrates and phosphates. if you do things right there isnt a need for a scrubber IMO.

as for crushed coral, i feel the same as pasfur.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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yes i dont like the cc either i had it my 55 before i changed it to sw ,but i was going to use it in a 20 gal and put the sand from the 20 in the 55 because pasfur said i should add some more sand
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-26-2009, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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i guess i will leave the 20 bb if you think it is wise to move the sand?
i got sum pics up tell me wat you think!
Pictures by slick_fish - Photobucket
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