Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let’s start at the beginning. I have a few fresh water tanks but I’ve never delt with salt water before. A few months ago I picked up a 125 gal tank about 6’ *15”*19” glass undrilled. It came with a good sized wet/dry canister filter Eheim 2227 and a couple of power heads a few other odds and ends. It was a fresh water tank. I always wanted to try my hand at salt so I went out and bought a book. Later I found a fairly bright guy at a LFS to guide me through a lot of this. I’ve been back to talk to him a couple of times, and bought a better book. He seems knowledgeable but there have been a couple of questions that he just didn’t know the answer to and I live a bit out of town so I can’t just stop by to pester him with all my dumb questions even if he would tolerate it. He has been very patent with me so far.

Where I’m at now. I’ve got a bare bones tank. I’ve filled it with tap water just to check for leaks. Seems level enough for government work and it’s not twisted. I’m in the process of ordering an over flow, sump with refugium, skimmer, pump, heaters, cooler, RO filter. I’ll probable wind up with a phosphate reactor as well. I’ll be starting on trying to get it plumbed in the next week or two. Right now I’m just trying to get every thing that gurgles, pumps, bubbles and sucks working and the whole thing stable. Later projects will be to order the live rock and sand and if I can get the whole thing to cycle maybe one day I’ll buy a fish.

For starters I’ll probable just see if I can keep a fish alive in salt water but in the future I would like for it to be able to become a reef tank. For now I’d be happy if I can manage to keep a few fish alive with out going belly up and some day when I get this figured out and the tank has been stable for a while I’d like to try my hand at some coral but I’m trying to set the system up now in a way that it will one day accommodate that.

Questions:

I’m going to bounce some pretty silly things off you but I’m new to this so be patent with me.

The book that I have basically advocates just using the live rock as the filter with a skimmer to help remove organics out of the water. But I’ve got this wet dry just setting there. Is there any real reason I can’t use it as part of the system? I see people talk about them as nitrate producers but I don’t understand this. It should make the ammonia to nitrate conversion very efficiently but that will be happening some where wont it? I mean that’s part of the process regardless of what system you’re using right? I’ve heard people say that it traps waist and lets it break down into ammonia but is a mechanical filter sock any different? Could I plumb this in to dump into the sump so it would go through the refugium? Isn’t that where you would want the nitrates to be going so they could be absorbed? He pointed out that the wet dry could act as a siphon. Could I simply run it up to a T junction above the water line open to the air so that it basically went over a hill before dumping into the sump? Or should I just sell the thing?

As to the refugium. How big should it be? This sump, precision marine I think, is supposed to be rated for up to 225 gal. If I remember correctly but I saw a post with people advocating that it should be 1/3 the tank size and I don’t think the fuge is near that big. Should I be looking for a larger one or a second dedicated refugium? Should I set the wet dry up to dump into the second refugium? It might give me a lower flow rate and let the water percolate there for a while before perhaps draining into the other sump to be pumped back?

I’m getting the impression that the more rock you have the better. I have yet to find a post where some one was chastised for buying too much rock. I would like to have enough rock to one day grow some nice corals but I’d like to have a few fish as well. I’d like to preserve an open landscape where they would have room to swim. Does all of the rock have to go in the tank? This may sound silly but can I have for lack of a better word a second large sump filled with live rock? I was actually thinking about taking an old 55 gal tank and putting in a couple of partitions like a sump and filling the whole thing with rubble.

The tank isn’t drilled so any thing I do will have to be with over flow boxes. Is it practical to have more then one or will one hog most of the flow? Is it practical to have a second rock filled sump running parallel with a second return pump or will one tend to over power the other causing one to over flow? Still trying to get my head around how the water levels balance and how all the plumbing works.

I’ve seen a couple of post about “Turf Scrubbers” Any new thoughts on them? Would that be a good place to work the wet dry into the system? I gather it’s basically a wet/dry refugium. I would think the intermittent flow from the wet dry of its nitrate rich water would be perfect for it?

The LFS here can get different types of live rock but they mostly deal with what they call Fiji Premium. In books I’ve seen pictures of all different types. I know some are denser then others. How dense should it be? For instance I was told that volcanic cinder is too pores to support the anaerobic bacteria that convert the nitrate to nitrogen. I hear lime stone is too dense to work well. How deep does it live? I mean there must be a practical limit to the depth that the water circulates in the stone. If I buy a 1 ft by 1ft by1ft solid block surely most of that is wasted. It seems to me that it’s mostly about surface area. In the store he was setting up a tank with rock that looked like branches. It was about 2in in diameter. If oxygen penetrates a full inch into the rock he might have real trouble with the second half of his cycle on the other hand if every thing happens in a quarter inch of the surface that would actually argue in favor of rock the size of large gravel. I doubt that ether of these is true and that the answer is some where in between. How deep does this go? How does that vary with density of the rock? How large do you try to size your rock? I hear you glue peaces of coral on with a kind of super glue? How well does this glue stick? Is it worth trying to assemble your reef out of smaller tinnes ball size peaces? I was thinking it could be built in sections that could come apart? Do you ever put the end of a return or power head inside to incurrage water flow through the rock?

What’s the story on allege? I saw a link to… I think it was reef cleaners, I was reading bout all the bad things that can grow in your tank and how hard it can be to get rid of them. How can you keep these blooms from happening? Is it best to keep the lights off till after the tank cycles and the nitrates go down and the phosphate reactor has done its thing? Would it be worth keeping the thing covered and out of room light? Would this kill off good things? I mean you’re really just trying to grow to bacteria right? Do they need light? If you kill off things this way could you reintroduce them later once you’re stable?

Ok, I did warn you, but if you ever make it up off the floor and stop laughing I’d appreciate any thoughts or answers you might have for me.

Lee
 

·
~/root
Joined
·
661 Posts
Let’s start at the beginning. I have a few fresh water tanks but I’ve never delt with salt water before. A few months ago I picked up a 125 gal tank about 6’ *15”*19” glass undrilled. It came with a good sized wet/dry canister filter Eheim 2227 and a couple of power heads a few other odds and ends. It was a fresh water tank. I always wanted to try my hand at salt so I went out and bought a book. Later I found a fairly bright guy at a LFS to guide me through a lot of this. I’ve been back to talk to him a couple of times, and bought a better book. He seems knowledgeable but there have been a couple of questions that he just didn’t know the answer to and I live a bit out of town so I can’t just stop by to pester him with all my dumb questions even if he would tolerate it. He has been very patent with me so far.

Where I’m at now. I’ve got a bare bones tank. I’ve filled it with tap water just to check for leaks. Seems level enough for government work and it’s not twisted. I’m in the process of ordering an over flow, sump with refugium, skimmer, pump, heaters, cooler, RO filter. I’ll probable wind up with a phosphate reactor as well. I’ll be starting on trying to get it plumbed in the next week or two. Right now I’m just trying to get every thing that gurgles, pumps, bubbles and sucks working and the whole thing stable. Later projects will be to order the live rock and sand and if I can get the whole thing to cycle maybe one day I’ll buy a fish.

For starters I’ll probable just see if I can keep a fish alive in salt water but in the future I would like for it to be able to become a reef tank. For now I’d be happy if I can manage to keep a few fish alive with out going belly up and some day when I get this figured out and the tank has been stable for a while I’d like to try my hand at some coral but I’m trying to set the system up now in a way that it will one day accommodate that.

Questions:

I’m going to bounce some pretty silly things off you but I’m new to this so be patent with me.

The book that I have basically advocates just using the live rock as the filter with a skimmer to help remove organics out of the water. But I’ve got this wet dry just setting there. Is there any real reason I can’t use it as part of the system? I see people talk about them as nitrate producers but I don’t understand this. It should make the ammonia to nitrate conversion very efficiently but that will be happening some where wont it? I mean that’s part of the process regardless of what system you’re using right? I’ve heard people say that it traps waist and lets it break down into ammonia but is a mechanical filter sock any different? Could I plumb this in to dump into the sump so it would go through the refugium? Isn’t that where you would want the nitrates to be going so they could be absorbed? He pointed out that the wet dry could act as a siphon. Could I simply run it up to a T junction above the water line open to the air so that it basically went over a hill before dumping into the sump? Or should I just sell the thing?

As to the refugium. How big should it be? This sump, precision marine I think, is supposed to be rated for up to 225 gal. If I remember correctly but I saw a post with people advocating that it should be 1/3 the tank size and I don’t think the fuge is near that big. Should I be looking for a larger one or a second dedicated refugium? Should I set the wet dry up to dump into the second refugium? It might give me a lower flow rate and let the water percolate there for a while before perhaps draining into the other sump to be pumped back?

I’m getting the impression that the more rock you have the better. I have yet to find a post where some one was chastised for buying too much rock. I would like to have enough rock to one day grow some nice corals but I’d like to have a few fish as well. I’d like to preserve an open landscape where they would have room to swim. Does all of the rock have to go in the tank? This may sound silly but can I have for lack of a better word a second large sump filled with live rock? I was actually thinking about taking an old 55 gal tank and putting in a couple of partitions like a sump and filling the whole thing with rubble.

The tank isn’t drilled so any thing I do will have to be with over flow boxes. Is it practical to have more then one or will one hog most of the flow? Is it practical to have a second rock filled sump running parallel with a second return pump or will one tend to over power the other causing one to over flow? Still trying to get my head around how the water levels balance and how all the plumbing works.

I’ve seen a couple of post about “Turf Scrubbers” Any new thoughts on them? Would that be a good place to work the wet dry into the system? I gather it’s basically a wet/dry refugium. I would think the intermittent flow from the wet dry of its nitrate rich water would be perfect for it?

The LFS here can get different types of live rock but they mostly deal with what they call Fiji Premium. In books I’ve seen pictures of all different types. I know some are denser then others. How dense should it be? For instance I was told that volcanic cinder is too pores to support the anaerobic bacteria that convert the nitrate to nitrogen. I hear lime stone is too dense to work well. How deep does it live? I mean there must be a practical limit to the depth that the water circulates in the stone. If I buy a 1 ft by 1ft by1ft solid block surely most of that is wasted. It seems to me that it’s mostly about surface area. In the store he was setting up a tank with rock that looked like branches. It was about 2in in diameter. If oxygen penetrates a full inch into the rock he might have real trouble with the second half of his cycle on the other hand if every thing happens in a quarter inch of the surface that would actually argue in favor of rock the size of large gravel. I doubt that ether of these is true and that the answer is some where in between. How deep does this go? How does that vary with density of the rock? How large do you try to size your rock? I hear you glue peaces of coral on with a kind of super glue? How well does this glue stick? Is it worth trying to assemble your reef out of smaller tinnes ball size peaces? I was thinking it could be built in sections that could come apart? Do you ever put the end of a return or power head inside to incurrage water flow through the rock?

What’s the story on allege? I saw a link to… I think it was reef cleaners, I was reading bout all the bad things that can grow in your tank and how hard it can be to get rid of them. How can you keep these blooms from happening? Is it best to keep the lights off till after the tank cycles and the nitrates go down and the phosphate reactor has done its thing? Would it be worth keeping the thing covered and out of room light? Would this kill off good things? I mean you’re really just trying to grow to bacteria right? Do they need light? If you kill off things this way could you reintroduce them later once you’re stable?

Ok, I did warn you, but if you ever make it up off the floor and stop laughing I’d appreciate any thoughts or answers you might have for me.

Lee
1.)
The more filtration the better. I've had wet-drys and they do seem to enjoy making nitrates, but nothing a good refugium full of macro-algea cant take care of.

2.)
I run a 20 gallon refugium for a 150 gallon tank. It does just dandy. That doesn't mean it will work for you but i think 1/3 is a bit big. Then again...........the more filtration the better.

3.)
the more live rock the better (the more filtration the better)
I've got 280lbs of liverock in my 150 and trust me there is tons of room for my fishes to swim :-D

4.)
Get some nice dense rock for your main display tank. the lesser dense material toss into your refugium

5.)
anything and everything can be re-introduced through some means or another. I have been told leaving the lights on while cycling does nothing. However in my personal opinon it promotes algae growth (the good kind like coraline algae) thats JMH.

0.02
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Welcome

you can use the wet dry.

And just to add a "cinch" in the gears. Let me give you my "old school" methods.

Instead of using live rock, I use live macro algaes (macros). Best in a seperate container or area away from the display tank/area. Just like live rock, the algae consumes the ammonia/nitrate/phosphates/Carbon dioxide from the fish to balance out and stabilize the system operation. Just as the corraline, macros and other algae on live rock do.

By doing this I do not need a skimmer and also do no water changes. I do have to dose (add) calcium, alk, and magnesium which is something I would have to do if I were doing water changes. (And is only necessary for corraling algae/hard corals)

my .02
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top