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aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
I have four to six inches (300 pounds) of arogonite sand in my 120 gallon tank. I soaked it for a couple of months in RO/DI water. I changed the water completely a few times. I then filtered the saltwater through Kent's activated carbon for a day before adding it to my system. This was without any additives except Kent's salt. I feel this was as pure as I could get it.

There is only live rock (Tonga Branch) in the system. About four small hemit crabs are the only "higher" lifeforms added. I added a few small pieces of live rock to seed it a couple of months before I added the branch. Within a few days the tank was crawling with microorganisms. I was only using a couple wood airstones plumbed to my overflow for circulation. The worms and other creatures spread out across the entire tank within a week. I disrupted the tank and sand bed a couple of weeks before I added the bulk of the live rock. This killed off most of the swimming life in the water column. The swimmers have yet to return and I am letting the tank fester for a while before I start stalking the tank.

I plan to cram the tank with fish. I do not have any immediate plans for culturing corals. I am limited to two 40 watt flourescent bulbs to light the tank. I will crank up the sump and trickle filter when I have stalked the tank with a significant amount of fish. I may turn off the sump at night and just use it during the day. I will have to see how the oxygen levels fluctuate with just the surface being renewed.
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Cool, but why bother shutting the sump down at all? In my mind anyway, the sump is the home of the heater and stuff you don't want on display. Shutting it down would mean you'd need a heater in your main tank, as well as circulation provided by something other than the return pump.

With the sump shut down you would need to control it's heat, so it would still require having a heater in there. Plus you'd need to keep the two within a couple of degrees of eachother to prevent sudden temp swings when the sump comes back on.
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
It's not really necessary for fish they can take huge fluctuations in parameters. It is next to my bed and the two RIO 2500's are loud. the room temperature does not fluctuate much
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
Actually a wide range in temp variation and the reduced oxygen levels from lack of circulation is a sure recipe for ich outbreak (best case) and tank disaster ( worse case)
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
Oxygen can only get in at the surface and renewing the surface with my overflow and airlift should provide enough. I don't think this would hold true for corals and such. The temperature doesn't fluctuate with 120gal and a heated room. The sure fire way to keep ich out of a tank is to not put it in in the first place. Outbreaks seem to be related more to stress than environmental prameters. Prevention is the best cure.

I want to stress that I am trying some things that I have been thinking about for a long time. The most important aspects of my system are the deep sand bed and the refugium. The survival of plankton and microorganisms being paramount. This is in no way meant to be a thread about advice. I am explaining what I am doing and am not seeking advice on any paticular situation. I have plenty of experience with failure; from catching fish in the wild to accidently murdering guppies with RO water. I plan on doing some experimentation before I "load up." I want to see what the DSB can do with nitrate. The bed needs to be fed and the trickle filter will provide that for the first six months to a year. Comments are very welcome and I'll seek advice with PM's unless I think the general forum would benefit. I have to keep my crazy ideas to a select group lest I become a bad influence (Right Doug?)
 

Elmo18

Clownfish
Joined
Aug 5, 2003
Messages
2,662
Location
Seattle
Hmm Rios.....i smell trouble ;) Ok ok, i wont start anything. Keep us up to date throughout this process.

It's always cool to start a new tank.

- Elmo :)
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
Yeah on both counts. The Rio's were cheap and fit my method(madness?) I have two returns and I can put carbon in a chamber on the pump. This allows all of the water from the sump to be forced through the carbon chamber. I'm looking for a couple of new pumps but the ones I want I can't afford and the ones I can afford I don't want(have.) Just like everything else.

The swimmers are comming back. The airlift ran overflow doesn't send them over the edge. They can outswim the current.
 
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