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Is there a such thing as TOO MUCH LR?

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Scooterman

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I've noticed something interesting lately!
See you anyone can relate!
I removed about 3/4 of my rock, I'm cooking it in a tub.
Since then, my skimmer has went into overdrive, producing 3 times as much wet skimmate. I'm guessing the extra load because of the lack of LR, is the cause. The alga problems for the most part has cleared up. Do you think that having too much LR or the average, lets say as in my example of my tank. I have a 100g tank had 200lbs of LR. Now I had only three fish & maybe a dozen corals. I was getting green algae on the rocks like crazy, & I was on top of water changes, blowing off rocks daily like crazy. Careful on feeding & what I feed, very little, as my six line & hippo ate off the tank already they don't require much supplementing. New lighting & flow 35x over. Now after going a while with way less LR, my tank has cleared up so nice, it almost looks new. Is this a lesson to be dealt with, learned & passed on, I don't know.
 

DonW

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I definitely think you can pack it to tightly. Alot of people stack it like a puzzle trying to fit pieces together. This time around I did just the opposite. It made a huge difference.

Don
 

DonW

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I guess what I mean to say is. You can have to much if it doesnt match your flow. The more exposed surface area the better but the current needs to keep the rock clean. The more rock you have the better off youll be as long as you can keep it clean.


Don
 

Scooterman

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I'm thinking it was more of an extra bio-load in itself becuase itself is live, I have driectional flow on the rocks, even direct flow areas had the problems.
 

wrightme43

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Scooty, LOL
I was thinking on this thread as well. I agree with you. I think the number of bristle worms and spagetti worms and fan worms and little critters on the rock can get to high. I would say there is a point of dimishing returns on each type of live rock. Now exactly what that is I have no idea. LOL I do believe some tanks can have more and some less and still get the same results. It is more of a eyeball, judgement call. You live with your reef and know it. I think that I am the person most capable of deciding what is right for mine just as you are for you. When you new you have to ask advice and try to go with it. As you grow in this hobby I believe your eyes are your best teacher. Thanks for the idea it got me thinking. Steve
 

NaH2O

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Hmmm....good topic. I agree with Don, in that having it stacked too tight would hinder flow and removal of detritus. On the question of bioload - I suppose that might depend on the rock itself, and where it came from? Scooterman - I wonder if your skimmer is just picking up the slack, and/or the rock that you removed was saturated with junk that lead to the algae. I'm thinking the less rock you go with the stronger skimmer you would need (or other filtration) to help out?
 

DonW

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If the rocks not old, I would question the skimmers ability. Possibly it may not be keeping up, allowing a build up to happen to quickly.

Don
 

Scooterman

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Well the skimmer trippled production after LR was removed. Tank looks better/cleaner now without the full amount of LR. LR is about 2 years old. LR was on a rack opend allowing good flow. I still think for the bio-load I had , it was too much LR. I think eventually I will keep about 100lb of LR instead of 200lbs.
 

gobie

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Most Reefs In The Ocean Is Being Bomarded By A Consistant Varing Flow And Turbalance. The Open Waters Are Vast While Reefs Are Small In Comparison .now This Is The Oposite In Out Tanks We Have Extreme Bioloads Compaired To What They Are Naturally. So It Is Of No Surprise That Your Tanks Condition Cleared Up And Your Skimmer Is Working Like It Was Designed Too. We Often Double The Weight Of Rock To Water Volume And This Could Be A Poor Husbandry Practice. This Would Be A Great Question To Ask Eric Borneman At The Psas Meeting On The Jan 22 Meeting And See What He Has To Say Upon Matter. This Topic Would Fit Right In With The Discussion Topic Of The Night.
 

fishermann

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I totally agree with scooty that you can overstock your tank with LR. The rockis a living organism and puts out tremerndous amounts of detritus and not just from the animal life but from the sluffing of the rock itself. When I set my 225 up I am going to use as little rock as I can to make a nice looking reef.
 

Angelscrx

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I can see where flow issues would come from if your returns and closed loops are all set up in the back pointing forward. But if you have say for example two or three seaswirls up front pointing at your rocks I would think you could keep more rock or atleast diminish dead spots and keep detritus off the rocks. My 2cents.
 

DonW

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I think that is exactly the problem with small tanks. Everthing either has to amplified or muffled, rules of thumb really dont apply. Yours for example you can cut back on the rock and create a happy system. You could also add more flow or points of flow and keep the rock. Either way the rules of thumb, lbs per gallon or turnover rate do not apply. Small tanks seem to be an ongoing experiment to see which way works best. The hard part is finding the balance.

Don
 

Scooterman

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With a flow rate over 35 X's I think I could use more, that will probably be my next purchase. I have one Tunze stream, I may get the next size up but my LR does get exposed directly to alternating flow, maybe not strong enough but it all gets movement.Underneath the light green algae is coralline, all of it. I think it is feeding off the rocks itself.
 

mojoreef

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I agree, I'd like to get an ear full from experts.
I told you already that Peeing in your sump was a bad idea!!! :eek: :badgrin:

I think all parties here have it pretty much down. LR is a bioload, it has a host of organisms that are alive and reperating, eating and pooping. Can you have to much?? I guess you could if your bioload out did what your filtration capabilities were. Or comparitively to your water load.
Can the placement of rock, regardless of your flow have an impact, yep you bet. Best way to look at LR is that it is a living creature, it eats and it poops, you may have good flow but is it covering all areas all the time?? doughtful. Thats why a good blow with a PH from time to time is money in the bank.
I would say what happened Scotty is that you released a whole bunch of soluable and particulate matter while removing the rock, that is one contributor. Another would be with the lack of rock you were probibly allowing for more soluable nutrients to remain in the tank (ie from fish and other creatures). I think alot of folks dont look at LR the correct way and thus use to much which ends up creating more of a sink instead of filtering the way folks want it to.


Mike
 

gobie

dave the gobie
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cmon mike when my girlfriend is putting on makeup and doin her hair the sump is the only place left.
i have always considered live rock to inly take up 1/3 to 1/4 of tank space and leave the rest for water corals etc. I never go by weight because I have 1 rock that weighed around 27lbs. i use to have live rock only tank that i would take out pieces and switch with others. no corals no fish just skimmer and standard lighting. and tons of circulation 55 gal tank with 2 sedra 7000 inside. i moved to an apartment and it was too much so it went away. sometimes my live rock tank rock looked better than the rock in my reef. this also kept up my amphipods and other bethnic inverts cause there was never any thing eating them.
 

Scooterman

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mojoreef said:
Another would be with the lack of rock you were probibly allowing for more soluable nutrients to remain in the tank (ie from fish and other creatures). I think alot of folks dont look at LR the correct way and thus use to much which ends up creating more of a sink instead of filtering the way folks want it to.
Yes & Yes, the skimmer went nuts @ first but today it it is filling a full cup a day, which before it was about 1/4 cup a day. I'm sure the extra wet waste is because I'm using about 60bls of LR at the moment. Eventually I will add LR slowly until I find a happy medium, where I can see the skimmer backing off to a normalcy, or just a little less the what it is doing now. I'll Probably make another rack system for the rocks. Now, the flow thing, If you had solid flow directly on LR you'd think it would stay clear of algae Right? Right? I can understand not having flow in certain areas & having those problems mentioned but this ISN'T the case for me. The problems are getting better every day, my tank has cleared up since I've reworked my tank, the more I look at it & think about what was going on, I'm leaning heavily towards the idea that I had too much LR for my tank, after rechecking I probably had closer to 250lbs. I think after a few more weeks of cooking, I will boost it up to about 150lbs, which should be about right. Testing will go on in a slow pace, I'll add one peace of LR every week.
 

mojoreef

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Scott you had a lot of LR for sure, probibly skirting on to much. Dont put to much into flow if it is only one directional. Detritus will find places to accumulate no mater what. Have the flow alturnate makes a big difference in the game for sure.
You plan sounds good for redoing the tank. What I try to do is be creative with the rock rather then doing it for filtration. Lots of swim arounds, very open to flow, not just the rack part but the rocks themselves to.


Mike
 

Ed Hahn

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Mike,
I have a lot of evidence to support your theory of live rock pooping. I did not put the side covers on my overflows. I have a build up of denitritius in my overflows at the base of my dursos. I think with the excess flow in my tank it is constantly blowing denitritius in the water.
 
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