Hey Kim, I'm sure you've said this and I didn't look back far enough, but how long has your tank been set up? Mine's only been up a year, and I think it was just a cycle of the tank, I did a lot of different things (manual removal, caulerpa in the sump, Dr. Tim's wasteaway, Tangs (didn't help at all), cut back my light cycle, less feeding). I'm not sure any of it really worked, or maybe all of it did. I actually think that the main thing that worked was the length of time it was set up.
Hey Matt, November. I cured the rock for over 2 months and then set the tank up this past November. You may be right about that . . . just giving it time and continuing with the methods I know work. I went through your thread a bit, and like you, I discovered siphoning into a strainer in the sump, which really works well. I've decided to keep the skimmer I have for now as I don't want to change too many things at once so I know what works. My biggest complaint with my skimmer is that it skims too wet, which I guess is not a harmful thing, really. I like your blue urchin . . . I got one too and he really does a good job. I read about, and have used the hydrogen peroxide trick too, and it really works! I just make sure I don't get it on any living tissue, as it's a strong oxidizer, and I am not dosing.
Thanks for chiming in Matt! I really appreciate the advice, and the words of encouragement if nothing else. Maybe by this fall I too will see some improvements if I continue my usual maintenance routine. You tank looks awesome now!!
Oh, and one other thing that I'm going to change are the flow accelerator returns . . . I don't like them at all. They shoot a garden hose type of stream of water that is strong in the front, but no where else. It bounces off the front of the glass with such force that it moves the sand from the front of the tank into piles every few days, and is not turbulent at all. I found where I can get different returns that have a propeller, rotating disc, etc. that will break that jet stream up.