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Lets talk about ~Aquarium Husbandry~

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mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
Messages
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Sumner
Alrighty then, thier has been a few good thread going on these days and it has brought up a common theme. Folks dont do or know enough about how to maintain thier tanks. So lets all get together here and put together a good thread on the differring forms of maintenence needed for the different types of reef tank setups.

Mike
 

Witfull

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
647
Location
New Jersey
diatom filter, every reefer should have one. once a month blow of the rock while its running fan the bottom of the tank. gets rid of a lot of hidden settled dirt.
 

Montanarocknreefer

New Sheriff In Town
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
467
Location
Missoula, Montana
Ok will be running a BB 60 gallon cube tank.

Most important thing is to get the detritus up and circulating and out of your sytem as fast as possible.

Aquascaping so you have very few contact points between pcs of LR so as to allow more circulation through the LR to get rid of the detritus on the LR. Even with this a turkey baster is needed to blast the junk off every once in a while. For me will probably every one to two weeks.

Most important way to do this is to have excellent water flow to accomplish this.

Will have a sump/refug but will maybe have a few pcs of rubble rock in the refug and that is about it for bugs but otherwise don't want detritus accumulating there as well.

Having a great skimmer to have a place to process this stuff out of your system.
 

Ed Hahn

Life is A Highway...
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Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,955
Location
Kennewick, Wa
After 8 weeks of tank being set up, I start doing heavy checks. I will take my water in to have it checked for Minerals, O2, calcium, strotium, Iodine, Boron, organics, phosphates, Nitrates, Nitrites, amonia, silica, alkalinity, PH, and Magnesium. Then try to meet the same level as Natural Sea Water. My alk-2.8-3.2. My calcium 400-420.
I do a at least a five gallon water change every other week. I always check my calcium or alkalinity every other week after 4 hours of doing a water change. If my tank needs calcium or buffer for Alk. I add it. I do one at a time. Then wait 4 hours to test my tank again. If my calcium or alkalinity will not meet my goal I will then check my magnesium level. I want a level of 1300. I try to maintain a level of 1025-1026 specific gravity. I monitor my temp with a digital thermometer with alarms.
I top off with RO water. My tank evaporates water at about 2 gallons of H2O in about 2 days. When I add RO water I check my specific gravity with hydrometer. I monitor my tank to see how my tank is doing daily by these methods or steps. Quick steps: If my fish are eating. I have learned invertebrates are the first things to die if nitrates are high. Phosphates- I look for algae. Phosphates and Nitrates high- very toxic to fish. I look at my fish Their eyes, their body for signs of stress (ich), breathing, l If my corals are expanding that tells me things are usually pretty good.
This has worked for me so far...I hope this helps again.
I am not as experience as most in here. So when the Big Dogs talk I will be the guy in the corner listening like crazy. Calling all Big Dogs (Mike, Kevin, etc)!
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
Messages
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Sumner
Excellent info. I tell ya what let talk about Bare bottom systems first. Now the general concept behind a BB system is to remove as much extra food/waste and detritus prior to break down, putting a low demand on biological filtration. Thats the idea, so lets dive into the concepts used to achieve this.


Mike
 

Witfull

Well-known member
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Jan 27, 2004
Messages
647
Location
New Jersey
as john said, limit contact points of LR to the bottom. also a loose rock pattern to allow flow through the structure. aslo a spraybar is great to have to move detrius from the back to the front and to cause an upswell current to suspend particles. if possible cross currents to cause a pulsing to lift dirt from the rocks and to remove CO2 and waste from the corals and bring them food and O2. also rippling surfaces help wave protiens to the overflow.
 

Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
I've been considering the bare bottom but I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the look issues. I like the sand. Is the maintenance easier with bare bottom?
 

NaH2O

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Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Is the maintenance easier with bare bottom?
The maintenance is different. Some believe it is easier, some feel it is more work. If you think about the BB system - you deal with issues up front. Siphon up the collecting detritus, siphon and or blow the detritus off the rocks, export initially rather than later like in other systems (i.e. DSB).

lets dive into the concepts used to achieve this.
I'll add one....Skimmers. I feel they are an important part of good husbandry practice on a BB system. Skimmers remove dissolved organic compounds, volatile organic compounds, particulate organic compounds, left over food, micro and macro planktons, trace elements, etc. Basically, a bunch of nastiness that you don't want to contribute to excess nutrients.
 

Frankie

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May 9, 2004
Messages
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Charleston,SC
I just joined this site and this is the first article iv'e read. Let me say i'm impressed and find i'm learning already. I'm not to keen on the BB tank cause i like the look of my sand. I put about two hours a day just cleaning and blowing stuff off my corals and have no problem doing it. Most of the stuff is sand the tangs bring up (its the pacific tang darn him!) I'm going to build a closed loop to help the flow. Thanks for the info and keep giving it. FFrankie
 

brer

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Messages
8
Location
bellevue, Wa
bare bottom

I recently took all my sand out of my 180 and went bare. After about 8 weeks, I'm getting excellent pink coralline growth on the bottom that looks great. I have noticed alot less debris and particulate junk accumulating on my corals and rock since removing the sand. The corals seem happier. I do run a 50 gal refugium with ~4 inches live sand and lots of macroalgae down below. I'm a convert to BB, but had to be patient to get the pretty pink base.
 

Katchupoy

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Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
I have a bb system and used to have a spray bar at the bottom. The idea was to push everything from the back to the front so you can easily siphon it. It did not work maybe because I have a very poor flow/pump [mag 5] for return pump.

Solution... I cut the return pipe and remove the spray bar. I cut it just 1 inch below the water surface and locate in the middle of the tank. Actually since I am using a flex pipe for return i can position it to the left, center or right side of the tank [24" wide].

It worked...The momentum of the flow even its kind of low still pushes everything to the front. And my bottom at the back is very clean.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
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Sumner
Yea Nikki has hit the nail on the head. The concept is to remove and export organics/detritus and so on prior to reduction by bacteria. This reduces the ammount of biological filtration needed. I dont think massive flow is need, just well directed. If you dont have the flow you will just need to do a bit more syphoning.
In reef tanks exporting of nutrients is key in all system types. If you dont export you collect and if you collect it will catch up to you eventually. I think Alot of folks dont go BB as they dont like the look of the bareness on the bottom. Eventually it will cover with corraline. On mine it has covered with multiple layers of it, I love it but some folks might not. I thing thier are many way to over come the look. I have seen the following.
Thin layer of sand siliconed to the bottom.
the use of white polypropalyne (sp?)
white board under the glass.

regardless of what you use however it will eventually turn pink with corraline algae

Mike
 

Witfull

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Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
647
Location
New Jersey
on off topic benefit of a BB is the extra light in the sump area,,,,great for fidgiting with things and being able to see what your doing...LOL
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
I think if everyone remembers "Export" it can be applied to all types of systems. I also wanted to mention to include removing detritus that collects in sump and overflow areas as well. One of my favorite analogies of Mike's is the "cleaning up after dinner". I think about dinner dishes and if I just let them sit - it will be rather disgusting after awhile. We need to do the same kind of cleaning on our systems to keep them from being "gross".

Not sure if we're ready to move on, yet, but I wanted to bring up "export" in another way. Exporting through the use of macroalgaes. The macroalgaes utilize the nutrients to grow, and when we harvest the macros we are exporting those nutrients out of our systems. The catch is.....don't let your macros go sexual or die off....all of those nutrients will be released back into the system. Same thing comes to people that harvest their macros and then feed them to their fish. The fish will utilize some of the nutrients, but most (90%?) gets put right back into the system with the waste. I guess all of my babbling means I'm including Macroalgae harvest as part of aquarium husbandry. :)
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
export extortion

The only two really effective means of export are protein skimming and water changes. The macro algaes do not export. They utilize nutrients and incorporate them into their tissues. nothing is removed until the algae is removed from the system. It also must be remembered that the organisms leach back into the system all sorts of undesirables that the protein skimmer must remove.
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Absolutely...that's why I said:
The macroalgaes utilize the nutrients to grow, and when we harvest the macros we are exporting those nutrients out of our systems.
The harvest is the exportation. I can argue that when the macros utilize the nutrients - it isn't available for other "undesirable" algal growth....but I agree this isn't the export.....the harvest is.
 
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