Jump to content


Photo

PNW Temperate Tanks Using Marineland Commercial Systems


  • Please log in to reply
283 replies to this topic

#26
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

steady temp now 53F
Posted Image

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#27
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009

Question for anyone who may have an opinion on the matter.......

I know normally temperate and cold water systems develop bacteria at a much slower rate. My 110 gallon tank has a HUGE biowheel in it normally, however the gentleman I bought the tank from threw it away thinking it was a dirty filter. Come to find out, these things are expensive to replace...........like over $300 for a new wheel alone.

I am going to have plenty of bio media in the tank for bacteria, does any one think I would really need the bio-wheel or that it would be a benefit at all?


Your system was designed to house a big pile of adult lobsters in a small space, so you don't need as much bio-filtration as the factory bio-wheel would provide. However, you will need a lot more than a 110 gallon reef tank because you will be feeding your cold tank MUCH more, so I think you should do something to compensate for the lost bio-wheel. I have two ideas:
1) A wet/dry trickle filter does a similar job, so why not put a basket of bio-balls in the space the bio wheel used to occupy? You would need to add a pre-filter so debris won't build up in the bio-balls (and clean/replace it every couple days), and make a drip plate to evenly drip the water over the bio-balls, but it's cheap easy and effective.
2) How hard would it be to build your own bio-wheel? Are there complicated bearings involved? If not, maybe you could just build a replacement. If you can find a way to get a look at one, take measurements etc, then maybe you would find that it would be easy to reproduce.

#28
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
I am leaning towards just piling some bio balls in there since I have a bunch on hand still and the system has 2 filter plates above where the wheel would normally go.

I'm also going to have 50+ lbs of base rock from a tropical tank crushed up and tucked in the lower false bottom above the coolant coil.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#29
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009

I am leaning towards just piling some bio balls in there since I have a bunch on hand still and the system has 2 filter plates above where the wheel would normally go.

I'm also going to have 50+ lbs of base rock from a tropical tank crushed up and tucked in the lower false bottom above the coolant coil.

Is the "lower false bottom" before or after the particle filter? If before, won't that crushed rock trap a lot of detritus?

#30
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
The false bottom has a water return in it so water will move up through the rock. It also has a ball valve drain plumbed into it so a can drain off any sediment that builds up.

I'll try and post a video of the tank running to better explain the water flow.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#31
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
I went ahead and decided to put bioballs in the back, and made part of the filter into a trickle filter. All it took was a bunch of holes with the drill and a bucket of bioballs I had laying around.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Also got almost all of the live rock to fit in the false bottom.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

There was some debris left on the live rock so I now know how well my skimmer works :)
Posted Image
Posted Image

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#32
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009
Looks great. You're living the dream!
One thought: What will happen when your filter pad gets clogged with sediment? Will it overflow the tub? Would that cause a flood, or just bypass the filter and drain safely into a sump?

#33
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
If it gets clogged it will run over the edges and into the overflow area and into the sump.

Picked up some medium-sized rocks and 5 sculpins yesterday to get the cycle going. Pics soon : )

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#34
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
Just curious, should I kill my skimmer while my tank is cycling?

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#35
Jacobnano

Jacobnano

    The Middlebury College Reefer

  • Members
  • 12,037 posts
  • Joined 13 Apr 2009
  • Yakima, Washington.
Your cycle will take 3 months minimum :P Watch out, the fish may die during the cycle, hopefully not since the tank is so large.

#36
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

Just curious, should I kill my skimmer while my tank is cycling?


Oh yeah, I know it'll take awhile for sure. I have it bumped up to 60F for the cycling, and the fish I got are easily caught and plentiful at the location I went to. I've been referring to them as "the sacrificial sculpins" knowing that they will most likely die serving the greater good :lol: Also they are honestly way to small to be in that tank with the other fish I will eventually have.

They will end up in the other smaller marineland cube tank I got once I figure out how to plumb it into the the main tank.

Edited by AquaticEngineer, 19 July 2010 - 09:11 PM.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#37
Jacobnano

Jacobnano

    The Middlebury College Reefer

  • Members
  • 12,037 posts
  • Joined 13 Apr 2009
  • Yakima, Washington.
You can cycle without fish too. Maybe you should, that way you aren't needlessly killing anything :)

#38
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

You can cycle without fish too. Maybe you should, that way you aren't needlessly killing anything :)


They wont necessarily die ;) Sacrificial Sculpin just had such a nice ring to it :lol:

I chose these sculpins because they are the hardiest things I could find by far. I would have preferred larger specimens, which I may get next trip by fishing with a barbless hook from the docks.

There wont be any inverts in there until all ammonia and nitrite have drop offed post cycle. These fish will easily live through the cycle.

Edited by AquaticEngineer, 19 July 2010 - 10:08 PM.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#39
lgreen

lgreen

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 16,412 posts
  • Joined 17 Mar 2004
  • Idaho
You might research whether using that u.v. sterilizer will do more good or harm in this unique type of system. At these temperatures I couldn't imagine the common parasites/diseases being that much of an issue, but I do worry about the effect a sterilizer could have on the plakton/algae community that may be necessary to keep some of the organisms you may encounter alive.

#40
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

You might research whether using that u.v. sterilizer will do more good or harm in this unique type of system. At these temperatures I couldn't imagine the common parasites/diseases being that much of an issue, but I do worry about the effect a sterilizer could have on the plakton/algae community that may be necessary to keep some of the organisms you may encounter alive.



I had that same thought when I brought home everything on sunday and unplugged the UV. Right now it is just passing water through with the bulb off, I may just close it off from the loop with the ball valves.

Only reason I may end up using the UV is if the tank gets changed over to house pipefish, but thats all depending on if I ever find a reliable place to collect pipefish.

Edited by AquaticEngineer, 19 July 2010 - 11:45 PM.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#41
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009
I don't have a UV filter, but I designed my filtration system to include a floss filter, which has turned out to be less than optimum for keeping cold water inverts (strawberry anemone and gorgonians). They need to eat a lot of planktonic food, which the filter (and skimmer) tend to remove. A flow through system that doesn't filter out, or kill, tiny food plankton would have been ideal. My compromise was to connect the skimmer and return pump to a timer controlled switch that will turn them back on after a selected interval (45 minutes or so). I feed and let the korallias circulate the food for 45 minutes, then the return pump and skimmer start removing any remaining food. It works, but it's not ideal.

#42
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

I don't have a UV filter, but I designed my filtration system to include a floss filter, which has turned out to be less than optimum for keeping cold water inverts (strawberry anemone and gorgonians). They need to eat a lot of planktonic food, which the filter (and skimmer) tend to remove. A flow through system that doesn't filter out, or kill, tiny food plankton would have been ideal. My compromise was to connect the skimmer and return pump to a timer controlled switch that will turn them back on after a selected interval (45 minutes or so). I feed and let the korallias circulate the food for 45 minutes, then the return pump and skimmer start removing any remaining food. It works, but it's not ideal.


The only form of small particle filtration I have is the micron filter pad on top of the trickle filter. I have been going back and forth on if I should remove it for a filter pad that only traps larger particles.

I too was thinking of doing something along the lines of what you did for feeding. I can shut down the main pump on my system with flip of switch that is built into the electrical. I've been looking into some vortech pumps with a controller ( wish list :D ) to go on the far left right side of the tank for circulation during feeding and for random flow through out the day. Not to mention that it would eliminate the heat added from powerheads inside of the tank.

If I added the vortechs to the existing flow from the tank it would be damn near churning the water in there between the spray bar, overflows, and the returns from underneath the rock :lol:

Edited by AquaticEngineer, 20 July 2010 - 02:54 PM.

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#43
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon
Here are some pics I took today of the sculpins that are cycling the tank. I'm going to move them to the 50 gallon setup soon since they are so small they have gone over the overflow a couple times already. I cut up an old intake from a Rio 2500 and made some overflow grates to save them from another grand voyage into the filter tray :lol:


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#44
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009

I too was thinking of doing something along the lines of what you did for feeding. I can shut down the main pump on my system with flip of switch that is built into the electrical. I've been looking into some vortech pumps with a controller ( wish list :D ) to go on the far left right side of the tank for circulation during feeding

I did feedings that way for a little while, but it was risky because I had to remember to turn the pump back on. Leaving the pump off over night might cause the bacteria in your bio-filter to die off, let the tank warm up (if chiller is also turned off) or let the water get oxygen depleted. I eventually wired up a bathroom heater switch (the kind with a dial count-down timer) and a "normally closed" relay so now I can turn the dial to 50 minutes, dump in the food, and go to bed.

#45
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009
It sounds like you're using a few 2" long fish to cycle a 110 gallon tank. It seems to me that when the several month "cycle" is done, your bio-filter will be capable of processing the waste of a few 2" long fish, but no more. When you put in some display animals, I think it will so overwhelm the small colony of nitrifying bacteria you've built up, that it will be as if the first cycle never happened. I recommend that you dose your tank with ammonia the way Steve Weast did. That way you can dose an amount that is comparable to the amount of waste your tank will produce when you stock it, and save yourself (and your animals) from going through a second big cycle.

#46
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009

The only form of small particle filtration I have is the micron filter pad on top of the trickle filter. I have been going back and forth on if I should remove it for a filter pad that only traps larger particles.

If your system uses bio-balls, or anything that might trap particles, then you really need a pre-filter that you can replace often, to keep uneaten food and detritus from building up. I think bio-balls got their bad reputation for being "nitrate factories" because of bad, missing, or infrequently changed pre-filters. If your pre filter only traps large particles, will your bio-balls, or something else, trap the smaller particles, and allow them to collect and rot? If they'll just flow through and be eaten by filter feeders or collected by your skimmer then no problem, but if not, you'd better trap them in your pre-filter and replace it every few days.

Micron bags can be expensive, and washing them is a hassle. I use polyester batting from the fabric store, which is unbelievably cheap. Every few months I cut out a few dozen appropriately sized rectangles with a paper cutter I got at the thrift store. I just throw the used piece away every two or three days and replace it. It works so well that it filtered out the colored chalk that my 2 year old recently dissolved in my tank, and when my octopus inks, it easily filters that out too.

#47
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

I did feedings that way for a little while, but it was risky because I had to remember to turn the pump back on. Leaving the pump off over night might cause the bacteria in your bio-filter to die off, let the tank warm up (if chiller is also turned off) or let the water get oxygen depleted. I eventually wired up a bathroom heater switch (the kind with a dial count-down timer) and a "normally closed" relay so now I can turn the dial to 50 minutes, dump in the food, and go to bed.


My smaller marineland system, the 50 gallon one that I haven't set up yet, has an adjustable timer built into it. There is a button on the side you can press that will kill the pump for anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes at a time and then turn it back on.

It sounds like you're using a few 2" long fish to cycle a 110 gallon tank. It seems to me that when the several month "cycle" is done, your bio-filter will be capable of processing the waste of a few 2" long fish, but no more. When you put in some display animals, I think it will so overwhelm the small colony of nitrifying bacteria you've built up, that it will be as if the first cycle never happened. I recommend that you dose your tank with ammonia the way Steve Weast did. That way you can dose an amount that is comparable to the amount of waste your tank will produce when you stock it, and save yourself (and your animals) from going through a second big cycle.


I really only went intending to bring home rocks and substrate on that first trip, but the little buggers kept swimming into the bucket ;) They were under every rock I picked up, and I'll probably just keep them in the smaller tank anyways.

I agree about the ammonia dosing to simulate the bioload I will keep in the tank. What would be the best thing to use to dose ammonia?

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#48
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009

What would be the best thing to use to dose ammonia?

On Steve Weast's site http://www.oregonree...b_coldwater.htm he says he used "ammonia chloride". You can probably email him and ask more specific questions (he's a very knowledgeable and generous source of information about keeping cold water marine tanks).

#49
AquaticEngineer

AquaticEngineer

    Coldwater Marine Aquatics

  • Members
  • 1,212 posts
  • Joined 29 Mar 2007
  • Damascus, Oregon

If your system uses bio-balls, or anything that might trap particles, then you really need a pre-filter that you can replace often, to keep uneaten food and detritus from building up. I think bio-balls got their bad reputation for being "nitrate factories" because of bad, missing, or infrequently changed pre-filters. If your pre filter only traps large particles, will your bio-balls, or something else, trap the smaller particles, and allow them to collect and rot? If they'll just flow through and be eaten by filter feeders or collected by your skimmer then no problem, but if not, you'd better trap them in your pre-filter and replace it every few days.

Micron bags can be expensive, and washing them is a hassle. I use polyester batting from the fabric store, which is unbelievably cheap. Every few months I cut out a few dozen appropriately sized rectangles with a paper cutter I got at the thrift store. I just throw the used piece away every two or three days and replace it. It works so well that it filtered out the colored chalk that my 2 year old recently dissolved in my tank, and when my octopus inks, it easily filters that out too.


I have seen a lot of the old trickle filters that people simply didnt replace the prefilter on. They weren't very easy to get to compared to how most people run a filter now. A guy down the street from me does the same thing with fabric that you do and makes filter socks for a Dentists office he does maintenance for. Its not likely that the bioballs will collect much waste in them with the amount of flow going through there, but I'm sure over time they would catch some. I think I will take your advice for the disposable prefilter, especially with how much I'll need to be feeding.


On Steve Weast's site http://www.oregonree...b_coldwater.htm he says he used "ammonia chloride". You can probably email him and ask more specific questions (he's a very knowledgeable and generous source of information about keeping cold water marine tanks).


Indeed, and we also live in the same town, so that helps :D

www.ColdwaterMarineAquatics.com

"THE COOLEST FISH AND INVERTS AVAILABLE"

Join the Coldwater discussion group on FB 
My Custom Micro-Reefs Coldwater Nano system: (I fixed the below link, it works now I promise)
http://www.nano-reef...s-video-update/


#50
C-Rad

C-Rad

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 406 posts
  • Joined 14 May 2009
I just reviewed what Steve Weast wrote about his filtration system, and it reminded me of something I'd like to emphasize. Steve wrote:
"Even with a powerful skimmer, nitrates build rapidly in these heavily fed systems. Water changes are a must. I perform a 50% water change monthly…..but, I also employ a sulfur denitrator to help keep nitrate levels from exceeding the 25ppm level."
I had a lot of trouble keeping nitrate levels down, and I found two things, in addition to frequent water changes, that have really helped:
1) Quickly remove uneaten food before it can break down by replacing filter pads every 2 or 3 days (every 1 or 2 days would probably be better) and by running an over-sized skimmer.
2) Use a Remote Deep Sand Bed (RDSB) to promote the growth of anaerobic bacteria which will consume nitrates and convert them to harmless nitrogen gas. My deep sand bed (5") is in my display (not remote) which I don't recommend, especially if you have digging animals (like my bimac octopus). It took about 8 months for the anaerobic bacteria to colonize my DSB because of the cold water, but then I saw a dramatic drop in nitrates. I did 40% water changes every week at first, and my nitrates were still high (25 - 50 ppm). Now that the DSB is mature, I do 25% water changes every two (or three) weeks, and my nitrates are seldom above 10 ppm. I strongly recommend that you find a place for a RDSB, and let it start cycling with your tank.

A RDSB is just a 5 gallon bucket 80% filled with play sand from home depot, with water running over the top of the sand at about 100 GPH (just fast enough to keep detritus from settling on the sand). In your case I would use two buckets, and insulate them. The surface area of a 5 gallon bucket is about 100 sq in, and sand depth would be about 11", so any sturdy container with a surface area of about 200 sq in that is over 14" tall would be equivalent to two buckets (like a 15 gallon high or 15 gallon show aquarium). The reef guys have had good results with a single bucket on 150 gallon tank, so I figure 2 buckets should be about right for a 100 gallon temperate tank that gets fed so much more.