and the second most likely clicker is the cerith snail. do you have any?
they flick their shells up against glass commonly, has woke me up at night before as a tiny little click/click
gfo is granular ferric oxide, a media you can put in a filter compartment to absorb the phosphate we know to be the primary source of algae fuel even above nitrate measures
some people choose not to have alot of filters and peroxide and or using fire from a lighter to burn out pests is one quick way that makes for perfect tank running, we aren't relying on anything to do the job we can do by hand.
the large water changes do not hurt the tank, they refresh it. but the refill portion is slow, don't kick up alot of sandbed waste, pour over the high point of the rock structure and let it run down.
I do one or two full drains on my tank a week for years, because Im making a showpiece out of it this overdrives it. you don't have to push it that hard, its just a model of tolerance for pico reefs in showing that you can if you want to. until you get fish, feeding once a week with cyclopeeze frozen bar and a full water change will run it for a very long time with no other measures other than topoff as needed.
the rule is the water change vessel you use to change water typically just needs to be filled up more to change out most of the water vs some of it, its not really adding work. What it will do for the life of your tank is undoubted compared to changing only a percent of the water as the bulk of 2 gallon reefkeepers do.
Below three gallons, I guarantee a pico reef will live longer on full water changes than it will on partials, unless you plumb in some technical filters and agree to keep those cleaned regularly as well. Doing the large water changes cheats the need for dosing to some extent, it cheats the need for filtration, and its the fastest way to make the reef last a decade or better my models show.
if you dig around the web for 2 gallon tanks of the month, 2 gallon long term tanks etc and watch the threads, algae or cyanobacteria becomes a factor in the latter portions for a reason. They were all keeping fish on partial water changes and not doing instant manual removal when algae was seen.
If you just change out all the water at water change time as a habit, and remove all algae the instant you see it, these tanks can run indefinately. Adding c balance doser in a specific timing can give them the ability to go into turbo mode after the initial tune is set for each system. just the water changes and manual algae removal for now can get you like 8 months of consistent running, guaranteed. past that, all you have to do is dose a little bit of C balance in the mornings before the lights come on and it will grow any sps you can fit inside.
Edited by brandon429, 31 July 2011 - 05:13 PM.