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Coral Vue Hydros

Nano reef has not looked good since day 1


Koston

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Hi everyone,

 

I've had a Nanocube 28g LED since probably the beginning of June or perhaps end of May last year. I have live rocks, sand, etc. I have some experience and have pretty good knowledge of care for saltwater tanks (have had a saltwater tank before this). My SG, temperature, basic parameters (nitrate, nitrite, pH, etc) are fine. I have 4 little fishies in there right now (basic fish, clown, bicolor psuedochromis, hawkfish, bicolor blenny) and a fire shrimp that are all in really good health and have had them each for a few months. They eat everyday, are not sick. I also got a rose BTA anenome who also eats and puffs up everyday, etc. But no other corals survive. SPS LPS or softies. Not even zoas or GSP or mushrooms survive and these are hardy and should not be dying and melting away. I got an elegance coral a couple weeks ago that was pretty big. It is not dead but constantly retracted and it got bleached out somehow... my LEDs are stock and he is at the bottom of the tank in soft substrate like elegance prefer. I got baby blastomussas and those are actually doing decent but theyll probably die soon too.

 

so thats one problem, and then I have a bigger problem. Algae. My tank has always had algae, especially algae on glass and sand. Now the green moss algae is taking over all of my live rock and the back of the tank. No matter how often I clean it within 2 days it is back. It's especially bad lately and the water quality doesn't seem great either (but today is the first day the water looks cloudy, I've always had really clear water)

 

I have carbon, fliter floss, and purigen running in the filter basket. I'm pretty sure this is where my problem lies concerning the algae...... i mean where else could it possibly be coming from. Can anyone tell me step by step what I should be doing with this media basket. Is there a better media basket for me, since this one is the stock one and kinda blows? I mean I also have a protein skimmer running and it's not doing anything...

 

No matter what I do, all the levels I check for coral (calcium, iodine)... like i know it's not necessary to dose these in such a small tank so I'm doing like 30-40% water changes every 2 weeks.... i've bought so many unnecessary things trying to fix this and I'm at my wit's end... this tank has looked like #### and it always has and if there's no fix for this i'm saying goodbye to it. What should I be doing that I am not doing. My tank before this was clean and had thriving coral. and I was doing virtually the same things and maintenance. ..

 

Tomorrow is my one day off from college and work so if I have to devote an entire day to cleaning/fixing tomorrow would be it. I'm thinking of just doing like a 90% water change and completely resetting up the media basket with upgraded stuff......... will this even do anything

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Hi everyone,

 

I've had a Nanocube 28g LED since probably the beginning of June or perhaps end of May last year. I have live rocks, sand, etc. I have some experience and have pretty good knowledge of care for saltwater tanks (have had a saltwater tank before this). My SG, temperature, basic parameters (nitrate, nitrite, pH, etc) are fine. I have 4 little fishies in there right now (basic fish, clown, bicolor psuedochromis, hawkfish, bicolor blenny) and a fire shrimp that are all in really good health and have had them each for a few months. They eat everyday, are not sick. I also got a rose BTA anenome who also eats and puffs up everyday, etc. But no other corals survive. SPS LPS or softies. Not even zoas or GSP or mushrooms survive and these are hardy and should not be dying and melting away. I got an elegance coral a couple weeks ago that was pretty big. It is not dead but constantly retracted and it got bleached out somehow... my LEDs are stock and he is at the bottom of the tank in soft substrate like elegance prefer. I got baby blastomussas and those are actually doing decent but theyll probably die soon too.

 

so thats one problem, and then I have a bigger problem. Algae. My tank has always had algae, especially algae on grass and sand. Now the green moss algae is taking over all of my live rock and the back of the tank. No matter how often I clean it within 2 days it is back. It's especially bad lately and the water quality doesn't seem great either (but today is the first day the water looks cloudy, I've always had really clear water)

 

I have carbon, fliter floss, and purigen running in the filter basket. I'm pretty sure this is where my problem lies concerning the algae...... i mean where else could it possibly be coming from. Can anyone tell me step by step what I should be doing with this media basket. Is there a better media basket for me, since this one is the stock one and kinda blows? I mean I also have a protein skimmer running and it's not doing anything...

 

No matter what I do, all the levels I check for coral (calcium, iodine)... like i know it's not necessary to dose these in such a small tank so I'm doing like 30-40% water changes every 2 weeks.... i've bought so many unnecessary things trying to fix this and I'm at my wit's end... this tank has looked like #### and it always has and if there's no fix for this i'm saying goodbye to it. What should I be doing that I am not doing. My tank before this was clean and had thriving coral. and I was doing virtually the same things and maintenance. ..

 

Are you using RO/DI water? That might be the problem. Check out InTanks baskets they are great.

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Could you post some pictures of the tank please? What kind of skimmer are you using? Are the bioballs still in the back chamber or did you remove them? How deep is the sandbed? The deeper it is, the more waste accumulation you will see. Do you vacuum the sandbed and back chambers during water changes? How long do you keep the lights on? I've never dosed Iodine because from what I hear it's very easy to overdose and corals hate that.

 

Are you using RO/DI water? That might be the problem. Check out InTanks baskets they are great.
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Are you using RO/DI water? That might be the problem. Check out InTanks baskets they are great.

 

Well firstly I'd like to say thank you to everyone who gave such speedy replies and the friendliness.... thats why I love this forum,... thanks so much guys.

 

Yes I use RO/DI water and I make trips all the way out to my LFS to get their RO/DI water when it evaporates,etc... I also use their saltwater and they are the most reputable/popular LFS in the entire county (kind of large county too) where it is located.

 

@OldGregg... I could try and get some pics up tomorrow for sure... god I forget the name of my skimmer but my dad bought it for me and it was expensive. I think its the CPR Aeroforce 2, its a hang on the back skimmer, and it's NEVER collected any waste in the waste basket. I watched a youtube vid of how they set it up and followed it step by step and the pumps in it work and there is water input/output but just no waste.... lol. No idea whats wrong with it so I guess I have to fix it, alrthough its not broken.. No Bioballs. sand bed is 1-2 inches deep. Looks like one inch but then again i would have to measure. I dont really have the means to vaccuum the sandbed everytime I do a water change so the answer to that is no. I was also wondering if i Could sift through the sand bed with a sand sifter/scooper that I found at Petsmart. Basically just capture all the gunk and let the clean sand go back into bed. I honestly thought my lights being on too much was the problem for all this glass algae and sand algae. I have them on timer controls along with dimming lights/night lights. my daylights used to go on at 6 am all the way till 3 or 4, but now i make them go on at 10-4. anyone have suggestions for a good light schedule.

 

I have checked my phosphates once in the past (which means I do have phosphate tests) but haven't run them recently. obviously i' mthinking they are going to be high. Whats the best way to lower it in a nano tank? Dosing stuff isnt good for it, just water changes, so is my idea good in doing a 90% water change and completely revamping this dumb media basket? How should i do it? what should i be putting in there?

 

Im going to look into intanks media baskets.... thanks man.

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Sorry your skimmer isn't living up to it's potential. I'd venture over to the equipment forums and see if anyone there can lend a hand with it. A working skimmer is a huge help!

 

Regarding the sandbed. There has been a growing trend among the forums, not only nano-reef, of either having a deep sandbed of over 4 inches or just enough sand for aesthetic purposes. The reason is because anything in between is not deep enough to create sufficient anaerobic zones for bacteria to keep nitrates in check. Sandbeds trap large emounts of detritus and it sits there, leeching unwanted nutrients back into the water. You may even have nitrates and phosphates very low at zero, but this would be due to the algae growing quick enough to keep it in check.

 

You could try using a sand sifter but I think all the tiny detritus particals would slide right through it. Buy a Gravel Vacuum to clean out the dirty sandbed and back chambers. I'd consider scooping out a bit of your current sand too if needed.

 

Regarding the lights. I keep mine on 9 hours a day from 12:30-9:30. I enjoy seeing my tank when I get home from work :) It used to be longer but I started seeing negative results with my corals such as my zoas with very tiny polyps flat against the rock and some bleeching in corals. Now that I cut it back, the zoas and pallys are wide open and reaching somewhat towards the light. And my other corals are showing more color.

 

Disclaimer: I'm still a noob. Other people here know way more than I lol

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To lower your phosphates try feeding less, like every 2-3 days. water changes will help but unless you change what it causing it, then they will continue to rise. You can also add a Phosban Reactor with GFO which will eliminate phosphates.

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Sorry your skimmer isn't living up to it's potential. I'd venture over to the equipment forums and see if anyone there can lend a hand with it. A working skimmer is a huge help!

 

Regarding the sandbed. There has been a growing trend among the forums, not only nano-reef, of either having a deep sandbed of over 4 inches or just enough sand for aesthetic purposes. The reason is because anything in between is not deep enough to create sufficient anaerobic zones for bacteria to keep nitrates in check. Sandbeds trap large emounts of detritus and it sits there, leeching unwanted nutrients back into the water. You may even have nitrates and phosphates very low at zero, but this would be due to the algae growing quick enough to keep it in check.

 

You could try using a sand sifter but I think all the tiny detritus particals would slide right through it. Buy a Gravel Vacuum to clean out the dirty sandbed and back chambers. I'd consider scooping out a bit of your current sand too if needed.

 

Regarding the lights. I keep mine on 9 hours a day from 12:30-9:30. I enjoy seeing my tank when I get home from work :) It used to be longer but I started seeing negative results with my corals such as my zoas with very tiny polyps flat against the rock and some bleeching in corals. Now that I cut it back, the zoas and pallys are wide open and reaching somewhat towards the light. And my other corals are showing more color.

 

Disclaimer: I'm still a noob. Other people here know way more than I lol

 

Im thinking of just taking out lots of the sandbed then... I dont think I want to put in more inches of it, so taking it out seems like the way to go.

 

I will post in the equipment forum. the more and more I observe and think about it, the more I realize that my skimmer was actually purchased for a 50 gallon. it's soooo bulky and big and I'm positive it's not the right fit for a 28g. I know a bigger skimmer would never hurt but hey its not even working...... so here are my questions

 

1) Recommendations for a good lighting schedule. I have LEDs in the 28g jbj biocube.

2) What to do to get rid of phosphates

3) Is a 90% water change and a complete revamping of the media basket a good idea?

3a. if so, what should I do to revamp the media basket. what should I be putting in there. What order? Is the InTank media basket worth the $50? Anyone have good experience with it?

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Your skimmer could also be not pulling anything out because you dont have a bio-load large enough yet. So the skimmer could still be working fine and will eventually pull out more when your tank is under control and stocked more.

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Your skimmer could also be not pulling anything out because you dont have a bio-load large enough yet. So the skimmer could still be working fine and will eventually pull out more when your tank is under control and stocked more.

 

My tank isnt super brand new, its like 7 months I think, or 8. And has 4 fish and a shrimp. i mean theres just no waste being pulled into the cup. I dont know if thats normal or if the skimmer just kinda blows and isnt good for my tank. I was looking into some of these http://shop.mediabaskets.com/Nano-Cube-28_c27.htm since there on the JBJ nanocube 28g page.... maybe theyre good matches for that tank...

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To me it sounds like you're stocking at an acceptable level, and you have a decent maintenance routine.

 

If I were you I would double check all of my test equipment. refrac/hydro, test kits, thermometer, etc...

 

Take a sample of water to the LFS and have them test it and you also test it and note any differences. Of course some small variations are possible, but your tests could be off.

 

Next, ask for a TDS reading from the RO water you buy at your LFS. They should be able to prove that it's suitable for reef tanks.

 

Also, you may have to experiment with your tank. Try running it without the chemical filtration. Try raising and lowering the S.G., temperature. If you're dosing, try stopping. How is your light cycle? Does the tank receive a lot of natural light through the day? Honestly reef systems if they're stocked properly do a pretty good job of keeping themselves healthy. So I would try to get back to the basics.

 

Finally, take a look at the nutrients you're adding to your tank. Are you over/under feeding? Are you feeding appropriate to the types of fish you have? If you use frozen food are you rinsing it first?

 

Those are just some of the things I can think of that might help you. The issues of sandbed nutrients/nitrate traps can exist, but often it seems that the root of the problem is something else.

 

Good luck.

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To lower your phosphates try feeding less, like every 2-3 days. water changes will help but unless you change what it causing it, then they will continue to rise. You can also add a Phosban Reactor with GFO which will eliminate phosphates.

 

-That'll fix your Phosphate problem.

-Keep lights on 8 hours a day for a while. The time doesn't really matter as long as you keep it consistent. Whatever time works best for you

-Media baskets are good for forcing the flow to shuffle past the media. Activated carbon is essential in any aquarium. Phosban to control phosphates. And I use purigen. I'm not 100% convinced it's mandatory but it's in there and everything seems to be running smoothly.

-A 90% water change is HUGE. If the temperature and salinity aren't nearly perfectly matched then there will be consequences. If you can match it up perfectly then there is very little chance of anything negative happening. If/when you do it, clean the sandbed out beforehand so all the floating debri is sucked out with the water

 

And yeah it's possible there isn't enough bioload in the tank for the skimmer. Or the collection cup isn't down far enough for the bubbles to collect. A skimmer rated for 50 gallons isn't too terribly far off for a 28gallon. I've seen others use far more powerful ones in theirs

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I've been fighting algae for a while too. I think the problem started with over-feeding, but then continued because my source water wasn't 0 TDS. It was measuring between 6-8. I've since switched to distilled water with careful feeding (no waste). The algae is dwindling everyday. Whatever I pull is not coming back, like in the past. It's like magic :happy:

 

Try distilled water and mix your own saltwater if you can. Good luck!!!!!

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Looks like what i'm going to do is check the phosphate levels today and reduce my feeding. Sometimes I feed everyday, sometimes I feed every other day, it depends how tired I am haha. My fish only like one food, it's a little frozen cube that thaws out in the tank, it's always worked fine in the past with my other tank but I guess I will start washing it before it goes in.

 

I usually don't dose anything unless I see something alarmingly off, like pH or something, but that's honestly never happened. My water changes seem to be sufficient with maintaining proper levels. I do have knowledge of caring for saltwater tanks and I'm aware that dosing stuff like calcium, iodine, etc etc isn't good for such a small tank when water changes are capable of replenishing all of those.

 

I'm also going to get rid of some of the sand. Just enough for aesthetic purposes. I was under the impression that the amount I had was perfect but apparently not.

 

So one last thing -- the InTank media basket. I'm assuming it's reputable her among Nano Reefers? I'm going to purchase one today, I'm just thinking about buying one of the skimmers that the InTank folks recommend for my tank. But I haven't decided about that yet.

 

Also, since my levels all seem to be fine, can phosphates really affect corals? Why the hell can't I keep ANY corals? Mushrooms, zoas, even GSP don't survive. My elegance coral completely bleached... I mean it's at the bottom of the tank and it's a stock LED Nanocube... no corals I get ever survive except for my BTA. and that's an anenome.

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My newts eat frozen blood worms. Those cubes leave crazy amount of oily film on water surface.

Newts don't care about that, but tropical fish and corals may.

 

And yes, inTank is legit. Just ask StevieT :)

Great customer service (my baskets, skimmer and chemicals are coming on Monday)

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My newts eat frozen blood worms. Those cubes leave crazy amount of oily film on water surface.

Newts don't care about that, but tropical fish and corals may.

 

And yes, inTank is legit. Just ask StevieT :)

Great customer service (my baskets, skimmer and chemicals are coming on Monday)

 

Good to hear. Any suggestions (from anybody), on what to put in each chamber of the media basket? I think I definitely need PhosBan in one but unsure of others. I know that carbon is necessary, which only leaves one other chamber for filter floss I guess... but I also wanted ChemiPure Elite..... or Purigen. Any suggestions? And what order do I put them in?

 

I think that's kind of my last question besides the skimmer. I'm debating if I should keep my CPR hang on the back one even though it's not pulling anything, maybe just clean it out and give it another try, or buy a Remora or Tunze suited for my specific tank.... any ideas on that?

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If You thaw the cube in the tank that could explain a lot. The liquid the food is suspended in when frozen is basically pure phosphates. That would produce algae almost right away and just add to it everytime you feed. I would thaw outside the tank in R/O water then rinse again to make sure.

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Good to hear. Any suggestions (from anybody), on what to put in each chamber of the media basket? I think I definitely need PhosBan in one but unsure of others. I know that carbon is necessary, which only leaves one other chamber for filter floss I guess... but I also wanted ChemiPure Elite..... or Purigen. Any suggestions? And what order do I put them in?

 

I think that's kind of my last question besides the skimmer. I'm debating if I should keep my CPR hang on the back one even though it's not pulling anything, maybe just clean it out and give it another try, or buy a Remora or Tunze suited for my specific tank.... any ideas on that?

I think chemipure elite is gfo and carbon. You can put several bags of media in there but hang the big ones from a shelf rather than sit it on the shelf (otherwise it can block the water flow). I use gfo, carbon and purigen. Floss on top. I don't know that the order really matters.

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Any suggestions (from anybody), on what to put in each chamber of the media basket? I think I definitely need PhosBan in one but unsure of others. I know that carbon is necessary, which only leaves one other chamber for filter floss I guess... but I also wanted ChemiPure Elite..... or Purigen. Any suggestions? And what order do I put them in?

 

From what I see here, on the forums, most people do Filter Floss on top, Purigen 100ml in the middle and Chemi-pure on the bottom shelf. This is what I ordered. Also got a Fuge basket, which i will put Chaeto in. (also goes in Chamber 2) AquaticLife 115 skimmer in Chamber 1.

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If you're running chemi-pure or chemi-pure elite you don't need a separate bag of activated carbon.

 

Carbon is definitely useful, but I don't like that people are saying it's necessary for a tank. In fact, too much of it may have negative consequences -- such as the news that broke last year about its link to HLLE. I haven't used any chemical media in almost a year now and there are several others. I still keep some on hand incase some toxin gets released in the tank.

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A lot of people don't recommend water used from the LFS as well, have you tested it just to be sure?

 

And only real advice that we can give you is try running Chemi-pure Elite with Purigen and see if that helps and remember to change the floss (if you use any) every two weeks max.

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If you're running chemi-pure or chemi-pure elite you don't need a separate bag of activated carbon.

 

Carbon is definitely useful, but I don't like that people are saying it's necessary for a tank.

 

+1

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The frozen food thing is your problem. Id put money on it. Try to switch to a flake or pellet. Stop with the frozen and see if the algae staits to recede.

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Yes I know I did!

 

If You thaw the cube in the tank that could explain a lot. The liquid the food is suspended in when frozen is basically pure phosphates. That would produce algae almost right away and just add to it everytime you feed. I would thaw outside the tank in R/O water then rinse again to make sure.

 

 

The frozen food thing is your problem. Id put money on it. Try to switch to a flake or pellet. Stop with the frozen and see if the algae staits to recede.

 

 

The frozen foods contain phosphates.

Yea I know I did!

 

Nor_Cal, you nailed it ;)

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