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Ready to give up


Amy

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Well this time around for my pico is been a disaster to say the least, I have had nothing but issues with this tank so far. Last time I did a pico I used treated tap water and never had these issues at all. This time I am using RO water and lord what a nightmare. I am not saying its the water but this is what I have been facing.

 

So I posted a while back about a bacterial bloom, now the tank the water is pea/yellow green. If I take out water and put it into a white bowl its a definite yellow color.

 

This is what I have in the tank:

 

Mini Max Anemone

3 Florida Ricordeas

2 Frags of zoas

Rock and sand

1 blue leg hermit crab

1 Nassarius snail

1 porcelain crab

 

There is no fish at all in this tank

 

Been doing water changes weekly, was adding upon recommendation Seachem Stability

 

Tank is my 2 gal pico its been up and running since November 2013

 

There is absolute no algae on the glass, rocks or sand bed at all

 

Cannot see into the tank at all

 

Lights are the Eco Exotic Pico Arm with 9 watts of light that are on from 9 am - 7 pm

 

The only things I test for are as follows and as of today:

 

Salinity 1.025

Calcium 420

Nitrates 0.2

Ammonia 0

Ph 8.0

 

 

I just moved this tank today so its not near a window, it was by a window but the light could not get into the actual tank. My freshwater tank gets more light and has no algae in it so don't think it was the light but I moved it anyways. When I moved it I just had to take some water out enough to carry it as it was to the new location and put the water back in so nothing was upset in the move as its such a small tank too.

 

I did a water change today same amount I do every week, I also have new carbon in the tank as well so I am lost now as to what to do as the rics are starting to get smaller as the light is not reaching them due to the water.

 

Any help or thoughts greatly appreciated.

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defective_weeble

My gut reaction tells me that you are still having a bacterial bloom.

 

I'd run a bag of Chemipure Elite to get started. Though you're running carbon, that won't remove phosphates if they happen to be there. It's also a cheap, simple step in the right direction.

 

What we don't know is the underlying cause of the bloom. You're using RODI, which is great. But what's your filtration? How is water moved around the tank? Do you have sponge filters by chance? How much rock and sand is in the system? Did you buy live rock, or was it dry?

 

I ask this because my thought would be sponge filters trapping junk. If you do have sponges, pull them out. But ONLY if you have at least 2 lbs of rock and a couple pounds of sand in the system for filtration. We also have to make sure that you're getting enough water movement, so telling us more about the powerhead or return pump (or both) would help.

 

My next step would be a UV filter of some sort. The more contact time, the better, which is understandably hard to do with a pico tank.

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gahumphrey

Totally sounds like a bacteria bloom. You can try running a UV sterilizer on it if you can get your hands on one. If it is a bacteria bloom it'll clear up in a matter of hours with a UV sterilizer

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Okay I have a HOB filter on the back, it does have a cleaned sponge with the carbon in there as well. The rock when I first started was the base live rock with nothing growing on it pretty white in color. Since that time I have added a few pieces of rubble that were dry, could this be it?

 

THe sand bed is very thin I hate deep sand beds just enough to cover the glass but enough for my little snail to go under in places.

 

They don't make power heads small enough for a 2 gallon so it does not blow the tank to bits. The smallest power head is overkill in this little tank and I have always just used the HOB filter for water movement. Keep in mind this is 2 gallons.

 

I don't have a lot of rock in this tank, just what I need.

 

I am not buying another thing for this little tank, its not worth it as I will not go bigger so a UV is out.

 

Have not thought about a 100% water change but that will be the next thing if it does not clear up in the next few days. If that does not work its coming apart and sell the corals and critters.

 

Maybe this was not meant to be this time. I said 2 years ago when I sold my last pico I was done. Then I see Florida Ricordeas and I wanted to get a nice garden going again in the 2 gallon but so far its cost me nothing but money.

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knives2886

Id do a 100% water change on a smaller tank with softies and hermits its doable with out damage. also if it was buy a window or even a well light area it can cause issues being a small tank. also depending on where its at think of the sun rise sunset and see if the light shines in at any time of the day as the sun passes. there was like 3hrs of the day where the sun hit it just right and it was like a beam of light hitting s tank of mine and made all sorts of issues.

 

also whats your water param?

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FlowerMama

10 hrs of light may also be too much. I agree w/ above, do a 100% water change. There are people that do this every weekend w/ some small tanks and their tanks are thriving but you have to match temp, salinity, etc exactly to not stun the corals.

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No change today so will do the 100% water change see if that helps and cut back on light time how many hours should they be on for?

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I'd try 8 hours. IDK, I might leave the lights off a day after the water change to help lessen the chance of the bloom returning.

 

This time I am using RO water and lord what a nightmare.
is it just RO water, or RO/DI? The DI stage is important to get pure water (this includes removing phosphate).
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I doubt that light is the problem here.

What's the actual cause is very intriguing tho.

Making adjustments one at the time might solve this puzzle.

I just hope you don't give up just yet. Plenty knowladgable people on this site that I am sure can help you get to the bottom of it.

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Some good advice here.

 

The size of the aquarium has little to do with the cost and care needed, it is not a linear equation.

 

"I am not buying another thing for this little tank, its not worth it"

Adding another 8 gallons of water does not justify worthyness, IMO.

 

If this is your only tank consider making a larger system if that makes it worth it to you.

 

On the hobby level, all tanks are small, the size is a matter of semantics.

The natural world is independant from our financial world.

Physics is a science, economics is not.

 

*Consider the best habitat for these animals is free.*

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Im going to give you the hard honest advice, since no one else will.

 

Pico reef tanks are for experienced aquarists, not beginners.

 

A small tank is not easy because its small, its harder because its small.

 

Go buy a 28 NanoCube or Biocube and start over. When you can run that successfully for a couple years, try the pico then. A 40Breeder even, something with more volume.

 

 

Edit, Gilligan beat me, I didnt see that at first.

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johnmaloney

Well this time around for my pico is been a disaster to say the least, I have had nothing but issues with this tank so far. Last time I did a pico I used treated tap water and never had these issues at all. This time I am using RO water and lord what a nightmare. I am not saying its the water but this is what I have been facing.

 

So I posted a while back about a bacterial bloom, now the tank the water is pea/yellow green. If I take out water and put it into a white bowl its a definite yellow color.

 

This is what I have in the tank:

 

Mini Max Anemone

3 Florida Ricordeas

2 Frags of zoas

Rock and sand

1 blue leg hermit crab

1 Nassarius snail

1 porcelain crab

 

There is no fish at all in this tank

 

Been doing water changes weekly, was adding upon recommendation Seachem Stability

 

Tank is my 2 gal pico its been up and running since November 2013

 

There is absolute no algae on the glass, rocks or sand bed at all

 

Cannot see into the tank at all

 

Lights are the Eco Exotic Pico Arm with 9 watts of light that are on from 9 am - 7 pm

 

The only things I test for are as follows and as of today:

 

Salinity 1.025

Calcium 420

Nitrates 0.2

Ammonia 0

Ph 8.0

 

 

I just moved this tank today so its not near a window, it was by a window but the light could not get into the actual tank. My freshwater tank gets more light and has no algae in it so don't think it was the light but I moved it anyways. When I moved it I just had to take some water out enough to carry it as it was to the new location and put the water back in so nothing was upset in the move as its such a small tank too.

 

I did a water change today same amount I do every week, I also have new carbon in the tank as well so I am lost now as to what to do as the rics are starting to get smaller as the light is not reaching them due to the water.

 

Any help or thoughts greatly appreciated.

 

Probably some die off in the rock that has to get itself worked out. In two gallons of water, it doesn't take much decay to make to cause some fouling. Do repeated large water changes clear it up for any significant amount of time?

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Thank you all for your advice, just to address some of your replies.

 

Seabass: the water is RO water

 

Maniu: yes it is intriguing for sure, I am leaning towards the small pieces of rubble that I placed in the tank a while back as they were from the ocean by dried by the time I put them in there, this is a possibility.

 

Gilligan: I much prefer the smaller tanks, 2 years ago I had the exact same size tank going for 6 years with no issues at all. Cost is a factor here as in Canada we pay dearly for all and everything saltwater, I see you live in Ontario and that is great and have a lot of places to buy from here we only have a few stores and they mark everything up so terribly high its insane. But that is not the point here, the point is I do not want a bigger tank, been there and done that, my largest was a 25 gal and I like my pico tanks.This is also not my only tank, I also have a few fancy L-numbered plecos in my freshwater tank. At the end of the day I just prefer my smaller tank and I am sure it will sort itself out as nothing is dying or has died from this issue but its an eye sore. I am doing everything I can and local reefers are helping me as well. Thanks for your concern!

 

farkwar: As stated above I do not consider myself a master in this hobby by any means but picos are not new to me, read Gillian's reply.

 

Johnmaloney: I am thinking the same thing about this rubble I added, I don't know if large water changes like a 100% will work I guess the only thing I can do is try it as I have not done this but have done a 50% water change but it all came right back.

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Good. I like how you are considering everyone's input. Based on this, I'd say: remove the rubble, shorten the light cycle to 8 (or 9) hours, do a 100% water change (maybe another in a week), and consider buying a DI stage for your RO unit.

 

Canada usually has pretty good water so the DI resin should last pretty long (especially since you don't need much water). But that also means that you might be able to get by with just the RO unit. Since you've used treated tap water before, I'd try all the other options first before the more expensive DI option.

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HI seabass, I don't have my own RO unit I get it from the same place all the time and all units are cleaned every Monday I trust this place as well. Its an expense to have this type of unit for only 2 gallons which its cheaper for me to buy the few jugs I need, now if I had a larger reef system I would definitely be putting in a unit for sure.

 

Yes I think I will remove the rubble for sure, do the complete water change in it and shorten the lights as well. Hopefully this will work.

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Consider using distilled water instead. It's pure and you don't have to worry about the water quality of the RO water (which will vary even if they perform all required maintenance on time). Like you said, you don't go through that much water, so this shouldn't be a big expense.

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I just purchases 3 jugs of the RO water yesterday so if things don't clear up by the water change and rock removal I sure will give it a try for sure. Thanks :-)

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Amy,

 

No disrespect, regardless your reef resume, if you are experienced enough to take care of a pico you would not be asking how to fix this simple problem.

 

And its not just experience, but personality too. A good pico keeper has no problem, even enjoys, doing repetitive boring tasks frequently and regularly.

 

Regarding your actual problem, its an easy fix. Go to WalMart and buy out their distilled water. The one with the light purple cap. Buy every single one they have on the shelf, they dont expire. And do 50%-100% water changes until the problem goes away.

 

If you don't have a WalMart, which is unbelievable, go to Water.com, that Alhambra water out here. They will deliver 5 gallon jugs of distilled water to your door.

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Formula462

What part of the ro unit are they having to clean every Monday? The prefilter is the only thing I can think of, but I have never heard of anyone having to clean or replace weekly.

 

It has nothing to do with your tank I don't think, just curious.

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farkwar: Our Walmart does not have distilled water, they only carry the spring water for drinking in bottles. Asked them about distilled they said no one uses is so this store will not carry it. The water .com is not available in our area, I live in Canada went to their site. Also none of our water companies here carry RODI only people with personal units.

 

I also did not intend for it to sound like a "resume" , I am no expert nor do I claim to be an expert with saltwater or pico keeping for that matter. I do care, I have been doing and trying what other reefers have told me to do I am sure that I will get to the root of the issue soon.

 

Formula462: I don't know what they replace every week but the manager has told me this several times, another reefer uses the same water but in a very large volume compared to me and he has never had an issue using this water so I don't think its the water source or he would have issues as well. His tank is 55 gallons which I know is not big to some of you but a lot larger than what I have. I am going to do another water change today see how that goes.

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NorthGaHillbilly

I hate to be a broken record here, but I really think its your source water. Somewhere you should be able to find distilled or even but a distiller for cheaper than a ro. I used one for several years

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