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RavensReefer

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RavensReefer

Ok, so I'll start from the top here. I've been following the Reefing hobby for a long time now, and was planning on setting up a system for next year at school. I pretty much just wanted to see if i could maintain an easy softie/clownfish/cardinalfish situation, and sell the fish and corals back at the end of my school-year. I was starting to have big cost worries, however, and was approaching the point on giving up on reefing for 2 years (until grad) when someone up above (or down below) sent me a message. 

 

This message said: "Free". 

 

A 38 gallon tank (36x12x18) with stand (needs spray-paint), an old Marineland C360 cannister filter (with biopellets and bioballs, still covered in algae, inside), a red-sea Prizm (not working, impeller broken), 2 heaters (both working apparently (weird)), and a very cheap powerhead for mixing salt. The tank also came with a bucket of dry-algae covered rock that's actually kind of pleasing to look at, but won't be used (no time to cure rock, and this guy had some real algae problems, clearly). I didn't have a chance to ask about any of this, as it was on a lawn behind a piece of plywood with "free" written on it in day-glo spray paint. 

 

It appears to me that I've now got some options. The C360 is not working, and I've been fiddling with it all day. From what I can see, these canisters frequently leak, and i think the root of my problems is a leak coming from the priming button on the top of the unit. I've cleaned everything with vinegar, removed all the bio-balls and pellets from the system, tightened all the tubes- nothing. The system kind of gargles- hums for a few seconds, gargles slowly and then faster, hums, repeat. I suspect that air is being pulled through the primer that leaks water when starting a siphon. 

 

Do I care? I understand that the canister solution is a majorly out of style one. That being said, I see myself running it more like a carbon/gfo reactor, with a bit of floss in another tray, and chemi-pure or something like it in another tray. Is this goofy? Keep in mind that I'm on a tight budget. That being said, I want my system to be future proof. and I understand that 40$ to fix something like this now is 40$ on the street in 6 months when I find the cash to drill my tank and get a sump up and running. Any chance that cementing the priming button closer and using something like a turkey-baster to start the system is a worthwhile endeavor? 

 

Same question for the Prizm, it seems to me that the impeller for the system is struggling, it spits out tiny bubbles rarely, but seems to sputter and  choke often. A new impeller is 25$ or so, am I wasting money here? How considerable is the difference between no skimmer, Prizm, and 100$ skimmer? This tank won't even start cycling for a few more weeks, is it worth holding off and looking for a deal? Is it possible that the Impeller is working and i have no idea how to prime it? (I'm filling the whole assembly about halfway with water and plugging it, seems straightforward to me). What does a failed/failing pump sound like? There's considerable salt creep/green rust on some of the plugs, is this potentially causing some of my problems? 

 

Finally, the tank is missing it's middle support, one that's supposed to run the 12inches across the tank at it's center. When full, the tank seems fine, maybe slightly bowed. How big a DIY fix is this? Is it necessary? 

 

I have other questions about my cycle and lighting, but I can hold off on these for now. 

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Five.five-six

First of all, welcome

2nd canister filters on reef is like dix on chicks.   Just no.  

3rd, I'd just go HOB   Used is fine

4th flow is crucial for a successful reef

5th without good light coral starve and good light is expensive

6th you can just get a center brace cut at any glass shop cheep and silicone it in tank empty.  Be sure to sand the edges of the glass so you don't cut the fook out of yourself. That will cause a real bad nutrient spike in th tank.  You probably don't need a center brace on a tank that small but I don't know. 

 

 

Good luck

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Clown79

Ditch the canister. 

@Five.five-six  said it best?

 

Get an hob filter. Run your floss in there with carbon and if/when needed phosguard. Aquaclear or seachem tidal filters are the best.

 

You don't need a skimmer waterchanges can be enough. You could always contact the company and ask for an impeller, the shaft may have snapped and that's why it's not working.

 

Euro brace - do what @Five.five-six suggested.

 

I would definitely do a leak test on the tank.

 

You will need a powerhead maybe 2 in the tank for water movement. It's essential.

Hydor Koralia or jebao are great on a budget.

 

You will need liverock. At least 27lbs of live rock or dry reef rock.

 

You can go bare bottom 

 

If you want corals, lighting is a must and the cheapest options are Aquamaxx,  Mars Aqua, Current Orbit

 

Then you have salt and water. No tap water. Ro/di or distilled. 

 

Good luck

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RavensReefer

Tank is leak tested all good. Tempted to drill the tank myself and get a 20$ 20b and decent return pump for future-proofing. Would probably just be running carbon and gfo, and a few socks, maybe some rubble tossed in. I'd be saving for a skimmer at that point, but i really only want cardinals + clowns, so I don't expect too big a bio-load.

 

Already looking at a 24-36 current orbit. I would prefer non-LED but that seems unlikely. 

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Clown79

Led lighting is great

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RavensReefer

Sure, but i feel like a lot of the cheaper LED set up's i've seen have a really cheesy blue hue. I like the more diffused look of halides/t5s. 

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Clown79

Oh.

That blue hue brings out the colour in corals

 

With programmable lights you choose the spectrum and percentage of the leds colours.

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RavensReefer

I understand that a lot of people pile on the blue to make their corals pop. I dunno, even with tanks i can't see the lights on, i can typically spot out the T5s before i see em. I think they're whiter, but that could be objectively untrue. 

 

I also worry about how adjustable a lot of LEDs are, i want to keep my controllable variables low, knowing my lights are not a real issue plug and play would be good, i think. 

 

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Clown79

Once you set the program to your liking, you do nothing unless you choose to change the lighting spectrum.

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Five.five-six

I'm a halide guy gone LED, still prefer halide but LED just make more sense.

 

you said you were on a budget, have you checked the price on chillers?  

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