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Dirté Sanchez

The Fire Swamp's 50g SCA Starfire Cube- 🔥🐊. Upgrade Coming Soon

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Dirté Sanchez
5 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

I haven't bought into this particular notion, because the quantity of freshly mixed saltwater (10, 15, even 20%) that you add will not cause a "spike" post water change.  I can get all geeky science about concentration C1V1 = C2V2 equation.  Shoot, I used to run my tank with RSCP and it was hovering at 8 with 15% waterchange weekly AND I had to dose during the week.  YMMV.  That notion had been continuously repeated that it's not worth arguing anymore.  AND it's not entirely wrong, but neither was my experience. 🤷🏼‍♂️ 

 

yeah removing the reactor would be the first step.  But you should really do some water change to bring down those N and P a bit.  If you go get a small bucket of RS blue bucket, and do like 25% wc, you can reduce N+P AND bring down those elevated Ca/Alk/Mg all in one shot.  Ultimately, the best/most effective way is to figure out where the "dirt" is that causing these consistently high N+P.  

 

I water change weekly, and I usually pull out 10g. Yesterday I pulled out 15g, but I removed those two decorations today. I can't do a heavy water change today, nor tomorrow or Friday due to work, so I could schedule one for Saturday, which would be better since the husband would be able to help with heavy lifting. I got a hand bilge pump to clean out the sump because I'd noticed a lot of gunk in the first chamber where the skimmer sits, and I'd rather remove than just disturb it. 

 

I know the nitrates thing is a debate-mine has always rested at around 25 and I've had good growth until recently. The chaeto will help with that too when it kicks in; someone had told me it needs to have nutrients to get well started. I'd hate to pull out all the nutrients until I see true strong growth there. I've seen some people say that their tanks just rest at higher nutrients and yet stay successful. I have Anthias and some NPS coral in the tank, so I do have to feed slightly heavily.  

 

Other than the nitrates (and the phos I know is swinging while I try to get the chaeto going) what parameters should I shoot for? I am a scientific type person, so if you feel the need to expound upon anything using big words, I'll look them up 😉🧐. I want to learn the chemistry side of this hobby, seriously. 

10 minutes ago, seabass said:

Also keep in mind that GFO will also bind alkalinity (besides phosphate).

I think the GFO currently in the reactor is shot and I was waiting to see if the chaeto would start sucking it up so I could just remove the reactor completely. I'd rather be able to run a system with no media at all besides the macro and weekly dosing of microbacter 7. 

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Dirté Sanchez
2 minutes ago, FISHnChix said:

One random thing to check. Remember when we talked about out rodi systems and the first stage looking kinda nasty...  have you changed the filters yet??

Yes, and the TDS usually comes out at zero. I probably need to do another switch out soon since they look nasty again. Thanks for reminding me!😉😉

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Dirté Sanchez

As I said, I'm pondering attempting a 100% water change this Saturday. I have enough salt to get the DT volume changed; would have to work a little extra to get the 18g for the sump mixed somewhere as I have a 55g Brute that I mix in. Do you guys think 100% is even necessary? Or would that shock the system even more?

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FISHnChix
5 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

Yes, and the TDS usually comes out at zero. I probably need to do another switch out soon since they look nasty again. Thanks for reminding me!😉😉

Cool.  Did you ever look and see if your city water has those types of chorlines (cant remember what they are called

) but I guess of your city uses a certain type you might need a different more more carbon..  I dont know much about it but maybe someone will chime in..

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, FISHnChix said:

Cool.  Did you ever look and see if your city water has those types of chorlines (cant remember what they are called

) but I guess of your city uses a certain type you might need a different more more carbon..  I dont know much about it but maybe someone will chime in..

My water has straight bleach applied to it, rather than chlorine gas like other places. It's so bad it occasionally bleaches the clothes in the wash. So yeah getting the water clean is a big deal for me.

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mitten_reef
3 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I am a scientific type person, so if you feel the need to expound upon anything using big words, I'll look them up 😉🧐. I want to learn the chemistry side of this hobby, seriously. 

To truly understand alk behavior, and calculate target value, you could use the m-eq/L (molar equivalent concentration) - red sea lists this value both on the salt, the additive products and the test kits.  the dKH which is the derivative value to provide easier, simpler numerical scale.  I had to fall back to this math once, when I accidentally left my doser running and the tank shot up to > 13 dKH, beyond the scale of the test kit.  I immediately went to the store to buy more red sea blue bucket (I was running RSCP then still), and did 10 gallon wc (maybe 15G, dont remember), and my mathematic results was within .1-.2 from as tested after water change (give/take the rock volume in the tank that I couldn't truly account for).  Just a food for thought, not something you do every waterchange  

 

 

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spectra

Well...……...not sure but maybe the sand is an issue...…...I would think if its magnetic that cant be good...……as for WC I would probably do a 50% and see how the parameters are...…..I now mix both blue and black bucket so I do not get a high alk reading......

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FISHnChix
6 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

My water has straight bleach applied to it, rather than chlorine gas like other places. It's so bad it occasionally bleaches the clothes in the wash. So yeah getting the water clean is a big deal for me.

Hmmm weird never heard of the bleach deal. What rodi brand do you have?  

 

You can normally go to your water company's website and get a water analysis.  Maybe download that and called someone like spectapure and see what types of filtration they would recommend.. maybe it's just the standard stuff we are already doing , maybe not.. would be free and worth a try just to eliminate one more thing.... 

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, spectra said:

Well...……...not sure but maybe the sand is an issue...…...I would think if its magnetic that cant be good...……as for WC I would probably do a 50% and see how the parameters are...…..I now mix both blue and black bucket so I do not get a high alk reading......

50% is more easily done. If I were to change the sand out would I have to let the tank cycle again? I can't really do that since I do have some corals adhered to the rocks and can't remove them. Plus as SeaBass recommended, Id probably put them in a tub with the fish while cleaning the sand and all.

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FISHnChix
2 minutes ago, spectra said:

Well...……...not sure but maybe the sand is an issue...…...I would think if its magnetic that cant be good...……as for WC I would probably do a 50% and see how the parameters are...…..I now mix both blue and black bucket so I do not get a high alk reading......

You ever do those triton icp tests? If it was the sand I would suspect they would detect something in the water..

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, FISHnChix said:

Hmmm weird never heard of the bleach deal. What rodi brand do you have?  

 

You can normally go to your water company's website and get a water analysis.  Maybe download that and called someone like spectapure and see what types of filtration they would recommend.. maybe it's just the standard stuff we are already doing , maybe not.. would be free and worth a try just to eliminate one more thing.... 

Yeah we have what are called MUD districts (Municipal Utility). Depends on which one you live in but ours is supremely lazy and that's their solution to cleaning water-dump a metric ton of liquid bleach in. Not to mention they're water quality is known to be atrocious; people don't ask them for their own assessments because they generally are shady about it. Neighbors have sent water out to third parties to have it tested because of this. The water is always bad, all the time. Most of the people in my neighborhood have water softeners/whole house filters on their homes because of the issues.

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, FISHnChix said:

You ever do those triton icp tests? If it was the sand I would suspect they would detect something in the water..

No I've never tried them before, but that's a send out, correct? I wonder how long it takes to get results 🤔

 

Oh and I use a Liquagen six stage filter for both 150g/day and a 50g/day together. 

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spectra
5 minutes ago, FISHnChix said:

You ever do those triton icp tests? If it was the sand I would suspect they would detect something in the water..

I have not. 

2 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

No I've never tried them before, but that's a send out, correct? I wonder how long it takes to get results 🤔

 

Oh and I use a Liquagen six stage filter for both 150g/day and a 50g/day together. 

Go to BRS I think they have details.

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mitten_reef
6 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

If I were to change the sand out would I have to let the tank cycle again?

No, most of your beneficial bacteria live in the pores of your live rock.  that's why people are so keen on the "most porous" rock blah blah, and how those bio-media stuff are selling themselves as beneficial bacteria second home.  There is SOME beneficial bacteria within the sand bed, but your tank shouldn't miss it.  the benefits of removing the gunk that is in your sand bed will likely outweigh the impact of missing bacteria.

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Humblefish

Sorry for the delayed reply as I’ve been traveling all week. So, you’re saying fish AND corals are dying? Any chance a toxin got in the water? Household cleaner, bug spray, residue from a scented candle? Any dinos in the tank?

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Dirté Sanchez
2 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

No, most of your beneficial bacteria live in the pores of your live rock.  that's why people are so keen on the "most porous" rock blah blah, and how those bio-media stuff are selling themselves as beneficial bacteria second home.  There is SOME beneficial bacteria within the sand bed, but your tank shouldn't miss it.  the benefits of removing the gunk that is in your sand bed will likely outweigh the impact of missing bacteria.

I can’t remove all the sand- I have a very large pistol shrimp that would not appreciate it. In fact that’s another reason I’m not keen to screw with the sand too much if I can avoid it. 

 

1 hour ago, Humblefish said:

Sorry for the delayed reply as I’ve been traveling all week. So, you’re saying fish AND corals are dying? Any chance a toxin got in the water? Household cleaner, bug spray, residue from a scented candle? Any dinos in the tank?


So I left on vacation for a week with two healthy lyretail anthias, two disbars, the two clowns, a small YWG, the YTD, and the starry blenny. Came back to no lyretails and somewhat sickly looking disbars. The goby getting beat up by the shrimp is a one-off I think, and the other fish look okay. 
 

BUT. During the month of November I mysteriously lost two different types of angels in 24 hours each, one tang, and the yellow coris wrasse that had always been healthy died, as well as a leopard that had been active and eating well. A replacement yellow coris died in 24 hours too. Established fish have fared well, but I can’t add anything new without it dying in 24 hours. 
 

Corals have been unhappy for about 2-3 months now and anything added new, especially euphyllia, have suffered or started to necrose. 
 

As for toxins, we don’t burn candles anywhere near the tank. The cleaning is done biweekly and they know not to spray anything near the tank. I don’t use scented oils in the house either. As for dinos, I have gone back and forth about some growth in the sump. There’s none in the DT, but in the sump there is a purple slime type algae growth that comes and goes depending on amount of light given to the macro. And in the DT there is green hair like algae but I’m no expert and I’m not positive if it’s truly GHA or briopsis. 
 

 

 

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mitten_reef
51 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

I can’t remove all the sand- I have a very large pistol shrimp that would not appreciate it. In fact that’s another reason I’m not keen to screw with the sand too much if I can avoid it. 

 


So I left on vacation for a week with two healthy lyretail anthias, two disbars, the two clowns, a small YWG, the YTD, and the starry blenny. Came back to no lyretails and somewhat sickly looking disbars. The goby getting beat up by the shrimp is a one-off I think, and the other fish look okay. 
 

BUT. During the month of November I mysteriously lost two different types of angels in 24 hours each, one tang, and the yellow coris wrasse that had always been healthy died, as well as a leopard that had been active and eating well. A replacement yellow coris died in 24 hours too. Established fish have fared well, but I can’t add anything new without it dying in 24 hours. 
 

Corals have been unhappy for about 2-3 months now and anything added new, especially euphyllia, have suffered or started to necrose. 
 

As for toxins, we don’t burn candles anywhere near the tank. The cleaning is done biweekly and they know not to spray anything near the tank. I don’t use scented oils in the house either. As for dinos, I have gone back and forth about some growth in the sump. There’s none in the DT, but in the sump there is a purple slime type algae growth that comes and goes depending on amount of light given to the macro. And in the DT there is green hair like algae but I’m no expert and I’m not positive if it’s truly GHA or briopsis. 
 

 

 

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I think you were overstocked for a 50-gallon cube, there were a lot of fish that you just listed both that recently died or that are still in the tank.  

As far as sand goes, you most likely gotta do something with it - whether full replacement or pull majority of it out and fully rinse with fresh&clean saltwater. That’d be my first item to do after water change, or during the next big wc. 

You can re-introduce sand right back in, for the pistol’s sake, as long as it’s new sand or cleaned sand. 

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, mitten_reef said:

I think you were overstocked for a 50-gallon cube, there were a lot of fish that you just listed both that recently died or that are still in the tank.  

As far as sand goes, you most likely gotta do something with it - whether full replacement or pull majority of it out and fully rinse with fresh&clean saltwater. That’d be my first item to do after water change, or during the next big wc. 

You can re-introduce sand right back in, for the pistol’s sake, as long as it’s new sand or cleaned sand. 

When you clean the sand, how do you go about it, in simple terms? I siphon it every water change but obviously it isn’t enough. 
 

As for the fish, most of them were within the stated minimums, and I calculated potential max size against the fish per gallon rule, although everyone has their opinion about how many fish inch per gallon. Even if half per, I stayed within the max range. The tangs I knew would outgrow the tank; I just wanted help with algae growth. I didn’t have all those fish at the same time by the way. 

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mitten_reef
13 minutes ago, Dirté Sanchez said:

When you clean the sand, how do you go about it, in simple terms? I siphon it every water change but obviously it isn’t enough. 
 

As for the fish, most of them were within the stated minimums, and I calculated potential max size against the fish per gallon rule, although everyone has their opinion about how many fish inch per gallon. Even if half per, I stayed within the max range. The tangs I knew would outgrow the tank; I just wanted help with algae growth. I didn’t have all those fish at the same time by the way. 

I use one of those python siphon. And the sand would kinda “bubble” up into the tube dislodging any fine particulate waste to be removed with the outgoing water. 

your logic of number of fish, it’s kinda what’s been said and told almost everywhere. I was just pointing one of the possible causes/reasons of Excess nutrient buildup. 

I still think best path forward is to do some water change and see how the tank responds. 

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Dirté Sanchez
19 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

I use one of those python siphon. And the sand would kinda “bubble” up into the tube dislodging any fine particulate waste to be removed with the outgoing water. 

your logic of number of fish, it’s kinda what’s been said and told almost everywhere. I was just pointing one of the possible causes/reasons of Excess nutrient buildup. 

I still think best path forward is to do some water change and see how the tank responds. 

Yeah, I think going forward my livestock will contain smaller fish. And I hope to maintain what I currently have, obviously. I tend to have a much heavier volume of inverts to try and balance fish load. 
 

I use one of the gigantic python siphons because I’m short and don’t want to stand on a stool all the time, so it brings up a TON of sand to siphon. But the other face of that coin is it sucks out water super fast. I knew I’d have some deep sandbed to sift, so I have tried to get sand sifting inverts to help, though I feel like I haven’t found enough or the right ones. 
 

I did a 25% change yesterday (wish I’d pulled the smelly decor out then too). I’ll try 50% this weekend. And I just removed the media reactor with the tapped out GFO/carbon, to clean it. I put a bag of carbon in, if that’s kosher for now. By the way I change the filter floss about twice a week, more often if it’s disgusting. I use it to catch more large particle crap in the sump. 
 

 

So far, I’m hearing I need a major sand cleaning and water change. Any other thing to try Saturday? Rub a troll belly for luck? Pray to Poseidon? Sacrifice an Elf on a Shelf?

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StinkyBunny

I'm not a fan of the black sand, not enough buffering capacity. I have no point of reference, but I won't use it just for that reason. I only use calcium based substrates in marine aquariums.

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Dirté Sanchez
18 minutes ago, StinkyBunny said:

I'm not a fan of the black sand, not enough buffering capacity. I have no point of reference, but I won't use it just for that reason. I only use calcium based substrates in marine aquariums.

Which are those? I can replace the sand if I must, though I'd be nervous about the cycling issue. If you replace one live sand with another live sand does that not still go through a cycling process? 

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Humblefish

Dinoflagellates would have bubbles or “snot” on it. Dinos release toxins into the water which can kill fish, corals, inverts.

 

The fish dying sounds like you may have a disease (e.g. velvet) that your established fish have acquired immunity to, but any new fish are killed by the parasites in the water.

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Dirté Sanchez
1 minute ago, Humblefish said:

Dinoflagellates would have bubbles or “snot” on it. Dinos release toxins into the water which can kill fish, corals, inverts.

 

The fish dying sounds like you may have a disease (e.g. velvet) that your established fish have acquired immunity to, but any new fish are killed by the parasites in the water.

I posted a couple of pictures up above- the concern about dinos versus cyano- I cant tell very well and I have no microscope like some. Wouldn’t know what I was looking for if I did. 
 

three of the fish did come through a prolonged QT for possible velvet/ich. The other three have shown no signs of stress  though, and I thought anthias are susceptible fish to bad stuff? The LFS that double tested  my water the other day said it was shock of some time for them to die in 24hours. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Humblefish

If the concentration of velvet dinospores in the water column is high, they can kill a fish within 24 hours. The parasites attack the gills first, and the fish’s immune response causes excess mucous to build up in the gills. This unwittingly makes it more difficult for the fish to breathe, and sometimes the fish dies due to asphyxiation before white dots on the body ever shows.

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