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NanoNick0107

3 weeks into setup Help!!

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NanoNick0107

Hey everyone ,

 

  I have setup a nano evo  13.5 saltwater tank and got a few pieces of live rock from a friend who has been doing reef tanks for years. (Can’t keep bugging him for advice) he doesn’t have a nano tank either.

 

  He also gave me water from his tank to help speed up the cycling process. He told me I could add a CUC and some corals as it is ready. 
 

  So I decided to take that advice and buy some snails and hermit crabs. I also bought some zoas to get the corals started. 
 

   All my parameters seemed to be in check and the CUC liked the tank ..... until some of the snails just stopped moving and died. The zoas closed up so tight and now are what I would consider to be goners.

 

  My refractometer was giving me a reading of 1.025 but when I decided that it was time to take water to the LFS for testing he was blown away by the level of salinity I had in the tank 1.040. 
 

  So I have started slowly bringing down the level of Salinity using my RODI water but am having a huge hair algae problem but am wondering if it is due to the tank cycling or the parameters being way out of whack ?

 

  Should I just toss the corals and start over ? Or see if they will make a comeback? 
 

everything else was good with my other parameters nitrite and nitrates etc.. 

 

thanks for any help or guidance in advance.

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Nano_Addict

Welcome to the saltwater club! Rule number one, patience rules all in this hobby!

 

Considering you got some rock and water from your friend's tank you should be well on you way to getting your tank cycled and established. However, these things still take a bit of time.  I would say that it's definitely a bit early to be adding coral.  What is the lighting situation on the tank?

 

Definitely bring the salinity down and either invest in some refractor calibration solution or a new refractometer.  Keeping salinity in check is priority number one!  Also consider an ATO (auto top off) to keep the salinity in check.

 

Have you been feeding the tank at all?  That could possibly be helping to fuel the algae at this point.  However, I would consider it a result of the tank being so new.  I would continue testing for ammonia to see if you're getting any type of cycle happening.

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

I agree, your refractometer sounds like it needs calibrating.  Most can be calibrated with distilled water (or RO/DI).

 

I'd actually shut off the lights for a couple of weeks to help clear off that algae.  The snails and crabs don't need the lights on.  What type of snails did you buy?  Depending on what type of snails you got, you might or might not have to feed them.

 

Your zoanthids have seen better days.  But I'd leave them in, or better yet, offer them to your friend.  Maybe they will come back to life.

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debbeach13

Welcome to NR. I agree with the posts above. Once you get the SG stable just let the tank rest a few weeks. 

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geekreef_05

I totally agree with seabass. 

 

And Id add a couple recommendations before going lights out... 

(1) Get a toothbrush and brush down those rocks with your flow off/return off.

(2) Do a large water change immediately after to manually suck out the algae, before turning flow/return back on. 

(3) Once salinity and parameters are stable. Get a new clean up crew in there. Snails are key to success. 5 of them maybe a good number for you.  

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jservedio
1 hour ago, geekreef_05 said:

(3) Once salinity and parameters are stable. Get a new clean up crew in there. Snails are key to success. 5 of them maybe a good number for you.  

Woah, a sensible CUC recommendation on Nano-Reef 😆

 

Nick - a couple turbo snails, a couple margarita or trochus snails (or a handful of cerith snails), a nassarius snail, and maybe a hermit crab or two would be a great start. Don't overdo it with snails and crabs like many people do. If you go crazy with snails, while you will definitely get faster results, you'll also run into more problems down the road when they start starving and dying off!

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NanoNick0107

Thanks everyone for the advice!! I am going to leave the corals in and see what happens. Not afraid to start from scratch there.. I had 6 snails to start with and 2 died after the first water change (probably a salinity spike) then I had 3 that lasted until the other day. The 3 crabs I have are still doing well but not eating the algae fast enough.

 

  The light for the tank is a factory fluval evo  13.5 

lid. I have been researching a light for it as I want one that has more control and I can adjust as needed. 
 

   For those who live in Canada what would you recommend ( USA has a lot more availability and options). Checked water again today and all the levels are good including ammonia. I had a nitrate spike a week and a half ago and that is now gone.

 

  Will using a toothbrush to get the algae off harm any beneficial things the rocks have on it? Will is dissipate on its own once the cycling is done?

 

     I have the lights on a timer to come on at 10 am at 8% and then 10:30 at 30% then 12 100-% until 6:30 it goes to 30% then 7 pm 8% and 8 pm off.

 

I can’t control whether it is white or blue without touching the lid and being home but I figured giving it a cycle of sunrise and sunset may help.

 

oh I forgot to ask.. if I turn off the lights for awhile will that not completely kill all hopes of the corals coming back?

 

 

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seabass
2 hours ago, NanoNick0107 said:

Will using a toothbrush to get the algae off harm any beneficial things the rocks have on it?

You can brush off the rock, but that can also spread the algae more.  It shouldn't do much harm to the other life.

 

2 hours ago, NanoNick0107 said:

Will it dissipate on its own once the cycling is done?

Not really.

 

2 hours ago, NanoNick0107 said:

oh I forgot to ask.. if I turn off the lights for awhile will that not completely kill all hopes of the corals coming back?

Healthy corals would be fine for several days, but eventually they would need light again.  Same goes for the algae; although it might take a few weeks for all that algae to die off.

 

TBH, I'm not sure that those zoanthids are going to make it in your tank at this point anyways.

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NanoNick0107

Thinking I am going to take out all the corals.. (probably a write off anyways).  Do a water change and then take the rocks out one by one and scrub them with a toothbrush and put them back in. Turn off the light for two weeks and revisit where I am at. 
 

  Since I don’t have fish and only have crabs will I need to feed the crabs or will they get what they can from the rocks?

 

   I will keep up on water changes and testing and see where I am at in two weeks.

 

thoughts?

 

the algae in the tank isn’t good and I have the ability to deal with it now before I get corals established. Just trying to figure why I have the algae problem so it doesn’t occur again once I start the lighting process again

 

  Anybody use hydrogen peroxide to help kill the algae? Can you just dip the toothbrush in the peroxide and scrub or does it have to be diluted?

 

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geekreef_05

I hold to my original advice. Id say dont remove the rock, it'll just start another min-cycle. Scrub them down in the tank, no flow, and then big water change. I would not use peroxide, that would kill everything good and bad. 

 

You have an algae problem that time and a few right moves will take care of. Peroxide your rocks is like a hard re-start for the tank and I vote against that cause there is alot of beneficial life on those rocks as well. 

 

The crabs will be ok, there is enough for them to eat on you rock for sure. 🙂

 

hope that helps! 

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NanoNick0107
3 hours ago, geekreef_05 said:

I hold to my original advice. Id say dont remove the rock, it'll just start another min-cycle. Scrub them down in the tank, no flow, and then big water change. I would not use peroxide, that would kill everything good and bad. 

 

You have an algae problem that time and a few right moves will take care of. Peroxide your rocks is like a hard re-start for the tank and I vote against that cause there is alot of beneficial life on those rocks as well. 

 

The crabs will be ok, there is enough for them to eat on you rock for sure. 🙂

 

hope that helps! 

So you are saying to turn off the pumps and scrub the rocks then do a big water change?

 

can I just take out the water and scrub the rocks in the bucket of water and put them back in?

 

try to keep the debris from floating through the system..

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Jungle_v_i_p

Best to leave rocks in tank as suggested. Pumps off. Then siphon out as much as you can with the big water change.  Lights off two weeks as suggested. Snail and hermits will be fine. Can you give corals to your friend until your tank is ready? Would prob be a good idea as they look like they are struggling. IMO clean your pumps, heater, and filter when you do your water changes if it wasn’t mentioned if need be. Prob going to have to change your filter floss every day or other but every system is different. Also no hydrogen peroxide. I know it’s tempting but you shouldn’t.
 

all tanks go through this stage. You’ll get past this.

 

have you posted your parameters yet? I didn’t see them if you did. I only noticed the salinity.
 

Did you get your refractometer recalibrated?

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NanoNick0107
40 minutes ago, Jungle_v_i_p said:

Best to leave rocks in tank as suggested. Pumps off. Then siphon out as much as you can with the big water change.  Lights off two weeks as suggested. Snail and hermits will be fine. Can you give corals to your friend until your tank is ready? Would prob be a good idea as they look like they are struggling. IMO clean your pumps, heater, and filter when you do your water changes if it wasn’t mentioned if need be. Prob going to have to change your filter floss every day or other but every system is different. Also no hydrogen peroxide. I know it’s tempting but you shouldn’t.
 

all tanks go through this stage. You’ll get past this.

 

have you posted your parameters yet? I didn’t see them if you did. I only noticed the salinity.
 

Did you get your refractometer recalibrated?

My salinity is now perfect and I bought a new refractometer and calibrated it. Bought some clean up crew again and am just acclimating them as we speak.

 

  Picked up one turbo snail and 2 trophy’s snails.

I also bought an emerald green crab as well. 
 

  I have already cleaned the rocks and will keep up on the water changes and filter media cleaning as well.

 

parameters are

ph 8.0

salinity 1.025

Nitrates just above zero

nitrites 0

KH 150

GH 180

Temp 79.3 f

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Murphych

Yep you can't have to many snails, in a 13.5 I would have at the very least 10. Turbos, Cerith, trochus and astrea are my go tos 

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NanoNick0107

Hey guys just an update of what I did since you all helped me with some great tips!!

 

  I took all the rocks out in a bucket of tank water 10% of it and scrubbed them one by one with a toothbrush.

 

  Next my proper refractometer came in that actually worked and I got the salinity down to 1.025.

 

 I went to the LFS and bought some snails an emerald green crab (male turns out by research) and 2 clown fish.

 

  I bought a light controller for the factory light and set up a simulated sunrise and sender program that I customized the brightness of the lights and only have them running at 60% at the prime daylight hours. This has helped keep the green hair algae away and allowed the coralline algae to start growing on the rocks. 
 

   Since then I have slowly been adding corals to the tank and watching to ensure all the parameters are good and having great success now.

 

attached is a picture of the tank as it sits now.

still working on getting the flow right with the current USA wave maker as it seems to be strong even at the 30% mark. 
 

anybody else have suggestions if you are using this same wave maker?

 

thanks again everyone and I am sure the journey of sorrows is yet to strike again but for now .. I will enjoy.

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Jungle_v_i_p

Which gph wave maker do you have? If it’s the 660gph at 30 percent is 198 gph which shouldn’t be that strong if only running one pump on a 13.5 gallon AIO.
 

looking good after your cleaning. 

 

how many snails did you get and what types? You’ll need a proper amount to keep up with your growth.  

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