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About ReefEscape

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    Jenison, MI
  1. How are my nitrates still 20 ppm

    In reponse to why your nitrates are still at 20ppm, it is a direct result of the salt mix we all use and the type and how much food you are adding. Flake/Pellet food is one of the biggest culprits for high nitrate and phosphate readings, try switching to frozen food and rinsing it before adding. Backing up a step, if all you have in your tank is a clean up crew, don't feed at all, it isn't necessary and adding food for your Cheato defeats the purpose for adding it in the first place. In response to what level of Nitrate is acceptable, that is subjective and highly contraversial. Most people on this site and others will tell you that absolute zero is the only acceptable level of nitrate and phosphate and anything over absolute zero is utterly destructive and you as a failed reefer, destined to cultivate diseased algea ridden systems. They all lie to some degree. Most people who say they have a zero reading either have outcompeting algea or they are so anal that they starve their fish and spend too much money on chemicals and equipment to remove nutrients that the corals will use to grow and be colorful. You can have an awsome rockin tank with zero nitrates, but you can also have an awsome rockin tank with no problem with nitrate levels at 20ppm to 30ppm (40-60 is pushing it). I killed off 3 1/2 colonies of zoas and 10 rics, almost lost my hammer and a few others because I decided to go insane with nutrient reduction. Now I do 20% water changes every week and run chemipure elite and GFO under filter floss (changed twice a week). I ditched the Cheato and my nitrates stay between 10ppm and 25ppm, and my phosphates are .02 (hanna) - no skimmer. I hope this long post helped answer your questions, remember that there is no one way to achieve the result that you want. Take each piece of advise on it's own merrit and then decide what is best for your own situation.
  2. Nobody knows what eggcrate is!

    Check by the ceiling tiles at Lowes.
  3. Temperature fluctuations?

    I had a similar problem with a Jager heater. The thermostat doesn't work. Even with the dial turned down to the lowest setting it heated the water to 84 degrees. I sent one back to Foster's and Smith and they sent me a new one and it did the same thing. I am using a Fluval heater now and IMO it is the best on the market - even better than a controller. It has dual thermostats on the top and bottom of the unit to read temps and a digital display with visual warnings. I have had it for over a year now and my temps don't fluctuate 1 degree anymore. They are more expensive, but worth every penny.
  4. Acan

    Watch out for that one. My Orange Crush Echinata is a stone cold killer. It took out a 12 head Lord colony and a Monte frag in the last 2 months. Good luck and give it some room.
  5. Cloudy/ Oil film on waters surface

    You need to increase the surface tension in your tank. Measure the grate on your overflow and cut a piece of clear plastic - an old cassette tape or cd case works good. Your return pump will hold it in place, just adjust it so that there is a mini waterfall heading into your overflow box. Just make sure that you don't overflow your main display, on mine, I only need to cover 1/2 of the fingers (up from the bottom) of the overflow to solve the problem. I have never figured out what causes it, but when I switched to a higher volume return pump, it seemed to help.
  6. So my wife fell in love with a jawfish...

    A Yellow Headed Jawfish was my first fish choice and I planned my entire build around him. You should mix some crushed coral in with the argonite sand you already have so the fish can build a tunnel. I am not a fan of a pvc tube burrow, but they do work. If your rock is not "planted" directly on the glass bottom of your tank, bury it as close as you can now, to avoid a rock slide when your fish decides to dig under a main rock and your whole scape collapses. They are a lot of fun to watch and it was definately my favorite fish.
  7. Worst Water Change Ever

    Wabbit Wins!!! I broke off a few pieces of the cap and reglued the Bird's Nest to the rock. The Cap was too big for the tank and was growing out of the water anyway. It sucked to get rid of it, but I grew it once and I will grow it again. I sold the colony for $50 credit to my LFS to buy more goodies later. Beer will have to wait a few more months until I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby and the cursing was a given!!!
  8. Worst Water Change Ever

    A quick mid-week water change ended in disaster when "Big Hands" aka the oaf doing the water change broke the Bird's Nest Colony off of it's perch. While it was off "Big Hands" decided to clean up the Monte that was curling up and over some palys nearby when he bumped the Monte Cap a little too hard and knocked It off of it's rock. Bird's Nest in the left hand and Monte Cap in the Right - Now what do you do???
  9. ecoxotic panorama on sunpod possible?

    It won't make any difference at all when your sunpod is on. The stunner strips are only effective by them selves and are washed out by any other light. I have 3 stunners and a panorama pro in my hood and when my pc bulb comes on, they all get washed out and you only see the color of the pc. I'm sure they help make it a little bluer, but they only look good by themselves, and then they look great.
  10. Need reviews on Red Coral Sea Salt

    Red Sea Coral Pro Salt left a lot of Dirty residue in my mixing buckets and I always had undisolved cyrstals in the bottom of the bucket preventing me from using all of the water during a change. I seemed to have good results, but I switched to Reef Crystals a year and a half ago and have had better results with little to no residue and it disolves better. Mixing procedure - 2 1/2 cups salt in 5 gal rodi water mixed with mj-1200 for 24 hours at least.
  11. I think my zoas stung me

    It is very unlikely that you encountered "Palytoxin" from any inhabitants in your tank. It is most likely a reaction or possibly an infection from the bacteria that live in and on your live rock. If you have a cut on your hand, wear gloves if you put them in your tank as a precaution. I had a cut under my fingernail about a year ago and I moved a rock in my tank during a water change and I had a burning sensation in my finger (it was actually hot to the touch). I had to go to the doctor for an antibiotic which cleared it right up. If it gets worse, or doesn't get better, go to the doctor, there are some nasty strains of bacteria living in all of our tanks.
  12. Salt Problems

    I bought a bucket of Reef Crystals 2 months ago. Unfortunatly I left the lid off overnight and it got hard. I broke it apart and it is now in chunks. I am trying to use it to make a water change but I can't get the salinity up no matter how much salt I add. I am at about 3 cups and 1.022 specific gravity. It usually takes 2 1/4 cups to get to 1.024. I need to trust my equipment, but it doesn't make sense to me. By adding moisture to the salt mix did I reduce it's effectiveness?
  13. LED solution...Ecoxotic panorama modules

    The 19w Panorama Pro modules are easily as brite as the CFLs, with better color. As requested, here are pics of my tank with just Ecoxotic LED's. The first is with one 19w 12k white/445nm Pro, 2 - 6w 453 Stunner Strips and 1 - 6w 8k/453 Stunner Strip. The second pic is with just the Stunner Strips without reflectors. This is from March with 1 36w CFL Actinic and 1 36w UVL CFL Actinic White.
  14. Birdsnest polyp extension

    Not True!!! My Birdsnest quadrupled in size with great color and polyp extension 4" under two 36w PC bulbs. But you must make sure that you change your bulbs every 6 months or you will have problems. Water quality is just as important as lighting. SoCalDude - Don't condem what you don't know. Not all systems are the same and there isn't only one way to accomplish a "thriving" ecosystem.
  15. LED solution...Ecoxotic panorama modules

    There are 12 LED's for a total of 19w, so about 1.5w each.