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Oregonic

New reefer in SE Portland

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Whats up everybody, my name is Andy and im a reefer greenhorn. I stumbled upon this site after searching several other reef fourms and figured this would be the best fourm to join/post due to being local. I bought my first reef tank in July, a red sea E-170, and have been hooked since day one. I have ran into a few challenges already since starting and conquered several of them. I am excited to be here and recive advise and tips from the more experienced amongst you ladies and gentlemen, and hopefully be able to share advice in the future to new reefers as my knowledge grows. From what i have read and watched this is a hobby where new knowledge is always being gained and challenged, that is what drew me in. I cant wait to hear and learn from all of you

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Hey Andy welcome! I live in SE Portland too! What questions do you have? There is a meeting Sunday he 29th . I hope you can make it. I found I learned the most just visiting people's homes and talking to them.

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Welcome to the club. If you run into anymore challenges we are here to help. Someone around here has to know or can at least point you in the right direction.

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Thank you everyone for the welcome. Ill give all of you a quick run down of the tank i have along with the equipment under the hood. I have a red sea e-170 with a few upgrades. I have a maxspec gyre 230, two small inovative marine reactors (was running bio pellets in one and gfo/carbon in the other but just turned both off the other day), 2 brs dosing pumps, a hydrofill auto top off, and ditched the red sea skimmer for a psk75 in sump skimmer that i trimmed the base plate to make fit in the aio rear sump section. I have been using polyfill at the top of the return section, cut the foam in that section in half so i could fit a few marine pure spheres on top and cover with polyfill. I removed the filter basket to fit the reactors in that area. Other then that it is stock e-170. I have had an issue with high nitrates down to 20ish from 50 finally. I do not believe i over feed as i only feed 4 times a week. I attribute the nitrate level to the red sea skimmer that came with the tank. I had to adjust that skimmer daily and 2 time the air inlet seemed to plug up and just didnt produce any skim for a few days before i noticed. I had done everything thing to try to lower the nitrates, multiple 5 gallon water changes a week, bio pellets, gfo ( i now know if only removes phosphates). I started using nopox about a week ago and that mixed eith the better skimmer seem to really be knocking the nitrates down. My current water parameters are as follows.

 

Salinity 1.025

Ph 8.2

Nitrate 20ish

Mag 1410

Cal 410

Alk 9.5

Phosphates ? Planning to pick one up this weekend

I dose 7ml of fuel 2 times a week and daily dose brs 2 part broken up over 6 doses daily.

Have been using coral pro salt and rodi water only since day one.

 

My biggest challenge i have right now is i have lost a few pieces of coral and have a fee that dont look to great and then i have others that are doing amazing and growing like crazy. Lost a small acan frag of 4 heads and a dmall hammer coral. I have 2 dmall acros that are not dead but one is not growing but still has nice purple color, the other was vibrant green when i first got it and now is a pink color and has been that way for about 2 months. I am starting to see a little green reappear. All my other corals are doing great, zoas, palys, 2 types of frogspawn, elegance, duncan, gonipora, Trachyphyllia, and encrusting monti. I had a bubble tip that did great for about 2 months then when my old skimmer decided to screw up he started to turn inside out. I kept a close eye on him for about 6 days but he seemed to get worse everyday decided to remove it before a disaster. Long story but wanted to give as much info as possible as i see alot of people post questions with very limited info about their tank.

 

So at this point i have 2 main questions that i hope i can get some input on. First is what do some of the more experienced think about my coral issues, related to high nitrate, possibly low phosphates since i have not tested and was stupidly running gfo w/o ability to test level, or possibly my settings on my hydra26hd.

 

Second what are your guys thoughts on upgrading to a lower sump? I seem to be able to fit what i need in the rear sump at this point but am really interested in refugiums as they seem to help with lots of issues when i comes to water quality.

 

Thank you again and sorry for the novel.

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Thank you everyone for the welcome. Ill give all of you a quick run down of the tank i have along with the equipment under the hood. I have a red sea e-170 with a few upgrades. I have a maxspec gyre 230, two small inovative marine reactors (was running bio pellets in one and gfo/carbon in the other but just turned both off the other day), 2 brs dosing pumps, a hydrofill auto top off, and ditched the red sea skimmer for a psk75 in sump skimmer that i trimmed the base plate to make fit in the aio rear sump section. I have been using polyfill at the top of the return section, cut the foam in that section in half so i could fit a few marine pure spheres on top and cover with polyfill. I removed the filter basket to fit the reactors in that area. Other then that it is stock e-170. I have had an issue with high nitrates down to 20ish from 50 finally. I do not believe i over feed as i only feed 4 times a week. I attribute the nitrate level to the red sea skimmer that came with the tank. I had to adjust that skimmer daily and 2 time the air inlet seemed to plug up and just didnt produce any skim for a few days before i noticed. I had done everything thing to try to lower the nitrates, multiple 5 gallon water changes a week, bio pellets, gfo ( i now know if only removes phosphates). I started using nopox about a week ago and that mixed eith the better skimmer seem to really be knocking the nitrates down. My current water parameters are as follows.

 

Salinity 1.025

Ph 8.2

Nitrate 20ish

Mag 1410

Cal 410

Alk 9.5

Phosphates ? Planning to pick one up this weekend

I dose 7ml of fuel 2 times a week and daily dose brs 2 part broken up over 6 doses daily.

Have been using coral pro salt and rodi water only since day one.

 

My biggest challenge i have right now is i have lost a few pieces of coral and have a fee that dont look to great and then i have others that are doing amazing and growing like crazy. Lost a small acan frag of 4 heads and a dmall hammer coral. I have 2 dmall acros that are not dead but one is not growing but still has nice purple color, the other was vibrant green when i first got it and now is a pink color and has been that way for about 2 months. I am starting to see a little green reappear. All my other corals are doing great, zoas, palys, 2 types of frogspawn, elegance, duncan, gonipora, Trachyphyllia, and encrusting monti. I had a bubble tip that did great for about 2 months then when my old skimmer decided to screw up he started to turn inside out. I kept a close eye on him for about 6 days but he seemed to get worse everyday decided to remove it before a disaster. Long story but wanted to give as much info as possible as i see alot of people post questions with very limited info about their tank.

 

So at this point i have 2 main questions that i hope i can get some input on. First is what do some of the more experienced think about my coral issues, related to high nitrate, possibly low phosphates since i have not tested and was stupidly running gfo w/o ability to test level, or possibly my settings on my hydra26hd.

 

Second what are your guys thoughts on upgrading to a lower sump? I seem to be able to fit what i need in the rear sump at this point but am really interested in refugiums as they seem to help with lots of issues when i comes to water quality.

 

Thank you again and sorry for the novel.

I don't think that high of nitrates is a good thing. I am astonished that your nitrates are ~20ppm with multiple five gallon water changes a week (bolded). I do two on a 75 display, ~90 gallon water volume and there is never any nitrate or phosphate issues. If you don't find what the source is you will probably burn through GFO, which is fairly expensive. How much are you feeding at once? What are you feeding? We should try to get to the bottom of this. It might be the skimmer. Do you keep the water level fairly constant? What is getting caught in the skimmer? I only have macro-algae causing issues in mine, otherwise it never gets clogged.

 

 

A refugium would help. Getting a test kit for phosphates would help too.

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Hi, Andy! Thanks for all the info. It sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things - keeping track of your parameters, watching to see what your corals are doing and how they are changing, dosing small amounts, and limiting your feeding.

 

My guess is that you're on the right track and your coral issues have something to do with your high nitrates. Phosphates might have something to do with it too. I think a major hurdle with phosphate problems is that it's very hard to get an accurate reading on phosphates, I think. Unless you have one of those super expensive, high-end phosphate checkers, I don't know I would rely on the results too much anyway. Plus, if you have algae the test would give you a false negative because the algae is sucking up all the extra phosphates present in your system.

 

I also have the Red Sea 170, and although I don't have it setup right now, I did use the underneath sump. I'd like to think the extra water volume help to keep things stable. And like you said, you can get a bigger and better protein skimmer in there. I'm not really sure you would be able to fit a refugium of any consequence though. But where there's a will there's a way, right? I have a bigger tank now with a bigger sump and run a refugium, which I credit for my very low nitrates. It's the first time I've run a refugium and I'm very pleased with it for all the reasons people write about.

 

A couple other things you might want to think about are your stocking levels, your maintenance routine (i.e. water changes, etc), what you are feeding, and how much you are feeding at one time. For example, if you have a lot of fish or even a few fish that are big poopers, it might be really hard to keep those nitrates in check. If the food you are feeding doesn't break down well, that may also contribute. If you are feeding more food than the fish can snatch up and it lodges in the rock work to decompose, that might cause higher nitrates as well.

 

Hopefully more people will chime in here and give you some more advice. My approach to solving problems is to read a lot, tap all resources, then think for yourself.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Sent from my SM-G928P using Tapatalk

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Thank you miles and gil&fin. I feed hikari marine s and seeweed extreme both in pellets 2 times a week and the other 2 times a week i feed frozen mysis or frozen reef frenzy. I do not rinse or wash the frozen foods and that may be part of my problem but i feel from what i have read that a little of the juices from the frozen food is a good thing for corals as it contains fatty acids. When i feed frozen food i feed about a dime or nickle sized piece thawed in tank water. I usually add a little of gonipower to the mix and spot feed the corals at the same time. When feeding pellets i drop in 5-6 at a time wait till the have been eaten and repeat 3-5 times till the fish start to not eat as fast. For my stock of the tank it may be a little heavy but all the fish are fairly small and have no plans to add anymore. 2 mocha clowns, 1 yellow clown goby, 1 bicolor blenny (he seems to be the one who is the heaviest pooper), 1 orchid dottyback, 1 bengaii cardinal, 1 watchmen goby. For a CUC i have 7ish full sized snails of various types ( crabs have killed 2 or 3 over time) 5 hermits one is pretty big, 1 fire shrimp, and a pistol shrimp. I also have a hitchhiker type of snail i cant remember the name of but did lots of reading and decided they are harmless and most likely beneficial. They have a very small shell that looks like a small fingernail and only come out when lights are about to turn off. I did have some snails have some babies and there was hundreds of them i tried to remove as many as possible because i didnt want a bunch of them to die and further drive up my nitrates as i have no algea except a slight green film that slowly builds on the glass and takes about 6-7 days to really even be very noticable. My ato does not let the water fluctuate more then about 1/8 inch kicks on evey One and half hours or so. What was plugging up my old skimmer was the white calcium deposit from using kalk in my ato to attempt to keep my alk up. I would mix the kalk and let settle and would have the ato hose about 2 inches off the bottom of the of the bucket but was getting calicum deposits everywhere and couldnt keep alk up. So i bought the dosing pumps and couldn't be happier, ill never use kalk again. I think im on the right track to lower the nitrates with the new skimmer and dosing the nopox. I will test levels again tomorrow night and post the results. Thanks again everyone this group of people seems great.

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Gil&fin. If i switch to the lower sump i was planning on keeping the same ato i have now and drilling the ato res that comes with the red sea lower sump to use it as the refugium. I have seen 2 people online that have done so and it looks pretty good.

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