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Advice!!!

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Okay the first thing you learn when starting this hobby is (everybody now) PATIENCE! Unfortunately I don't have any. (nono) So all the stuff I order to build my refugium came in today so the first thing I do is open the box and sure as heck my new 800 gph overflow is broken. (flame) So I figure I can plumb everything with the new pumps and piping and just cut back on the return pumps using in-line ball valves and I should be fine. Well famous last words. DOH! My current 300 gph is just not enough to supply two return pumps even with barely any return flow. I just can't balance the flows and I am going to overflow either the display, sump or refugium.

 

So my question is, can my 55 gal tank make it a week with just my Korilia 1 and 4 powerheads running during the work day and at night while I am sleeping? I don't have a huge bio load. I have six small frags, two small percs, scooter blenny, and small CUC. I will run the skimmer and returns after work until I go to sleep. They should ship out my new overflow tommorow and I hopefully will have it Friday or Saturday. I've plumbed everything so it should just be plug and play when it arrives.

 

Will I be okay, or do I need to tear it all back down and re-plumb everything back to a single return? What a PITA!!!!!!

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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Hmm good question. I would even consider dropping an air stone in just to keep your o2 levels high, but thats just me. Better safe than sorry. I would also feed minimally, you won some reef nutrition stuff right?? I would only use arcti pods as a sole food source for your inhabitants until you get your overflow box, don't bother with the rest of it until you can run your skimmer 24/7. You may be able to feed the other stuff, but I always like to err on the safe side. I would think you would be totally fine though. I've just never done that so i'm not speaking from experience, just an educated guess :)

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IMO your O2 should be fine with a couple powerheads for circ. The sump/fuge on this setup isnt going to be kicking in til your bio load gets higher and for better long-term stability of the system. For a couple of weeks you'll get by. Totally agree with keeping feedings to a minimum and maybe do your WC weekly til it all gets put together. There is a lecture on dissolved O2 in reefvideos.com. I watched it a long time ago, but I recall the O2 levels of a much higher bio load in a smaller tank being just fine for several hours in a power failure situation so you will be fine with your situation.

 

FYI in a controlled experiment the skimmer did nothing to increase dissolved O2...same should go for an airstone. The minimal water circulation they give probably contributes a percent or two to the total dissolved O2 and thats about it. Powerheads along with surface area are the work horse for bringing in the oxygen and respiration during daylight hours actually contributes the most in a reef system.

 

Sidenote...is your scooter eating prepared foods? did your tank have a good pod population before it was in the tank? Just concerned he is going to get enough to eat before the fuge gets up and running for a few weeks.

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You should be fine. I ran a 45g with minimal life (a few soft corals and two clowns) for a couple months with only a couple of powerheads. I did not even use an overflow/sump until I had my tank running for almost 6 months.

 

Not how I would recommend, but it was what I could do with the funds that I had at the time. I slowly kept adding parts. I am not done with my system, but I am done with the money that I had to spend. :(

 

dsoz

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Whew!!! (clap) Thanks everyone. This is a load off my mind. I just really started putting things in the tank and I didn't want to lose anything.

 

To the "TheGooseWhisper" Scooter is my wife's favorite fish. She would beat me repeatedly about my mellon if I let anything happen to him. (wife) I feed the tank live pods, and he takes Cyclopeze so he is a happy fish. He is also the main reason for trying to get my refugium up and running. I hopefully won't have to keep buying live. I can grow my own! (rock2)

 

Shane

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Sounds great! Glad to hear you are making the effort to take great care of this little fella. I would love to have one, but my tank has proven too small for them. Maybe someday I'll find one thats a good frozen food eater that needs a good home. My wife and I are the opposite of you and yours...I love them and she's more "meh"...we both agree on clownfish though and she's a big fan of my new yellow wrasse though:)

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Hmm gonna have to bust out my dissoloved o2 test kit and see for myself :) Not saying i don't believe it, just find it hard to believe. Especially when you can run air into your skimmer from outside with higher o2 levels as a way to stabilize/increase your ph. goosewhisperer do you have a link to that o2 lecture? I and i'm sure everyone else would love to see/read it!! You learn something new everyday:D.

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reefvideos.com Eric Borneman oxygen seminar. Its over an hour long iirc. I could have it wrong, but thats one of the few things i remember from watching it is that airstones (and so I assume a skimmer also) do little to increase dissolved O2. Thinking more about it though the skimmer has to help since they are usually driven by a pretty good powerhead. Its just that the bubbles don't do nearly as much as most people assume.

 

Looking back at my previous comment it looks like I got myself tangled up...its the airstones that were actually mentioned in the seminar...my flawed logic brought me to equate that with a skimmer. The flow from the powerhead on the skimmer should help, but the bubbles probably dont. Sorry for the confusion:(

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Bubbles from an airstone don't. Skimmers have a *lot* more bubbles -- Borneman gave a similar speech to us a few years ago and had anecdotal evidence that no skimmer overnight = a big drop in oxygenation. This is corroborated by the fact that drawing outside air (low CO2) vs. room air (higher CO2) into the skimmer venturi raises pH.

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So then the minimal breaking of surface tention provided by the airstone doesn't really equate to enough to be worth using? Am I understanding this correctly? And because the power head is breaking up the surface tention even more it would be more deseriable to use this than a simple airstone?

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I wouldn't use an airstone for circulation because of salt spray. I couldn't say which is better airation-wise, airstone or powerhead.

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Lowman,

 

Thanks for the offer, but my new one has come in. It doesn't work like I thought it would, and now I have to re-think all of my plumbing and my setup. But if at first you don't succeed................Again thinks for the offer.

 

Shane

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You can put the PH just a bit above the water line (if possible) to increase O2 into the tank.. I do this during water changes and the fish go crazy...I notice the same thing in the pond when I spray water into it....the hydors really "chop" the surface and create a ton of oxygenated bubbles for the tank.

 

Kris

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