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Sump silt


reef-fisher

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I have a couple questions regarding the silt that builds up in the sump. First off, what is it and where does it come from. I have tried sponge and filter socks, yet it still gathers over the course of a few weeks.

Second, is there a critter that I can throw in there that will mow it down? Hermits and snails?

For now all I have running is a Solana, and the back chamber is what I am concerned about, but I am setting up a small frag tank in the garage, and want to figure out the best way to keep it clean.

Thanks

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Ben,

 

The silt that builds up is detritus. I try and suck it up using a maxijet w/hose or siphon. This build up can contribute to unwanted nutrient build up and is primarily composed of small bits of decaying biomass including food, algaes, poo, etc.

 

Its really hard to get it out of our systems which is why I use a filter sock to grab most of it. Of course that doesn't really help if you don't change your filter socks often enough like myself DOH!

 

I have been more proactive lately and will continue to be in getting this gunk out of my tank. I have seen coral colors and polyps extension drastically improve once the majority of the detritus is removed.

 

Garrett

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I think it is an accumulation of dead bacteria. The bacteria cover every surface, and reproduce exponentially. When they reproduce so much that they run out of horizontal surface, they start growing vertically, and start to "fall off" and float around. Eventually they make a large "flake" of bacterial cells that settle to the bottom.

 

I am not positive, but that is the explanation that satisfies my mind the best.

 

dsoz

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I think it is an accumulation of dead bacteria. The bacteria cover every surface, and reproduce exponentially. When they reproduce so much that they run out of horizontal surface, they start growing vertically, and start to "fall off" and float around. Eventually they make a large "flake" of bacterial cells that settle to the bottom.

 

I am not positive, but that is the explanation that satisfies my mind the best.

 

dsoz

 

Dennis,

 

Undoubtably some fo the mass is definately a buildup of bacteria and microalgaes. The larger particulates, often a sort of sandy or light brown color is mostly just decaying biomass full of nasty.

 

On a side note, it seems that micro fauna such as copeapods, amphipods, bristleworms, etc. seem to really like to sift through and eat alot of the particles that build up. So I would imagine these are probably the best critters to take care of breaking down the larger stuff into smaller more bacterial and algae energy sources.

 

Still the majority of this stuff in excess or just left to sit and decay definately result in an increased nutrient level (nitrates, and the like). I say suck it out and joyously spatter it on the street!

 

More coral color (rock2)!!!

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I get a buildup of this "stuff" in my sump' date=' I siphon it out once or twice a month when i'm doing a water change. Sump is bare bottom and it has a tendency to accumulate in one area so it's pretty easy to remove.[/quote']

 

This sounds similar.....

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Dennis,

 

Undoubtably some fo the mass is definately a buildup of bacteria and microalgaes. The larger particulates, often a sort of sandy or light brown color is mostly just decaying biomass full of nasty.

 

On a side note, it seems that micro fauna such as copeapods, amphipods, bristleworms, etc. seem to really like to sift through and eat alot of the particles that build up. So I would imagine these are probably the best critters to take care of breaking down the larger stuff into smaller more bacterial and algae energy sources.

 

Still the majority of this stuff in excess or just left to sit and decay definately result in an increased nutrient level (nitrates, and the like). I say suck it out and joyously spatter it on the street!

 

More coral color (rock2)!!!

 

Here is an article on detritus and detritivores by Dr. Ron Shimek. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-03/rs/index.php The last time Dr. Ron was in Portland, he spoke some on the subject during his presentation. Detritivores will consume the detritus, but still this is not totally removing the waste from the system. The end product must still be exported by filtration, water changes, etc. In his talks he very often quotes the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. An understanding of these concepts is very useful in successful aquarium keeping.

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Here is an article on detritus and detritivores by Dr. Ron Shimek. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-03/rs/index.php The last time Dr. Ron was in Portland' date=' he spoke some on the subject during his presentation. Detritivores will consume the detritus, but still this is not totally removing the waste from the system. The end product must still be exported by filtration, water changes, etc. In his talks he very often quotes the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. An understanding of these concepts is very useful in successful aquarium keeping.

 

Very good read.

 

Thanks!

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