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Really nasty sump!


gradth
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So my second tank is a 55 fish only. about 60lbs of rock, 3 fish misc hermits.

 

I run a wetdry sump converted over to a regular sump with live rock and my skimmer. Probably about 15-20 lbs of rock in the sump. The tank has been up for about 8 months or so. Had my usual fights with hair algae and stuff but nothing major. The display looks pretty goodno cyno, diatoms. Today I was doing a water change and realized the sump is just nasty with algae. hair algae, neon grean algae on the baffles with a bit of cyno mixed in, not to mention a ton of debri setting on the bottom. I sucked out as much as i could today.

 

so two questions.

 

1. how can I have so much in the sump and not in the display?

2. How do I stop it?

 

Any thoughts?

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"1. how can I have so much in the sump and not in the display?"

 

-no grazers, a lack of strong flow and maintenance.

 

 

"2. How do I stop it?"

You don't want to stop it all together, but you definitely should control it. Limit the amount of phosphate/nitrate in your tank. MANUALLY remove the algae from time to time. Add some snails to your sump...increasing flow will help... not sure how much you feed your tank, but if your phosphates and nitrates are high, or medium...cut feedings by 1/2 to 2/3.

 

Keep in mind that Macroalgae is a natural consumer of Nitrates and Phosphates and Co2, so algae in the sump is usually desirable...personally I dont like seeing hair algae or cyano in there.

 

Do you have room to add a powerhead to your sump? Detritus leads to excess nutrients, which lead to algae outbreaks.

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do you have lighting over the sump, i would assume you do if you have that much algae growing in there? i would also consider your sump a refugium since you have LR and algae.

 

why would you want to stop the algea from growing in your sump/refugium? that's why your display doesn't have any. well that and because you probably have algae eaters in the display and not in the sump? just remove some of the algae on occasion and that will be another method of nutrient export.

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"1. how can I have so much in the sump and not in the display?"

 

-no grazers, a lack of strong flow and maintenance.

 

 

"2. How do I stop it?"

I don't think you want to stop it, but you definitely need to control it. Limit the amount of phosphate/nitrate in your tank. MANUALLY remove the algae. Add some snails to your sump...increasing flow will help alot. also, not sure how much you feed your tank, but if your phosphates and nitrates are high, or medium...cut feedings by 1/2 to 2/3.

 

Do you have room to add a powerhead to your sump? Detritus leads to excess nutrients, which lead to algae outbreaks.

 

I kinda thought that it was'nt a bad thing, its just plain nasty.

 

I might be able to run a small pump under the rocks, they sit up on egg crate. I used to run a wetdry with bio balls before I redid the tank. everyone told me to dump the bioballs and just put live rock down there. So I did. I dont feed much, maybe once a day.

 

Only have a niger trigger, diamond goby and a sailfin blenny. So not much feeding.

 

Should I cut the light? Just have a shop light with one of those flouresent bulbs on it. Running at night.

 

Have to find some turbos or something to throw in there. Hermits a good idea?

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nitrates are high, about 50ppm(according to my api kit.

 

No kH kit.

 

how does that song go...there was a farmer who had a dog and BIGNO was his name-o...

 

 

B I N G O

 

 

Definitely invest in an API kH KIT...AT THE MINIMUM.

 

Nitrates are definitely your problem here...you are quite lucky to not have the same algae problem in the main tank. If you give it time....you will have the same issue in the main tank.

 

 

How do you do water changes? It needs to be RODI water...if you do this already, then test your RODI water for nitrates...you may need some new filter cartridges.

 

 

to reduce nitrates

-reduce amount fed (if you feed once a day, feed less per day).

-clean filter socks

-suck detritus out of sump dead spots

-do 2 water changes over a 14 day period of 35-40% of your entire system.

 

 

Do you have any macroalgae in the sump? Macroalgae will consume nitrates for a long term solution...you may need to add a refugium.

 

Since you are running a FOWLER tank, Nitrates are not deadly to your tank inhabitants....BUT if not managed correctly, your tank will turn into an algae factory.

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Put some more macro algae in the refugium. They will compete with other kind of algae and bacteria for nurients. Anyway as Kilmca said, you want that stuff in there.

Get some new test kits (how old are them), because from the tank age and your stocklist it is weird to have that levels. Unless you feed like crazy :)

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I will retest tommorow, Im thinking all the crap that got stirred up when I was doing my water change probably caused the high levels, it was nasty like I said.

 

I just changed my rodi filters, and its back to kicking out 0tds.

 

Grassi, thats kinda what I thought cause I dont feed like crazy. I have not been using a filter sock, that might help, just not a lot of room in my sump. One chamber is full of rock, the other is the return pump with baffles in the middle.

 

This is what im dealing with essentially, plumbing is a tad different now.

sump004-1.jpg

 

Sadly I have a custom built 20 long that worked really well, but it wont fit into this stand.

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clean the rock in your sump and add a filter sock. i bet that will make a world of difference. you don't want large particulates getting trapped in that live rock. thats one of the reasons bio balls are not a good thing because they would trap debris if they weren't cleaned, which essentially is the same sort of thing with rubble rock in a sump.

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Nitrates are definitely your problem here...you are quite lucky to not have the same algae problem in the main tank. If you give it time....you will have the same issue in the main tank.

 

 

Nitrates are not deadly to your tank inhabitants....BUT if not managed correctly, your tank will turn into an algae factory.

 

Uhh...Well not exactly. I've had nitrates in the 50 range for over a year now with no algae issues. Many reefers are in that range with no ill effects. I agree that 0 is best, but with any type of large-ish bio-load, you will have at least some nitrates.

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