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Preparing for Tank Transfer


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Well, things are starting to come together for my SCA 90 gal upgrade!  Finished up the plumbing over the weekend, and moved the Gulf Live Rock over.  I was planning on making the transfer from my 40B this weekend, but I want to make sure I've thought this through and avoid any disasters.  Here's my plan and questions - I would greatly appreciate input and tips!

- I don't really care about keeping any of the existing 40B tank water, I figure all of the bacteria I need will be in the rock/sand

- I don't plan on transferring much of the sand from the existing tank (maybe a few scoop fulls), as I don't want to cause a massive nutrient release, and I have enough new sand in the 90 to cover the bottom (going for shallow bed)

- Currently, I've been having a major battle with nasty hair algae in my existing tank...I'm half-way tempted to put the rock into a Brute for a few weeks to help kill off the algae.  But, since I'm trying to do a minimal disruption tank transfer I think a better option would be to give all of the rock a good scrub and move over to the 90.

 

Here are my main questions/dilemmas:

As noted above, I've been having major algae issues.  My chaeto isn't growing that well, and I think it's because it's getting out-competed by the hair algae.  However, I bought the rock from a local reefer (not through this site), so I'm unsure of it's history - I'm wondering if it could also be leaching nutrients/phosphate back in the water?  That's the part that makes me hesitant to move directly over.  Also, I've been having issues with snails dying, mainly ceriths (no issues with other inverts).  Some of my softies (like ricordea) have also been looking sad, so that's why the thought crossed my mind that they might be leaching something.  It may be unrelated though, and I may just be losing the battle regarding nutrient export and feeding the right algaes.

Any suggestions?  Thanks!

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It’s going to be guessing without testing parameters. What is your nitrate/phosphate at now? Is there ammonia or something else in the tank? How old is the 40B? Has the hair algae issue been going on for a month? Six months? Year? What are we talking about here and how have you attempted to remedy it?

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My $0.02 is to not use any old rock that has the hair algae on it. I was in your same boat with my 90G before upgrading to my 150G over the summer. I bought a bunch of clean rock and started over with only a couple pieces of my old rock. I also did the new tank snake oil quick starter stuff, but make sure not to do that if you're using live sand. Knock on wood, my system is running clean as a whistle and actually a little too low on nutrients now at times. 

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19 hours ago, Blue Z Reef said:

It’s going to be guessing without testing parameters. What is your nitrate/phosphate at now? Is there ammonia or something else in the tank? How old is the 40B? Has the hair algae issue been going on for a month? Six months? Year? What are we talking about here and how have you attempted to remedy it?

Sorry, should have probably provided some additional context/backstory - here's how the saga started in the 40B: 

Current readings for nitrate/phosphate in the 40B are 16 and .13 ppm respectively (no ammonia).  Main thing I've been trying lately is letting things settle in on their own while keeping up with water changes.  Some things seem to be doing great (fish, crabs, nem, clam, mushroom), but the rics, snails, and some zoas haven't seemed very happy.  Things haven't been going so well with the stonies, but I recognize that's most likely because there has been a lot of fluctuations and instability.

 

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4 hours ago, Bicyclebill said:

My $0.02 is to not use any old rock that has the hair algae on it. I was in your same boat with my 90G before upgrading to my 150G over the summer. I bought a bunch of clean rock and started over with only a couple pieces of my old rock. I also did the new tank snake oil quick starter stuff, but make sure not to do that if you're using live sand. Knock on wood, my system is running clean as a whistle and actually a little too low on nutrients now at times. 

See, I've thought about that, especially since I have real live rock as a starter in the 90, but here are my reservations:

1. Some corals/inverts (nem, clam, zoas) are attached the the current LR.  I don't want to risk damaging them if I try to remove

2. I'm sure there's a lot of good critters/bacteria in the current LR; I hate to lose all of that

3. I'm concerned that even though I have LR in the 90, it won't be enough (50#) to support from a bio-filtration perspective.  I'd like to end up with 100# + of LR

 

I'm planning on upping my chaeto game, now that I will have a sump/fuge and I picked up a Kessil 160.  

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Spray hydrogen peroxide on the rocks and let them stay out of the water for a couple minutes. It'll die off over the next couple days. Obviously, when rocks have coral on them you have to be more calculated with where you spray and how long you keep it out of the water. 

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15 hours ago, Higher Thinking said:

Spray hydrogen peroxide on the rocks and let them stay out of the water for a couple minutes. It'll die off over the next couple days. Obviously, when rocks have coral on them you have to be more calculated with where you spray and how long you keep it out of the water. 

So I'm thinking a good plan of attack might be to give the rocks a good scrub first and then spritz on some peroxide with a spray bottle - you think 3-5 minutes would be long enough?  I don't think I'd even need to rinse them before putting them in the new tank, but might not be a bad idea.

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Also, did you ever try vibrant? Works well for algae in general but I’d do as mentioned, scrub and peroxide.

 

Not sure what fish you keep but now that you have a 90 gal, might be time for a good maintenance tang like a scopas/tomini/kole.

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Well, that was more work than expected (been a while since I've broken down a tank), but so far all looks good!  The peroxide really seems to have done the trick.  There was some algae that didn't all get scrubbed off, but over the last day or so it has disintegrated...fingers crossed that I'll be able to keep it under control!  After cleaning out the 40B, I think my main problem was that I wasn't getting as much nutrient export as I figured - I'm sure that was the root of my problems.

Time will tell, thank you all for your advice and input!

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