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whistlerskipro
05-21-2015, 01:40 AM
For all of you knowledgeable folks that have been helping us newbies thanks. So this is my situation. My 55 gallon has been up and running for about 2 years. To this point I have been able to work out any problems through forums and information found on the web. My tank is lightly stocked as I wasn't sure what direction I would go. FOWLR or reef setup. I had about 40lbs of LR and about 3"LS. I came across a solid piece of coral 3 months ago at a garage sale. I took the necessary precautions and added the base rock to the tank. As expected there was an expected algae bloom that lasted about 3 weeks and afterwards I could see the coral slowly come to life. Now this is where everything begins to go wrong. I live in a small town and met someone with a lot more experience than myself, or at least I thought so. Upon his suggestion I was told I had way too much LR for such a small amount of fish and invertebrates, and told we should make the tank more reef looking. This involved removing the new piece of coral and break it up to allow more flow throughout the tank. I was also told to take out some more LR which meant I took out more of the well established rock. What was left was that I went from about 40lbs of well established and 30lbs of curing rock to about 40lbs of a mixture of live and curing rock. What was left was what I can only think a tank that is cycling again but cycling big time. I did a 50% water change yesterday and was told by the same person I should cover it up and let it have no light for 3 days. I have done this once before but for my Freshwater tank. I'm not sure if I should be doing this under these circumstances. All my readings look good. 0. Nitrate Nitrites 8.0ph. The tank has 2 clownish 2 green Chronic 1 Lawnmower Blenny 3 Hermit Crabs 1 brittle starfish 1 mushroom Coral Pink Tip Anemone 1 conch.
Lighting T5 54watt Actinic 39watt Blue Plus 2X9Led
2X55gallon Fluval Protein Skimmer
3XCirculation Wave Pump.
I run a canister filter with Sachem charcoal, phosguard, and purigen. NO filter media.
Is there anything I should be adding or not doing. Thanks for any help.
Hopefully the picture was downloaded however though it looks like the water is green it is NOT

WarDog
05-21-2015, 01:52 AM
I'm sorry, maybe I missed the problem. An algae bloom? What is your phosphate level?

whistlerskipro
05-21-2015, 02:55 AM
Thanks War Dog

I had been running Phosguard so I didn't think it would be an issue, but it is running high @02.5. My question was, did removing 30lbs of established LR (in the tank for 2 years) would the coral that I placed in the tank two months ago have had time to establish itself, or did my tank crash because of it? Did doing a 75% water change suffice, and now I just need to let the tank cycle, or is there another problem.

ReEf BoSs
05-21-2015, 03:06 AM
I don't know why but I find that a hard read. So tank was going for 2 years ,why did you have to add base rock for the coral or is the coral just rock I'm lost.

ReEf BoSs
05-21-2015, 03:08 AM
Why do you think it is cycling again?

monocus
05-21-2015, 03:48 AM
your nitrites are really high.should be 0.2 parts per million or less.your canister filter is probably a nitrate/nitrite trap.re test your nitrates as well

whistlerskipro
05-21-2015, 03:56 AM
Sorry about the confusion: I added the dead coral to increase the overall filtration. I didn't think the original 40lbs was enough. More is good?
I believe by removing some of the original LR (two weeks ago) caused the tank to crash . Question: Can base rock (the dead coral) replace the old established LR in two months? I don't think so. So I am thinking I am now dealing with my tank trying to re-establish itself.
Maybe I am completely wrong and it may be something completely different. I am very new at saltwater tanks.

WarDog
05-21-2015, 03:56 AM
your nitrites are really high.should be 0.2 parts per million or less.your canister filter is probably a nitrate/nitrite trap.re test your nitrates as well

Lol. I read nitrite and nitrate as 0 and pH as 8.0

whistlerskipro
05-21-2015, 03:58 AM
Nitrates are fine. I clean the canister weekly and apart from chemical media holds some LR. NO filter media.

Muller
05-21-2015, 03:59 AM
You generally want between 1 -1.5 lbs of live rock per gallon. So you would be looking at 55-80 lbs for your setup. I'm not sure why this person is telling you that you had too much. Live rock helps filter.
I agree with ReefBoss, it's hard to follow your post. Are you getting live rock and coral mixed up. Generally coral is living and if it is a coral skeleton it is considered rock.

Myka
05-21-2015, 04:54 AM
I did a 50% water change yesterday and was told by the same person I should cover it up and let it have no light for 3 days.

Hopefully the picture was downloaded however though it looks like the water is green it is NOT

If the water is not actually green, what is the purpose of the no light period?

Sorry about the confusion: I added the dead coral to increase the overall filtration. I didn't think the original 40lbs was enough. More is good?

More is not always better. Your friend may have been right - if you have too much rock then it hinders flow and creates dead spots. Detritus settles in dead spots and this can lead to issues.

I believe by removing some of the original LR (two weeks ago) caused the tank to crash .What is your definition of "crash"? Did all the fish die?

Question: Can base rock (the dead coral) replace the old established LR in two months? I don't think so. No, you are right, dry rock can't replace live rock in two months, it needs much longer. You had plenty of live rock left though, so that shouldn't actually be an issue.

So I am thinking I am now dealing with my tank trying to re-establish itself.
Maybe I am completely wrong and it may be something completely different. I am very new at saltwater tanks.I think that maybe when you were messing in the tank you disturbed areas that aren't normally disturbed (dead spots from having so much rock) and caused some nasty stuff to get in the water.

If your tank is cycling again you will have an ammonia reading. Have you tested ammonia? No ammonia means no cycle.

whistlerskipro
05-21-2015, 05:27 PM
OK To recap.
The 40lbs of coral I added was dead coral used as more base rock to increase total LR to 1.5lbs LR per gallon for 55gallon tank.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite. 0
Nitrate. 0
Phosphates 2.5

So tank never crashed in the since of loss of fish invertebrates or coral

Actions taken 50% water change
Covering aquarium for 48 hours
Anything else?

Thanks everyone

PS you can see the 40lbs dead coral in the picture, thought it would look good.
Reason for braking it up to get more water flowing through the tank.

canadianbudz604
05-21-2015, 06:26 PM
Kinda seems like the rock had something leeching out of it?

freeze
05-22-2015, 05:10 AM
Phosphates are 2.5? Phosphates should be around .03

If your phosphates are 2.5 that's why everything is green......could be leaching from the new rock, canister doesn't help phosphates. To reduce will be water changes, you could use go, but in a pinch, look into fosdown.....

whistlerskipro
05-22-2015, 11:57 PM
I think you have it! The large piece of coral I was using for base rock apparently can be the source of high phosphates. After removing the original Live rock, if I take out the remainder of that dead coral I will be left with only 20/25lbs of good LR which for a 55gallon aquarium will not be enough. Unfortunately living in Whistler I have no access to LR. Once the 72hrs of blocking any light should I just remove the reminder of the (dead coral) Base Rock? Will the 5 fish I have in the tank be OK? I will replace the LR I removed a month ago and use it as new base rock. Does this make sense?

whistlerskipro
05-23-2015, 12:06 AM
Oh and a substrate of 3"LS.

gobytron
05-23-2015, 12:47 AM
seems like you should remove the coral.

just because you take the time to acid bath and then wash them, they can still have all kinds of stuff that can leach into a body of water.

Not sure I'm following this correctly, but it would seem like all your problems started when you added the coral.

The fact that it was from a garage sale is somewhat concerning.

There could be copper or other hazardous trace metals, chemicals or compounds in there and you would have no way of knowing until you have an issue (which seems to be the case).

Lots of people like to add coral to their freshwater tanks, and if this was the case, may have dosed with all kinds of stuff that would be very detrimental to a sw ecosystem.

they could also have been stored somewhere and exposed to something hazardous (like a garage or under the kitchen sink).

I'm if following this right, get rid of all that dead coral you added, put your live rock back in, add some bacteria (like prodibio) and do lots of water changes until things start to improve.

TimT
05-23-2015, 01:39 AM
With phosphates at 2.4 I would recommend frequent water changes and some Foz Down. The Foz Down will be able to cost effectively and easily remove the Phosphates and keep new phosphate under control while the rocks finish leaching.

I would recommend reducing phosphate over a period of 2 weeks. 1 $30 bottle of Foz Down should remove all the Phosphate plus more. No need to remove rock and disturb your tank again.

FYI I produce the Foz Down and lots of people here have used it successfully.

Cheers,
Tim

whistlerskipro
05-23-2015, 01:42 AM
Thanks Gobytron

Actually this happened over a period of two to three months, everything was great until we removed too much LR two weeks ago. I'm guessing the phosphates levels slowly got to where they are now. The coral came from someone I knew here in Whistler that had it on display so I was pretty sure the dead coral was safe, except as a phosphate factory.

whistlerskipro
05-23-2015, 01:47 AM
So Tim are you saying I can leave the dead coral (base rock) in the tank if I use that product?

TimT
05-23-2015, 03:38 AM
Yes, it will neutralize any phosphate that the rock releases.

reef-keeper
05-23-2015, 04:06 AM
You could add some of your old LR back in you the tank if you use Foz Down as well. You could also use seachem stability as well There are a load of products you can use. I use Dr. Tim's one and only nitrifying bacteria. Worked great. Follow directions on which ever product you use.

whistlerskipro
05-24-2015, 07:42 PM
So after 48hrs of blanketing my tank, phosphates down from 2.5 to .25.
Ammonia, nitrates nitrites remain unchanged at 0
PH 8.1

I was lucky enough to be given another 20lbs of live rock bringing total to 65lbs, and another 4"LS.
Finally I added Sachem PhosGuard and Purgin and a sock of charcoal in a canister filter.
The tank remains very cloudy. Is this right?
Thanks everyone

Newbie

reefwars
05-24-2015, 07:56 PM
You should get a good phosphate test kit I'm assuming because of the numbers you listed it's an api test kit? Putting a blanket on a tank to kill off algae won't decrease phosphates but if anything increase phosphates , think about it if algae dies where does that po4 go? Back to the water colum so right away I'd be looking at my test kit going well thats a bit odd lol get a fresh phosphate test kit when you have the chance next it will make life alot easier in the long run :)

Also have a read here about phosphates as well check out other articles they have :)

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-09/rhf/