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View Full Version : Just about ready to throw in the towel grrr


digital-audiophile
06-17-2008, 04:42 PM
I don't know what it is about SW tanks sometimes. About two months ago my tank looked the best that it ever had, I had started zeo and everything was showing growth and colour and I could not have been happier.

In the past month however everything has gone down the tube. I have been fighting a losing battle with cyano, it just will not go away and just keeps getting worse not matter what steps I take to stop it. My SPS are browing out and even starting the first stages of STN.

michika
06-17-2008, 04:49 PM
That is really unfortunate. Are you still using the Zeo system?

Delphinus
06-17-2008, 04:55 PM
Sorry to hear that Greg!! I know how you feel though.

FWIW, I ran a cyano treatment on my zeo tank some 2-3 weeks ago and it has helped. The cyano kicked back and hasn't reappeared. I've also discontinued all but the basic 4 of zeo for now and on Sean's advice I dialed back the flow through the reactor to a very small trickle.

I broke my reactor 2 nights ago trying to clear a rock jam. Luckily I had some weldon onhand to fix the acrylic, but now my reactor is starting to look more like Frankenstein between the gouges from rock jams and my acrylic fixit job. Not sure why I mention this, it's sort of irrelevant I guess.. .just thought I'd share my story that had me all p!ssy about zeo a couple nights ago. :lol:

Are you tracking your tank temperature at all? I wonder if it's warming up a bit now that it's warmer outside.

Aquattro
06-17-2008, 04:55 PM
Greg, this is just one of those downs that make the ups that much more rewarding. Throwing towels won't fix it, and if you pack it in, you'll regret it in three weeks. Figure out where and when things changed, and work backwards. Maybe pull out the zeo for now, do a 50% water change, siphon and sand bed with one of those vac things, keep the skimmer cleaned daily, and use filter socks if you aren't already.
Slow off feeding, rinse any frozen foods, rearrange flow every few days to remove dead spots, and in a month you'll be happy again. Or too tired to care. Either way, get at 'er!!

digital-audiophile
06-17-2008, 04:55 PM
I am still using zeo, but right now I have cut out all but the basic four and have lowered my dose to almost nothing. From everything I have read Zeostart in excess can be a cause of red slime. My params are all testing normal which is what confuses me.

I am thinking on the weekend when I have some time, and kick this cold I have been fighting I will lift off my lights so I can get deep into the tank and manual pull/syphon out as much as the cyano as I can. I want to do a large water change and a change out of my zeolites and carbon as well (they are still about 3 weeks before the scheduled change) but this may help.

Red Coral Aquariums
06-17-2008, 04:56 PM
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate happenings. Since I have been on this site you have been supportive and a great help to others.
A couple small things I am sure you have checked and double checked your parameters?
What is the TDS on your RO?
Have you considered contacting zeovit.com?

Kevin

digital-audiophile
06-17-2008, 04:57 PM
Thanks for the support guys and gals :)

What were you using as a Cyano treatment Tony?

The TDS on my RO DI is 0 right now, I do store my fresh water in a rain barrel but it still tests 0 as it comes out.

My temp does not fluctuate too much as it is in the basement. It goes from 79 overnight to a max of 81 after the lights have been on all day.

I might consider chaning bulbs as my T5's are all about 3 months old now.

I've taken advice from the gurus on zeovit.com but it has not helped too much as of yet.

I will try to move around my flow, I am running a vortech and three koralias but perhaps they need to shift a bit. If I had the extra money burning a hole in my pocket I would pick up another vortech :p

sphelps
06-17-2008, 05:03 PM
You do require a large skimmer with the zeo system, what kind are you using and what size is your system. Also have you been keeping up with the 10% weekly water changes?

Zeovit is a good system but you can't do it half ***, ineffective skimming will result in all kinds of bacteria blooms such as cyano. I would defiantly cut your dosing by half until you can figure out what is causing the bloom.

andestang
06-17-2008, 05:08 PM
In the early stages of starting Zeovit I used Chemi-clean (boyd) and what I had cleared up(but not a cure) and never returned with continued use of zeo. I also use now the Coral snow,which also to help control cyno and seems to be working.

Delphinus
06-17-2008, 05:10 PM
I'm nodding my head fervently at Brad's advice and wishing I had said those things too.

Hmmm, I would sincerely hope that T5's last longer than 3 months.. I doubt that lights is the root cause here.

The red slime treatment I did was just one of the standard red slime treatments you can get. I forget which one I used this time but it was one of Chemiclean or just "Red Slime Remover" (if you ask at the store they'll know which one it is). It's a yellow powder that smells like banana and your water will go yellow at first and you'll freak right out and wonder what you did to your tank, and your skimmer will go nuts so you have to take it offline or just have it drain back into your tank, but in 2-3 days the cyano will be gone and you can start skimming again (at a low setting as it will skim out like nuts). You do also need to run carbon and do something like a 25% water change afterwards.

I suspect running red slime treatments is a "dirty little secret" a lot of reefers won't admit to, but do occasionally do. I've run them about a half-dozen times over the years when I've gotten desperate. I don't like to do it because it affects O2 levels in the tank but it really does work.

Another thing you can try is erythomycin but I haven't used it myself.

I should mention that one thing I did do at the same time as my red slime treatment was I bleached out my SW mixing bucket (30g rubbermaid), rinsed the HECK out of it, also rinsed the heck out of my RO/DI reservoir.

But yeah, stay the course. Brad hit the nail on the head. The downs makes us appreciate the ups, and frankly, if this stuff was super easy then everyone would be doing it. :)

Edmonton Eskimo
06-17-2008, 05:18 PM
I find the statement "my tank never looked better and then I started zeo" very interesting. Why use zeo if your tank was looking good? I was going to give zeo a try but I just can't justify the cost nor the commitment required to do it. If any mistakes are made with zeo..... lights out so to speak. I'm not in for that.

albert_dao
06-17-2008, 06:55 PM
I'm going to be in Calgary over the weekend.

If anyone wants to meet up over lunch for a ZEO instructional, I'd be happy to share.

Der_Iron_Chef
06-17-2008, 07:36 PM
I'm going to be in Calgary over the weekend.

If anyone wants to meet up over lunch for a ZEO instructional, I'd be happy to share.

Not a bad idea.

Delphinus
06-17-2008, 08:10 PM
I would try to get in on that (depending on where/when I guess!!) :) :) :)

digital-audiophile
06-17-2008, 08:33 PM
Zeo is what really kicked my tank into high gear, when I started zeo I saw a lot of good changes, better water quality and colour/growth.

I have been very strict about my dosing regiment and change 5% water weekly with RBS (zeo guide recommends 10% with other salts)

I am running a euro reef rs135, it is a decent skimmer allthough I wish I had a bubble king, but for the price this skimmer works well.

I find the statement "my tank never looked better and then I started zeo" very interesting. Why use zeo if your tank was looking good? I was going to give zeo a try but I just can't justify the cost nor the commitment required to do it. If any mistakes are made with zeo..... lights out so to speak. I'm not in for that.

Snappy
06-17-2008, 09:24 PM
Greg,
are you using RO water? If not the spring run off time is really bad for extra chemicals in the water our reefs don't like. I am having a similar battle as I neglected to change my RO filters soon enough.

Brent F
06-17-2008, 09:55 PM
Snappy, great point. I'll need to test my RO and see if the TDS have increased. I haven't changed the filters in a while.

I can't get those stupid quick connects apart without breaking them so changing filters means I need to replace half the fittings on my filter.

sphelps
06-17-2008, 10:24 PM
I have been very strict about my dosing regiment and change 5% water weekly with RBS (zeo guide recommends 10% with other salts)

I am running a euro reef rs135, it is a decent skimmer allthough I wish I had a bubble king, but for the price this skimmer works well.

Personally I think your skimmer is your problem, I really don't think a ER 135 is big enough for a 90 gallon + sump system when using Zeovit. Although it may be a good skimmer for the price it just simply will not do what you're expecting it to. Basically you're flooding your tank with bacteria and bacteria food to eliminate nutrients but there are harmful byproducts that need to be skimmed out. It seems fairly obvious to me that skimming has not been effective and these byproducts along with excess bacteria and b-food has resulting in a cyano outbreak.

Although the guide does state that 5% weekly is fine when using RBS it also states this would be for the purpose of only replacing elements. In your case you should change more water to help remove byproducts and excess bacteria and nutrients not removed by your skimmer.

sphelps
06-17-2008, 10:32 PM
Greg,
are you using RO water? If not the spring run off time is really bad for extra chemicals in the water our reefs don't like. I am having a similar battle as I neglected to change my RO filters soon enough.

Wouldn't make much sense to use tap water and zeovit, kind of like putting regular gas in a Ferrari :biggrin:

digital-audiophile
06-18-2008, 01:19 AM
Greg,
are you using RO water? If not the spring run off time is really bad for extra chemicals in the water our reefs don't like. I am having a similar battle as I neglected to change my RO filters soon enough.

I use only RO/DI, but I have not made up any fresh in a couple weeks as I have a 60G rain barrel that is now about half empty. I might find a higher TDS as I make more water later this week.

digital-audiophile
06-18-2008, 01:23 AM
Personally I think your skimmer is your problem, I really don't think a ER 135 is big enough for a 90 gallon + sump system when using Zeovit. Although it may be a good skimmer for the price it just simply will not do what you're expecting it to. Basically you're flooding your tank with bacteria and bacteria food to eliminate nutrients but there are harmful byproducts that need to be skimmed out. It seems fairly obvious to me that skimming has not been effective and these byproducts along with excess bacteria and b-food has resulting in a cyano outbreak.

Although the guide does state that 5% weekly is fine when using RBS it also states this would be for the purpose of only replacing elements. In your case you should change more water to help remove byproducts and excess bacteria and nutrients not removed by your skimmer.

With sump minus displacement of rock my system is only about 100G total water and I am only lightly stocked so the ER should be sufficient, I would love to upgrade to a BK but the $1000 price tag is holding me back. With the ER and weekly changes I should be removing enough of the bad nutrients to compensate for not spending my mortgage on a new skimmer. :p

As I noted earlier in exchange for my regular 5% water change this weekend I am planning on doing a larger removal and replacement upwards of 25% volume.

sphelps
06-18-2008, 02:51 AM
With sump minus displacement of rock my system is only about 100G total water and I am only lightly stocked so the ER should be sufficient

That's exactly what Euro Reef was counting on when they came up with that rating, plus they didn't make that rating for a zeo tank. I'm not trying to cut you down, nor am I telling you to break your bank, I'm just being straight forward. If it was sufficient you probably wouldn't have the cyano outbreak. Your best bet would be to cut back on the zeo until you get things cleaned up.

Delphinus
06-18-2008, 04:12 AM
So how much of a ratings-upping should you look for, maybe about twice? Ie., look for 200g if you have 100g? I realize skimmer ratings have gotten better in recent years but I still take a skeptical view towards manufacturer ratings.. something of a black art methinks..

marie
06-18-2008, 04:27 AM
So how much of a ratings-upping should you look for, maybe about twice? Ie., look for 200g if you have 100g? I realize skimmer ratings have gotten better in recent years but I still take a skeptical view towards manufacturer ratings.. something of a black art methinks..
Even Bubblekings ratings are suspect. I have the supermarin 200 which is rated up to 400g and I find it is a little small for my system of around 200g total. I now wish I had gone with the supermarin 250

i have crabs
06-18-2008, 05:23 AM
i would try dripping kalkwasser at night for a week wich will pricipitate out any extra phosphate in your water. also if you dont use carbon i would use that for a while too.

digital-audiophile
06-18-2008, 03:43 PM
That's exactly what Euro Reef was counting on when they came up with that rating, plus they didn't make that rating for a zeo tank. I'm not trying to cut you down, nor am I telling you to break your bank, I'm just being straight forward. If it was sufficient you probably wouldn't have the cyano outbreak. Your best bet would be to cut back on the zeo until you get things cleaned up.

You might very well be right, it's just there is nothing I can do to change the skimmer situation so I am stuck in a rut it might seem. I've already reduced my zeo addivitves to a very minimal dose, any lower and I might as well stop all together.

I am running carbon fluidized in a phosban reactor, I know the zeo guide says to run it passive in the sump but I found before my issues that the carbon had a better effect in the reactor.

sphelps
06-18-2008, 04:25 PM
Usually skimmers like EuroReef have fairly accurate ratings. But every tank is different, you may have a light bio-load or so you might think as you only have a few fish. However some feed more than others and have more corals which could either lower or increase the bio-load. Another concern is over skimming which is just as bad as under skimming but has different effects so it's also important not to go too big as well.

With zeovit the idea is to over skim and replace the elements more often than usual. So a large skimmer is very important for this method to work. Zeovit is not for everyone and I wouldn't recommend anyone just jump into it because they see some really nice tanks that use it. The bottom line is it's not a miracle cure or tool for reef keeping and there are just as many, if not more, beautiful tanks without zeovit out there.

My recommendation to anyone thinking about zeovit is not to start with the full system (basic 4). First try everything else in the guide except the actual reactor and basic 4 additives: efficient skimming, good lighting, good alternating flow, weekly water changes, stable parameters and so on. Then try a few of the other additives which do not require the reactor. Such additives include:
Amino Acids (both lps and reg)
Coral Snow (coral food, and helps remove slime)
Zeospur2 (when used properly will control zooxanthellae concentration for better color)
K- Balance (Potassium)
and so on, there are so many now, all worth trying.

If that doesn't give you the results you're looking for then you can consider the full system.

When I used zeovit I did a lot of reading on the zeovit forum and found many people jumping into the system and had bad results, similar to the one in this thread. I had good results with zeovit but after a year I found that I can get better and more consistent results without the full system.

wickedfrags
06-18-2008, 06:14 PM
Gotta agree with Snappy.

Change out your filters, flush your RO membrane and change your DI resin. In 2 weeks you should be back to normal. If I see algae starting in my tank it is always because of the RO unit, regardless of the TDS (which can vary greatly depending on the device used to measure). Do this and the algae will go away by itself.

Also, I would not recommend storing your new RO water in a rain water container that long (more than 24-48 hours) if it is not food grade. Good luck.

Greg,
are you using RO water? If not the spring run off time is really bad for extra chemicals in the water our reefs don't like. I am having a similar battle as I neglected to change my RO filters soon enough.

andresont
06-19-2008, 07:06 PM
I had a beautifull 1 year old tank with ZERO alge and growing SPS with very nice colors.
Then ZEO "miracle" came to our land.My tank is now full of red hair algae.
ZEO rocks are just NO3 and Po4 Factory, at least it was to me similar to BIO balls.

I had corresponding flow to my tank size throu the rock , regular shaking, RO/DI water only with TDS @ o-ppm, marine pro salt, fresh T5 bulbs, water change every 8 days, two skimmers 600 L/air /hr each, 90x times display tank flow turnover. Sal 1.024, Ph always 8.3 day above 8.1 night.
I feed my sps regulary with variable diet.

I was never able to find a sweet spot between carbon and bacteria doisng, so I got rid of ZEO rocks and will never go back to it.Still use some suplements like Sponge, Amino acid etc. Just because i still have it.

3 weeks without ZEO rocks, cut down light first two days no loight at all, now down to 3hrs a day, vigorus Po4 removal and manual algae removal, seem to improve overall tank condition.

For red cyino though I use ZEO-bak soaked in ZEO-snow seems to help.
Will never use ZEO rocks again.
Not to mention large SPS loss due to a tiny bit more flow that I tried for few days. Lost about 400$ worth of SPS in 4 days like a snap !.

Still have 2/3 of a bag of zeo rocks if anybody wants it.

.

albert_dao
06-20-2008, 05:56 PM
Sounds rather atypical of Zeovit or probiotic methods in general.