View Full Version : Any advice appreciated

01-21-2010, 10:19 PM
I have had my tank for about a year and a half now. I think I have met a few of you guys in Red Deer. I feel like I am banging my head against the wall these days. Stuff is not dieing which is good haha but its also growing very very slowly. I am also having some issues lately with polips not being extended on some zoas and xenia. Wondering if anyone in Red Deer would want to come by and take a look and perhaps give me a few pointers as to how to get the tank to the next level.

I discovered my calcium was low just yesterday around 340 for the first time in a long time, I added a few clams I guess they are sucking it all up. So currently trying to raise that. Other tank parameters are:

Salinity: .0025
Alk: Normal
Temp: 26oC
Nitrates / Nitrites / Ammonia etc all zero
Phosphate: 0.5 - been struggling with this one but I think its under control now its falling every day with water changes and Rowaphos.
Mg: Not sure. I ordered a test kit, I think its going to be low if the Calcium is anything to go by
Calcium: 340

Also been struggling with red slime i hope due to the phosphate level so hopefully that will end with the phosphate nearing zero.

Attaching a pic of what it looked like a few weeks ago.

01-21-2010, 10:24 PM
How is the tank for flow? Sometimes, especially in the lower tank areas and on the sandbed, cyano can grow in areas that aren't receiving as much flow.

What salt are you using? Odds are that if you are doing regular waterchanges your magnesium levels might not be off by much. You might want to take your water in to get tested for that as well.

What is "normal" alkalinity? I had heard reports that xenia likes higher alkalinities, I'm not sure if that rings true.

01-21-2010, 10:28 PM
Using Instant Ocean, my Alk test kit is useless time for a new one I think. It reads Normal 1.7 to 2.8. Thats as accurate as it gets.

I have 2 Koralia power heads. I thought that was enough but maybe not. One is a large one and one small.

The Grizz
01-21-2010, 10:40 PM
I have found that since I have started dosing with Coral Snow that my cyano has totally disappered and the clam's & other coral love it. I also switched to IO Reed Crystals as my Mg was almost non existant. Watching my Ca & Mg levels very closly and using a phos reactor now has really helped. my ALK is at 8.3. Your Ca is low as I have mine at 480 - 500.

The Grizz
01-21-2010, 10:42 PM
What size of tank is it?

01-21-2010, 10:46 PM
Tank is 75g I think with prob another at least 10-15 in the sump.

Going to pickup the Mg test kit right now and get a new Alk one while I am at it.

I cleaned the sand bed for the first time the other day took out a lot of yellowish looking gunk along with all the red stuff that was on there. Then yesterday did another water change vacuuming off the rocks (not with the vacuum haha).

01-21-2010, 10:53 PM
You have a lot of fish in there for that size of tank

The Grizz
01-21-2010, 10:54 PM
That red stuff is probably cyano, did it look like you could almost peel it off in sheet form. If it was then your nitrate's ( think that is right thing that causes cyano) are high as mine were. I had to cut back on the feeding. This can really kick the crap out of most coral I speak from experience but I am in no way an expert.

01-21-2010, 10:58 PM
OK well IO can have Mg levels between 900-1100ppm so you might be ok there.

You might want to look into dosing Ca, Mg and an alk buffer now that you have a clam in there using some of that up. I'd do this after you get your water parameters fully tested so you have a baseline.

You might want to put another powerhead in there, or just readjust the ones you have to change up the flow some :biggrin:

01-21-2010, 11:30 PM
I would put atleast 1 more power head in there water movement can stimulate coral growth as they like the movement and it brings more nutrients to them. I have a 55g right now with 5 power heads 3 are on constently they are lower flow and have ocilaters so they sweep back and forth, two are on at opisit times on a timers corallife timer switch. I have no cyano or red slime algae, I did have a very small outbreak of cyano when I started up but that is all I had. The green hair algae was my problem and that I believe was because of a bad timer. It was a digital timer the programming was right but it would turn off when it was suposto turn on and turn on when it was suposto turn off. Fired it in the trash should have broght it back and got my money back ho well.

01-22-2010, 12:10 AM
The Grizz you were rite on the Nitrate. Its reading 5ppm right now. Thats the first time I have ever seen it not read zero.

I haven't added any fish lately and I don't think I am over feeding but I will cut back for sure and see what happens there. I usually fee once a day either a pinch of flakes or some mysis. Plus the tangs get some seaweed either every day or every other day.

Mg is reading 1100
dKH is 10


01-22-2010, 12:38 AM
So all my parameters as of now are:
Ammonia / Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5ppm
Phosphate: 0.5ppm
Calcium: 340ppm
Magnesium: 1100ppm
dKH: 10
Salinity: 0.0025
Temperature: 26-28oC

I lost the reference card for my pH test (ack!) but it looks the same colour as always 8.2 so I guess I need another one of those now (more money :sad: )

So would I be right in thinking I should be doing the following:

Calcium: Work on getting that up to around 450ppm (I am using Kent A & B)
Nitrate: Cut back on the feeding and see if I can get that back down to zero.
Phosphate: Keep running Rowaphos and doing water changes to get that as close to zero as possible.
Magnesium: Should I bother trying to raise from 1100 to 1400?

I also need a better light for my sump so I can actually grow something in there except the little shrimp that seem to love it. :o)

01-22-2010, 02:10 AM
Lets hope the salinity is 1.025 :wink:

As for the magnesium, 1100ppm is a pretty good number. You can try to raise it to about 1350ppm but it will take a lot of supplement.

I wouldn't worry about the pH test kit, your tank will likely hardly fluctuate except at night. With regular water changes it should be pretty stable.

Just concentrate on your list there and you should be on your way! :biggrin:

01-22-2010, 02:18 AM
What are you measuring your salinity with? Also, how old are your bulbs and what type of lighting do you have? What do you normally feed your fish?

01-22-2010, 03:18 AM
Haha yea 1.025 measure with refractometer.

I feed Prime Reef Flakes, PC Mysis and Sea Veggies.

Lights are 4 T5s 2x 12,000K and 2x Antic. They were just replaced this week.

Was running 2x Fiji Purple and 2x 14,000K before that.


The Grizz
01-22-2010, 04:23 AM
When you feed the mysis do you let it unthaw in SW and then pour out the liquid, then replace with some more SW and use a turkey baseter thing to feed. I have found that if you do this the nitrate in the juice of the mysis is not in your tank & only feed a little bit at a time make sure your fish are eating it all befroe it hits bottom. Flack food is the worst to feed as the overflow can carry it away before the fish get it. I feed the pellet food and turn off all my flow so the fish can get it straight away.

Get your Ca up, nitrate's down and then once they are stable work on the MG. I am going to get a hold of ChemMaster's and see if I can get a large quanity of his Mg mix and then redistribute it at the cost I got it for, I have 3 people interested in going in with me on this order. It is a more cost affective Mg supplement then anything else. I will keep in touch with you on this.

You choice of bulbs is better with the 12k & Actinic then the fiji as you only have 4 bulbs.

This is all just my opinion, as I said before I am not an expert but learning everyday with my own experience's. Others my disagree with me but that is there opinion and they may know more then I do.