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Old 05-11-2017, 06:46 AM
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Thumbs up 38 Gallon Mixed Reef Cube Newbie

Hi, I'm starting a new thread in the tank journal section.
I have many freshwater tanks and have decided to try a small reef cube.

Current setup
TANK
-28G glass cube, 3/4"bean animal overflow box
-10G sump, bubble magus 5 skimmer, sicce 3.0 return pump, large refuge, 12w led grow light, provisions for 3 reactors, 200w fluval digital heater
-165W dimmable china LED
-20lbs Fiji pink live sand, 17lbs marco dry rock/3lbs live tonga branch
LIVESTOCK
-1 sailfin blenny
-1 Mexican turbo snail
-2 trocus snails
-2 red hermit crabs
WATER
-77*F
-Salinity 1.025
-PH 7.9
-Ammonia 0
-Nitrite 0
-Nitrate 1-5ppm
-KH/Alk 8.1dkh, would like 10dkh
-Calcium 340ppm, would like 450
-Magnesium 1320ppm, would like 1450

I know some of the levels are a bit low I need some advice on what to start dosing. powders vs liquids, best brands, 2part, kalkwasser.... not really sure where to start.

I plan to add 2 clownfish, watchman goby/pistol shrimp, bicolor dottyback, feather duster worm, zoas, torch coral, encrusting monti, mushrooms, No plans for sps

Some advice/comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:25 AM
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No comments or help at all..... ?
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:01 AM
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I started dosing liquid to get my levels where they need to be.. i havent dosed powder yet. But i think best to use liquid to rise levels and then powder to maintain once you figure out your Consumtion rate of your calcium etc....

I got the seachum reef pack stage 1 and 2. Good starter kit forsure.

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Old 05-19-2017, 07:24 PM
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ya I was looking at the seachem stuff, I just got some SC calcium advantage that has mag in it also. I ordered a big thing of kalk I'm going to try also. just need to find something that works and stick with it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:57 PM
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Which salt are you currently using? Alk and Mag levels are actually okay, calc could be higher but it's not that bad either.

Wouldn't start dosing for a while until you've actually added majority of the corals. If not planning to do SPS, kalk would probably be the easiest for a tank you size in the beginning.

I keep a mixed reef on 29 gallon personally and been using kalk with ATO. My tank needs no more than 1 spoon per gallon.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default Kalk precipitating too much phosphate?

Hi, quick update and a few questions.

My tank has been running for 6 months now and I'm having an issue with coral health.

Temp 77*F
Sal 1.025
PH 7.9-8.1
Alk 8-8.2
Cal 425
Mag 1300-1325
Nitrate 15-20ppm
Phos >>>0<<<

I am doing weekly 5 gallon water changes(reef crystals)
Dosing 1000ml Kalkwasser @ 50% strength with dosing pump at night(61ml/hr)

My Candycane, Frogspawn, War coral, 2 RBTA are all not doing well. Surviving but not growing or looking good. I have been testing and keeping my water very steady but I have tested phosphate with 3 different kits and it is dead 0 like not even a hint of color at all.(API,Salifert,Red Sea)

Is it possible that the Kalk is precipitating out ALL the phosphates and my oversized bubble magus curve 5 skimmer is removing too much?
There is almost no Algae in the tank and Cheato will not grow in sump(slowly dying)

Last edited by Tigweldpro; 09-27-2017 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:51 PM
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Your parameters seem pretty good. Still only the Sailfin Blenny in there? Do you feed heavy or only enough for the blenny? You could be right, maybe the system is starved for nutrients.

You've got a pretty small tank with a big skimmer (BM5 rated up to 140G) and a refugium, and the system is just being stripped of all the nutrients. 6 month old tank with no algae and the refugium dying off are pretty good indicators.

At this point it's almost like you're running an ULNS (Ultra Low Nutrient System). I don't have a lot of experience with these systems, but I know that the theory is to almost starve the system and then feed it only the nutrients you want. The Zeovit method is an ULNS and a good example.

You could go a couple of ways at this point to increase your nutrient levels:
-Add some fish to the system and start feeding heavier
-Start feeding the corals directly using Reef-Roids, Reef Snow, Red Sea Reef Energy, Aquavitro Reef Fuel Etc. Etc.
-Take the skimmer offline?

I'm not an expert and personally have never had an ULNS or a problem similar to this, so hopefully some who has direct experience can also chime in.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:21 PM
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Default stock list & possible cures....

Stock list

1 Sailfin Blenny(very fat)
4 small(1 1/2") Perc clownfish
1 yellow watchman goby(actually grey and female)
1 large tiger pistol shrimp
1 small yellow corris wrasse
1 skunk cleaner shrimp
3 trocus snails
3 hermit crabs
2 RBTA (anemone)

1 green birdsnest
1 candycane coral 7 heads
1 fathead dendro
1 frogspawn 3 heads
1 richordia mushroom
1 featherduster
2 orange plating monti
1 war coral
1 devils hand leather
1 pink gorgonian(small)
various zoas/palys, discosoma mushrooms & GSP

Feeding 1/2 cube mysis a day and reef roids/raw shrimp for coral 2x a week.

I believe the Kalk may be responsible cause I really slowly increased dose over 2 months from 1/2 tsp per 10L upto 3 tsp per 10L but always dosing 1000ml per night. At fist I had a lot of algae but it slowly went away as I increased the kalk.

At this point I'm not sure if I should stop Kalk and move to 2 part or start feeding a lot heavier and get a small amount of bio pellets going for the nitrate issue.....
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:50 AM
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It could be a combination of things, higher nitrate and Kalkwasser. Zero phosphate is not good. I lost half of my corals a few months ago when I let my phosphate get to 0. I was dosing KNO3 at the time and as the KNO3 increased the corals, the algae, the coralline algae all starting using up the phosphate and it crashed. I was running GFO at the time which made it worse.

I need to add nitrate to colour up my corals. So I am now adding KPO4 to keep my phosphate at a readable level and adding KNO3 to keep my corals colourful.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:31 AM
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Default KPO4 Source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogger View Post
It could be a combination of things, higher nitrate and Kalkwasser. Zero phosphate is not good. I lost half of my corals a few months ago when I let my phosphate get to 0. I was dosing KNO3 at the time and as the KNO3 increased the corals, the algae, the coralline algae all starting using up the phosphate and it crashed. I was running GFO at the time which made it worse.

I need to add nitrate to colour up my corals. So I am now adding KPO4 to keep my phosphate at a readable level and adding KNO3 to keep my corals colourful.
What is your source for KPO4? Potassium phosphate correct?
I think I need to get some phosphate in my tank asap.I have shut down my skimmer and added 50ml of tumbling bio pellets I am also going to feed a full mysis cube until I get a phosphate reading. I have never ran bio pellets without a skimmer...... I wonder how this will turn out 2 garbage cans full of fresh SW ready to go if something goes bad....
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