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Thread: Starting over

  1. Default Starting over


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi. I'm new to the forum and I have a few questions. I have run a couple of FOWLR tanks over the years with limited success based on advice from my LFS's. A few months ago I lost everything in my tank when my heater malfunctioned and cooked the tank while I was gone for the weekend. I came home to a tank full of dead fish and a temp of 97 degrees. I got frustrated after struggling to get the system running successfully and took everything down. After a few months I got the bug to start again and am in the process of rebuilding my system. This time around I wnat to try to do things correctly and hopefully have more success than in the past.

    My system- tank-110 gallon tall (48x36x18), 2 RENA cannisters, Remora skimmer with maxi-jet 1200. I have used power heads in the past but I am switching to propeller driven devices when I get to the store tomorrow.

    So far I have the water in the tank, the cannisters are running and I have added 60lbs of live sand. Tomorrow I am going to pick up some live rock (money is an issue so it will only be a few pieces to start the cycle) and will add the old dry pieces of rock that I have left over. (Rock is a mixture of what used to be live rock and lace rock)

    Here are my questions;
    Should I run the skimmer during the cycle? What are your thoughts on using the commercial biological additives? I know they don't instantly cycle the system as advertised, but are they helpful? Any other suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Running the skimmer during the cycle is something that is a debated thing. I personally run it from day 1, especially if you are getting any new rock at all.

    Good choice on the powerhead change to the prop driven devices. They provide a much more natural flow.

    As for additives, there is only one product on the shelf for marine aquariums that I would personally use or recommend, and that is Dr. Tims, but it is quite expensive, and you have to be sure to check the date on the bottle as it does have a short shelf life.

    Not sure how much rock you have currently to go with what you are planning to buy, but I would highly recommend you get rid of the canister filters on the tank. Those filters are going to be a headache for you.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have about 85lbs of dry rock and plan on adding about 25lbs of live rock.

    What are the issues with the cannisters? What are some suggestions for alternatives?

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    The issue is that they are nitrate factories. Your canister filters will provide an environment where only aerobic bacteria will grow. The 2 species of bacteria responsible for ammonia and nitrite processing are both aerobic types of bacteria. Your live rock, due to it being extremely porous will also have anaerobic bacteria, and this processes nitrate. Because they leave out that last step in the process, you will find that nitrates will build up in your tank quicker. Your live rock IS your filter media in a marine aquarium, and the canisters are completely unnecessary.

    That 85lbs of dry rock would likely translate into about 110-120 lbs of live rock if you purchased it wet. If you add the 25lbs of live from the store that will be perfect.

    Have you considered adding an overflow box and sump to your system? It would be quite beneficial for you. There really are not any skimmers out there that are of good quality that will handle a tank the size of yours. Coralvue does have a HOB Octopus skimmer that is rated for up to 300 and that will likely be sufficient, but remember, HOB skimmers are all relatively inefficient when compared to in-sump models.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have always heard that a sump is the way to go but I never really considered it. My current system came as a package from a bankruptcy auction at a closed LFS ($200 total) and I always figured it was sufficient. Does a sump require any further physical filtration or just a skimmer? How difficult are they to set up with an overflow box since my tanks isn't drilled?

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    They don't really require any physical filtration, however you can add filter socks to them.

    Setting up the overflow box is really easy. You can usually find them for sale for relatively cheap. The addition of a sump to your system will add greater versatility to your filtration options, and provide for the space to put a much better skimmer.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If your thinking about setting up a sump, you might find the below info helpful

    http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.co...e-sump-basics/
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  8. #8

    Smile


    0 Not allowed!
    How horrible to lose everything like that. While I never try to argue with Goldbarb, I find my canisters work great for me in providing aditional flow/water volume. I run no sponges or rings etc in my Cans, nothing that will trap particles. I run only Nitrogen sponge. It trully helps keep my Nitrates very low and allows for more time between water changes. One of my Cans also has a 9W UV unit, I have never had a preventable desease/red slime issue since installing the unit. He is absolutely correct on the Rock being your natural filtration. I started my Fowlr with no live rock, quarried rock and Nitrafying bacteria only. I dosed with pure ammonia until my cycle was complete and then slowly added fish. I recently set up my reef cube using the same method. Zero mechanical filtration. I did add live rock scraps I got from my LFS to the filtration area and now have a thriving copopod population allowing me to host a Manderin Goby and a pair of Seahorses. BTW, if using a Cannister, consider a Hydor inline heater. Nothing in the tank and I have been advised by many (I trust) they don't fail...
    Good Luck...
    Last edited by Surfdog; 05-29-2012 at 03:56 PM.
    Life is tough, it's even tougher if your stupid.

    If your not angry, your not paying attention...

    150G FWLR (Morays) 75G Fresh (Assrtd) 24G Cube (Reef/Goby) 10G Fresh (Beta)

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog
    I run no sponges or rings etc in my Cans, nothing that will trap particles.
    That's what I'm talking about. ;) There's nothing wrong with using them for water movement and chemical media.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for all the help! I'm currently formulating a plan for a simple sump that will house a skimmer and heater. this will also solve the dilemma I have had with the noise created by my Remora skimmer.

    One new question in response to using nitrogen sponge in a canister. If this method were applied during the setup process would it reduce the amonia, thereby slowing down the initial cycle process?

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