30g Restart... have had enough

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Djhype97

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Hey all!

Have had a Nuvo 30g for over 2 years now. Started it with dry rock from an older system of mine. Nitrates/phosphates had always been a problem in this tank for some reason that I still do not know why. I only have 3 fish in there. 2 Wrasses and a Dottyback. I've been fighting these high nitrates along Aiptasia and cyano for all of 2020. In the past year I've tried different methods of reducing and/or eliminating the cyano and high nitrates/phoshates. Tried peppermint shrimp and Aiptasia X to eliminate those filthy animals but no matter what I do, little baby aiptasia's come back in the sand bed, over rocks... I have had it.

I need your advice or input based off your experiences! Here is my plan:
  • go buy new sand and dry rock
  • seed the dry rock in a tub with heater and MarinePure bio spheres for 2 Weeks or so (question here would be, should I use the same spheres in the tank now? Or use some from a buddy's tank that does not have any pests?)
After 2 weeks or once rock is seeded:
  • salvage whatever coral I have left that does not have any aiptasia. (in process of doing that now. I have a frag rack in the tank with what I can save)
  • get rid of all rock and sand
  • give the tank a good scrub down with a mixture of RO water and Vinegar
  • give all pumps, tubes a vinegar bath
  • Add in seeded rocks, sand and fill up
  • place corals and fish back in after a day or two
Anything I'm missing? Should I not do this at all? Help a fellow reefer out!
 
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Kal93

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These are good ideas. Also, check for low-flow zones--I had a couple of areas where food would collect beneath my rocks, so rescaping (along with replacing man-made dry rock with live rock) dramatically improved my nutrient control. Seed the rock with bacteria from your friend's tank and your bio-spheres, if possible.

Regarding you aptasia, peppermint shrimp did not work for me, but nudibranchs from Salty Underground did--they wiped it out from my heavily-infested system in ~3 months.

Are your sure that you have cynao and not dino? You could also try to outcompete your cynao with hair algae (which is much easier to treat).
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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you will loop the issue if you do that above, its literally the first rounds plan same setup.

recommend:


do opposite, get opposite results.

we have a way to fix your aitptasia in one hour. There is nothing that can wipe out a 30 g unless we allow it. before we get into aiptasia control in one hour's time we have to decide on making current tank work, or the startover which is certain to arrive back here in 2024.

this challenge is going to come in 100% of dry start systems, you're at the apex point biologically and are about to reset it all and get much worse dinos the second round. Your approach above isn't what works in work threads, to prevent the condition you want to avoid. What's linked is directly tested in thousands of work threads, that's one link of hundreds avail/same outcome. happy owners.
 
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Ghost25

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If you're considering replacing the rock because of all your problems, I would recommend you consider real live rock. You can get it from another established reef tank or aquacultured. Either way try to get something that's been water for 2+ years.

In my opinion a reef tank is the rock. Getting aquacultured live rock or some from someone with an old system won't be cheap but in my view it is worth it.
 
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Djhype97

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These are good ideas. Also, check for low-flow zones--I had a couple of areas where food would collect beneath my rocks, so rescaping (along with replacing man-made dry rock with live rock) dramatically improved my nutrient control. Seed the rock with bacteria from your friend's tank and your bio-spheres, if possible.

Regarding you aptasia, peppermint shrimp did not work for me, but nudibranchs from Salty Underground did--they wiped it out from my heavily-infested system in ~3 months.

Are your sure that you have cynao and not dino? You could also try to outcompete your cynao with hair algae (which is much easier to treat).
Its definitely cyano. Cyano and annoying aiptasia
 

fish farmer

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Did you have high nitrates/phosphate in your older system? I'm thinking the phos may have come from the older rock. What did you do to combat the nitrate and phosphate problems currently and how to you plan to keep them in check in a new system?

My 29 has a mix of rock from 2000 and 2010. I started to deal with my high nutrient problems several years ago, GFO, cut back feeding, added a fuge. I'm in a much better place, still deal with a bit of GHA, but usually the right critters help with that.

I notice when I start having algae problems it's because the circulating pumps need a good cleaning.

I also use Franks F-aiptasia, but yeah aips are a pain.
 
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Djhype97

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Did you have high nitrates/phosphate in your older system? I'm thinking the phos may have come from the older rock. What did you do to combat the nitrate and phosphate problems currently and how to you plan to keep them in check in a new system?

My 29 has a mix of rock from 2000 and 2010. I started to deal with my high nutrient problems several years ago, GFO, cut back feeding, added a fuge. I'm in a much better place, still deal with a bit of GHA, but usually the right critters help with that.

I notice when I start having algae problems it's because the circulating pumps need a good cleaning.

I also use Franks F-aiptasia, but yeah aips are a pain.
I tried using a drop in algae scrubber from Santa Monica for about 8-10 months... which didn't do a thing.... I put in a biopellet reactor which did work in lowering nitrates, phosphates not as much. It very may well be a flow issue at this point. But the aiptasia is what has been very discouraging
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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that's the easiest part to fix.



aiptasia can't beat that, not ever.
following the common path leads to mass retail dependence and not fun reefing.

choosing a path from work threads lends happiness and deep rest at nite he he

if you get mad enough, at the state of the current system, that can be used to make it work correctly which is ironic. all we need is compliance motivation, the steps are already laid out.

what people really want is a hands off, self-balancing total white rock start reef early on.

we can't have that. have to make it happen with brute force until a more repeatable way can be linked for dry rock starts.
 
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Kal93

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Its definitely cyano. Cyano and annoying aiptasia
Then I can't recommend any other changes for cyano--improving water quality and cyano-x have worked in my hands--but others may have suggestions. Improving your water quality is the first hurdle I'd attempt. If you can't fix this, then go for the nuclear option (full reboot), which will treat the aptasia.

Did you scrub your old rock? I'm wondering whether old biofilm is still adhered, preventing new bacteria from colonizing the interior of the rock (which I'm assuming is porous).

Aptasia is a ***** to deal with. Chemical treatments just made them proliferate, as well as trying to scrape them off my rock. Peppermint shrimp didn't touch it (they were captive-bred). You could try a filefish, or nudibranchs.
 
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reefinatl

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Berghai nudibranch will get aiptasia undercontrol they are just expensive. They aren't a "maybe" like file fish or peppermint, they are obligate aiptasia eaters and will eat them or starve. Once they whittle it down to near extinction start hitting the remaining few with superglue and epoxy over them.
 
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