55 Gallon Established tank help

cjphi14

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I've had a 55 gallon (48x12x18) for about a year now. I recently had a large crash in the tank that was due to a lack of oxygen in the water. I initially attempted to set the tank up without a proteins skimmer, which after reading many threads on here is obviously a mistake. I'm running my tank without a sump, using a canister as a refugium type filter. I have a HOB protein skimmer, 2 fluval cp2 powerheads, and a 150 watt heater. I also have live sand and rock in my tank currently for biological filtration and I run carbon. So my question is are there any things that I'm missing that could hurt me down the road, aside from a sump. Trying to avoid another crash in the future.
 
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driftin

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A lot will depend on what livestock you want. Regardless of that, though, I think more flow in the tank would be helpful, those are pretty small pumps. Surface agitation can help with oxygen exchange too, it's a big factor.
 
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cjphi14

cjphi14

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A lot will depend on what livestock you want. Regardless of that, though, I think more flow in the tank would be helpful, those are pretty small pumps. Surface agitation can help with oxygen exchange too, it's a big factor.
I'm planning on keeping a mixed reef, with more softies and lps than sps. The oxygen levels are stable I think the main issue was I didn't have protein skimming. What pumps would you recommend for a tank my size?
 

Bruce60

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Protein skimming is only one way to help keep the water oxygenated (and carbon dioxide removed). Increased water flow is also helpful. Do you have a glass top? That will also limit efficiency of the air exchange. You might consider a screen top (or partial screen). Moving air with a fan across the surface of the water or having a circulating pump disturb the surface can also increase air exchange.

The question that I am most curious about is why the oxygen levels in your tank suddenly crashed and caused a major loss. Something 'consumed' the oxygen in the tank. An unnoticed death, something that released a toxin, something that upset the sand bed bacterial balance, something that was added that triggered this?

It is great to treat the symptoms and build some additional resilience into your system; however, you miss the opportunity to understand the underlying cause, which will best help you to avoid repetition.

Best wishes!!
 
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cjphi14

cjphi14

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Protein skimming is only one way to help keep the water oxygenated (and carbon dioxide removed). Increased water flow is also helpful. Do you have a glass top? That will also limit efficiency of the air exchange. You might consider a screen top (or partial screen). Moving air with a fan across the surface of the water or having a circulating pump disturb the surface can also increase air exchange.

The question that I am most curious about is why the oxygen levels in your tank suddenly crashed and caused a major loss. Something 'consumed' the oxygen in the tank. An unnoticed death, something that released a toxin, something that upset the sand bed bacterial balance, something that was added that triggered this?

It is great to treat the symptoms and build some additional resilience into your system; however, you miss the opportunity to understand the underlying cause, which will best help you to avoid repetition.

Best wishes!!
I have a screen top and circulation pumps (though i may be adding more). When the crash happened I had no protein skimming and was supplementing the water with Red sea Nitrate and phosphate control. I also have a flow breaker that was not functioning properly at the time. So this all contributed. I lost a Sailfin tang, an ocellaris Clown. A firefish, A damselfish, and an anthias at the time. I think it was just a combination of things at the same time. I did add a piece of live rock to help boost my coralline growth so not sure if that contributed. I think the way I have it set up now the oxygen won't fall like that again, but I'm also wondering if there are certain things about my tank that could lead to future failures, in other areas too.
 
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