Copepods now or later?

Erick Armanii

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Good morning r2r!

What’s everyone’s opinions on adding copepods? Before or after fish are added? Should I have the refugium up and running or the dry rock will provide enough hiding spaces?

I’m about 6 weeks into my initial cycle of a new 125g long and triton 44 sump. My test kits are still showing some numbers but I feel the end is near! I am waiting on the cycle to complete before I add fish or pods or both.

I have 3 Qt tanks currently housing:
2 clowns
2 Pj cardinals
Midas blenny
Pintail fairy wrasse
Tricolor fairy wrasse
My 4year old yellow tang
 
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mfinn

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I would add pods as soon as there is no ammonia or nitrite.
I would also get phytoplankton.
You can get both at Algae Barn.
I restarted my 240 last year and knew there would be a big drain on pods because of my wrasses.
So I add pods monthly and dose phyto everyday.
I am amazed at how clean my tank has stayed.
I did not have any of the normal startup issues this time.
 

thaistalyn

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I'm near the end of month 3 of my cycle on a 80 g. My lights have been on for almost 3 weeks and I'm barely seeing diatoms as the silicate is consumed. I'm following the BRS/WWC method, but my livestock choices are taking more of a natural evolutionary approach - rock-bacteria-plants-pods-fish
Below is my cycle sequence:

  • Week 4 - Nitrogen cycle complete - ammonia consumed in 24 hours and noticeable nitrates (Dr Tim's with raw shrimp method - checked with ammonia dose). Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 5 - Added Chaeto to refugium, ramped up to 6 hours light period from 11pm to 5am over 6 days. Added another raw shrimp to keep detritus in the tank. Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 6 - Added tisbe pods and phyto to refugium. Dosed MB7.
  • Week 6-8 - Dosed phyto every other day to the refugium
  • Week 8 - Another round of pods to refugium - started seeing pods all over the fuge and on the DT rocks
  • Week 10 - still adding phyto every other day. Added first fish from QT - Tang and clown. Chaeto had tripled in size from fistfull to filling half a 5 gallon bucket. Harvested back to a fistfull.
  • Week 12 - Lights on. Skimmer ramped up from 8am-8pm over 6 days (2hr increase per day). I only run the skimmer 12 hours per day with lower bio-load and opposite of refugium. I also want to keep some nitrates and phosphates around for the refugium to take up.
  • Week 14 - now - my sump is covered in pods - all different kinds and sizes. With the red flashlight I can see them in the live rock still. Second round of fish just went into tank.
 

Porpoise Hork

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Your wrasses will love you for it that's for sure. Plus the pods add a good bit of bio-diversity and help control some types of nuisance algae as well as possibly assist in preventing the dreaded dinoflagellate bloom from happening.
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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Your wrasses will love you for it that's for sure. Plus the pods add a good bit of bio-diversity and help control some types of nuisance algae as well as possibly assist in preventing the dreaded dinoflagellate bloom from happening.
Dino’s killed my last tank
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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I'm near the end of month 3 of my cycle on a 80 g. My lights have been on for almost 3 weeks and I'm barely seeing diatoms as the silicate is consumed. I'm following the BRS/WWC method, but my livestock choices are taking more of a natural evolutionary approach - rock-bacteria-plants-pods-fish
Below is my cycle sequence:

  • Week 4 - Nitrogen cycle complete - ammonia consumed in 24 hours and noticeable nitrates (Dr Tim's with raw shrimp method - checked with ammonia dose). Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 5 - Added Chaeto to refugium, ramped up to 6 hours light period from 11pm to 5am over 6 days. Added another raw shrimp to keep detritus in the tank. Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 6 - Added tisbe pods and phyto to refugium. Dosed MB7.
  • Week 6-8 - Dosed phyto every other day to the refugium
  • Week 8 - Another round of pods to refugium - started seeing pods all over the fuge and on the DT rocks
  • Week 10 - still adding phyto every other day. Added first fish from QT - Tang and clown. Chaeto had tripled in size from fistfull to filling half a 5 gallon bucket. Harvested back to a fistfull.
  • Week 12 - Lights on. Skimmer ramped up from 8am-8pm over 6 days (2hr increase per day). I only run the skimmer 12 hours per day with lower bio-load and opposite of refugium. I also want to keep some nitrates and phosphates around for the refugium to take up.
  • Week 14 - now - my sump is covered in pods - all different kinds and sizes. With the red flashlight I can see them in the live rock still. Second round of fish just went into tank.
Great info I as well as running the wwcbrs 4 month cycle
 

Porpoise Hork

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Dino’s killed my last tank
I have battled them a few times and managed to beat them back every time. Not something I hope to repeat. I have found that each time I have had an outbreak, my nutrient levels had fallen to undetectable levels and were there for at least 2-3 weeks when the dinos started to appear. Since then I have allowed my tank to run higher on the nutrient levels and have multiple types of tangs to combat nusiance algae in the display and have emeral crabs and various snails in the sump to handle all but the chaeto.

A few things that proved successful for me were discontinuing the use of carbon dosing such as NoPox first and foremost. Running sustained higher nitrate and phosphate levels at 5-10 nitrates and .1 - .2 phosphates with alk at 7.5 to 8 max. Heavy dosing of multiple bacteria cultures such as Seachem stability, Fritz Monster460, etc. The use of sustained a 55w UV looping in the first chamber of the sump. Daily filter sock changes, and monthly dosing of multiple species of pods and live phyto. Took about 2-3 months from onset to beat back the bloom each time.
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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I have battled them a few times and managed to beat them back every time. Not something I hope to repeat. I have found that each time I have had an outbreak, my nutrient levels had fallen to undetectable levels and were there for at least 2-3 weeks when the dinos started to appear. Since then I have allowed my tank to run higher on the nutrient levels and have multiple types of tangs to combat nusiance algae in the display and have emeral crabs and various snails in the sump to handle all but the chaeto.

A few things that proved successful for me were discontinuing the use of carbon dosing such as NoPox first and foremost. Running sustained higher nitrate and phosphate levels at 5-10 nitrates and .1 - .2 phosphates with alk at 7.5 to 8 max. Heavy dosing of multiple bacteria cultures such as Seachem stability, Fritz Monster460, etc. The use of sustained a 55w UV looping in the first chamber of the sump. Daily filter sock changes, and monthly dosing of multiple species of pods and live phyto. Took about 2-3 months from onset to beat back the bloom each time.
That great info.. after my tank crash I ended up getting a UV
 

Porpoise Hork

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That great info.. after my tank crash I ended up getting a UV
I ran UV for a full 3 months after the last signs of the dinos. It's been 4 months since shutting it off and haven't had them return since I have kept up the other dosing of bacteria, pods and elevated nutrient levels.
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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I ran UV for a full 3 months after the last signs of the dinos. It's been 4 months since shutting it off and haven't had them return since I have kept up the other dosing of bacteria, pods and elevated nutrient levels.
Did the Uv effect pods?
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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I'm near the end of month 3 of my cycle on a 80 g. My lights have been on for almost 3 weeks and I'm barely seeing diatoms as the silicate is consumed. I'm following the BRS/WWC method, but my livestock choices are taking more of a natural evolutionary approach - rock-bacteria-plants-pods-fish
Below is my cycle sequence:

  • Week 4 - Nitrogen cycle complete - ammonia consumed in 24 hours and noticeable nitrates (Dr Tim's with raw shrimp method - checked with ammonia dose). Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 5 - Added Chaeto to refugium, ramped up to 6 hours light period from 11pm to 5am over 6 days. Added another raw shrimp to keep detritus in the tank. Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 6 - Added tisbe pods and phyto to refugium. Dosed MB7.
  • Week 6-8 - Dosed phyto every other day to the refugium
  • Week 8 - Another round of pods to refugium - started seeing pods all over the fuge and on the DT rocks
  • Week 10 - still adding phyto every other day. Added first fish from QT - Tang and clown. Chaeto had tripled in size from fistfull to filling half a 5 gallon bucket. Harvested back to a fistfull.
  • Week 12 - Lights on. Skimmer ramped up from 8am-8pm over 6 days (2hr increase per day). I only run the skimmer 12 hours per day with lower bio-load and opposite of refugium. I also want to keep some nitrates and phosphates around for the refugium to take up.
  • Week 14 - now - my sump is covered in pods - all different kinds and sizes. With the red flashlight I can see them in the live rock still. Second round of fish just went into tank.
at what point did you stop showing ammonia?
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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I'm near the end of month 3 of my cycle on a 80 g. My lights have been on for almost 3 weeks and I'm barely seeing diatoms as the silicate is consumed. I'm following the BRS/WWC method, but my livestock choices are taking more of a natural evolutionary approach - rock-bacteria-plants-pods-fish
Below is my cycle sequence:

  • Week 4 - Nitrogen cycle complete - ammonia consumed in 24 hours and noticeable nitrates (Dr Tim's with raw shrimp method - checked with ammonia dose). Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 5 - Added Chaeto to refugium, ramped up to 6 hours light period from 11pm to 5am over 6 days. Added another raw shrimp to keep detritus in the tank. Dosed Microbacter7
  • Week 6 - Added tisbe pods and phyto to refugium. Dosed MB7.
  • Week 6-8 - Dosed phyto every other day to the refugium
  • Week 8 - Another round of pods to refugium - started seeing pods all over the fuge and on the DT rocks
  • Week 10 - still adding phyto every other day. Added first fish from QT - Tang and clown. Chaeto had tripled in size from fistfull to filling half a 5 gallon bucket. Harvested back to a fistfull.
  • Week 12 - Lights on. Skimmer ramped up from 8am-8pm over 6 days (2hr increase per day). I only run the skimmer 12 hours per day with lower bio-load and opposite of refugium. I also want to keep some nitrates and phosphates around for the refugium to take up.
  • Week 14 - now - my sump is covered in pods - all different kinds and sizes. With the red flashlight I can see them in the live rock still. Second round of fish just went into tank.
I circle back to this post and read this ever so often. I really liked the way you outlined your approach and since then I’ve been mirroring your progression. How’s things so far with the tank? I recently added copepods and dose phyto like you outlined..

I have yet to get chateo but intend to do some this week.
 

thaistalyn

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Hello! Tank is doing great. I'm about to hit week 21 - so my 6 month mark is approaching. At this point the tank is pretty much in maintenance mode and I'm just following my husbandry schedule. I really think my approach helped keep the algae under control. Everyone will get some form of algae and I think natural control seems to work the best. Its all about "Algae Management vs Algae Elimination". I feel a controlled amount of algae indicates a healthy marine environment. Between algae management and good husbandry I think our tanks stay stable and healthy.

Algae Management:
  • The Snail Army - I have at least 80 snails in my 80 gallon. I started with 10 Astrea's and 10 Trochus in the Display and about 2 of each in the refugium around week 10 - when I added fish. I was fully expecting some algae at this point. Once I started seeing algae grow on the glass I ordered the Army - about 60 assorted snails, Florida Ceriths, Nerites, Nassuraius, and more Astreas. They all manage different algae and different areas of the tank. For example Ceriths prefer the rock and Astreas the glass.
  • The Tang Gang - I have three small tangs that were introduced over a 6 week period. Each a different species interested in different algae (Yellow, Hippo, and Kole)
  • Benny the Lawnmower Blenny - mows down algae all day long
  • Refugium Plus - I say plus because not only do I have Chaeto in the fuge, but I have live rock and a couple pieces of media in the fuge. Petco has a standard filter pad I put in the fuge along the side walls. The media actually grows a ton of Algae on the pads which I remove monthly and clean off the algae.

Husbandry:
  • Daily - Feed, clean glass, check skimmer, check Chaeto, check ATO reservoir.
  • Bi-Weekly - Change filter floss (I don't use socks), clean Skimmer neck, harvest Chaeto. I also feed my Macro-Micro (MM) recipe to the tank on Wednesday's and Saturday's. MM consists of 1/4 cup Phyto, 5 ML Acropower, 5 ML Seacham Fuel, 1/4 tsp Benepets, and 1/4 tsp Reef Roids.
  • Every 2 weeks - 10% water change, Feed bottle (8oz) of pods to the refugium.
  • Monthly - change carbon. I also just added GFO (Phosban) last month so I will start changing that too. My PO4 started going up from .04 to about 1.2 ppm over the last month. I don't think its bad, but rather keep it stable around 1ppm or less.
Below is a full tank shot from week 16 and also a couple coral I just got last week - The coral pic is 30 min after they were put in the tank after a Coral RX dip - you can see that they had polyp extension pretty quick after getting in the tank.

20200427_115323.jpg

20200525_155726.jpg
 
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Erick Armanii

Erick Armanii

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Hello! Tank is doing great. I'm about to hit week 21 - so my 6 month mark is approaching. At this point the tank is pretty much in maintenance mode and I'm just following my husbandry schedule. I really think my approach helped keep the algae under control. Everyone will get some form of algae and I think natural control seems to work the best. Its all about "Algae Management vs Algae Elimination". I feel a controlled amount of algae indicates a healthy marine environment. Between algae management and good husbandry I think our tanks stay stable and healthy.

Algae Management:
  • The Snail Army - I have at least 80 snails in my 80 gallon. I started with 10 Astrea's and 10 Trochus in the Display and about 2 of each in the refugium around week 10 - when I added fish. I was fully expecting some algae at this point. Once I started seeing algae grow on the glass I ordered the Army - about 60 assorted snails, Florida Ceriths, Nerites, Nassuraius, and more Astreas. They all manage different algae and different areas of the tank. For example Ceriths prefer the rock and Astreas the glass.
  • The Tang Gang - I have three small tangs that were introduced over a 6 week period. Each a different species interested in different algae (Yellow, Hippo, and Kole)
  • Benny the Lawnmower Blenny - mows down algae all day long
  • Refugium Plus - I say plus because not only do I have Chaeto in the fuge, but I have live rock and a couple pieces of media in the fuge. Petco has a standard filter pad I put in the fuge along the side walls. The media actually grows a ton of Algae on the pads which I remove monthly and clean off the algae.

Husbandry:
  • Daily - Feed, clean glass, check skimmer, check Chaeto, check ATO reservoir.
  • Bi-Weekly - Change filter floss (I don't use socks), clean Skimmer neck, harvest Chaeto. I also feed my Macro-Micro (MM) recipe to the tank on Wednesday's and Saturday's. MM consists of 1/4 cup Phyto, 5 ML Acropower, 5 ML Seacham Fuel, 1/4 tsp Benepets, and 1/4 tsp Reef Roids.
  • Every 2 weeks - 10% water change, Feed bottle (8oz) of pods to the refugium.
  • Monthly - change carbon. I also just added GFO (Phosban) last month so I will start changing that too. My PO4 started going up from .04 to about 1.2 ppm over the last month. I don't think its bad, but rather keep it stable around 1ppm or less.
Below is a full tank shot from week 16 and also a couple coral I just got last week - The coral pic is 30 min after they were put in the tank after a Coral RX dip - you can see that they had polyp extension pretty quick after getting in the tank.

20200427_115323.jpg

20200525_155726.jpg
I’m about ready to introduce a cuc and was going to ask you what you’re running. Happy to see it’s bare bottom and things are doing well. I’m also doing a bare bottom sps tank
 
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