Dirtying Up a Tank

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Cetus

Cetus

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If it were me, I'd use the inverts instead of fish. Be aware, though, you'll have to feed them until you're tank has enough food for them.
Sure yeah that's what I was thinking. But do you think everything else sounds good atm and it's what I should start?
 

terraincognita

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What's NSW exactly? New Salt Water?

I do have an RO/DI unit with a TDS meter that reads zero whenever I use it. It's practically brand new too. Even have a pump to make sure it's working at proper efficacy.
I don't have much options on what to do now so I think I should just do a 50% water change and then work on dirtying up the tank. The unexplained fish deaths though... I'm not sure if going at it without finding out the issue is a good idea but it could also just be a streak of bad luck or they might've been obtained from cyanide? I don't know for certain hm...

Buy much more dry rock, 50% water change using my RO/DI filter instead, look for live rock wherever, readd fish if things look ok. Maybe I could add a few inverts first just as canaries before adding fish? Think this is a good course of action?
Yeah

big W/C with your own water. NSW = Natural Sea Water.

Most fish stores will sell you established rock from one of their tanks.
 
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Darren in Tacoma

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Did you see what PaulB said in post # 57?

Look at what this guy has done. There are very few people on this forum that I would take advice from, but PaulB is one of the few. Get some life in that tank.
 

terraincognita

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Did you see what PaulB said in post # 57?

Look at what this guy has done. There are very few people on this forum that I would take advice from, but PaulB is one of the few. Get some life in that tank.
He's tried and everything he adds dies.

hence why we're taking a step back.
 
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Did you see what PaulB said in post # 57?

Look at what this guy has done. There are very few people on this forum that I would take advice from, but PaulB is one of the few. Get some life in that tank.
Hm interesting. I do wonder if temperate water stuff would survive in a tropical tank but I suppose it could have merit. There's a place even closer where I can even pluck coralline algae straight out of the water. I do also wonder if the reef environment would potentially ward off any temperate water pests? Not sure but I think it's a good idea nonetheless. I'll give it a go and see how it works.
 

Darren in Tacoma

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Hm interesting. I do wonder if temperate water stuff would survive in a tropical tank but I suppose it could have merit. There's a place even closer where I can even pluck coralline algae straight out of the water. I do also wonder if the reef environment would potentially ward off any temperate water pests? Not sure but I think it's a good idea nonetheless. I'll give it a go and see how it works.
I'm not saying to go down to the river, though that is not a bad idea, I'm recommending reading about PaulB tank and methodology. I have started several reef tanks and I've tried a lot of stuff and I think Pauls methods are very sound. He has a very reliable track record, to say it modestly. A lack of diversity is the most glaring problem I see.
 
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I'm not saying to go down to the river, though that is not a bad idea, I'm recommending reading about PaulB tank and methodology. I have started several reef tanks and I've tried a lot of stuff and I think Pauls methods are very sound. He has a very reliable track record, to say it modestly. A lack of diversity is the most glaring problem I see.
Ah, I see! Strangely, my QT tank with my royal gramma does have decent algae growth so I'm wondering if it could be a lighting issue for algae in particular? I have a decent light for that smaller 10 gallon. I'll give his stuff a check and see what I can come up with.
 

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Good light always helps, but I think the fish poop is helping more. Lot of good things in poop! :p

Your gramma is well, right? Did I remember that correctly? If so... do you have anything that you could move over to the display tank? Or is it bare bottom and pvc tubes?

Poop is a wonderful thing. I'm serious! Sand from your QT being dumped in the DT with all the detritus would help. If you have a bare bottom, suck up all the gunk on the bottom and dump it into your DT. Scrape some of the algae out of the QT and dump it into the DT to help seed it. Wipe a bit of that clear slime we all get on our glass and put it into the tank. See where I'm going with this?

And this is -after- the water change and -only- if your gramma is well. And don't forget to try to get some live rock.

I like @terraincognita 's idea as well. You need more than just nitrate and phos. In this situation, gunk 'n poop 'n decomposing food are a good thing! ;)
 
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Good light always helps, but I think the fish poop is helping more. Lot of good things in poop! :p

Your gramma is well, right? Did I remember that correctly? If so... do you have anything that you could move over to the display tank? Or is it bare bottom and pvc tubes?

Poop is a wonderful thing. I'm serious! Sand from your QT being dumped in the DT with all the detritus would help. If you have a bare bottom, suck up all the gunk on the bottom and dump it into your DT. Scrape some of the algae out of the QT and dump it into the DT to help seed it. Wipe a bit of that clear slime we all get on our glass and put it into the tank. See where I'm going with this?

And this is -after- the water change and -only- if your gramma is well. And don't forget to try to get some live rock.

I like @terraincognita 's idea as well. You need more than just nitrate and phos. In this situation, gunk 'n poop 'n decomposing food are a good thing! ;)
10 gallon QT with a decent sandbed, the red ogo graciliara which is still red and not really deteriorating and a pvc tube for the gramma to hide in. He's doing about as well as you can expect honestly. Feeding well, comes out all the time. This isn't really a QT and more so an extra home but yeah it's a lot dirtier than the main tank atm which I find odd. I do wonder if its a lighting issue. I don't even have dry rock in in the tank and ammonia's fine. The lights on my 125 came with the tank. They're super cheap and basic. It's the Aqueon 125 gallon tank btw. The one I have for my QT seems a lot more powerful. Could I be lacking life because of lighting? Not sure if bacteria really cares though.
 

Critteraholic

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No, low light does not translate to lack of life. :) However, more nutrients and more light will encourage algae growth!

I'm sorry, I can't help you with what would be a good light for your tank. There are tons of people here that can help you though. However, lowering your lights close to the water will help add more intense light to the tank.

So, literally, dirty it up! Throw some of your gunkiest sand from the QT into the DT. The more the better. There are lots of bacteria in poop along with nutrients. Scrape algae off into your DT to help seed it. Follow @terraincognita 's advice of throwing food in there and adding hermits. Hermies and snails poop a lot! More bacteria and nutrients! (Yeah, I have a thing for poop. Poop is a wonderful thing! :p )

Hopefully, the water change and everything will help fix your tank. The hermit crabs will be a testing ground. My fingers are crossed this will do it. Good luck!

P.S. The nitrifying bacteria will grow on anything in the tank. Like your sand bed and plants. And that's what is handling your ammonia. You don't 'need' rock per se, but good rock will house tons of bacteria. A very good thing!
 
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No, low light does not translate to lack of life. :) However, more nutrients and more light will encourage algae growth!

I'm sorry, I can't help you with what would be a good light for your tank. There are tons of people here that can help you though. However, lowering your lights close to the water will help add more intense light to the tank.

So, literally, dirty it up! Throw some of your gunkiest sand from the QT into the DT. The more the better. There are lots of bacteria in poop along with nutrients. Scrape algae off into your DT to help seed it. Follow @terraincognita 's advice of throwing food in there and adding hermits. Hermies and snails poop a lot! More bacteria and nutrients! (Yeah, I have a thing for poop. Poop is a wonderful thing! :p )

Hopefully, the water change and everything will help fix your tank. The hermit crabs will be a testing ground. My fingers are crossed this will do it. Good luck!

P.S. The nitrifying bacteria will grow on anything in the tank. Like your sand bed and plants. And that's what is handling your ammonia. You don't 'need' rock per se, but good rock will house tons of bacteria. A very good thing!
Going snails probably. Though hopefully my nassarius are still alive lol. Maybe shrimp? idk. Ordered around 60 lbs of rock plus a massive foundation rock so hopefully that'll greatly increase the areas bacteria can form on. Then I might just dump a lot of the QT water into the DT idk. We'll see.
 
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Ok. Added around like 70 or so pounds of new dry rock, did a 70 gallon water change, and added two small bits of live rock. How long should it take to start seeing stuff like algae or coralline growth? It's been about a day since then.
 

Critteraholic

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Every tank is different. Hopefully, whatever was holding your tank back has been resolved. Algae loves light. So make sure your lights are on at least 8 hrs a day. However, algae also need nutrients. Have you added any inverts? Their poop will help a lot. If not, add some fish food into the tank to decompose and add nutrients. You can also just leave your lid off and the dust in the air will help add nutrients and algae spores.

For me personally, I usually see diatoms in about 10 days. This is when I add snails so they can keep the algae under control as it grows. Snails won't eat long algae. As for coralline algae, I started easily seeing it (like without a flash light or magnifier - lol) around 4 months in. But again - every tank is different. Keep us posted!

And add pics of your new scape! Would love to see it!
 
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Every tank is different. Hopefully, whatever was holding your tank back has been resolved. Algae loves light. So make sure your lights are on at least 8 hrs a day. However, algae also need nutrients. Have you added any inverts? Their poop will help a lot. If not, add some fish food into the tank to decompose and add nutrients. You can also just leave your lid off and the dust in the air will help add nutrients and algae spores.

For me personally, I usually see diatoms in about 10 days. This is when I add snails so they can keep the algae under control as it grows. Snails won't eat long algae. As for coralline algae, I started easily seeing it (like without a flash light or magnifier - lol) around 4 months in. But again - every tank is different. Keep us posted!

And add pics of your new scape! Would love to see it!
Am starting to get more algae growth in my QT, some even on a dry rock in there so that's good. Idk usually people have problems getting rid of algae I have problems getting it. Maybe a larger fish too? Thus far, everything in the tank has been small because I wanted to build up to the larger ones like tangs. Wonder if I should add something a bit larger with more bioload to dirty it up a bit more? A melanurus wrasse or a blue throat trigger were the ones I was thinking.
 

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Get 2 clowns at once. Throw em in there. Feed 2 times a day dry and frozen. Get a Hanna tester for nitrates. API doesn't show anything for nitrates for me even when i was at 40+. Also check ammonia because if ur cycled why are they dying and 1 pound of rock per gallon of water


1lb of rock per gallon is an arbitrary number that does not account for sand, porosity, number of fish, etc..

I do agree though that more rocks would help since most of these fish we keep live in and around rocks (and coral obviously)
 
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1lb of rock per gallon is an arbitrary number that does not account for sand, porosity, number of fish, etc..

I do agree though that more rocks would help since most of these fish we keep live in and around rocks (and coral obviously)
I got more and tbh, even if not talking about the rules of filtration, it just looks a lot nicer and has a lot more hiding places for fish. I'll get a photo.
 
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