Live Rock

Todd White

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If you followed my "Are My Corals Sick" thread, this kinda goes with that.
I paid a guy to set my tank up April 15, 2016 with the promise he would guide me every step of the way. This is my third SW tank and first coral tank. My first tank was a 55 gallon, and the second a 120, both had live sand, live rock and the wet/dry sump. In the 6 years I had those tanks I lost 4 fish, did my own water changes and maintained the tank my self. I took the water to the local Aquarium store in Knoxville, TN (all they deal with is aquariums, no animals, so their experts, IMO) never any algae issues or water issues, nothing.
Now i'm on this 180 gallon SW that I have about 160 lbs of live sand, and between 100-130 lbs of premium live rock (has coral and purple algae on it). Since he set it up I have lost 6 fish, have battled red hair algae 3 times, lost my hammer coral and my other coral look bad countless snails and crabs dead. He keeps stating that i do not have enough live rock to maintain the fish and coral. I have seen tanks on here and instagram that have very little live rock and tons of coral. What am I missing. I have charted my water parameters and they never spike, any variance has been slight and for a short period of time.

So the question is, how important is the live rock to the coral? He keeps saying I need 1 1/2 pounds to every gallon, that just doesn't seem right as the 100+ I have now makes the tank look crowded. Please help.
 

Brian Treadwell

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What are all of parameters, do you have a sump , what type of filtration are you running , are dosing anything, what type of lights and schedule are running on your lights. IMO he is wrong you don't need any more live rock , that is not the problem with your tank IMO.
 

Ds04384

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While you probably don't need more live rock, the pictures you talked about may be deceiving. Some people will have a small amount of live rock in their display and a ton incorporated into their filtration. That way they have all the benefits of a lot of rock but also have open space for coral placement and growth
 

MaiReef

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Get rid of half that sand before LR. Personally opinion of benefit of filtration vs. potential negative effects. I am now seeing more and more LR lifted so that proper flow can get underneath as well. Odd that 130 lbs. of LR in tank crowds a 180 gallon. I have that in my 100 gallon. Depends upon perspective though. IMHO.
 
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Todd White

Todd White

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While you probably don't need more live rock, the pictures you talked about may be deceiving. Some people will have a small amount of live rock in their display and a ton incorporated into their filtration. That way they have all the benefits of a lot of rock but also have open space for coral placement and growth
That would explain alot, however I don't have room in my wet/dry for anything, it has 2 chamber for bio balls, a 4 inch slot for foam filter, and the rest it holds the pump for the uv sterilizer and pump for return, no more room. I am not running a Protein skimmer (was told I don't need one because I run carbon on top of my bio balls). Maybe I can somehow add another tank just for live rock?
 
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Todd White

Todd White

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What are all of parameters, do you have a sump , what type of filtration are you running , are dosing anything, what type of lights and schedule are running on your lights. IMO he is wrong you don't need any more live rock , that is not the problem with your tank IMO.
So my parameters are Amonia: 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 0; Phosphate 0; Calcium 400; Alkalinity 13 (yes its high); Salinity 1.025; PH 8.2. I have the Eshopps WD-300CS (rated 200-300 gl). My lighting is LED full spectrum, I have it set for coral growth but have shortened the time down to 10:00 am - 7:00 pm with total darkness from 6 am to 10 am, and moon light from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. I am dosing with Reef Advantage Calcium, Kent Marine Super Dkh, and Reef Plus additive on a weekly schedule (except the additive thats 2 x a week). Now he wants me to bring my coral back so he can nurse them. IDK what to do. At my wits end. He made the comment that I should just scrap the whole tank. I don't think so I'm at over $4000.00. I should add the tank is a 180 gallon Tall.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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So my parameters are Amonia: 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 0; Phosphate 0; Calcium 400; Alkalinity 13 (yes its high); Salinity 1.025; PH 8.2. I have the Eshopps WD-300CS (rated 200-300 gl). My lighting is LED full spectrum, I have it set for coral growth but have shortened the time down to 10:00 am - 7:00 pm with total darkness from 6 am to 10 am, and moon light from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am. I am dosing with Reef Advantage Calcium, Kent Marine Super Dkh, and Reef Plus additive on a weekly schedule (except the additive thats 2 x a week). Now he wants me to bring my coral back so he can nurse them. IDK what to do. At my wits end. He made the comment that I should just scrap the whole tank. I don't think so I'm at over $4000.00. I should add the tank is a 180 gallon Tall.
Can I see a fts of the tank and sump please.
 

MasterBacon

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Is your water to clean... others say you have to have low levels of Nitrate & Phosphate....or is algae consuming...
 

saltyfilmfolks

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Dang. Id be bummed too. That thing is sweet.

Thanks. Heres what Im seeing. Fwiw. Pleas don't take offense, food for thought.

My gut says bad water. little coralline, odd algaes. "stunted cycle" and progress. Ive seen a lot of bad water scenarios on r2r and ive had my own.
Maybe not, but that's my gut looking at your back glass, corners etc.
You have plenty of rock. Im guessing the deep sand and the rock saved you actually. the bio filter is not easily killed.
I have no idea why your No Po are so low. thats Odd.
Id guess the tank is not being fed well in light of the other problems to get rid of algae and cyano.
dead CUC = no food usually ime.
Dump the bio balls. go with a skimmer and look at a fuge or scrubber later. The skimmer will do one BIG thing for you. Add air to the system.
Not nearly enough flow in the DT. .Besides the heads I see i also notice there's not enough build up and funk in the sump. It keeps the dt stirred and the sump should stay funktastic.

I forgot to ask if you have any worms or bugs. id bet either low or no.

also what is the return rate on your pump.


First aid, gfo and carbon in the sump in high flow, heavy metal binder pads are available for bad water. Find a heavy duty bacteria. Probidio comes to mind. bio spira dr tims etc. Yes even Fiji mud. Not miracle. Fiji. Macro fauna.
stop uneven dosing non like Alk cal supplements. go two part or kalk. not a big deal right now, id stop completely for the time being. let the tank balance its self out and then begin. see Randys article. I forget what your salt it is but maybe go to low cal alk . Honestly I might consider skipping a wc or two and get the nutrients up to at least a detectable level.
double check the intensity of your light. lux meter or par meter. high alk, low nutrients, high light, no bueno para los corals. also may low the coralline away at high levels.
FLOW
it took about 30 days may be a bit less to get over my last bad water prob btw. 3 months later and no dosing and my rock was covered in purple.
IMO build the biofilter and get it diverse and functioning again. rebuild the soil so to speak. dont scrap it save it.

thats my .02
 

marissas47

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Personally I would get rid of the bio balls and use one chamber for more live rock and use the other for a skimmer as mentioned above. I know my opinion will not match everyone else's but I have had good luck with eshopps skimmer and they are pretty cheap compared to some other brands out there. Good luck with your tank !
 
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