Rip Cleaning a 270 lit….no actually gallon

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Breadman03

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I set up my 270 and life got in the way shortly thereafter. Needless to say, nutrients were higher than Snoop and Martha. Algae, well, you know. I’ve been manually scrubbing and scrubbing while mulm just builds up. I recently performed 3 huge (like 50-60% changes) which took my nutrients from who knows what to NO3 near 50 ppm and PO4 near 0.4 ppm per Hanna. Yeah, the decimal is in the right spot. My tests are consistent as I’m fairly particular and they align very well with ATI ICP test, though I haven’t done one recently because I’m not worrying about all the details and am trusting that my Red Sea Blue Bucket salt and aggressive water changes are plenty good for now. I’ll resume ICP’s once things are settling down and it’s worth worrying over nitty-gritty details.

No matter what I do, I cant get much of the detritus down my overflow, but I think a significant portion of the issue is the amount of algae that creates low flow areas for algae food to settle out. Well, a quick water change led to a pretty decent 3 hour rip clean. Woops!

I’ll likely have to do it a few more times since essentially all of my clean up crew is dead, but anything I’ve added recently dies almost immediately, I think due to cyano/dinos/whatever is growing. My plan is semi weekly 10% or weekly 20% water changes coupled with removing my rock for scrubbing. I’m tired of fighting. It’s time to win. It would have been nice if my Dad had been around to see it, but we spent lies of time with him while we could.

I’d like to hit the Powerball so I can just load up my tank all at once while the rock is moving around and fish territories aren’t as solid as usual. Springers damsels are pretty peaceful with old neighbors, but they go after newcomers with a vengeance if they get near the rock. They might just find themselves in my sump for a bit so I can add some livestock.

@brandon429, I’m not sure if i should love you or hate you at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’ll appreciate your guidance soon enough. If it all works out and my new job works out as well as I hope, we’ll have to meet up at RAP or MACNA so ai can treat you to dinner.
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Tidal Gardens

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Hey what a fun tank to do, that already looks great

I'm 100% sure you'll love a rip clean it's full reef tank dentistry + flushing export

And it will sustain such that I do think the sustain of clean will be worth the return on effort for the big job

Rinse the sand well, hours in bucket in tap water from a hose

Then final rinse in saltwater, then it's ready when it's totally cloudless

Hold fish in covered totes so they won't jump

*we have two very similar big tank jobs to see how it'll work, they did well in making a road map with pics:

 
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Breadman03

Breadman03

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There's no sand to worry about, just tiles, so that's not an issue. I'm going to give it another once over tomorrow to get the spots I missed. Here’s a couple pics from yesterday while my halides were on. The water clarity is much improved from just before the rip clean, which was already notably better from the water changes.
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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BMan Wow! The tank looks totally empty of water even though it’s full


that is perfect perfect rip run thank you so much for the documentation I’m linking to the last page in our rip clean thread for others to have this as a work example
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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The dedication it takes to thoroughly clean out anything above fifty gallons is amazing to me

if I ever own a reef that weighs more than ten pounds full and running I’ll have tile / that seems ideal for the balance of looks + low waste storage
 
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SteveMM62Reef

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Canister Filter on Standby for me, when I need to do a deep cleaning. Pick one the has the Smallest Micron Elements and Spare Parts Available. They go through Impellers, due to the extra stress on them. I Don’t use it too often, but it’s there when needed. Filter Socks? They just don’t cut it, for deep cleaning.
 
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Breadman03

Breadman03

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Since my ATO float switch died after about 8 years of use, I headed to my LFS about an hour away. It was perfect timing since they are running a sale for 15% off dry goods, so I grabbed a hang-on filter sock holder, Maxijet, VCA vacuum nozzle, and 7 feet of hose so I can do lots of vacuuming without using lots of salt water. I set it up but didn't run it because I didn't want to stress the new fish more than necessary.

Since I set this tank up, I've struggled to find a flow pattern that gets stuff down to my filter socks. If you look at my current setup, the Tunze 6255's are pretty much blowing diagonally toward the front center near the top and the 6150's have the angle adapters pointed maybe 2 notches downward. This setup seems to be getting me good flow on the bottom and I'm getting a good amount of detritus in my socks instead of just a green slime coat.

I added a blue eye kole tang and molly miller blenny today because my float switch died after maybe 8 years of use. I've been sitting on a gift card for almost a year and decided to use it. I plan on keeping them in my acclimation box for a few days to ensure they're eating and for the other fish to get used to them. I'm going to rearrange the rock again and bucket scrub whatever needs it before releasing the fish so that my Springer's damsels don't have any territory. They're peaceful with current neighbors, but absolute jerks to newcomers.

I know, I know, QT, but I decided to roll the dice with 80 watts of UV running. I'm down to adding a few medium fish and maybe one larger fish. Once the tank is running nicely, I plan to add batches of small/nano fish after QT periodically until I've got tons of activity. I love how busy they can make a tank look while remaining peaceful. Oh, and I'll be holding a spot open for a male latz clown for when availability and my budget align. Mine jumped when my previous tank leaked and I had to an emergency transfer to a Rubbermaid stock tank.

As far as corals go, I'm keeping what I have and plan to trade and sell frags to pay for new frags. I haven't added anything since RAPNY 2021 where I got a little tank that'll be my coral QT. I won't frag until my corals are at least larger than a fist as I want them to be growing well and producing frags regularly.

I've spent my money on the hardware and changed my mindset on how I spend in , general. I used to think, "How much can I spend?" I now ponder what's the least I have to spend in order to have what I need. Goodness, for a guy that speaks little, these words just sometimes vomit through the keyboard. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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Breadman03

Breadman03

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Sorry for the heavy blue, but my halides went off before I could finish vacuuming with a MJ1200, VCA vacuum attachments, and tube into a HOB filter sock and holder. I’m hanging the filter sock from the front of my overflow to minimize the amount of water I’m changing. I’m still experiencing a bunch of algae growth as expected due to my nutrient levels, but its slowed significantly and largely vacuums off instead of needing heavy scrubbing. Cyano has been reduced to a couple small spots that gradually expand between cleanings, but I doubt the total cyano in my 270 would cover a baseball card, so I’m pretty happy.

I didn’t weigh the junk from my first vacuuming of about half of the tank, but it was probably 1.5-2x what I got today, 450 grams of drained algae and detritus, so I removed possibly about 1,000g of junk in 3 days without causing a major disturbance to the system.

My ATS has finally begun to grow lovely, green algae instead of cyano, so I expect to start seeing my nutrients dropping without crazy big water changes. I’ll have to watch them as I really don’t want dinos again, which was a major factor in my taking the long way back to a healthy tank. I’m thinking once my nutrients are a little better, I’ll order up some snails (most of mine died), pods, and start a phyto culture. I plan on a mated pair of mandarins eventually, plus piles of small fish, so I need to start building bottom end of the food web.

I’m looking forward to mounting the frags I got at RAP 2021. I didn't want to worry about corals while I dealt with mats of dinos and other things, so I’m just really excited that I’ll get to start gluing my fingers together soon.

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Breadman03

Breadman03

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My view about an hour after another rip clean. Nutrients are still high, but cyano has gone from mats to a few patches here and there, and my ATS is mostly clear of it. My NO3 “dropped” 1/2 ppm to 45.2, certainly within the margin of error and nothing worth getting excited about, but I think I’ll be able to bring in some CUC after the Christmas shipping rush is over. Dinos devastated my CUC, leaving me with 2 dozen cerith and a hermit crab at best, so I’m thinking a bunch of turbos and emerald crabs along with a few more peppermint shrimp might provide what I need.

It’s been slow and ugly, but the dinos haven't come back.

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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Where is that minor clouding coming from, water or is that small growths on the glass

Are you cleaning it without draining the tank and taking it apart
 
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Breadman03

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Where is that minor clouding coming from, water or is that small growths on the glass

Are you cleaning it without draining the tank and taking it apart

I'm pulling the rock and scrubbing it in my old water. I've also been using a Maxijet with VCA vacuum adapter to vacuum, but I didn't use that yesterday because I ran out of time. I think this is just a lot of silt because I didn't scape my rocks last time, but just laid them down so they wouldn't fall. This cloudiness is a combination of that silt and having just scraped my glass. I believe most of my issue is about a tear of neglect and just having junk falling out the nooks and crannies. I did swap from a 5 gallon bucket, which kept water off the floor but was really difficult to maneuver the rock, to a Rubbermaid tote that allowed me to scrub everything pretty well.

I also added a C. binotatus/blue eyed tang that has been working on the algae. It hasn't been able to keep up, but I believe it'll help speed up transferring the nutrients to my ATS. I'm going to add some emerald crabs and turbo snails (dinos killed practically all of my snails), but am waiting to order until after the holiday shipping rush. My nitrate has begun slowly falling and phosphate has been reduced with lanthanum chloride. I'm monitoring that and using a couple drops as needed while the PO4 leaches from the rock.

The new scape doesn't have much rock touching the bottom and should make vacuuming much easier. I use a filter sock hanger over my overflow to return the water back to the tank because I'm using so much water, then perform a 10-20% water change.

Thanks to a deer this morning, I'll be spending today contacting my insurance company and trying to fix my headlights to avoid a rental until the car can get fixed. The car isn't bad, but headlights help on a 40 mile commute at night. Maybe I'll toss a halide on my hood. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

If I get my lights working, I'll be doing a good vacuum of everything and a water change. I'm also going to set up a power filter in the display but with an ADV 10.0 that I have for a spare return pump that should help significantly with getting that junk out.
 
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