Thanks Eric, appreciate the compliment. That rockwork went through a lot of changes. I like the way it looks but in hindsight there’s things I would have done differently. It was fun to make it though.
Ok, so for anyone whose been following along for a while you’ll remember the massive amount of detritus in my back chambers, especially the return pump section. Well, today was pump and back chamber cleaning day. I knew the pump needed a complete disassemble and clean, it’s been way down on output for a while. I thought I was doing a better job of trapping detritus with mechanical filtration but...
...and this is just the first pass. Pretty filthy. I ended up pumping water back in and out until all the detritus was out and there was 9 gallons of that filthy water in the 10 gallon aquarium I used as a receptacle. The picture below is what was left after I drained out all the dirty water. Whatever I’m doing to trap detritus obviously doesn’t work.
The pump was pretty gunked up as well. I had to pry 9 dwarf cerith snails out of the impeller shield inside the pump. Cleaning it was fairly easy and it’s back to normal operation with much better flow.
I’ve been having worse than usual algae and even a little bit of cyano lately so I removed several of the rocks and scrubbed off what I could. Used some hydrogen peroxide and dipped the rocks and some of the coral. Everything seemed to recover well from being out if the tank.
I need to figure out some new clean up crew options. I recently added a turbo snail but it won’t go on the rocks. I’m thinking about some saltwater mollies from a lfs that keeps them in stock. I’m also considering a tuxedo urchin. Not sure yet but something needs to be done to add more effective algae cleaners.
Aiptasia X has been working to keep that population in check. I added a couple of peppermint shrimp a while back but I can’t tell if they are doing anything to help. One seems to live in the Tang’s cave and that’s the only place I’ve ever seen it. I have not seen the other one since it went in. Hopefully it’s still alive. There are also two emerald crabs that are unaccounted for since the day they went in. They came in my Reefcleaners order that usps did it’s best to kill. They were still alive when I put them in the tank and I watched them crawl away into the rocks but no sign of either one since. Lots of missing critters in my tank.
For mechanical filtration I’ve got the blue and white bonded pad in an in-tank floss holder with sheets of filter fleece from klir on top of that. That way I dont have to replace the pad as much, I just throw away the fleece and put in a new one. On the other side there is a IM uv unit that has a black foam pad. I have filter fleece over that as well. I like the fleece because it’s thin and fits over the black pad easily. I’m really not sure what else I can do with the available space for filter pads. The amount of detritus I have is unbelievable. I feed heavy but not that heavy. I probably shouldn’t say that cuz something is making this happen and the only person taking care of this tank is me.I still dont understand how you are getting stuff back there. Both may tanks barely get any at all. What are you using for mechanical filtration again?
Honestly the mollies started out good but I find they get lazy like most fish. I mean they help maintain but I don’t think they will solve the problem. Banded Trochus snails are great if you can find them. Also astrea snails. Only thing is the astrea can’t flip themselves. I found pretty much all the snails from reef cleaners to not be much help. You really want Mexican turbos, astrea, trochus and hermits if you do crabs.
I gave up on the vibrant and did flux Rx. Cleared everything up in about 3 weeks. I think I am going to try the 2 week vibrant maintenance dose going forward now that things are cleared. For the few aiptasia that popup time to time I am now trying Joes juice and it works really well. Also use F aiptasia but if they are on a vertical stop it doesn’t work too good like the joes juice does.
I’m working on it. Recently added a couple of things from IPSF to increase biological diversity. I’ve tried Vibrant and Microbacter Clean. Nitrate and Phosphate levels are higher than tests indicate because of the amount of algae present but not out of control. My home made Alabama scrubber is starting to produce but it’s not very big so that’s of limited help with the exports.Dang homie get your good bacteria up, it will defeat the algae better than anything
I have some of that and it gets used from time to time. You’re basically using it the way I use the filter fleece.Things with mine are going pretty well. I’ve added a few updates, probably not getting notifications. They just don’t want us interacting haha.
Next time you are at Walmart, grab a bag of this poly fill stuffing. That’s what I use then just throw it out about every 5 days. It’s only like $3-4 a bag and lasts forever.
In the intank floss holder
Stuffed into the UV, you have to use less than the floss holder
I have some of that and it gets used from time to time. You’re basically using it the way I use the filter fleece.
I’ll pop over and check out your most recent updates. Maybe I’m not getting the notices like you said. Wouldn’t be the first time.
I don’t usually turn off the returns unless I’m feeding the corals, then I turn off everything. My fish usually gobble up anything I put in the tank very quickly. Hardly anything ever goes into the overflow. It’s a mystery.Im just baffled how that much is getting back there lol. Do you not turn off your returns when you feed. Or do the pads get clogged and water flow over without going through them
I always push the holders in as far as I can. Things are getting through somehow so maybe they shift and let stuff through.So strange, maybe the holder and UV aren’t tight against the overflow and some is escaping down the front and not making it through the pad.
Oh and How much algae is growing on the plastic now?
For mechanical filtration I’ve got the blue and white bonded pad in an in-tank floss holder with sheets of filter fleece from klir on top of that. That way I dont have to replace the pad as much, I just throw away the fleece and put in a new one. On the other side there is a IM uv unit that has a black foam pad. I have filter fleece over that as well. I like the fleece because it’s thin and fits over the black pad easily. I’m really not sure what else I can do with the available space for filter pads. The amount of detritus I have is unbelievable. I feed heavy but not that heavy. I probably shouldn’t say that cuz something is making this happen and the only person taking care of this tank is me.
I think an urchin might be the best bet. Algae barn has them for like $24.00. I have a ton of dwarf ciriths from Reefcleaners and lots of hermits. The hermits murder any snail other than ceriths soon after I get them. I have a few trochus that have made it past the hermit gauntlet but they don’t do a lot. I was really hoping the Tomini Tang would have been the workhorse algae grazer but it won’t even eat nori. I need a foxface but the tank is too small.
I haven’t tried anything other than Aiptasia X and I think it works well as long as you can see the Aiptasia to deal with it. I was hoping the Peppermint shrimp would get the small ones and they might be, it’s just not easy to tell. I only have two though, might need to pick up a few more and create a gang.
How‘s your new tank been doing? Haven’t seen an update in a while.
I think a tuxedo urchin is the next step. I’ve never owned one so it’ll be something new and different to try. I also need to get another conch and some nassarius snails. I accidentally killed my conch a while back by setting a rock down on top of it.Thinking of getting a tuxedo to keep down the ulva in my tank. I don't mind having some in there but it's taking over. I have a couple of Emerald Crabs but they can't keep up with it and I'm not sure if they are still eating much of it. When I first dropped them in the tank I saw them go right after it.
Other CUC I have in there are trochus, cerith, money cowrie, astraea, nassarius and a conch. In general I'm not sure how effective the algae eating snails really are on the other algae in the tank. I'm inclined to think the tank would not look much different without them. They are doing well as I haven't had any die in a long time.
I did have a couple of hermit crabs in there, but they got banished to my 15 gallon tank to prevent any snails from getting picked off.
Some water must be getting past your floss somehow. I use the inTank floss and don't see buildup in my chambers. The floss will clog up and then the water will backup on it. It's also possible the design of the IM chambers contributes to more build up then what I would have on the Waterbox.
Thanks, the filter fleece is great. II just have my son hold the roll and I cut off 4 inch pieces. They don’t take up much room and it protects the floss and pads from needing to be tossed so quickly.Nice tips on the filter fleece. I feel like I go through an alarming amount of that blue bonded stuff! I've had to change it multiple times a day when things get stirred up!
Is it possible you have some light spillage going into your back chamber? Like maybe some algae growth and die off back there creating your detritus build up? I don't have much of anything other than a couple small sponges growing in the back chamber of my 50 but have a surprising amount of hair algae developing in the back of my 10 that I imagine could become a future problem.
My tuxedo urchin (from Algae Barn) didn't seem to eat much of anything in my bowfront but flat out mows algae in the new one. Not to get too detailed but there is seriously a constant flow of algae going in and algae going out if you know what I mean! And I get you on the turbo. Nobody is going to tell a turbo where to go, but when you do luck out and he hits the rocks, I'm convinced there is no better algae eater. You can see a clear path where he's been with the rocks completely bare. My trochus snails are kinda just window lickers. Astraeas seem to be doing a good job but seem really slow. The algae grows as fast as they eat it.
My hermits have become snail assassins, too. Red Lined Wrasse knocks snails off the rocks and the hermits go in to finish them off, even with spot feeding them regularly. I just can't have small snails anymore. They ate all but two of my small nerites.
I didn't see my peppermints for a long time after introducing them. I was convinced at least one was dead. But then I started spotting them randomly after lights out. Now that they are bigger I see a lot more of them. They are bold enough now that they even eat straight from my coral feeder when I spot feed.
I honestly didn't have good luck with Vibrant. Did nothing for my hair algae and in the end I got a massive cyano bloom that, after weeks of fighting, finally required a dose of Chemiclean. I hated having to go the chemical route but it was really bad. Hair algae coated in bright green cyano. Lovely.
Someone needs to develop some sort of long flexible toilet brush for cleaning back chambers. The product we need!
For the record, I just hand scrubbed all my rocks and put in another order for snails, too. The algae pain is real.
What products would you recommend for bacteria?Hey trying to give you some advice here man.
Reefing secrets ( when much detritus is present its because there's no good bacteria eating it) dead indicator! Same thing with most weird algae issues, not enough good bacteria! Add good bacteria!