What can I do to make my tank less gross

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shartpants007

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I'm at the point where my tank just looks a bit gross. I'm not repulsed by it, but it's not all that nice to look at and I'd like to change that, especially because of its proximity to the dining room table. I suppose the main issue is detritus buildup or reef snow or whatever you want to call it on the rocks. I don't think I overfeed, but the rocks are constantly covered in gunk which I'm afraid to siphon off because of the copepod population (of which I see no real evidence, despite having added Apocyclops on two separate occasions and adding phytoplankton to the tank.)
Additionally, there's always algae buildup on the glass. There's the normal stuff which appears every few days and is easy to scrub off, and then there's stuff near the corners of the tank which is almost impossible to get off. Now there's stuff on the sand which looks like dinoflagellates but without the bubbles. Also, I tried making a sort of refugium from the Aquaclear HOB filter, but the macro I put in there might be dead. I can't really tell. Anyway, here are some pictures which somebody will hopefully see and give me a tip or two. Thanks.
 

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First, I would list your parameters.

Second, I would list what you would like to work on first. There are a variety of approaches. I personally would do these

  • vacuum the sand
  • dose waste away for 2 months
  • work on getting a better mechanical filter setup (I can't tell if you have one of just the hang on back refugium. Add some nice carbon.
  • Swap out filter pads frequently
  • Increase flow?
 
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shartpants007

shartpants007

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First, I would list your parameters.

Second, I would list what you would like to work on first.

Specific grav: 1.025
Temp. 78 F
Nitrates: about 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
pH: 8

Probably the detritus issue (especially in relation to not killing my pods and even knowing if I have any), then the algae.
Also, I haven't really been seeing any coralline growth. For a while I thought I was, but I haven't seen much for a while. I thought adding some live rock already covered in it would help, but now I'm wondering if it was actually live coralline on the rock when I bought it. I don't know whether it would still be purple if it was dead.
 
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Specific grav: 1.025
Temp. 78 F
Nitrates: about 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
pH: 8

Probably the detritus issue (especially in relation to not killing my pods and even knowing if I have any), then the algae.
Also, I haven't really been seeing any coralline growth. For a while I thought I was, but I haven't seen much for a while. I thought adding some live rock already covered in it would help, but now I'm wondering if it was actually live coralline on the rock when I bought it. I don't know whether it would still be purple if it was dead.


You need a phosphate test.
 
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Specific grav: 1.025
Temp. 78 F
Nitrates: about 2ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
pH: 8

Probably the detritus issue (especially in relation to not killing my pods and even knowing if I have any), then the algae.
Also, I haven't really been seeing any coralline growth. For a while I thought I was, but I haven't seen much for a while. I thought adding some live rock already covered in it would help, but now I'm wondering if it was actually live coralline on the rock when I bought it. I don't know whether it would still be purple if it was dead.


I added some more to my original post that should help. You can siphon the detritus. Don't worry about the pods.
 
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shartpants007

shartpants007

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Are you using rodi water
Have you tested phosphates
And are there any clean up crew some turbo snails will help out a treat
I just use tap water with prime. (I should add that my tap water is better than most. I drink from it and have used it for my freshwater tank for years.) I'd have to check, but I don't believe I have a phosphate test kit.
As for CuC, I currently have 3 cerith snails, 2 nassarius, 4 bumblebee snails, 1 dwarf red tip hermit, 2 dwarf zebra hermits, 2 blue legged hermit, 1 scarlet skunk shrimp, and several unwanted bristle worms.
 
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shartpants007

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First, I would list your parameters.

Second, I would list what you would like to work on first. There are a variety of approaches. I personally would do these

  • vacuum the sand
  • dose waste away for 2 months
  • work on getting a better mechanical filter setup (I can't tell if you have one of just the hang on back refugium. Add some nice carbon.
  • Swap out filter pads frequently
  • Increase flow?
I really don't have to worry about siphoning the pods in the sand bed?
I do use carbon and have nice flow.
 

4tanks

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I just use tap water with prime. (I should add that my tap water is better than most. I drink from it and have used it for my freshwater tank for years.) I'd have to check, but I don't believe I have a phosphate test kit.
As for CuC, I currently have 3 cerith snails, 2 nassarius, 4 bumblebee snails, 1 dwarf red tip hermit, 2 dwarf zebra hermits, 2 blue legged hermit, 1 scarlet skunk shrimp, and several unwanted bristle worms.
I would start by converting to rodi . tap water is full of all sorts and will cause most of your problems prime only takes the chlorine away and binds amonia it doesn't do anything to the metals in the water and water ever else is in it .
Inside tap for my fresh but wouldn't entertain putting it in my reef
 
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Jekyl

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I just use tap water with prime. (I should add that my tap water is better than most. I drink from it and have used it for my freshwater tank for years.) I'd have to check, but I don't believe I have a phosphate test kit.
As for CuC, I currently have 3 cerith snails, 2 nassarius, 4 bumblebee snails, 1 dwarf red tip hermit, 2 dwarf zebra hermits, 2 blue legged hermit, 1 scarlet skunk shrimp, and several unwanted bristle worms.
Tap water is your issue
 
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shartpants007

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Could you post a pic of your tank directly? I don't want to open someone's ZIP file!

Sure. Sorry. I was posting from my computer and that was the fastest way to attach all the photos at once.

IMG_20210626_123515.jpg IMG_20210626_124503.jpg IMG_20210626_124515.jpg IMG_20210626_124515.jpg IMG_20210626_124520.jpg IMG_20210626_124524.jpg IMG_20210626_124539.jpg IMG_20210626_124548.jpg
 

attiland

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Looking at the parameters and the pictures I can see you have very little bio load therefore low nitrate levels.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you have no phosphate in that water as your sand bed seems to have Dinos. For this you would need to have a microscope to be sure and of course phosphate test kit too

as per the snail shells seems to be quite large so hermits will not use them anytime soon. I personally put them in shady areas so they don’t get covered by stuff so quickly.

As mentioned before vacuuming the sand is necessary.

if you don’t test for the main parameters you will never know what is wrong. Make sure you can test for nitrate, phosphate, alkalinity, magnesium and calcium. Avoid API for any of these tests. Once you know if they are in line get the necessary supplements to keep them in line.

use RODI water. I have had freshwater tanks for decades but the water requirements are so different than what you can get away with saltwater.

have an ATO for top ups.

hope it helps
 

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First of all, your tank is not terrible in any way. I'm quite jealous of all those mini feather-dusters you have! Are the pics pretty close to how the tank looks to you?

For more context, how old is tank?

+1 on you testing and posting your phosphate level.

The brown on your sand could be diatoms. Diatoms feed on Silicate that is probably being dosed by your tap water. Stop dosing Silicate and diatoms will burn out in week or so.

If you clean the front glass better, it will make a big difference to overall look. I use a Flipper magnetic cleaner. One side has a scraper for harder stuff.

I have a lot of pods but only really see them when lights are off, using a flashlight.
 
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