What can I do to make my tank less gross

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Tamberav

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Whatever pod you siphon out will be replaced by another pod. Don’t worry about it and do the necessary maintenance. I have a billion pods in my sump and I siphon debris out.

A good phosphate test kit (not API) would be worth buying.
 

Mibu

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Rescape rock work. If you can. It can help prevent deadzones, help water flow. Maybe find if there's a look you'd like. Unless you already like your rock layout.
Personnaly i love those feathers dusters everywhere.
Turkey basker or power head to gentle clean rocks prior to water changes.
Everyone's given nice info. So can't add to that.
Learn to love to work with your aquarium. It's hard work. But worth doing.
 

Uncle99

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It’s not the short term effect of tap water, it’s the long term.
Your water is for safe human consumption, maybe fish if you detox the chlorine, but corals are not going to be happy, but will look great for about 6-8 months.

Then some minor elements, metals will build up to the point where they will become toxic.

Once your at this point, it’s way too late.
 

Spare time

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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

Where are you seeing dinos? That looks more like hair algae in the 2nd to last pic if that is what you are referring to
 

Critteraholic

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+1 @schuby I, too, don't think your tank looks horrible.

I also support no tap water. I've kept freshwater since childhood (I'm 61) and the care of saltwater is not the same.

You should be able to go online, find your water supplier and look up the water tests for your supplier's water. It'll knock your socks off. The things that are allowed to be in drinking water! But we still have to drink it 'cause we need the minerals and such that are in the water. Long term drinking distilled will actually hurt your health. And this is the same reason you can use tap water with freshwater fish.

With saltwater fish you are making the water with nutrients that they need in the salt. If you use tap water you could be doubling up on some nutrients and adding toxic ones which could eventually kill your livestock. So RODI or distilled water would be best.

And, wow! I am SO jealous of all your fan worms!
 
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brmreefer

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Tank does not look bad. My first recommended change however would be to stop using Tap water and switch to RODI.

If realestate within the home is available, I would look at getting a unit and that would get you on a path for long term success.

Hoping for the best and enjoy the hobby.
 

Timfish

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Looks like just some basic tweeks to your maintenance is all that's needed to me. Your system looks young, can you post how old it is? First advice I'd give is stay on top of alkalinty, calcium and magnesium. Knowing your phosphate levels would be good but keep in mind you can't test for organic or particulate phosphates so your PO4 number will only be part of the picture. For the algae on the glass use a paper towel that holds up well when wet to wipe AND remove algae, magnets and scrapers only knock it off and it can redeposit quickly. You can use stainless steel straws to siphon algae off the sand and rocks. To kill the lage in the sand you can also siphon off the surface layer of sand rinse, soak a few hours in H2O2, rinse and let sit for a day or so then add back to your tank. Your tap water isn't a problem, I've been running ssytems (1) (2) (3) with tap for well over a decade now and haven't seen a difference compared to my systems using RODI.

Here's figure from this paper looking at phosphorus metabolism
DIP DOP POP.jpg


Here's some videos you might find informative:

Forest Rohwer "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"
 
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shartpants007

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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

I have been meaning to take out some of the bigger snail shells, but most of them are close to the right size for my hermits.
 
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shartpants007

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Whatever pod you siphon out will be replaced by another pod. Don’t worry about it and do the necessary maintenance. I have a billion pods in my sump and I siphon debris out.

A good phosphate test kit (not API) would be worth buying.

I'm glad to hear that. I get a little paranoid because it's hard to tell whether or not I have pods at all, but there's no way all of them have died out.
I did make the mistake of buying API. I'll probably invest in a nicer test kit now, though. They're actually not much more expensive than the APIs and they actually tell you what you need to know.
 
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shartpants007

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Rescape rock work. If you can. It can help prevent deadzones, help water flow. Maybe find if there's a look you'd like. Unless you already like your rock layout.
Personnaly i love those feathers dusters everywhere.
Turkey basker or power head to gentle clean rocks prior to water changes.
Everyone's given nice info. So can't add to that.
Learn to love to work with your aquarium. It's hard work. But worth doing.
I do kinda like the rockwork, though I am still experimenting with the direction of and settings on my wave pump, and I have started using a turkey baster.
I think the feather dusters are pretty cool too. Thanks. I can say with absolute certainty, though, that I did nothing to make them be in my tank. They were hitchhikers and they spread like that without much help from me.
 

BiggestE222

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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.
Drinking water and saltwater aquarium are certainly not the reef same. The chemicals used to sanitize water will certainly cause algae growth.
 
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shartpants007

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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.
Thanks! I didn't put the feather dusters in there, they showed up there on their own, but I do like the way they look.
The picture shows the tank as slightly dirtier than usual and with more suspended particles. Also, it's hard to catch the exact lighting you'd see in person with a smartphone camera, though it's pretty close.
I had a 10 gallon for about a year from which I added some water and live rock when setting up this tank. This one is about 4 months old.
I've had trouble seeing the pods even with a flashlight, though I'm sure they're there. There's no reason they should have died.
 
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shartpants007

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Looks like just some basic tweeks to your maintenance is all that's needed to me. Your system looks young, can you post how old it is? First advice I'd give is stay on top of alkalinty, calcium and magnesium. Knowing your phosphate levels would be good but keep in mind you can't test for organic or particulate phosphates so your PO4 number will only be part of the picture. For the algae on the glass use a paper towel that holds up well when wet to wipe AND remove algae, magnets and scrapers only knock it off and it can redeposit quickly. You can use stainless steel straws to siphon algae off the sand and rocks. To kill the lage in the sand you can also siphon off the surface layer of sand rinse, soak a few hours in H2O2, rinse and let sit for a day or so then add back to your tank. Your tap water isn't a problem, I've been running ssytems (1) (2) (3) with tap for well over a decade now and haven't seen a difference compared to my systems using RODI.

Here's figure from this paper looking at phosphorus metabolism
DIP DOP POP.jpg


Here's some videos you might find informative:

Forest Rohwer "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Richard Ross What's up with phosphate"

The tank is about 4 months old, but some of the live rock and water I used when I was first setting up came from a year old tank.
 

JCM

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Your tap water isn't a problem, I've been running ssytems (1) (2) (3) with tap for well over a decade now and haven't seen a difference compared to my systems using RODI.

I dont know how you can make this statement so definitively. Tap water varies drastically depending on where you are.
 

revenant

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When I got the uglies it was for sure my RODI filters needing a change. I syphoned the crud out … sometimes every four days.. so many water changes.. my pods seemed fine too… I still had tons of larvae on my glass.. I also added Microbacter7 to my regiment.. daily 10ml.. I got my phosphates under control with GFO and wow.. what a difference.. tank still gets some cyano and stuff but it’s barely there..
 
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PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 275 71.2%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 42 10.9%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 36 9.3%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.6%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 29 7.5%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 5 1.3%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 14 3.6%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 120 31.1%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 158 40.9%
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