Lessons learned

Users who are viewing this thread

The Bro

Cleaner Shrimp
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
151
Location
Gonzales, LA
Hi LaRC,
Its been awhile since I have posted here. I'm back in the hobby and have been lurking.
After a recent Orange Diatom/ Dino bloom I figured Id share my experience here hoping it may help a reefer in the future.
My tank is about a year old now, been adding corals and fish and making it my own little slice of the ocean. But something drastic happened all of a sudden "Everything" turned brownish/ orange. So I started a GFO reactor, placing Chemipure and Purigen in the filter, all hoping to dissolve the problem.
I continuously scrubbed rock, flipping sand over for 2 weeks, I was losing the battle! Every morning my semi better looking tank, turned ugly.
After digging and reading post after post it dawned on me "I was making the problem worse! I forgot the most basic rule of reef keeping. KEEP A Balanced ecosystem!
Of course my Po4 and Nitrates were now ZERO. So I turned off my skimmer, pulled all chemical media, stopped doing water changes.
This caused the problem to slow down " HEY look I'm making headway! After another week of scrubbing rock, the problem was still there! But nowhere near as aggressive.
After testing Po4 and Nitrates were still Zero! So lets fix this.. I picked up a bottle of Neo Nitro and dosed daily until I was reading 10 Nitrate. Next day repeated.
Over time my Po4 also started to come up slowly. As the days passed the orange covering everything faded slowly, my corals colored up better than before and everything went back to normal. Now weeks later my skimmer is still off and im only running carbon, and still dosing Neo Nitro to maintain my low nitrate problem.
Lesson learned with all this new high tech equipment. DONT just throw things in a tank thinking it will improve the system as a whole. Its a delicate ecosystem that must be balanced. If your nitrates are not high to begin with why have your skimmer on, or replace a chemical media. We get to much into a habit of a of schedule water changes, media replacement, dosing, etc. When in actuality sometimes just clean your glass and let your tank be.
 

CenlaReefer

Toadstool Leather Coral
LARC Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
3,355
Location
Pineville, LA
Great, helpful post! Thanks for sharing that. You make me want to take the output tube from my skimmer collection cup and put it directly back into the sump rather than in a skimmate collection container. I like the aeration the skimmer gives.
 

clsanchez77

Reefkeeping Extremist
Global Moderator
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,796
Location
Metairie
Hey, Welcome for coming out and sharing that post.
I forgot the most basic rule of reef keeping. KEEP A Balanced ecosystem!

YES! Except a lot of companies cannot make quarterly projected profits if we all keep it simple. So therefore you can buy products to solve non-problems and then buy more products to solve unintended consequences.

I also like to run skimmerless tanks. I do have and believe in skimmers. But I do believe that overskimming 24/7 causes problems. I prefer a strong powerful skimmer run part-time as opposed to a weak skimmer running full-time.

I also like to incorporate natural filtration methods, such as refugiums, chaeto reactors, algae turf scrubbers, cryptic rock systems and even bacteria/carbon dosing systems. So many to pick from, but better to chose one and stick with it rather than to try and mash multiple approaches. Which one is right for "you" depends on what "you" want to keep and what goals "you" have established for the tank. For example, I'm a big fan of the Mircale Mud method, but I find it performs better with higher fish loads and low maintenance corals. There is a lot of anectodotal evidence that this does not work with SPS corals, especially if you grow Caulerpa. I don't generally do SPS, so this has never been a problem for me.

Looking forward to learning more about your tank.
 

The Bro

Cleaner Shrimp
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 10, 2010
Messages
151
Location
Gonzales, LA
Hey, Welcome for coming out and sharing that post.


YES! Except a lot of companies cannot make quarterly projected profits if we all keep it simple. So therefore you can buy products to solve non-problems and then buy more products to solve unintended consequences.

I also like to run skimmerless tanks. I do have and believe in skimmers. But I do believe that overskimming 24/7 causes problems. I prefer a strong powerful skimmer run part-time as opposed to a weak skimmer running full-time.

I also like to incorporate natural filtration methods, such as refugiums, chaeto reactors, algae turf scrubbers, cryptic rock systems and even bacteria/carbon dosing systems. So many to pick from, but better to chose one and stick with it rather than to try and mash multiple approaches. Which one is right for "you" depends on what "you" want to keep and what goals "you" have established for the tank. For example, I'm a big fan of the Mircale Mud method, but I find it performs better with higher fish loads and low maintenance corals. There is a lot of anectodotal evidence that this does not work with SPS corals, especially if you grow Caulerpa. I don't generally do SPS, so this has never been a problem for me.

Looking forward to learning more about your tank.
Im working on the wife for a new bigger tank. I was in the hobby for 6-7 years then had a kid, so no time so my tank started to go to crap. Had to sell my big tank (90 gallon Custom) which was heart breaking but hey life you know.
I currently have a IM nuvo 20 just to get my feet wet. Boy has this hobby changed in 7 years.
Thinking a JBJ 45 or a SC 50 cube soon, looking for something a 5 gallon bucket can handle. Not having a sump is getting on my nerves.
 

CenlaReefer

Toadstool Leather Coral
LARC Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
3,355
Location
Pineville, LA
I know it would be better if I actually tested nitrate and phosphate. Doing things by guessing is not the best practice. Still, here is a situation that makes me sure that I have been over-skimming. My duncan coral had all its polyps closed-up. I took the drain tube for skimmer collection cup out of the skimmate collection container. Now it drains into the sump. The very next day the duncan coral had polyps extending again.
 
Top