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Thread: Help please, new to ATS what are my options

  1. #1

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    Help please, new to ATS what are my options

    Hello all, hope you had a good xmas. First post be gentle might be a little long, I have read a lot on this site over the last weeks. Had my tank for about 4 years, cube about 150 litres (pics below) and generally always use the advice from my local store. I am presently running 2 external filters one with bioballs etc and the other with carbon, phosphate, silicate removers etc. I water change each week and clean the filters each month (alternate the filter), mainly to try and keep it in the best shape I can. Now the problems, Whilst I have a duncans coral, sun coral, torch and green button I would not describe my tank as thriving/growing (except the coraline). For the best part my money ends up going into water and media/removers rather than the corals I want. My parameters are all in range, phosphates and nitrates very low but my pH always remains low 7.6. I have removed the lid from my tank and also directed more flow to the surface and this has raised it to 7.8 but with the aid of biweekly ph buffer. I wanted a natural tank but seemed to have strayed so far from the path and this is where this site has given me a glimmer of hope.

    Here are some pics first,


    P1020368 by Bagpu555, on Flickr


    P1020369 by Bagpu555, on Flickr

    Will an ATS help, given the size, shape of my tank what would be my best options. I feed 2 cubes daily approx. I don't mind building anything if it helps?

    Is a waterfall feasible gravity feeding into the cupboard under the tank and pumping it back, I could build a hang on glass unit at the back behind the rock and pump outside air to it? Is it feasible to build a case to mount it on the top of the tank, pump in and gravity out back into the tank.

    Any ideas/comments would be really appreciated, based in the uk.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Welcome.

    Well the tank is doing good so far, although requiring lots of work as you have found out. Is there a mesh before the bio balls?

    2 cubes is a lot for that tank, so it is probably getting filtered out by mesh, or the bio balls. You must be hand feeding the duncans and suns.

    Adding a scrubber would indeed allow you to eventually remove both cannisters, and stop water changing and buffering. The look of the tank would probably also change a bit as it became more natural; mostly the rocks would darken up on the bottom sides as the periphyton thickened up. Also you'd want good CUC to break up the food particles that landed on the sand, so that they would be stirred up and floated back to the corals. But it would eventually be a no-maintenance tank, except for top-off, cal, alk, and mag.

    Placement of the scrubber is the issue. If you have room in the lid, a floating one might be the easiest if it won't block the light and/or the background, and if you can build the waterproof light. You would just set it in, and after it's growing, you would remove the other filters. If however there is no room, a glass-mounted one would be next best, up near the top so you don't have to reach in too far to clean it; these lights are easy to build.

    A waterfall will also work but will take a lot more planning and space. You'll need to add a sump, or possibly a shelf overhead (which would require a pump inside the tank).

    I'd probably start with a glass-attached one, 1" deep, and about 6 X 8". Add textures and some strings, and use 8 LEDs. Hardest part will be finding the right size TV dinner container

  3. #3

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    Thanks SM, in the big cannister there are 4 trays the first 2 plastic hoops then ceramic squares then the bio balls. I always switch off the filters prior to feeding and turkey baster the duncans and sun whilst protecting them from the fish getting some more dinner. I don't switch the filters on until the food has gone. The fish grow quick but I guess because they have been well fed, I will cut down.

    I have a 4 year old cleaner shrimp and few hermits.

    There is little space at the top to float a unit without blocking the light

    Ok will start the hunt for a glass attached one. By textures do you mean the plastic canvas mesh? Should I get the 1W 660 red leds or 3W? Should be an interesting new years project.

    Thanks so much

  4. #4
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    For texture you can epoxy on white coral sand. Calcite or quartz will last longer but is harder to find. LED's should be 3w each.

  5. #5

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    Ok thanks, will order 8 leds, a driver, hunt for a suitable container and an air pump and a couple of long air stones. Fingers crossed, would love to focus on my tank rather than the shop for a change. Really thanks for the advice, fingers crossed.

  6. #6
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    Instead of stone you should do sliced airline. Easier and more reliable.

  7. #7

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    Ok got my leds, a 700ma driver, gorilla glue, sand and eaten 2 massive bowls of pasta for the pots Now I am thinking should I build 2 small units rather than one large one so I can alternate cleaning the scrubber or can you just clean half the screen at a time? Likewise can you run 2 screens off 1 air pump? The neighbour is going to teach me how to solder so should be fun. Just need to order a suitable heatsink now.

  8. #8
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    Yes 2 small is better than 1 large. Depends on how much air the pump does.

  9. #9

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    Struggling for smaller pots, can I use my larger one (6x8) and only clean half at a time? I hate having a small tank but want to keep my parameters in relative check. Thankyou

  10. #10
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    Yes

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