View Full Version : Marine experts, come in!

01-27-2012, 11:37 AM
So, here's the tank I've talked about a few times that I will be taking care of. It's a 110gal tank drilled with a sump. I'll post up the pic's, and then on with some of the questions I have.

Overall pic of the tank. Notice all the dead coral. :(

Lighting. All led's from what I can tell. Never seen one that looks like this though.



And skimmer

And a pic that I will ask questions on regaurding the live sand.

01-27-2012, 11:48 AM
Now, onto my questions for the marine guys...

As I'm looking at this tank, I see no mechanical filter that I can see, is there anyway I can add one somehow add one without rebuilding the whole filter? I also noticed the only thing within the sump I can see is more live sand. Shouldn't there be some more / different media than whats in the tank above?

Any idea of what kind of protine skimmer that is so I can look up a manual? Also on the subject of the skimmer, the guy who currently maintains this only comes in once a month. How in the world does a skimmer go once a month without having to be emptied. Do you think it's not set right?

On the last pic I added. I noticed in the sand bed that it is crawling with these little centipede or worm like items. What in the world are they, and are they good to have, or should I try to get rid of them somehow?

01-27-2012, 01:09 PM
first as far as the mechanical filtration goes, you could put in micro filters or you could also use sponges.
my question to you is if you have any carbon stage of filtration? they come in most filters at stores there black just in case you didn't know.

skimmer are the hardest topic next to light. when getting a skimmer you want to go plus1 meaning a little extra i have looked around hear is just a suggestion (Coralife Super Skimmer Needle Wheel - up to 125 Gallon) it has great reviews all though if you see one better or cheaper diffidently get it a under rated one is better then none. also all skimmers should be changed every 3 to 4 days not once a month.

for the worms i don't know there names but they make the bed living by eating stuff. they are live in the word livesandbed
do not get rid of them.
i want to know all the filtration that you have including the amount of live rock you have

01-27-2012, 01:14 PM
i also see something else in your sump it looks like you tried to do a refugium stage there is a bunch of stuff in there but there doesn't appear to be a light in there and every thing you put in there is dead witch does not help. if i an wrong that you don't have a refugium get one

01-27-2012, 03:55 PM
The rocks and the sand ARE the filter. I'd also think about adding a fluidized bed reactor like a two little fishes reactor with ROX activated carbon.

That skimmer is a piece of crap. The coralife skimmer is a piece of crap too. If you want a cheap SOLID skimmer, get a Reef Octopus NW150 or similar. Those hang on the back skimmers never work right.

The lights are probably fine for those soft corals, but if you want SPS or other hard corals you're going to need to get stronger LEDs, T5HO's or Metal Halides (these are too hot for my tastes).

I'd add a light and some macroalgae to the sump. This helps a lot with reducing nitrates.

01-27-2012, 05:18 PM
Issaic, I have no clue whats going on within the filter. This tank was installed 3 or 4 years ago by a local company that has since went under. After looking a little closer at it, the inlet tube does have a sponge filter on the end. Never seen one like this before, but it's there. The middle compartment has just live sand, nothing else. And the last compartment just has the pickup and return for the skimmer and water pump. I'll probably do some changes to the sump, but not right away. First things first is getting everything cleaned up and removing all the dead coral.

h2so, Any idea on a brand or model number on that thing? I'll end up upgrading it at some point, but for now I want to find the specs and manual to it so I know how it works and how to maintain it. I'm doing this for fairly cheap just because I couldn't stand to see it look so horrible, so I have to kinda work slowly on the major upgrades.

01-27-2012, 05:27 PM
Also, what are some good fish foods to use for these guys? They've been feeding them some kind of flake food, but I'm sure there's got to be something better. It's currently stocked with 2 clown fish, one yellow tang, and one naso tang. I'm still up in the air on what else to stock with.

01-27-2012, 05:47 PM
i use omega 1 flake for my fish
you probably use that or new life spectrum i here is really good
in the sump you probably have dead sand in there now because of lack of light so find a light does not matter what kind it could be a lamp if you wanted ounce you a light and cup of sand in the main tank and put it in the sump and put a piece of rock or two from the main in to the sump from there go to you lfs and buy some kato morfa algae
second add two more power head to each side of tank that keeps stuff from settling and don't worry about fish or corals
and for the tank get a clean up crew like 30 or more hermit crabs and ten turbo snails

01-27-2012, 06:06 PM
Sounds good. Of course I just got back from the LFS from getting a pump for my own sump..... Go figure. :roll:

01-28-2012, 03:27 PM
It's an aqua C remora.
http://www.proteinskimmer.com/Product%2 ... Remora.htm (http://www.proteinskimmer.com/Product%20Pages/Remora.htm)

01-28-2012, 07:46 PM
Well heck. That thing's only rated for 65 gallons. Add to that it's not well maintaned at all.... No wonder they can't keep fish alive in there. I think the only fish that have actully lasted some time are the two clown fish.

01-30-2012, 01:06 AM
I wonder how that sump smells. IMO, I would pull the UV sterilizer off the sump, It seems to be taking up alot of space, and It probably isn't as effective as it could be if the bulb hasn't been changed within the past year or few months. Nonetheless, the single celled algae they remove keeps freshwater tanks sparkly, but in fact feeds micro organisms in your system. I would pull that out, also I would pull the skimmer off the sump as well. This also takes up valuable space and is ineffective for that size tank.

I would be extra careful with the sand in the sump area because it looks to me like its a few good inches deep. There's stuff a few inches deep that you don't want going into your system if the sand were to be kicked up, instant death.

The easiest solution I see, is to cut the main pump off for a few hours (granted you have circulation pumps in your tank to at least keep the surface agitated for a little while) and pull the whole sump out. Siphon as much water out as possible, and pull that sucker out. Take the skimmer and sterilizer off, and completely clean out the sump. It's gonna stink, just a side note. Clean all the salt creep off and make it as clean as possible, makes visual checking much easier later on.

As far as what you have to work with, it looks like water comes down into the left baffle which is also where the skimmer and uv sterilizer have their intakes. The water then goes under and over 2 baffles into the chamber with live sand, which then overflows 1 baffle into the chamber where the uv sterilizer deposits its water and everything gets pumped back up. It also looks as if there may be an auto top off in the back right corner? that is handy, I would leave that.

[attachment=0:14dkqy0d]RollerDJ Sump.png[/attachment:14dkqy0d]

I would personally go with what I drew there for the time being. I rarely see anyone ready to deck out a few hundred even, A hundred for a skimmer, but being that your water is skimming over an overflow pipe into the sump, the filter sock would help remove some of the physical surface scum, and the following filter pad should you decide to go with one, would also remove whatever may be at the surface. The proteins are left behind but again, protein is usually a food source for SOMETHING. What I drew up there is the most cost effective idea I have as of right now. The reason to start at the sump is because if something were to go haywire down there, you don't know what will get pumped back up to the top. Something overheats or breaks, or gurgles, or disrupts that deep sand bed and that tank is shot. If a car's got iffy brakes and a few dents, the brakes ought a get fixed before the dents are the least of your worries.

Just my 0.27 cents. :)

01-30-2012, 01:24 AM
Also, the sand in the sump isn't necessarily dead. I'm sure it is very much alive. Mixed with food, detritus, dead stuff, and nitrogen gas. You just don't want to kick any of that food, detritus, dead stuff, or nitrogen gas up.

As far as the skimmer goes, I suggest you look into an algae turf scrubber. It is arguably a (and in my opinion a very strong) competitor to the protein skimmer. The idea behind it is you give algae a place to grow, so it leaves your main tank alone, but it does so much more. Skimmers remove physical matter in the water from proteins to minerals. Scrubbers remove chemicals (phosphates and nitrates) while growing, but leave physical matter behind.

Skimmers remove proteins before they can brake down into harmful nutrients that can harm your fish, only problem is they can't remove EVERY bit of protein.

Scrubbers grow algae because you provide it with LOTS of light. Algae begins to grow, and absorb phosphates and nitrates in the process.
They almost work on demand if you will, and they just like skimmers need a weekly cleaning.

Best part is they are super easy to build. With some pvc, some lights and a plastic screen like those used for sewing.

If I sold you on the idea, check this site out, plenty of information on how to build them and pics