Reef nutrition

Rygh's 250 gallon - Rev 3

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
Why does my tank get MORE complicated every time I touch things. :mad:

I get an automated water tester to simplify testing ... and I end up spending time tweaking/maintaining/fixing it.
I switched from an Algae scrubber to carbon dosing to simplify ... but ended up with a PH problem ... so tried CO2 scrubbing....
Water exchange system was supposed to reduce water change hassles, but added different problems.
New LED lights come with fancy iPhone apps, that do not always work so well.
Similar with aquarium controllers, fancy controllable DC pumps, and so on.

Might be time to do some detailed planning on how to make everything much simpler...
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
My "fake sand bed" concept is not really working out.
:(

As background, I took some large flat sheets of PVC and epoxied sand to them, for a fake bottom.
Thick in spots to create ridges, and so on.
It actually looked pretty good.
Far better than a normal bare bottom tank.
I was very happy for several months.

The problem - snails seem to avoid eating algae from the fake sand.
They eat fine off the tank walls, and do fairly well on rocks.
But the bottom keeps getting ignored.
Not sure why.
I think part of it is they do not get a good grip. It is rough like sandpaper, so suction does not work.
And they cannot bulldoze through like sand.
But who knows. Snails don't talk well.

So what I get is algae.....
All over the bottom. Nice green carpet.
Then normal detritus settles out, and gets nicely stuck in the algae, which is hard to clean.
So it ends up worse than dirty sand.
I am having some nutrient problems now.
And recently, it has transitioned into Turf algae, which almost nothing eats.

So ... probably going to pull it out and just go normal bare bottom.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
My "fake sand bed" concept is not really working out.
:(

As background, I took some large flat sheets of PVC and epoxied sand to them, for a fake bottom.
Thick in spots to create ridges, and so on.
It actually looked pretty good.
Far better than a normal bare bottom tank.
I was very happy for several months.

The problem - snails seem to avoid eating algae from the fake sand.
They eat fine off the tank walls, and do fairly well on rocks.
But the bottom keeps getting ignored.
Not sure why.
I think part of it is they do not get a good grip. It is rough like sandpaper, so suction does not work.
And they cannot bulldoze through like sand.
But who knows. Snails don't talk well.

So what I get is algae.....
All over the bottom. Nice green carpet.
Then normal detritus settles out, and gets nicely stuck in the algae, which is hard to clean.
So it ends up worse than dirty sand.
I am having some nutrient problems now.
And recently, it has transitioned into Turf algae, which almost nothing eats.

So ... probably going to pull it out and just go normal bare bottom.
Kudos for trying that in theory looked like a great idea...

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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
makes a lot of sense though. I mean who has algae (other than maybe cyano) growing on the sand bed? I would think the "fluidic" nature of it would make growing hair algae or other types not terribly easy to do. Also why the snails would leave it alone, being in a special area that differs from rock.

Anyways, tangs can eat it?
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
makes a lot of sense though. I mean who has algae (other than maybe cyano) growing on the sand bed? I would think the "fluidic" nature of it would make growing hair algae or other types not terribly easy to do. Also why the snails would leave it alone, being in a special area that differs from rock.

Anyways, tangs can eat it?
Tangs/etc trim algae down to short nubs, but do not really scour it clean like snails.
At least mine don't. Maybe I feed too well. I have a Foxface, yellow tang, sailfin tang, some dwarf angels.

And now that it is turf algae, nothing likes that except maybe mithrax crabs, and I am not adding those.

I am also cranking up my algae turf scrubber.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
An interesting side effect on PH.
It appears the algae on the bottom was reducing CO2 during the day, raising PH.
The transition when I took it out is very clear.
Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 10.27.18 AM.png
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Do you think this is because of algae or the bacterial population that lived on the fake sand? The algae patch is not that big..more of filament...

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rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
Do you think this is because of algae or the bacterial population that lived on the fake sand? The algae patch is not that big..more of filament...

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Algae. It was mostly turf algae. Pretty thick in some spots..
And with an 8' x 2' bottom, half covered, that is it an 8 square foot algae scrubber.
Here is a side view.
IMG_0280.jpg
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
Those plates of fake sand are 4' long, so the scale can be misleading, and make it look like just a little dusting of algae.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
Those plates of fake sand are 4' long, so the scale can be misleading, and make it look like just a little dusting of algae.
Oh wow yeh these are significant algae patches ha ha

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