300 gallon lighting / sump suggestion

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by vrod2169, May 12, 2012.

  1. vrod2169

    vrod2169

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    Ok I have 4 96 watt power compacts thay are now about 15 months old so I realize it is time for a change. The issue is my tank has been running for over 15 years with basically few issues. It is a FOWLR tank and my frustration is the algae covered rocks. Since Sept 2011 I have been removing the boiballs slwowly and two weeks ago just removed the last one. I added a GFO reactor three months ago as well. The plan based on what I read and seen from the threads is to add coral rubble to my sump in the next few weeks and a small power head to keep the junk from settling on the bottom of the sump. I run a RO unit with two canisters and the membrane was replaced about two years ago. Regardless of new membranes I have always had the algae. Do I need more lighting? Before replacing bulbs which will result in algae anyways I thought it might be time for an upgrade. I feed about every other day and rinse all frozen food as suggested. I am not over stocked with the following fish IMO:

    3-4 inch hippo tang
    4-5 inch magnificant foxface
    small flame angel
    small clown fish
    3 inch longnose hawk fish
    2-3 inch black and yellow angel
    small lawnmower blenny
    4 inch orange spot goby
    XL vlamingii tang (12-15 inches)
    4 scarlet cleaner shrimp and 2 serpeant star fish
    30 mexican turbo snails
    20 nerite snails
    30 at least nassarius snails
    2 fighting conchs snails

    Temp: 78
    Nitrite 0
    Ammonia 0
    PH 8.4
    Nitrate 70

    I have a DSB over a plenum system with 2 koralia 1400 on the surface. An iwaki 70 for circulation and an iwaki 55 that works with my ETSS skimmer. I quiet 3000 for circulation as well. I realize it's time for RO membrane replacements but I am considering upgrading to 4 stage system sine I need to invest the money anyways in new membranes and filters. My dream come true would be a FOWLR with rock that is filled with coraline. Is it possible without adding tons of chemicals monthly? What lights would help if I upgrade?
     
    vrod2169, May 12, 2012
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  2. vrod2169

    vrod2169

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    Correction on the nitrate i just had LFS check and it is 35
     
    vrod2169, May 13, 2012
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  3. vrod2169

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    New lighting won't reduce the algae. The algae is caused by your high nitrates. Nitrates have many causes -- mostly overstocking (which does not appear to be your problem), overfeeding (what are you feeding, how much, and how often?), using tap water (which also doesn't seem to be your problem), lack of water changes (10% to 20% weekly is recommended, what are you doing for water changes?), insufficient filtration (with a protein skimmer, that's probably not your issue) and bad substrate. I'd say the DSB with the plenum is a probable reason for your problem. They are not commonly used in the hobby. Stuff can easily get trapped in it and rot, and that releases nitrates back into the water.

    Coralline is definitely impacted by the lighting. And calcium and magnesium levels. If you have good water quality and good lighting, coralline will grow on its own without the need to add chemicals to the water.

    Whether you upgrade RODI units depends on the quality of the water it produces. Do you have a TDS meter to test your water? You can get a cheap on on Ebay. You want your TDS to be less than 10. If it's higher than that, then I'd say you need a better unit, one with more filtration stages. Most people run a 4 or 5 stage RODI unit. You can get good quality and low priced ones at Bulk Reef Supply and a few other sites as well.

    If you are not planning on keeping corals or photosynthetic inverts, then I don't see a point in upgrading your lights. Lighting for a tank that size is very expensive -- I spent something like $2,000 on lights for my old 240 gallon tank.
     
    Bifferwine, May 13, 2012
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  4. vrod2169

    vrod2169

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    My TDS meter shows in 123 and out at 005. I feed about every other day but sometimes I do feed a bit more. I try to vary but I do feed pellets at least two-three times a week (tetramarine), lance fish once a month for the serpeant starfish, mysis shrimp once a week. and frozen cubes about every two weeks usually. I plan to stock up with more tangs and I will use the algae sheets. Maybe it is the dsb bed but with many of my fish going well over 7-10 years I don't want to risk changing that system. I do just change the water every 6 months nows with about 50% since this was one of the reasons I wa convinced to build the plenum bed. I appreciate he input! Thanks
     
    vrod2169, May 13, 2012
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