Activated Carbon

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by RobC, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. RobC

    RobC

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    I am using a Fluval 304 on my 58 gal. reef tank and have a couple questions:

    1) I am using Black Diamond premium activated carbon. I clean out the filter once a month and replace the three bags of carbon with this. People keep telling me to use the best carbon with the largest granular size available, however it's difficult to determine the size/quality when looking at web suppliers. Can anyone recommend a good quality carbon within a normal persons budget?

    2) I was reading some of the past threads on Nitrates vs canister filters. My tank with approx. 56 lbs. live rock has been running for 5-6 months. Now that it's established, should I remove the Boimax media in the final baskets to aid in the reduction of Nitrates or did I read incorrectly?

    Thankyou for any input you may have. :bowdown:
    Rob
     
    RobC, Aug 28, 2005
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  2. RobC

    jhnrb

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    you should be cleaning your filter every 2 weeks. to keep it from producing nitrates. you can remove the bio media at such time as your system is balanced. at 6 months if all is going good you can remove the bio media. as for the carbon, there are several carbons out there specifically for reef systems. personally i like the kent marine. you can get it at dr.s smith or possibly marine depot. check with the forums sponsors first though and if competitive purchase from a sponsor. hope this helps.
     
    jhnrb, Aug 28, 2005
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  3. RobC

    minireefer

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    I agree Jhnrb's reply but I would remove maybe half at first and let your rock catch up than remove the rest.
     
    minireefer, Aug 29, 2005
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  4. RobC

    RobC

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    Thanks for the info guys!
    I've been having an awfull time lately with Nitrate since i came back from vacation and have watched my Pulsing Xenia's slowly deteriorate. The nitrate levels have been around 10-20 and I'm assuming this is the reason for the Xenia heath issues. I've been changing out about 5 gals of water per day for 5 days and yesterday cleaned out the filter pads again. I could not seem to reduce the nitrate level.

    This morning I decided to move some live rock around abit to make it easier to clean the glass and was horrified to see the amount of particulate come off the rock. I got frustrated and shook a number of pieces to cloud the water and did a 15 gal water change (out of 58). I also recieved an order of additional algae eaters which I placed in as well.

    I hope this helps resolves the problem. I still have some hope for half the Xenia.

    Am I feeding incorrectly? I take cubes of frozen food and dissolve them in small jars will water and pour a small portion into the tank, which the fish go to immediately and when the portion is gone I repeat approx. 3-4 times. It always seems like the frozen food has a high amout of particulate that never gets eaten and maybe that's what builds up on the rock.

    Are my probems as easy as my feeding methods? I strongly believe I need to get a refugium set-up, but have to wait a liitle while. Thats a whole other topic!

    Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong? :frustrat:

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
    RobC, Aug 30, 2005
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  5. RobC

    jhnrb

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    could be what you are not doing rather than what you are doing wrong. since you have a large buildup under the rocks you are not getting correct currents and are lacking adequate substrait stirrers. at least once a month or every couple weeks to start use a small pump and put a short piece of hose on the end of it. then blow off the rocks and around like a storm. do this before water change and filter cleaning. clean filters and do water change. then do clean and change filters again in one week and continue with water changes. with a 5 gal water change per day your nitrates should be going down unless you are adding nitrates in your makeup water, test kit is bad, or your bio load is higher than the water change out. cut back on feeding and use a fine net and filter out the liquid from the frozen cubes. feed just the solid and feed sparingly for a while to see if your nitrates come down. if you have a large particle substrait such as crushed coral vaccuum the substrait. hopefully something here will help. as always do not do anything that you feel will have a bad effect on your system. good luck and keep us posted.
     
    jhnrb, Aug 31, 2005
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  6. RobC

    RevReefer Living Reefs Supporter

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    You can also use a turkey baster to blow of the rock....

    I have had nitrate problems as of late and my xenia is thriving...FWIW
     
    RevReefer, Aug 31, 2005
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  7. RobC

    RobC

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    Thanks for the info guys.
    I decided to take a water sample to the LFS this morning and had the Nitrate tested......came out at '0'. Good news, but I'm completely lost. I guess I'll remove the dead or nearly dead Xenia and try again. Better not take any more vacations. I'll be ordering a new test kit tonight. Anyone know what the average life span of test kits is? I've only had mine about 6 months. I guess if you recieve old stock, your money's wasted.

    I appreciate the info though. I'll definitely blow off the rock on a regular basis and will certainly try to remove some gunk from the frozen foods first.

    Are there certain hard or soft corals that actually require higher concentrations of Nitrates?

    Thanks again! :beerchug:

    Rob
     
    RobC, Aug 31, 2005
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  8. RobC

    Chris

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    Turkey baster works like a champ for me. One time my nitrates in my 55 gal went crazy, so I pulled everything out of the tank and then dran my hands thru the substraite and stired all the crap up then sucked the nasty water out. I then returned everything back, including 50% of my water and within days my tank nitrates were gone and never came back. ( I also have a refugium on the tank.)
     
    Chris, Aug 31, 2005
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  9. RobC

    jhnrb

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    test kits should be discarded after about a year. test tubes need to be thoughly cleaned after each test to keep tests accurate and color comparison charts need to be kept out of the sun or they will fade, so watch the expiration date on the test kit package and if you suspect something is amist get a comparison test form your lfs. glad you found part of your problem. modify your maitenance routine and continue to test periodically. sounds like the water changes are helping. keep us posted on your progress.
     
    jhnrb, Sep 1, 2005
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