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Go Back   Tropical Fish Forum . Net > Saltwater Tropical Fish Discussion > Beginner Saltwater

Beginner Saltwater Questions and comments for the new saltwater aquarist.

 
 
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  #1  
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Default Big tank, big problem!

I was put in charge of getting and setting up a 400gal cold water marine tank for a new visitor centre. Bit tricky really as I had no marine experience and budget was virtually zeroe!

A 400 gal acrylic tank arrived last June. Installed 4 external filters, 2 airstones and pumps and a beer cooler (lent by pub!). Stocked with anything live that we catch in 4 creels that we set in harbour to show kids what happens on the bottom.

After a few initial problems the tank seems to have settled down nicely other than a very tough brown algae that is depositing itself on sides of tank. This cannot be removed by normal means (sponge) and anything coarser scratches the acrylic. Chemicals are not acceptable - unless no other method?

Any suggestions please
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

I'm afraid I have no experience with Salt Water. It sounds like a lovely project though. Any pics?
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5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
  #3  
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Found this, Fairbs...http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/algae.shtml
Have a read and see if this could be applicable to your tank...
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Sharon

5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories

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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Brown algae (diatoms) is common in new marine aquariums. As the tank ages and the nitrogen cycle stabilizes, it should go away by it's self. Phosphates and silicates in the water will make it much harder to control. As you are finding out, any growth on the acrylic surfaces is hard to remove. There are plastic scrapers that some people use, but scratches can still occur. You said you were new at marine aquarium keeping. Have you researched material on the Internet or read any books on the subject? Do you have the necessary test kits and know that all the water conditions are right?(ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and salinity) Is the tank completely cycled? Describe the filtration you have. What kind of water did you use and what substrate is in the tank. Do you have any rocks or decorations in the tank? What creatures do you have in there and how many and how big? I ask a lot of questions, because marine aquariums are a more serious business than fresh water.
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon View Post
Found this, Fairbs...http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/algae.shtml
Have a read and see if this could be applicable to your tank...

Sharon - great to see/read you over there in the wooly north east( north west from here!). We have forecast of snow for tomorrow!! and have a trip to do - will be interesting!!

Thanks for the link - very useful. Here is piccie of tank just after it was installed.
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  #6  
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Dano - good to meet you

In reply to your queries - I will get myself a large glass of wine and try and answer everything.

[quote=Dano;19987]Brown algae (diatoms) is common in new marine aquariums. As the tank ages and the nitrogen cycle stabilizes, it should go away by it's self.THAT IS COMFORTING - IN FACT i DO NOT THINK IT IS GETTING ANY WORSE - IT ONLY STARTED ABOUT 3 WEEKS AGO

- Phosphates and silicates in the water will make it much harder to control. As you are finding out, any growth on the acrylic surfaces is hard to remove. There are plastic scrapers that some people use, but scratches can still occur. You said you were new at marine aquarium keeping. Have you researched material on the Internet or read any books on the subject? YES, BUT CANNOT ACTUALLY IDENTIFY WHAT SORT OF ALGAE IS PRESENT. I HAVE SPOKEN TO TANK MANUFACTURERS AND THEY ARE COMING BACK TO ME WITH A SOLUTION (WONDER HOW MANY TIMES WE HAVE HEARD THAT SORT OF THING BEFORE - WE SHALL SEE)

Do you have the necessary test kits and know that all the water conditions are right?(ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and salinity) Is the tank completely cycled? TANK IS IN FINAL STAGES OF MATURATION I THINK. READINGS HAVE BEEN COMING DOWN SLOWLY SINCE THE START. I HAVE NOT TESTED Ph YET BUT JUST GOT TEST KIT FOR THAT AND WILL DO THAT TOMORROW.

Describe the filtration you have. What kind of water did you use and what substrate is in the tank. Do you have any rocks or decorations in the tank?

FILTRATION -4 OF THE LARGEST TETRATEC EXTERNAL FILTERS
WATER - SEAWATER OUT OF HARBOUR ENTRANCE
SUBSTRATE - SHELL SAND OFF BEACH HERE. ROCKS FOR LOBSTER CAVES ETC. KEPT IT SIMPLE SO FAR AS JUST FINDING OUR WAY WITH THIS TANK.

What creatures do you have in there and how many and how big? 2 LOBSTERS, VARIOUS CRABS, 2 BLENNYS, 1PIPEFISH, 4 SCALLOPS, VARIOUS STARFISH AND ANENOMIES - PRETTY UNDERSTOCKED I THINK.
I ask a lot of questions, because marine aquariums are a more serious business than fresh water.
YEP - MAKES IT REALLY INTERESTING AND LOTS TO LEARN

Thanks for your interest Dano
  #7  
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

I have used natural sea water in the past with great success. Being in a warmer climate, parasites were possible so the water had to be filtered. You have a number of invertebrates in the tank so you will have to watch the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Marine organisms are more susceptible to the ammonias and inverts will die quickly because of it. Any copper of any kind will kill invertebrates. I assume that you know how to feed the organisms you have. Some that feed on plankton and micro life will need to be target fed. Anemones will need small chunks of fresh fish placed right on the tentacles. You probably have noticed that crabs and lobster are aggressive predators. The tank looks pretty good. I hope that the natural light coming in from the window isn't a problem with algae. The brown algae which isn't actually a plant won't be affected by light one way or another. If you have local macro algae, it would be a good addition to the tank. I am curious about the filters and how they are set up. I gather that you don't have a sump and no place for a big protein skimmer.

Dano

ps: The biggest marine tank I had was 250 gallons in my LFS many years ago.
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  #8  
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Tank looks GREAT, Fairbs!!! Snow tomorrow for you??? We haven't had any, but soon, I'm sure....
I'm glad you've turned up, Dano...You know much more about this than I can find links for....
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Sharon

5 gal... Robin, (Betta)
5 gal...Pete, (Betta)
5 gal...Scotty(Betta)
10 gal...Female Betta Sororiety
10 gal... Neons, Glolights and Cardinals, 1 Oto
10 gal... Ram Pair
29 gal... Mbuna Tank
29 gal... Krib Pair, Tiger Barbs, Tetras, 2 Otos
55 gal...5 Australian Rainbows, 1 Angel Fish, 1 Blue Gourami, 6 Congo Tetras, 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 UpsideDown Catfish,5 Otos, 1 Bronze Cory, 2 Peppered Cories,2 Panda Cories
  #9  
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

The links are there. I learned most of the technical aspects of marine fish keeping on the Internet.
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Default Re: Big tank, big problem!

Dano,

Sounds like I have come across someone who knows what they are talking about. I have had so many different suggestions, all with good intentions but basically it seems that there is little knowledge on the 'simple and inexpensive' subject of cold water marine - 8c - 15c.

Copper could be a problem as have a copper/manganese bronze outlet pipe that obviously is in contact with the water. We don't actually use it - wish I had never had it installed - just syphon water out through window and electric pump to pump refill in from a mobile water tank outside.

Likewise with the whole water system. No sump, no skimmer. The whole project of the new building went way over budget and left nothing for me and the tank so experimented with just 4 external pump/filters (tetratec that I think are great anyway and use on my tropicals) at all four corners of tank directing return flow across the tank.

We don't seem to get any deaths really - beginners luck. The main problem is a very rare bright blue lobster that kills for pleasure!!! can't get rid of her as she was caght way out beyond Barra by a trawler and the skipper, who lives here, donate her to us?? She just loves killing everything

What do you mean by local macro algae? On one of our trips we do a plankton trawl and the result is put in tank on a daily basis. But now trips stop so what should replace it???

We have stopped light problem by covering tank over with cloth from 5.00pm till 9.00am. Green algae did not like us for that at all!

Hope that helps - lots more to say but think thats enough for the moment.

PS - I am not getting notification by email of any relevant postings??
 


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