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Marineland 93g Cube Renovation

Discussion in 'Pre-Sales Q&A' started by baddiesel, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. baddiesel

    baddiesel Member Customer

    I've changed from a bare bottom tank to a ~3.5" sand bed. I currently have just an empty tank w/sand, SW, sump has only water running through it. (eg removed skimmer, and carbon reactor) Yep, I've got the heaters operational. To give you some background info, I've relocated the LR, fish, and coral (eg mix of LPS, softies, and 2 SPS's) to a 40g breeder tank as a temporary home. I utilize (2) Kessil 150 pendant LED light fixtures. I've got some tuffs of GHA growing on my LR. I've tried everything: w/c's, ozone, GFO, bio pellets, etc. Now, I'm willing to make one last investment on clearing the GHA. I feed approx (1) cube 3x per week, and 3 pinches per day. Sorry for the long & lengthy rant. I just want to get this tank running correctly, hopefully without the skimmer. I'm okay with running a carbon reactor. Will an L2 suffice?
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Yes, I believe an L2 would take care of this. I have customers who are feeding much more than 2 cubes/day with only scrubber + undersized skimmer with no algae problems. However, every tank is different. If you have a lot of Phophate locked up in the rocks, whatever method you try to reduce the nutrients may result in the P "leeching" out of the rocks (under the right conditions), at which point the algae really gets first crack it, resulting in growth on the rocks. This may be what you are dealing with. The algae scrubber, IMO, is the best long-term solution to this, because it allows one to keep the N and P down to very low levels with little ongoing cost over the long term, which is what you need to beat out this issue.

    I would take Jim Stime's tank as a good example of this. That's the "LA Fish Guy". His tank had a horrid algae problem due to the tank being ignored (a common problem with tank maintenance companies, not taking care of your own tank, LOL!). Anyways, his tank took over 6 months of running a SM100 (very oversized for what he fed) to get ahead of that algae, and now a year later it is almost completely algae free and really looks good. I've read cases where people took a year before the tank algae started dying.

    I would recommend an approach from several directions: L2 Scrubber, regularly sized to under-sized skimmer, a good clean-up crew (turbo snails if you are OK with them), carbon, and ever a little bit of GFO, if you are still testing phosphate as present when you have no nitrate (called Nitrate Limitation). The skimmer, much as it has been bashed in the past as completely unnecessary by others, IMO, is still a valuable piece of equipment. Even if you set it to skim ultra-dry, it is still serving a purpose (gas exchange / aeration) and that has many unmeasured benefits for coral polyps (which we really know little about)

    Hope that helps!
  3. baddiesel

    baddiesel Member Customer

    I really appreciate your honesty and candor. As a worst case scenario, it could take up to (?) a long while, before the tufts of GHA are gone. I have an over sized skimmer (Life reef systems), capacity rated around 200g and a phosban 150 reactor that I use for carbon. I've quit the GFO & bio-pellets; that diversity equals too much work for a guy that's only home, basically on weekends. This is another reason why I want to try the algae scrubber route, I want to reduce maintenance. Besides removing the GHA, reducing maintenance is a second priority. Scraping/cleaning a mesh screen once a week, toping-off the ATO, emptying the skim mate jug and testing the water parameters is the weekly goal that I hope to achieve.
  4. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Got tied up and didn't get back to responding...

    I would say that after your screen gets cured up, you're looking at a few solid months of scrubbing to get ahead of the GHA. It really depends on many tank conditions, among them: time under which the current rocks have been in high-nutrient water, display tank lighting type/intensity/photoperiod, current feeding and fish/coral "load", in-tank flow rate, etc.

    With your situation, if you only want to clean every 7 days (or 14, if you have low to moderate feeding load), then you just want to make sure your scrubber is completely hands-off in between. Every one that I have run (even before I made the L series) has pretty much been that way, save for an instance of water creeping along the pipe when I didn't have good blockers on the very first one I made (which was in an office, and not my office, so I trusted my installation that much!)

    Another thing that i just came across is this:


    Neat little device. I bought one to try it out, seems like it would make short order of tufts of GHA that were in hard-to-reach places. Good tool for someone trying to battle off the nuisance algae in the tank while also trying to ramp up a scrubber, which can be difficult if your "in-tank scrubber" is strong.
  5. baddiesel

    baddiesel Member Customer

    That's a clever device, thanks for the link. I'll order one!!!

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