Monthly Archives: oktober 2015

System overload 2 – update

This is getting weird – I sent a water sample to my local (1 hour away) saltwater aquarium store. He phoned the results:

Kh 15 – which is not that wierd since this is the same as the tap water (lots of calcium)

Nitrates > 25 mg/l !!

Phosphates 0,3-0,5 mg/l !!!! which is really weird since I measured around 0,3 before the water change

My own test-kit (Red Sea algae control test kit) measured nitrates at around 2 mg/l and phosphates almost 0 – so now I am confused, since I just changed 600 liters out of a total of around 800 in the whole system. I ordered a new test-kit for phospates – hope that will give me some direction off where my aquarium is headed.

Today I built my own design of a portable deep-sand bed, using a box for refrigerators from Ikea, some pvc pipping, parts from a gravel bed filter and a piece of  nonwovens (textile for preventing the sand from running out the drain in the bottom). I hope this will help reduce nitrates by denitrification.

Here a schematic of the whole system as it runs now.

Schematic with flow and filtersIkea bow with two drains, seen from the sideTwo drains seen from insideOne drain coveredSand and second drainFinished filter
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System overload

Guess I was too optimistic about how many fishes the aquarium could house. I have measured nitrate and phosphate a couple of times the last months and they were at a steady high despite using rowaphos  and reef pellets for removing nitrate. I have added a reactor chamber run by a small eheim pump (around 400  l/h), but it did not help much, nitrates where still around 2-4 mg/l and phosphate around 0,4 mg/l.

So last weekend I changed 600 liters of water and cleaned the sump and the upper filter aquarium. It also seems that the upper filter aquarium did acts as a filter as I hoped, so I removed some of the live rocks and placed them in the  sump. Now the upper aquariums acts as a crustacean zoo, with at least 4 species of crustaceans, to keep them from eating my snails and being eaten by the turbot.

The turbot by the way ate the  small lumpsucker after just one week. After the water change the nitrate  and phosphate is much lower, the big fishes are gone, so I hope that will help.

Here is a photo of the upper filter aquarium and one of the squatlobsters.

Full view of top filter aquarium 1,7 m longSquatlobsterReactor with quickphos phosphate remover
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