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Unpleasent odour

damo666

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Hi Guys, may a wish you all a very Happy and prosperous new year:clap: I did my second water change on my new set up, (20.11.16) yesterday, the first last week after being advised to leave well alone for a month or so. I decided, rightly or wrongly to use my hand to waft around the rock to flush out any debris/detritus there. Most of what came out simply looked like powdery rock. I switch off all pumps during changes so it was a simple process of syphoning this off once it had settled on the coral sand then using my eheim vac to pick up anything left behind once I reached the level I take out. I noticed what I thought was an unpleasant odour whilst doing this. Checked out all parameters 6hrs later, all fine. Is this just what's left off the dead stuff from the cycle of the live rock or is it normal? I guess I'm also asking have I made an error in moving this debris from within the rock? is it a food source for the bacteria?
 

Bluez_01

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Can you try and explain the odour at all? is it eggy, or musty? the eheim vac needs to go in to the shed/garage and never to be seen again BTW, you really want to avoid disturbing the sand bed at all times, unless you get an outbreak of cyano, and even in this case, you would ideally use a fine net to scoop that off the sand bed. Big Thumbs Up
 

warby

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Can you try and explain the odour at all? is it eggy, or musty? the eheim vac needs to go in to the shed/garage and never to be seen again BTW, you really want to avoid disturbing the sand bed at all times, unless you get an outbreak of cyano, and even in this case, you would ideally use a fine net to scoop that off the sand bed. Big Thumbs Up
I'd disagree with the sand bed mine gets gravel vacced every 2weeks and there's still plenty of goodies in there for my sand sifting star but what works for one dosent always for for another :)

the smell.....where any of the rocks exposed? as they can smell but it's more of a sea side smell if that makes sence. I'm guessing since your still cycling you don't run granular activated carbon? that can remove contaminants that cause bad odours.

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merser

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I'm a leave the sand alone guy too but I'd defo suggest you get a turkey baster and blast rocks regularly to keep them nice and clean. Certainly until you get the flow and balance of the tank to the point where they stay spick and span!

Jamie


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damo666

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WP_20161206_17_34_44_Pro.jpgThanks for the replies. Guess this is one of the many pitfalls of coming across from years of freshwater. Even when I had fully planted tanks I used to vac the top 1/2" to remove detritus. I'm not going to get into the vac v don't vac discussion lol, not enough experience lads. However, I'll give it a break for a while even tho I know I'm not going to like the light dusting of green algae I'm getting in places. As for flow, well yes I'm still experimenting with that. Problem I think I'm having is a curved glass corner Juwel 190ltr. I've set the 2 wavemakers in top left and right corner angled as best I can toward rock, i.e. down and in a bit. Rock is set up to cut across the corner leaving a void at the back for twin heaters (first time I've used a back set 2 degrees below my main one) and uplift to external. Stacked with several small ledges in readiness for soft corals and leaving a sizable swimming area. (30kg of live rock). I clearly need to get some pics on here and tag my tank set up. No it wasn't an eggy smell, more musty one. I haven't put the carbon in yet as I put in extra filter wool to catch initial debris, water polished up nicely now and will swap next weekend when doing first filter clean since setting up. Probably got that wrong to in hind sight but don't appear to have done any harm as all the parameters I have been testing have checked out fine. ( ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate ph) and fish happy and feeding well.
 

warby

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that looks like an awful lot of rock for the size of tank.
you don't want the direct flow on the rock when you get corals they will sulk with too much flow. you might be better having them point to the opposite corners if you get me. that way it will create random flow when the 2 streams of water meet.

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damo666

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Okee dokee guys, seems I may have a lot of rock lol. With reference to the wave makers Warby that's exactly how I had them initially so I'll sort that one thanks.
So, if it appears too much rock any thoughts on which way to go. Incidentally Warby took a look at your diary and tank tag. Interesting mate. Let me give you an insight as to where I'm at. Cabinetmaker by trade. Looked at systemised aquarium in my local aquatic shop, both out my price range and extortionate for what's involved. I've built tanks and sumps previously, a good few years ago tbh. I'm dipping my toe in saltwater with this tank, know it's not ideal at all, before building myself a centrepiece in my living room, once I know I have the experience in tank management to do it successfully. I am leaning towards a drop off tank with drawers under the drop off, sump within the main cabinet. 5' long overall. Anyway, waffling a bit, back to the point in question. Would you recommend removing some rock or leaving it now it's there. The tank is very lightly stocked, small common clown, the yellow belly damsel and 2 banggai cardinals. Cuc consists of 2 hermits and 2 turbos at present. thanks.
 

warby

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Okee dokee guys, seems I may have a lot of rock lol. With reference to the wave makers Warby that's exactly how I had them initially so I'll sort that one thanks.
So, if it appears too much rock any thoughts on which way to go. Incidentally Warby took a look at your diary and tank tag. Interesting mate. Let me give you an insight as to where I'm at. Cabinetmaker by trade. Looked at systemised aquarium in my local aquatic shop, both out my price range and extortionate for what's involved. I've built tanks and sumps previously, a good few years ago tbh. I'm dipping my toe in saltwater with this tank, know it's not ideal at all, before building myself a centrepiece in my living room, once I know I have the experience in tank management to do it successfully. I am leaning towards a drop off tank with drawers under the drop off, sump within the main cabinet. 5' long overall. Anyway, waffling a bit, back to the point in question. Would you recommend removing some rock or leaving it now it's there. The tank is very lightly stocked, small common clown, the yellow belly damsel and 2 banggai cardinals. Cuc consists of 2 hermits and 2 turbos at present. thanks.

I would be tempted to remove some of the rock it will give your fish more swimming space and imo look better then a wall of rock if that makes sence? have a look on Google at aquascaping see if you get some ideas. when doing the scape think about placement for corals I.e. some like higher light some like lower light and the same with flow.
damsel = devil nasty little buggers them I'd never put them any where near my tank lol.


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Bluez_01

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Big Thumbs Up on not disturbing the sand bed, (I think me and warby have finally found something we disagree on... lol, which I believe is the first time ever!) the reason I say dont disturb it, is not only due to the food for cuc in it, but also any bacteria that is in it will be disturbed and thus could cause spikes in nitrates as and when its disturbed, (worst still sulphur) however looking from warby`s point of view, cleaning the sand bed/coral bed regular prevents this from happening in the first place, pro`s and con`s.

As pointed out, too much rock in the tank to be honest, yes its great for bacteria and keeping the tank in balance, but you will have a fair chunk of areas with dead spots in it, thus it will cause issues, on the bright side at least you have found that out now, and not in 3-4 months time when it would be more of an issue removing some.
Realistically, and this is only going from the picture, I would say you will probably need to pull about half of that out or just under, if you have a sump and have space, throw some of the that in there, if not I would allow it to dry out and store it for possible later use, when working on flow and flow patterns, the easiest way to see how you are doing, is to get around 2 flakes, and crumble it up finely, then place this in the tank at feeding time with power heads on, monitor where the food is going by eye, and see if it starts to settle in one area (rocks/sand bed) if it does, then this area is where you need to look at, as this will be where your problems will most likely come from later on.

Increase CUC in a couple of weeks time, I would personally look at throwing in 10 turbos, and say another 4 or so crabs, while you are at it, it maybe worth while throwing in a couple of bags of pods to kick start the population as well, you should then hopefully be on your way. Big Thumbs Up
 

warby

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Big Thumbs Up on not disturbing the sand bed, (I think me and warby have finally found something we disagree on... lol, which I believe is the first time ever!) the reason I say dont disturb it, is not only due to the food for cuc in it, but also any bacteria that is in it will be disturbed and thus could cause spikes in nitrates as and when its disturbed, (worst still sulphur) however looking from warby`s point of view, cleaning the sand bed/coral bed regular prevents this from happening in the first place, pro`s and con`s.

first time for everything ey? haha. iv always been a believer in cleaning it if you leave it it can become toxic (i.e. sulphur) if disturbed by a wrasse or other fish or cuc that burry in the sand. it also removes uneaten food which will brake down into nitrate and phosphate.
imo there will still be more then enough food in the sand even with gravel vac's iv found this out my self by not only keeping my sand sifting star alive but his growing to around 5-6inches from around 3inches when I got him at the beginning of last year. it also helps you sand look cleaner visually.

there are good arguments for not cleaning and cleaning I guess it's just down to personal preference

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damo666

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Hi Bluez, thanks for the feedback. No sump on this, just a standard Juwel Trigon 190 with an eheim pro 350 in the cabinet. Where the coral sand is concerned I only added roughly 1/2" across the base. Should this be deeper? Yes, the damsel is a nasty sod and poor little clowny is taking a beating, just having trouble being home long enough to trap him, self employed and doing crazy hrs at the mo. So, what about some large tubs, a 25ltr bucket for fish and cuc with heater and tiny powerhead ( I've got roughly 15 from all my experimenting over the years) and a complete re-aquascape? Any issues water quality wise that can arise or should all be good if I don't dill dally? Obviously wasn't planning this but as said better sort it now, especially as I'm sitting on my hands desperate for my first coral..........
I have some great ledges at the moment Warby, probably placed it and took it down at least six times before I was happy with the layout.
Problem I have is I put my fate in the hands of the LFS, and a good friend too, he advised 25-30kg, and tbh it did strike me as a lot but ignorance is blind.
One more thing please. Refractometer? Red Sea seems the favoured choice here. Worth investing in? I'm using a tetratec comfort and it's a pain in the butt with all the air bubbles causing false readings until you get rid of them. I've no confidence in it's accuracy.
 

CEECH

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good advise from the above . Man that is allot of rock. i would for sure remove half of that. Is there any room for the fish to swim Hysterical only joking with you :) those damsels are a terror ! never again would i have 1 unless it was a very large tank.
 

damo666

Registered
Ok fellas, all good advice, insightful and lots to think about.
questions:
1. Sand 1/2" deep, should it be deeper?
2. Taking out rock, and new aquascape. Buckets and partial drain down, occupants in 20ltr bucket with small power head and heater. Any problems with this? Reckon I want to give myself 1 1/2 hrs.
3. Would you recommend a refractometer over the tetrtec comfort hydrometer I'm using now? pain in the butt getting rid of those air bubbles, not much confidence in it's accuracy.
4. Once new rock work formed, fish settled back in (minus the damsel) how long before first coral? Tank set up last week in November with good quality Fuji live rock left maturing in lfs. He uses 8' x 3' x 2' deep vat to store it, pumped and filtered. Sadly he had a multiple centralised tank crash due to contamination from powder coated tank frontage being defective.
Thanks
 

Bluez_01

Registered
You can do this a couple of ways, my preference if I was in your shoes, would be to leave the tank as is, ie, with all occupants in the tank and running, the other way is as you said which wouldn`t hurt the occupants.

If you went my way, then I would pull out half the rock (the best bits you like) leaving the rest in the tank for now, use your 25ltr tub to put some tank water in to and put your "best bits" in that to keep it wet (make sure the rock is covered in water), then with a nice flat area to work with, use some milliput or another type of marine safe putty and build your structure, this way you are not on a time scale as such to get it done and can alter it as you want until you are happy with it, I would recommend building it in 3 separate parts, so that you can move these back in to the tank when the time comes without risking it all falling to bits on you on the move.

As you complete each of the 3 bits and the putty has dried enough, if possible carefully place this back in the tub and start on the next bit, so forth and so on, until all three bits are complete and ready, it would be a simple case then of removing the remaining bits from the tank and putting in the new 3 section parts.

1/2" sand bed is about right for a shallow bed, obviously not deep enough for a deep bed, so you should be fine with that.

Refractometer is a must have bit of kit, yes its more expensive than a hydro, but its a one time investment but gives you an accurate readings everytime.

On your last question this is difficult to say at the moment, it will depend on how much die off you get on the rocks when working on it, as an estimate I would say after the work is completed and back in to the tank again, I would leave it for a couple/3 weeks and check each week on your params, if they are stable still and not moving, then you should be good to go for a couple of softies to see how they fair.
 

warby

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I agree with bluez. just make sure you leave it a good few weeks after the rescape before adding corals to make sure your levels have settled down. and don't just go buying a coral because it looks nice some of them can be a pita and spread like wild fire such as xenia, green star polyps, clove polyps some people do like this effect of the corals covering the rock and some don't so my advice would be to do some research before you buy any coral so you know how it grows and what it needs e.t.c.

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damo666

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Thanks guys, all makes sense. just one thing. Is this milliput a two part putty you mix, as I'm presuming it is so that it dries quickly. How long does it take to start setting on wet rock pleases? thanks
 

merser

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Yes it's a two part thing mate. Not sure how long it takes but it's not instant. Best to place rock/coral in a position that does not need support. Relying on the putty to lean on doesn't work very well! Or prop it with something temporarily.

Superglue is good for stuff you need to stick quickly. I use it mainly for frag plugs.
[MENTION=11655]LittleOcean[/MENTION] sell some mega glue.

Jamie.


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LittleOcean

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Yes it's a two part thing mate. Not sure how long it takes but it's not instant. Best to place rock/coral in a position that does not need support. Relying on the putty to lean on doesn't work very well! Or prop it with something temporarily.

Superglue is good for stuff you need to stick quickly. I use it mainly for frag plugs.
[MENTION=11655]LittleOcean[/MENTION] sell some mega glue.



Jamie.


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I just saw my phone pop up, with notification, "merser mentioned you in "unpleasant odour " " Charming! I thought lol , back at ya ;-) [MENTION=21336]merser[/MENTION]
 
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