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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok here's the scenario. I have a system with a total net gallons of about 810, which one tank is 360 net gallons of it. The other tank, fuge, and sump make up the difference.
other than the 360, the rest of the set-up has been running for over 2 years.
the 200 gallon sump has about 200# of live rock and the tank that's running has about 70-100# of live rock and sand. My skimmer is rated for 2000gallons. I have a 200 gallon fuge full of macro and live sand. the whole system runs together giving me the 810 net gallons.
However I can turn each tank off from the filtering system isolating one tank, which I have done to the 360 net tank so the other is using the filtration.

I recently redone the tank that has 360 net gallons. I had taken all the rock out and put in fresh water and cleaned it all off. I DID NOT CLEAN THE SAND. the tank has about 600# a Fiji Pink and about 300# of clean dead rock. I put about 20-30# of live rock it there too with about 6 cups of live sand from the other tank.

So here is the question:

Since the 360 is less than half the total net gallons of the whole system together, if I were to turn my returns on just trickling, say like somewhere around a 100 gallons an hour, with one of the over flows draining directly into the fuge and the other draining into the sump. Do you think I would have any ill effect on the system as a whole?

Do you think the whole system could handle the cycle of that 360 net with that slow of a flow going through and established system?

Right now I have the 360 net ( it's really a 455 gallon tank) full of water with the power heads running with the water no where to go.

will the tank be able to cycle that way without and filtration?

What are your opinions on this matter?
Please not to be rude, but if you don't have a lot of experience I don't want to hear from you there is a lot of money involve here.

the 220 that is running on the filtration system now has corals and fish in it.

Any advise given is just that, I will only take it as advise and not factual so no blame will be given. I have my thoughts and just want to hear what other experienced reefers have to say to see if it matches up with what I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
oh ya, I have heaters in the cycling tank and have the capability of doing a 20% water change on the whole system once a week.
 

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With that being the case, I think this is the definitive answer:

there is a lot of money involve here.
Honestly, I wouldn't take that chance this early in the 360's cycle. At 40-45% of your total system volume, I'd feel much more comfortable letting the system cycle on its own. Without also knowing its parameters, you may end up introducing significant amounts of ammonia into your other system. While I think that overall, it would probably be able to handle it without too much negative effect, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it myself.

If you're going to reintroduce it before the cycle finishes, I'd much rather let it cycle 75% and let the rest of your system bring it the rest of the way - rather than the other way around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was going to definitely let it go another week and by then I will have the new test kits and see how far along it is. I just didn't know if I should have to wait the whole 30 days. I'm really in NO rush, I just never cycled a tank without filtration before. I would have put and under gravel system in it then pulled out the stand pipes after it cycled, but with the sand I have it would have just made a mess with no benefits.
 

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Hey David I think the concern would be that the existing sand that was in it would be holding a ton of bacteria that's all been released now that it is back up and circulating.

I think I would just check the ammonia levels daily and once they are the the descend than you will know you have an good active positive bacteria population in there and that should give you an idea on when it all go back together.

And yeah it's too bad you can't at least get the Skimmer on that because it would help tremendously.
 

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I know I dont have as much experience as some but, from what has been said so far. I will have to agree. I wouldn't tie the two systems together until you have a zero reading of ammonia and nitrite. That should give the rock and sand in the 360 a chance to establish a decent amount of bacteria to be effective. That way once you do tie them together, there will be no toxins being introduced into the establish setup. I'm sure there will be some elevated levels of N03 and P04 but, a decent water change on the 360 prior to opening the values should help to reduce that. As well as the sump/ refuge and skimmer. As Jamie mentioned, too bad you can't get the skimmer on the 360 at least for a week or so prior to tying in. At which point, make sure the salinity, Alk, and PH are spot on with the established system. With that much water volume being added, any numbers that are off will drop the ones that are in the established tank to those of the 360.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know I dont have as much experience as some but, from what has been said so far. I will have to agree. I wouldn't tie the two systems together until you have a zero reading of ammonia and nitrite. That should give the rock and sand in the 360 a chance to establish a decent amount of bacteria to be effective. That way once you do tie them together, there will be no toxins being introduced into the establish setup. I'm sure there will be some elevated levels of N03 and P04 but, a decent water change on the 360 prior to opening the values should help to reduce that. As well as the sump/ refuge and skimmer. As Jamie mentioned, too bad you can't get the skimmer on the 360 at least for a week or so prior to tying in. At which point, make sure the salinity, Alk, and PH are spot on with the established system. With that much water volume being added, any numbers that are off will drop the ones that are in the established tank to those of the 360.
Thanks for the recap Jesse,
1) if I waited for the 455 to reach zero on the ammonia and nitrite that would mean the tank is fully cycled
2) there would be no elevation once the two system were tied back together if the parameters were zero
3)" At which point, make sure the salinity, Alk, and PH are spot on with the established system."-----since I would be doing this at the same time with a 200 gallon water change,which is more than 50% of that tanks net volume, the parameters don't fluctuate that much when playing with mass water volume.

Sorry, this wasn't intended to be rude. I do appreciate your response, but looking for experienced reefers with more knowledge than myself to see if this could possibly work like a drip acclimation. hence the slow return rate of 100 gallons an hour or less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey David I think the concern would be that the existing sand that was in it would be holding a ton of bacteria that's all been released now that it is back up and circulating.

I think I would just check the ammonia levels daily and once they are the the descend than you will know you have an good active positive bacteria population in there and that should give you an idea on when it all go back together.

And yeah it's too bad you can't at least get the Skimmer on that because it would help tremendously.
Ya Jamey, I wish I had an internal skimmer to throw in there like you said, but of course I sold it...lol

I was thinking the same thing about the descending levels than opening the valves slowly with a massive water change at the same time.
 

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I added a 150g frag system to my 260g main system with no issues at all never even caused a mini cycle. I used about 60 lbs of new dead crushed coral on the bottom of the frag system and i fed the new systen around 100g a day to then slowly bumped it up day by day. just my 2 cents. good luck with it.
 

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i personally would keep the water running through the new setup. the established system along with the skimmer will reduce the elevated levels being added back, and this will allow the same bacteria strands from your existing water to enter the newer one. but i would run much, much lower gph than you suggested.
 

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like a drip acclimation. hence the slow return rate of 100 gallons an hour or less.
I didn't think about that, now that's a good idea but at a very slow rate of mixing the old and new, maybe if you give it another week things will be settling and adjusting and that could be a good plan, than there's less chance of any shock.

lol on the skimmer isn't that how it always goes.....

I'd sure lend you one if I had an extra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i personally would keep the water running through the new setup. the established system along with the skimmer will reduce the elevated levels being added back, and this will allow the same bacteria strands from your existing water to enter the newer one. but i would run much, much lower gph than you suggested.
Yes after I re-read the 100 gph and thought about it that would have drained that tank in about 3 hours. I have the returns on gate valves so I could just barely crack them open to just over a drip to a slow stream. that was really what I was thinking, just wrote it wrong.

Thanks to the man that sold me my first tank and made an addict for life...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I didn't think about that, now that's a good idea but at a very slow rate of mixing the old and new, maybe if you give it another week things will be settling and adjusting and that could be a good plan, than there's less chance of any shock.

lol on the skimmer isn't that how it always goes.....

I'd sure lend you one if I had an extra.
That is how it always is, i had a big Reefoctopus 250 I think is was with a mess mod rated for 350 gallons...would have been perfect....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I added a 150g frag system to my 260g main system with no issues at all never even caused a mini cycle. I used about 60 lbs of new dead crushed coral on the bottom of the frag system and i fed the new systen around 100g a day to then slowly bumped it up day by day. just my 2 cents. good luck with it.
yes, a 100 gallons a day or less is what it should have been not gph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah well maybe all those people on "Hoarders" know a lot more than we think they do... and here I thought they were just crazy people
Lela has been pretty good about all this...I just have to sell before I add, she doesn't like all the "Extra equipment" laying around....lol

I just wish I could get rid of my 60" light fixture so I can put MP40's on her tank :)
 

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Dave,

I kind of remember following your build thread, but please correct me if I have you confused with someone else :)

If I remember right, don't you have a large seahorse tank hooked up to this system? I would be leery about messing up the parameters of your other tanks, especially if they are "downwind" of the big tank.

That being said, I think your biggest risk is long past gone. Since you didn't swap out the sand and probably mixed it up taking out the rock etc, you probably mixed up any anaerobic pockets that had formed. I believe those release nitrous oxide into the water, and can be devastating to any livestock in the tank. However, since you removed everything I think you should be safe. However, the detritus left in your sand will quickly reset those anaerobic pockets and denitrifying bacteria will again begin to flourish deep in your sand bed. If you disturb the sand again, you risk reopening a pocket...

I would strongly suggest testing your water first. See where you are at in your cycle, and if need be dose some microbacter7 to get the ball rolling... You should be safe to get the entire system up and running again in a week or two. But test just to be sure.

For all we know, your system could be ready now... but without testing, you'd be gambling. And I don't know about you, but those aren't the kind of odds I like to bet against.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Derek,

Yes that was my thread, but when I took down my tank I sold all my seahorses so I could put all my expensive fish in that tank and got rid of the common fish.

the 455 was down for about 3 months and the dand was totally dry, and yes putting in those new back drops I made the sand was literally mounded from one side of the tank to the other.

so your right there is NO pockets.

And no I wasn't going to do anything before the new test kits that I just ordered arrived. I didn't even want to use the old ones that I have laying around. I guess I could have taken a water sample up to the LFS though, but somethings you just want to test yourself, ya know?
 
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