Going from Reef to FO

LarryW

Premium Member
I was planning on getting out of the hobby for a little while, but I want to keep the fish I curently own in my mixed reef. I will be dumping 100% of the live rock in the system, and go FO. here's the thing, I have always had live rock, and corals in the tanks I have owned, so I am not sure what equpiment I need to keep the bacteria in place. my plan is to transfer my current fish in my 120 into a horse trough for a day or 2 while I set this up. next drain the 120, remove the live rock, and sand. add new sand, and fresh salt water. now I do have some live rock in my sump, and I would leave that. I also have a beefy skimmer. I was going to then add 1 large prodibio pro vial with 500billion bacteria, and check the cycle level after 2 days. once in the clear, add the fish back. I would also add a few pieces of the red sea liverock that's made of resin.

so, do I need the skimmer?
Lighting will be t-5s as I don't think 2 400w HQI's will be overkill, although, the fish in there are reef fish, I might add a trigger, but I would prefer to keep it open so that I could add some zoas back into the tank eventually...

What about mechanical filtration?
 

DamnPepShrimp

Moved On
I wouldn't run a system without liverock. Even if you keep some in the sump, I'd still have some in the tank for the fish to pick at. I don't know if you can just add a prodibio pro vial and skip out on the cycle? Is that possible? I'd just remove the corals, maybe the sand and keep everything else, even the water. You don't need halides, the T5s will be plenty. Definitely keep your skimmer, if you have a Ca reactor, you don't need that. Really all you need is a good skimmer for mechanical filtration, still need liverock for bio. A UV, ozone or denitrator are all nice to have, but not necessarily needed. What fish are currently in the tank? Don't know how well some triggers get along with reef safe fish.
 

LarryW

Premium Member
well my issue with the live rock and water is a major hair algae issue. It's in the water column, and I have been fighting it with scrapping, and running carbon and GFO. I think my rock is leaching phosphates. I could just add like 30# of new live rock, and then wait for the cycle to finish and then add the fish back in. they should be ok in the trough for few weeks i would think.


fish wise, I would add a "Reef Safe in some" cases trigger maybe, but not 100% on that, it's more just an idea, but not set on it. fish in there now include a pair of alardi clowns, pair of lyretail anthias, sunburst anthias, sixline wrasse, a tomini tang, and purple tang.
 

LarryW

Premium Member
I have seen some FO with no live rock though. How are they doing that? is it mainly bioballs? I probably have about 15 # or LR in the sump.
 

DamnPepShrimp

Moved On
Some FO tanks I would think have liverock in the sump. I guess bioballs, but I wouldn't trust it, have had a tank crash due to bioballs being a nitrate factory. I think sand is a huge contributor to algae problems. I would take out all the sand and keep the rock. You could also have better flow, especially along the bottom so detrius isn't trapped and you can get it up into your overflow down to your skimmer.
 

Kynigos

New member
If it's just algae that's a problem you could always cut down on the intensity of your lighting and/or the amount of time that your lights are on. In fact since the fish don't really need the light like the coral does you could just leave the tank lights off (or leave them on for a very limited amount of time) for a few weeks which should go a long way towards killing off the algae.
 

LarryW

Premium Member
I have gone several days at a time in the dark, to no avail. I feed once a day, and they chow down on it. I use RODI with 0 TDS out of the unit, and I am using seachem salt. I have been running GFO for months, with no results. I scrub, and it comes back. that's why I think its the rock. right now the tank is lit with 2 35w atintic T5's, and nothing else. This is the first tank I have had this issue with. now the difference is I used marco rock that was cured for a couple months in a friends 300g sump. all the other tanks had live rock to start with.
 

DamnPepShrimp

Moved On
How old are your lights? Have you tested for phos? The best way to get rid of them is cook the rock but be sure to do water changes! I had some bad algae but my kole and yellow tangs tore it apart in my reef.
 

aquaman67

Active member
I ran a 70 gallon FO tank with a biowheel. I used a tidepool II.

Fish are no where as sensitive about nitrate as corals. You can do water change, just like a freshwater tank to keep nitrates under control.

As for the hair algae. Have you tried dosing Kent Tech M to keep your magnesium level at 1600 ppm? It seems to kill hair algae.
 

Marc

New member
Aquaman 67,

Whatever you do don't dump the liverock. Even if you do and run without it you will still have hair algae. Put as much of the liverock in the sump to deprive the algae of light and for biological filtration. Do major 50 percent water changes every week to starve the algae of nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients. It takes patience. Keep the liverock though, you won't be sorry. Before you know it your liverock will look better and cleaner and the coraline will start growing again for that natural look.

Marc
 

Hogfish77

In Memoriam
Hair algae? Do you have any tangs? My orange shoulder took care of all my hair algae. Not sure if my hippo ate some too.
 

LarryW

Premium Member
yeah, I do. Right now I am going to pull all the rock, and scrub the heck out of it, then put it back and see what happens. The bulbs are only a couple months old, and i wasn't running the 400's yet. we will see. It looks like I might just keep fish for a couple months, then add my LPS and zoa's back in, so no new fish for me... :D
 
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