Macroalgae and sand question

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by ekocak, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hello. I bought my 75 gallon tank today. I'm going to be making my own stand and top in the coming months. I also picked up a used RO unit with new filters today for $50 at my LFS. So I have a few initial questions.
    My filter is going to be a fluval 404 with a HOB skimmer and I was giving some thought to using macroalgaes as a means of cutting down the nitrates. From searching the forums here, I found that some have used red macroalgae (dragon's breath?) and it seems less invasive. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it possible to do a neat planted sort of tank and not have massive overgrowth? What about something like mangroves? On a side note, I know that most people prefer sugar grained type sands over crushed coral here, but does the color or consistency matter? Could I do a darker looking sand instead of the typical white used for most reef displays?
    One final question: How effective are most R.O. units at copper removal? I have copper piping in my house and I'm wondering if it's going to be an issue. Thank you:)

    --Ethan
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You will want to add a DI unit to the RO system for copper removal. I have seen several canister style add-ons now available.
     
  3. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I was going to use a cannister (fluval 404) but last night I was reading about overflow boxes and I have some old tanks I could turn into a sump. Better?
     
  4. ClintonJ

    ClintonJ Cuttlefish Registered

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    I won't comment on the safety of a sump as used in an octopus tank because I don't have an octopus. But I will tell you that the sump style tank is much easier in my experience to do maintenance on. It's also a handy place to put ugly equipment like heaters and skimmers. Plus you're basically adding at least ten gallons to the water volume by using a sump depending on the size of it. More volume equals less daily swing in salinity, temperature, pH. All plusses when you're trying to simulate a relatively stable environment like the ocean.

    That was my reef tank rant. Now for some cephalo expert advice... :grin:
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I would not set up another aquarium without one, ceph or otherwise. They actually make it easier to octoproof your tank IF you can drill the tank and not depend on siphon. IME siphons just don't work well over the long haul. There are a couple of informative posts in this forum about drilling glass tanks and acrylics are almost fool-proof (or fool repairable). The larger the sump the better and you can still use your canister to filter through the sump if you choose. Where I have a small sump I use one as a large charcoal filter.

    There are numerous (like anything else in this hobby) ways to approach creating a sump and before we kept cephs I kept one small sump as a sort of touch tank for the grandchildren (no touching unsupervised). Some people combine the concept of a sump with a small refugium (I do not like this approach and have stripped mine to contain only mechanical filtration). You can get almost as lost in ways to create and furnish them as you can with creating the main display :grin:
     
  6. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Anyone have any experience with macroalgaes in a main tank?
     
  7. ClintonJ

    ClintonJ Cuttlefish Registered

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    I've had plenty. What's the question?
     
  8. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    red macroalgae (dragon's breath?) and seems less invasive. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it possible to do a neat planted sort of tank and not have massive overgrowth? What about something like mangroves? On a side note, I know that most people prefer sugar grained type sands over crushed coral here, but does the color or consistency matter? Could I do a darker looking sand instead of the typical white used for most reef displays?
     
  9. ClintonJ

    ClintonJ Cuttlefish Registered

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    I meant plenty with the bad kind. I tried caulerpa before and it turned my water yellow. Boo to that. Red macro I haven't had much experience with except when feeding it to tang fish. I'm assuming you can prune it regularly and keep it in check though. It can't spread faster than caulerpa, that stuff grows an inch a day!

    There's a member here (I can't remember the name) with a big octo and some videos of it in a planted tank and it doesn't look overgrown but definitely well covered in various macro algae.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The unremembered name is Animal_Mother and he has advised strongly against it because of the constant pruning (I asked because it looks so nice in Kalypso's tank).
     
  11. ekocak

    ekocak Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I just figured it would be an interesting alternative to coral that wouldn't sting. But if it's unfeasible it's unfeasible.
     
  12. ClintonJ

    ClintonJ Cuttlefish Registered

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    D didn't say unfeasible, just that AM advised against it. One good thing about having macro algae in a tank is that it uses the plant food, namely phosphates and nitrates, that niusance algae would use to grow giving you less "ugly" algae blooms. It would serve the same function as having a refugium, it's just in the main tank.

    There are plenty of kinds of macro algae that are relatively slow growing that I'm sure would make good candidates. In my opinion Animal's tank looks awesome with the macro in it. While playing with the octo if you pruned a bit every day or two I'm sure it wouldn't be too much of a burden if that's the look you're going for.
     

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