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FAQs on Mud/Algal Filtration, Maintenance, Replacement 

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Related FAQs: Mud Filtration 1Mud Filtration 2 Mud Filtration 3, Algal Filtration in General, & FAQs on Mud Filtration: Rationale/Use, Engineering/Placement, TroublesProducts: Miracle Mud/Leng Sy, Other Mud products, DIY & FAQs on: Refugium Substrates/DSBs, Reef Set-Up, Reef Set-Up 2, Reef Set-Up 3, Reef Set-Up 4, Reef Set-Up 5, Reef Maintenance, Sumps/Filters, Sumps/Filters 2, Marine System PlumbingMarine Aquarium Set-UpLive RockLive Sand, Fish-Only Marine Set-ups, Fish-Only Marine Systems 2, FOWLR/Fish and Invertebrate Systems, Reef Systems, Coldwater Systems, Small Systems, Large Systems Best Marine Set-Up FAQs 1, Best FAQs 2, Marine Set-Up 1

Caulerpa being used, illuminated 24/7 has lost most of its use/rs... Other macrophytes, being lit on a RDP have supplanted it.

Miracle mud       5/3/15
Hey Bob,
Well it's time for me to change out some of my "mud". I'm worried about disturbing it in fear of releasing waste into the tank... My idea was to wet/dry vac the mud (about a third) and replace it with new. Should I turn off the pumps so it can settle first?
The fish may get stressed by the cloud...
<Ah yes; but this too shall pass>
Thanks as always.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Moving Towards Success...  I have a marine 55 gallon setup and have had little success in keeping up with everything.  <Not to worry...It's all part of the fun and frustration.. er- challenge- of reef keeping!>  Essentially I can't seem to keep the Caulerpa alive in my ecosystem 60 without getting a huge green algae bloom. I'm also finding that when I leave the light on it creates more heat causing more evaporation and the final chamber drops down to lower than the Rio powerhead pushing the water back into the tank. That usually happens anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks.  < It sounds like this is more of a problem with the mechanics of your system than with the Caulerpa itself. I'd try to maintain a slightly higher water level to begin with, which might help. Maybe you could also move the light up a bit to try to lower the heat level. I've also read of some people sealing the opening on the sump to encourage C02, but I'd try plan "a" first. And, if Caulerpa doesn't thrive for you- well, not the end of the world, IMO. There a lot of other, more desirable and useful macroalgae to culture, like Chaetomorpha, which are virtually "bulletproof" with regard to propagation, and don't have some of the same drawbacks as this algae.  Could you point me to a good article on the proper way of curing live rock?  <Start with this set of FAQs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrcurefaqs.htm You can also find lots of good information about curing live rock in Anthony and Bob's "Reef Invertebrates" book>  I'm thinking of setting up a tank in my office and was hoping to do a reef tank but I'm really gun shy after what little success I've had with my 55 gal. at home. I have what I consider to be a very unhealthy amount of bristle worms and brown algae everywhere. I just want a very healthy, relatively low maintenance setup. Any thoughts.  <Yep- just find some good basic methods, as found in a variety of WWM and other sources, and stick with them. Combine a good technique with fundamental husbandry techniques, such as aggressive nutrient export practices, and you'll be fine. A great book to start with would be John Tullock's "Natural Reef Aquariums", which is loaded with information on simple, sound practices to help establish successful systems!>  Thank you. I've found your help very informative in the past.  Jeff Longmore  <My pleasure, Jeff! Good luck and have fun! Regards, Scott F>

EcoSystem Or Not...Which Is It Going To Be? - 09/22/05 Hi, <<Hello>> I'm planning to use an EcoSystem style sump on a reef tank, growing primarily soft corals.  Everything I read on these systems is contradicted somewhere else. <<Yes, different methodologies.>> Flow rates go from 3 - 20x.  Use of a skimmer - all the time, none of the time, part of the time.  Suitability for coral growth varies from slowing it down (WWM) to ""The corals in the system also are very healthy; the growth rate is absolutely phenomenal" - (Practical Fishkeeping).  My latest query is to do with the thinning of Caulerpa - which of the following should I do??  Trimming the Caulerpa. When and how often?????? "Caulerpa should be trimmed or thinned as needed by utilizing scissors to cut away thick growth at the surface allowing light to penetrate the base. (Do not pull Caulerpa roots from mud bed.)" - (EcoSystem Website). "Caulerpa really shouldn't be cut or torn back... cutting "bleeds" the colony and too many wounds are impossible to heal. Pulling up entire fronds and thinning out is best to control - (Anthony - WWM)). "Best not to cut it (saps colony, leaches undesirable elements, can cause die off of main colony, etc)... better to pull entire (unbroken if possible) out. Simply thin out the colony of convenient strands" - (Chris WWM). If nothing else I can see one good reason to stick with an established method such as Berlin style filtration.  Trying to adopt this is about the most confusing thing I've undertaken. Thanks in advance David <<Mmm...David, methinks you make this too hard.  As I see it, you've decided to go with a specific system/methodology (EcoSystem)...as such, I would simply follow the instructions provided for this system.  EricR>>

Miracle Mud with Aragonite or Mineral Mud?   1/3/07 I have a 55 gallon main tank that is using an approximately 15 gallon wet/dry/refugium sump.  I have 5 lbs. of miracle mud in the refugium with a live rock and some Chaeto.  I know I should double the amount of miracle mud but it is just so expensive.  I was thinking of using mineral mud or some aragonite.  Which would be preferable? <Mmm...>   Should I layer it or mix it together? <I would mix it> Since the miracle mud has already been in the refugium for a while, will mixing cause an ammonia/nitrite spike when I add the new substrate? <Not likely> Should I turn the pump in the sump off for a little while to allow things to happen in the refugium and not go into the main tank, then do a water change? <A good idea. Bob Fenner> Re: Miracle Mud with Aragonite or Mineral Mud?   1/3/07 I was wondering which you would recommend as far as the mineral mud or the aragonite to supplement the miracle mud. <Mmm, the best would be more of the one product... Leng Sy's EcoSystem Aquarium mud... but the other two might be mixed in... No preference, by L'Oreal. Bob Fenner> Siphoning Live Marine Sand in an EcoSystem Live Reef or NOT?   5/24/07 <Hi Geno, Mich here.> I have a 5 month old 65g Ecosystem live reef tank with a 25g refuge Ecosystem style. Other then that I have a PhosBan 150 reactor and a UV sterilizer.    <No protein skimmer?  Yikes!  Please read here and the related links in blue:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm > The first few months of ownership I had the very experienced professionals from my shop here in Pompano Beach FL do the first few months' water change outs & water chem. tests.   <OK.> While I did a ton of research in advance of this major purchase I just wanted professional tutoring before I took on all regular maintenance responsibilities.   <Hopefully was a valuable learning experience.> When I do water change out I use the salt water the LFS brings in directly, at or near, high tide here in Broward County.   <Mmm, some issues re discussed here and related links in blue:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seawater.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seah2onatural.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seah2ofaqs.htm > This practice has been done here for many many years by many marine hobbyists. <History doesn't make it the best option.  Humans have done countless terrible things for many, many, years, i.e. killing, enslaving and stealing from others, that doesn't make it right.> All my research on re siphoning sand when doing a regular change out has me totally perplexed:   <I'm sorry.> Here's my question(s) with a 1.5" thickness on average live sand bed; <Deeper of shallower would be better.  Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbdepth.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsubstr.htm > so is it better to: 1.  Siphon the sand on each water change to rid of toxic build up; or, 2.  Leave the live sand bed alone as siphoning can mix up the chemistry in the bed causing it to disperse toxic particles throughout the tank <I'll take option #3 please... vacuuming a small part of the sand bed with each water change would likely be your best option.  More here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water.htm > All my water chem.s are in the ideal range.   <Vague.> Lighting is more then this tank probably need and the bio filter is keeping all water panels in the exact "safe" range. <More vague.> So what have you oh great one?   <Mmm, we have just your Average Joes here dodging wrenches.> Siphon or not? <Siphon, but only a part at a time.  Mich> Geno

Re: Siphoning Live Marine Sand in an EcoSystem Live Reef or NOT?   5/25/07 Thank you so much for the great response Mitch. <Hi Geno!  You're welcome!> Just a response to the <No protein skimmer? Yikes!>; I did a lot of research on the Ecosystem process and the use of their biological filtering process and everything I read from long time users of this system have had nothing but fantastic results without the use of a protein skimmer.  I even called Ecosystem directly and spoke to them twice about this topic and they told me that if the refuge and tank is set up correctly and proper husbandry is conducted (regular water changes, water chem.s, no over feeding, bio loads...) that this system is not dependent on a skimmer. <Can be true with any system, but it makes the constraints quite tight.>   Now all that being said; a protein skimmer to assist in nutrient export is a very good thing (especially if something dies) and in fact there are many who use the Ecosystem method who do run a skimmer as part of their filtering process. <I personally think this is practical and wise.> My only worry about the use of a skimmer (and Ecosystem confirmed this) is that it can export more of the beneficial nutrients that my corals and fish rely on. <Yes, it is possible to "overskim" but it is far more common to have problems as a result of not skimming.>    My coral growth has exceeded my expectations and the color in my fish is fantastic. <This is great to hear!> But, I am looking into a skimmer as I write this Thank You email! <I think it is a good investment.  It is possible to run a well-balanced system without a skimmer, but it is much more of a challenge than running one with a skimmer.>    Cheers Mitch:) <Cheers to you Geno, Mich>

Re: help with critter ID, good one for Anthony? II Thanks all! I'll look up some more about them and see what I can do to help them along in my little world. ironically, I saw them today at the tank on the checkout at one of the LFS's, and the LFS guy had the same ID. surprise, they got one right! ;) thanks again! <hmmm... sounds like this employee at the LFS might be a keeper...hehe> in case you don't get over to the chat forum to often, the 10g moved to a 20g to now a 29g, once we move the former 20g becomes a refugium, I'll be trying out Kent's Wonder Mud (hmmm, that sounds familiar... hmmm...) instead of MM. It's about 1/5 the price of MM. <remind me to tell you my thoughts about the whole mud methodology when I'm good and liquored up sometime> To go OT, (after all, what would a thread be like if I didn't go OT?), Kent says to NEVER light your Caulerpa 24/7, as that will cause a sexual crash.  <I agree,, although not for the same reason's) exactly> well, as I'm sure you're away (and for the benefit of those who aren't) Ly Seng says that you light the Caulerpa in an Ecosystem filter 24/7 to prevent a crash... any confirmation from independents backing up either side? <No it makes perfect sense to me that an organism evolved for time untold to live, respire, grow and reproduce (quickly at that) under a normal day night cycle should suddenly decide to remain in stasis, under an unnatural photoperiod... not grow or die easily but continue to take up nutrients because of sexy advertising (insert sarcasm: here). Anthony> 

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