Macroalgae and sand question

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Dec 7, 2008
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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:smile:

--Ethan
 

DWhatley

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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.
 
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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?
 

ClintonJ

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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... :biggrin2:
 

DWhatley

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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 :biggrin2:
 
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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?
 

ClintonJ

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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.
 

DWhatley

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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).
 

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