Hi there folks,
Hoping for a bit of friendly advice. I’ve been plugging away at this hobby for a couple of years now with mixed results, and really want to keep increasing my understanding to help achieve the beauty of the tanks I see in all your posts. Forgive me for any obvious things I’m doing wrong, and for the length of this intro post!
A little background….
I have a Kent Bio 94l tank that I’ve been running for around 2 years. Over this time I’ve really struggled to keep corals alive, fish seem OK, but recently lost a lot (most) of the livestock due to a heater failure (heater failed causing the water temp to rise, don’t know exactly how much, but it was hot!). Currently only have a pair of clowns and 1 Halloween crab that managed to survive, hardy little blighters! New heater and better thermometer mean im now on top of the temp.
I have made some modifications over the years, replacing the top hood for an AI Prime LED light and taken out the stock powerhead in exchange for a tunze 6040 powerhead. I removed the hood completely and fitted a plastic mesh cover with the light above, open top style, and the powerhead runs from its controller and gives me some nice waves/pulses. So I think im OK in these areas?
In terms of the back of the cabinet I have the following setup:
Compartment 1 – Heater (now thankfully replaced)
Compartment 2 – Plastic bio balls that came with the tank, carbon mesh bag (recently replaced), stock black sponge
Compartment 3 – Ceramic tubes, recently replaced. Then the stock Kent skimmer.
Compartment 4 – Stock return pump
I try and keep ontop of water changes using RO and saltwater from my local fish shop, and have a refractometer to check salinity. Admittedly I perhaps don’t change as much as I should (average 25% every 3 weeks?) but have just invested in an RO filter from Amazon which I plan to permanently plumb into my home to give RO water on demand, from which I can then make my own salt water. This should encourage me a little more!
I also test regularly using the API Master test kit, results are sometimes difficult to interpret but I find it better than the strips
So, why am I here?........
Recently I had another outbreak of cynobacteria, covering all my rock and sand. I keep trying to water change, clean the rock, etc etc and have spoken to my local fish shop who have given me some test kits for Kh (something not previously covered) and corresponding buffer, yet to see results.
Honestly I feel like Ive plugged lots of cash into this, which is fine, but it can be disheartening when I don’t see the wonderful results of other tanks and my corals in particular always seem to die. About a month back I introduced another Gobi and she pretty much disappeared overnight, never to be seen again. I don’t want to give up but feel like I must be doing something fundamentally wrong?
The internet is at times a minefield, currently Im seeing lots of recommendations to remove the stock mechanical filters and replace with live rock rubble? I also want to upgrade the skimmer as I find it a pain to set, but maybe one for the Xmas list.
I have reduced the amount of live rock since purchase, im sure I started at around 20Kg, but took perhaps a ¼ out as it was difficult to clean around the glass with that amount of rock resting on it. Some rock removal allows me clearance around the glass that I can scan a magnet over when required.
I appreciate a lot of info here, but if anyone has any pointers or can see something obvious that I’m doing wrong I be most appreciative of any advice?