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Questions about CPR HOB Fuge


Bill B

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I bought this a few months ago and I have never been totally convinced I have it running as it should so I thought I would ask a few questions.

(A little more info: It has a little bit of sand, a little bit of LR and a bunch o Cheato. It doesn't have the built in skimmer. I have sometimes wondered if the pump is strong enough. It seems to fit but it doesn't appear as big or possibly as powerful as the Maxi 900 which I believe was the original equipment)

1) It's getting a little better but about 2 weeks into it, the top of water got really viscous and started trapping bubbles galore. I could/would reach into it and get some of a layer of slimy, clear stuff. Normal?

2) There is a tube that runs almost to the bottom of the last chamber. I believe the water is supposed to come up the tube and empty back into the tank. However, frequently the water level is 1" or higher above the mouth of the return spout = it is alllllmost overflowing. Huh??

I guess while I'm at it, I have a question or two about the small fuge section I just started in the sump of my 75 thanks to Cool Breeze. First a description of it. My water flows into about a 1 cubic foot section - under a 'wall', up and over about a 1" lip and then into about a 4 or 5" wide section and under another wall. This little area is where I have my macro algae. The last section is also about a cubic foot and this is where the return pump is.

1) I have primarily cheato in here but I do see at least some grape caulerpa and possibly one other green macro. Thus far I have just run the fuge light at the same time I run the tank lights. When should I run the fuge light?

2) After perhaps a month there is some cyano in the macro section and that 1" lip is really getting grody looking already with a kind of thick reddish brown layer of crud. Normal?

3) In both of my refugiums the cheato tends to float above water level and get crispy. Do you just leave it alone or stir it up occasionally?

4) About how full, percentage wise, should the macros be before I pull some out?

Thanks

Bill

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On the fuge,

1. You should run the fuge counter cyclical to your main tank. This will help smooth out any PH spikes

2. No, cyano is not normal. Along with the viscous stuff (sounds like a protein skin?)I would guess that you really need some more skimming going on in your tank. Do you run a skimmer? If so does it produce?

3. ideally you want your chaeto ball to be "rolling" Short video here... http://s219.photobucket.com/albums/cc123/Paradox009/?action=view&current=RollingChaeto.flv

4. When i was using a small refugium I would just turn my chaeto around once a day or so by hand. Usually clip it back once a week when the fuge was 75% full.

If the HOB fuges you might want to try skipping the chaeto and go for halmedia or shaving brush algae. They don't need quite as much flow and can be planted in sub-strate. Reefcleaners has some great info in thier information section. http://reefcleaners.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=13&Itemid=29

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I bought this a few months ago and I have never been totally convinced I have it running as it should so I thought I would ask a few questions.

(A little more info: It has a little bit of sand, a little bit of LR and a bunch o Cheato. It doesn't have the built in skimmer. I have sometimes wondered if the pump is strong enough. It seems to fit but it doesn't appear as big or possibly as powerful as the Maxi 900 which I believe was the original equipment)

1) It's getting a little better but about 2 weeks into it, the top of water got really viscous and started trapping bubbles galore. I could/would reach into it and get some of a layer of slimy, clear stuff. Normal?

2) There is a tube that runs almost to the bottom of the last chamber. I believe the water is supposed to come up the tube and empty back into the tank. However, frequently the water level is 1" or higher above the mouth of the return spout = it is alllllmost overflowing. Huh??

I guess while I'm at it, I have a question or two about the small fuge section I just started in the sump of my 75 thanks to Cool Breeze. First a description of it. My water flows into about a 1 cubic foot section - under a 'wall', up and over about a 1" lip and then into about a 4 or 5" wide section and under another wall. This little area is where I have my macro algae. The last section is also about a cubic foot and this is where the return pump is.

1) I have primarily cheato in here but I do see at least some grape caulerpa and possibly one other green macro. Thus far I have just run the fuge light at the same time I run the tank lights. When should I run the fuge light?

2) After perhaps a month there is some cyano in the macro section and that 1" lip is really getting grody looking already with a kind of thick reddish brown layer of crud. Normal?

3) In both of my refugiums the cheato tends to float above water level and get crispy. Do you just leave it alone or stir it up occasionally?

4) About how full, percentage wise, should the macros be before I pull some out?

Thanks

Bill

Bill - I had the same refugium and here is my $.02:

1. I don't think the maxi-jet is the original equipment. Mine had a square pump that had a valve on top of it where you could restrict waterflow.

2. Not clear on your description here, but it doesn't sound like it should be above that output hole. Mine only went up about 75% up the output hole so there was still air at the tope.

Other fuge?:

1. Run it opposite your tank. Helps regulate pH somewhat for the drop overnight.

2. Mine had some cyano in it, then it died off. I think its part of the cycle, but it still sounds like you need a skimmer for your tank. I think there is one in the FS section.

3. My chaeto doesn't roll, but it does stay submerged.

4. Trim when you want...don't think there is a rule here, I'd say trim when things get crowded and are choking out the light for the macro on the bottom, etc.

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Those things are known for trapping air in the return and need to be occasionaly purged... Put your hand over the output of the return and allow the water in the last chamber to rise almost to the point of overflow then release, the water level should drop to normal.

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Thanks for the info fellas, keep it coming if anything else occurs to you.

As I suspected it sounds like I do need to investigate on the possibly semi plugged? outflow in the HOB. aha - Jim suggested a possible fix while I was writing and composing.

I also have a HOB CPR separate skimmer on the smaller tank. It might could do a little better but it does skim, the price fit my budget, and I really like the relatively small amount of space it takes inside the tank. I have a PM RL 100 on the 75. I would like to address my strange sump layout in another thread.

It sounds like I probably have too much Cheato in the 75 and maybe even in the 29. I guess I need to throw some away. - just kiddin.

I will look into something other than the Cheato in the HOB but I had been shying away because of having read references to problems with sexual reproduction (drats - causes ya problems even in a hobby). The variety might be interesting although I can barely see anything since my tank is painted.

Bill

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