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professor_rob

Tank pics and a few questions

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Hey all, have not taken any pics of my tank in years, so thought might share, as I have a few questions re filtration…as you can tell my aquarium photography skills are 0….and the glass was fairly dirty.

A few full tank shots (tank lights are three LED floodlights from Bunnings. Do a good job and cheap to run)

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Tank stock is Bala Sharks, Bocourti, Pearsei, Tinfoil Barbs, Redhook Silver Dollars, Silver Dollars, Filament Barbs, Oscar and Clown Loaches. Not the most exciting tank stock, all fairly peaceful, and boring. Although the Bocourti thinks he’s all that.
Planning later to get a Qld Lungfish (had one get fairly big but jumped out…..still kicking myself, tank fully enclosed now) would love a pignose turtle…lol.

Different angle of the tank, looking from the right side through the tank. The right wall here is 1.2m wide. The left side is only 70cm wide. Front glass is 2.8m wide, and back wall is 3m wide. Approx. 700 gallons

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Filtration room...where I am forever tinkering...usually with positive results....I hate doing maintenance and have it setup fairly automated...but am forever tinkering.

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Filtration is one FX5 that is fairly old, so I might get rid of it soon, only like it for mechanical filtration. Also has two sumps.

Sumps have had a massive makeover in the last few months.

Tank has a weir overflow with two pipes…one is a full syphon and the other pipe is pretty much backup. The full syphon pipe lets out that squeaking noise once every couple of hours…what is causing that? How do we stop that? Drains to two large 50micron filter socks, change them once a week.

Are the three 90 degree bends an issue? would changing them to 45 degree elbows be better? Overflow used to lead under the tank but added that sump on the right after initial setup. Hose on the right is an auto top up I use for auto water changes. Door leads outside.

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After the filter socks there is a bunch of sponges and some marine pure bio balls, some in a baffle and others just sitting at the bottom, and some carbon. This first sump then drains to the bigger sump under the tank. Again the pipe is a full syphon with a backup pipe. Super quiet this one, no noise at all. The tank overflow is super noisy...cannot get it quiet.

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This main sump has a couple of those big marine pure blocks. Might add some more later.  Water parameters are usually pretty spot on, I think the constant water changes help with that.

Main tank return is above the FX5, the 1 > 3 ball valve pipes. The one on the right is pretty much always off and I only use it when feeding to help keep floating food in the tank longer and cause surface agitation.

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My view from my ‘office’

One more question, does the Redlands water have chloramine in the water? I think Brisbane city does.

 

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Can't help with the questions, but love the tank!

You're right, Brisbane city does have chloramines.  I think one way to test it, is to measure the ammonia in the tap water (after adding the dechlorinator) - if you get a decent reading, then there's chloramines.  With only chlorine, there shouldn't be a reading on the ammonia test.   Now - I'm not 100% on this, but perhaps someone else can confirm?

 

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1 hour ago, MFF said:

Can't help with the questions, but love the tank!

You're right, Brisbane city does have chloramines.  I think one way to test it, is to measure the ammonia in the tap water (after adding the dechlorinator) - if you get a decent reading, then there's chloramines.  With only chlorine, there shouldn't be a reading on the ammonia test.   Now - I'm not 100% on this, but perhaps someone else can confirm?

 

Thanks, I did a big waterchange and upped the auto waterchange schedule, and noticed a bit of ammonia in the water...so was wondering if chloramine in the water or i am not getting out all the chlorine and was killing beneficial bacteria....

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If it's from chloramines, then it should disappear (literally) overnight.  Otherwise your beneficial bacteria are not doing what they need to be doing.

I've found ammonia in a bucket of tapwater with dechlorinator added, i.e. before it goes into the tank.  It's always a good idea to measure your tapwater as well as aquarium water, once a year or so.

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On 19/06/2020 at 3:02 PM, MFF said:

If it's from chloramines, then it should disappear (literally) overnight.  Otherwise your beneficial bacteria are not doing what they need to be doing.

I've found ammonia in a bucket of tapwater with dechlorinator added, i.e. before it goes into the tank.  It's always a good idea to measure your tapwater as well as aquarium water, once a year or so.

A question. 

If I filled a few buckets with tap water and left them for a week, would the water be ok for a part water change ?

 

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I'm not a chemist, but here is my understanding.

We're talking about the chlorine used by municipal water supplies to keep the water safe to drink.  Regular Chlorine added to the water works well for this purpose, but is not very stable or long lasting.  If your local municipality uses this (old-fashioned) approach, then "aging" water as you describe is quite adequate.  Years ago, this was a common method of preparing water for aquaria.  Just aging the water for a day or two used to be sufficient.

These days, most municipalities (including Brisbane City) use Chloramines to provide the chlorine.  These compounds are much more stable and do not disappear from the water easily even with aging.  Eventually it does break down - that's what provides the antibacterial chlorine - but it takes much longer.  I'm not clear on how much longer, and whether a week would be sufficient.  Personally, I'm not going to experiment on my fish either!  For water with chloramines, it's much simpler to use a water conditioner that is capable of dealing with chloramines.  These days, I believe they all do.  Certainly the more common ones all do.

When chloramines break down - either through aging or through the action of a suitable dechlorinator - the chlorine is released along with ammonia.  The chlorine escapes the water, whereas the ammonia remains in the water.  That's why you get an ammonia reading on water that has been conditioned.  The ammonia is not a problem in an established tank because of all the lovely bacteria that are in the filter or gravel - just lunch for them.

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16 hours ago, MFF said:

These days, most municipalities (including Brisbane City) use Chloramines to provide the chlorine.  These compounds are much more stable and do not disappear from the water easily even with aging.  Eventually it does break down - that's what provides the antibacterial chlorine - but it takes much longer.  I'm not clear on how much longer, and whether a week would be sufficient.  Personally, I'm not going to experiment on my fish either!  For water with chloramines, it's much simpler to use a water conditioner that is capable of dealing with chloramines.  These days, I believe they all do.  Certainly the more common ones all do.

When chloramines break down - either through aging or through the action of a suitable dechlorinator - the chlorine is released along with ammonia.  The chlorine escapes the water, whereas the ammonia remains in the water.  That's why you get an ammonia reading on water that has been conditioned.  The ammonia is not a problem in an established tank because of all the lovely bacteria that are in the filter or gravel - just lunch for them.

Thank-you for your answer. I did assume that the drinking water had chlorine added but I did not know about the Chloramine treatment.

How about tank water. I have a 10,000 L tank fed by rainwater from my shed. Would that be OK  after standing for a few days ?

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Chloramine will degrade much like chlorine but over 3 - 4 days if left to age. All the traditional dechlorination processes still apply as it's still chlorine with a more stable bond. So carbon, aging, off gassing, pressure, sodium thiosulphate, ascorbic acid etc. The ammonia freed up is not worth worrying about but a great marketing tool for the anxious.

It's extremely easy to test for chlorine.  Drop a DPD 1 (palin) swim pool tablet into a clear jar of water. If there is any pink coloration, chlorine still exists. If clear then it's all gone. Don't buy the chlorine test kit, just the tablets as you don't care what level of chlorine if it's not zero. A pack of 50 tablets is about $6 from memory. 

Rain water is almost always very soft and acidic which is terrible for maintaining nitrification bacteria. You can add some coral chunks in your fish tank or into the rain tank. 

 

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Prof_Rob, are you able to swap the drain siphons over ? That would test if the squeaky noise is from an air buildup (water volume ) or that pipe layout. 

Another less conclusive test would be to lower the flow rate on squeaky drain to see if noise continues. 

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