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Considering ZEOvit on Tank Upgrade - Have Some Questions

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  • Considering ZEOvit on Tank Upgrade - Have Some Questions

    We apologize for the length of this posting but are trying to be the most thorough and complete with our setup and the intentions we have. We are currently running a 100 gallon tank with a 40 gallon sump (2/3 full), with all the below equipment and most of the livestock. We are going to be switching to 150-gallon tank and keeping the current equipment. With our recent trouble keeping SPS corals are considering switching to ZEOvit when we upgrade. Our current setup uses a DSB (5”) with sand from other people’s tanks….old sand, we believe this is the root of our problems. After considering ZEOvit, we have come up with a few questions that we would like help with and need some advice on which Calcium Reactor we should get. We have filled out the tank information to the best of our knowledge. When we switch to the new tank we are planning on not running a DSB and using all fresh/brand new Southdown sand just an inch or so of sand for aesthetics. Also currently using a refugium with chaeto, which we are planning on removing when we go to ZEOvit. We currently have all the livestock except the pair of Bellus angels in the 100 gallon, we are aware that some people would call this a heavy fish load but have recently switched to a lower feeding protocol (mostly Nori/flakes/pellets for the tang/wrasse) most of the other fish eat off the rock. Complete livestock list/tank information is below in the questions answered. Any other suggestions or oversights we have made would be greatly appreciated. Our goal for this tank is to make it as close to ideal as possible as we are planning on having it setup for a while.


    Livestock Questions:

    Under ZEOvit with no algae/nutrients in the water or refugium, can Mandarins survive long term?

    Will the hi-fin gobies and pistol shrimp be happy in a shallow sand bed?

    What are your opinions on this fish load and feeding? Feeding is mostly a little once a day with frozen mysis/cyclop-eeze once every 3 days.

    Also, with this fish list, how soon after setup would you start adding fish….does ZEOvit have to have a certain amount of start up time or does it cycle like a typical setup?

    Other Questions:

    What brand/type of Calcium Reactor would you recommend?

    How do you recommend installing the ZEO reactor/calcium reactor….before or after the skimmer? (Wondering how to set up bubble trap and dividers in the sump)

    For the setup, should we use all new RO/DI saltwater and set it up as fresh install or use some of the water out of the existing setup?


    Gross water volume of your complete system (incl. sump etc.) 150 Gallon All-Glass Aquarium with dual Megaflow overflows with a 40 gallon All-Glass Sump
    Net water volume (incl. sump etc.)
    Estimated water volume of about 150 gallons after rock and sand are added.
    Are you using a CaCO2 reactor or other technique
    None currently used, want to add one, need recommendations on the best type/size.
    Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.)
    No, water flows through ROWAphos on way to sump.
    Are you using Ozone
    No
    Are you using UV
    No
    What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume)
    EuroReef CS8-1 rated for 135 gallons.
    What are your actual PO4 and NO3 levels
    Need opinions/suggestions
    What are your actual Ca, Alk and Mg levels
    Need opinions/suggestions
    What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.)Need opinions/suggestions
    Type of light (Watt, color temp, how old, etc.)
    2x250 MH + 1x400 MH all with 20K XM bulbs 2 months old with 2x110 VHO Super Actinic for supplemental light (6 months old)
    What corals do you keep
    Planning on SPS dominated with a few LPS and clams.
    Tissue color (light or dark)
    Not Applicable
    How long has the tank been running
    Will be a close to fresh setup
    Why do you want to use the ZEOvit system
    For the SPS color and growth others have experienced
    Any supplemental dosing (type, amount, why, etc.)
    Warner Marine Research Supplements currently (Calcium/alkalinity Buffer)
    Live rock (how much, how old, etc.)
    Estimated 220+ lbs of mostly Fiji live rock ranging from 6 months to 6 years
    Any present problems
    Unsuccessful with keeping SPS corals alive/some nuisance algae
    Problem description (tissue loss tips, tissue loss base, diatom bloom, algae, etc.)
    SPS coral tissue recession with algal overgrowth
    What test kit do you use (how old, recently switched, etc.)
    Salifert complete test kit set all within 6 months old – recent switch to these
    Present dosing, amounts and intervals (ZEOvit, ZEObak, ZEOfood, ZEOstart, ZEOspur2, etc.)
    None – currently nonZEO
    Other water parameters and water stability (salinity, temp, etc.)
    Ammonia is high (1.0) routinely with 0.1 Phosphates, 0.10 Nitrite, 10.0 Nitrate. Water salinity constant at 1.025, Alkalinity around 8.0, pH 8.2 reliably. Having trouble getting calcium above 400 ppm with current dosing system. Temperature is maintained at 79 degrees using a chiller and heater through a Medusa.
    Waterflow Equipment
    2x6100 Tunze Streams with a 700 gph return hooked through a SCWD.
    Livestock Planned/Moving from current tank
    1 – 5” Naso Tang, 1 - 3” Neon Pseudochromis, 1 - 3” Copperband Butterfly, 1 - 4” Algae Blenny, 1 - 2” Cleaner Wrasse, 2 - 2” Green Mandarins (Pair), 2 - 1.5” Hi-Fin Gobies, 1 - 4” Labouti Wrasse, 1 - 1” Citronis Clown Goby, 2 - 5” Bellus Angels (Pair) and 2 - 1.5” Pink Skunk Clowns (Pair) w/ small-medium Sebae Anemone. Inverts include 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 tiger pistol shrimp, 2 serpent stars, various snails and hermit crabs.

  • #2
    Hi Tanglovers, if at all possible run your new system without corals & a low fishload for a month or two using ZEOvit.This will "season" your tank & allow you to "get the feel" of the method. The key is always to fight the urge to dose more when, in fact, less is more effective. With ZEOvit method it is important to know the ZEOvit guide thoroughly, in order to adjust your dosing of components appropriately. Learning these visual cues early, makes this method very easy & rewarding. You will never see such beautiful SPS colors as with ZEOvit-nutrient poor waters Many recommend the Schuran Ca Rx[Premium Aquatics], but I use a dualy MRC with excellent maintenance of the ZEOvit recommended parameters--Ca>400/Mg>1200/KH-7-8/salinity-1.024-5. Fish-feeding should be optimized. P04-removers are not used with ZEOvit, as they are not necessary. ZEOvit will lower both N's/P's to undetectable Salifert's testing levels. For a 150g net vol. system, I recommend the following: 1) dose 1 1/2 Cups of carbon in a mesh-bag, passively. Knead this every other day & exchange every 4wks. 2) use 1 1/2ltrs of zeolite in a dedicated zeo-filter with a flow through rate of 150gph. Cycle the filter "on" &"off" on 3hr. intervals. Clean the stones 2x's/day. Change these out at 4wks, initially, then every 6wks. 3) dose bak/food-6 drops ea. daily for the 1st 2wks, then 2x's/wk. Dose these in front of the filter intake & turn-off the skimmer for 60min afterwards. Your zeo-filter should be placed at the return end of your sump. The skimmer should be in front of the zeo-filter or the front portion of the sump. 4) dose Start .5ml 3x's/day daily. It is not necessary to turn off your skimmer when just dosing Start. Plz. ask question as they appear. Bob
    "There might be something to this ZEOvit"

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Bob,

      I appreciate all your input. The fish load will be easy to keep down at first because all the fish are getting requarentined until the tank is ready for them once again.

      What do you think about using the old water from the tank or should we use all new water?

      Also what salt do you recommend....was using Bio-Sea Marine mix for a long time but recently started switching to Tropic Marin Pro-Reef....this is mostly because I can get the Pro-reef much easier then the Bio-Sea so was more convienient. I am not even completely switched over to the new salt.

      Also do you think that planned fish load is fine with ZEOvit? Will be printing off the ZEO guide now and fully reading it...sure more questions will arise then.

      Also what do you think of the protein skimmer? The Euroreef is rated at 135 gallons I will have about 150. The problem is with my stand I can not fit a skimmer taller then the 20" CS8-1. Also was hoping to not need to upgrade my skimmer just yet but would like more input on this.

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Greetings All !

        Ahhh ... 95-99% complete information in the first post ... sweet.



        Before I start ranting ... Welcome to zeovit.com. EXCELLENT first post! It's good to have you here ...

        ...

        Under ZEOvit with no algae/nutrients in the water or refugium, can Mandarins survive long term?
        Given the 220+ lbs. of live rock, I would think that the initial transfer of small crustaceans and microfauna would be adequate. The longterm sustainability of a crustacean/microfauna population capable of supporting 2 adult Mandarins may be in doubt. But maybe not ... structuring of the LR to afford areas where the microbeasties can reproduce without predation (... the Mandarins can't physically get at them ...) will help. Periodic supplementation of new crustacean/microfauna populations from sources like Inland Aquatics, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, Octopets ... et al ... may be required. A propagation area within the sump may prove beneficial.

        Will the hi-fin gobies and pistol shrimp be happy in a shallow sand bed?
        I've never been able to adequately assess the emotional state of 3 brain-lobed coldblooded marine vertebrates ...

        ... ...

        ... but a SSB should meet their habitat requirements just fine. I've keep them in non-Zeovit SSB systems for years, and the only irritation is that they burrow down so I that I can see the glass bottom of the tank. But they always seemed happy.

        What are your opinions on this fish load and feeding?
        You're current bioload is approximately 37" of fish biomass ... no worries for now. Two or three years from now the growth rates may produce a problem ... but that's later, and it accepts the "common viewpoint" regarding stocking levels/bioload. The Naso tang will outgrow the tank one day ... but that too is later.

        Off on associated tangents ...

        The Citron Goby may become problematic in an SPS dominated tank. They tend to strip sections of SPS branches as part of their reproductive behavior. Unless you really love them, there might be "better" goby choices ... JMO.

        What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume)
        EuroReef CS8-1 rated for 135 gallons.
        This has me a little concerned, particularly if you up the bioload ... something I know I would consider if it were me , but hey ... I'm a heretic. I've sold foam fractionators for a long time (... remember when you could only get small Sander skimmers ... with their ozonizer no less ... by mail order, advertised in TFH? ...), and, other than their necessity in a captive marine system, I've reached only one firm conclusion about them: Most protein skimmer manufacturers lie about their skimmer's "capacity" like drunken politicians during an election cycle. Don't misunderstand me: EuroReef makes great skimmers, and they're ... IMO ... a reputable company. My concern is that the "rating" you're looking for is more on the order of 200 gallons. Something to consider ... JMO. Ask for recommendations in the equipment forum-skimmers (http://www.zeovit.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=38) and you'll link up with folks with some SERIOUS suggestions.

        Feeding: Something you might consider is the use of live Gracilaria tikhavae, aka "ogo". If you're not familiar with it, it's a free-floating red macroalgae that your Naso will go nuts for ...

        ... assuming an assessment of the emotional state of 3 brain-lobed coldblooded marine vertebrate ...

        ... ...

        ... Gracilaria sequesters it's nutritional resources nicely (... no water quality degradation from feeding ...) and has the potential to help boost the crustacean/microfauna population.

        Cyclopeze: The concensus is that supplemental feeding of corals is unnecessary with the ZEOvit system. Whether or not it serves a useful purpose in boosting the microflora/microfauna population at the base of your system's food web, while at the same time not retarding the evolution of your ZEOvit system, is another issue which you may wish to assess.


        Wow ... my original post exceeded the 11805 characters limit ... I don't know if I should feel proud, or forget about this saltwater nonsense and take up model railroading ... please see next post ...

        HTH.
        Last edited by mesocosm; 03-14-2005, 09:57 PM.
        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
        Hunter S. Thompson

        Comment


        • #5
          Greetings All ... again ... !

          And now for something completely different ...

          ... ...

          Continued from my last post ...

          Also, with this fish list, how soon after setup would you start adding fish….
          What a really useful question ... I wish I had a good answer for you. Personally, I would wait until after the system had evolved past phase one, but that's just me. I would suggest that you get the coral inhabitants "where you want them to be" (... and in the process accumulate a familiarity with the stimuli the ZEOvit system will throw at you ... yes, it's somewhat different from the stimuli pitched by classic Berlin-style systems ...) before I would start tinkering with the fish bioload. Again ... JMO ... FWIW.

          ….does ZEOvit have to have a certain amount of start up time or does it cycle like a typical setup?
          Another GREAT question. My experience with my first ZEOvit system (~60 gallons) is that the algal succession is entirely different than what you're probably used to ... and is a VERY refreshing change from the succession typically generated in a Berlin-style system. The typical dinoflagellate and Chlorophyta algal blooms were either dramatically reduced, or non-existant. And yet, the "heart" of the ZEOvit system is ... IMO ... it's biological filtration capacity. Bacterial biomass takes time to grow, and to accumulate, even when you're dosing bacterial innoculants on a daily basis. This is part of the reason I recommended holding off on increasing the fish bioload until after you've passed through phase one. Let your quality test kits ... I too use Salifert stuff ... be your guide. You're clearly experienced, and judging by your first post, I suspect that your judgement is pretty good, if not excellent (... you can tell alot from how learners assert knowledge and phrase their questions ...). It's also my experience that the ZEOvit system responds to an increased bioload more quickly than a Berlin system does ... but I'm sure that others will have more to say about this subject.

          What brand/type of Calcium Reactor would you recommend?
          I personally like KNOP stuff ... but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you exactly why. Habit? The folks who will respond in the Equipment Forum-Reactors (http://www.zeovit.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=41) are probably much more useful to you than I am.

          How do you recommend installing the ZEO reactor/calcium reactor….before or after the skimmer?
          I like to place the calcium reactor before the skimmer (... for a sapronification bump ...), and the ZeoReactor after the skimmer (... I want my corals to get a shot at the microplankton yummies before my skimmer extracts them ...) ... JMO.

          For the record, sapronification describes a dynamic which improves protein skimmer efficiency and facilitates phosphate precipitation. While most commonly discussed with regards to the use of kalkwasser ... a ZEO no-no ... the term refers to a relationship between alkalinity, buffering capacity, and the relative "abundance/availability" of hydroxide ions, and protein skimmer efficiency. For more information, check out the Alkalinity chapter (p. 180) in Anthony Calfo's Book of Coral Propagation. Also more specifically, pages 181, 184, 187, and 204.

          ... Wondering how to set up bubble trap and dividers in the sump
          This is a link to a pretty good thread that gets into parts of your question (http://www.zeovit.com/forums/showthread.php?t=579).

          It's my experience that ZeoReactors and "broken-in" protein skimmers don't add much in the way of bubbles. Overflow drains and water movement through the sump ... that's another issue set. I use 200 micron filter socks on the drain from the overflow to trap the bubbles. Some have suggested ... and technically they're entirely correct ... that this somewhat diminishes protein skimmer efficiency. I use way "oversized" skimmers, so I really don't care. The use of foam pieces, like those used with some overflows and wet-drys, can be placed prior to the return pumps. I've also used 500 micron filter pleat/"felt" wrapped around plastic eggcrate as a bubble barrier. No matter what you use, regular cleaning is adviseable ... irritating though it is.

          For the setup, should we use all new RO/DI saltwater and set it up as fresh install or use some of the water out of the existing setup?
          I would go with the all new water strategy ... I have almost no use for "aged" water, so long as there's no siginicant water quality shift in going with all new water. If you've matched parameters ... no worries.

          Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.)
          No, water flows through ROWAphos on way to sump.
          I see no usefulness to ROWAPHOS in a ZEOvit system.

          What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.)Need opinions/suggestions
          One of the many things I find so intriguing about the ZEOvit system is it's "completeness." This is weird for me ... not only am I a heretic, but I'm also a synergist. I enjoy using components from a variety of methodologies to achieve results unattainable by a "pure" system alone. I suspect many ZEOvit system users come from a similar place. Funny thing ... there is no need for additional filtration "components" with the ZEOvit system. Indeed, the insertion of such components into ZEOvit methodology has the potential to significantly screw things up ... JMO. Having said that, many people use DSBs with their ZEOvit systems ... but not for the filtration capacity. Perhaps "Miracle Mud" components, algae refugia, ATSs ... etc ... have the potential to add biodiversity regarding microplankton/microflora/microfauna ... perhaps technically ... but I would be seriously concerned that such components would disrupt ZEOvit system functioning. Seriously concerned. I wouldn't go there ... JMO.

          Now a refugium dedicated to the purpose of live food propagation, absent any algal or commonly marketed "mud" media whatsoever, using live rock "rubble" or some other suitable substrate medium ... this is, IMO, very worth considering.

          A side note ... Walt Smith, and Dave at Pacific Aqua Farms, have been experimenting with "Fiji Mud" (... true marine alleuvial clays/organics obtained 60 feet down with an extraordinary microbial composition ...) as a refugium "mud" medium/"booster". I've been tinkering with it myself, and it is pretty amazing stuff. This is the only "mud" stuff that I would even consider using with a ZEOvit system.

          Any present problems
          Unsuccessful with keeping SPS corals alive/some nuisance algae
          While the shift towards ZEOvit methodology is ... IMO ... is a powerful choice towards addressing this problem set, there's more to SPS success than mere system design. There's nothing "magical" about what those of us who use Thomas Pohl's methodology are doing, and the methodology, in and of itself, is NOT a solution for other factors which may be in play. JMO.

          Live rock (how much, how old, etc.)
          Estimated 220+ lbs of mostly Fiji live rock ranging from 6 months to 6 years
          Something to consider ... the ZEOvit system does NOT require the use of LR. I bring this up to point out that the ZEOvit system frees you from the weight vs. tank volume demands of Berlin-style systems. Meaning ... you might consider the use of live rock from a purely asethetic point of view. Something to think about as you develop your aquascape architecture design.


          PLEASE ask more questions ... You've tapped into the most extraordinary group of ReefKeepers that I've encountered in over 29 years of saltwater ecosystem management. I encourage you to use us.

          Sorry for the rant ... just trying to fill in the data set ...

          HTH.
          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
          Hunter S. Thompson

          Comment


          • #6
            I would not use "old water" in your new, low bioload system, as ZEOvit will cycle your system within 2wks. TM's Pro-reef seems to be fine. I use this but mainly like Oceanic for it's high Ca/Mg/lower KH values. Your fishload seems fine, as long as your reefscaping allows room for fish movement. Your skimmer is undersized for your eventual bioload/tank size. Make things easier for you with a larger version ER, if possible. Bob
            "There might be something to this ZEOvit"

            Comment


            • #7
              old water = more nutrients to get rid of

              Dump it and start new with purified water and a quality salt. TM Pro is great!
              400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi All,

                Thank you very much for all the information. Just printed off the ZEO guide and will have to further digest it but sure more questions will arise.

                THANKS!

                Comment


                • #9
                  lol i hurt my eyes trying to read this thing
                  Nick
                  Nick
                  180G SPS Mainly
                  10 Bulb T5 Starfire
                  Calcium Reactor
                  3 Tunze 6105's
                  Profilux Controller
                  ATB Return w/ wavysea
                  ATB M External Skimmer


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