Q) Why is my tank full of tiny bubbles?
A) Micro bubbles are common in new setups. There can be a number of causes. Firstly, take a look at your skimmer, if they are coming from here then turn the air valve (at the end of the clear hose coming from the skimmer) so that the air flow is restricted slightly, you should see less bubbles flowing through the skimmer, try reach a point where the air bubbles reach half way up the collection cup neck on the skimmer.
Secondly, it’s possible that there are no proteins in your tank to skim. Is this setup new? Only a few days old and no livestock? If so you shouldn’t need to turn your skimmer on until you add livestock. Skimmers take time to ‘bed in’ and so many initial problems are merely transitory.
Finally, if you have only just added water to the tank, the surfaces therein will often be covered in thousands of tiny air bubbles. These will dissipate naturally as the water heats up and water movement is created by powerheads.
Q) What do I do with the sponges and bioballs that were supplied with my tank?
A) For a standard ‘Berlin’ setup you can discard this filter media. The primary method of filtration in this tank will be the live rock and additional artificial filter media will only compete for nutrients with the live rock, reducing the effectiveness of the latter and resulting in heightened Nitrate levels.
In a fish only tank, artificial filter media can be retained, and the tank filtered in the usual manner.
Q) Should I do anything with the spray bar?
A) Yes, point it towards the surface of the water. In combination with additional power heads this will aid beneficial water movement and decrease build up of surface scum and oils.
Q) Do I need to buy anything else or is the tank truly ‘plug and play’?
A) You’ll need a whole range of supplementary equipment and materials before your ready to add fish, so check out the articles section or ask an experienced aquarist before you start adding water!
Q) Can I have an anemone in my nano tank?
A) NO! Nano tanks are in no way suitable for anemones. There exists convincing argument that no tank, except those at the largest public aquaria can support these fascinating creatures. Please help to keep these beautiful animals in the sea!
Many aquarists believe that these animals are a necessity for clownfish care, this is simply not true.
Q) Is my UV working?
A) Is the red light on the UV box on? If so the UV should be functioning, if this red light is off then try changing the bulb, also clean the inside of the filter (make sure the UV is unplugged before taking it apart!). If this still does not work then report this as a fault to your supplier. Both the 550 and 450 have some issues with the UV filter which are often solved by replacing the bulb.
The UV bulb should be replaced routinely every 6 months or so.
Q) My lights are buzzing, is this normal?
A) No, this is more than likely a fault. Report this to your supplier. The lights should operate within a comfortable volume range. Whilst not silent the lighting and fans should not be at an annoying or bothersome level.
Q) The top of my tank gets very hot when the lights are on, is this normal?
A) The lights do give out a lot of heat. The top of the tank can often be too hot to touch. There appears to be a design flaw; the cooling fans supplied seem not to be up to the task. These can be replaced with more powerful fans. Ask an experienced electrician/technician to do this for you!
Left alone the heat generated does not seem to present a significant risk or danger. To assist in removal of excess heat ensure that air circulation around the tank is good, that fans and air inlets are regularly cleaned and that nothing blocks the fans. Ensure that air intake grills on top of the tank are not covered.
When working around any part of the lighting beware! Some components such as bulbs and ballasts become extremely hot!
Q) The collection cup on my skimmer constantly fills with tank water, why?
A) This is more than likely a result of incorrect positioning of the skimmer or collection cup. Raise the skimmer slightly and/or raise the collection cup and ensure that the bubble stream within the skimmer rises no higher than half way up the collection cup neck.
The skimmer supplied with the Orca 450 has flooding and micro bubble issues due to a couple of fundamental design flaws. Replacing the stock skimmer is usually the first step for new 450 owners.
Q) The chambers at the back of my tank are overflowing, what do I do?
A) A problem most often seen with the Orca 450. Simply solved by the addition of a powerhead in the left hand chamber plumbed to the spray bar or by increasing the diameter of the holes on said spray bar.
Please add your own experiences to this list by submitting appropriate Q&A’s to Fishadmin