Reply To: How to maintain bioload?


Hi Pete, thank you for the great in-depth advice.

We have a 29 gallon, 30x12x18 inches. We don’t have the seahorses yet, but I am planning on getting two of them and training them (by target feeding them at first) to eat at a new station where I can clean up food quickly. Currently, we’re just broadcast feeding for the sake of a few fish – we have 2 small dragonets and 2 small gobies, all trained to eat mysis shrimp. I’m hoping to continue broadcast feeding while the seahorses will be distracted eating at the station so the bottom-dwellers and seahorses can eat their fair share of food.

We have no substrate in the main tank so that cleaning the bottom is very fast, and we have plenty of live rock. We use a back hanging 5 gallon refugium with additional live rock, a lot of chaeto algae, a UV sterilizer light, a sump filter, an external canister filter for a 50 gallon, and an additional hang on back filter for a 20 gallon all with protected powerheads so that the seahorses are not injured. We don’t currently have a protein skimmer but we are highly considering it if the chaeto is insufficient, although the nitrate levels have been fairly low so far.

Currently, the uneaten mysis shrimp sits at the bottom of the tank floor and gathers at the single intentional dead zone at the very front of the tank. It’s very easy for me to clean up thankfully because we do not have substrate and the dead zone is in the most accessible area for me to siphon or clean with a turkey baster, so I am hoping your advice will be able to help convince my roommate to do so after feedings. We are both very thankful for all of the great and thorough advice you provide in the forums here and we admire your knowledge and willingness to teach others.

As another precaution, we just added a pair of large peppermint shrimp to clean up additional uneaten mysis shrimp. Normally we would be worried about overcrowding the tank but there are many hiding spaces for any bottom-dwellers because of our rock setup and we have very powerful filtration.

I hope this provides additional context!

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