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View Full Version : Been almost 5 months...


nmotz
11/22/2015, 02:37 PM
Got Neptune, my lil' Peacock buddy, nearly 5 months ago and he is still pretty freaking awesome. A few updates:

- He finally decided he had enough of the 2.5" Scarlet Skunk Cleaner today. Came home and found him sitting out in the open enjoying his lunch. Dangit, I had that shrimp for more than 6 months. Ah well, it's a hard life out on the reef!

- Added more corals and decided to put on a HOB skimmer as I've been battling nitrates recently. Got them down to about 20ppm from a high of around 80ppm. Not sure exactly what transpired that allowed the nitrates to get so high. I think it was a combo of: allowing too much junk to build up in my HOB filter pad, a mysterious die off with my chaeto algae that is now beginning to recover, general detritus build up in the substrate, etc.

I took the blue filter pad out and now just run ROX carbon in a filter sock in the HOB, and I dosed vinegar for the last two weeks. Also vacuumed the sand bed over the course of the last few water changes. That seems to have been effective at bringing the nitrates down.

Otherwise everything is going really well. I'm going to add some more upgrades to the water movement and lighting systems after Christmas that will begin to move the tank more towards a proper reef environment. Looking forward to that!

EI Gringo
11/24/2015, 06:16 AM
Nitrate creep is such a silent killer, I have electro skimming (hydra molecular depurators, look them up!) and reactor skimming with an air driven skimmer for my breeding tank, both have been running since June with only 1 water change and no media changes, both read 0 for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite, result!

nmotz
11/24/2015, 09:38 AM
Wow, nice, I will have to look up that equipment as I don't recognize any of it. I was surprised how much of an impact my HOB skimmer had on the tank, but I'm always interested in new ideas!

Calappidae
11/24/2015, 10:30 AM
What does vinegar do? I use the stuff to clean old/new tanks all the time but dosing it is a new one to me.

One thing you want to be careful about is making sure no stray voltage gets emitted from the pumps. There are special antivoltage rods sold specifically for this.

It's especially deadly if a powerhead malifunctions.. and because it's such an ignorable factor, nobody really notices it before or even after the damage is done, actually not many people even know about it. This is why I kinda prefer low flow systems to limit the powerhead strain.

nmotz
11/24/2015, 01:52 PM
Dosing vinegar adds a carbon source that facilitates bacterial growth. The nitrates are absorbed by the bacterial cells and are skimmed out of the aquarium. Here's a good article about it: http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/component/zine/article/116

I'm going to finally get an Ecotech pump (mp40) so I'm hoping that by getting a top of the line system I can avoid some of the problems with stray voltage. I have a special GFCI attachment to cut off power if an increase in voltage exceeds certain limits. Not sure if that will help in all circumstances of course.

One thing about the hobby that is hard for me to accept is that there is no way to perfectly ensure that no catastrophe will ever happen. I can spend $10K on all kinds of failsafes and still not be able to prevent every negative potentiality. It's frustrating. I would be so upset to lose an animal to stray voltage emission.

I do prefer high flow only because it is (IMO) a better approximation of real ocean conditions where the ocean current is random and quite strong, often much more so than we can mimic in the home aquarium. It's also a great way to keep my sand bed free of detritus build-up and the associated cyano growth.

I'm actually far more concerned about the dreaded heater malfunction. That keeps me awake at night!

Calappidae
11/24/2015, 02:21 PM
Dosing vinegar adds a carbon source that facilitates bacterial growth. The nitrates are absorbed by the bacterial cells and are skimmed out of the aquarium. Here's a good article about it: http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/component/zine/article/116
http://i.imgur.com/q6CAvBi.jpg


One thing about the hobby that is hard for me to accept is that there is no way to perfectly ensure that no catastrophe will ever happen. I can spend $10K on all kinds of failsafes and still not be able to prevent every negative potentiality. It's frustrating. I would be so upset to lose an animal to stray voltage emission.

I do prefer high flow only because it is (IMO) a better approximation of real ocean conditions where the ocean current is random and quite strong, often much more so than we can mimic in the home aquarium. It's also a great way to keep my sand bed free of detritus build-up and the associated cyano growth.

I'm actually far more concerned about the dreaded heater malfunction. That keeps me awake at night!


It's a sad truth, there is no such thing as a perfect system that nothing wrong can happen in, even if every precaution is taken.

I like high flow myself, I think my main reason I avoid high flow is due to the livestock I keep. Harlequin Shrimp aren't the most tolerable high flow inverts. Voltage is just one of those "oh yeah, that too I guess" excuses of mine to keep it low. :D

..although I really should invest in better circulation for my zebras.. one is living in subpar (awful) conditions and the other's filter outtake broke and the tank is very long... it has as much waterflow as a wet-dry trickle system. Gotta fix that soon when I get the dough, glad they're hardy cause I honestly shamely admit I have no idea how they're still alive with the crap conditions I've put them through, and I'm still surprised the leftover silversides hasn't crashed the other's tank. (I swear.. it's two bites, then rots.. not to mention silvers smell and they're a pain to thaw.. and when they do thaw they leak everywhere...)