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Wally.B
05/11/2017, 01:59 AM
Hello my name is Wally and I'm starting a new tank thread.

I'm no expert, since you never are.... but I've learned a lot over 20 years in this wonderful Hobby!!

This reason for this fresh start, is I'm restarting one of my two tanks.

Not sure where this journey will take me, but I'll start by sharing my next phase of Tank Automation, which is a Custom DIY Aurdino Based Doser/Controller.

LET ME START WITH A QUICK INTRO OVERVIEW before I start on this specific tank Thread, and AUTOMATION.

I have two tanks.

The first tank below... (WHICH THIS THREAD IS NOT ABOUT) is a 15 years old, 100 Gallon Mixed Coral Tank, that is in our Family kitchen on first floor (Directly above sump room).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2878/32807727454_991c91317c_c.jpg



SPECIAL NOTE: All Photos in this Thread are Stored and Hosted on Flickr

The link to Photo above and all other Photos is here https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.

As per Flickr 3 Party Hosting Policy:

Link back to Flickr when you post your Flickr content elsewhere.
Flickr makes it possible to post content hosted on Flickr to other web sites.
Pages on other web sites that display content hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr.
This provides a way to get more information about the content and the photographer.



I won't get into much detail about this tank, since for some reason, it runs on it own.
I figure it's just maturity, and I've done everything wrong over the years, and have run out of things to break.

I think one thing I did right was building a custom lighting setup (Kessil, T5, LED), that's ideal for the low-medium lighting requirement of the corals.
I run lighting very low, which keeps algae, Cyano in check. Best fish I ever added was a Algae Blenny.
I did post a thread on the Custom Lighting Build here.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2510779

BOTH Tanks run into a SUMP Room in the basement that I renovated a few years ago.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2821/34046705262_7c802b7f81_b.jpg

In that Sump Room, you can see my 2nd Tank, which this thread is about.

It's a 65 Gallon, SPS only tank, which is build into my office wall. Office in on other side of wall.

I've had no success with this tank!!

I won't get into details, since a 2+ year thread tell it all.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2500379

Before I start this thread, I'll share one more thread that show the CUSTOM Sump Build for my Office Tank.
It will help understand the steps I'm taking toward Total Automation, since the Sump was designed exactly for that purpose.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2570554


SO LET ME START THIS NEW THREAD.

Basically if you read the Tank thread above. I started the SPS tank with no SPS experience.
I first under fed the Corals (via low Fish count) and then over fed the corals with all kinds of additives, which led to negative consequences at both extremes.
I've had accidents, etc. Even made a Star Wars Parody Movie from A Mega Algae Bloom that followed a Mega Cyano Bloom by using Timelapse Web Cam observation of various CUC to fix things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycQ9YPuAaVk (Mostly done to get my Teen Son Involved).

At the end I gave up on the Algae Mess and tore the tank down and started from scratch.

So this time (TAKE 3), I've built a custom Sump with a Built in Algae Scrubber. My nutrient export is very good.

I still have the same problem that I started with, which is too low nutrients.

Yes, I could add more Fish, which is the #1 recommended solution for healthy, growing, thriving Corals. Especially SPS. However finding ideal fish for 65 Gallon community is tough. QT takes time, and I see my fish growing into this tank.

So the New plan is:

-> Automated Water Changes. I hate doing them and I slip with two tanks to do.
-> Automated Dosing Water Stabilization/Quality and Supplements/Food for Corals.

HERE IS HOW I'll DO IT:


This Aurdino Doser is key!!

Here is the Doser (Just Finished and ready for installation on the New SUmp)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4190/34200271870_e186303df8_c.jpg

It fully Driven my an Ardunio Mega Controller with some Relays controlling Kaemoer Peristaltic Pumps.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4156/34424778772_4c73bbcda9_c.jpg

The backside of the Controller shows most of the features that I've designed into this next Automation Stage of my Setup.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4193/34586829825_ce3ae84dc6_b.jpg

Months of work went into this project, most of it on the coding.

I just finished the final test runs on my desk with Water, and it ready for installation.

Here is a YouTube Video (Crappy one), but gives you an idea how it current works.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFAtzBtKVhA

I'll make a better Video Tour once it's installed.

You might say why don't I didn't use my Apex (Have two), or buy a ready made commercial doser.

Answer is simple. I like to build things, and I wanted specific features and controls. Also, it works with the Apex which I show after I get it installed.

Here is a Summary of the Key features.

-> Dosing Accuracy 0.5 ml, Kamoer Pumps (40ml/minute)
-> All pumps reversible (for priming, fluid return, and maintenance)
-> Programming allows Pumps to be Named with the Solution then dose.
-> Pump Calibration Mode (Pumps can be swapped, and lines types changed)

-> LCD display menu driven, with detail status and notifications.
-> Unique Scheduling configuration
-----> Set daily dose in ml, and you can schedule doses split up at any portion at any time, as many split as needed.
-> USB Logging to PC tracking all events (Future will be to USB card)

-> The Apex Integration Port is a Simple Relay that is drive by one of the Apex EB8 Ports.
----> That EB8 when ON tells the Doser things are ok to Dose.
----> Example, if PH is too high (EB is off). You program Apex with as many conditions as you wish (ie Return pump off, Dosing suspended)

DOSER PUMP SETUP (Primary):
------> PUMP 1 (Aquaforest Component 1) Trace Elements, Mag
------> PUMP 2 (Aquaforest Component 2) Alk
------> PUMP 3 (Aquaforest Component 3) Mineral Salts/K,B

------> PUMP 4 (TOP UP), whatever tank lacks that Test kits identify.

I used to make my own Stronger A/B solution, but for now the above will be sufficient since I'll be automation Water Changes, and SPS load I small.

Eventually I'll consider converting to higher concentration solutions for Alk, Calcium and Mag.

-> Build a DIY Magnetic Stirer (from a computer Fan and some magnets, and couple of Poker Chips for stablization)
------> One Dosing Pump[5] will be dedicated to Coral Foods, which will be pre-mixed before distribution.
-----------> Plan is variety of weekly potions using the following:
-----------------> PolypLab Polypbooster
-----------------> Acro Power (Aminos)
-----------------> AquaForest Vitality (Vitamins)
---------------------> POWDER FOODS mix in RO Water
---------------------------->AquaForest Coral Food
---------------------------->Reef Roids
---------------------------->Coral Frenzy
---------------------------->AquaForest AF PURE FOOD
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/33596637074_8905c6f8e5.jpg

-> AUTOMATED Water Changes.
-----> The Expansion Port hooks into a module that controls AC outlets.
-----> Two MaxiJet Pumps will be install in my 5 Gallon Sump Section
-----------> Originally that section was going to be Refuge, but not needed after seeing Algae Scrubber do more than enough.
-----> Setting up a Large Salt Water Reservior (3 month+ capacity)
-----> Goal is 2.5% Water Changes Weekly (Automatically)

The remaining features are mostly with programming, display, notifications and failsafe logic.

In future I plan on adding programming for AutoScheduled reminders for things like cleaning pumps, changing bulbs, since this Controller will be in my face all the time.
(I tried Outlook Calendar, Paper Logs, Email, and none work for me effectively).

SO WHERE IS THIS TANK that this thread will be about?

There isn't much to show at this point. The thread above ends where this thread begins.
I destroyed most of the SPS corals in the last Photo of that thread. Mostly due to instability, neglect since I got too busy.
Also A MH ballast that blew and I replaced last week.
So with that behind me, I'm moving forward again.

This 65 GAL tank equipment setup is the following:

-> 2x 250W MH (Switchable Ballasts), Pheonix 14000k Bulbs
-> 2x T5 Bulbs
-> 1x Custom LED fixture made from Steve's LEDs (SPS Extreme Combo)
-> EuroReef Skimmer
-> DC Waveline Return Pump
-> Sea Swirl of Return Pump
-> 50 Gallon Sump
-> RO System with Reservoir and Tunze Osmolator Top up
-> Algae Scrubber
-> Apex JR, 2 EB8's, PM Module, VDM Module
-> 1x MaxSpec Grye XF150 Pump on ICECAO Controller Via Apex
-> 1x Jebao CP24 WavewPUmp


I'll share more once I get the Doser and Water Change System setup.

Here is what I'm starting with. A new set up frags and I'm taking care of manually for now, but not for much longer.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4177/34397419326_33b5704b37_b.jpg

I'll end this first thread post with the following.

I like to share information. Very open to feedback, constructive criticism, advice (willing to listen, don't always follow), and look forward to getting to know more folks on reef central.

I also hope I get things right this time.

Regards,

Wally

reefmutt
05/11/2017, 01:04 PM
Wally, as I've said before, you are an ANIMAL!!!!
I stand before you in awe!!
Beautiful machine you've built, beautiful start!
Looking forward to this!
Now, I know you will be monitoring carefully and auto wc ing, so I'm just throwing this out there, that's a lot of nutrient rich food you have on your list of additions.
And some overlapping, imo..but certainly, yu have covered full variety.
Sorry if I missed it, what salt will you be using?

Wally.B
05/11/2017, 02:43 PM
Matt,

Thanks. Looking forward to completing the install.

To answer your questions.

SALT:
I used to be a Reef Crystals guy, but the High Alk (9+) is not ideal for my weekly auto water changes. My Goal is to keep Alk stable at 7.5.

I did get into Tropic Marin Salt since it's high quality on trace elements, but it's just too expensive.

I then got into AquaForest ProBiotic which has good Low Alk (approx. 7 so I can buffer up), and high K, but I don't like the Biotic component, since it can't sit long in reservoir storage.

So I just got a box of of AquaForest Reef Salt which I will be using.
[It will work well with AF Component1,2,3] for short term, till Coral Demand goes up.
But you never know, 1,2,3 may be good enough with Auto Weekly water changes (2.5%)


BIO compliment:
Since I'm not going to use AF Biotic salt, I've decided to go with ZeoVit ZeoBak since that bacteria strain has done very well for me. Will use ZeoVit instead of AF BioS.

I have some AF -NP Pro which is a liquid Polymer food for Bio, so I'll continue to use that.


CORAL FOODS:
Have no worry Matt, I won't be putting all of those products in at once. (I just have them all, which I use in Mixed Tank once every other week (Target feeding))

For this SPS only tank.
The flask with mixer will be changed weekly, since Nutrient food can't sit long or it will Rot.
I will be feeding Evenings. Tiny bit (water diluted but mixed up), every other day.
Each week or so I'll change the food mix Potion and see what does well. Maybe I'll skip every other week. Doser has smarts to schedule anything I desire. I also have a spare FLIP button, that I can use to turn off feeding alternative weeks.

Wally.B
05/11/2017, 07:16 PM
THE 65 Gal SPS TANK NOW

I pulled out about a dozen Frags that were degrading due to the instability, light failure and 2 months of neglect.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4189/34440760032_dfc079119e_n.jpg

Sure I could a saved a few by pruning off some good parts.
There are some tiny fragments glued on the rocks so some might come back.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4161/33792681603_d26673fb15_b.jpg

10 intact SPS frags did survive.

Not much to show at this point....
At least the rocks are clean, and coralline doing well for a Clean Start.

I still am happy with the RoboSnail Glass Cleaner seen on the right.
It really helps keep the tank glass from building up bad glass algae since I can't reach that side easily.

tenurepro
05/11/2017, 07:59 PM
Cool! Good luck with the build Wally; would love to come and see it live!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Wally.B
05/11/2017, 11:06 PM
Cool! Good luck with the build Wally; would love to come and see it live!

Hmmm.
I would love to do live tours for everyone interested. Wife would be so happy having Reef Geeks walking thru the house.

But I might do one of those 3D Virtual Tours of the Final Automated Sump Room Setup. The Kind you see on Real Estate House tours web site.

I am hoping to build the Water Change station this weekend.
Have container, ideas to make it fool proof (from spills, not to start a endless sihphon, etc)

Only concern I have is can you hold 50 Gallons of pre-Mix Salt water in a container, that will take 3-5 months to use it up?

I'VE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE. My RO Reservoir is hooked up to AutoTop Up for both tanks, so it's always fresh.

Do I need to airate it? Have a circulation pump running, all the time or once in a while.

reefmutt
05/12/2017, 05:45 AM
I'd say it's probably a good idea to keep the water moving a bit.
Air bubbles create a salt mist so not my first choice.

cobra2326
05/12/2017, 08:18 AM
Very cool build. I'm doing much of the same currently, except with some different technologies. I haven't gotten to the doser part yet, but plan to eventually. How much were the Kamoer peristaltic pumps and where did you source them? Those things are supposed to be super pricey.

In case you're interested, my build is mostly based on a Raspberry Pi, except the lower level bits (PWM, 2-wire, etc) are running on an AVR and communicating over I2C with the Pi. I mainly did that to avoid complexities like RTC, Network, etc that just come for free with a Pi.

That pre-stir mode is pretty awesome. You might actually be able to make a DKH monitor with that ;)

reefmutt
05/12/2017, 09:04 AM
Wally, I have a kamoer single doser with the stepper pump (whatever that means) I use it for dosing Kalk. It has a slightly larger diameter tubing than the traditional pumps. I have asked two stores in montreal, who sell the pump, if they can get me replacement tubing. They have both said 'umm not sure.. doesn't seem to be available..' I find this odd and a bit distressing because I'm going to have to change it, eventually..
Might you have any leads on where I could get it. I've been told it is the typical tubingbised for hospital dosing pumps..
I guess I'll have to do some searches. Just wondering if you've already come across it..

tenurepro
05/12/2017, 09:18 AM
Wally, I have a kamoer single doser with the stepper pump (whatever that means) I use it for dosing Kalk. It has a slightly larger diameter tubing than the traditional pumps. I have asked two stores in montreal, who sell the pump, if they can get me replacement tubing. They have both said 'umm not sure.. doesn't seem to be available..' I find this odd and a bit distressing because I'm going to have to change it, eventually..
Might you have any leads on where I could get it. I've been told it is the typical tubingbised for hospital dosing pumps..
I guess I'll have to do some searches. Just wondering if you've already come across it..



Check out science supply stores... vwr or fisher scientific... but it will be pricy!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

reefmutt
05/12/2017, 09:26 AM
Check out science supply stores... vwr or fisher scientific... but it will be pricy!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks!
I only need a foot of it. That'll probably last me 10 years.. :)

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 12:25 PM
Very cool build. I'm doing much of the same currently, except with some different technologies. I haven't gotten to the doser part yet, but plan to eventually. How much were the Kamoer peristaltic pumps and where did you source them? Those things are supposed to be super pricey.

In case you're interested, my build is mostly based on a Raspberry Pi, except the lower level bits (PWM, 2-wire, etc) are running on an AVR and communicating over I2C with the Pi. I mainly did that to avoid complexities like RTC, Network, etc that just come for free with a Pi.

That pre-stir mode is pretty awesome. You might actually be able to make a DKH monitor with that ;)

I totally agree that doing this with an Raspberry PI would be nicer.
I have a couple kicking around.
Much nicer for Clock/Date, Storage, LAN access, Easy for WEB GUI, etc.

But I chose Ardiuno for a few reasons.
---> I was Unix Admin for 10 years, coded in Dozen of Languages * BUT NEVER PYTHON ** (Plus ramp up to PI would take a long time)
--> I started with an Ardino UNO, but ran out of I/O Ports, so went to Mega
---------> In my case, I need lots of I/O for Buttons, Sensors, relays, and I have spares for future.
--> Ardiuno boots in 1 second, and is more real time HW control/Processing.
--> I would rather code in PI, but Arudino is much faster for millisecond stuff (out-of-the-box). (Eg, pulsing the Computer Fan, etc).
--> Yes it took me forever to figure out LCD display, RTC, but once I did it was easy from that point. (All my stuff is IC2). I hate the HardCoded signalling, and figuring out libraries.

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 12:31 PM
Wally, I have a kamoer single doser with the stepper pump (whatever that means) I use it for dosing Kalk. It has a slightly larger diameter tubing than the traditional pumps. I have asked two stores in montreal, who sell the pump, if they can get me replacement tubing. They have both said 'umm not sure.. doesn't seem to be available..' I find this odd and a bit distressing because I'm going to have to change it, eventually..
Might you have any leads on where I could get it. I've been told it is the typical tubingbised for hospital dosing pumps..
I guess I'll have to do some searches. Just wondering if you've already come across it..

I got my pumps for Aliexpress, from Kamoer directly.
Yes, they have some beauties for MEGA Bucks. (Stepper kind, nice looking) I got the basic cheapest, but these work really nice, compared to the $5 ones I got before.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Kamoer-New-KP-12V-DC-peristaltic-liquid-pump/2021087643.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.XvHyHD
They also sell tubing by the meter, and I have two diameter versions on my pumps. (There are also different materials, Silicone, and extra high quality)
Here is the same store for tubing. Nice sale rep if you HIT contact.
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Peristaltic-pump-tube-pharmed-BPT-tube-pipe/935395_32512377223.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.vmehrV
If you want fast shipping ask them for Epacket, it will arrive in 2 weeks, instead of 2 months.
It's not easy to find tubing locally. I tried. There must be LOCAL industrial type stores that sell Peristaltic Tubing, but they are hidden :(

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 12:36 PM
AUTO WATER CHANGE (CODE & APEX Integration) ** TESTED **

Writing the Code for Water changes, way baby stuff compare do what I did before for the whole doser.

But cool part was seeing if my Apex Integration Idea will work. IT DID.

This diagrams explains it all.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4177/33805746743_ab9dd8a45b_c.jpg

So now I just have to do the plumbing for the pumps, and some mounting of sensors in the Sump Reservoir section.

I'll do a small test run and post the REAL WATER CHANGE results.

reefmutt
05/12/2017, 06:41 PM
I got my pumps for Aliexpress, from Kamoer directly.
Yes, they have some beauties for MEGA Bucks. (Stepper kind, nice looking) I got the basic cheapest, but these work really nice, compared to the $5 ones I got before.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Kamoer-New-KP-12V-DC-peristaltic-liquid-pump/2021087643.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.XvHyHD
They also sell tubing by the meter, and I have two diameter versions on my pumps. (There are also different materials, Silicone, and extra high quality)
Here is the same store for tubing. Nice sale rep if you HIT contact.
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Peristaltic-pump-tube-pharmed-BPT-tube-pipe/935395_32512377223.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.vmehrV
If you want fast shipping ask them for Epacket, it will arrive in 2 weeks, instead of 2 months.
It's not easy to find tubing locally. I tried. There must be LOCAL industrial type stores that sell Peristaltic Tubing, but they are hidden :(
Thanks for the info, Wally.
AUTO WATER CHANGE (CODE & APEX Integration) ** TESTED **

Writing the Code for Water changes, way baby stuff compare do what I did before for the whole doser.

But cool part was seeing if my Apex Integration Idea will work. IT DID.

This diagrams explains it all.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4177/33805746743_ab9dd8a45b_c.jpg

So now I just have to do the plumbing for the pumps, and some mounting of sensors in the Sump Reservoir section.

I'll do a small test run and post the REAL WATER CHANGE results.

this is sooo over my head but damn cool!

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 06:51 PM
Matt,

(It's not that complicated. The process. You could do this with 2 Power Bars, and two pumps, two bins, hoses, but wouldn't be automatic)

This might help you and everyone else understand.
You do water changes all the time. (1-Drain Tank) (2-Fill Tank). This is exactly the same. (BUT THERE WILL BE ARITIFICAL INTELLGENCE doing it)

I just have a section in my Sump that is just 5 Gallons perfect.
The way things flow thru the Sump I can actually do more than One 5 Gallon change, in a row. Thus be able to do a 10, 15 Gallon water changes, (2-3 x5Gal, but all will be old water).

The magenetically mounted Water sensor at the bottom can be moved up and down, to adjust water changes under 5 Gallons. (ie my weekly quota 2.5 Gallons)

And that Reservoirs fill, it just a T pipe off my GFO feed that keep the In Sump Reservior cycling with water. It drains into the Return Section.

This picture is should help make things clearer.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4187/34234929290_9fb93077a2_b.jpg

It also shows my one idea for the Fresh Salt Water Bin. Got a few of these bin free from somebody who moved.
Inside will be a drain bin. Or I can just put drain bin next to it.

I do have a sinks and drain very close, but that is later.

I will be pushing button to watch a the Water Changes for a while. (No Auto Schedule right away)
Better then the Water Mix, Tank Siphon, and fill of the past.

IS THIS MORE CLEAR NOW?

If anyone has advice, warnings, etc. Now is the time to speak. I'll building it all this weekend. (I hope)

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 07:24 PM
THE SIPHON BREAK To prevent a Massive New Salt Water Dump)

One more important part of the design.

I may not need this, but I won't know till I test things.

My sump is low to the ground. And the Pump is not Peristaltic. It's just a Maxi-Jet 1200. (So open flow)

If the Water in the Reservoir is higher, then sump reservoir section during a fill, a siphon could drain more than I wish (From the New Water Reservoir).

This minor adjustment (Siphon break) may be needed. More ways than one to do this.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4183/33811251063_69574107d6_z.jpg

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 09:09 PM
WATER LEVEL SENSORS (For Water Changer Section Level Detects)

One last detail.

These are the Water Level Sensors that are mounted in the SUMP Water Change Compartment Section.

The Top one is to sense when the compartment is full. It will be permanently mounted.

The Bottom one is movable to select the amount of water change desired.

The Doser is coded with DOUBLE failsafe logic (to no over-do anything):

-> The Sensors will detect water levels for Stop-Drain, Start-Fill, Finish-Fill
-> ALSO there will be a timer-config that is just over the Start/Stop Points (So pumps will stop anyway, even if sensors fail).
---------> BUT THEN AN ALARM CONDITION WILL BE TRIGGERED.

I may also add a sensor for the Fresh Salt Water Reservoir, and possibly one for the Drain Bin.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4185/34622442475_1889e63e05_c.jpg

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 09:51 PM
(The Relays) Core Components for Controller.

Last but not least. The RELAYS are the core components of the Controller, beside the Aurdino.

They are about $3 for a 2 Relay version.
https://www.amazon.ca/2-Channel-Module-Shield-Arduino-Electronic/dp/B00D85SLLY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494642298&sr=8-2&keywords=arduino+relay+module

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4191/34622931105_58a87775b3_c.jpg

That should be pretty well everything.

Now I can get back to setting things up.

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 11:14 PM
Bad Post since I tried the BLACKLISTED URL.

Wally.B
05/12/2017, 11:16 PM
PLANNING FOR Automatic Water Changes (How much? How Often?)

This article by the Highly Respected Randy Homes-Farley gives insight to exactly those two questions.

http://_ r e e f k e e p i n g . c o m/issues/2005-10/rhf/ (Fix the URL since RC won't allow links to this site)

Interesting read.

Wally.B
05/13/2017, 11:32 PM
TEST RUN of Automatic Water Change Mode (Real Water Change in Sump)

So I set things up for a Real Water Change Test (Mixed up 10 Gallons of Salt).

Sump with Sensors / Two Maxi-Jets / Controller and TWO FIVE GALLON Buckets (To get a measurement of accuracy).

I will admit I was a bit worried things may not work, since I never tested the Sensors in Water, Pump Water Flow Speeds. Just the logic.

IT WORKED PERFECT FIRST TIME!!

I shot of video of that 3 Gallon Water change. It's uploading and I'll post as soon as ready.

Now I have confidence to install the Controller into the system (Permanently).

Wally.B
05/14/2017, 01:53 AM
Finally!! The YOU TUBE VIDEO (of Automatic Water Change RUN [Real Salt Water, In Aquarium SUMP ] ) UPLOADED

Ooops. No wonder Upload was taking forever (Thought it was my internet). BUt I thought I shot 640(30fps) video, but my camera was set to MediumRes 1280(60fps).

HERE IS THE YOU TUBE LINK of the Auto Water Change TEST RUN.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4170/34482740762_c42fd81dc7_t.jpg
https://youtu.be/-QnmB1YZ520

[Pardon the Shaky Video. I had no help to Run Demo and Shoot at same time, plus I didn't edit out shaky parts to give you sense of START-to-FINISH real timing.]

The interesting part that I noticed that I didn't plan in the design, is the Trickle Water Filling of the Rufuge is Ideal.
It adds old water to the Refuge, and that mixes and pushed the new water slowly to the Return Section, and back to the Display Tank.

I added some Coral Snow and about an hour later the Refuge section cleared up, so that is the Cycle time.
(Minimum time to do a 2nd Water Change, do avoid removing new water).

I also tested ALK (in Water Change Section [ie Refuge]) , since the New Water had ALK of 9.x, while tank was 7.5.
(IT shocked me that the box of AF Reef Salt I just bought is Alk 9.x.) I need to triple check with a new batch.
Not happy. Need to find lower ALK Salt. Tropic Marin was Ideal 7.x

Today is MOTHERS DAY.

This may be a Perfect Mother's Day gift for my wife. She has no clue what I've been building for last 6 months. Doesn't care, but may!!

She always complains I spend too much time on the tanks.
She particularly notices the Water Changes, especially when I do in Kitchen Tank (Buckets, Spills, etc).

I figure this may be a IDEAL GIFT.
I'll show her a demo, and say "More time for her, since no more water changes for 1 tank".

However I do have Flowers and Chocolates as Plan B. :)

Wally.B
05/14/2017, 10:21 AM
Chocolates were a hit :thumbsup:

Wally.B
05/17/2017, 10:00 PM
WATER CHANGE/DOSING STATION (SETUP - Draft Design)

So I played with what material I have hanging around.

This is the setup that I came up with after a few variations.

I did try setting up something similar directly over sump, but was cluttered and the danger of stuff falling into sump.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4188/33917760443_9459de0609_b.jpg

-> Open-Ended / Flexible for future changes and Easy Maintenance
-> Extra room for growth
-> Bins slide in and out for maintenance.

Next Step will be to complete the shelving, paint and run tubes, etc.

Running out to time, since next AutoWater Change should be this Friday.

THINKING ABOUT WHICH SALT I SHOULD MIX UP for the Reservoir.

-> AquaForest (Alk=9.5)
-> Tropic Marin (Alk 7.0, buffered up to 7.5 to match tank)

Wally.B
05/17/2017, 11:10 PM
Which SALT? (Considering Low SPS load, Weekly Water Changes, & Optional Dosing)

So I found this up to date 2017 Article on Current Reef Salt Parameters
http://saltwateraquariumblog.com/best-aquarium-salt-mix-review-popular-reef-salt-mix-options/

They list this table:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4185/34687796036_db3cac6497_o.jpg

I would agree with the Instant Ocean, but I don't agree with Topic Maurin Pro ALK level (since my Bucket give me Alk=7.0). And Pro has always been low over the few buckets I have purchased.

The issue I am concerned about is that my SPS Coral Load is light.
Alk Still drops weekly, but not too much.

If I use a Salt with a High ALK, a 5% weekly water change won't do much in raising Alk, but it will increase over many water changes.

The other challenge if I use High Alk Salt, is there will be a weekly swing upward, and that will make dosing hard to stabilize as the tank matures.

I think once I have a larger coral load, then it won't be much of a factor.

SO MY DECISION IS to Go with the TOPIC MARIN PRO which I have a bit left.

Yes it is Darn $Pricey$, but this new start deserves one Bucket for a good solid start. And time for me to figure out a dosing regimen.

Wally.B
05/18/2017, 02:34 AM
Found my PERFECT SALT (A mix)

Yes, this may be chasing numbers that won't really matter, but I want to embark on the New Tank Setup Journey with minimal disruption.

I decided to test my Salts, but this time with attention to accuracy.
I calibrated my Reflectometer, heated water to 77 Degrees.

Turns out the AquaForest Reef Salt is not as high as I thought.
It was the Reef Crystals which was around 11.

I got an idea. Instead of buffering up Tropic Marin with Baking Soda. Why not use the higher Alk Salt to do it, by combining salts.

After my tests of Individual Salts, I realized (by calculation average) that a 50/50 Mix of AquaForest RS and Tropic Marin Pro would get me very close to an Alk=7.5.


So I mixed up very well a small bucket of each (to exactly a Salinty of 1.025) and mixed the two accurately at 50% each Salt Mix.

I tested very accurately, with the greatest attention I've ever done. (ie Rinsing vials, perfect drops, no bubbles, etc). Was only satisfied when two tests came back very close.

Here is the method and the results.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4156/33920898813_597638d6ff_b.jpg

I could use slightly less AquaForest and be exactly at ALK=7.5, but is just not worth the effort.

This will save me some money and give me a good Salt with all the micro/macro elements covered.

Wally.B
05/18/2017, 12:53 PM
AUTO-Station Build (Moving Along)

So for the Short-Term, I not going Large-Bin Reservoir as part of the AutoStation Area.
Takes up too much space near the sump and work table.

Two 15 Gallon Bins will be fine and last me a month.


-> I will add a Water level sensor to ensure enough water for full Water Change.
-----> [Otherwise a partial fill will drop sump levels, and screw up salinity when Fresh Water Top up kicks in]

-> I will also add a Water sensor to Dump Bin
-----> [To prevent a overfill spill]

The Larger 50 GAL Reservoir of Pre-Mix Salt Water will be elsewhere in the basement, and I can just top up the Change-Station Bin.

Still much, Much easier then the past.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4192/34576778052_48a9928135_z.jpg

Wally.B
05/18/2017, 04:02 PM
Water Change Section (Pumbing Complete)

Pumping inside sump is done. Good enough for now.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4167/34357185210_73692a4e3d_b.jpg

I used those Clips you get with MaxiJet Pump FOR Clamping HOSE RUNS.
I have a bunch of them since I never used that kind of Maxi-Jet configuration.

They hold well, and I tie wrapped Sensor wiring to them.

Plus the clips are easy remove for future maintenance.

Wally.B
05/19/2017, 11:26 AM
Auto-Station Ready for Tonights Friday Night Water Change (Painted and Setup)

The Auto-Station is Setup for AutoWater Changes.

I decided on GREY Shelving Paint with Blue Trim. Came out pretty good.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4252/34624492211_7ab6477a99_c.jpg


-> I added a cork board that was in my never used in my workshop.
-> The Google Nexus 2012 Tablet is kids hand me down. Too slow for gaming but good enough to view Apex and Simple Web.
-> Got a New Blue Bin since I couldn't stand the Pink one.
-> The Portal 3D sticker I got for $2 from Alixepress ages ago. Came in handy.

I'm really happy I didn't go with the Large 50 Gallon Reservioir.
I like the space/layout with the Auto-Station setup.

Now I run a few weeks of water changes and see how Water Parameter do.
Then I can decide what/how I will dose for any needed adjustments.

Next I run Doser tubing.
Then I can start drugging my Corals with some Magic Potion Mixes.
I have plenty of ingredients I purchase over the years.

By the way, the Frags and Corals are doing Spectacular.
Like never before.

I guess the Practice Water Change Runs prove that frequent and regular water changes work.

I am already thinking to expand this Changer for my other tank.
Just need to figure out a way for similar Containers.

Wally

shih87
05/20/2017, 12:20 PM
So many wonderful work you did here. Reading this thread it almost like reading a well prepare magazine article. I am sure your coral will return your effort nicely, my friend.

Cheers,

Wally.B
05/20/2017, 10:42 PM
So many wonderful work you did here. Reading this thread it almost like reading a well prepare magazine article. I am sure your coral will return your effort nicely, my friend.

Cheers,
Thanks. Appreciate the positive Comment.
I need it. Been pulling out my hair last 24 hours.

I was planning to do a run with the Final Install, but I ran into a technical glitch.

I have been working all day to resolve and am very close.

Wally.B
05/21/2017, 11:18 PM
DOSER (Auto Water Changer) COMPLETED & INSTALLED With (Lighting Feature)

So the Doser is Finally Installed (PERMANENTLY) and Couple of Water changes done. Everything is perfect.

However I struggled many hours (2 days) to fix a misplaced wired. (I had trouble falling a sleep thinking things thru)
When Installing the Final Feature (Mode Lighting) I screwed up one wire and nothing was working.

As you can see it wasn't that easy (Lots of wire connections underneath), but I finally found the mistake.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4183/34813404755_725d8ca770.jpg

The Lighting Feature is a 3 Color LED installed in the Acrylic Base.
It show status, running mode, plus Future reminder feature.
(I first Had a SImple LED on top, but a small hole Driller into base is more noticeable and Quite Awesome looking)


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4192/33970448724_68cc5bfd51_z.jpg

For now the Water Changer will be Manual.

(ONE BUTTON ACTIVATE)
-> PUSH Button [ Apex Turns off WC-Reservoir Pump]
-> Apex Sends Signal to Doser(+) Controller for Go Ahead.
-> Water Change is done and Apex Turn Reservoir Pump back on.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4192/33970449694_c55a1efafa_z.jpg

I need to learn how it works:

-> Keep New Water Container FULL / (Empty Dump Container) [Will Add Sensors in the Future to Failsafe)
-> Turn on New Water heater, and Watch for Tank Temp Match (manual)
-> And also do Water Parameters to learn how much Dosing will be required with Regular Weekly Water Changes.

WHATS REALLY weird, is I feel kind of Lost No doing Manual Bucket Water changes.
I'll get used to it :)

So now I move to DOSING (Learn and Setup).
Figure out new routine with Easy Weekly Water changes, and how tank Water Parameter need adjustment (if any).
Maybe I’ll just need Coral Food and Coloration Additives.

(Who knows. Routine/Weekly Water Changes may be good enough for a long while till Corals get bigger. But at least I’ll be ready when that day comes).

And I did make a 3 Camera View Movie that I'm editing showing a Installed Run with (Lighting).
As Soon I edit the movie, I'll post on YouTube.

Wally.B
05/22/2017, 03:14 PM
DOSING tubing Installed (Dosing needed sooner then thought)

I wasn't going to rush with Dosing Setup but my Alk/Calc is dropping and I had to manually top up.

So for now I'll at least start the Aquaforest Component 1,2,3.
(The stuff is really weak. When I had corals, I had to do 150ml a day. Compared to A/B which only needed 30ml)

I'll start with 20ml each and see how water tests go.

I may improve things later but I installed the tubing this way.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4161/34829534245_c4c99572b6_c.jpg

Not the best clean cuts but does the job.

Wally.B
05/22/2017, 03:57 PM
DOSING Controller (Dosing Head Configuration)

Here is how the Controller is configured.
I decided not to make it tedious thru the LCD/Push Buttons.
Plus the code would be complex to write for Interface, etc.
Future features will be easier to add this way.

The Dosing configuration is within the Aurdino Code.

To make a dosing change, I edit the config and upload into Ardiuno from PC.

Pretty simple as shown below (Example of 1 Dosing Head)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4176/34443729000_9db9655f8e_z.jpg

Once the config is uploaded, the Doser Scheduler uses this to run things.

The scheduler uses Queuing Logic:

--> You can Set Dose Head (#01,#02,#03) to all dose as 12:15PM
--> It will queue up each pump at 12:15
--> Two Pumps will never run at same time
--> When Pump one is finished, the Next Pump Starts


Now I run on Water for a week, and it all goes well, I switch to Real Chemicals.

Wally.B
05/22/2017, 11:33 PM
TANK Water Parameters

Corals should be not complaining. Water Parameter are very close to ideal.

All Chem Test are Salifert, with exception of Phosphate which is Hanna (Phosphorous Kit)

Salinty (1.025)

ALK (7.5)
CALC (430)
MAG (1440)
K (400)
PO4 (0.13)
NO3 (1.0)

TEMP (78 Stable)
PH (8.0 - 8.2)

I had to top up Alk, and K, but otherwise everything was as shown.

reefmutt
05/23/2017, 12:39 PM
Nice, Wally!
I think you'll get used to the no bucket wcs pretty darn quick.
Doesn't AF have dry versions of their components? Not sure.. or maybe they have industrial strength?
I love that one touch button. It's like the simple button for that insurance (I think) company advertising on tv.
Just love the leds as well. Nice touch. :)

Wally.B
05/23/2017, 01:37 PM
Nice, Wally!
I think you'll get used to the no bucket wcs pretty darn quick.

What is a bucket?? :)


Doesn't AF have dry versions of their components? Not sure.. or maybe they have industrial strength?

Yes they do, call their Component Strong, plus they have Target Elements too.
But for now I just want to use up my Component1,2,3.

I am going to need some help in this next phase of this Tank Restart.

-> I have Nutrient Export covered (Algae Scrubber)
-> I have Water Changes covered.
-> I have future Dosing Covered (TBD on foods)
-> I certainly have Circulation Covered (running medium for now)

The part that I've always wondered about my tank is Lighting.
I have a switchable MH Ballast (150W,175W,250W,HQI) running two Pheonix (250W) 14000K bulbs. Plus the two Blue Plus T5's and LED (18 LED's, running low).

I was running 150W, and today moved up to 175W with coral mounting.
I slightly raised the lights to 13" to spread things out and compensate for 25W more power per bulb.

So I am totally confused if I have too much lighting in this 65 Gallon Tank, or do I have not enough.

I rented a Par Meter a while ago, and if I put my MH bulbs at 250W, with the two T5 my par readings were:

-> 460 Just below water Surface
-> 320 at top of Rocks
-> 120 at Bottom of tank

I didn't have the Power LED, so I have to be careful with it.
I bleached all my corals overnight with that LED in QT.

WHAT DO I LOOK FOR IN "SPS" to see if they are getting ENOUGH light?

-> White Tips?
-> Browning or Color Fading (not enough light), beside nutrients.

Wally.B
05/23/2017, 01:49 PM
THE NEW TANK (Corals Mounted)

So I mounted the corals and this is the Baseline for this New Tank Restart.

TANK FRONT

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4222/34038914103_904616ddce_b.jpg

TANK BACK
Yes there is a back side, since I've centered the rocks to clean glass all around.

On back side are Remnants of Corals that were encrusted on rocks from the past.

This tank has about 14 Species of SPS at this pont.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4197/34809808166_273550b8f5_c.jpg

Before anyone mentions (I need more fish).
Today I added a Blue Green Chromis that I removed from Kitchen Tank. He was being beaten up by the other 5 Chromis's (So I nursed him back to heath in QT over last few weeks).


THE JOURNEY BEGINS!!

Wally.

Wally.B
05/23/2017, 02:01 PM
NEED OPINION on PROPER FEEDING (How much, and how to Feed?)

I read a few places that folks that fed their fish wrong, and had problems. (ie Cyano, Algae, etc)

I don't know how much to feed since fish are always hungry.

The other thing is my fish have learned to chase food.
If I stop the water and feed thru feeder, they stared dazed, waiting for the food to run away.

I have a feeling that Feeding under High Circulation scatters the food.
And that leads to rot.
I no longer want a large CUC since they keep dying or getting too big (crabs).

I feed flakes twice a day, and Rinsed Frozen Brine at night.

(( WHAT IS weird, and baffling is in my 90 Gallon Kitchen Tank, I feed twice as much and no issue. I think they KEY is low Lighting in that Tank, vs High for this SPS tank ))

I DO HAVE A PROGRAMMED APEX BUTTON that will stop all circulation except return for X-Minutes.
I guess I should use it and let fish learn to come to feeder and pick out the food (instead of the fun chase).

Correct?

reefmutt
05/24/2017, 09:28 AM
Those par numbers seem pretty decent, Wally.. although, if it were me, I'd start with 150w or 175.. on that size tank 2x250 just seems overkill. But at any rate, you are right in the ballpark with those readings..
I always let my food scatter.. the fish will get most in the water column and then hunt down most of the rest. After that, I'm sure there a billion critters who will finish off anything that gets left behind.
That cleaner shrimp will also hunt down uneaten foods

Wally.B
05/24/2017, 02:19 PM
Those par numbers seem pretty decent, Wally.. although, if it were me, I'd start with 150w or 175.. on that size tank 2x250 just seems overkill. But at any rate, you are right in the ballpark with those readings..
I always let my food scatter.. the fish will get most in the water column and then hunt down most of the rest. After that, I'm sure there a billion critters who will finish off anything that gets left behind.
That cleaner shrimp will also hunt down uneaten foods

For now I'm doing 2x 175W MH. See how things go.
I was 150W, but I felt it wasn't enough.

Here is the test I did last time.
Notice the PAR Range I quoted above is from the Picture on Right (250W)

The tables on left show differences between (175W,250W,HQI).
I never tested 150W since I converted the fixture to 250W so why run 150W.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4220/34059980613_082b891ebe_o.jpg

Wally.B
05/24/2017, 02:30 PM
Cheap Simple Improvement for Wiring (BIG GAIN)

So I was at the electronic store to return left over Doser Project parts.

I came across these wire clips. $1.95 a 10 pack.

I used to use Black duct tape around tank rim to hold wire.
But during maintenance removes, it get messy.

These clips are ideal. Close with Push and Ratchet Lock. Pus to open.
Can handle 3-4 medium wires. Two thick Power cords.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4197/34870152255_5f23360016_c.jpg

I can use them for:

- Tank Rim.
- Wiring Trays
- and Even Doser Tube runs.

Can use built in sticky or for extra firm hold, drill a tiny hole and screw onto wall.

Wally.B
05/27/2017, 10:41 AM
Few of my SPS Favourites Added

So I went back to GTA Frags and rebought the Favourites I lost last Crash.

One of my top favourites is the RR Red Planet.

And I got a Bird of Paradise since last time it was the only coral that grew well.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4251/34735377462_19beccbf04_c.jpg

Here is the Final Tank Setup.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4249/34755248712_c0d5395900_b.jpg


I have run the dose for about a week. My logic/programming appears to be perfect. Sunday I start dosing AquaForest Component 1,2,3 Lightly, since I do see Alk Dropping and new Frag will probably increase that.

I hope things go better this time. (Last night, my Weekly Friday Water Change was a Pleasure (1 button, after water heated up)

Wally.B
05/29/2017, 12:17 AM
[AUTO] WEEKLY WATER CHANGE ** GOOD ENOUGH for NOW ** [[ SPS Growth Starting ]]

So after a week of No Dosing YET, I checked water chemistry after the AutoWeekly Water Change (2.5% = 2.5 Gallons)

The Alk was Dead on 7.5 ppm.

I assume the rest of the parameters much be just ask ok, since ALK is usually the highest consumed (but I will checking weekly after each WC).

What caught my ATTENTION is my Monti has started growing at the edges. (Seen in Photo Below)
It has been dormant for the last couple of months. So things must be better.

I now have time to give the tank extra attention for cleaning glass, skimmer and Algae Scrubber. Plus general upkeep and maintenance at a easy, less hectic pace.

I know this won't last forever, and dosing will need to started, however I'm fully prepared.

For now I am just dropping ZeoBak, AF -NP Pro, [daily for Bacteria]

And Small Quantities of (Polyp Booster OR AcroPower OR AF Vitality) after lights go out. [for Nutrients, Vitamins, Aminos ]

I do have one more fish (Blue Green Chromis) that I rescued from my other tank (Since other 4 Chromis wouldn't let him eat). BULLIES!!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4220/34828275081_a0e6db520b_c.jpg

The Chromis has found a nice spot, and all the fish have accepted him right off the bat.

Onward...

Wally.B
06/03/2017, 12:55 AM
ALK Dropping Fast (NEED TO START DOSING)

So I did my REAL First Auto Water Change.
-> No Salt Mixing
-> JUST FLIP ON THE HEATER SWITCH till water matched tank.
-> PUSH THE BLUE BUTTON

I actually did an ALK test while the WC change ran.

And I was shocked that my ALK dropped from 7.5 to 6.5 Since 6 days ago.

So I guess the Quantity of SPS Frag, not Size is consuming Alk.
-> Weekly Water changes (5%) is not enough to sustain ALK.

Perfect timing since I just finished coding the FINAL FEATURE on the Doser.
A fine tune adjustment. Bit of overkill, but nice to have.

The Basic Calibration Mode is filling a vial to 10ml and DOSER stores that calibration. It's pretty close, but not perfect.

This Fine tune Calibration Mode will allow me to adjust Each Dosing Pump-Head Calibration to perfection.
What's nice is that I can get all dosing heads matched up perfectly, so the liquids will drain equally when dosing is set equally. Thus I will run out of A/B/C liquids at the same time.

Here what the Fine-Tune Calibration Looks like:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4202/34676862230_a61b5265fc_c.jpg


I topped off ALK to 7.0 for tonight manually.

Next it to setup dosing tubes, and start AquaForest Componnet 1/2/3 dosing.

GLAD I Caught the ALK drop since going below 6.5 would not be good.

reefmutt
06/03/2017, 06:46 AM
Good to see the alk consumption is up.
Soon your be posting growth shots!
Wally. Your system is getting very serious!
I would bet corraline algea growth is also consuming ca/alk

sensei
06/03/2017, 01:30 PM
Wally,

how many hours of metal halide are you giving for coral?
you have very nice frags in there

Wally.B
06/08/2017, 10:15 AM
Wally,

how many hours of metal halide are you giving for coral?
you have very nice frags in there

Hi Jorge,
Long time no hear.
How are your GTA frags doing?
I lost all the one's we bought at the roughly the same time as you did.
I now know why. I got busy, and move my doser to other tank. From what I see happening now my Alk is dropping incredibly fast. Approx 0.2 dkH a day. And my Calcium is also dropping.
This happened to me last time, but I never paid attention, so Alk dropped below 6, and I topped up too fast (few times). Very bad.

But I am prepared now with a new Doser.
I actually finished adding new feature (Micro Calibration). I learned with playing that my Kamoer pump are very accurate. I now can dose BY THE DROP.

Anyway to answer your lighting question.

It is important to give all the LIGHTING information.

HEIGHT: All Lights are 13 " above Water Surface (except 1 T5)
DEPTH Most Acros are around 8" below surface of water. (21" Tank Depth)

LIGHTING
-> 2x 175 MH (14000k Phoenix Bulbs)
-> 2x T5 (1xBlue Plus, 1xCoral Plus)
-> 1x LED Home Made Fixture (15 Cree LEDS, Blue/White @ 40% Max Setting)

[B]PHOTO PERIOD
-> MH(175W) (6 Hours)
-> T5 (ON/OFF 3 Times when MH off) (5 Hours Total)
-> LED (Ramp UP/DOWN 0%-45%-0%) (Approx 12 hours)

I do plan on lowering lights down to 10inch, but I like higher since it spread the light more evenly between the two MH Bulbs.

The LED fixture I put in between the MH lights as a filler.

Maybe this Picture is better than my explanation.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4274/35178756585_9794c4223a_c.jpg

sensei
06/08/2017, 10:43 PM
Wally,
your DIY dosser looks fantastic.
I will be waiting to see how your corals grow, keep us updated with pics.

p.d. I lost several of the nice frags I got from GTA, I still have several of them.
I have made some changes in my main dt and hope things get better.

take care

Wally.B
06/09/2017, 11:36 AM
DOSER (II) Plus Controller (Fully Installed)

Just in time as I really need to start dosing.

Before I nailed everything down, I did some final touch ups.

-> TRI-Color LED Status Indicators on Dosing Heads
-> Dosing Tray / Tubing Runs / Utility Tray

This is overkill on Lighting, but it looks cool and I will eventually take advantage of the Status indicators when I add a Maintenance Scheduling Reminder Feature into the Controller.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4286/34813185110_a6d77509a4_b.jpg

This completes the Tech Talk about the controller.

Hoping next photo's will all be about Coral Growth, Colors, etc.

And I can tell that for the first time in 3 years, SPS growth has really taken off.
I see bumps and new appendages starting on many of the Frags.

Also different from Past, the Colors of the Purple SPS are hanging in.
In past they would all fade to brown.

Also PE extension is everywhere!!

Onward. (Looking forward to Tonight's Weekly Water change (Button Push) :)

Wally.B
06/09/2017, 02:25 PM
TANK Circulation Setup Details

I did a calculation on the Tank Circulation.

I can't go max (especially on Return Pump), but I can certainly make this tank Swirl.

I found a balance that makes fish happy, and I respect everyone's sleep time.


Here are the details:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4287/34357915164_b5e31790ab_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4195/34815902920_7bcff7479b.jpg

If I add Fish Fin Movement, close to 11,000 Gallons per Hour :)

I need to figure out Night mode.

Should I slow things down for SPS to allow PE extension for feeding?
Just a short while?
Any Advice? (I have read many variations on the Forums)

Wally.B

Wally.B
06/09/2017, 05:03 PM
OH OH (Need to watch this Patch) Is it Algae? Good Kind? Bad?

Hmm. I notice Green SPOT this when the MH lights came on. Not as visible during Blue Lighting.

Doesn't look like Hair Algae, but it is something Algae.

The Glass bottom Spot has been there for a long while, but I never noticed it on rocks.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4248/35163786976_9dbf749c4d_z.jpg

Algae Scrubber is running very well so this shouldn't be happening.

Time to do a Full Water Test ( Most important PO4,NO3).

Maybe time to cut back on the Additives (been doing Aminos).

If it does naturally continue, I need to get an Algae Blenny.
The one in my other tank, won't let a spot of Algae hang around for a day.

sensei
06/09/2017, 05:32 PM
Wally,
inspect it to see if it is green cyano

Wally.B
06/09/2017, 06:22 PM
Wally,
inspect it to see if it is green cyano

Green Cyano???? I never heard of that before.
How "Do I check it?"

When I look close at the Bottom Glass stuff, it is extending like a Hair Algae Strand, or something Algae like.
On the rocks it's a fine haze, but looks like Algae.

I forgot that I have ZERO snails in DT.
The few that I had went into Sump.

So I got a few snails for the TANK. (Store didn't have any Trocus Snail which are my favourite)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4247/34818437660_6f502666dd_z.jpg

Turbo's should polish the Algae Haze Clean.

Dripping them properly so they don't die.

If Algae runs out, I can always put them into Algae Scrubber section where there is plenty to eat.

sensei
06/09/2017, 07:53 PM
green cyano is film like, bright color
check the flow in those areas
similar to red cyano but green

Wally.B
06/10/2017, 11:49 PM
green cyano is film like, bright color
check the flow in those areas
similar to red cyano but green

Hmm. It is bright green, but the Glass bottom spot is Glass bottom since highest circulation in tank (Sand won't stay there).

Watching to see if the Turbo's eat it.
Hard to tell after one night, but I did put the NightVision TimeLapse camera on tank and All Snails were crazy busy.

Wally.B
06/10/2017, 11:57 PM
DOSER (II) Plus Controller (Going With Real Chemicals) ** ALL TESTING PASSED **

The Water changer feature of Controller passed with flying colors. No issues.

Now the Doser Testing is also perfect, so time to change to real Additives.

I do have a 1/3 bottle of Aquaforest Component 1,2,3 to use up.
That will be a good slow/safe start (since not too concentrated).

I approximate 50ml/day to start.

Thus my final testing was done to match that. 100% perfect

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4241/35229193875_84e417b87a_z.jpg

I don't think I will continue with AquaForest, 1,2,3 since it's too diluted.
When/If these Acros start getting bigger that could be like 200-500ml a day, which 4 litre bottle wouldn't last too long. Plus $. Bottles are nice, and will be keepers.

I am thinking B-Ionic Alk and Calcium (which I use for other tank). Dosing would roughly 20-50ml a day.

Or just go with Randy's Home made recipe formula for A/B. [Made from Kent's Turbo Calicum, and Plain old Baking Soda]

I have never seen a need to Dose Magnesium (I'm seem to be around 1400) and can't go much lower with Water changes.

Things may change if I start getting growth.
We'll see.

Wally.B
06/11/2017, 12:33 AM
DOSING LINE Installation (Couplers) ** Air Bubble Leak Problem Solved **

Thought I would pass on this bit of information on dosing line install.

I had issues with Air Bubbles entering lines from my Dosing Container.

It was the Connections on the Intake of the Dosing Heads.(at Dosing Head and Container) ** INTAKE/Draw side only **

The high quality Soft Silicone tubes are the best, but expensive for long run.
So on Intake I used a tiny piece of the Soft Silicone tubing.

And the Dual Sized Coupler make a great seal.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4213/35099974791_c18a78a239_c.jpg


** NO MORE BUBBLES :) **

Wally.B
06/12/2017, 02:49 AM
STARTED DOSING (AF 1,2,3) - Tank Baseline Parameters


Being Extra Safe.....(Even though I pre-tested everything like 50 times)

-> Dosing into Bottles and manually adding to Tank.
-> For now will use up AF Component 1,2,3 and see how things go with SPS Consumption.
-> Starting with 1/2 Calculated Dose, and will measure if correct.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4268/34867519240_24a3631aee_c.jpg

This was Tank PH Swing Prior to Dosing.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4250/34867572140_43bdbea015_c.jpg

Will do the Semi-Auto Method for a week and then switch to Fully Auto.

reefmutt
06/12/2017, 07:44 AM
Looking good Wally. You mentioned testing parameters a few post back. Did you get the tests done?
How's that green stuff? Looks like green cyano to me as well.. is it still around?
Looking at your flow, cyano seems like the last thing you'd get but you never know. Aminos and cyano often go hand in hand.

Wally.B
06/12/2017, 08:36 AM
Looking good Wally. You mentioned testing parameters a few post back. Did you get the tests done?
How's that green stuff? Looks like green cyano to me as well.. is it still around?
Looking at your flow, cyano seems like the last thing you'd get but you never know. Aminos and cyano often go hand in hand.

The Green Stuff isn't spreading. But appears to be some kind of Algae.
Watching to see if Turbo's do anything to clean up. They need to eat.... (There is no other Algae in tank. Even on Glass it's getting very light)
For now will slow down Amino's. Not feeding Corals any food yet.

Will do a full water test once I stabilize the Dosing, but the basic tests are above.

-> ALK=7.5 Adjusted. (dropping fast daily)
-> CALC=455
-> MAG=1250 ( Now dropping. First time EVER!! )
-> Potassium=420 (Wonder how it got over 400. I did add KCL once a week ago to raise from 390, and I calculated to get to 400)

Should I be getting a Strontium Test kit (Expensive). Seems that the Masters all test for this. But my SPS load is small.
I figure that Between Weekly Water changes, and AF 1,2,3 Dosing, Strontium and other Trace Elements should be fine.

Wally.B
06/12/2017, 08:43 AM
Some (tiny) Burnt Tips on SPS

So I guess a few weeks back when I didn't have doser running, I may have had a tiny ALK spike with Adjustments.

I notice that a few acro's have tips burned (tiny tiny bit). And at these tips there is some brown algae forming. Below that TINY tip burn, all is fine.

Should I just leave alone, or cut the tips?

I figure cutting will just make the tip exposure worse (bigger), so leaving alone and watching.

Wally.B
06/13/2017, 04:34 PM
Here is a picture of one the SPS corals that is bleaching at the tips.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4256/34481988253_2a7fce3e86_z.jpg

Only a couple are doing this.

To be safe and for a possible recovery, I dropped MH down from 175W to 150W.

It could be related to the fact that the Supplier of the Frag did have a mini crash (Calcium Reactor Failure during vacation) and many of his corals got burnt tips. So this could be a burn tip hand me down issue and nothing to do with my tank.

All the Frags purchased earlier are doing fine.

Wally.B
06/13/2017, 04:42 PM
DOSER (II) Plus Controller (Couple of Water Level Sensor for Water Change BIN)

The Cheapo Level Sensor arrived from China. I will be build a Mini Controller to do Auto Water Changes in other tank (Since I love it).

I built a couple more Water Level Sensors for the Water Changer Bins.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4216/35251517306_364cda37a1.jpg

The New-Water Bin Sensor will sense to ensure there is enough water to do a water change (Also give me warning that it's fill up time).

The DUMP-Water Bin Sensor, will sense that Bin it getting close to full and time to empty so water Change can be done.

This extra bit of failsafe mean I can go Total Automation with Water changes.
I can consider increasing Bin Sizes.

I will also have confidence to even do Scheduled Water changes, without supervision.[/IMG]

Wally.B
06/14/2017, 08:14 PM
Four Very Special SPS Frags (Sunset, Gomezie, Pink Milli and PINK CADILLAC)

So with things going well, I went on a hunt for the a few missing Colors. (Blue, and Yellow).

I went to a new Store that Fragbox.ca has moved to.

He had exactly what I needed, and unfortunately (MORE).
I say unfortunately since I brought home some Amazing Corals and Rare SPS, and I just spent the most ever on a single frag.

However what I learned from Past, in my other tank, is that spending a bit more for something Special (like my Aussie Torch, Golden Frogspawn), give years of viewing enjoyment. IF THEY DO WELL!!

The rare one is a Reef Raft Pink Cadillac.

The other are quite amazing too. Got my YELLOW (Sunset). Got my BLUE (Gonezie). A awesome (Pink Milli).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4218/35146981842_b087451513_b.jpg


As much as I am excited and Happy with the new additions, I am TERRIFIED at the risk I'm taking.

I do have some confidence that things will be stable.

I still worry about how to setup the proper lighting.

Here is how I placed the new Frags.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4246/35183922091_d845f7d9b0_c.jpg

Middle is safe (but colors may not keep if not enough lighting).

I did measure these Frags at Fragbox's lighting setup (with a Lux Meter, Not Par Meter). Appears that lighting was stronger than my tank running at 150W MH. However Lux is not accurate, and doesn't account for my T5's, or my LED.

Going to be watching this tank very closely.

Wally.B
06/14/2017, 09:12 PM
FIRST OVERHEAD PHOTO (Of New Tank Setup)

Since this is the Beginning, I move the lights out and got one Top Top to compare to some day in the future.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4269/35314861465_d5b68c5291_b.jpg


The photo was taken with all Lights off, except the side Cheapo White LED strip.

You can see the NEW Growth on the Red Montipora that started a couple of week ago when things got stable.

Wally.B
06/15/2017, 11:37 PM
I DON't TRUST MYSELF WITH ADDITIVES (Time for a Planned Dosing Routing)

From lessons learned in past, when I start with Additives and things go well, I tend to overdo things (which lead to problems like Algae).
Life with Work/Family also distracts me at times.

So I put together an Structured Schedule, to spread things out.


ALL BOTTLES are labelled with HAND SLAPPING dosing regime.

I've considered each product to include something for each:

-> Water Clarification
-> Trace Elements & ALK, CALCIUM, MAG
-> N&P reduction
-> Bacteria
-> Coral Growth/Color Stimulation

I am using Each Product under the recommended amount. About 1/3 or less.

Here is the current plan.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4239/35168915942_fe9400123d_c.jpg

This chart and the Bottle Labels will keep me under control.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4215/34492437324_4aa0870736.jpg

I think this is a Safe dosing plan. Not aggressive but some small benefits possible.

Always adjustable as I watch corals react, and I make Water Measurements over time.


And YES, I have decided to do ( TWO 2.5 Gallon Water changes a Week ) , VS ( ONE 5 Gal Water Change )
This is just for the beginning, and mostly since Water Changes are just a button Push now. [Any amount from 1/4 Gal to 8 Gallons] .
From Reading the Article posted above, this is a Middle ground (some water wasted), but good on Toxin removal, and stable Water Parameters.
This will probably reduce my DOSING requirements for (ALK, CALC, etc). That is why I am going with only 5ml a day a this point. (Way under).

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 12:23 AM
** NO CORAL FOOD ADDITIVES **

I do have several corals foods.
Some I use in my Mixed tank (Reef Roids, Coral Frenzy, Reef Chili, AF Coral Food & AF Pure Food). The last two were specifically bought for this SPS tank.


A FEW reasons for not using Coral Foods Quite Yet (if Ever) are:

-> Current Goal for these Young Frags is to keep them Healthy and get them to grow.
-> Counting on Fish Waste to feed them along with the additives above to supplement Aminos, Vitamins, and simulants.
-> Don't want to pollute the tank at this early stage. I need a chance to observe the corals, and not have "What if" thoughts if things go bad.

I probably am starting too aggressive with the Additives, so why compound the problem with Foods.


HOW EVER THE BEST REASON IS THIS!!

Last time I over did things, few year back, the tank has a SMALL Cyano Bloom :) (It eventually went away)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4239/34526418523_ddfa92ae1c_b.jpg

BUT RIGHT AFTERWARD....FEW MONTHS LATER.
It looked like this. (I never recovered from that GHA Bloom. Tank was torn apart and scrubbed).
(Wasn't just the food, it was a Ligthing Design Error with too much RED LIGHTING. Figure that out that afterwards).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4253/34493163834_48b8aa69ba_b.jpg


That Green Hair Algae Bloom, is the main reason I built a Brand New Sump with a Built-In Algae Scrubber!!

The Scrubber is actually running very nicely.
Reached a certain maturity just this last week. I no longer have to pull out and scrub the screens. Which was a bit of a Chore.
The Algae growth has gone from a thin/slimy GHA type, to a more thicker Spagetti like Macro Algae.
I just cleaned it without removing the screen. Just reached in a pulled out a clump.

Enough said.

Onward!!

Wally B.

reefmutt
06/16/2017, 01:10 PM
Hey Wally, I wanted to visit March's new shop a few weeks ago when I was in Toronto but I ran out of time. I'm jealous! I would have spent too much as well..
For what it's worth, my pink Cadillac is the most expensive frag in my tank as well..
Looking at your list of things to add and was wondering about the no pro.. do you need it? I guess at one drop a day, it's not a lot..
where are n and p right now?
With your algea growing well, maybe it's not necessary..
Then again, with all the other stuff your are adding, maybe you will..
I'm wondering about adding all those things all at once like that.. it's a 0-60type approach which may still be too aggressive.. maybe not.. you are starting off pretty slow but still..
As for the burnt tips- probably not your system.. I usually cut them off because I find a fresh cut is easier for the recovering acro to grow over than an algea infested tip...

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 01:27 PM
Matt,

Yes March's new Store is Amazing.
On top of the Spectacular SPS collection, he now carries a full stock of Premium Dry Goods.

You are right about the Additives. I am having 2nd thoughts about any Coloration additives like (Phols Xtra). Let these Corals grow/color naturally. They will be getting everything they need from Twice-A-Week Water changes (50% Premiun Tropic Marin Pro Salt, 50% AquaForest Reef Salt).

I just checked the tank and the few spots of Green Whatever are almost gone. Those two Turbo's are doing a great job. When tank is clean, I will put them in Algae Scrubber for recharging.

Note even though my fingers itch for doing Drops of this and that. This new schedule is holding me back 90% from what I was doing last couple of weeks. You know me.

I will try to cut down even more.
Maybe just stay with the Water Changes for a while and see how things go.

Also I have more time, so am spending time cleaning glass and pumps from any build up.
I do notice since I have the Gyre, and Sea Swirl heads the top of tank (close to intense lighting), they get build up the quickest. So regular cleaning will eliminate the Hot Spots.

I'm pretty excited about the Pink Cadillac. So tiny, but I watch it all day long. It's special.
I also can't avoid looking at the Sunset. Never had something so Yellow and Contrasting in my tank.
The Blue Gomezie is pretty cool too. Read up that it grows very slow.

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 02:17 PM
I can breathe a bit Easier.

Turbo's are really polishing tank. :) (Leaving only Spots of Coraline Algae Behind :) :) :) )

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4253/35308168016_bb70b4b7ce_c.jpg

Total reversal in just a week!!

I really needed a few snails, since after my rebuild I didn't restore any.

HERE IS PROOF (It was teamwork. Turbo's, Magaritta and Astrea Snail)

https://youtu.be/Wroj0yzsgRA

You tube video is 1 minute Timelapse using Web CAM with Night Vision.
On same area where as Photo Above.

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 05:00 PM
I have PERFECT Lighting (For these SPS frags) BRS TV Video

Well some luck.

BRS TV just put out a investigative video on Ideal Lighting for Corals (Specifically some SPS details)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62_FdPutmAQ

What is Absolutely Great is their Setup is almost exactly the same as my tank.

Two MH LIghts (250W), and Two T5's (Coral Plus and Blue Plus).
I do have the LED but it's more for accent/off peak our viewing.

What they show with their measurements is almost exactly the same as when I did my Par readings in my tank (shown in post above).

Their recommended PAR Target is around 250-350 PAR. Their measurements show some higher spots nearer the Lights and at the bottom where more reflection on glass occurs. (I didn't know about the lower spots having more reflection near the glass. Reflection Angle makes this happens)

I am running my lights at around 14" for more spread. Their experiement was done at 6 (to not spill light over tank, but I can spill for better even distribution, since my Lights over tank are in Sump Room, behind wall)".

Plus I am currently running my lights at 150W, but can go as high as 250W in the future with a flip of a dial on the Switchable ballast.

So things look very promising, and I need to stay on the low side, till these corals acclimatize and grow up.

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 06:08 PM
I am making some Small adjustments to my Lighting Schedule after viewing that Video.

I also have slightly changed the Weekly Schedule (Further Cutbacks on Additives, plus one new one I missed AF Build)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4233/35221236511_1b92e77cd3.jpg

Even though there is a reduction overall, it is spread out to give me something to (drop) daily.

Sundays will be maintenance day (ie Algae Scrubber, pumps, Skimmer, etc)

Wally.B
06/16/2017, 07:05 PM
LIGHTING SCHEDULE (Acclimatization)

Very small adjustments, but here is the lighting schedule for next while.

I found out I had an T5 Actinic bulb, so I replaced it with a Blue Plus.
The other T5 is a Coral Plus.

I actually raised the lights 1/2" inch more for more even spread.
Now Lights are 14" above waterline.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4208/35311880836_dcac50923c_c.jpg

I like to stagger the different bulbs, since it adds variety to all day viewing.
In general the PAR Level RAMPS UP and DOWN.

JonezNReef
06/17/2017, 09:20 AM
Awesome stuff. I just read your entire thread and though most of it is over my head I love the DIY involved in this and the amount of detail in both the project itself as well as the documentation of it all. I will be following along your journey

Wally.B
06/17/2017, 12:08 PM
Hey Jonez,

Welcome along for the ride. Hoping this time it won't be another Rollercoaster of Terror.

I document in detail for myself, however when folks like you chime in the encouragement helps to detail more so.

I find it strange when I look at the # of view this thread is getting, every time I post, that I don't get a Hello from folks once in a while.
If people want to be silent viewers I'm perfectly fine with that.
Maybe a PM to say they are along for the ride is another way. Doesn't really matter, since I will continue my personal log regardless.

I never posted a picture of How This Tank is situated. Behind the wall as seen in the Sump Room Photo.

The Tank is in my Office wall, in front of my Desk where I work and spend Hobby time.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4233/34977285750_bf625906ed_c.jpg

I will share another Project I have brewing in back of my Mind.

I get a feeling with all the Automation I'm putting in, I will be left with little to do (Feed Fish, Clean Glass, Fill Bottles). PERFECTLY FINE WITH THAT.

So the project will be an Advanced (Fun) Reminder Robot, which will sit on my desk and Interact with me, fish, even watch the tank.

It's a COZMO AI Robot, that has a Programming Toolkit that you can program to do anything, with built in Vision, Speech, Intelligence.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4208/35234358461_2c44f9a586.jpg

It was a Christmas Gift Toy for Kids. They enjoyed for a bit, but now collecting dust.

This project is along way away....

JonezNReef
06/17/2017, 01:01 PM
I know how you feel about people posting as that happens with me too. I think more people are into the high dollar fancy equipment over the DIY stuff. Personal I love the DIY things and get blown away by what some people come up with. I use my thread as more of a personal reference and documentation too.

Looks like you are on the right track for a great tank. And the cosmos thing looks interesting

Wally.B
06/17/2017, 01:21 PM
I know how you feel about people posting as that happens with me too. ....
.... I use my thread as more of a personal reference and documentation too.

Yes, this thread is for my Documentation. I lose track of Tank Photo's, since I take too many, and they just get backed up with all other Family Photo's.
Reef Central Thread is best for history archive since I only post the milestones, and make effort for the Photos for posting.

I still need to tune up my Photo skills. I see folks taking photo's with Iphones that look better than what I get with my SLR.
Even took a SLR course and learned an bit to improve Tank Photos (but I still never get those great Closeups, with Polyps in high detail).

I am going to try this.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4271/34556024963_0e98ea4ba4.jpg

I picked up this used (S95 Camera with IkeLite Scuba Housing). Great Price ($110 for both) since it has a broken button (Flash...which I would never use). Plan is to use on next snorkelling vacation, since last vacation we got one of those Zip-Lock Baggie kind of Vacuum sleeves for Iphone. (Not a single picture came out).

Might work for some better photo's, since I won't be struggling with the whole Tank Glass Problem.

I'll be going into the Tank (Literally) for these photos.
Too bad Cozmo isn't a remote submarine (waterproof) :)

Wally.B
06/17/2017, 10:44 PM
Water Parameter Tests (After a couple of Weeks) of Stable Automation (Water Changes/Dosing).

So here are the Steady State Numbers on Water Tests.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4272/34986691550_2a05ceb61c_o.jpg

All great. Nitrate could be lower, but better than in the past which was 5-10 range.

I can tell things are different from the past.
Water kind of look ultra clear, with a sparkle.

Corals Frags are not fading to brown. Even the ones I got weeks ago.
Some brightening up (pinks), other darkening their pigmentation (Purples).
Every Frag is glowing green with Phosphoresce under Actinic, or UV light.

I do have one VERY OLD original Digita Coral. Not as Red as you see in Stores or other folks tanks. Maybe needs time to recover after months of abuse.

I am really happy with the setup and automation at this point.

Looking forward to some growth, where they Frags will have a chance to show what they can do.

Wally.B
06/18/2017, 01:26 AM
FIRST FRAG Photo (Compare)

Posting my First FRAG Compare Photo. Frag Acquired 3 Weeks ago and NOW.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4226/34565808133_1c6efb85c4_o.jpg


Appears I'm losing some of the ORIGINAL Green coloration (shifting to brown). The other pigment colors are somewhat ok.

Is this Lighting (Needs more)? Something else?

Most important is the Frag is looking Healthy. PE is there.

I have much room in this system for Lighting/Circulation adjustments.
Need to learn more about both (and tune tank). Need to learn about Coral Placements.

Goal for now it Frags stay alive, then next goal is some grow growth.

JonezNReef
06/18/2017, 12:24 PM
The before picture looks like it has more actinic lighting. Could be why it doesn't look the same colors as before. If it is truly browning out that usually is a sign it needs more light

Wally.B
06/18/2017, 01:05 PM
The before picture looks like it has more actinic lighting. Could be why it doesn't look the same colors as before. If it is truly browning out that usually is a sign it needs more light

Yeah, it could be lighting (no Actinic), camera setting, etc. ( I need to be consistent) for comparison photos.

But Watching closely.

I know my lighting is on the low side, and that is safer till the corals Acclimatize (some are newbies).

My lights are at 15" above water, and I can lower much more. Lowest I will go is 12"
My MH Bulbs are 250W each, but running Switchable Ballast at 150W for now.
Plenty of Sunlight Power on standby. (PLUS my Main Lighting PhotoPeriod is only 6.5hours. Target is 8 hours)

Learned lesson last time, when I went too aggressive with Lighting intro. I bleached some corals to death in one day.

They will grow with lighting they have for now. Then with new growth I can tune up for coloration.

Plus the AF Component 1,2,3, Dosing is only 2 days. Part 3 has minerals and trace elements (Iron, etc). Let that kick in for green, etc.

MY CURRENT PLAN IS:

1) Under-Dose - All Additives (except ALK,CALCIUM, MAG)
2) Under Dose - Lighting (Intensity, PhotoPeriod) (And ramp up VERY slowly)
3) Circulation - Moderate (Variety, Few Power Sweeps, Semi-Calm at Night, but still active)
4) OVER DO - Water Changes For now
5) Maintenance Keep Tank Glass Spotless, Clean all filters, Powerheads, Algae Scrubber, skimmer (Weekly).

Slow, Steady, Safe... Fine Delicately tune over time . (Based on Observations, and "only 1 change at time")

I learned since all points above, I didn't do before, and that was my root cause of every failure/problem.

I will however admit that I have a hard time on "Make one change at time', since I like to tinker :) !!

Wally.B
06/18/2017, 01:14 PM
FREE Time on my Hands (Re-use of Past Failures: Dead Corals, and Snail Shells) For Trickle Filter Section of SUMP

I have time on my hands since no more Water Changes, Alk/Calc top up, etc.

Polished the Tank Glass, Pumps to perfection.

Also got this idea to add (my bin of Dead Corals, shells) to the Refuge section of sump.
I had some there, but added everything from my collection. Only old stuff that is dead dry.

Washed, Soaked everything in RO water, then in Water Change water overnight.
I stired up the debris, to remove any air bubbles in snail shells.

I add my Live copepods (for Mandarin) to this section, so they have more places to reproduce.
Plus more porous surface area in Sump for Good Bacteria to thrive.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4284/35220288372_a44073e39e_c.jpg

This can't hurt. Plenty of products out there boasting "Made from Crushed corals".

There is good surface area, and water flows thru the debris. (Similar to the Marine Pure Bio-Wall I have in the main section of sump)

Wally.B
06/18/2017, 09:37 PM
TANK CIRCULATION (Re-Programmed) with Daily Power Sweep

So as I detailed in a Table in previous Post, the Circulation Pumps (ALL TOGETHER at Max-Power) have a potential of 10,000 Gal/Hour.

That Power is distributed in various setting, thus never all combined.
In general I'm running about 25% of that (ie 2500 Gal/Hour - STAGGERED) or 25x my Tank Water Volume. Evenings much less.

I never bothered to tune things up, so everything was a bunch of random setting.

I created a bunch of NEW Apex Profiles to mix up the tank more randomly, and also few Extra Quieter Night setting.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4251/35008233180_2a8c13ecca_o.jpg

I also added a Daily Power Sweep which I tested to ensure it's safe for corals, fish, and possible spills/overflow.

The Sweep Runs every night from 11:00 to 11:15pm, most of the power work in the first 5 minutes (PHASE 1).

The rest of the cycle is to Flush any suspended particulate from Tank, into Sump Filtration (PHASE 2)

A couple of pictures are best way of describing the Power Sweep.

PHASE 1: (Stir and Suspend Particulates)

1) Activates the two Koralia Pumps at the bottom of the tank
2) Then the Gyre going into Overdrive, to swirl the Tank (length wise)
3) The Jebao-CP 25 swirls the tank (Width wise)
4) Together along win some Swirl Swirl flow, the TANK WATER CHURNS.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4214/34552456014_93a8cafba7_c.jpg

PHASE 2: (FLUSH Particulates)

1) The Koralia Pumps Continue to keep the Bottom of the tank Circulating.
2) Now the DC Waline Return Pump goes into Overdrive via the Sea-Swirl
2) The Top Gyre and CP 24 pumps are off allowing Surface Circulation to move towards the Tank Return.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4234/34552457944_fd21329f76_c.jpg

I tested this programming and within 15-20 minutes the Tank is Crystal clear again.

I also ensure that circulation doesn't slow down too much right after Power Sweep, such that the suspended particulates don't settle on corals, rocks.

Since this is after feeding time, some trapped food gets raise into water column, and fish get a after meal snack.
Too bad for Clean up Crew. They need to work harder for left overs (which mean more effective clean up of tank).

By Midnight when Accent lights go out, tank is clean. Fish are exercised, and get some quiet circulation sleep time.
Corals now can open up their Polyps for nightly feeding.

Wally.B
06/18/2017, 10:16 PM
QUETSION ABOUT THE POWER SWEEP (Good or BAD for SPS).

I know that in general sweeping the tank to suspend the fine particulate is a good thing.

The power sweep creates a dust like storm. NOT A SAND STORM.

I belive that over time, the daily sweep will clarify the water more, since less particulate will be on the bottom.

Do SPS corals required the super clear water (ALWAYS), or is the DAILY particulate suspension ok?

I assume in the Ocean, the corals constantly get turbulent water with things like Storms and Daily Tides.

Maybe the SPS are not near the bottom and therefore the particulates never make it to SPS heights.

A fellow reefer on Reef Central mentioned POM (Particulate Organic Matter) and DOM (Disolved Organic Matter) and how important is to keep the tank free of both. Does this sweep help? Or make thing worse?

Maybe I should schedule the sweep less often than Daily.

I'm no SPS expert, so need someone who knows to chime in.
Thanks

Wally.B
06/19/2017, 12:36 AM
To be on the safe side, I just learned how to Program Friday Events on the Apex using Virtual Outlets,
and now the Intense Part of the Power Sweep is only Fridays. (Ie. Once a week).

The Flush still happens daily, but NO tank particulate Stir up with the 85% Power Gyre..

JonezNReef
06/19/2017, 10:09 AM
Im no expert on SPS either but I know that my sand gets stirred up by my gyre atleast once or twice a day depending on the programmed flow and I haven't had any issue with them yet. In fact I know that my SPS has been growning more uniform since I switched to multiple different patterns a day. I would say do what you think is best and monitor it closely and if you see any ill effect change it.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170619/915f8214060fc1d385dd27d70e44e807.jpg
Sorry for the blue light but when this picture was taken sand was all in the water column and you can see the PE
Same with this one
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170619/f4c331db1524a43ee2c5d7926b474c9c.jpg

davehead86
06/20/2017, 08:42 AM
I have a Tiger Goby and he stirs up a mess everyday. My SPS has full PE the entire day and has good color and great growth.

I wouldn't worry about a power flush situation or having stuff suspended in the water.



Also, I love your fish room, and your DIY abilities. I wish I had the time and money to tinker with stuff like this.

Wally.B
06/20/2017, 12:07 PM
Jonze, and Dave,

Thanks for the vote of confidence on the TANK Sediment Stir up.

I assume the benefits outweigh the negative in the long run.

I had a Diamond Watch Goby, and I loved him for keeping my Sandbed sparkly white. But I eventually got rid of him when he became abusive. He would fill his mouth with sand grains and spread over tank. Yes, the sand falling would catch in the current as start storms. But he got into making and dune piles in spots that made tank look messy. I had enough when he started filling my plating monti with sand.

I just tuned down the power of the Gyre Blast a bit (80% in pretty strong, but not crazy), and I increased Daily Blast frequency to once every other day.

Jonez, I can only dream about the PE you have. Maybe someday. Frags a still acclimatizing and not much substance to them.

Wally.B
06/20/2017, 12:24 PM
TUNING TANK [ For Phosphate (PO4) Level ] ** New GFO Media ** [For up-coming LIGHTING RAMP UP ]

So I looked through my Log of Historical Failures.

On close inspection, I noticed that they all started when I tried to Ramp Up Lighting. Problem at the time was tank wasn't setup as well (Old Sump, No Algae Scrubber, In-Frequent Water changes).

This time things are much better, but I need extra protection as Stronger lighting improve Corals, but risk is there for Cyano, and all Algaes (Even with the Algae Scrubber, since I do have tiny patches here and there).

My PO4 Level right now is 0.18 pm, which is not too bad, however it could be better.

I do buy GFO in bulk baggies, so decided to check my GFO reactor. I measured the reactor output water. PO3 was 0.11, just slightly below tank PO4. This kind of means Media getting old (Last time I change was a year ago). Would work but not for polishing PO4 down more.

After replacing GFO media, just one hour later, the PO4 was outputting at 0.05 ppm. That is much better and should help.

Wally.B
06/20/2017, 12:38 PM
Starting SLOW LIGHTING RAMP UP (Pars are certainly too low)

So with the P04 on the way down, and Nitrates safely under 5ppm,I am planning for a Slow Lighting Ramp up (starting this weekend, since new Frags acclimatized for over a week)

I have 3 ways to do this:

1) Lower Lights (From Current 14.5" down to 13")
2) Increase MH Bulb Output (From current 150W, to 175W, possibly up to 250W in the long run)
3) Increase Main Photo Period (from Current 6.5 hours to around 8 hours)

I know that I can do the increase with Confidence (if N&P is low) since I rented a PAR meter a while ago, and did extensive tests with the same lighting setup.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4288/35389862536_16f0bf8acd_z.jpg

I would guess my tank "right now, bulbs at 150W" is running around (150 for Par Level) at the middle. (I posted earlier a detailed Table of every lighting Combo Readings)
Good enough to keep corals alive. Safe enough to not damage any transition newbie frags.

Those par numbers measured before with Bulbs at 250W (250-350 PAR) are ideal for the middle of the Tank where most of my SPS frags are.

But that Tank Chart above is when Lights were running at 250Wx2, and 2x T5.
Also at 12".
I will never go that aggressive for a very long time. (Unless corals really tell me they want it).

For now my Target is:

1) Lighting Power (MH 175W x2 , + 2 x T5) + (Plus the DIY LED [PAR??] )
2) Photo Period (around 7.5 hours)
3) Lighting Height (13" which gives good spread, and less heat to water surface)

All will be charted in a planned way to ensure my itchy hands don't overreact to any coral improvements (Color and Growth) :)
At least for me, I quickly forget that I lowered light 3 days ago, and might do it too quickly.

I need to be DISCIPLINED (for changes). I have a very bad habit, I need to break. Automation and Written plans are what I need to not hurt this Tank.
Having the Super Expensive Pink Cadillac SPS frag helps a bit too. :) (Too much as risk now, compared to $5,$10,Max $30 frags of the past)

Wally.B
06/20/2017, 12:58 PM
My FIRST (Tiny) ACCIDENT [ In New Tank Setup]

It wasn't big, and won't happen again.

I was tidying up my fish food containers and there was an almost empty can of pellets.
Instead of doing the usual "pinch and feed", I couldn't reach the bottom, so I thought I'd shake a bit of the pellets out.

I tipped the can too much and a good 3/4 Tablespoon of pellets poured out :(

Glad I just changed the GFO media, since I'm sure NO3 and PO4 will spike a bit.

I should see the Algae Scrubber kick in.

I guess the Hermit's are laughing at me, for setting up the new Tank Sweep Circulation mode. :) and taking away some of their settled meals.

If I get another fish, it will be a grazer for picking up Food and Pellet from Bottom of tank.

Wally.B
06/20/2017, 01:52 PM
Kids Basement Playground (RETIRED / REUSED)

So I got those 3 Used Rubbermaid Containers, handed down to me from recent a Family House Move. They are clean since used only for storing clothing. No Chemicals.

I thought I would use a BIN for the Water changing station, but it took up too much space. The 12 Gallon Rubbermaids are more idea/Stacked.

Then I got an idea for using them New Salt Water Mix Resevoir instead. But where could I put them.....

I built a playground for the kids over a decade ago (for Winter Time). They have outgrown it over last 5 years, and it just was collecting Dust (Full of junky toys, stuff animals, etc).

Since it's right next to my Sump Room and Utliity Sink, I tied it up over the weekend.

The space underneath is perfect for the bin and a ton of storage above.
I will be getting rid of some of the buckets that I collected over the years (which used to be under the playground with other Fish Room Junk)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4238/35264407742_ba97098b03_z.jpg

This will take another notch off the pain of water change routine.
20 to 30 Gallons of Pre-mixed Water will be just right for filling up Water Changer bins. (Or for an Emergency Massive Water change. Something that I needed once with a ALK Dump)

Wally.B
06/21/2017, 12:04 AM
Phosphate (PO4) Dropping after new GFO Media.

After 24 hours, PO4 dropped from 0.14 to 0.10 ppm.

It will probably continue to drop, and I will turn off, or tune down reactor when/if it reaches 0.05.

I'm am not sure how the Algae Scrubber will react, but it will be interested to find out.

I do what PO4 to be detectable, so need some room on P04 Level, just in case Scrubber continues to consume P04.

I remember the nightmare I had during my Last Tank setup, where GHA Algae was blooming like crazy (Picture in Post above) and PO4 was 0.00 (Even the Hanna Phosphorus kit couldn't pick any level up PO4). I never understood that at the time, but now understand that during an Algae Bloom Algae consumes PO4 like crazy, so none in the water column (but a Ton leaching from the Rocks). (A big mistake I did, is I scrubbed and pulverized the Algae off the rock and siphoned/sift the Algae Scrub through a sock with water going back into my sump). Result was PO4 contained in the Algae Soup SPIKED my PO4 Level off the roof and severely damaged/killed the SPS corals.

Wally.B
06/21/2017, 11:27 AM
FRAGS (Early Positive Signs)

This is noting much for most Reefeer, but for me a step in the right direction (No bleaching, browning, or STN).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4280/34638648333_a98a8b3e35_z.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4204/34638647713_5d2fd27d79_z.jpg

That is the Pink Cadillac at the top left. Nothing much happening yet.

Patience, Patience.

Wally.B
06/22/2017, 12:18 AM
OOPS!! Another Mistake/Accident (But a Good One)

This better not become a pattern with this new Setup (Mistakes).

However when I took the photos of the Frags above (Earlier today), I manuallly turned on the BACK T5 (Coral Plus Bulb).

But I never turned it off, so it ran all day. I never could tell till all lights went out and the one T5 was still running.

One T5 at the back wouldn't cause any damage (like MH light left on).

But after I turned the T5 off, I shined the UV flashlight a the Frags (Both Front side and Back Side).
I could see the green glow, more prominent at the back of the frags, so this proves my lights being so high off tank are not enough lighting for these Corals (PAR wise).

The idea I just got. Rather then lower the MH fixture or increase the MH light power, I'm going to increase the two T5 Photo Periods (as the first ramp up on lighting).
Currently the BluePlus & Coral Plus (T5's) only run accent lights for a few hours (Very little as filler during MH lights).

This (2x T5 bit staggered) will be more gentler, and less prone to trigger any algae since they are more in the Blue Spectrum, but still some full spectrum in there.

Wally.B
06/23/2017, 12:00 PM
WOW!! The extra Lighting was needed (T5's). The Cut Tip healed in two day.

That one frag was bleaching at the tip. Just kept bleaching more. Not recovered for two weeks. Algae started growing on tip, so I cut off the bad part.

After I put on the extra T5 lighting (two days) worth, the tip is almost 100% healed.

So my theory was correct. My lighting setup has been too low all along.
But I could never ramp up in the past since Algae Bloom would start, and then it was a downward spiral.

So GENTLY, SLOWLY, I will continue ramping up the lighting.

Wally.B
06/26/2017, 08:23 AM
Good News!!! (PO4 dropped to 0.06ppm [50% reduction in 5 days] )


I tested twice with the Hanna Phosphorous Test Kit to be sure.

I guess the Algae Scrubber working in conjunction with the new GFO media is doing the job.

This is great considering I added another fish, and have been feeding a bit more.

The GFO reactor is running at slow trickle.

I can tell that the Algae Scrubber has slowed down (not producing Algae as fast).

Also the tank is now 99% Algae Free. New Turbo Snails are hunting everywhere for something to eat. They started going on the glass which is not typical. (Kind of cool, since they are doing great job, and I notice Glass Algae isn't building up as fast either). Double Whammy on Glass (Low P04 and Snails)

I'll check in a few more days, and if PO4 Continues to drop (ie below 0.05), I'll either reduce the GFO flow, or turn it off. Maybe in the long run, I'll put GFO reactor on a timer schedule.

I even allowed myself the luxury of feed the Corals (just once) some of the AF Coral Food after lights went out. Not going to start feeding daily, but once a week if PO4 continues to be this good.

JimON
06/26/2017, 09:41 AM
Hi Wally, what a great system you have set up! Your detail is fantastic. Looking forward to following along!:beer:

Wally.B
06/26/2017, 10:18 AM
Thanks JimON,

Welcome to this Journey.

I think I am as good as I can be with Chemistry, Stability, and Circulation.
After 3 SPS start-up failures, I'm bent on getting some success this time.

I have one last piece of this puzzle to solve (LIGHTING).

I THINK, I need to go MORE on (Photo period and Intensity).

I must go slow on acclimatization (to not burn anything), but I can't go too slow since I may loose the Colors that I inherited from Frag Purchases.

If I get to the Ideal Lighting Point, things should move forward.

Question is how to get there Safely (Using the 3 types of Lights I have [MH,T5,LED]):
- Lighting Intensity
- Lighting Fixture Height which means Spread
- Lighting Photo Period


My thinking is.....Colors can be brought back, Dead Corals you Cannot!!

Wally.B
06/26/2017, 11:11 AM
IDEA!! (Why mess around with the whole tank). Sacrifice One Frag (Bring high up in tank)

This just hit me. I have one Triple branch Bonzai Frag no yet mounted.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4288/35382239902_4efae4ba57_m.jpg

If these SPS truly needs more PARS, then rather than adjust lighting on whole tank and risk all the corals,
I can move one piece of same Bonzai up more rapidly toward the MH lights and if it burns (oh well), but what if it really takes off.

If there is a sweet spot, I can measure the PARS and then match other Corals placement (which are all kind of the same) with a lighting change.

JonezNReef
06/26/2017, 11:30 AM
My thinking is.....Colors can be brought back, Dead Corals you Cannot!!

You couldnt be more right with this statement!!

JonezNReef
06/26/2017, 01:52 PM
IDEA!! (Why mess around with the whole tank). Sacrifice One Frag (Bring high up in tank)

This just hit me. I have one Triple branch Bonzai Frag no yet mounted.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4288/35382239902_4efae4ba57_m.jpg

If these SPS truly needs more PARS, then rather than adjust lighting on whole tank and risk all the corals,
I can move one piece of same Bonzai up more rapidly toward the MH lights and if it burns (oh well), but what if it really takes off.

If there is a sweet spot, I can measure the PARS and then match other Corals placement (which are all kind of the same) with a lighting change.

Be careful with this because I have a Aussie Gold Tort that likes low par and is located near the sand bed, and my Tri Color Valida likes high par and sits at the top of the highest rock, while my Bonzai likes some where in the middle. If I move the Valida down it turns green and brown. If I move the Gold Tote up it will lose its color fast and starts STN. And my Bonzi starts to fade if I go above a certain point.
When I acclimate my corals to the light I start them at the bottom of the tank and move them up slowly until I find that particular corals "sweet spot". But then again thats just me.

Wally.B
06/26/2017, 07:17 PM
I will be careful.

However I need to understand more about my lighting setup.
I think I'm way under what I should be running for SPS requirements.

It's been a mystery to me all along, since I have custom lighting mix, a modified MH reflector, so I can't really compare with other setups. The Par readings that I took years ago (same setup) is all I have. And they all showed too low (at the Heights and Wattage selector I have now).

Here is the prototype for multi Level Bonsai placements, or maybe a few cheap $5 Medium Lighting Acros.

How high can the frags go?? :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4205/34716682744_5e620df89e.jpg

And with some adjustments to fit, here is the rack installed.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4213/35389833992_8249a46bc9_c.jpg

Wally.B
06/26/2017, 07:46 PM
Jonez,

I do understand that corals have different lighting and it took me two years to learn how to place Zoa, and Acans in my other tank. Was also a challenge to make them happy with circulation.
The nice thing about soft and some LPS is they are more forgiving to some degree.

When you say move SPS up slowly. How?

I find that when you break a plug and glue it, or even worse remove frag from plug and glue it, it's not easy to move, especially when it encrusts on rock.

Plus in my SPS tank, it's not about coral placement yet.

It's about increasing my MH output and adjusting fixture high for a medium tank setup. Low pars on bottom for lower lighting SPS, but enough power for higher lighting SPS at the top of my rock structure.
I have no will to add more rock to bring corals higher.
Lowering lights and increasing power is easier.

Then SPS placement will need some fine tuning.

JonezNReef
06/26/2017, 11:31 PM
I really like the frag rack. That's basically what I do for my corals I just didn't think of doing it that way. I just start frags in the sand and move them to higher places in the tank before I glue them down. But I might have to make a similar rack to get a idea on where to place it. As far as how much par some coral need I found this useful
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fBktpJ3umAs

Wally.B
06/27/2017, 12:28 AM
The Donkey Kong "Bonsai Acro" Challenge

So based on this Experts Article the Bonsai Acro ideally need "Medium to Strong Lighting" and "Medium to Strong Circulation". The Water Parameters [Calc 400-400], Alk [8-9], Mag [1300-1400].

Article Reference https://reefbum.com/sps/sps-deep-dive-purple-bonsai-acropora/

The only variable for this Experiment will be Lighting.

The control variable I have is one of my oldest Frag is a Bonzai, that has been dong well, and is in the middle of my tank.

I fragged up the Triple Branch Bonzai, and each branch is very close to same size.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4215/34720851704_fe7cf9c7e1_z.jpg

I'm starting all 3 Bonsai's all at the same level, a bit below the Tank Bonsai.

Slowly I'll stagger them apart at different lighting levels (moving up the Donkey Kong Ladders), and see how they individually do for (Color, Growth, PE, and Survival)

If I move the Dong Rack left, all will get stronger Circulation, as the Gyre Pump widens it's Spread.

THIS WILL HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY LIGHTING Capacity Better, and possibly learn more about SPS placement in general.

I bet if I post this Photo in my Office or Sump Room, my Son may notice it. (GAMING :) )

reefmutt
06/28/2017, 08:44 AM
Hey Wally, haven't checked in, in a while and MAN!!! You've been busy..
I like where you went with po4.. but personally, I have always had better colour with higher n than 1 or 2 ppm.. with h your po4 so much lower, I wouldn't let n get any lower..
Also the variable frag height test is a good one but I find that a bonsai may not be the best test subject as it has always look d better for me under lower light. I find that the areas between the branches will lighten and lose that deep purple when it is getting too much light.
One other thing to keep in mind- with the dropping nutrients, light acclimation tests may not be so reliable at the moment...
You might get better results if you maintain your new nutrient situation for a month or two before light testing.
Just the nutrient shift alone will change the colour of your acros to a degree.. not to mention the corals' sensitivity to light..
Oh, and that frag shot fro last page.. I would agree that the extra blue lighting probably contributed to the more green before shot.
Keep on Keepin' on, Wally!!
If my tank was the actual wall of my desk, I would get absolutely zero work done...

Wally.B
06/28/2017, 09:29 AM
Matt,

Finally a Problem that I can handle. Working on keeping N&P up. :) :) (Just feed fish more, and maybe a bit more on the Coral Food)

BTW. (THe Algae scrubber has screeched to a halt/trickle with N & P so low).

Yes, the plan is slow and steady with acclimatization.

I'll play with the Bonsai's at lower levels. One will be tested a bit on the higher side.

However I have these 3 "NO-Name" Acros, that have hints of color that might be better candidates.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4207/35202915640_7f5ee7fd87_c.jpg

What's weird in and upsets me is the Sunset Frag has gone from Yellow to white (but it isn't bleached, since it does fully Glow Green under Actinic).
I was told it can handle a ton of lighting, but not sure about that.

reefmutt
06/28/2017, 10:52 AM
that is weird about the Millie.. must have gotten stressed..
I'd leave it alone for a while.

Wally.B
06/28/2017, 01:01 PM
that is weird about the Millie.. must have gotten stressed..
I'd leave it alone for a while.
Yes, leave it alone.

Here is proof, since I left this Ora Bonape For Dead (after last tank bleaching), but same as Millie this time, it was still kind of glowing, and no algae infesting it.

Just in the last couple of weeks I notice Real Green and purple coming back.
The Green Circle show recovering part (new tips).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4232/35554759156_7fe8a3af9b_o.jpg

reefmutt
06/28/2017, 05:44 PM
It's pretty amazing how long corals can just sit there dormant and then one day, they just start up again.. I have frags I've been waiting two years for. Good colour but absolutely no growth. I've been waiting on a pearlberry for over two years...

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 12:50 AM
Decision to STOP all Additives (Going With Water Changes Only, Plus a tiny bit of Coral Food)

That Sunset Milli is now bleaching from Bottom up. Will not touch it and hoping it stops.
Since there was only one more left where I got the original, I picked up another Sunset, but this time left on Plug and put on KONG Frag Rack lower down at Mario Level.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4195/35435247812_7e8a2ae3dd.jpg


As since I love the Yellow Contrast look that I've never had in my tank before, picked up a couple more Yellows (A Wild Yellow Acro, and a Fuzzy Yellow Acro)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4226/35435572402_56e64569b4.jpg


I have also decided to Stop All Additives since Water Changes with Dosing Aquaforest Components 1,2,3 will provide everything Corals need naturally for such young small frags.

Dosing had to be increased from 5 ml, 7.5ml a day to 12ml (6.0ml twice a day) to keep ALK from dropping (Dropped to 7.0 from 7.5 few days earlier). This may not be enough.

Trying to keep ALK is stable at 7.5, CALC 425,
and Interestingly MAG dropped from 1420 to 1360 which is something that I've never seen before (Quick MAG Drop). I like being at 1360.

I'll see how things go for the next two months (Summer), and won't be wondering what's causing problems.

If I get past the Keep Alive Stage, Coloration will be something to keep me buzy in the Future.

reefmutt
06/29/2017, 11:58 AM
Great idea Wally!
Do you follow Big E's thread?
Between the water changes, AF components and feeding fish, you should be covered.
I'm marking June 29 on the calendar..
AT LEAST two months, no changes.

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 01:34 PM
Great idea Wally!
Do you follow Big E's thread?
Between the water changes, AF components and feeding fish, you should be covered.
I'm marking June 29 on the calendar..
AT LEAST two months, no changes.

No I don't follow Big E's thread. Please pass on, since always willing to learn.

Now you got me. In writing. No trigger happy additives, till Sept 1, 2017.

If I have any Additive withdrawal symptoms, I'll attack my other tank (which I also stopped Target feeding Coral Foods about 3 months ago, when I got busy with Doser Build. Only thing I added weekly is 5ml of Seachem Fuel, and I haven't gone back).

Hard to believe that I have that much restraint eh? Lessons of past have taught me the hard way.

With Auto Water changes, Algae Scrubber slowing down, glass cleaning too, I don't have much to do.
(Perfect for summer break, and I'm going to get back to my Commodore Amiga Retro Rebuild Project. Have a running thread on a Amiga Forum too.).

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 01:45 PM
Matt,

I'm very happy with the Frag Collection. Maxed out for this tank.

Can I add a couple more small fish? Will keep me busy to find something nice. Proper QT when I do, so close to Sept anyway.

BTW, Happy Canada 150th to you and all fellow Canadians.

reefmutt
06/29/2017, 02:46 PM
Yeah! Happy 150th! :)
With n under 5ppm, I would say you could probably add a couple small fish...
Ed's thread:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=25131433#post25131433
Stunning corals and seasoned knowledge.. well worth the full read through..

Sept 1.. we'll be watching. :)

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 08:58 PM
Matt,

Digging through Ed's Thread. Great stuff, amazing SPS!! Dream material for me and many.
First thing I want to do is suck up the little remaining Sand Bed I have left, since I'm having Brown Algae/Diatom on Surface.
(Was already thinking about removing it with Hose and Siphon, even before I read the thread)

I took a small precaution to Ensure "I keep my word" on "NO Additives" till Sept.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4074/35490381111_fa8c4432e4_z.jpg

I will have a tough time with my Daughters little wooden toy hammer and the Acrlyic Sealed Box.

Now do you have faith in me?

reefmutt
06/29/2017, 09:55 PM
Hammer or no, Wally, you could mcgyver a way into that box with your eyes closed!!!

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 10:37 PM
Hammer or no, Wally, you could mcgyver a way into that box with your eyes closed!!!
No I thought of that possibility.
See that time-lock dial on the left.
There is a Titanium wired that is welded to the 50,000 Volt side of the Metal Halide Ballast.
Any attempt to open the box Before Sept 1st, will vaporise all the liquids inside.
So if I want to dose drops again, I'll have to wait.

Wally.B
06/29/2017, 10:53 PM
.... and I did run into one small technical issue.

The bottle of AcroPower wouldn't fit in there!!

It's almost empty (About 25ml, enough for 5x 5ml doses), so I really need to ration it.

I will wean myself off Additives slowly, or I may get the ShAkeS.

Give me a small break :).

This tank setup should be as close to perfect/stable as one can get, and seeing that Sunset Mille bleaching was the last straw.
I will leave the millie in there, even it if dies, as a last reminder. Hoping it encrusts in nice Coraline. (So long as is doesn't start spreading Algae)

I really want to see what SPS Corals do Naturally for the first time ever. Trust me.

Wally.B
06/30/2017, 01:30 PM
TANK LOCKDOWN (No Changes) 1 Month (Entry SnapShot)

So after reading ED's thread, I got general feeling I'm on the right track with the new setup.

What I finally got an better understanding on in Circulation FLOW needed for SPS.
As he puts it "As strong as possible, without ripping skin off, and wide flow is better".
My Flow is all wide, and random, so I cranked up circulation a bit on ALL pumps, plus Return Pump(Sea Swirl), and general Circulation overnight. (Sorry Fish).

-> Dosing is stable at 12ml/Day split into 2 Doses, to Keep Alk at around 7.5-7.7.
-> Mag is a bit on High side 1400 (and AF Components have Mag/Calc in one, so will be tough to drop, but give it some time with Regular WC's and daily Stable Dosing).
-> PO4 dropped even more down to 0.03 ppm, so I slowed down the GFO reactor.
-> NO3 is still close to 5.0 ppm, and twice a week Water Changes should keep it there or lower.
-> K has dropped from 490 to 460, but again, WC and AF1,2,3 should keep that in check.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4277/34824919483_7da0d538d6_n.jpg

I moved the Lighting Fixture 1/4" inch down, and placed a few select loose frags a various levels on Kong Rack. S
I Split a nice Higher Light Acro compared to Bonsai into two and put each piece as two extremes. Bonsai's are at 4 different levels.
The Yellow Acro's for now remain below mid level (to be safe).


I will take close ups of each Frag for Reference, and show progress in a Month.

This is the Final Photo of Tank/Frag (FRONT and BACK with KONG Rack).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4210/35466284032_61fde15ccd_b.jpg

I do notice the brown algae film on the Sand Bed in the middle. Looks like a low flow area, so I may remove the sand with Siphon from there.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4135/35502287091_1418429057_b.jpg

Also after reading ED's thread, I've decided that I also won't be feeding Corals any Commercial Specialty foods, but will increase frequency of feeding fish. (As he calls it "High Energy")

So basically it will be Water changes (Extra if needed), AF1,2,3 Dosing and Equipment maintenance. (Nothing else)

Till next month....

Wally

reefmutt
06/30/2017, 01:46 PM
I'll be waiting.
And if I hear a news story about some crazy aquarist holding a bottle of acropower, who got electrocuted in his basement, I'll know what happened..

MarauderMike
07/01/2017, 01:16 AM
As an engineer I love your approach to reefing. I am just starting a tank, so I need to take some baby steps first. Hopefully some day I can aspire to this level of automation

Wally.B
07/01/2017, 12:59 PM
As an engineer I love your approach to reefing. I am just starting a tank, so I need to take some baby steps first. Hopefully some day I can aspire to this level of automation

Nice to meet a Fellow Engineer.
Strange, I graduated in Electrical Engineering, but had Computers as Hobby.
I never worked a single day in 31 years as Electrical Engineer after getting into IT. Never regretted having Engineering as a skill since it solves any problem.

If you are starting a tank you have a Ton to learn. And learning will never end, since as you get better you can take on tougher challenges.

But you will be on the right track with some Automation, so you can focus on the hard stuff (Tank Aging, Corals, Water Parameters, Maintenance, etc).

I would start with Auto Top up since that is the greatest pain that is simple to automate. Plenty of options out there. Or build your own (but test it 100%).

To be honest, I do love the Fish Tank Hobby, but I actually use it to it to find a purpose for Building itch, plus Hardware and Software skills.
Nothing more boring the designing a useless project to learn engineering.
Absolutely gratifying making something you can use.
Better if it makes life easier.


If you or anyone in interested in making a Dosing/Water Change controller, I am willing to share.

I built a 2nd DOSER(II) Plus controller out of duplicate parts. Took me 10 minutes. I use it to test new features, since real controller is NOW hooked up to tank (and doing things).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4284/35613577596_fbfeab1d3c_c.jpg


The parts are cheap, and wiring easy for anyone with basic electronics skills.

The hard work was 6 Months of writing the complex, very reliable, Bullet Proof code.

I'm willing to Share the Ariduno Sketch Code, if anyone would like.
I'd provide a wiring diagram to make the basic Doser in a Carboard box like above.
The code is written so that you can build a subset of all the features. (ie just a 2 Pump Doser, Nothinig else. Or go the max with everything I have).

Parts list if from China. Aliexpress. I would guess parts cost $60 total.

You'd have to get any dosing pump and make a nice case.

JimON
07/01/2017, 04:10 PM
Always a good read, Wally. Thanks for putting in the effort!:beer:

Wally.B
07/01/2017, 04:54 PM
NEXT PROJECT (Why Waste Good Water, Play Area, and Backup Frags in Future)

I wasn't planning on this, even though I tried something similar with my 2 Spare 10 Gallon Tanks.

I got this idea for setting up a Frag tank when since I'm doing two Auto Water changes a week (2.5 Gallon).

This is pretty good water, with ideal parameters, and has some nutrients.
Why waste the water down the drain.
I was thinking of using it for other LPS tank since it's way dirtier, and much higher N&P, but I hate to cross contaminated tanks. (ie spread Cyano to a perfectly running tank, etc)

So I have this work table that I got during Universtity from Someone's throw out. It's served me well for many dozens of projects.

THE AUTO WATER CHANGER, DUMP bin is right next to it.
So I could automate the Water change directly into the Frag tank.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4283/35269780910_36181d1c31_z.jpg

IT WILL BE IDEAL for a shallow Frag Tank. Not too big (1/2 the space), but enough for 30+ Frag, nicely spread out.
TOTALLY ISOLATED (Stand Alone)

I have that old Magentic 2x150W MH fixture, and I kept my MH Bulbs when I replaced them each year.
Bulbs will be good enough for a Frag tank. Would only run 1 bulb, and if OLD Ballast goes, I have the 2nd as a backup.

I'll be able to measure the PARS properly since MH.
Slight offsets in Frag placements for Lower Pars, Higher just centered above.

I have my old return pumps when I went DC returns.

THIS IS GOOD for "IF" I succeed in the SPS colonies to have a isolated backup of all my SPS.

Basically I have everything except a FRAG TANK.
May use bins, or acrylic, or whatever I can hack together.

** THIS PROJECT will "Keep my iching Tinkering Hands Away" from the SPS tank (Which is in NO CHANGE LOCKDOWN) **

Wally.B
07/01/2017, 05:36 PM
TWO FRAGS in SPS TANK (Not doing well at tips). Everything Else (OTHER FRAGS) are fine.

I'm not worried at all since all other Frags are in great shape.
Most importantly the Pink Cadillac.

But these two Frags are getting Algae take over at tips.
They are not bleaching like the Sunset, just not looking great.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4059/34816607484_c0fc3ce5b0_c.jpg

It may have been the initial introduction, and in-appropriate handling/acclimatization.

JUST WATCHING. I'm not going to even cut the tips at this point.

Wally.B
07/01/2017, 05:58 PM
Suspended Particulate (With Increased Tank Circulation)

Since I cranked up the overall circulation, the tank is having a lot of particulate floating around.

Not a dust storm, but tanks isn't crystal clear as before.
Mostly happening since the Sand Bed won't sit still anymore.

I think this is fine, since so long as it's suspended, it will go down the return and be cleaned up in Sump Filtration. (Will just take time).

Rocks all look like they are being basted clean continoulsly.

Wally.B
07/01/2017, 10:43 PM
SNAPSHOT (FRAG REFERENCE) Photo

A few Photo's of Frag, to compare later.

These Colors are not 100% accurate (Tough to get White Balance right), but close enough to show any contrasts and Whatever Little PE is there.
I don't enhance any Color Boost to Photos, so that I can see improvements in the Future. (I look at Photo on Computer, and Frag in Tank, and match as best as I can with my eyes)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4260/35622093906_7d0e8f7d54_b.jpg

Too soon to say, but it appears the Corals Look Better already with the No Additives after few days, and stronger Circulation, one day.

Phols Xtra was turning Red Planet Pink (Bottom Photo, Middle Frag), now it's returning to Red, with Green Contrast Colors.

Wally.B
07/02/2017, 08:22 PM
GREATEST IMPROVEMENT EVER (Semi-Automated)


After doing 1 button Auto Water changes, I'm spoiled.

So I improved the Kitchen Tank Water change a bit.


Some real advanced Technology :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4216/35551697621_7979e58185_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4214/35551692571_bdf8f706f2_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4213/35642676536_fa1a386dbd_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4263/35642678336_0fce5daf4f_c.jpg

OK......Not the most advanced, like the Basement Tank Total Automation..

Can be a Bit easier when doing 10 Gallon Water Change, since all can be done in sump (no need to do anything in DT).

But considering for last 15+ years, I did everything, hauling buckets between two floors, this is better. Much better.

Wally.B
07/02/2017, 09:50 PM
BTW.

Notice the Power Bar in above pictures.

I got these a few years ago from a Computer Store (I-CAN Brand). $12 Each.
I see similar version on Amazon for more $. https://www.amazon.ca/Rosewill-RPS-200-6-Outlet-Individual-Switches/dp/B005HTQAK8/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1499050550&sr=8-8&keywords=power+strip+6+outlets


They are great for Fish Tank Manual Control. I have 3 strategically placed.
(Sump1, Sump2, Sink).

Each Outlet has a Individual Switch with light, and that is really handy.

Kind of a form of Semi-Automation/Control .....
(To Turn on pumps, heaters, etc....Without Hanving to Yank the Cord, or use two hands to pull out properly)

Wally.B
07/02/2017, 11:05 PM
MAG too High (Calc Bit High for Balance Alk=7.5 dKH)

My MAG has reached 1500 ppm. I don't like that.
Salifert Test Turned Blue on Last Drop.

CALC is 430 which is not Balanced, but otherwise acceptable. Alk continues to be very stable around 7.5-7.7 (tough to read very accurately on Salifert Kit)

I am turning off AquaForest Component 1 Dosing for now.
It contains the CALC, MAG and other Trace Elements (Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Co, Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, Ni, Cr ).

Component 2,3 can continue since I need the ALK to stay stable.

I kind of don't like the AF Component 1,2,3 system since you can't control ALK/MAG individually.
I kind of had a gut feeling on that, but thought it might be ok for small Frags, light consumption load.

I need to check my New Water Mix (TM Pro, AF RS), and see what Mag is in there.
The 2x a week Water changes, could be topping up MAG as well.

If needed, I'll convert back to 2 Part B-Ionic (ALK/CALC) which I have for other tank. And use AF for other Tank, till things balance in the SPS tank..

I will have to learn the new Dosing Levels on B-Ionic. Will be lower (ml), so must be really careful on ALK dosing. (PITA !!)

Wally.B
07/02/2017, 11:43 PM
NEW SALT WATER MIX (MAG over 1500)?????

I tested my Large Bin of New Salt Water Mix.
SG=1.025 Alk-7.5

But Mag isn't readable by Salifert (>1500).
Is my test kit is bad? Contaminated. It's brand new.

Will test other tank, since I just did the Water Change with Reef Crystals.

Wally.B
07/02/2017, 11:51 PM
KITCHEN TANK (MAG =1500). Last Drop on Salifert Test kit.

This can't be true. Why would MAG in both tanks be so high.
Kitchen Tank hasn't had a water change done in a month.
And it's different Salt (Reef Crystals). And I dose B-Ionic (Calc/Alk).

TEST KIT MUST BE BAD.

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 12:01 AM
SOLVED, BrandNew Test kit BAD ( Did retest with OLD TEST KIT ) MAG=1290 (SPS TANK)

This is a first for me on a unexpired good to 2021 testkit. Salifert Test Kit is testing wrong.

I had my old (still not expired, till 2020) Salifert MAG kit. Left over, but enough for 3-4 tests.

MAG in SPS TANK is (1290). Which is perfect.


I can turn dosing Back on.
Everything is normal.

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 05:35 PM
TWO UPDATES: (Was Wrong. OLD "Mag" kit Bad. New Kit Good) and (Got used Frag Tank)

So I got a Aquaforest MAG test Kit. I usually don't like to change test kits, but AF Mag kit is Exactly the Salifert. Even the solutions, amounts, and tables.

But it comes with a Reference Solution, so I tested it with Salifert kit.
The Fresh New Kit is good. Thus the Old Salifert Kit tests were wrong.

LESSSON LEARNED: Don't use test kits down to the Last Drop.

This mean my MAG is just under 1500. In MAG higher isn't dangerous. Lower is. (That is what I understand)


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4099/35533115352_d8cb65fe03_c.jpg
And I found a used Tank on kijii. Bit scratched, but no leaks. Perfect size and glass.
I compared Frag tanks made of acrylic. For what I saved going used, I have something to work with. I was thinking 8" high, but now that I have it on table, 12" depth is ideal.

I have the OverFlow, so won't need glass drilling to start.

And what I didn't realize till I brought it home, is I have two Glass Plates from a Terrarium that I ripped apart (but kept each glass Pane, with Moldings).
They fit perfectly as Lids, to reduce evaporation, etc, and the little gap will ventilate enough to reduce condensation for better viewing.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4020/35662937346_7199fd9f11_c.jpg

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 06:48 PM
FRAG TANK (Parts)

I dug through my parts boxes, and found everything I need for Frag Tank.

Just need to find a Bin for Sump Container underneath. Not sure if 10Gal Tank is enough to handle the drain across such a large Surface Area. (Maybe).

Then get some Black Egg Crate and make shelving.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4238/34861973494_d05740f2f6_b.jpg

Hey, I just realized, I can do some additives in the Frag Tank :) :) :)

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 08:20 PM
One more Acro Dead (STN)

I saw this coming. That acro like the Sunset wasn't doing good from the start.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4061/35664921446_806c4bb09c_o.jpg

The other Frags are fine, so part of normal SPS success rate.

JonezNReef
07/03/2017, 10:32 PM
Hey, I just realized, I can do some additives in the Frag Tank :) :) :) LOL!
Looks like your set to go with the frag tank. What do you plan to use for filtration besides water changes? Do you plan on having fish in the frag tank?
I just recently decided to set up a ATS. Looks like it will be a good way to monitor nutrient levels without having to test so much. Plus I am running GFO at the moment and hope that once the ATS is online I can take the GFO off.
Your frags that are to the left and right look good with nice color.
I know I have had my share of losses to STN and RTN too and some you know why and others are elusive

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 11:01 PM
LOL!
Looks like your set to go with the frag tank. What do you plan to use for filtration besides water changes? Do you plan on having fish in the frag tank?

100% no fish. That is extra work: feeding, cleaning, pollutants. Strong lighting and Uneaten...Food Waste triggers Algae.
I know I setup a mini Frag tank not to long ago and it was a Total Algae mess after a few weeks.

I want the Frag Tank to be prestine. (A hospital to possibly save a Bleaching Frag, like what just happened).
The nutrients will be the Water Change water, which will contain processed nutrients.

MAYBE A LITTLE BIT OF CORAL FOOD :) Just a little :) :) Once a week :) :) Some Addtivies like Polyp Booster :) :) :) Nothing else :strange:


As far a filtration, since No fish. Probably just Carbon, if I decide to go with a Rubbermaid sump. Very simple.
I have a Hang on Remora Pro Skimmer, that nobody wants to buy (listed on Ebay for 3 weeks), maybe that can be added at the back.

Possibly the Frag tank can be made with no drain, and just a baffle to filter in the back. (THat's my hope).

I was originally thinking Acrylic 8" depth, till this Kijjiji Tank showed up for sale.
I like the Glass and the 12" depth.

I'll fool around with some prototypes. This is no rush. My Display-Tank is a Frag-Rank right now.

THE Goal with the FRAG TANK is to EXTEND the AUTOMATION, NOT MAKE more "Manual" WORK.
The SPS tank (may) Water Change directly into the FRAG TANK (Two controllers somehow synced [A 2nd Push Button] ).
What water I take out of Frag Tank will be Thrown Away.

Wally.B
07/03/2017, 11:05 PM
LOL!

I just recently decided to set up a ATS. Looks like it will be a good way to monitor nutrient levels without having to test so much. Plus I am running GFO at the moment and hope that once the ATS is online I can take the GFO off.

Good Choice. I believe in ATS. I've proven it works. Bit messy as it ages, but then the Algae becomes Macro and easier to maintain.
You won't regret it. Depending on your design. All are pretty good. Ramp up lighting, till you reach 18+ hours a day.

Wally.B
07/04/2017, 01:45 PM
RED DRAGON (Frag #6)

In my first SPS tank Attempt, I did manage to keep a Red Dragon alive for a few months. Eventually I killed it along with the rest of the SPS.

This last attempt, I tried like 5 Red Dragons, and each time I found a different way to kill them.
LED light Burned, Too long in Revive Dip, Alk Spike, , Bad Placement, etc (Twice in less than 12 hours after bringing home)

So with things better, I'm trying one more time.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4284/35588859491_21957b39ba_o.jpg

Placed nice and low on Kong Rack, abot the same level as Pacman that is similar species and doing very well.

Wally.B
07/04/2017, 03:50 PM
FRAG TANK (Update) Fooling around with Some Circulation Options (Tap Water Testing)

First and foremost, I'm glad I went with 12" depth VS the 8" I was planning.
The extra depth gives option for more circulation Power, but distributed.

That's the one thing that's wrong with my 65Gal DT. Things are too tight.

So I borrowed my Jebao CP-24 from DT and threw in a couple of MaxiJets.

A little fish flake food, and I can see how flow works.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4264/35590959641_1ce21c739c_b.jpg

If I go with a baffle I'll lose a few inches, but that will still be good with only 1x 150W MH bulb for some varied PARS.

I can vary more with the extra depth by having multi-level Egg Crate.

Wally.B
07/04/2017, 11:07 PM
THIS (Frag Tank Idea) is Failure in the Waiting ( Destined for Doom ), but will give it a try.

Sure I got excited, since I've always wanted a Frag Tank. And it is a good dimension.
When I visit people's Frag Tanks, I've been more impressed in the Frag Tanks then the DT's (in a certain way).

-> Such Packed Variety of Frags.
-> Easy to take Photos from Above/Side.
-> Easy Access.
-> Better degree of control on Lighting Levels and Circulation.


But the more I think about it and what it takes for success (which I haven't achieve with SPS), then more I realize the Frag Tank won't work.

The main reason for Pending Failure are:

-> Nutrient Import
-> Nutrient processing
-> Nutrient/Toxins Export.

I would really need to have fish, to keep the nutrient levels up, and I don't want a 3rd tank with Fish to feed.
And where would bacteria thrive?

I could join the Frag tank to my DT, but then I'm again low on fish, and the 65 Gallon DT isn't made for more fish.

But, I'll give it a try. After all the Tank cost about the price of a frag.
I will not invest more money as I starting thinking (that is when I stopped myself).

I'll just use the parts that I have, which does include a skimmer, the old Fixture, and old bulbs, and the circulation, return pumps.

I'll try the original Idea, which is to use Water Change Water (which I extract twice a week).

The key experiment is "Will the frequent Water Changes, be enough to run a Frag Tank".

Plus if needed, I'll start using up the Corals Foods, Addtitives. (Which I don't think I'll ever use in DT ever, from what I see happening right now).

I have two doser heads that are spare, and if ALK/CALC starts dropping, I'll just top it up.

I'll get some cheap frags, and if DT corals grow to Fragable size I'll frag them as Frag Backups (If this Project lasts that long).

My expectation will be failure, and if things fail, I lose nothing, but gain some fun building something, which I Enjoy.

JonezNReef
07/05/2017, 09:34 AM
Since you are using water from water changes wouldn't that water contain many of the nutrients that are in the DT. I think if you put some LR in a small sump ( i put mine on a egg crate shelf to keep in off the bottom of the sump to help avoid build up) that would give bacteria a place to live. I have always had fishless frag tanks when Ive had one up. My current frag tank is fishless but is tied into the same system as my DT.

I think with a small protein skimmer, a little LR, doser to keep ALK and Cal in check and good flow with water changes and it could be quite successful.

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 10:48 AM
Since you are using water from water changes wouldn't that water contain many of the nutrients that are in the DT. I think if you put some LR in a small sump ( i put mine on a egg crate shelf to keep in off the bottom of the sump to help avoid build up) that would give bacteria a place to live. I have always had fishless frag tanks when Ive had one up. My current frag tank is fishless but is tied into the same system as my DT.

I think with a small protein skimmer, a little LR, doser to keep ALK and Cal in check and good flow with water changes and it could be quite successful.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

You actually gave me an idea that I didn't think about.

I do have extra live rock in my other Tanks sump, but as mentioned, I don't want to bring in stuff from my LPS tank.
It has colonial hydroids, but I could treat with Fenbendazole (which I tested in an experiment and it workd).

https://www.r e e f 2 r e e f.com/threads/here-it-is-fenbendazole-use-against-hydroids.214950/page-16 (remove spaces in w w w ._____ URL)

However when I setup the SPS DT I wanted ideal biological filtration in the sump and I created a BIO wall.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4139/35738200765_2b0564cb5a_c.jpg

In the FRAG tank, I will baffle a mini section, and borrow a bit of Marine Pure BioMedia. It's already seeded. It's more porous than LiveRock so even better.
I also have the SPS Sump Refuge, loaded with clean Crush Frags of the past. A sprinkle of them will also be beneficial.

Plus since I drop ZeoBak once a week into SPS tank, I can do a drop of ZeoBak into Frag tank to keep Bio refreshed.

Thanks for the inspiration.

JimON
07/05/2017, 11:20 AM
Love the bio-wall! Great idea!:celeb1::celeb2::spin2:

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 03:59 PM
Yeah, thanks to you triggering the Bio-Wall Idea, I'm a bit more confident.

Here is my first attempt at the Prototype.

I'm building the Frag Tank to be STANDALONE/INDEPENDANT, but also work with a SUMP.

I will be able to go either way, depending how things go in the long run.

Here is what I mean.....

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4236/35743761605_7ed17bce90_b.jpg

Before I design the Baffles, I need to understand a few things:

-> How high will water be when Overflow is running (that will determine box height)
-> How much will it drain (Is the 10 Gallon enough).
-> I have the RLLS DB8i Skimmer (That is too large, and I wish I could trade it for a decent smaller skimmer). That will take take time.
------> But the DB8i needs to be in 8" of Water to run properly
------> So I Wonder is 4 inches of Sump Spare Space enough for drain?

About to fill with TAP Water and find out what it runs like.

I bet the SUMP will Flood if I were to fill 8". I'll start with 1/4 full and see.

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 04:39 PM
GLAD I HAD THE TWO "SHOP VACS" on Standby (Both Tank and Sump Flooded) :)

I was prepared.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4254/35356752570_c266703e55.jpg

I expected the SUMP to overflow and it did. The table rim held the water, and Shopvac was quick cleanup.

But so did the Frag Tank.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4107/35356753370_51a3c8f9ba_c.jpg

The TANK flooded (Because the MAG 8 is too strong) and Oveflow not fast enough. (I have a Ball Valve that I can close down).

The SUMP Flooded after I turn things off (my mistake). I put the return hose too deep into Tank and It's siphoned backward, draining Frag Tank.

It should go better next time.

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 06:39 PM
FRAG UPDATE (Overall Pretty Good. Couple Dead. And something "New to me" )

Yes, I expected these two to die they way the been from the beginning. They came from a Stressed Tank that had a "Away from Vacation ALK accident".

But one is doing pretty good, it even encrust the Plug, and growing onto rock.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4068/35614943271_b3348603e9_c.jpg

I'm new to SPS doing well, so don't know if these two white TIPS on "Red Planet" are Bleached tips, or New Growth.
I think it's new growth, since it's showing PE all over.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4206/35614943541_e8f4ab74f8_z.jpg

All the Other Frags are stable.

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 07:07 PM
2nd FRAG FRAG (Test RUN) PERFECT!!

I switch out the Mag 9.5 with the Mag 2.5 that I used for Semi-Manual Water Change.

It runs just right. Valve Fully Open.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4127/35577246772_ef3c250394_z.jpg


And the 10 Gallon Sump is good enough to handle drain, if I design the return not to Siphon.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4232/35577247602_d1263f864d_z.jpg

Time to design the Baffled box.

JimON
07/05/2017, 07:28 PM
Heh heh... You're welcome!:beer:

Wally.B
07/05/2017, 09:10 PM
Phosphate Drops bit more (on Low GFO run) ATS Harvest Affected


PO4 has dropped to 0.04 ppm. I assume this drop will slow down.
GFO is barely a tiny trickle, and may be time to turn off soon.

ATS used to produce 5-10x more Algae.
But at least it's still doing something.

The snails are Cowrie are extra active looking for food in ATS.
Fine with me, since they are polishing it nice and tidy.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4023/35616824771_286e0964a2_c.jpg

The Scrubber is no effort to clean. The clumps I just pick up. No screen scrubbing needed.

I just turned up the ATS photoperiod to 22 hours, from 20. See what happens.

Wally.B
07/08/2017, 09:06 PM
FRAG TANK (Baffled Return Box) Prototype

Almost ready to be silicone together (only the Outside and First Chamber)

The Baffles will be adjustable.

The reason for the Extra Height above tank is to have space for splashzone, and eliminate any possibility of a Siphon back to sump.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4213/35674667891_6865fb3e80_c.jpg

I was going to originally go Rectagular, but like my sump, going Polygon shape make better use of space.

Still plenty of room for Bio-Wall, Floss, whatever is needed.


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4231/35674668141_a171457215_c.jpg

Will be interesting to see the flow with the Funnel design, out into the open section. Will is swirl like a whirlpool, be a quite zone at the back. (We'll see)

With rectangular Shape Egggrate there will be a space when the box flows out, and a gap that fish will be able to get under/over the crate.

I am using "CLEAR" Acrylic since that is all I have in thicker. Plus nice to see inside.
But I do thin "Black" Acrlyic that I will make side/top covers, to prevent "Algae Growth" inside (since lighting will be Strong)

Wally.B
07/09/2017, 12:39 AM
FINAL FRAG TANK (Return Box) Before Silicone and Holes, etc.

I'll sleep on this before bonding with Silcone tomorrow.

It will never be this clean looking ever again.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4255/35808028845_26f4bba730_b.jpg

This is the Permanent Structure.

I will be adding, Covers, Drain Holes, Adjustable Baffles and Trays.

reefmutt
07/09/2017, 09:03 AM
Hey Wally.. phew! Just got through the last few pages. I'm exhausted!!!
I need a nap from reading about all the work. ;)
Without any biomedia or bioload, nutrients shouldn't change much in the frag system. The water change water will bring in nutrients. The corals will pull a bit but not a large amount. Probably a tiny sprinkle of reef roids in the frag tank will probably keep them happy. Once in a while..
I think it's a good system.
Watching your frags.....

Wally.B
07/09/2017, 12:43 PM
Matt,

Thanks for your blessing. I do look forward to the new setup.
It will begin as a QT, since I really need a NEW FISH for other tank.

The problem I have is I got 7 Blue Green Chromis's. All at the same time.
One by one, they pick the weakest and won't let it eat.
They all grew up and are big, but now I have only 3.
Last week one was missing during feeding time, and he showed up dead, tail chewed off.

So my decision is to mix things up. Plus I only have 5 fish. 3 Chromis, 1 Algae Blenny, and 1 Longnose Hawkfish. (90 Gal)
I had a Powder Blue Tang for 12 years in that Tank.
He will take charge. He is blue so similar.
I have one on hold at local Fish Store, and he will christen the Frag Tank.

reefmutt
07/09/2017, 01:42 PM
THe powder blue certainly will take charge. One of my all time favorites.
I've never had success with a group of chromis.. same thing always happens. I think they need to be fed a ton to stay fat and lazy.

Wally.B
07/09/2017, 02:09 PM
Yes. Someone posted on my old thread when I was going to get a school that at the end I would only have 1 Blue Green left.
It's appears to be true, even though someone else said, "so long as I introduce them all at once, and same size", which I did.

Oh well, it was nice while I had them. Especially when I had 6 and they would school/swim together in the current. Very impressive.

But after having them for a while, I learned that they are "STUPID" fish.
They can't learn new feeding habits. I tried to feed them 3-4 times a day, by adding pellets and variety of foods. If I didn't feed in feeder they would let food float away.
If I added pellets they would ignore (after weeks of trying). Even my Algae Blenny learned to eat meat pellets. They would not. (only flake and frozen, and only specific times of day. Weird)

At least I rescued one, which was so weak he swam into my net.
I put him in QT for a couple of weeks, and then into my SPS tank.
He is doing well, and we named him "George the II" since he got a 2nd life.

Wally.B
07/09/2017, 08:05 PM
PAR Measurement with (Apogee Quantum Meter)

So Fragbox is now renting a PAR METER, and I rented it, for the FRAG Tank Setup.

I re-confirmed that my Display Tank Lighting is TOO LOW @ Current Fixture Height and MH Wattage Selection.

HERE IS WHERE DID My FIRST Measurement.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4266/35658069692_64ed96730b_c.jpg

And here are the results, varying (WATTAGE from 150,175,250).
And Varying my Fixture at current (14") and a test at (12")

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4277/35786891236_4e483036dd_c.jpg

So for a 250-300 PAR Range (ideal) I need to work on SLOWLY increasing Lighting.

Wally.B
07/10/2017, 02:25 PM
KONG FRAG RACK (Update)

So the Blue Gomez was bleaching, VERY SLOWLY from Bottom up.
I tried to save it, moving it to back on Kong Rack, where other are doing well.
It bleached completely.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4230/35002916214_5336b1f213_c.jpg

However the many others are doing well. My Loss ratio is Way Better than in the past.

Hey, my Red Dragon is still alive. In past it would be dead by now.


Since I lost my only Blue SPS, I picked up a "Hypnotiq".

I'm watch the Bonzai's at different lighting levels. Possibly too early, but not much of a difference.

*** I NEED TO RAMP UP LIGHTING, after confirming my PARS are about 100 Pars too low **

[COLOR="Black"]AND I JUST MEASURED (my DIY LED. It's give me 150 More Pars at 100%), and I'm only running MAX 35.
So I'll be ramp up LED and not touching MH power, or fixture height)

reefmutt
07/10/2017, 02:33 PM
Yeah.. those par numbers do look a bit low..
I like your plan.

Wally.B
07/10/2017, 09:28 PM
TEMP QT (For " Coach" ) Powder Brown Tang

I found a few Power Blue Tangs but they were not very healthy looking.

Instead, I found a Healthy, and "Pellet Eating" Power Brown Tang.

He will be more of a Contrast with Blue Green Chromis, over the Powder Blue.

The Frag Tank is All siliconed and Curing, so can't use that for QT.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4285/35461014290_cbb4d18259_z.jpg

Table has been temporarily converted to a QT Tang using 10 Gallon.
Same sump and Skimmer as for Frag Tank.

Wife and Kids like the Powder Brown. He certainly has more potential for "Brains" and "Personality" then the Chromis.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4235/35039474253_8d5a4736e7_c.jpg

Kids named him "Coach", since they hope he get's the Chromis a bit more disciplined and stop killing one another.

Wally.B
07/10/2017, 10:05 PM
I'm Pretty Proud (My Home Grown Leather) has a AWESOME HOME (At Canada Corals)

So, this is not about my SPS tank, but about the first Photo in this Thread.

That Photo is of my Kitchen Mixed/LPS tank is Just after "I removed the" Finger Leather that was getting way to big for my 90 Gallon Tank (Shading a lot of Good Real Estate).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2878/32807727454_991c91317c_z.jpg

I sold the Leather to Canada Corals. They were either going to chop it up for Frag Sales, or possibly keep it for their Store Front Display Tank.

Here is the Leather back in 2014.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4289/35009345964_84281d4b7d_c.jpg

This is 2016 just before I removed it.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4287/35009347104_e9cda029c5_c.jpg

Just before packing and taking to Store.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4284/35808950766_5a57f4dfe9_c.jpg

I dropped by the Store today, and they finally put it into the DT (It's the CENTER PIECE)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4289/35009347834_b8a26a4e1c_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4290/35009349884_7e7f365e09_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4234/35009349324_5b8f8285f2_c.jpg

Pretty Cool!!

Wally.B
07/12/2017, 10:27 PM
Frag Tank (PASSES) 2nd Silicone Water Seal Test.[/

Yes, I make a mistake the first time. I missed a spot of silcone in the crease and there was a slow leak.
This time is passes the Dry Paper Towel test.

Not terribly important since there will be no pressure most of the time, but if I ever want to clean out the Baffle box, the seal does need to hold.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4320/35720838922_b278c7eed9_c.jpg

I also tried something NEW. I taped a industrial Black Garbage bag, cut to shape on the Bottom of the TANK, so Bottom and Black Egg Crate will be all black.

I figure this will allow Frag Colors to stand out more.

Wally.B
07/12/2017, 11:10 PM
Baffle Box (Flow Test) Passes [Marginally]

Test with a Maxi-Jet is Borderline for Spill over, on 2nd Chamber.

May need to lower the 2nd Baffle, or cut out a notch.

First Chamber is fine, and can handle much more flow.

But was is also good, is the Last Chamber has a nice circular swirl (For good mixing, and no dead flow spots)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4314/35849913996_79c6dde361_c.jpg

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:22 AM
FRAG TANK (Last TAP Water Test)....Next is Frag RACK

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4277/35503551400_7ceb6b3a60_b.jpg

Installed the Jabao CP-24, and tested Circulation.

The Triangular-Baffle-Box is nice for Flow Compression.

(Wish I kept my Kids' Floating Yellow Ducks) to have some fun.

However, LATER, I will be moving the Power Blue Tang into here. He should like it better than the 10 Gallon QT.

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:53 AM
FRAG Tank (Glass Cover)

The Cover (Made from Someone's Garbaged Terrarium, ripped apart) will have to go on TeePee/Tent Style.

It has to be this way with the Raised Filter Box in Middle.
Things will change when Overflow Box is added.

Ventilation will prevent fog up/Condensation.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4306/35722586092_fed6248523_z.jpg

Not sure I'll ever used the Covers but might be good for QT of a Wrasse, since I lost two from Jumping.

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 09:17 AM
Cool baffle box instal.
Was just thinking.. once you light up the tank, algae will be hard to clean out of that area..

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 10:13 AM
Cool baffle box instal.
Was just thinking.. once you light up the tank, algae will be hard to clean out of that area..
Yes, Strong Lighting will Generate Algae.
Happened last time a played with an open Frag Tank.

This thin Black Cover (Light Proof) will go on last

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4318/35511500590_73e9407945_z.jpg

Removable, so I can take it off to see inside.

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 10:26 AM
Lol. This is why I didn't offer solutions..
Figured you already had one. :)

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 10:45 AM
Baffle Box (Flood Gates)

So I have no idea when I add the sump and real return pump, if the baffle box will flood over.

Things are already borderline with the Maxi-Jet 400 testing.
I could have made the box wider (too late now).

So I'm thinking of adding some (fine-tuning) adjustable floodgates (below water line).

Basically a ROUND Hole, with a BLACK or CLEAR Slider Plate on the inside of the box. Black cover will also have a matching hole.

Not Sure if I need one in Last Section. (I'll do One in 2nd Section and test, by adding flow with the Garden Hose)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4307/35899966445_06d76b7630_z.jpg

Another option would be to make Black Cover Higher, but it will be removable, so not Ideal for holding back water.

Better figure things out now, before I add Salt Water.

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 10:59 AM
Lol. This is why I didn't offer solutions..
Figured you already had one. :)

I think of some things after staring or sleeping on it.

BUT Always keep your thoughts coming, on anything. It Helps.

I am getting a bit worried about the QT (with the Brown Tang).
I don't have Nitrite or Ammonia test kits.

I did use water from Water Change (with a bit of fresh water) for the Total 15 Gallons.

I am adding Zeo Bak, but I don't have any Live Rock or Bio-Balls in the system.

He is a good eater, so polluting the system.

How badly with things cycle? Dangerous to the TANG?

I will be away at Cottage next week for a week. Neighbour will be feeding fish (lightly, every other day).
Will do a 2.5 Gallon Water change before I leave (with DT Water Change Water)

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 11:00 AM
Why not just put a valve on the output of the pump.. you don't need significant flow through that area..

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 11:01 AM
I think of some things after staring or sleeping on it.

BUT Always keep your thoughts coming, on anything. It Helps.

I am getting a bit worried about the QT (with the Brown Tang).
I don't have Nitrite or Ammonia test kits.

I did use water from Water Change (with a bit of fresh water) for the Total 15 Gallons.

How badly with things cycle? Dangerous to TANG?

I am adding Zeo Bak, but I don't have any Live Rock or Bio-Balls.

Id get a couple pieces of well cured live rock in here..or matrix or such media.. and some flow..

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 11:27 AM
Id get a couple pieces of well cured live rock in here..or matrix or such media.. and some flow..

I don't have any Spare Live Rock from SPS tank.

Don't want to bring in any Rock from LPS tank (Have nice piece in sump, but could have Some Colonial Hydroids, so don't want to contaminate anything).

-> I do have a bunch of Active/aged (Marine Pure Ceramic Bio-Balls) in SPS tank Sump.
-> I could siphon off some Live Sand from SPS tank.
-> I also have the crushed Dead SPS Coral pieces I threw into SPS Tank WC Refuge

->How about take out an OLD BAG of Chemipure that is sitting in SPS Tank Sump. I have 3 in there that I change every 6 months.
-> Filter Floss in SPS tank Sump also needs to be changed.

They all have Active Bio in them.

What is best? (A bit of each?)

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 11:44 AM
Why not just put a valve on the output of the pump.. you don't need significant flow through that area..
I agree, and there is a Ball Valve on Return pump.

I don't like to back pressure on Return Pumps since they can get noisy, so I could put a U-Pipe with The Ball Valve that diverts some water back into Sump right away, and not into Frag Tank.

However if I limit the return pump flow it reduces my overall Frag Tank Overflow Box surface skim. (Maybe doesn't matter).

[[ I am thinking down the road, should I ever decide to add Fish to Frag Tank]]

BUT I DON'T Really Want to "DO HOLES" in the "Baffle Box", it does look nice, and that may ruin the look.

Wish I could try the return pump, but it used for QT.

Could borrow it, and run in bucket.

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 12:05 PM
I'd say the marine pure balls would be ideal for the qt.
As for surface skim, I wouldn't worry too much about that..

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:12 PM
How is this for a Quick (Short Term Fix) for QT Bio?

This Filter Sponge is in my SPS Tank Sump. Just an Airline bubbling thru it.
I used it for extra Airation, and a place for Copepods to live in.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4304/35061502364_3aa38aa51c.jpg

I put it into QT SUMP. Running on same Airline for forced flow. Should have some Bacteria in it from DT.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4326/35061503024_e73c8d35c1.jpg

I'll still add the Marine Pure Bio Balls, but that's a bit more work.

BTW. That's the Red Ball Valve on Return Pump that I can control Baffle box flow.

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 12:17 PM
Sponge should be good.. maybe give it a squeeze or two in tank water to get out excess detritus..

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:23 PM
EVEN BETTER (BIO Material)

I lifted up the Filter Floss, and I forgot about the Filter Tray section in the SPS tank SUMP.

Just before the Bio Wall Cage on Bottom of photo, there is a tray with Small Live rocks, old Dead SPS colonies, and a few MarinePure Balls. All very active.

A few pieces into QT will be perfect.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4214/35901675935_f291ab78aa_z.jpg

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 12:36 PM
Nice!

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:40 PM
Another IDEA (Black Cover Box will just be a 2nd Shell around Baffle box)

Matt, thanks for your input.

Instead of making a tightly fitting black cover box, I'll make it a loose shell, with a 1/4" spacer around it (and a gap underneath)

Let the Baffle box overflow a bit, it will just dump into the Frag area within the Shell. It won't be an eyesore. (Shell will still do it's job, but not allowing light in for Algae Growth)
The baffle box will still flow water thru all sections.

Who knows, maybe the whole baffle box flowing like a waterfall down the side, will look cool.
I still have the Ball Valve for small adjustments.

GLAD I NEVER CUT THE "Black Acrlyic Sheet" yet. It's the only large piece I have left.
And REALLY GLAD, I didn't destroy the Baffle box with Holes.

These fish tank projects have taught me a lot about being patient and not Hasty. I'm starting to apply that to my life, in projects and in general.

Again....Thanks for your thoughts.

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 12:58 PM
What's better than 1 Waterfall? (Two Water Falls)

I put in the Garden Hose and Cranked it up (Flow is way more than it will ever be).

That Started a 2nd Waterfall, but a Gap in between.

Looks cool, and just more random circulation in Frag Area.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4292/35514003890_0de53a7732_b.jpg

I can build the Black Cover (Tight Fitting as planned)

reefmutt
07/13/2017, 01:11 PM
Wally, it's time to stop for lunch. Ya gotta eat! :)

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 10:08 PM
WOW!! Live Rock and Ceramic Bio-Spheres work (QT has gone Almost "Instantly" Crystal Clear from Cloudy Yellow)

For last couple of days the QT didn't look very clear at all.

I thought it was the glass.

I didn't turn on the Canopy Light since it made it worse.

After Adding the Live Rock and Marine Pure Media, it went Crystal clear in a few hours.


Is is possible, that Live Rock did the job?

If true then the QT was heading toward trouble (with Power Brown Waste Toxins), especially leaving it alone while away for a Week!!

Wally.B
07/13/2017, 11:35 PM
Made/Installed (QT [TopUp & Overflow Vac] )

Matt, I had to Crack open the Electo-Sealed Additive VAULT.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4259/35779089451_2c6b15e8eb_m.jpg

But have no worries, I'm keep my "NO Additives" Promise till Sept.

Everything is re-sealed in another Container.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4205/35910664305_9562a9fe19_n.jpg

I needed the Acrylic Case to make a Controller to do Top UP's on the QT, since I'm away next week.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4278/35779090711_80234b9590_n.jpg

I re-used some past code for the TOPUP and Added a 2nd Pump that does a Vacuum on the Overflow, since bubbles get slowly trapped.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4300/35779091001_177a7be1db_n.jpg

Too many bubbles, fill the overflow and break the Sihphon.

So the QT is safe while I'm away.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4234/35779090271_810f787831_z.jpg

The only Danger is the Neighbour, who may overfeed the Fish like he did last year.

reefmutt
07/14/2017, 02:49 PM
WOW!! Live Rock and Ceramic Bio-Spheres work (QT has gone Almost "Instantly" Crystal Clear from Cloudy Yellow)

For last couple of days the QT didn't look very clear at all.

I thought it was the glass.

I didn't turn on the Canopy Light since it made it worse.

After Adding the Live Rock and Marine Pure Media, it went Crystal clear in a few hours.


Is is possible, that Live Rock did the job?

If true then the QT was heading toward trouble (with Power Brown Waste Toxins), especially leaving it alone while away for a Week!!

The beauty of bacteria! Good think you added that!

Made/Installed (QT [TopUp & Overflow Vac] )

Matt, I had to Crack open the Electo-Sealed Additive VAULT.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4259/35779089451_2c6b15e8eb_m.jpg

But have no worries, I'm keep my "NO Additives" Promise till Sept.

Everything is re-sealed in another Container.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4205/35910664305_9562a9fe19_n.jpg

I needed the Acrylic Case to make a Controller to do Top UP's on the QT, since I'm away next week.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4278/35779090711_80234b9590_n.jpg

I re-used some past code for the TOPUP and Added a 2nd Pump that does a Vacuum on the Overflow, since bubbles get slowly trapped.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4300/35779091001_177a7be1db_n.jpg

Too many bubbles, fill the overflow and break the Sihphon.

So the QT is safe while I'm away.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4234/35779090271_810f787831_z.jpg

The only Danger is the Neighbour, who may overfeed the Fish like he did last year.

I won't penalize your actions... this time. Was for a good cause.

Tell your neighbor that the fish would survive a week of getting no food, no problem but will die within a couple days of getting overfed
People who don't know anything ALWAYS over feed the fish out of fear of starving them.. if they know that isn't possible, they tend to calm down a bit.

Wally.B
07/14/2017, 03:35 PM
FRAG TANK (TAP Water) PAR TESTS (Apogee Meter)

Meter is rented, so time is running out.

For now did Tap water. Wonder what difference Salt Water is (higher? lower?, probably lower since more particles)

...........................................LED ON LEFT...................................................150W MH (Magnetic Bal) on RIGHT

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4327/35754163372_266a8f3721_b.jpg

Looks like 12" fixture Height is reasonable. Similar to Display Tank.

Fixture Bit Lower will get me just over 200 PAR.

Rack will be 6" below Water which are BLACK readings.

Some rack sections can be made to be higher.

I DON'T TRUST THE LED READING. I think is more power than 140PAR.
I know I burned my Frags overnight at 10" depth in a past setup.

Wally.B
07/14/2017, 09:39 PM
FRAG TANK (Real Frag Test) Working Great (Not a Single Browning Coral)

Need to test rack height, with some real sized Frags.

Not one is browning, or dying/bleaching even in TAP WATER!! (Dead Frags of Past work great for testing :) )

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4240/35929009955_68f892bea1_b.jpg

Glad I did. 6" off bottom is too high.

Tank isn't 12" of water when running with Overflow, so rack needs to be 1-2" inches lower.

trembz
07/14/2017, 10:52 PM
FRAG TANK (Real Frag Test) Working Great (Not a Single Browning Coral)

Need to test rack height, with some real sized Frags.

Not one is browning, or dying/bleaching even in TAP WATER!! (Dead Frags of Past work great for testing :) )

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4240/35929009955_68f892bea1_b.jpg

Glad I did. 6" off bottom is too high.

Tank isn't 12" of water when running with Overflow, so rack needs to be 1-2" inches lower.
I have 2 tanks run on TAP only and never an issue with my corals or algae

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

Wally.B
07/14/2017, 10:57 PM
I have 2 tanks run on TAP only and never an issue with my corals or algae

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

Yeah, but this is JUST TAP water. No Salt. (I'm still testing)

trembz
07/14/2017, 11:07 PM
Yeah, but this is JUST TAP water. No Salt. (I'm still testing)
Oh...
That's actually pretty cool then!

Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

Wally.B
07/15/2017, 04:18 PM
FRAG TANK (Final Rack Setup) All Siliconed and Drying ( Next is Salt Water Fill ).

Time is running out for Going Away on Monday.

May have time to Transfer Power Brown Tang over to Frag Tank.
It's cozy in 10 Gallon, but he could use more room.

(Have Extra Water Change water on Standby to Fillup)

I used some Spare PVC (for Posts, two widths since all I had)
-> Each Post is Siliconed to bottom since they float.
-> Each Post has a hole at the Top/Side to (Tie Wrap Egg Crate).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4303/35812518791_6d472d0a25_c.jpg

For now I have 3 Rack Levels in the two Lighting Areas (LED/MH), and plenty of spare around each rack (For Circulation AND for fish to swim around)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4315/35812520251_5fd2158366_z.jpg

The Baffle box has a cover that is removable (To minimize Algae Growth).

Things can be changed, since it's just silicone for Posts, and tie Wraps for Egg Crate.

Good enough for a Real Test Try.

JonezNReef
07/15/2017, 06:03 PM
Looking good.

Wally.B
07/15/2017, 06:19 PM
Thanks.

DARN!! I just realized A MISTAKE while watching it dry.

I didn't drill a HOLE at the Bottom of the PVC tubes (which are siliconed at bottom), so then they fill, they will never drain (which mean dead spot within).

It would have been easy to make a hole at bottom when loose pieces.
I can't drill a LARGE hole since not sturdy, but maybe use a dremil to poke thru in some small holes. Then work up into Larger Hole Sizes with progressive bits.
(Won't be easy to clean out the shavings).

Darn.

Wally.B
07/16/2017, 11:08 AM
2nd Setset Acro (Not Doing Well)

I have no idea what is wrong. All other Corals fine.

This is 2nd Sunset, but what's weird is it's bleaching from the side. Never seen that before. Looks like it would be circulation, but all is fine and neighbour Corals doing well.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4321/35790785622_9a8bfaa667_z.jpg

I haven't been touching the Tank except for Twice a week Water changes.

Wally.B
07/16/2017, 12:11 PM
FRAG TANK (Final Fresh Water Rinse/Test) With PAR READINGS

One more Fresh Water Rinse, to clean it.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4314/35962533435_1f519a2c54_z.jpg
Placed a (Weighted) Plastic Frag to see Circulation.
Pretty Strong, I had to pin it down or else it got knocked over and blown away.

PAR READING AT THAT (Middle SPOT) Look Good. (I used a container of Salt Water, before filling with Tap Water, FOR PAR READING)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4291/35573818220_d3c156366f.jpg

Inch Readings are Fixture Height above Surface Water Level.

I'll throw in Salt Water, and Put that Sunset Frag in there for a week.
It's gong to die in DT, so this will prove if Frag Tank is good.

Wally.B
07/22/2017, 12:50 AM
This "TANK" must be Cursed.

Just got back from a week away.
Nothing went wrong.


Did a quick check to see if ALK was ok. Small drop to 7.3 from 7.7, but that's not a disaster of any sort. (Increased dosing a bit to stabilize).

However a quick peek with UV flashlight and I see more bleaching.

The Pac Man that has been doing extremely well is totally bleached. It's lower down next to a coral that is fine.

The Yellow acros looks partially bleached. Surrounding corals look fine.

Everything else looks ok. Mostly importantly the Pink Cadilac shows life.

But not looking forward to seeing how things are when light come on.

There has got to be something wrong with this tank. (Since I've struggled with it for Three Years)
Can't figure out what, since everything running it is near perfection.

Plus this time, I'm not fooling around and making any drastic changes or doing additives.
I did increase LED lighting 5% since I want to ramp up LOW PARS. But that is so small, and didn't affect most of the higher up corals.

Trition test of past showed nothing wrong with any Toxins.


Time to spark up the Frag Tank and see what happens with Corals in there.

Wally.B
07/22/2017, 01:27 PM
3 Frags Bleached (Not too bad, since others doing Very Well)

Under normal lighting (this morning) things look better.

Only 3 FRAGS bleached. 2 were degrading before I left.
Too bad about the Pac Man, but at least the Red Dragon is fine.

Most of the Frags actually look pretty good with Coloration.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4320/35921177242_30312c1c11_b.jpg

Wally.B
07/22/2017, 08:44 PM
MYSTERY SOLVED (Hydor Koralia Pump - GROUND FAULT) Tripped GFCI Breaker

So I noticed my Other Tank was Idle today. No Lights, no Circulation.
It's runs on a Separate Apex (which controls JUST the Return Pump for SPS Tank).

The Hyrdo Koralia Pump had a ground fault failure, and Tripped the GFCI breaker which shut down the Apex, and EB8.
That tank is fine, but corals got no light/circulation for a few days. which is fine.
The pump is bad and trips all GFCI's I have. So not a Faulty GFCI breaker.

That Apex Controlls my DC waveline Pump for SPS tank and therefore for last few days, there was little or no return flow.
Not a reason, but certainly a problem in general.

Hydor pumps do have LifeTime Warranty (at least from my experience).
They replaced my 5 year old pump that also had a Ground Failure a year ago.

I now don't favour AC pumps since this can happen.

reefmutt
07/24/2017, 11:37 AM
Wally, what's your latest numbers on that sps tank?
Odd how many frags are not doing well..

Wally.B
07/25/2017, 12:27 AM
Wally, what's your latest numbers on that sps tank?
Odd how many frags are not doing well..

Yes, odd indeed. What's weird is that's the 2nd Sunset Acro that just went quickly. And why the PacMan that's been around for a while doing well?

I hope this is a bug that has passed.

What's promising is my Red Dragon looks awesome. Never had one show such vibrant purple tips.
Last 3 I tried, just bleached within hours or days.

Here are my numbers.

ALK=[7.7] (Rock Solid Stable for two weeks+)
CALC=[445] (Slight increase from all the Water Changes)
MAG=[1420] (Nice to see dropping from 1500)
NO3=[5.0]
PO4=[0.06 ppm]
SG=[1.025]

As good as I've ever been.

Wally.B
07/25/2017, 06:23 PM
FRAG TANK (Started up) Few Sacrifice Frags (and Additives too !)

So after enough water changes to fill the Frag Tank 1/2 way, I added some Fresh Salt water to top it up.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4302/36126093646_6fbee6bf98_c.jpg

Plenty of circulation since I am using the CP-25 for left side and a newly purchased CP-40 that I got funds from Selling a Skimmer on Ebay.

The CP-40 will eventually go into SPS tank since I want the MaxSpect XF150 on left and CP-25 on right for a good cross/crash circulation mix.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4315/35774874930_6779007519_c.jpg

It's up and running with a few Frags from SPS tank from the Kong Rack.

But I will be getting a few fresh (Cheap) Frag.

PAR levels are a bit higher than SPS DT since I want to test for the eventual Ramp up on DT.

Yes, I started some Additives (very lightly). :) :) :)

-> Polyp Booster
-> Polhs Xtra
-> B-Balance
-> Vitalizer

Matt, this is not breaking Sept 2017 promise since nothing going into SPS DT. :)

Wally.B
07/25/2017, 07:25 PM
FRAG TANK (Bio/Filtration) STARTUP

To keep some bio-diversity, I added a couple of clean pieces of Live Rock from DT Sump into the 2nd stage of the Baffle filter.

A carbon baggie at first stage.

And some filter floss at last stage.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4323/35361282193_df6cfc5579_c.jpg

Too early to add any snails, but I will as soon as I see signs of algae film.

Was thinking of putting in the Power Brown Tang, but he eats like crazy and pollutes water.
The QT he is in quickly had NO3 go up to 25ppm, and I did a water change to bring down.

Adding a few drop of KZ Zeo Bak and AF -NPpro to kickstart things off.

DT water changes (2.5 Gal twice a week) will be throw into this tank and what comes out is throw out.

For now this should be a good start to allow bacteria to thrive.

No Alk / Calc dosing for now, since barely a few frags. Will watch a see if/when needed.

Wally.B
07/26/2017, 04:14 PM
Power Brown Tang (in Kitchen Tank) QT Release Early

So with a trip to "Turk and Caicos" coming up in a couple of weeks, I've decided to end the Brown Tangs QT time.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4296/36144792506_7e7ccac320_b.jpg

He is a good size for the 90 Gallon tank which doesn't have anything other than Hawkfish, 3 Chromis, and 1 Algae Blenny.

Main reason is don't want to have 4 tanks to manage (QT, Frag, Kitchen and SPS Tank).

Plus he has shown no sign of any Ick, and the water he has been in is from the Same Tank he is in now.

He looks very comfortable, and better off than the 10 Gallon QT tank.
Swimming around and enjoying the Current right away.

He has taken to eating his Favourite Pellets, and what I like is he picks up Lost Pellets from the Glass Bottom, so less waste.
The STore I got him from Fed him "Tetra Color - Tropical Granules" and I got a jar. They float around nicely compare to other Sinking Pellets I have.
This is the first Pellet fish I've ever had in this tank, so much the better than (Flake and Frozen of the past)

Now we'll see how the Blue Chromis's behave. There are scared as **** of him!!

reefmutt
07/26/2017, 04:58 PM
That's a gorgeous pb tang! I'm sure he's good if he's eating so well.
Careful with that frag tank,you don't want it n and p free.. an algea eating fish in there probably isn't a bad idea....
So, Wally, what is vitalizer, b balance and pohl's extra??
I do like what you've added to the frag tank filter. Good start.
Not sure you need the nutrient reducing np pro and zeobak, however...

Wally.B
07/26/2017, 06:50 PM
That's a gorgeous pb tang! I'm sure he's good if he's eating so well.
Careful with that frag tank,you don't want it n and p free.. an algea eating fish in there probably isn't a bad idea....
So, Wally, what is vitalizer, b balance and pohl's extra??
I do like what you've added to the frag tank filter. Good start.
Not sure you need the nutrient reducing np pro and zeobak, however...

Zeo Vit (B-Balance)
Zeo Vit (Phol's Extra)
Aqua Forest (Vitality) not Vitalizer

Wally.B
07/26/2017, 08:22 PM
Careful with that frag tank,you don't want it n and p free..
I will be watching n & p.

Twice a week water changes from SPS tank will be bringing in N=5 and p=.06 water.

However if Frag tank needs more N and P, I can do a water change from Kitchen Tank with N=20+ P=???. Free N&P additive. Natural too.

reefmutt
07/26/2017, 08:56 PM
Zeo Vit (B-Balance)
Zeo Vit (Phol's Extra)
Aqua Forest (Vitality) not Vitalizer

I know the products, I'm curious about what's in pohl's extra and b balance..
Vitality I know..

I will be watching n & p.

Twice a week water changes from SPS tank will be bringing in N=5 and p=.06 water.

However if Frag tank needs more N and P, I can do a water change from Kitchen Tank with N=20+ P=???. Free N&P additive. Natural too.

That's good fertilizer to have on hand!

Wally.B
07/26/2017, 10:02 PM
With ZeoVit Products, ingredients are unknown. But both are for Color and Growth.
All left overs, I'm not buying any more additives.

I only put a few started drops. Enough for now.

But I am starting some SPS coral Foods. (Very tiny bit each NIGHT, or every other night. 1/8 Teaspoon combined. NOT Each).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4299/35354563544_cb9ab3a52a_n.jpg

Time to give this FRAG tank the Utimate test.

The Pink Calidalic is on it's last bit of life. Just noticed that today.
Just alive at the tips. So sad. Depressing.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4297/35354563924_73ff723a95.jpg

What is the world is wrong with my SPS tank.

All is perfect. Not making any changes. No additives. Just water changes (matched) and ALK/CALC dosing.
Lighting (Par Mesured, a bit low), Circulation great. Water Parameters Ideal. Temp Sure stable 77.5-78
What is wrong? What could be wrong?
Tank is stable across all things that run a tank.

I do notice there is a Hermit that is contantly pecking and hanging on the SPS Frags. I doubt that could be it.

But Frag Tank is isolated. If I can save the Cadillac it will be wonderful.
I do have plan to drop by my Favourite GTA Reef Frag Seller and get a bunch of cheap test frags. To fool around in the Frag tank.

Wally.B
07/26/2017, 10:24 PM
This is the only Thing WRONG, I see in SPS tank (A bit of brown algae on Sandbed in one corner)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4311/36150537386_b405e77753_c.jpg

Since I do auto water changes, I don't siphon water from tank, so not cleaning Sand Bed.

Sand is only on left side of tank with Gyre pushing it there.
Below the Koralia Pump there is no direct flow so kind of a quiet flow spot and thus the algae.

I feel like Siphoning whatever little sandbed there is left.
Sand snails wouldn't be happy.

reefmutt
07/27/2017, 05:52 AM
I'd remove a hermit that was picking at acros...
How many fish in your sps tank?
I can only see the yellow tang.

Wally.B
07/27/2017, 01:01 PM
I'd remove a hermit that was picking at acros...
How many fish in your sps tank?
I can only see the yellow tang.

Matt, I believe you are wondering about my Nutrient levels.

I think the amount I fish I have is fine for a 65 Gallon.
Yes, the yellow Tang is always out for Photos.

- Yellow Tang
- Spot Breast Angel
- Tomini Tang
- Mandarin Goby

Here is a photo to show their size.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/525/32084641101_4da6d1d432_c.jpg

The Wrasse is gone after it jumped out over a month ago.

I feed them 3 times a day.

BUT I HAVE A CLUE. (Since the SPS were doing well when I started this TANK Fresh a few weeks ago)

The Monti was showing White Growth Tips. Quite aggressive growth before I stopped all the Additives.

Now it just stopped growing. No more white tips.

Maybe I don't need the Color and Growth Additive Crap.

Just increase feeding, or do a bit of the Coral Food at night.
(Maybe get some fine Coral Food like Reef Nutrition RotiFeast, or OysterFeast).

reefmutt
07/27/2017, 01:52 PM
The problem is that one can't gauge a reef tank's health or lack thereof, over a couple week's time.. you need months, or at least a month to 6 weeks..
It often takes two weeks for a coral to die. It may look great even when it isn't getting what it needs and then, only after many days does the decline show itself. Same goes for the reverse.. even longer for the reverse..
An unhappy coral can take several months to to regain its health..
If I were you, I wouldn't add any new frags.
I would say let what you have either begin to grow or die off.

Above, you said 'maybe I don't need the colour and growth additive crap' not sure I understand, I thought you weren't adding any and that's why you suspect your monti stopped growing.
Isn't that the stuff locked up in the box?
I'm a fan of Reef roids, by the way.. I add a pinch to my reef every night. Have since I start S this tank 3 years ago.. it's rich in omegas and aminos.. and no I no longer own the company! :) been many years. But I do like the stuff.

Wally.B
07/27/2017, 05:38 PM
Above, you said 'maybe I don't need the colour and growth additive crap' not sure I understand, I thought you weren't adding any and that's why you suspect your monti stopped growing.
Isn't that the stuff locked up in the box?
I'm a fan of Reef roids, by the way.. I add a pinch to my reef every night. Have since I start S this tank 3 years ago.. it's rich in omegas and aminos.. and no I no longer own the company! :) been many years. But I do like the stuff.

You are correct. Stuff if locked up. Not using.
Leaving SPS tank alone as is, since some corals do look promising.

Will fool around in FRAG tank.

Wally.B
07/30/2017, 01:18 PM
RED Planet SPS Bleached (Time for a 3 Part "Green Slimer" Test)

So my Red Planet was slowly showing signs of Brown Algae at tips and it just totally bleacher.

Nothing was touched in tank. Not even a water change just before.

I need to solve this tank problem. There has to be a reason.

So I moved a few more loose SPS corals into FRAG Tank, where I am Feeding "Oyster Feast" and "Reef Roids".
Two days is too early, but they are not showing signs of any stress.

I ALSO GOT A Nice Green Slimer that should be a good test Coral that can handle large range of lighting.

I cut it.

I have one piece in SPS TANK.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4324/36101778892_71dbdcc567_z.jpg

I put one piece is FRAG TANK

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4295/36101780292_4a13a81a6c_z.jpg

And I did something totally new.

I put a piece into my Mix/LPS tank that is doing very well.
I've never put a SPS Coral into it ever.
Lighting isn't the most Powerful, but 4 T5's and 1 Kessil should be adequate to keep it alive at the TOP.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4318/36101782332_07494d5390_c.jpg

Let see what happens.

reefmutt
07/30/2017, 03:50 PM
Nice. Very curious to see how that little guy does in the mixed reef.
Personally, I don't think you have a specific problem in that sps tank.. I think it just needs to settle with stability for a while.

Wally.B
07/30/2017, 09:45 PM
Nice. Very curious to see how that little guy does in the mixed reef.
Personally, I don't think you have a specific problem in that sps tank.. I think it just needs to settle with stability for a while.

Well if settling is what it needs I'll continue to wait.
As I mentioned there are corals that are doing well.

But this is curious. The Red Dragon just bleached too.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4296/35883021370_37571672d6_o.jpg

I've killed a lot of Red Dragons, but this time it's different.

The skin in pealing off, like a human's skim after sun burn.

Maybe I've never been around to see this, but whenever a Red Dragon bleached it simply went white.

It's finished, but I'm moving it to my Frag tank as a last chance.

JonezNReef
07/30/2017, 09:52 PM
Looks like RTN. Also if tips are burning then maybe there is something up with your Alk. Just a thought

Wally.B
07/30/2017, 10:06 PM
Looks like RTN. Also if tips are burning then maybe there is something up with your Alk. Just a thought
I agree burnt tips could be alk.

But I'm a fanatic checking alk since this is a new dosing regime setup.
I check alk like every other day.

It's 7.7 ROCK SOLID, for weeks.

Not even 8.0 or 7.5.
7.7 Tested Every other day.

Wally.B
07/31/2017, 12:32 AM
DOSING ALK STREAM (Not Dosing ALK SPIKE)

You got me thinking since I'm searching for a reason for excessive bleaching. Those Sunsets bleaching, the Red Planet that looked great for a long while and now the Red Dragon.

There is no indication of any ALK spike since my water testing show that.

However that is from Tank water that has been properly mixed.

Perhaps when I installed the Doser and tubes as show below, I made a mistake.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4301/36239672226_e181dcf059_z.jpg

Is it possible that when I dose the ALK hits the surface water, and doesn't mix, but skims across the surface toward the RETURN PUMP Section. (RED ARROWS)

That Return pump feeds my Sea Swirl that rotates back and forth in my tank, injecting water from the Sump.

If the Dosing ALK isn't mixed properly before returning to tank, it could be a steam of ALK coming out of Sea Swirl.

Yet water does mix since (even if surface doses make it there). In the picture it shows blue arrows in the Refuge. That water entering the Refuge overflows into the Return section, so that means additional water mixing into the Return pump area.

My dosing is very light (7.5 ml) each time, twice a day (5:00am, and 5:00pm).
And it's only AquaForest COmponent 1,2,3.

However when I adjusted the tank flow recently, I created Apex profile to not run the Gyre XF150 high at night. So the Sea Swirl is the greatest Circulation in the tank.

Plus when I finished the Frag Tank, I borrowed the CP-25 Pump, thus reducing the flow in the Display Tank further. Make the Sea Swirl even more the primary circulation, especially at night, and especially at 5am when one dose happens.

Extremely unlikely the cause, but just throwing this out there since it may have happened to someone.
It doesn't explain why some corals are ok, and others not. The good ones may be lucky since Sea Swirl wasn't pointed in their direction, and if true, another coral could be next.

Crazy theory?

A good test that I'm going to try, is a few (ml) of Coral Snow, where the dosing happens. I'll see where the white cloud goes.

Wally.B
07/31/2017, 12:54 AM
SEA SWIRL Stream (Test) Coral Snow

So I did the Coral Snow test.

It took a while for the Coral Snow to show up in the Sea Swirl output, so that means there was mixing.

But here is what the output with Coral Snow Cloud looked like.
It's directed at the corals, which is normal (and good).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4311/36147210831_e5bdcfa280_b.jpg

And the Sump did Cloud up completely before the tank clouded up, so that confirms mixing in Sump.

However this small adjustment on Sea Swirl Funnel can't hurt. (More Horizontal and not pointing at Corals).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4310/36279641225_1ec560b0c8_b.jpg

Could have been a problem since tank is quite small for this Large Sea Swirl and Poweful DC Variable Speed Return pump.

reefmutt
07/31/2017, 07:50 AM
I know people who dump their two part solutions by hand directly into the display. probaby not ideal but is isn't killing corals.
I think you are good with your system.
Your red dragon rtned like normal, you just happened to catch it in the act this time.
Is there growth on the acros that are doing ok?

Wally.B
07/31/2017, 12:20 PM
Is there growth on the acros that are doing ok?

My collection of Dead Corals is growing for sure :(

But this is one Example, the Original Bonsai that have been around for many weeks. Started a quick growth, and now looks like not much.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4298/36159024801_7d3af24647_c.jpg

But look at the Acro Photo on Right. That one has had the best coloration, and it started Encrusting.

Now it has some burnt tips, and the Back Side looks pitted.

NEXT IS MY MONTI (Been around for over a year)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4307/35485654043_539cb6030a_c.jpg

When I started this DT, it took off, showing white tip growth.
It's stop growing, and that is a clear indicator that things are slowing down.


I have been too afraid of Increasing Lighting. For good reasons.
But that is holding me back from getting to Proper Par Levels and growth.


BTW. Frag tank is young, but hasn't killed or hurt any SPS yet.

Wally.B
07/31/2017, 04:27 PM
Is this PINK CADILAC Alive?

As I mentioned before the Pink Caddilac lost it's tips.
It no longer glows under an Actinic or UV Light.

But unlike ALL Other Corals that have bleached and died, it's hasn't gone white. It is all GREEN.

It is also not growing brown algae on is Skeleton.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4306/35461944754_b20c913004_o.jpg

It's sitting in my FRAG tank for now.

IS IT ALIVE?

Wally.B
07/31/2017, 07:06 PM
SOME GOOD News (For a change). The Power Brown in Mixed Kittchen DT

So The Power Blue Tang is Amazing (great Looking) addition to the Kitchen Tank.

He is really gettting along with the 3 Blue Green Chromis Fish.

They get along with him..

….And now they Get Along with each Other. (Almost inseperable, especially near the feeding station).

The whole Tank Social Behaviour has changed. Wife and Kids like the change.

The Chromis’s actually don’t hang around in Caves, killing each other.

They swim around the whole tank, and are schooling again.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4317/36131259422_8ee8b23c36_c.jpg

And due to Competition for Food, every Pellet Dropped in is eaten (before it hits the bottom)!!!!

Wish I could accomplish this in my SPS tank inhabitants. I would feed more and that would be great for the Corals.

Wally.B
08/01/2017, 08:49 PM
FRAG TANK (Frag Reference) Aug 1st, 2017

So I got the Frag Tank setup with Sump, since I shut down the QT with Powder Brown Tang.

I trust the Frag Tank more than DT, and I'm feeding it OysterFeast Daily.
Brought up the Lights to close to 250 PARS.

Going Down South to "Turk and Caicos" in a week, and last year we enjoyed some Amazing Snorkeling at "Coral Gardens" which is out of this World.

We bought a I-Phone Sleeve case as seen below last year, and it was Useless.
For Some reason it would work pefect on Land, but wouldn't Focus under water.

This year I'm prepared, since I got this Case and Camera combo (used on Kijii) for dirt cheap.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4349/36323600935_4cd4d4c768.jpg

Learning to use it and I just tested it on the FRAG TANK.
Put it under water and distance is far enough for the Cannon S95 to get a decent Photo.

This is much better than shooting thru Glass as seen in Center Photo.
Better than shooting top shot over water since no reflections.

I haven't even test the RAW shooting mode, it was just Auto Setting.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4439/35515496073_1a9e32ae73_b.jpg

I have a reference point on my Frags to see how they do over time.

LuizW13
08/02/2017, 04:24 PM
I can't believe i went through 10 pages of this! If only your luck with your corals was as good as your DIY skills :fun5:

Wally.B
08/02/2017, 04:32 PM
I can't believe i went through 10 pages of this! If only your luck with your corals was as good as your DIY skills :fun5:

I hope it wasn't too painful.

It puzzles me why I have such SPS troubles.

But I may have a clue.
That little piece of Green Slimer that I placed in my Mixed Tank is looking Super.Bright Green, Showing Better PE than in my FRAG and DT (where there is a same Green Slimer Piece).

It shouldn't be doing well at all. Hi Nitrates, Hi Phosphates, Barely any circulation, and Low Lighting.

To soon for any conclusion yet.

LuizW13
08/02/2017, 05:13 PM
I hope it wasn't too painful.

It puzzles me why I have such SPS troubles.

But I may have a clue.
That little piece of Green Slimer that I placed in my Mixed Tank is looking Super.Bright Green, Showing Better PE than in my FRAG and DT (where there is a same Green Slimer Piece).

It shouldn't be doing well at all. Hi Nitrates, Hi Phosphates, Barely any circulation, and Low Lighting.

To soon for any conclusion yet.

I hope you figure it out! this is all a bit daunting to me now that I want SPS corals in my system.

reefmutt
08/02/2017, 07:45 PM
Geez, Wally.. I gotta say non of those sps frags look particularly good..
And yes the pink Cadillac is dead.
Sometimes a type of green algea can colonize the skeleton below the flesh of the coral so when it does, the green skeleton is exposed. I've had it happen to me on a few occausions..

Wally.B
08/02/2017, 10:40 PM
Geez, Wally.. I gotta say non of those sps frags look particularly good..
And yes the pink Cadillac is dead.
Sometimes a type of green algea can colonize the skeleton below the flesh of the coral so when it does, the green skeleton is exposed. I've had it happen to me on a few occausions..

Yeah, I know.

So I'm going to do a bit more to help compare things.

I cut a few more pieces. A "Bird of Paradise", "Carolina", The "Green Slimer" and one more "Acro".

And put into the Mixed Kitchen Tank.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4327/36343627355_c32bf23972_b.jpg

Not the best pictures, but good enough for future reference.

One Slimer isn't going to tell the story, but 4 SPS will certainly shed some light.

3 Environments, All same SPS.

Wally.B
08/02/2017, 11:43 PM
All 3 Environments (Alk & Calc).

For now I measured the two most important Parameters.
The N & P I pretty well know that the Kitchen tank is pretty High. And Very Low in the two SPS tanks.

ALK (Frag Tank) = 7.7
ALK (SPS TANK) = 7.7
ALK (Kitchen TANK) = 8.0

CALC (Frag Tank) = 425
CALC (SPS Tank) = 420
CALC (Kitchen Tank) = 410

Not much of a difference. So the Kitchen Tank won't be a shock to the SPS on those two parameters.

Wally.B
08/03/2017, 11:58 AM
One more Frag (Into Mixed Tank) for Ultimate Miracle Test

This will certainly be interested.

This Frag was already dying in my SPS DT.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4358/35545341963_2d901a3f3f_o.jpg

It continued to bleach slowly in Frag Tank.

So before it's all gone, I split it and One Piece is in the Kitchen Mixed Tank.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4384/36353603775_3c54a6ba41_o.jpg

If it survives in the Kitchen DT that will be a Miracle.

reefmutt
08/03/2017, 01:03 PM
Death by a thousand cuts...
You are working with poor odds here..
Still, curious to see what happens.

Wally.B
08/03/2017, 05:28 PM
I EXPECTED THIS (Frag Tank's) First Problem

The Frag tank is young, and it will take time to age/mature. (Assuming Coraline will eventually cover everything).

I did Shut down the QT and have it running a sump (with the Skimmer)

I also added a nice large Live Rock, covered in Coraline and Sponges underneath.

BUT with the Coral Feeding and Higher PARS it's showing first signs of ALGAE.

A thin film of brown is covering the racks and glass.

And some of the Plugs are showing Green Algae (hair like).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4334/36358117305_6c6154eac6_z.jpg

But this will be fairly easy to maintain/clean compared to the FRAG DT.

TIME TO PUT ON THE BLACK COVER on the Baffle Filter Box.

Wally.B
08/03/2017, 11:33 PM
Some SPECIAL Automation (Vacation Auto Feeder with Apex Light Flasher Warning)


I'm doing this more for the Corals in the SPS tank (Too Keep Nutrient Levels up). Not so much for the Fish, which will be ok for 7 days.

I'm skipping the Neighbour to Feed the Fish while away next week (He would only come once anyway).

I setup my Ehiem Feeder before, but fish are so trained to come to feeding area (when I approach).

When using AutoFeeder, food get's wasted since they don't come right away. The new Powder Brown Tang is also learning the feeding area, so don't want to disrupt his GOOD PELLET EATTING HABIT.

So some Advanced Apex Programming will do the trick.

Basically using two APEX Virutual Outlets, I add two extra Statements to my Normal T5 (On/OFF) schedule program.

This Causes the T5 Light to Flash (on/off every 4 seconds) Just before the Feeder Feeds. (Flashes for 1 MINUTE)
The Feeder which is not Apex Controlled is programmed (to feed just after the T5 Flashes) (Or during Light Flashes).....Your Choice.

Over the next week the fish will be fed this way and trained.
Then during the vacation they will hopefully learn the Auto Feeder Routine (we me not present).

Here is how the programming works (NOTE: Virtual Outlets, must be put into AUTO mode).

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4366/35526391074_d6d2539626_b.jpg

**NOTE *** this type of programming ONLY Allows you to Flash (while T5 Light is OFF)
********** If you schedule the Flasher (this way) during T5 On Time the T5 Will not turn on
********** There is a another more advanced way to Flash the T5 during on time, but I forgot how I did it (Using Virtual Outlet Latches). It's possible, just more complex.


**NOTE *** Any shorter Duration than 5/4 seconds and Flash is Unreliable. This may vary if your Apex is busy doing many things

** NOTE IMPORTANT ** Never use Flashing for Metal Halide Lights. (Bad Idea to Bounce you MH Ballast).

********************************************
** ANOTHER COOL USE FOR (Feed Light) FLASHER **
********************************* You can use this Light Flashing, by adding it to the Apex Feed Button. (ie. When you Push Apex Feed, it can do whatever Feed does, and Flash Your light(s) too )

Both my tanks will run this way.

When I get back, I'll keep this setup and only feed Frozen Food Personally from then on.

One more step closer toward Total Automation :)

Big E
08/04/2017, 07:25 AM
Hi Wally,

I may have missed exactly what the current status is so correct me on some of this if needed.

I agree with Matt, those frags are rough looking on post #230 Do you have a source you can get some healthy and vibrant frags to test regardless of which tank you put them in? If possible something you can see in person.

Starting out with shutdown frags is an uphill battle even in a thriving system.

If it was me I'd keep the LEDs off for now. Run the halides 6 hours and the T5 for 8 hours. Get the fixture down to a height where you're at 300-350 par at mid level in the tank. Early on you had the fixture way too high, but I think you know that now. You can work the LEDs back into the mix once the corals are doing good for a few months.

Use one brand of salt......just pick one you like. You can adjust alk, calc doses easily.

Dose just alk and calc no other combo additives. If you've used the standard ESV and had success on your other system I'd go with that.

No coral foods or trace elements.

The basic idea is to simplify things for now and limit variables until the tank can stabilize.

Id suck out that last bit of sand in the display for maintenance and consistent purposes.

Wally.B
08/04/2017, 11:05 AM
Hi Wally,

I may have missed exactly what the current status is so correct me on some of this if needed.

Ed, first and foremost, thanks for hopping over to my thread.
Between you and Reefmutt I have hope that this SPS Tank will be solved.

I agree with Matt, those frags are rough looking on post #230 Do you have a source you can get some healthy and vibrant frags to test regardless of which tank you put them in? If possible something you can see in person.


Starting out with shutdown frags is an uphill battle even in a thriving system.

Yes, I did get a few Corals from a Distressed Tank and that may have lead me astray, since some of the Original Corals are doing fine.

I'll get a few new Reasonably Priced Frags in Excellent Visual Condition (Personally inspected before purchase).


If it was me I'd keep the LEDs off for now. Run the halides 6 hours and the T5 for 8 hours. Get the fixture down to a height where you're at 300-350 par at mid level in the tank. Early on you had the fixture way too high, but I think you know that now. You can work the LEDs back into the mix once the corals are doing good for a few months.

After getting that PAR Meter, I clearly know what Height and Setting are good. (With Basic MH and T5).

I'll turn off the LED for now.

Will work slowly to get lighting to about 250Pars at Mid Level (Where most of the Frags Reside)
That will required me to Switch my Ballast from 150W, to (175W which I just did few days ago), and eventually to (250W).
MH (6 hours) and (T5 for 8 hours).

I expect a bit of Algae during this Lighting Increase, but with N & P so Low, it should be fine.
Greatest pain during Lighting increases (lowering lights) has been Sand Bed (which you address below...[ Get rid of it ])


Use one brand of salt......just pick one you like. You can adjust alk, calc doses easily.


Simple change, and going forward with just Tropic Marin Pro (pricey, but I trust it, and I've lost more money on Frags than a bucket of quality salt..

Dose just alk and calc no other combo additives. If you've used the standard ESV and had success on your other system I'd go with that.

Actually, I did a quick review of Thuis Thread (over time), and things were going well till I started Dosing AF (1,2,3). It's probably not the single reason, but you raise an interesting Point.

I will empty my Dosing Reservoir and fill it with ESV (Alk,Calc) which I have for my other Tank.

I have to be careful since ESV is much higher concentration that AF.

No coral foods or trace elements.
Nothing has been added to DT after Reefmutt slapped my hands and sealed all my additives an Coral foods in the Vault.


The basic idea is to simplify things for now and limit variables until the tank can stabilize.

I’d suck out that last bit of sand in the display for maintenance and consistent purposes.

Yes, I wanted to get rid of the Sand (Since Rocks are clean, but Sandbed isn't looking great), and your little push helps.
Will be done today.

Many thanks to Reefmutt and you Ed for your assistance.

Stay tuned, I'll post when I make the adjustments.

Wally.B
08/04/2017, 01:10 PM
First Adjustment (Lighting)

Ed,

The SPS tank is in Basement (Sump Room, no windows), built into Wall and I view from my Office...., so when no TANK Lights ON it's Pitch Dark BLACK.

From your Recommendation (6 Hours MH and 8 Hours T5), I wasn't sure if (T5 Should be on during MH), or Doesn't matter.

To give me more viewing Time I staggered things this Way.

Everything adds up to the recommended times.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4360/36203946762_3120e454e8.jpg

The MH lights are 2x 175W (for now)

One T5 is an ATI Coral Plus.
One T5 is an ATI Blue Plus.

THE POWER LED is turned off. I just have a Low Power Blue LED Strip for 1 hour before Closing time.

I assume this is good.

Wally.B
08/04/2017, 06:27 PM
In the Process of Removing SANDBED

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4430/35540342084_92319c8789_z.jpg

I off for two weeks starting today, and away down south next week.

Why not get this out of the way.

It's not too big of a job since all the Sand was blown onto the Left side of Tank.

More details to come after I'm done.

Wally.B
08/04/2017, 08:31 PM
Sand Bed Remove (Tank Circulation Refined)

It was pretty easy to remove the Sand Bed.

- Just had to remove 5-6 Medium/Large Rocks on Left Side.

- Used BrineShrimp Net to Scoop most of it up.
- Followed by a Siphon Fine Cleaning.

Glad I had the Frag Tank since it was ideal to hold the Corals and Coral Rocks.

The Baserocks went into couple of bucket.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4404/36208992322_1676e7c4ab_c.jpg

I was surprised to see how clean and nice the Rocks and to some degree the Corals looked in the Shallow Frag Tank. They never look like this in DT.


I had these Two Hydor Koralia Pump in the corner to keep good circulation for the Sand Bed. (Didn't work too well). (I removed them)

With no more Sand Bed (I can Crank Up the Circulation), so I installed the CP-40 opposite the MaxSpect XF150.

-> The MaxSpect XF150 is Controlled by Apex and IceCap Module.
-> The Jecod CP-40 will be controlled by the WiFI Module (for now it's running on the Basic Controller)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4354/36377159035_fbe62fab9b_c.jpg

They will alternate and also Crash Into Each other for a Random Circulation. Much better than a Single Gyre Pump at one end as in the past.

The reason the sandbed was on the Left Side was due to only 1 Powerful Gyre.
Two will be circulation in both directions, and when both running more down the middle.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4348/36240658881_9401db1b64_c.jpg

Surface view show the good Surface Circulation with both on.


THE TANK IS CLEARING UP and I'll post a Photo of the New Look one it clears.

(Only change is left side, and I decided to mount all the remaining Good SPS Frags (Struggling ones are in FRAG tank to either Heal or live their last bit of life))

Wally.B
08/04/2017, 09:32 PM
SPS Tank (With No SandBed) NEW LOOK

Still will take a while to clear up, but here is the No Sand Bed Look.

BEFORE (With Sand Bed) Month Ago (while Frags were OK)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4352/35542261114_fe8c27b5fd_c.jpg

NOW (NO Sand Bed) (Dual Gyre Pumps)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4393/36332990086_4a75311ccc_c.jpg

I kind of like the way it looked before, but good enough for this next Journey (Keeping Frags Healthy and Alive)..

Happy I moved the Some Rocks away from the Glass since I couldn't clean with Magnet all around. Hated that!! (Thus why things are bit more compact).

(It's hard to tell in Photo, but I did make all Rocks Open Spaced, for Flow Thru, and Cave for fish to Have Shelter with Stronger Circulation)

One rock was flipped so the Corals at back are now visible in the Front. (That I like).

And last but not least......I do miss the sand bed look a bit... (When it was Sparkling White),
but it wasn't white all around (Icky Brown Spots, so Look forward to overall Tank Clean Look and Water Clarity.

reefmutt
08/05/2017, 06:46 AM
Nice new flow situation.
Once some corraline grows on the floor, it won't look so bare.
You could also put some encrusting montis or favia type corals on the bottom..
Careful with the montis, though.. they can take over...
Good start. It's a waiting game, now. Not the easy part, I know!
This should be months, not weeks..

Big E
08/05/2017, 11:02 AM
Ed,

The SPS tank is in Basement (Sump Room, no windows), built into Wall and I view from my Office...., so when no TANK Lights ON it's Pitch Dark BLACK.

From your Recommendation (6 Hours MH and 8 Hours T5), I wasn't sure if (T5 Should be on during MH), or Doesn't matter.

To give me more viewing Time I staggered things this Way.

Everything adds up to the recommended times.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4360/36203946762_3120e454e8.jpg

The MH lights are 2x 175W (for now)

One T5 is an ATI Coral Plus.
One T5 is an ATI Blue Plus.

THE POWER LED is turned off. I just have a Low Power Blue LED Strip for 1 hour before Closing time.

I assume this is good.

I would run the T5s 8-9 hours and sandwich the 6 hours of MH in the middle. So an hour or so on each end of the MH. You can work up the total hours if you choose later on.

From the one picture it looks like you don't have reflectors on the T5s? If not, get some..........they snap right onto the bulbs. Without reflectors your bulbs are very inefficient. This also allows you to angle them slightly if you chose to direct the light towards the center more.

Wally.B
08/05/2017, 03:12 PM
I would run the T5s 8-9 hours and sandwich the 6 hours of MH in the middle. So an hour or so on each end of the MH. You can work up the total hours if you choose later on.

From the one picture it looks like you don't have reflectors on the T5s? If not, get some..........they snap right onto the bulbs. Without reflectors your bulbs are very inefficient. This also allows you to angle them slightly if you chose to direct the light towards the center more.

I will do as you say with Sandwiched T5 Timing (So Total Main Lighting (T5 staggered 1 hour) is 9 hours, 2pm-11pm, but MH 6 remains Hours).
My Low Power Blue Led Strip can handle 9am-2pm, and 11pm-midnight.

The T5's Do have High Quality Reflectors. Snap On.

Wally.B
08/05/2017, 03:21 PM
The Green Slimmer in SPS DT.

I did more the Green Slimer from Frag Tank to the New Sandless DT.

Looks a bit more happier since showing signs of PE.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4382/35555397844_98ca7f7cda_o.jpg