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clownfish4
08/27/2017, 03:50 PM
WARNING

This thread will be VERY slow. Read at your own risk.

Background

I've been in the hobby for 15 years now. I've had tanks ranging from 5 gallons up to 125 gallons. I've had reefs and fish only tanks and have kept species from the majority of families readily available in the hobby. Most of the tanks I've had up until this point have been very low tech, relying on simple DIY mechanisms cheap materials, like milk cartons.

My current tank is going in the opposite direction. I've decided to try some of the fancy toys and go for a sleeker look overall. I've never created a tank thread before, so I figured I would start here and share everything I've done, why I've done it, and hopefully get some constructive feedback to improve my tank.

Problems

These are the biggest problems, as I see them now. I'll reference each in more detail further down this post.

- Flow rate in sump is too low
- Light isn't controllable by Apex
- pH, calcium, and alkalinity are low (with no livestock)
- Temp probe is poorly placed
- Skimmer is difficult to dial in

Current Tank

18” L x 16” W x 12” H (~18 gallons)
Rimless
1/2” acrylic
Custom built by Advanced Acrylics

The back is a rock wall I built. This is my first time building one and I think it came out okay. I used BRS dry rock, pond foam, egg crate, and dried out Arag Alive special grade sand. The only issue I had was not getting good coverage on the foam with the epoxy, so there's still a lot of black. However, I think it will actually add some good perception of depth when there are SPS corals growing on the wall.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4340/36851323395_053f9369f1_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y9qEyK)IMG_2866 (https://flic.kr/p/Y9qEyK) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Sump

18” L x 10” W
Rimless
1/4” acrylic
3 chambers in a u-shaped flow pattern
Customer built by Advanced Acrylics

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4392/36851021375_4e741b0988_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y9p7Mv)Sump Design Cube(2) (https://flic.kr/p/Y9p7Mv) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4404/36851321075_8d454441e3_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y9qDSK)IMG_2864 (https://flic.kr/p/Y9qDSK) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Lighting

AI Hydra
AI Director
16K at peak hour, slightly bluer ramping up and down

This is the only production LED fixture I have used. Before I got this I used two DIY LED pendants that were not controllable. The look in the tank is great and I love the controllability, however I do not like that it cannot be controlled by the Apex. I know the discontinued AWM module can control it, but I do not want to use a discontinued module.

I've had two issues with this light to date. The first was that the firmware wouldn't update because the original power cord for the Director wasn't sufficient to keep the device properly powered while upgrading the firmware of the light. The second issue I had was interference on the wi-fi channels preventing the light's firmware from updating. These problems are exasperated by the fact that they become problematic when the light randomly stops working, so the tank loses it's light for hours or days while trying to fix.

As I am not attached to this light, I am looking for something more reliable that is controllable by the Apex. Since everything else on the Apex is wired, I'd probably prefer a light with a physical connection to avoid issues with wi-fi or internet in controlling the light. Suggestions welcome!

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4424/36681032312_0a4cf9d0f8_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XTnSXA)Screenshot from 2017-08-27 17:47:03 (https://flic.kr/p/XTnSXA) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Water Movement

My return pump is a Sicce Syncra 2.0, 568 gph operating at approximately 4 feet of head and feeding the aquarium through 2 1/2” returns. This was upgraded from a QuietOne 296 gph pump. Both pump were chosen based on the limited size of the return compartment in the sump.

The biggest issue I have is that the flow in the refugium is too stagnant. I am considering upgrading to the EcoTech Vectra S1 DC 1400 gph pump. In order to do so, I will have to drill a hole in the side of the sump and run the pump externally, due to its size. However, this will allow me full control of the return pump through the Apex and alleviate my flow issues in the sump.

The alternative solution is to put a small power head in the refugium, but given how small it is, I do not think this is a practical solution and has fewer benefits than upgrading to the Vectra.

The aquarium has a Tunze Turbelle Nanostream operating on a wave program. I will be adding the Apex pump control module to get better control of the Nanostream, allowing me to switch from the wave action to a constant, slow flow at night.

Since the tank is rimless, it had to be ½” thick, meaning I can't use the Vortech MP10. This is a bummer as I don't care for the cord of the Tunze in the tank.

Control

As you've probably picked up on, I'm using an Apex. This is the first time I've ever used a controller on a tank. Even though my tank is small, I decided to get the Apex 2016. The price point is reasonable for what's included and I expect it to last for many years, so it will be perfect when I upgrade my tank.

Currently I do not have any exapnsion modules and am not using anything that isn't include in the 2016. In other words, I am using it to control my power outlets and to monitor pH, temp, conductivity, and ORP.

The experience with the Apex has been interesting so far. I love the power control, being able to monitor power usage, the alerts, etc. The only thing that's been a bit tricky is the use of the probes. The instructions clearly state that the ORP probe takes a couple of weeks to calibrate itself, but do not say anything about the conductivity probe. I have not done anything to change the salinity of the tank since I added the Apex, with the exception of the minor fluctuations from evaporation top off. Yet the conductivity probe took about two weeks to reflect the actual conductivity of the tank, slowly climbing from single digits to ~35.

First Week

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36017192274_34a2c74deb_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WSHwrG)Screenshot from 2017-08-27 17:37:55 (https://flic.kr/p/WSHwrG) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Last Week

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36851577725_899bdd0891_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y9rYaK)Screenshot from 2017-08-27 17:38:26 (https://flic.kr/p/Y9rYaK) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

I also need to figure out how to relocate the temp probe. It is currently located just upstream of the heater, which is much too close.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36016923254_5a4198135b_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WSG9tq)IMG_2865 (https://flic.kr/p/WSG9tq) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

Stand

I built the stand myself. As you can tell, I am not a carpenter, and built this without the best tools. I'm overall happy with the way it turned out, but there are definitely some imperfections. I plan on adding a door soon and some trim on the top to hide the imperfections on the top of the panels. I may end up doing trim down the side corners as well.

Water Parameters

Temp – Apex keeps it between 78 and 79 F, but the actual tank is likely colder due to the location of the temp probe. (measured by Apex probe)

pH – Chronically low. I have kalk in the top off water and the pH rarely goes above 7.8. (measured by Apex probe)

Conductivity – Hovers between 33.5 and 34.5. (measured by Apex probe)

ORP – Fluctuates a lot between 300 and 400. (measured by Apex probe)

Nitrate – 0 ppm (Salifert)

Phosphate – 0 ppm (Salifert)

Magnesium – 1050 ppm (Salifert)

Calcium – 350 mg/L (Hanna)

Alkalinity – 8.4 dKH (Hanna)

Supplements

Currently only adding kalk powder to the top off reservoir. I am likely going to use the BRS calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium powders, but haven't settled on a dosing method yet. I would like to use the Apex dosing system, but the system only has two heads and I need three. I don't particularly want to use two of them, especially if one pump won't get used at all. I will most likely use the Apex dosing system to constantly drip calcium and alkalinity and manually dose magnesium once a week.

Filtration

Skimmer – Cad Lights PLS-100, 3rd Gen. I hate this skimmer. It is extremely difficult to dial in. I love that is fits in the tight space, but the foam production is not great and it is impossible to get consistent performance due to how hard it is to dial in. The output hole is so small that a tiny has significant impact on the water level. The lock knobs have to be kept tight so that it doesn't fluctuate when in use, so the only way to adjust it is to completely remove it, make an adjustment, put it back in, and wait. This process is awful.

I've been researching nano-skimmers for a couple of years and have yet to find something that I think will work better. Would love suggestions here.

Activated Carbon – I will throw a bag in the sump from time to time, but do not plan on running carbon 24/7 by any means.

Stocking List

Currently the tank only has sand and rock in it. The tank will be SPS, with one clam. My plan is to only feed live foods, so the fish need to be carnivores. I also want to avoid jumpers, as I don't want to have an open top tank. My plan is to culture Tisbe biminiensis to feed the tank. I am debating whether or not to culture another species of pod, brine, and/or black woms. My only issue with blackworms is that they grow very large, so I would only be able to feed new borns to my nano fish.

For fish I am considering the following. Any and all input is welcome and I'd love additonal suggestions. I will likely end up with two or three fish total.

- Pink Streaked Wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia) – I love the personality of this fish, especially its constant swimming through the rock work, and it would fare well on the live diet. However, it will be prone to jumping.

- Spotted Mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus) – I am ONLY considering this fish as I will be adding live pods to the tank regularly. Fulfills all of the things I am looking for. Major concern is whether or not I can maintain a tank population of pods to support it when I go on vacation, where I won't be able to add pods on a daily basis.

- Diamond Watchman Goby (Valenciennea puellaris) – Same as the mandarin.

- Yellow Clown Goby (Gobiodon okinawae) – My main hesitation on this guy is that he won't be out in the open and easy to spot. Since I will only have 2-3 fish, I worry this won't add enough excitement to the tank.

All other suggestions are welcome. Note I do NOT want any clownfishes or damselfishes and I'd like to stick to peaceful temperments.

Conclusion

I think that wraps up the majority of it. Please feel free to ask any questions and provide any and all input. I'm hoping to make this the best tank I've ever kept.

Skyjacker07
08/27/2017, 04:40 PM
You could always add a second temp probe to the tank itself to get an accurate temp, your sump would give you a nice place to add the pods so the mandarin won't clean them out, they can reproduce there and will move to the tank themselves. I use an aquamaxx hob-1 skimmer that is an awesome skimmer, and the newer version of this is still available online, you can hang it on your sump, as to ph I've never been one to do anything to raise ph, I literally let the tank do that itself. I started my tank with a ph of 7.7-7.9 it's been up a 2 years coral in the tank for a year, it currently sits at 8.46 per my apex.

rishma
08/27/2017, 08:58 PM
Re: skimmer

I am currently using a tunze 9001 dc. I'm pleased. Easy to dial in and pulls consistent skim. I used a tunze 9004 for years but it would not work with my new tank so I settled for the 9001. In addition to working well I demand silence which is a tough request for a skimmer. Both Tunze's skimmers have been satisfactory, which is a lot coming from me.

clownfish4
08/28/2017, 05:28 PM
Skyjacker07

- I don't think I need a second temp probe on such a small tank, I'm more so trying to figure out where and how to mount it. Probe holders are relatively expensive, so I don't want to have to buy a second one just for the temp probe. I don't have my probes in the overflow box because the water level tends to fluctuate a bit. I'm thinking of either raising the intake for the full siphon or fixing the pipe for the secondary drain, which is causing enough noise to make me not want the siphon to overflow into it. If I do this, I'll move all four probes to the overflow box, but that may be unsightly.

- For the mandarin, I think keeping a solid population in the fuge would sustain it for a 1-2 week vacation, but I would likely need to increase the flow through the fuge for this to be successful.

- For pH, I think you are spot on. I expect when I start to regularly dose calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium the pH will bring itself up.


rishma

Thank you for the suggestion. I had looked at the non-DC version of the 9001 last year and found something that made it not work on my tank. I *think* the water level on the skimmer was too high for my sump, but the documentation isn't really clear on what the actual height is, so I can't verify. It may also have been a space issue with the intake attachment. I looked at the DC version and it looks like it should work. I went ahead and ordered one and will see what happens.

Indiana Reefin
08/28/2017, 09:13 PM
I have a tunze 9001 and it works great on my 18 gallon AIO. There are plenty of nano skimmers that would work better than that cadlights

rishma
08/30/2017, 04:07 AM
Let us know what you think of 9001DC

clownfish4
08/30/2017, 05:39 PM
Will do. It should be delivered tomorrow, but I probably won't be able to install it until Saturday.

clownfish4
08/31/2017, 08:25 PM
I ended up getting the 9001 installed tonight. The only issue I've had is that, while the magnet is tight, the skimmer itself is still loose on the bracket on the inside of the sump. Taking the skimmer cup off causes the body to bounce, which may be an issue going forward.

This thing is insanely quiet, especially compared to the PLS-100 it's replacing. I'll update more once I get it dialed in and see some production. It's not a tight fit in the sump, but getting it installed was a pain because it's a small area to work in. You can kind of get an idea of scale in the pictures below. The skimmer is in the back left behind the probes.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/36116052164_f6b1efe2bf_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/X2sd3y)IMG_2877 (https://flic.kr/p/X2sd3y) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4389/36779318322_815fdc06e1_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y34BXY)IMG_2878 (https://flic.kr/p/Y34BXY) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

clownfish4
09/01/2017, 04:45 PM
When I got home today I noticed the water level in the skimmer was a bit high, so I turned the air know down a touch, and now the skimmer is not producing ANY bubbles. I turned the know up and down and cycled through the cleaning timer, but it won't bubble. There is water circulating in the chamber, so the pump is working. I removed the skimmer, checked the airline, and reinstalled it, but still no bubbles. I suspect I have a bad controller :/

clownfish4
09/02/2017, 10:04 AM
I opened the controller on the 9001 and found one of the three wires had popped out of the connector. I pushed it back on and presto, the skimmer is working again!

clownfish4
09/04/2017, 03:06 PM
Christmas started early this year. In order to setup my quarantine tank, I needed another light and ATO.

For the ATO, I ordered the ATK for the Apex to replace the Tunze Nano ATO on the main tank. The Tunze Nano ATO will be moved to the QT tank. I was using a waterproof box to house all my electronics, but it got overcrowded and hot, so I moved everything to the wall temporarily. As you can see, it does NOT look pretty. The long term solution will be to build an electronics box on the side of the stand.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4332/36222104393_f7cd805705_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XbPKFg)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/XbPKFg) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

For the light, I ordered the AI Prime HD and the 12" mounting arm. The mount arrived today, but the light won't be here until Wednesday. Gotta love Amazon logistics! Once it arrives I am going to mount it to the main tank and see if it has enough spread to compare to the Hydra. I'm hoping it does as it will look a lot cleaner and remove the need for the director. Whichever light I like least will go over the QT.

I also ordered the BRS 2-part complete 1 gallon kit. No idea when that will be delivered, but when it is, I will be able to start supplementing calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.

Next on the list is to get the phyto and pod cultures going. I'm still designing how I'm going to set this up for the easiest use.

rishma
09/04/2017, 08:20 PM
Christmas started early this year. In order to setup my quarantine tank, I needed another light and ATO.

For the ATO, I ordered the ATK for the Apex to replace the Tunze Nano ATO on the main tank. The Tunze Nano ATO will be moved to the QT tank. I was using a waterproof box to house all my electronics, but it got overcrowded and hot, so I moved everything to the wall temporarily. As you can see, it does NOT look pretty. The long term solution will be to build an electronics box on the side of the stand.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4332/36222104393_f7cd805705_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XbPKFg)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/XbPKFg) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

For the light, I ordered the AI Prime HD and the 12" mounting arm. The mount arrived today, but the light won't be here until Wednesday. Gotta love Amazon logistics! Once it arrives I am going to mount it to the main tank and see if it has enough spread to compare to the Hydra. I'm hoping it does as it will look a lot cleaner and remove the need for the director. Whichever light I like least will go over the QT.

I also ordered the BRS 2-part complete 1 gallon kit. No idea when that will be delivered, but when it is, I will be able to start supplementing calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.

Next on the list is to get the phyto and pod cultures going. I'm still designing how I'm going to set this up for the easiest use.


I'm enjoying your build. I think I could have gone without seeing your cords!

clownfish4
09/05/2017, 06:28 PM
I'm enjoying your build. I think I could have gone without seeing your cords!

Haha, if I have to suffer so do you! Maybe if enough people shame me on here it will climb higher on my priority list.

The heater and GFCI outlet for the quarantine tank were delivered today. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the setup this weekend. I need to install the GFCI and cut a board to go under the tank on the wire shelf.

Tomorrow the AI Prime HD will be delivered. I'm not stoked that it isn't controllable by the Apex, but the light is what I care the least about for Alex controllability, so I'm not too concerned.

The BRS additives will be delivered Friday. I love BRS, but am not happy that I got an email from UPS, after the item shipped, saying it has to be singed for. That would have been nice to know before placing the order. I'm assuming I didn't miss that somewhere on the website, but I don't recall seeing it anywhere. On the upside, gives me an excuse to work from home on Friday.

Bobbitworm13
09/05/2017, 07:50 PM
You can download an app to control the ai, that's why I may get one

clownfish4
09/05/2017, 08:08 PM
You can download an app to control the ai, that's why I may get one

Yeah, I've had an AI Hydra for a couple of years. The app works pretty well, just a few quirks here and there. I'm just trying to integrate as much as I can into the Apex. I won't be getting a Vectra because I can't integrate it into the Apex. Hoping the COR gets released soon and doesn't flop like the WAV.

clownfish4
09/06/2017, 06:35 PM
The AI Prime HD was delivered today. My AI Hydra got up to 50% at the height of the day, I have the Prime at 100% at the height of the day. Overall I like the profile of the Prime much better, but am worried it may not have enough spread/intensity for my tank. I'm going to leave it on for now and will keep it if my future SPS look good under it. If not, I'll switch back to the Hydra and put the Prime on the QT tank.

Excuse the algae, I left a raw shrimp in the tank for a week to really overdrive the nitrogen cycle.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36678119420_868c59f6e3_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XT7X4j)IMG_2909 (https://flic.kr/p/XT7X4j) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

murphreef
09/07/2017, 02:10 PM
^ nice build

I tried the AI Prime HD on my current 25G cube tank. I couldnt stand it and got rid of it and went back to a 250W SE MH set up.

The prime as you can see from your picture does an awesome disco ball effect and it just doesnt really have that POP I see with some of the other LED units. LEDs are awesome on some tanks and set ups but I think the Prime is Blah to say the least. Love the idea, concept and usability but just in the end not the look it gives.

Keep up the work and hide them cords!

haha!

clownfish4
09/08/2017, 06:30 PM
^ nice build

I tried the AI Prime HD on my current 25G cube tank. I couldnt stand it and got rid of it and went back to a 250W SE MH set up.

The prime as you can see from your picture does an awesome disco ball effect and it just doesnt really have that POP I see with some of the other LED units. LEDs are awesome on some tanks and set ups but I think the Prime is Blah to say the least. Love the idea, concept and usability but just in the end not the look it gives.

Keep up the work and hide them cords!

haha!

I'll just crop the cords out of pics until I properly deal with them, haha. My chemicals and mesh bags arrived today. I stayed home all day because of the email I received from UPS stating I had to sign for it. The UPS driver was nice enough to get here a littler after 6 PM and not even knock, so I stayed home for absolutely no reason. I have a little bit of carbon in until my cycle finishes and I don't have any more free floating algae/shrimp remains.

The calcium, soda ash, and magnesium are all super easy to mix. My levels were fairly low:

Ca - 335
Alk - 8.2
Mg - 1065

So I added an ounce of all three (total volume is ~20 gallons). My pH instantly sky rocketed from 7.95 to 8.55. Luckily all that is in the tank is sand, live rock, and all the critters that hitched a ride. Once I get my levels where I want them I will dose very small amounts daily to maintain, which should prevent the pH swing. I am almost certainly going to get the Apex doser and slowly dose Ca/Alk over night and will add Mg manually once a week.

For the lighting I think I am going to look into a hanging kit for the Hydra. I hate the mount that sits on top of the tank. It makes it difficult to get the top off and clean the acrylic. If I go that route, I'll use the Prime on the QT tank until everything transfers over, then I'll move the prime to the refugium. That way I can fine tune to maximize the wavelengths to the absorption wavelengths of chlorophyll.

For the Apex and cords, I am thinking I will mount another piece of plywood to the side of the tank with an inch or two between. The cords will route through a hole behind the board in the side of the stand, then down. They will come up from the bottom to the front side of the board where everything will be mounted. Then I will pieces around all four sides to make it flush and seal, preventing any water from hitting the electronics if there is a leak.

I'll upload more pictures after I clean the glass this weekend and get it nice and pretty.

clownfish4
09/10/2017, 01:08 PM
The 9001 has been working like a champ. The below is about a week's worth of skimmate. I have the controller set to about 25% (the min is 20%). This puts the bubble level just inside the bottom of the cone. With it so low, I was surprised at how wet the skimmate was.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4382/36960123276_b27b002820_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Yj3hYL)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/Yj3hYL) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr


On Friday I dosed an ounce of Ca, Alk, and Mg. Below are the results after testing Saturday. After I tested, I dosed another ounce of each.

Ca - Rose from 335 to 340. I was expecting one ounce to raise this a lot more than 5 ppm.

Alk - Dropped from 8.2 to 7.4. This was also a surprise. I was not expecting a major drop here.

Mg - Rose from 1065 to 1080. This is the only result I wasn't surprised by.

My nitrates went from 10 to 0, without any water changes or nitrate specific filtration. My phosphates rose to .03. I will be doing a 5g water change today to start getting these back to 0. I will be adding an ounce of Ca, Alk, and Mg to the replacement water before it goes in. My expectation is that this will prevent a major pH spike, but we'll see.

The quarantine tank is also up and running. Once I get the phosphate level in the main tank back to 0, I will do a water change in the QT tank, adding water from the main tank to build the denitrifying bacteria population.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4422/36960455246_bfb79513b7_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Yj4ZEo)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/Yj4ZEo) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr


Now all I have left to do before ordering my livestock is to put the light on the QT tank and get my phyto and pod cultures going.

clownfish4
09/24/2017, 11:24 AM
Definitely time for an update.

My phytoplankton culture has kicked off. I am following Melev's methodology. The containers are quart sized plastic food storage containers I got on Amazon. I like them better than 2 liter soda bottles because they are flat bottomed and have very large openings. I went with an 8 outlet air pump that is rated for 400 gallons. I went this route to prevent using gang valves on the small scale, but allow for sufficient expansion when I upgrade my tank.

Now I need to order my pods. I am looking at AlgaGen Tisbe pods, but I haven't found a cost effective way to get them yet. If I order them from LiveAquaria the cost is double with shipping. I will likely end up two two strains, Tisbe and something smaller, but I haven't selected the other species yet. Shipping is still high relative to the product cost.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/37242145716_fdb323c230_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YJXJqC)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/YJXJqC) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr


In other news, I took my Tunze Nano out to clean it and when I put it back in it was a lot louder than normal. It sounded to me like the prop was hitting the casing, but when I turned it off and spun the prop with my finger it spun freely. There were no deposits in the shaft or on the magnet. I ended up ordering a 6055 because I figured it was a design issue. However, the 6055 was way to strong and the Apex can't control it below ~35%. So I sent that back and ran my nano in a bucket of vinegar water for a few hours and it seems to have resolved.

I also found that one of my return lines had no water coming out of it. I pulled the loc line out and the flow coming from the return pipe increased so much my return chamber ran dry. Turns out the check valves in the locline on both sides was super clogged. I removed both check valves and now the flow from my return is significantly higher.

With the higher flow from my return, my plan now is to turn my nano off completely at night, have it run constantly at ~35% in the morning and evening hours, and have it generate a wave during the day.

clownfish4
10/07/2017, 06:31 PM
My phyto culture was split for the second time today and is going strong. As such, I ordered my pods. I ordered the ReefGen Tisbe pods from LA. Should be delivered Wednesday. Once that culture is stable, I will order my fish. I am going to get a spotted mandarin, diamond watchman goby, and pink streaked wrasse.

I haven't fully settled on a feeding regiment yet, but I am thinking about adding pods every evening and baby brine every other morning, then dried cyclop-eeze soaked in selcon once or twice a week. I may decide to do two brine cultures and feed baby brine every morning instead of every other. I will also be adding phyto once a week.

I am waiting to order my cleanup crew until about the 4th week of quarantine, that way they will go in about a week before the fish. I will be sticking to snails only and ordering from Reef Cleaners.

Over the past week or so I have noticed a large population of the organism pictured below on my glass. My assumption is that these are harmless, algae eating flatworms. If you know what these are, please let me know.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4491/37511888066_56637ebb72_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Z9NeqN)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/Z9NeqN) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

PAXpress
10/09/2017, 03:56 PM
The AI Prime HD was delivered today. My AI Hydra got up to 50% at the height of the day, I have the Prime at 100% at the height of the day. Overall I like the profile of the Prime much better, but am worried it may not have enough spread/intensity for my tank. I'm going to leave it on for now and will keep it if my future SPS look good under it. If not, I'll switch back to the Hydra and put the Prime on the QT tank.

Excuse the algae, I left a raw shrimp in the tank for a week to really overdrive the nitrogen cycle.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36678119420_868c59f6e3_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XT7X4j)IMG_2909 (https://flic.kr/p/XT7X4j) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
Looking a bit disco ball! How do you like the light so far? I'm looking at one for my nano...

clownfish4
10/10/2017, 06:35 PM
I honestly like the AI Prime. When it comes down to it, water movement will cause any light to bend. This fixture is sleek and provides a perfect amount of light for my tank, while being highly controllable. I still think the management interface could use some work, but it is good enough to get the job done.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4504/37626086571_8b1f86ce9b_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ZjTwEx)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/ZjTwEx) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

And this is the wall behind the tank and the ceiling.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4489/37577365016_eec2626dc2_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ZfzPrJ)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/ZfzPrJ) by Mike Burns (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

reefinder
10/10/2017, 07:02 PM
Great set up you got going there, I am enjoying reading your thread thus far. I set up a new tank as well and I like the idea of growing your own food. Keep the post going and pics going, you are off to a great start.

clownfish4
10/10/2017, 07:30 PM
Thanks reefinder. I’m very excited about this tank for a number of reasons, but the food cultures are a big part of it. I’m still debating if I am going to get a shrimp. I really want a fire, but he’ll starve if I don’t feed him. A big part of the live food is that I won’t be introducing anything that will rot or add a lot of phosphates. If I got a shrimp I’d be adding a small piece of raw fish or clam every few days, which I don’t particularly want to do. Having only fish that eat pods will also make it so I can go on vacation without a tank sitter.