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Old 06/17/2017, 09:20 AM   #76
JonezNReef
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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


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Old 06/17/2017, 12:08 PM   #77
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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.



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.



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

This project is along way away....


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Old 06/17/2017, 01:01 PM   #78
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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


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Old 06/17/2017, 01:21 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonezNReef View Post
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.



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)


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Old 06/17/2017, 10:44 PM   #80
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Water Parameter Tests (After a couple of Weeks) of Stable Automation (Water Changes/Dosing).

So here are the Steady State Numbers on Water Tests.



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.


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Old 06/18/2017, 01:26 AM   #81
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FIRST FRAG Photo (Compare)

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




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.


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Old 06/18/2017, 12:24 PM   #82
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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


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Old 06/18/2017, 01:05 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonezNReef View Post
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 !!



Last edited by Wally.B; 06/18/2017 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06/18/2017, 01:14 PM   #84
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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.



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)



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Old 06/18/2017, 09:37 PM   #85
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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.



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.



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.




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.



Last edited by Wally.B; 06/18/2017 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 06/18/2017, 10:16 PM   #86
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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


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Old 06/19/2017, 12:36 AM   #87
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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..


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Old 06/19/2017, 10:09 AM   #88
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My Tank Thread (Take3) ★Total AUTOMATION★ DIY Doser, Sump, AlgaeScrubber, WaterChnges

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.

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



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Old 06/20/2017, 08:42 AM   #89
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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.


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Old 06/20/2017, 12:07 PM   #90
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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.


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Old 06/20/2017, 12:24 PM   #91
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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.


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Old 06/20/2017, 12:38 PM   #92
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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.



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)




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Old 06/20/2017, 12:58 PM   #93
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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.


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Old 06/20/2017, 01:52 PM   #94
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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)



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)



Last edited by Wally.B; 06/20/2017 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 06/21/2017, 12:04 AM   #95
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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.


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Old 06/21/2017, 11:27 AM   #96
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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).





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

Patience, Patience.


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Old 06/22/2017, 12:18 AM   #97
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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.


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Old 06/23/2017, 12:00 PM   #98
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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.


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Old 06/26/2017, 08:23 AM   #99
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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.



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Old 06/26/2017, 09:41 AM   #100
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Hi Wally, what a great system you have set up! Your detail is fantastic. Looking forward to following along!


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