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Old 07/25/2018, 08:49 AM   #126
Johnseye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoomer View Post
Wow 3/4 of an inch glass and still euro braced, was that by request?

I'm in the process of getting quotes for 82 x 32 x 22h myself.
Yup, custom build. The dimensions have worked out perfectly for me.

Looking forward to your build thread.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 08/24/2018, 04:17 PM   #127
kodo28
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Hi John,
Could you please tell who many watts is the Aquabee on your AC2?


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Old 08/27/2018, 06:31 AM   #128
Johnseye
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Hi John,
Could you please tell who many watts is the Aquabee on your AC2?
Actual wattage looks to be 39w. That's based off of my Neptune EB832.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 08/27/2018, 07:39 AM   #129
kodo28
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Originally Posted by Johnseye View Post
Actual wattage looks to be 39w. That's based off of my Neptune EB832.
I mean on the sicker on the back of the pump.

Because I have a AC2 which as a 22W pump and has a lot of flow inside the reactor. It seems to be the wrong pump installed. I wanted to compare with the one that you have on yours.


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Old 07/15/2019, 04:13 PM   #130
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It's been nearly a year since my last update. In that time I've made a few changes and some more significant ones lately which leads me to this post.

I mentioned my PBT had killed the Regal Angel I introduced sometime last year. Some more detail on my introduction methods. I have a clear acrylic box that suctions to the glass, and I kept the Regal in it until the others in the tank lost interest. The PBT did end up going after it again so I put in an egg crate divider. This kept them separated but at night the divider must have shifted and the PBT got at the Regal. He was dead when I found him.

After many months of attempts and methods of pulling the PBT out I ended up using a very tiny hook with some of his favorite food on it. I caught him right away. Before the hook I tried partitioning off the tank, nets, a liter bottle with the end cut off and food inside. I spoke with a lot of people about tricks and ultimately the hook did it. I was able to unhook him very easily because I had filed off the barb first. Then I kept him in a 55 gallon by himself for probably 8 months.

In that time I added a Blue Throated Trigger, Leopard Wrasse, Gold Midas Blenny, Lyertail Anthias and more Dispar Anthias. Then finally about 2 months ago I added a Regal Angel with no problems. A month ago I added a juvenile Blue Face Angel and a juvenile Emperor Angel. The Regal picked on the Blue Face for a few days to a week then let it go. He'll still chase him a little but the Blue Face has no torn fins and appears health. In time the Blue Face will outgrow the Regal. The juvenile Emperor was tiny when I got him. Probably 2". Sadly I found him sucked against an MP60 one day. I don't think he was strong enough to withstand the pull of that fan. I now have a new juvenile Emperor in QT. He's probably 5" or so and a voracious eater. He will enter the DT on Sunday and will be the last large fish I add. 3 years of patiently waiting, building up the less aggressive fish population so that I could add these final two Angels. Fingers crossed he holds his own and everyone learns to get along.

I have had to increase my feeding substantially while adding these fish. This has led to challenges with maintaining phosphates and some algae. Recently I have seen some cyano which has never been in this tank before. I'm going to get the sand bed cleaned up well with multiple water changes and see if it goes away.

3 years in this tank and 2 years in my previous 120g and I have some large coral colonies. I haven't added any new coral in over a year. I've been doing a lot of pruning and have removed entire colonies over the past year. I removed the green star polyps which not only blanketed the entire back of my tank but began moving across the sand into my rock. I had to pull a few rocks out, scrape the polyps off then leave the rocks in the 50G tank with the PBT until I knew they were all dead. That's an invasive coral species I'll never add back. I also removed the green leather coral as that began to grow beyond the few rocks it was attached to. There are now 2 very small growths that have come back from the cutting. I pulled out the purple plating montipora in the back of the tank. There are still remnants of it growing back here and there which I trim off.

I've trimmed most of my SPS down and on the right side of the tank trimmed a colony to less than half its previous size. As these colonies grow they will A. grow into other colonies and blend with them and B. shade out other colonies causing them to die. I will be pulling the Red Dragon SPS colony out completely. I also have a rock completely covered with Superman and Red Bullseye mushrooms that I'm going to give to my LFS. They're another invasive species. Then I'll be pruning the SPS on the left side of the tank back down. It's time to trim back enough so that I can add some new SPS.


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__________________
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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 07/15/2019, 05:16 PM   #131
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Here are the pics






Cleaned up the color in this shot














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- John

New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS

Last edited by Johnseye; 07/15/2019 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07/15/2019, 06:32 PM   #132
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Wow, very nice.


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Old 07/16/2019, 08:21 AM   #133
Johnseye
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Wow, very nice.
Thanks!


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 07/16/2019, 08:21 AM   #134
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Now on to a hardware update.

Lights:
Steady as she goes. The Spectra has been a stable and consistent fixture. In hindsight adding the Kessils was a very good idea in that it helps to bring a little more of that blue fluorescence that helps corals pop, but they are a bit small. Their output can't compete with the MH and T5s so when those are on the effect is very minimal. They do help with a dusk to dawn effect.

I have been thinking about going back to Radions to get a better viewing color. Everytime I go into Reefwise, where I donate all of my trimming, I can see what my coral looks like under eye popping LEDs. Plunking down several grand for some new lights when the Spectra works so well to grow coral is not appealing however and I always talk myself out of it. The Radiums do emit a nice color and I have played around with the T5s for more pop, but nothing can do that like LEDs. For now I'm sticking with the Spectra. I will also say that whenever I get the ComEd bill it sucks seeing my usage waaayy above my neighbors.

Return Pump:
This past December I went to Thailand for 3 weeks with my family. We go every couple years and I have a routine setup with 3 of my neighbor friends to feed and watch the tank. My LFS, Reefwise is on standby in case there's an emergency. Brian, the owner of Reefwise is extremely helpful in times of need. I had an Apex failure a few years ago about an hour before I had to leave for the airport on another trip and he had someone out to my house right away to work with my wife and help replace it with my spare.

On this trip to Thailand he came to the rescue again. One of my friends found the return pump had failed. He immediately called Brian who knew another reefer in my area who uses a Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon RD3 230. That person happened to run two and so he shut down one of them and brought it up to my house that night. It turns out the controller of the Red Dragon had failed. The warranty on the RD3 is 2 years. My controller was about 2 years and 8 months old. While I did get a 25% discount on the replacement I still had to pony up $411 for a new one. While we don't know the cause of the controller's failure they point to a surge. My entire house is on a whole home generator and my RD3 is plugged into my Neptune EB8, which apparently is not a surge protector. Until now I didn't think I needed one. I've since added a UPS large enough to support a decent load, but not everything on the EB8. I'll explain more on that later.

Here was Royal Exclusiv's response regarding the issue: "The EB8ís donít have surge protection so all we can do is speculate. That said, most of the failures of the RD3 230ís have been surge related and there have been very few 230 failures in total. As it sits right now, the only repair option for the 230ís is sending them back to the factory in Germany and the shipping is expensive back and forth. Likely in the neighborhood of $200 for UPS total shipping both directions with insurance plus the repair costs. This is one of the reasons why we offered you the discount on the new controller. That said, I inquired with Germany as to whether we can get the internal boards for the 230 watt controllers so we can offer a repair service in the US. I will update you once I have further info on that as your failure prompted me to inquire about that. In the mean time hang on to your 230 controller. "

So no option to replace the controller board yet, only the full controller if I want an immediate replacement. My backup pump is an offline Reeflo Hammerhead, which I've only used the first couple weeks of having the tank up. I can get it in place and working in an hour or so, but it would have been very difficult for someone else to do that. In hindsight, if I were to do it all over again, I would use two return pumps inline with one on standby ready to go. It's worth the insurance. I'm extremely grateful and indebted to Brian at Reefwise and the individual who helped me out, saving my tank.

Ecotech Vortech powerheads:
The only comment on these pumps is that my wetside cages fly off often. I think the cause might be soaking them in vinegar too long which may cause the rubber O ring to degrade. I'm going to be pulling the O ring off and clean it before soaking the pump.

More to come shortly...a big CaRx change!


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 07/19/2019, 09:15 PM   #135
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Can wait to see what change you did with the CalcFeeder John


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Old 07/20/2019, 11:16 AM   #136
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Nearly 3 years ago I purchased a Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro AC2 with degassing chamber. At the time I debated between it and the DaStaCo. Two factors led me to decide on the Calcfeeder; cost and elements. Cost is pretty straight forward, it was less. At the time I also saw the two reactors potentially doing the same thing, so why pay more? Then there's the fact that the DaStaCo effluent is calcium and alk only. When dissolving coral skeleton or aragonite you get the benefit of some magnesium and other elements like strontium, etc. That was the most important factor for me at the time. My thought was, what the coral takes in it most likely needs, so it's best to provide that to my corals through effluent. I decided on the Calcfeeder and it was a love hate relationship. A couple weeks ago my Calcfeeder had a problem which I had spent a few days working on. Tomasz at PacSun helped me out, but not well enough and not fast enough. It wasn't working properly yet and I didn't want to follow his suggestion as a next step. It was time for a divorce from PacSun.

Enter the DaStaCo. I ordered it from Unique Corals and they shipped it with a bucket of media to me overnight air freight for $50. Unique offers free standard shipping and I just paid the difference. Joe at Unique was extremely helpful, responding to my voicemail from his vacation and texting me at night over the weekend. Donna at Unique was awesome and found a cost effective method of overnighting me the package on Delta air freight. UPS wanted something like $300. Ridiculous.

The truth is this CaRx was so simple to setup that rinsing the media and cutting the tubing took the longest of any step. I had it up and running in no time. You're probably wondering, why the change? What didn't you like about the Calcfeeder? What kind of problems did you have? I'll get into all of that, every issue, over time. Subscribe and stay tuned, there's a lot to it. First I'll talk about the DaStaCo.

The DaStaCo reactor has 3 chambers. The co2 chamber is small and attached to the main media chamber. An Eheim pump attached to the co2 chamber circulates the water between the first media chamber and the co2 chamber. There is a float switch at the bottom of the co2 chamber that tells the controller when to add more co2. I think the DaStaCo could use the same type of sensor the Calcfeeder uses with better results because of the clean media. I was told the DaStaCo media doesn't break down in the same way as aragonite so there should be no mushy mess with cloudy water to block the sensor. The float switch seems to work just as well so I suppose the other sensor wouldn't be much of an improvement over it. I was told to fill the main media chamber 1/2 full with media. There's a final chamber that is like a degassing chamber. I was told to fill that 2/3 full with media, however someone in the DaStaCo Facebook group told me to fill it higher than that.

All it takes to get the flow working correctly in this reactor is to set the co2 output to fill the chamber within a large time window and have just enough co2 flow continuously enter that chamber when the solenoid is on. Then you set the alk/calcium dial to your aquarium's need and check the alk level in the DT regularly to make sure you're getting the right amount of effluent. The controller automatically vents to release gasses that aren't co2 so the reactor is working as efficiently as possible. The number of vent occurrences per day should be half the number on the alk dial.

I set the alk level on the controller to 2 and the alk level stayed around 9, then slowly rose toward 10. I dialed it back to 1.5 an it's stayed steady around 9 since. I had been concerned that the aquarium's PH level would drop because of the low PH in the reactor. So far I've found that my PH level has risen. The Calcfeeder had lowered it more. I had been doing things to help raise the PH like kalk in my ATO, keeping a window open in the basement for better co2 exchange and I attached a reactor with lime media to the air intake of my skimmer. All of those things do help to raise the PH of the tank. I've since taken off the lime media reactor and I'm monitoring PH which is around 8.3 at peak and lowers to about 8.1 at night.

Here are a few pictures of the reactor and the fish/sump room. I'll take some more soon as well as a video of my entire setup, from the aquarium back into the fish room.








__________________
- John

New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS

Last edited by Johnseye; 07/20/2019 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07/21/2019, 08:03 PM   #137
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What are those 2 buckets hanging above the skimmer?


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Old 07/21/2019, 08:22 PM   #138
Johnseye
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What are those 2 buckets hanging above the skimmer?
They're part of the Genesis auto water changing system. The tubes going into the sump are being replaced.

https://genesisreefsystems.com/

It's a great system if you want to auto change salt water. I will often vacuum the sand when doing water changes so I don't use the Genesis all the time. I've also been using tank water for QT which ends up being 20g every 3 days.

I previously auto changed with the Spectrapure (many years ago) but the Genesis pushes a lot more water through at a time.


__________________
- John

New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Dastaco CaRx, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Angles, Tang, Trigger, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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