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Old 07/01/2017, 11:59 AM   #126
Wally.B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarauderMike View Post
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).




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.


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Old 07/01/2017, 03:10 PM   #127
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Always a good read, Wally. Thanks for putting in the effort!


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Old 07/01/2017, 03:54 PM   #128
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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.




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) **




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Old 07/01/2017, 04:36 PM   #129
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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.



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.


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Old 07/01/2017, 04:58 PM   #130
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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.


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Old 07/01/2017, 09:43 PM   #131
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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)



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.


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Old 07/02/2017, 07:22 PM   #132
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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










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.


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Old 07/02/2017, 08:50 PM   #133
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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-2...trip+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)



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Old 07/02/2017, 10:05 PM   #134
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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 !!)



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Old 07/02/2017, 10:43 PM   #135
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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.


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Old 07/02/2017, 10:51 PM   #136
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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.


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Old 07/02/2017, 11:01 PM   #137
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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.


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Old 07/03/2017, 04:35 PM   #138
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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)



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.





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Old 07/03/2017, 05:48 PM   #139
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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.



Hey, I just realized, I can do some additives in the Frag Tank



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Old 07/03/2017, 07:20 PM   #140
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One more Acro Dead (STN)

I saw this coming. That acro like the Sunset wasn't doing good from the start.



The other Frags are fine, so part of normal SPS success rate.


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Old 07/03/2017, 09:32 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally.B View Post

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


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Old 07/03/2017, 10:01 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonezNReef View Post
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


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.



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Old 07/03/2017, 10:05 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonezNReef View Post
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.


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Old 07/04/2017, 12:45 PM   #144
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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.



Placed nice and low on Kong Rack, abot the same level as Pacman that is similar species and doing very well.



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Old 07/04/2017, 02:50 PM   #145
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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.



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.


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Old 07/04/2017, 10:07 PM   #146
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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.



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Old 07/05/2017, 08:34 AM   #147
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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.


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Old 07/05/2017, 09:48 AM   #148
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Quote:
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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.



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.



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Old 07/05/2017, 10:20 AM   #149
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Love the bio-wall! Great idea!


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Old 07/05/2017, 02:59 PM   #150
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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.....



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.


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