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Old 08/13/2016, 06:21 PM   #26
neiltus
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Few more photos...adjusted the rocks some, trying to plan for glass cleaning. Also had a Tunze 6095 head stop responding to the apex controller. It just shuts off when on control but works on the other non-control settings.










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Old 08/13/2016, 07:57 PM   #27
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Nice rock. It's coming along fast. Great work.


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Old 08/17/2016, 09:42 PM   #28
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Day 4-

I ran a NO3 and PO4 test a couple days back, both are detectable, so I have a small canister coming to start some GFO. There is some small macro on the rock and I would rather get an upper hand on the PO4 before I go the route of "I don't have PO4, but I have algae.

Clicking noises...yes, I hear it. Actually saw the culprit, it's a nice size pistol shrimp about the size of my pinky-red and clear, he has tunneled under a big chunk of rock on the left side of the tank. I am going to have to try to get him a Goby pal. Curious if they pair pretty easy or not?

We tried our best to remove anything questionable last saturday. We took out a lot of whelks...when in doubt be safe. I pull out one or two every other night when their on the glass. I have not seen anything with black claws and/or a furry body. Several porcelain crabs, one small emerald crab, and possibly a tiny pom-pom crab or decorator along with another tiny pistol shrimp maybe a little over a quarter inch. On nights 1 and 2 I had a translucent shrimp that had a bit of green fluorescence on him...he was quite active...have not seen him since day 2. I can't believe I have not seen one single aiptasia in the rock...tons of feather worms, it's almost funny, but no aiptasia. From what I have read the aiptasia from the gulf is more manageable than the stuff out of the pacific.

The bubble king skimmer had a nice brown ring on the neck. There is not much load in the tank, I assume it was from the initial sand being poured in plus some die off on the rock...I removed and cleaned the neck area...also noticed the bubble disks were not centered correctly in their main housing. Without a fish load, I am going to have to tweak this skimmer or just get used to wet foam.

Right now I have the 300w set to come on at 76.1 and off at 77.5. It is working well plugged into the relay switch on the EB8. Also figured out that my Kessil string in V1/V2 will blink when intensity is at 15% (as low as they go) and if I press the select button on the Tunze plugged into V3/V4. Odd...One of the Tunze will not go on via apex below 33%...I believe it's an older model.

In the next week I plan to add some more cleaner guys-maybe a peppermint shrimp, a blue banded coral shrimp ro two and a cleaner shrimp, and maybe 5 or 6 fighting counch. I would like a hermit or two...maybe a pair of scarlet small hermits. Still on the fence to hermit or not.

I have ordered my TTM supplies-prime, formaline, stones, pump and airline tube. I have a spare 200w backup heater. Still most likely a few weeks off from fish. In a week or so I may hit the LFS for a pair of something to start the Quarantine process.

Water is testing at no NH4, some .5 NO2, 10 NO2 and .5 PO4, ph is 7.9 to 8.

Would a goby for the pistol be a decent place to start? Pink spotted goby or Wheelers shrimp Goby.

Over the weekend plan to get the TUNZE ATO up and running. At current temps am needing maybe half a gallon a day TO. Will get the DFO going as well.


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Old 08/18/2016, 04:31 AM   #29
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Good to see you're moving along. I'm just ready to set the tank on the stand in my build. But in my stand I have room around the sump so I'm going to build a pvc 'tray' to sit in the stand under the sump to catch any drips, spills, splashes or... heaven forbid leaks! The tray will have a bulkhead and the hose will run out of the stand and then out of the house.

I assume you are 'up north' somewhere given your use of a heater. Here in SW Florida we keep our house at 80F in the summer. Because my 1hp chiller is outside, in the winter when we do get a severe cold front come through (a couple a season) it may get down into the 40's at night and since my water is going outside to the chiller (not running but still it's out in the cold) I have to use a heater. BTW I keep my tanks between 78F and 80F. My chiller has to run about 5 minutes every hour during the day in the summer. But when I had 1000W of MH it ran a LOT more... and so did our A/C!


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Old 08/18/2016, 05:32 AM   #30
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Nope, live in Texas. While setting up the tank we had 100-106 outside and cooling to maybe 82 at night...was curious as to the temp range of the tank and if I needed a chiller-I never really got over 78 wish on the tank. Our AC ranges from 83 during the day when out to about 72 at night, hence the need for a heater-plus, it gets VERY cold here in the winter.

Tank gets no sun, so I am sure that helps the range some.


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Old 08/18/2016, 05:45 PM   #31
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Working on adding a BRS mini pellet reactor and the Tunze ATO. Sump getting VERY CROWDED.


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Old 08/19/2016, 01:49 PM   #32
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Tomorrow is one week since rock hit the water. No NH4 yet, some NO2.

Got the ATO hooked up and programmed in apex. I have it running 5x/day (AND NOT OVERNIGHT) because that pump is just plain noisy and I sleep lightly. Still mentally debating running some GFO (not with carbon) to get the traces of PO4 out. I tested PO4 yesterday and it looked to be there, but barely...think maybe .03-.05, not in a rush to use GFO on a new tank, now if it goes crazy, then sure.

Still trying to get a photo of that Pistol Shrimp. I pulled my first large flatworm out last night...probably a good worm, it was white. Also pulled a few more welks out. Skimmer is producing lightly as expected since there is no fish/feeding load.

Sump is getting crowded.


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Old 08/19/2016, 03:59 PM   #33
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What is the small container in the right hand compartment that looks like a short RO/DI filter? And what's next to that as well?


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Old 08/19/2016, 05:49 PM   #34
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The RODI container is a BRS "reactor", the mini version. I am running out of space fast to put stuff. Next to it is a Ball jar, with a Tunze algae scraper in it. It's there to catch drips.

1) I need to rig a shim of sorts to mount the bracket for the "reactor" off the back, to keep the reactor close to the water line of the sump and still be able to open it.

2) About to hole saw the middle divider to run wires...


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Old 08/19/2016, 05:57 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltus View Post
The RODI container is a BRS "reactor", the mini version. I am running out of space fast to put stuff. Next to it is a Ball jar, with a Tunze algae scraper in it. It's there to catch drips.

2) About to hole saw the middle divider to run wires...
I've never seen one small like that. Kind of cool.

Drilling holes in the nice stand... I always find that hard at first. Kind of mutilating the nice clean quality build.

I have similar issues with needing to run wires and pipe from the stand to the 36" cabinet that will sit beside it. Do I go out the back and pull the stand away from the wall or go through the side of both and build a little pvc connector tunnel out of 1x6 or 1 x8 pvc boards?


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Old 08/20/2016, 08:59 AM   #36
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This morning no NH4 (have not had any in the past week) and NO2 was down to 0 from .05 earlier in the week. It's possible that the tank has cycled considering that the rock came from TBS and was only out of the water a few hours. Regardless I am going to error on caution and take another week of readings.

I might try to locate a few cleanup crew, thinking 3 fighting conch, a peppermint shrimp, and maybe one or two dwarf hermits. Going to test NO2 and NO3 and PO4 tomorrow, will probably do a water change if I don't have NO2.


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Old 08/22/2016, 01:48 PM   #37
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Today no NH4 and barely registering NO2, was at zero yesterday, and might have some sample error today. Anyway, NO3 is pretty high and KH was under 7 yesterday, started to get a dusting of stuff on the sand...so did a 10 gallon change yesterday-mostly to clean sump of dust/change out socks and clean the nasty black pre pump filter in the sump.

Anywho, KH was still slightly under 7 today and PH is 7.85, so figured it might be time for some BRS soda ash solution. Mixed up a pump bottle of it, used their calc, it said I needed almost 2 ounces. Dosed .5 ounce, checked PH and KH-this brought PH to about 7.95 and KH to about 7.52, dosed another .5 ounce and PH hit 8.05 and did not check KH, will check again tomorrow morning and go from there.

While out at lunch stopped by the LFS and picked up 2 fighting conch and 10 astraea/margarita snails, brought them home and put them in the tank and they are all cruising around 10 minutes later. Not my choice in snails, but all the LFS had in stock. Will probably pick up a few dwarf cerith snails in a few days.

Late last night my son called me over to the tank to look at a black and blue thing...turns out there is a mantis shrimp in there...he is almost 1" long, tiny little thing. Not going to go diving for him...just let him do his thing for a bit...I figure the 2" pistol shrimp in there will keep him behaved for now...their in the same piece of rock...

Running lights at about 6 hours with a max intensity of maybe 43%.


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Old 08/22/2016, 02:04 PM   #38
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Nice update!

Surprised you are needing to add KH so soon. Are you just buffering to get to a level you'd like, or expect that your tank is consuming KH already?

Almost ready for fish, what do you have in mind?



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Old 08/22/2016, 02:45 PM   #39
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OC-No idea on fish, I don't intend to go to crazy with the fish, I have a gameplan or thoughts with what I would like, but want to get the NO3 down and algae before I start finned stuff. A clown and anemone are in the cards, some type of goby to attempt to pair with the pistol, and either a flame angel or possibly a flameback or other dwarf angel. Still thinking.

It is a possibility that something is consuming the KH already...this is liverock, so die off was minimal and I assume the life on the rock does deplete KH. I would rather keep it in place than get to a point where I have a huge jump to make because I am ready for a coral or two. The KH was still "in range", but had dropped some.

The NO3 amount is bugging me. It was approaching 50PPM before the change. I really don't want to go the route of carbon dosing if I don't have to, so figured would get KH in check, wait for some more diatom bloom and see if NO2 is still detectable. I tested my mixed RODI water to see if it had any NO2 (think as a control for my NO2 test) and there was none, so with the trace of NO2 still there, I wonder if that contributes to the NO3 test.

I see a large water change in my future...I removed a metric ton of detris in the socks and filter yesterday...


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Old 08/24/2016, 01:29 PM   #40
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Went to the LFS and picked up a peppermint shrimp. Also bought an API NO3 test, because I was questioning the accuracy of my Salifert (maybe a bad batch).

Same tank, setup with live rock for 10 days, have not fed. Salifert is showing 50+ ppm of NO3 and API is showing 20ppm...hmmmm


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Old 08/25/2016, 06:21 AM   #41
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Snuck up on one of the hitchhikers from the TBS rock this morning. He is about 2-2.5" in length. Seemed to move around a bit more since I put the peppermint shrimp in the tank.








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Old 08/28/2016, 11:31 AM   #42
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Yesterday went to LFS store and picked up some Sally's Krill. Felt like I needed to feed the Pistol Shrimp-did not want to have missing snails. So I thawed one Krill and set it outside his hole...about an hour after lights out he was chowing down...actually got to see this...pretty cool.

The snails are doing a number on the hair algae. The two fighting conch cruised around the tank for a couple days before going sub-surface...I assume their either napping or eating something down there...at the base of the rock work.

I found out the discrepancy between the Salfert and api tests for NO3. Seems the Salifert also picks up NO3 that is bound to NH2...it's called anime nitrate...it still counts as nitrate but does not show up on the api test for chemistry reasons beyond my ability to comprehend. Anyway, with Salifert showing NO3 approaching 50ppm, I did a large water change of 50% as well as changing socks, cleaning filter media, etc. This got my NO3 down to about 30ppm and will test again tonight to see how quickly it has rebounded. I feel like this rock and the die off will be processed into NO3 pretty quickly, so I started carbon dosing...using NOPOX, just started with 3ml/day and will gradually work up. I don't want to get into the chasing the NO3 with 100% changes every week or so...so in the meantime, that is that. I would like to aim for a NO3 below 10PPM and a PO4 around .1-.2

In the process of setting up a QT tank...first purchases will be a goby to hopefully pair with the pistol shrimp and maybe a wrasse or firefish.


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Old 08/28/2016, 03:50 PM   #43
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quick photo of three porcelain crabs that came with the TBS rock



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Old 09/03/2016, 05:12 PM   #44
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Well, with the NO3 well above 50ppm, I decided it was time to hit it with dilution. Did two 32.5g water changes one day after next. That managed to get the NO3 down under 10ppm with a salfert kit and PO4 to .19. Also manually removed a little green fuzz. I will do another change of around 30g tomorrow or monday to get it down around 5ppm.

I also tried some HW reef salt...man this stuff mixes and clears in about 5 minutes...this will be my new go to salt as it clears a lot quicker vs the bucket of Topic Marine reef that I used. It does have good calcium and mag levels 460 and 1420 as tested, the alkalinity went fast, a day after the water changes I was in the mid 7s...no biggie, fixed easy.

Added a cleaner shrimp attention ho. Kids think it's funny to stick their hand in and be attacked by the shrimp.

Continuing with the 4ml Nopox.

Got everything set up for the QT tank. Plan to order some livestock next week after I am back in town, going to do formalin dip and TTM with 2 doses of prazi on 2nd and 4th stage followed by 6 weeks in the QT for observation and treatment. Fish 1 will be a Yellow Goby (Cryptocentrus cincture) for hopeful pairing with the pistol shrimp that came with the rock (unless someone can offer another suggestion), fish 2 will either be a Exquisite Filefish (Nemateleotris exquisite)/ Helfrichi (Nemateleotris helfrichi) or possibly a Wrasse Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)/Orange-Back Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis)/Yellow-Flanked Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lyukyuensis).


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Old 09/06/2016, 06:00 PM   #45
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Picked up a couple frags, did a bath in coral RX for 5 min followed by a bath in Bayer Insect for almost 20minutes. They both looked like crap after the bath, but perked up pretty good after an hour in the tank...





The chalice is pretty much covering the entire plug...sooooo, since I am new to this...do I just throw it on a rock and let it go to town or place on substrate, or mount on a larger plug?


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Old 09/06/2016, 06:36 PM   #46
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If you have a rock you want it to grow out onto, just get it in place and let it grow. If you don't have a rock in the tank you want it to grow onto, find a new one, mount it and put it in the tank. At least that's what I do most of the time.


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Old 09/07/2016, 09:04 AM   #47
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Nice aquascape. Lots of room for your corals to grow and fill in.

Good luck with your build, I'll be following.


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Old 09/17/2016, 02:57 PM   #48
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10 days have passed, the chalice has actually either grown or just relaxed around the edge. It's on the sand bed and started to open towards the sandbed.

I have noticed an emerald crab hiding out near the zoa frag, it does not appear he is injuring them in any way. They are still open and I might have one or two new small ones on the frag, or maybe just little ones that are not opening? I placed the frag on rock rubble and hope I can get them to spread onto the rubble.

Parameters are decent:
Ca 440
Kh 8.5
Mg 1380
NO3 is between 10 and 25, closer to 10 according to Salifert
PO3 is under .3, just a whine, but the hanna checker has a LOT of slop in it...my unit either shuts off through the test or reagent is still in the pack or spilt on the side of the bottle. So I will just assume with all tests that it's around this number.

I am doing about 15 gallons of H2O change a week. I assume that the system total is about 80g with the rock. I am still dosing NoPox at now 9ml/day. Have not really seen an affect to the NO3/PO4 yet, but I worked up to the 9ml dose. The skimmer is running wet and pulling out some stuff. I don't feed much, just an occasional Krill to the pistol shrimp that is waiting for his goby buddy. I wonder if I need to feed something to the peppermint or cleaner shrimp??? Both fighting conchs have reappeared after going sub for a couple weeks.



I did let better judgement go out the door and purchased a wall hammer yesterday at the LFS. I know a lot of people have issues with the wall type...this one seemed pretty heathy and I watched it at the LFS for the better part of 10 days since I bought the other corals. It does have a small area where it was displaced from the remainder of the coral...it's visible in the photo. Brought it home yesterday and gave it 5 min in Coral RX and 16 in Bayer...it looked like it was very unhappy...moved a couple places last night looking for some lower flow and lower lighting....anyways...we will see.



Other than that, I am planning on some stuff from battle corals in the next couple weeks...hopefully the NO3/PO4 will start to come down with the carbon and WC before then. Looking at red/purple stuff.


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Old 09/18/2016, 02:51 AM   #49
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Neil, have you considered putting a small amount of nori in a clip and putting it in the tank? I hang a clip for my tang, who loves it. But if I hang it near the rocks, the cleaner shrimp will climb up and is even willing to swim some to get to the nori. I hang my clip with a piece of fishing line and an all plastic clip or a suction cup at the other end. The clip lets me have more options on there I hang the nori in the tank. The suction cup allows me to just stick it on the outside glass wit the nori clip against the inside of the glass.


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Old 09/25/2016, 02:14 PM   #50
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Off to a good start.
Good luck.

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