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Old 08/03/2017, 03:40 AM   #1
illumnae
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illumnae's SPS shallow reef

Hello everyone!

I set up my SPS reef tank in early 2016, but have been plagued with problems since its inception - if it could go wrong, it went wrong some time during the past 18 months! I've had to reboot the tank several times due to problems as unthinkable as a friend's hands being "acidic" enough to drop my tank pH to 7.3 for hours simply by helping me to glue SPS colonies (it happened twice - whenever he stuck his hands into my tank, the pH dropped to 7.3 for several hours), and as mundane as being overrun by dinoflagellates.

This is how my tank looked like after my friend helped to rescape the tank and glue the corals (picture was taken sometime around Christmas 2016):

2017-08-03_03-51-10 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

Soon after that picture was taken, I lost all my SPS (suspected due to the pH dips) and the resulting reboot ended up in a dinoflagellate infestation, which resulted in yet another reboot sometime in April 2017.

Finally, it seems that things are settling in (knock on wood!) and my SPS kind of look happy. This is what my tank looked like at the end of June 2017:

2017-08-03_03-50-36 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

I'm hoping that now that things are progressing well, I'll be able to finally progress in my journey with this tank This thread will hopefully document this journey moving forward.

Some details about the system:

Tank dimensions: 72" x 28" x 20"
Lighting: 5x Radion XR30 Pro G4
Return: Abyzz A200
Flow: 2x Maxspect Gyre 150 with new controller
Skimmer: Nyos 220
Calcium Reactor: Skimz CM152
Controller: Apex 2016

I'm currently using Fauna Marin salt for my weekly 10% water changes, and dosing the Tropic Marin Bio-Activ system (Elements A- and K+, NP Bacto Balance, Reef Activ and Reef Mud Vital). Bulent aka DiscusHeckel has been very very helpful in answering my many queries about this system.


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Old 08/03/2017, 03:47 AM   #2
illumnae
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Here's a photo dump of some top down shots I took last night:

SPS 1 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 2 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 3 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 4 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 5 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 6 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 7 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 8 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 9 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 10 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr


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Old 08/03/2017, 03:49 AM   #3
illumnae
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SPS 11 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 12 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 13 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 14 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 15 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

SPS 16 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr


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Old 08/03/2017, 07:23 AM   #4
DiscusHeckel
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The macro shots look very impressive. I have subscribed.

Good luck with your journey.

Bulent


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Old 08/03/2017, 08:47 AM   #5
reefmutt
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Wow! Beautiful photos and gorgeous scape.
Your corals seem to be appreciating your new direction. They look extremely happy.
From now on, don't let that acidic friend of yours in the house!!!
He may be a mutant!!
Looking forward to seeing your system develop.


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 08/03/2017, 08:57 AM   #6
gromero
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Very nice indeed


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Old 08/03/2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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You may need to give your friend a nice gift of long rubber gloves! Lol


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Old 08/04/2017, 02:01 AM   #8
illumnae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscusHeckel View Post
The macro shots look very impressive. I have subscribed.

Good luck with your journey.

Bulent
Thank you very much Bulent! The tank took a very noticeable turn for the better once I implemented the TM supplements as advised by you. I will keep persevering

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefmutt View Post
Wow! Beautiful photos and gorgeous scape.
Your corals seem to be appreciating your new direction. They look extremely happy.
From now on, don't let that acidic friend of yours in the house!!!
He may be a mutant!!
Looking forward to seeing your system develop.
Haha, thanks Matt! Your tank, as well as Bulent's have been an inspiration for me on this journey. After much tinkering over the past 18 months, I have learnt the hard way that the corals appreciate less tinkering. It is a daily challenge to keep my hands away from the tank, but it's paying off.

I have told my acidic friend to stick to freshwater tanks, where acidity is appreciated moreso than marine tanks He is a very talented freshwater scaper - he ranked very highly in last year's IAPLC competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gromero View Post
Very nice indeed
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldog88 View Post
You may need to give your friend a nice gift of long rubber gloves! Lol
Haha, maybe I do!


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Old 08/21/2017, 12:01 PM   #9
illumnae
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I apologise in advance for the shaky footage, some out of focus footage and inaccurate colour. This is my first time shooting and editing video, so I'm still learning how to use my camera for video taking. I also have no idea how to correct white balance like i do in Photoshop. For more accurate colouration please see my photos above. If there's interest in my tank, I'll definitely try to do better and make more videos




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Old 08/21/2017, 07:34 PM   #10
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looking fantastic! such good pe.
Where are you keeping your nutrient levels?


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 08/21/2017, 11:49 PM   #11
illumnae
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Hi Matt, thank you... your tank is one of my inspirations

My nutrients settled at 0.2 nitrate and 0.02-0.04 phosphate. I dose TM Bacto Balance daily, and I can't seem to keep nitrates high without regular dosing. I dose 1ppm and within 2 days its back to 0.2. I've noticed though that no matter what system I run on my tank, I always trend towards low nitrates to high phosphate ratio. No idea why.


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Old 08/22/2017, 03:11 AM   #12
DiscusHeckel
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I would increase fish population gradually and feed them moderately.


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65G SPS Reef- ATI 8 X 39W PM; Tropic Marin [NP-Bacto-Balance; A-, Reef Actif]; GAC

Last edited by DiscusHeckel; 08/22/2017 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 08/22/2017, 08:12 AM   #13
illumnae
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Thanks Bulent! I recently lost a number of fisb due to misplaced trust in an lfs. Previously my bioload was very high (5 tangs, 2 swallowtail angels, 3 large anthias, hogfish, wrasse). I would find increasing feeding increased phosphate at a highdr rate than nitrate. Before I started Bacto Balance I was actually dosing 5 to 10 ppm of nitrate weekly to maintain detectable nitrates at 1 to 2.

However since starting Bacto Balance, nitrates settled at 0.2 without dosing and sps colours are not paling noticeably.

I'm working on restoring the livestock population, but it takes time as I collect rare fish


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Old 09/04/2017, 01:27 AM   #14
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So I've been dosing Reef Actif for a month, and Bacto Balance for slightly longer than that. My nutrients ratio is definitely not normal. I read that 100 no3 to 1 po4 is a healthy ratio to have, but my tank is settling itself at about 2-4 no3 to 1 po4. Even with dosing up to 10ppm of nitrate a week, I'm unable to raise my nitrates beyond 0.2 for any significant period of time. It drops back down to 0.2 within 3 days maximum. On the other hand, my phosphate bounces up and down between 0.05 to 0.1 - I see it drop and stay at about 0.05 for a couple of days, then without any change in routine it goes up to 0.1, then starts dropping again. If I increase feeding, nitrate stays the same and po4 goes up instead. I'm not sure how to adjust my ratio and maintain it at the desirable 100:1


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Old 09/04/2017, 12:05 PM   #15
illumnae
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I did a fish spotlight video on one of the inhabitants of my tank It's a 5 stripe hogfish from Australia, and one of the most outgoing fish I have.




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Old 09/07/2017, 05:30 PM   #16
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Very nice collection of fish!
Hard to watch the bodianus with the gem tang and angels zooming around, though!
If I were you, I wouldn't try too hard to alter your nutrients (with n additions) while using a fixed amount of bacto balance..
It's designed to hold things steady..
Also, if your system is doing well and corals are happy- which they certainly seem to be- don't get too fixated on specific numbers. Your tank is doing well as is..
I think your only option for raising n while using the bacto balance is to use less of it.. and then maybe use some gfo on p.. or maybe using less bacto balance will only raise n and p may stay the same... not 100% sure about that.


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 09/08/2017, 01:40 AM   #17
illumnae
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Thanks Matt! I've cut back on dosing N and instead mix a little Ultraphos in my carbon. I change the carbon weekly, so I can fine tune the amount of Ultraphos to what is needed.

Oh, and the angels got killed by the hyper aggressive zebra tang


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Old 09/08/2017, 11:58 AM   #18
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Ouch!!!


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 10/02/2017, 10:57 AM   #19
illumnae
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Please join me in welcoming the latest inhabitant into my tank, Bodianus*sanguineus!* I've been wanting one of these since my Bodianus bennetti (previously Bodianus sp "Kimura"?) passed on, and thankfully Iwarna Aquafarm managed to source one for me from Blue Harbor Osaka recently.* Really good timing in light of the potential ban on collection of ornamental fish looming in Hawaii!* Sorry for the many dust spots in the picture, the fish just stirred up the sand!

Hog 1 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr

Hog 2 by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr



Here's a recent FTS too to end off. Colours and stability in the tank are improving week by week. I'm really very impressed with the Tropic Marin Bio-Actif system. It's perfect for a newbie reefer like me to get a nice sps system going

FTS by Yi Xiang Lye, on Flickr


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Old 10/02/2017, 11:31 AM   #20
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Beautiful fish and stunning fts!


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 10/02/2017, 11:55 AM   #21
illumnae
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Thank you! He actually has a slightly deformed mouth, but he's eating well!

I actually have 1 more fish but he's being harassed by the eternally agressive polyzona tang. I won't announce him till he's an accepted member of the tank. Wrangy would love him, but I don't think he follows this thread.

My parameters are very stable now except kh for which consumption keeps increasing. I'm slightly over double the consumption of 2 months ago.

I'm still experimenting with the amount of FM Ultra Phos I'm refreshing weekly to maintain stable Po4 levels - it's currently 0.01 when Ultraphos is refreshed on wc day but rises to 0.05 and stays there by mid week. I don't necessarily want to maintain it so low but I want to achieve stability first.

Corals are not paling out despite nitrate being rock solid at 0.2.

No3: 0.2 (daily)
Po4: 0.01 - 0.05 (daily)
KH: 6.3 - 6.7 (daily)
Calcium: 440 (weekly)
Mg: 1410 (weekly)
K: 400 (weekly)


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Old 10/15/2017, 04:21 AM   #22
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Did up a video showcasing the equipment I use on my tank




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Old 11/03/2017, 11:31 AM   #23
illumnae
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Seems like there's not really much interest in my tank

Oh well, things are trucking along pretty well. Acros are continuing to encrust, grow and colour up; fish are doing well. Over the past couple of weeks I've added a mitratus butterfly, 2 marginalis butterflies and 9 randall anthias. I trapped out the polyzona tang and he's in isolation for the next few months while I round up my fish list. I'm sourcing for a pair of Hawaii yellow anthias, a joculator angel, a tigerpyge angel and a white tail bristletooth tang. Maybe a couple of Liopoproma basslet like eukrines, africanum or fasciatus, and a pair of candy basslet.

I've also dosed fluconazole for bryopsis and hair algae. I'm pretty sure it was part of the uglies stage of my tank, but I was really getting tired of spending an hour before each water change plucking the algae out. I've been doing it for a month and it wasn't getting any better. It's day 10 since dosing the fluconazole and the algae is dying off. There's cyano feeding off the dead algae but it doesn't seem to be spreading.

My camera is out for repair - turns out my blurred photos and video weren't wholly due to my lack of skill - so no photos or videos till I get it back.


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Old 11/06/2017, 07:26 AM   #24
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I recently finished a fluconazole treatment. Worked like a dream! Although cyano followed pretty quickly.
I found it had some long lasting effects.. film algea was dramatically reduced for many weeks after treatment and I also had a die off of cheato. Not complete but significant.
That fluconazole certainly has some underlying effects on the system that aren’t fully understood.. but in general it’s pretty positive..
Did it affect nutrient levels in your tank?


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Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 4x AI prime 6xt5 3x150w mh. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 11/06/2017, 04:38 PM   #25
insaneDynamix
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Hey man ... that's a real cool tank.

I'm unable to view videos ... unsure why. But I would sure appreciate more fish pics.

Can you elaborate more on your nutrient export and NO3 dosing ?


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