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[BC29] solefald's build thread


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#1
solefald

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Ok,

I guess it's time to start my build thread to keep track of the progress and because almost everything is here already.

Equipment:

  • Oceanic BioCube 29
  • Oceanic BioCube 29 Stand
    This thing is garbage. It is flimsy and shaky. Do not waste your money on one! You heard it here first!
  • RapidLED dimmable 24 LED retrofit kit.
    10 cool white, 10 cool blue and 4 UV LEDs + extra 700mA Ballast,
    so I can turn UV LED on/off independently from the rest of the things.

  • Hydor Koralia 425 Powerhead
  • Hydor Koralia 240 Powerhead
  • EcoTech MP10esW
  • 2 x Hydor Theo 50w Heaters.
  • 2 x Eheim Jager 100w Heaters.
    I first purchased these, but realized how HUGE they are, so I had to order Hydor ones,
    which are half the size of Eheim. I am going to keep Eheim heaters for future ATO and
    Automatic Water Change systems.
  • Neptune Systems Apex AquaController
    A must have item for any self-respecting nerd
  • MarineDepot Refracometer
  • AquaticLife 115 Mini Skimmer
  • Maxi-Jet 1200 to use as a return pump
  • inTank Media basket
  • inTank Fuge basket

Supplies:

  • ATI Reef Master Water Test Kit for Salt water.
  • 2 x 15lb bag of Carib Sea Aragonite Sand
    15lb was not enough. 30lb is too much. Taking some out
  • 40lb of assorted Fiji live rock
    Definitely an overkill. Will take some out
  • Pre-made salt water from LFS to start.
    Not sure if i keep getting it from them, or mix it myself. TBD later.
  • Filter Floss
  • Purigen 100ml
  • Chemi Pure Elite 11.74oz

Future Planned Purchases:

  • Apex WXM Module to wirelessly control MP10 using Apex AquaController.

Livestock:

  • Fish/Inverts/Nems
  • 2 x Ocellaris Clownfish
  • 2 x Firefish
  • 1 x Randall's Goby
  • 1 x Pink Tube Anemone
  • 1 x Purple Tube Anemone died :(
  • 1 x Green BTA
  • 2 x Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
  • 1 x Emerald Crab
  • 6 x Assorted Hermits
  • Tons of snails

    Corals
  • 4 x Assorted birdsnests
  • 3 x Assorted Ricordea Mushrooms
  • 1 x Red Mushroom
  • 1 x Yellow/Green Candy Cane
  • 1 x Green Hammer (or a Frogspawn. Getting conflicting IDs on this one)
  • 1 x Galaxea Coral.
  • 1 x Devil's Hand Leather
  • 4 x Assorted Zoas (Orange Bam Bam, Watermelon, Neon Dragon Eyes and one i have no idea about)
  • 1 x Electric Grinch Acan
  • 1 x Some kind of Acan Echinata
  • 3 x Pulsing Xenia

Connectivity:

I did not want to run ethernet cable from my networking closet (where ethernet switches are) to the tank. There was no nice way to do it. I then realized that I had a pile of Linksys wireless routers sitting in the closet. Flushed one with DD-WRT firmware, put in in a bridge mode, and attached Apex to the Linksys via ethernet. Now my tank has wireless internets.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_0115.JPG
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  • IMG_0123.JPG

Edited by solefald, 13 April 2012 - 12:38 PM.


#2
solefald

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Just got some LR from a random LFS I found on CraigsList. Good-looking assorted Fiji rock.
There are couple of black spots on it, so I have to scrub it before I put it in the tank.

Posted Image

Edited by solefald, 28 January 2012 - 04:15 PM.


#3
solefald

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Added Aragonite sand, LR and water to the tank yesterday. Asked my kid to rinse the sand while I was out getting water from the LFS, but I don't think his rinsing went beyond getting the sand wet. Watching YouTube videos of Minecraft was more important. So I did not get a chance to do any rockscaping because water was waaaay too milky to see anything, so the rocks are just randomly piled up at the moment

I put 15lbs of sand first, but it did not seem enough. So I added 15 more lbs and now its too much. Will remove some when I get home tonight. 40lbs of rock also seems like an overkill for this tank. I'll have to take some out and save it for my LR/Fish-only 10Gal.

Water cleared up by the time I woke up this morning. I don't know if its supposed to take that long, or the fact that the only filtration I have in the tank at the moment is the blue sponge between chambers 2 and 3. I removed all bio balls and OEM filter thingy, but my inTank package won't arrive till this afternoon. I figured a sponge-only filtration will be OK for a day. Will add media basket and filter floss when I get home.

Also, currently working on a script to extract probe and outlet data from Apex and display without use of Adobe Flash. Will probably be a php script with rrdtool.

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Edited by solefald, 30 January 2012 - 09:01 AM.


#4
solefald

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I feel like this guy, talking to myself over here ;)

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But anyway, just started cycling!

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#5
solefald

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Holy crap. The tank has been running for about 5 days now, and there is already Homotrema Rubrum (pointy purple things on the first two pictures) popping up all over the place and tube worms hitchhiked from my friends tank on a piece of his LR.

Checked water quality for the first time today:

pH: 7.85
Nitrate: 0
Calcium: 380
KH: 8/143.2
Salinity: 1.024

Pretty impressed with iPhone picture quality too. I did not expect to get any decent shots at all...


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Edited by solefald, 03 February 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#6
solefald

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Woke up this morning, and there is a bunch of brown hair algae and a little star fish bulldozing through it.
I assume algae is a part of cycling process and not something to do with my lights being on too much.
Still running with stock lights at the moment. They are on 8am - 4pm 10K, 4pm - 11pm Actinics and 11pm - 8am 3 Lunar Leds.

And would someone please identify the little star fish for me?

Posted Image

Edited by solefald, 04 February 2012 - 07:09 PM.


#7
solefald

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Ok, looks like Asternia star. Will look out for infestation of these things.

Edited by solefald, 05 February 2012 - 02:17 PM.


#8
like-fish

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looking good, keep the updates coming!

#9
solefald

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A little teaser of what i've been working on for the past couple of days :)

Front
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Back
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#10
solefald

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So I finally finished installing RapidLED retrofit. Going to do an image dump right now. If there are any interest (seems unlikely given the general interest in this build), I will write down all details and instructions.

I still don't know if I like the colors it gives me. Not fond of the "disco ball" effect from LEDs. How do i reduce/fix that?

AMP male connector. Installed into the hood.
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White Wire = White LED, Blue Wire = Blue LED, Violet Wire = UV LED.
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AMP male connector.
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All wired in!
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The Magic Box!
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MOAR MAGIC!
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Power cable connected to the hood
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Internal Organs
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Ready to go!
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Lights On!
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Magic box (it ate my ballasts!) connected to the Apex AquaController for all your dimming needs
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All lights are on. White, Blue and UV LEDs are all at 100% brightness
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White LED only. 100% brightness
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Attached Thumbnails

  • light_layout.png

Edited by solefald, 09 February 2012 - 09:07 AM.


#11
Deano

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I feel like this guy, talking to myself over here ;)

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I know how you fill it has been pretty slow on the NR lately. Not sure if it because most of the recent posters are students and are busy with school. Seems like all the old timers are gone on to something different.

Anyway I like your build. I didn't like your first scapeing, seemed crowded and a lot of rock. But you last picture showed a new scape I like it much better and it was much cleaner looking. As for the diatom algae, that is typical and will eventually go away. The star fish are harmless and will help with tank clean up.

Keep the updates coming.

#12
solefald

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Well, sh*t... I think I now have a broken Apex controller :(


Hooked up variable speed ports to the LED ballast dimmers and everything worked great. Then 2 hours later my blue LEDs just shut down... After poking around, it turned out that Apex base module sends 20-22V to the channels 2 and 4 on variable speed ports,
while channels 1 and 3 send the expected 10v. Contacted Apex this morning and they are saying I may need to send it in for repair... Screw repair, this thing is 2 weeks old. I want a replacement base module! Perhaps I should just return it to Marine Depot and get an RKE instead. Damnit!


On a better (and not so sad) note, I now see first signs on coralline algae growing on the rock from my friend's tank, some other green algae (also coralline?) and I see a new(?), much bigger star! Now sure where it came from. The other tiny ones I had are all the way on the other side of the tank...

SEE BELOW

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Edited by solefald, 08 February 2012 - 10:20 PM.


#13
Deano

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Sorry to here about the controller. I am a bit old fashion and don't have those fancy controllers. Anyway I can fill your pain. Good Luck getting it back up and running.

#14
solefald

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A little disappointed... Apex would not replace the controller, only repair it, even though the freaking thing is 2 weeks old and i dropped $500 on it. Marine Depot wont replace it either, since its's already open and used.. Duh! How else would i find out that its broken :(

SEE BELOW

Edited by solefald, 08 February 2012 - 10:19 PM.


#15
solefald

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So... broken variable speed ports on my Apex = no lights. Had to scramble around to get parts to build a temporary dimmer. 2 hours and $40 later I got what I needed.... Would be cheaper to buy from RapidLED, but shipping and wait not really worth it. The tank needs light

Oh boy... do i feel STUPID now.... Holy sh*t....

Spent $40 and 2 hours this evening building a manual dimmer in preparations of sending my Apex back for repair. Built it, tested... works great. So I am sitting here and thinking "I should see what is wrong with Apex... maybe its something stupid". And what do you know? Complete user error. 2 "broken" ports were set to manual OFF in iPhone App! /facepalm. My stupid auto-sensing multimeter contributed to this confusion too. It automatically senses voltage and switches from Volts to mili Volts, and I did not see the tiny "mV" vs. "V" indicator, because it was dark in the room, thinking that the port sends 20V to the dimmer, instead of 20mV /anotherfacepalm

MORAL OF THE STORY: DO NOT WORK ON PROJECTS AT 11PM IN DIMLY LIT ROOMS

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But hey, if anyone wants a nice looking dimmer for their LEDs, i got one ;)

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Edited by solefald, 08 February 2012 - 10:33 PM.


#16
Deano

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Good news! Glade you were able to figure it out without sending it back.

Sorry I don't need the dimmer but you do build some nice DIY electronics.

#17
chunk78

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I noticed you have hydor koralia nano's are you going to try hooking them up to the Apex?

#18
solefald

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I noticed you have hydor koralia nano's are you going to try hooking them up to the Apex?


Nope. It's not really possible to control Koralias via Apex beyond simple on/off. From what I understand they work via variable AC voltage from their proprietary controller and Apex only does constant AC to the outlets and all dimming/speed control done via variable speed ports, which are 0-10V DC.

From the unofficial Apex user guide:

Hydor Koralia These use a proprietary controller and cannot be controlled by the Apex.


I am going to get a wireless MP10 and WXM module for Apex in a couple of weeks, so I can control MP10.

Edited by solefald, 09 February 2012 - 09:31 AM.


#19
solefald

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Got my trusty old D70s out of the closet abyss last night. Original stock lens that came with it broke couple of years ago and i bought a crappy Tamron replacement. Here are some quick shots of weird ish i have growing in my tank....

all images are clickable to view full size.

This has been identified as hydroid larvae, but I am not entirely sure its correct.
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Some brown stuff looking like spider webs going in every which way
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More spider web brown stuff
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Bubble algae of some sort?
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Following 2 have been identified as dreaded Bryopsis, but it does not look anything like bryopsis pictures i found. One thing for sure though... this crap is EVERYWHERE!
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Edited by solefald, 14 February 2012 - 08:18 AM.


#20
Deano

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It is possible but I am not sure the 1st picture could be a jelly fish.

The brown stringy spidery stuff is most likely Diatoms. Now the stuff with bubbles in it definitely is Dinoflagellates due to the air bubbles trapped in it and the way it is rising from the surface it is attached to. Dinoflagellates is more like snot, very slimy and will disintegrate when you try to remove it.

Diatoms will come and go once the tank cycles and stabilizes. Dinoflagellates can be a problem but with a new tank it is not uncommon to have them. I would be diligent at removing the Dinoflagellates by sucking them up with a turkey baster. Hopefully they will go a way once the tank is cycled. You can also blow the diatoms off the suface with the turkey baster, it will not hurt anything.

Now the Bryopsis is another story once this stuff gets hold it is hard to get rid of. But lately I have found that Hydrogen Peroxide will do wonders getting rid of it and other algae. Some will say getting rid of it this way is just a band aid, you have to find the underlaying reason for it, which IMO is BS. I believe the stuff can come in on a piece of rock or coral, invading your system and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. All you can do is get rid of it. H202 seems to do just that. I would treat those LR pieces with the Bryopsis asap, get rid of it now before it becomes overwhelming.

Check out this N-R Thread about using it.

#21
solefald

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Thanks, Deano! Really appreciate the suggestions

Jelly fish? I had no idea those things can live in reef tanks! They are growing, so in a few days will probably know what they are for sure,
but there are at least a 100 of them.

90% of bryopsis is on one rock that sits on the very top, so it should be pretty easy to remove and dip into peroxide mix. There is more on the sand and glass, but glass i will scrape and sand will probably have to be vacuumed.

I'll get a turkey baster today to suck in that brown bubble stuff.

For now i just completely turned off the lights to see if it will help in any way. I did a 5gal water change on Sunday. Will do another one today or tomorrow, since my Nitrates were at a 10, even after i changed the water.

Edited by solefald, 14 February 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#22
Deano

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I have never had the luck of having Jelly Fish in my tanks but I have heard of others.

Every Reefer should own a turkey baster. Use it to blow detritus off your rocks from time to time, direct feed fish and of course suck stuff out of the tank you don't want.

No fish and Nitrates are at 10 wow thats pretty high. If your cycle is done and you have no Ammonia and Nitrites I would do a couple large water changes like 50% to get the nitrates down.

#23
solefald

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Ammonia and Nitrites are at 0. I've tested 3 times since Friday. But Nitrates are at crazy levels and 20% water change did not make them go down. There is currently 0 livestock, except the hitchhikers - some kind of striped worms, asternia stars, some kind of tiny fast moving bugs, these things on the glass... and algae of all sorts.

#24
solefald

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It is possible but I am not sure the 1st picture could be a jelly fish.


Holy crap. You were right! These are the Cladonema Jellyfish!

http://jellieszone.com/cladonema.htm

https://www.google.c...j...539&bih=826

#25
mberridge

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How do you like the ratio of lights?

Edited by mberridge, 14 February 2012 - 12:18 PM.