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disaster999

Disaster's 80gal + 15gal SPS Reef Tank

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On 8/21/2017 at 0:47 PM, RollaJase said:

On damn, sucks to hear about the gyre mishap and the faulty light. Glad to hear you got the light back up and running though.

yeah, good thing Maxspect pulled through and replaced the pump and was willing to replace the light, but I got it going again and didnt see the need to do so.

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Never thought I would end up doing this, throughout my fish keeping days, it was everyone's target to lower your nitrates as much as possible to the best living conditions for your fish. It seemed pretty irrational to intentionally dose nitrate to the tank. The only situation seems to be planted tanks when it needs nitrates to grow. I been talking to a friend and complaining how my tank doesnt look all that good and the corals cant seem to color up, he strongly suggested me to raise the nitrate levels. I was highly reluctant as this just doesnt seem logical, but after doing a bit of research, it seems like a pretty normal thing to do in the reefing community. I decided to give this a try and bought a small bottle of Seachem Flourish Nitrogen to try. Using their online calculator, they said i need around 50ml to raise my tank to 2ppm, but I thought ill start slow. I dosed 10ml at first and that brought my nitrates from 0 to around 0.5ppm. after 24 hours, it was barely registering on my test kit. I upped the dosage a bit and added 20ml to the tank and let it run. I looked at my corals and to my surprised, Im seeing a lot more polyp extension on my SPS. Im started to see PE on ones that i usually done. Ill keep monitoring my tank and slowly up my dosage and see if thats the case. Going to switch to potassium nitrate instead as well since flourish isnt exactly cheap.  

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 A lot of Aussie reefers I know are needing to dose nitrate or heavily increase feeding due to a steady rise in certain biological filter medias that seem to out compete everything for nitrate. I've recently switched from LR rubble in my sump to Seachem Matrix and have seen a reduction in Nitrate from 25 to 5-10 on my Salifert test over 3-4 weeks of use and it's still dropping. I'm hoping I can use this to allow me to remove some other forms of filtration from my sump to clean everything up a little.

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I have 2 Marine Pure large bricks and an ATS for nutrient export, but I guess they are EXTREMELY efficient and I have ZERO nitrates in my tank and no matter how much or how frequent I feed my tank, I cant seem to raise nitrates.

 

After dosing Seachem Flourish Nitrogen, Im noticing a significant change on my corals. Colors are definitely improving, the colors are coming back, seeing polyp extension and growth on my corals. Pretty happy with the results.

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The increase in nitrate will probably improve the export of phosphate.  I can't remember if you are monitoring phosphate.  Low phosphate can also cause issues.  However, it is easier to increase via feeding.

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There's always very little to no trace of phos in my tank so I stopped monitoring it.

 

I am feeding quite a bit right now and with the combination of increased nitrates, I'm liking what I'm seeing 

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Its been a while since Ive updated. Nothing really changed, still being sorta lazy with my tank and struggling with keeping my parameters. Been doing monthly water changes so I have that going. Corals are growing, but nothing spectacular to speak of. But with the additional this hopefully this changes things a little.

 

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2 Coral-box single wifi doser and 5L dosing containers for calc and alk. Bought myself 8lbs of baking soda and 5kg of calcium chloride so theres no excuse for bad water parameters. Really liking this setup. Setting up the dosing pumps is a breeze on your phone with the app. Just punch in your daily dosing amount, how many times you want it to dose through out the day and the volume of your container and you are ready to go. Im surprised at how quiet the pumps are as well. You barely notice it running at all. 

 

All I have to do now is wait.

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My second Maxspect Gyre pump just took a dump on me again. I noticed it stopped working when I was installing the dosing pumps. I took the pump out to do an inspection and noticed the motor doesnt spin freely, It was really stiff. I thought there might be some calcium deposit inside the pump so I soaked it in vinegar overnight. Checked up on it the next day and made no difference which lead me to think the magnets inside is corroded and swelled up, pinching the rotor.

 

Good thing I have spare pump from last time when they replaced my pump but its a matter of time where they start to go bad.

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As my past few posts have been about disappointing equipment, I might as well add my skimmer to the list. I ever was quite happy with my skimmer. It doesnt perform exceptionally well, its loud. The worst of it all...Its inconsistent. It would be skimming one day, and overflow and empty the entire collection cup back into my tank the next. I could have the skimmer running on full speed for a few weeks, mess with the tank a little, perform some maintenance on the tank, and the skimmer would overflow like crazy when I restart it. In terms of worst investments, this Skimz skimmer has to be it.


I finally had it with my skimmer and decided to get a new one. I wanted a reputable, reliable brand, that has been in the business for a while, good quality, DC pump and something that wouldnt break the bank. I started comparing skimmers from Vertex Omega lines and Reef Octopus and talked to my friend as well about Deltec skimmers. I seem to gravitate towards the Reef Octopus skimmers more, specifically the Regal line, mostly because it comes with a float switch on the collection cup. I called up my LFS to see if he has this model, he said he does so I went to check it out.

 

Upon arriving to the store, I was kinda disappointed to see he doesnt have the regal but the Elite line. On the box it showed it has the old controller and I dont know if it has the float switch. Upon opening up the skimmer and inspecting the package. I was relieved to find out it is indeed the updated version, it was about $450 usd which is about what I expected so I took it home. I didnt realize I saved about 100 bucks with this skimmer. After doing a little more research, the Elite line is the higher end skimmer to the Regal and sells for about 550usd.

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Setup was very straight forward and I had it up and running in about 30 mins. I was really lucky that this skimmer BARELY fits in my sump. I didnt realize this skimmer was bigger than the Regal. The Skimmer started skimming right away.

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Not sure if you noticed, but since the recommended water level for the skimmer is around 7", I have to prop up the skimmer a bit for the correct water level. I used a plastic container to temporarily raise the skimmer up for testing. I later made a more permanent stand to raise up the skimmer. I think its the CA glue i used, but after I started the skimmer up again, it started to have this weird surging thing going on.

 

I left it at that thinking it might be it just needs a break in. I came back a few hours later and was really happy to find out the float sensor did what it suppose to do and glad that i went with that option.

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For shits and giggles, I dusted of my OLD avast skimmer with a PSK 1000 pump and tried to get a comparison going. Im really surprised at how quite the reef octo is. You cant even tell the pump is running. All you here is the faint air sucking sound from the silencer.

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Finally heres a crappy cellphone FTS of my current tank. Everything is growing nicely. Im finally getting more coralline algae. One day, I gotta go into the tank with a scraper and spend a few hours cleaning everying off my glass so its more presentable.

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