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disaster999

Disaster's 80gal + 15gal SPS Reef Tank

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disaster999
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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disaster999

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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RollaJase

 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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disaster999

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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seabass

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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disaster999

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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disaster999

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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disaster999

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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dpoltsdsu

That's frustrating

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disaster999

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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disaster999

Im tired of shitty looking corals, lets see if this will help.

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Asureef

Nice, let us know how that works out for you.  

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Frag Factory

How are you getting on with the aquaforest products?

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disaster999

A little bumpy at first because I was too good for instructions.  My sps was dying and I had no idea why. Turns out the Aquaforest products requires a lower alk levels, it cant be too high (Idealy 7.8dkh, anything over 9alk is a nono)

 

Once I got that under control and let time heal whatever survived, things started to grow and thrive again. Im getting very good colorations on some of my corals, and some others turned out to have completely different colors than when I first got them. Im having a ton of new acro growth and the polyps have good extension. Just waiting for them to fully take off the start to encrust more of the rocks.

 

Coralline algae have started to cover my rocks and its turning it in a good shade of purple. I gotta find a way to take better pictures since I have given up on photography and dont have my DSLR anymore. Just relying on my phone for pictures now.

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Christopher Marks
10 hours ago, disaster999 said:

I gotta find a way to take better pictures since I have given up on photography and dont have my DSLR anymore. Just relying on my phone for pictures now.

Good to see you @disaster999🙂 

 

I have been using the Adobe Lightroom application on my iPhone to take photos lately. It gives you a lot of manual controls, including the ability to set a custom white balance. It's not perfect, but it does a way better job to balance the intense blue light than the stock camera app can. It even has nice adjustment tools built into the app for further editing if needed. Any camera app that gives white balance control will help. Many people use an orange or amber lens filter as well, to filter out some of the intense blue light for better balance.

 

You can also upload photos directly to the site when you make a post, right from your smartphone or tablet.

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Andreww

I use the Apple Manual camera app ;it lets you adjust white balance and post process in the Priime app (developed by @kinetic if I’m not mistaken) where you adjust the warmth and other cool settings.

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disaster999

Heres some pictures of some of the corals that have colored up pretty good over the past few months

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seabass

Nice!

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disaster999

Just did a water change and scraped the glass on the tank. Bought 4 anthias too, but one probably didnt make it. Pretty happy that they have gotten used to my tank, found a nice cave to call home and swimming out and about looking for food. Took some quick and dirty shots last night.

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I gotta sell all these frogspawn too. Moving them out of the tank for exchange is going to be a pain since they break off really easily.

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seabass

It's looking great.

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Tamberav

I love all that frog spawn!

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disaster999
18 hours ago, seabass said:

It's looking great.

Thanks

18 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I love all that frog spawn!

It was a as big as a basketball 2+ years ago, but since the move it shattered in piece. I've sold a good 15 frags and I'm still left with all those in the tank

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Dantrasy

Did you start using all the aquaforest products at the same time? Any idea which products(s) have had the greatest impact?

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disaster999
7 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

Did you start using all the aquaforest products at the same time? Any idea which products(s) have had the greatest impact?

I started using their balling method with component strong which adds traces elements in the dosing solution and reef mineral salt which adds more elements into the tank. I also used their nutrients products, amnio, build, energy, vitamin.

 

After a while I started to use NP pro and Bio S which their probiotic bacteria and "food" for said bacteria in my tank to help bring down nutrients level in my tank. Also their powder foods for corals in my tank.

 

Finally my lastest purchase was life source which is pretty much mud specifically from Fiji. They said it helps provide additional nutrients and trace elements. 

 

I can't say one specific product has the biggest impact, but I think their balling method system with component strong and reef mineral salt gave the best result. Keeping with their recommended dosage and dosing all 3 parts equally helped my tank achieve rock solid parameters. 

 

 

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