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Rocket's LED AP24 Fishless Reef

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Greetings NR people.


Welcome to my AquaPod 24 thread.


I'll start off with saying it feels good to be back in a nano tank.


I have spent the last 2 years building and maintaining my standard dimension 125 gallon reef tank which can be found here. That tank was a joy to have. Mainly due to the diverse fish you can host in a 6 foot long tank. I ended up with a Hippo blue tang and a Hawaiian yellow tang. Beautiful fish that constantly swim and eat.


Oh and before the 125. I had a brief try at a 42 gallon hexagon tank.


Sadly, on August 25th, 2011 My almost 2 year old 125 nuked itself. I have no idea what really went wrong. Just a few theories. If you want to know more visit the provided 125 gallon reef tank link.


Enough sadness! NEW TANK TIME!!! (kinda...)


I never made a tank log when I originally setup my AP 24 way back in 2007. 4 years later. I have gone full circle. In the scampering of saving as much coral as I could from my meltdown soup of a 125 reef tank I had no other option but to setup my AP24 once again.


And here is what the tank looked like immediately after I set it up.




Setup took me 3 hours. I had to clean it out as I had used the tank to cure rocks, and quarantine new corals and fish. Then had to run power to the tank and go out and buy salt. While I waited for my 30 gallon brute container to refill with RO/DI. I had used the tank the day before to attempt rescue of my failing 125, to no avail. All hope was lost.


Tank was doing great for an hour or so. Then this happened:






Yup about 15 tiger stripped snails decided to spawn all at the same time. The AP24 turned cloudy for the rest of the day. The corals seemed indifferent by the spawn.


Tonight's goal was to replace the 150w 20'' sunpod with the (4) Par38's of Evil's design from nanotuners that I setup a few months ago for the 125.


Task Completed!





What is very neat about this setup is taking advantage of the angled light. Instead of having a light that is 90° from the display plane, the lights now offer the coral to grow more outward. I hope this will bring more to the front view of the tank. I am still debating on keeping the rear lights angled slightly or to straighten them out for a direct overhead normal position. I feel with all the lights angled the corals will grow wider being that they are lit on more the sides.


That is all for tonight. Top Gear British edition is replaying.



Edited by Rocket

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Sorry to hear about the 125 but the ap and the light setup are sweet! Did you go with the 12k or the 20k bulbs? And any plans for a stocking list yet?

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No plans for fish yet. I want to go fish less for a while.


I do want nice Maxima clam. As the LED's are powerful. and maybe try some SPS.


As for stocking list. Soft corals and LPS. I really like LPS corals. I already have close to 30 Florida ricordias that will hopefully expand soon and once again form the ric garden.


I have. 2 Aussie acans


Frogspawn is also doing good. The torch coral is recovering.


I plan on watching the tank for a few weeks. Making sure everything is healthy before I add more livestock.


In the mean time I have plenty of building still to do. The ATO is not operational yet. And I want a reef controller again. Also I have to sell off the 125 and it's rather large equipment that is no use on my ap24

Edited by Rocket

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Nice tank so far!


What size loc line are you using? I'm wanting to get it for my 24g nano cube.

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Um... If I had to guess 1/2 inch. It's the stock setup for an aqua pod 24.

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Where did you get the leds and if I may ask how much did they cost. Great setup



I paid $83 each from the nano tuners/ nano customs website. They are the 60 degree optics on the 20k version of the light. Originally they where on a light bar for my 125.


You could get away with 2 of them for my size tank, but I had 4 so I'm trying the Angled lighting technique.


The lamp sockets where the cheapest clamp on lights home depot had.

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I have done some more work on the AP24. Mainly trying to remove the surface scum that has developed. This will be the first tank I will run skimmer-less, for the foreseeable future. Skimmer selection will be debated later. If you have suggestions, feel free to post them up. So far I'm not really impressed with what is available for nano tanks. I do have more than enough light and flow for some sps.



To remove surface scum I used this 4 year old device I got free:





It was installed to the return pump (MJ1200) of my AP24 like so. The long hose was to allow the surface skimmer to go where I wanted it to. I tried shorter hose, but the hose was too hard to flex in the way I needed it to:




This is the result after about 10 minutes of running:









And a few quick 10-30 second videos I made in HD:


Tank Tour


Surface film


Flow with no surface scum


It is very interesting to see just how much a heavy surface film impedes surface agitation. I believe gas exchange has be greatly improved.



Edited by Rocket

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I tested the tank parameters tonight.


Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

Magnesium: 1140

KH: 10

phosphate: 0

ph: 8.0


Calcium: 320 ppm.



I've started a kalk drip to get this back up to 420 ppm. I've also mixed in a bit of magnesium.


Coralline algae is growing on the rocks. I can see white areas beginning to fill it. As all of my rocks have a sand level line.


I've had to move some coral as the LEDs are too powerful. I may move the lights up a few inches, but it could just be light shock. I'll monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.




I forgot to mention the mp40w. I have set in reef crest mode and turned down all the way.



Seems to work well. Unit runs cold to the touch, and power consumption was measured at 6 watts.


I'm trying to find the original specs on this pump. As the new ones put out 1000gph min, and there is no way my pump is doing that.


I know the max is 3500 GPH, I'm thinking the min is 500 GPH. I have the original box, just need to find it.

Edited by Rocket

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Your leds look so nice, I love the purple look to the tank.


What type of coral is that in the front of the tank, some type of eyuphillia?


Your rics also look like there really going to look amazing when they all open.

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Neat photo update: I kept the photos small due to loading this page would take longer. If you wish to see the full size photos click HERE, simply click "newer" to advance to the next day.


I did a 12 day photo capture of a Florida Ricordea splitting. (asexual reproduction)


Day 1:


Day 2:


Day 3:


Day 4:


Day 5:


Day 6


Day 7


Day 8


Day 9


Day 10


Day 11


Day 12



Much more photos to come throughout the week. I can't post all of them in one day! Hope you enjoy.

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Picture Update. Trying to balance the colors against the LED's. LED light is very hard to balance on the image.


Macro on the Coral Garden:



Torch Coral:



Macro Ricordea:




All shot with my Canon 60D and 100mm L Macro.

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Thas a cool 12 day sequence of the spliting.I had mine like a few months and it hasnt split but the thing is like three and a half inches it just keeps getting bigger.

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Ricordea rock






Hand held

1/125 sec.


ISO 1250

1:1 Macro



Hand held

1/20 sec.


ISO 6400

Almost 1:1 macro


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Added this a couple weeks ago. 150 watt version. I'm liking the results, 2F swing with a remote temp probe. much more stable than my old Marineland 100w. I keep the tank in a unheated basement. Winter is coming, and ambient temps in the 50's are possible.




Hm... Seems JBJ makes quality products. I have two!



Magnetic installation is GENIUS!!!



Top down photos sometime next week! A view from the LED's!


A side note: After monitoring with a Kill-a-Watt meter for 237 hours. My tank averages a total power usage of 119watts. I'm curious how this will go in the winter. As of now basement temps are around 67-70. I'll redo this test Monthly.

Edited by Rocket

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Top Down Photo Time! These look really cool with the LED lighting.


Aussie Acan












Florida Ricordea




Next week photos from "the lights perspective @10mm"

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Photo update again:


A view right at the water line, taken with 10mm Ultra Wide Angle lens




Above the lights (from the wood frame)




Right at the lights white rims.




That is all the photos for a while. Going to let the tank sit as is for a while. I'll be hunting for a clam in the mean time!

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What are you using for filtration?Your tank looks fanstasic

Edited by flabob

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Awesome wide angle photos! How are you liking the LEDs?

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man that terrible that your 125 crashed, you didn't want to start it over? i wonder what could have caused that? your ricordea florida rock is/was so bad ass. seeing that has made me start to like rics again!

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