Jump to content
Cultivated Reef

Slice Of Paradise


Recommended Posts

Thank you :)


Yeah I debated about piecing one together as well, but the cost of buying the lab grade Apex package and then buying the PM2 and Lab grade Salinity probe ended up leaving me $40 shy of the Apex Gold which includes the $85 Lab Grade ORP if I ever wanted it. So for an extra $40 I decided to just get the Gold package. While I don't run ozone, the ORP reading still does something for me by simply being a graph (swings from normal reflect things dying in my tank that could cause a problem). I spent almost as much as you at the end of the day (with the the added AWM for my Hydra 52 included).


Sounds interesting, I can't wait to see the setup. I've been thinking about an MP10 in the future due to the battery backup possibility. I also want a chiller, so gotta save save save lol. But I'm interested in seeing your dual XR15s coverage.


I know they have separate instructions for Apple products, but I remember reading something about that apple product. I'm sure you'll be fine. I highly recommend reading the manual to get a rough idea about setup before hand, and there's also an easy "quick start setup" guide on the same webpage: http://www.neptunesystems.com/support/docs/ Their 'support' system is unusual and revolves around a posting/chat session instead of an actual on the phone conversation. While I would prefer a phone call, the thread posting/chat session isn't terrible if you have the time to wait for responses, which are always helpful. And on top of that, their user forum is filled with info.


Personally, I think my wireless connectivity issues were a result of my apt. It has terrible wifi due to a solid concrete build. Just remember, when you initially set up your Apex, you -have- to do it via a wired connection first, then setup wifi, otherwise you'll be in a world of hurt lol. That was another reason I went to a wired connection, any firmware updates require a wired connection. But yeah, I love this thing.

Link to comment
  • Replies 91
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Here's a peek at the inside of my stand:




And here's that birdsnest I couldn't get a picture of before:




Unfortunately I think my birdsnest is upset with me. I woke up yesterday to find it on the bottom of the tank, as it had apparently fallen off the rock work over night. I subsequently removed it from the tank for about 20 seconds, just log enough to remove the old epoxy off and then reattach new epoxy to its base for a new mounting. I did this because I didn't want the old epoxy bits being blown throughout the tank. But it seems like it made the birdsnest upset, as it seems to be displaying its white skeleton base on the side facing the display side, while the rest of the coral is covered in happy, puffy green.

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I can't believe its been almost five months since I've made any real posts in my aquarium diary, life just goes by so quick its crazy. But I'm back now and plan to be more attentive to my thread because I love seeing the growth of my tank even after such a short time. That being said, I have a lot of new pictures that need to be taken to update the wonderful 'new' corals I have since my last update. As soon as I can convince the wife to use her DSLR camera (and once I can figure out which LEDs to turn off so the pictures don't come out a hazy purple), I will definitely upload them here. That being said, the list of new corals include:



2 Florida Ricordea

2 Rainbow Aussie Acan Lord

1 Bi-color Branching Hammer

1 Toxic Waste Leptoseris

1 ORA Birds of Paridise

4 Purple Stylophora

1 Gobstoper Paly

1 White zoas (not sure t he 'actual' name)

1 Green Monti Cap (I think...its from WWC's live sale mystery box)

1 Unknown SPS (aquired from WWC's live sale mystery box)


Also, looking at what my ORA birdsnest was back in July and seeing it now is crazy because it grew so much since then. Also, my single Duncan head now has six midsize heads surrounding the original! But this grow wasn't without casualities lol. I lost my utter chaos zoas, which melted away no matter what I tried. I also lost my scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp to an unknown cause. That shrimp was doing amazing, molting normally with no signs of stress or disease until I simply found it dead one morning stuck to my overflow grate. Only thing I can think of is it was attacked by my wrasse or stung by my corals. That being said, I don't plan on replacing him because in all honesty, he was a pain in the ass. As beautiful as the shrimp was, he constantly pulled the mysis out of the mouths of my spot fed corals even after I 'fed' him first.


Also as an update, I made a pretty dumb newb mistake pretty much as this take was upgraded from the Nuvo 16 to the Fusion 30L- I added BRS dry rock straight into the two year old system. While I assumed there would be some algae issues with the new rock, I never thought it would essentially start a mini cycle. I've been fighting this algae/cyano for the last month. I've seen some real progress however by daily blasting the rocks with a turkey baster and siphoning the top layer of 'infected' sand during water changes.


And as a last update, I've begun to dose two part. I slowly became lazy with my aquarium testing and didn't realize that my parameters were slightly out of wack (mag was at 1000, calc was at 340, and alk was at 7.5). This was most likely due to why my pH was at a frustrating 7.5 no matter what I tried. Since dosing with BRS two part, I've been able to bring my levels to where they should be and my pH has subsequently gone up on its own and is holding steady at about 8.1 - 7.9 on the day to night swing. THANK GOD.


Well that's all for now. Hopefully I can get those pictures up by this weekend. Anyone know how to get a good tank shot without the LEDs turning the picture all purple like in my current FTS? I hate changing it to all whites, it makes the tank look so lame lol.

Link to comment

Here are all the new corals I've added since the last update in July, enjoy!


Purple Stylophora



Unknown SPS



Monti Cap (I think)



Toxic Waste Leptoseris



Halle Berries



Bi-color Branching Hammer



Gobstopper paly



Aussie Acan Lord



Either an Acan or some sort of brain?



Royal Gramma / Florida Ricordea



And just for fun, one of my dumb snails hanging upside for dear life while my wrasse watches hah!


Link to comment

So I finally made the decision to get new fish. As much as I love my coral and want that to be primary, I really do miss having lots of fish swimming around (I had a 150 gallon cichlid tank). So after careful consideration I've decided I want to add a Royal Gramma and a Red Firefish to my tank. Luckily my LFS had a royal gramma in stock and after close inspection and watching him readily gobble up mysis, I took him home. He's pictured in the second to last picture above, say hello to Gurgle! (the wife named him after the royal gramma in Finding Nemo...a healthy trade for putting up with my saltwater addiction hah).

Link to comment

Small update, Royal Gramma is doing great. He burrowed out a home under a piece of rock (pretty cool to watch) where he sleeps at night. Otherwise he swims around the left side of the tank. He also has been getting along with my wrasse, much to my suprise. No fighting even during feeding time. I'll post a nice picture soon :)

Link to comment

So I have been having low pH problems since moving into my apartment. My tank holds at a high of 7.9 and drops to a low of 7.6. I've spent a lot of time reading tips and tricks, and trying a few, in an attempt to get it to raise to the level I know it should be (8.2 due to my Tropic Marin salt mix). And then my wife opened up the windows in the apartment over the last few days during some nice cold weather here in hot Florida. I immediately noticed that my tank was reaching 8.2 pH during the day with the open windows, and then dropping down to 7.9 -7.85 at night when the windows were closed. I then found Randy Holmes-Farley's article (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/) describing exactly the problem I was having in my tank. After reading it, I figured my issue ad to be high CO2 levels inside my apartment. I subsequently performed his aeration test to confirm my suspicion.

The results of my test performed with outside air raised my cup of water from 7.80 pH to 8.27 pH! I then performed the test with inside air and had practically no change in pH (7.76 pH to 7.74 pH with Apex pH probe). I have subsequently confirmed my low pH problem is due to higher levels of CO2 in my home, which is why aeration within my aquarium with this air is keeping my pH so low.


This leaves me with three solutions. One, leave the windows open 24/7. Obviously this is a no go. Two, run airline tubing from the outside into my aquarium. In my opinion, a last result if option three doesn't work. Speaking of which, option three- a CO2 scrubber. Instead of a DIY version, I went ahead and ordered a BRS Universal Air Filter and their color changing Medical Grade CO2 Absorbent (soda lime). I don't have a skimmer to hook it up to, so I'll be running a Tetra Whisper Pump with it. So the Tetra pump will taken in my home's air, push it into the BRS Filter via airline tubing, the soda lime inside the filter will "scrub" out the CO2, and the less CO2 dense air will push through the other end via airline tubing and into my tank, dispersed into the water by an airstone in the rear chamber.


Hopefully this works. If not, I'll be forced to try running airline tubing from outside into the tank. Does anyone have any experience with CO2 scrubbers? Do you know of a submersible pump I could attach the airline tubing to that will draw in the outside air and disperse it into my tank if I have to do this? BRS recommended the Cobalt MJ1200 because it comes with a venturi line which should allow me to accomplish this but I have no experience with the product.

Link to comment

Hey Admon- I just read your last post and wanted to give you my 2 cents. I have only had my tank up and running for a little less then 6 months, but have gathered a lot of information during this small time frame. I have to say that Judging by your post and pictures, I can tell that we are very much alike! I am a total OCD perfectionist and want everything as perfect as can be :lol:


When I first got the tank cycled and filled with CC, fish and my first corals, I was freaking out becuase I could not keep my PH at anything above 7.9. It would fluctuated between 7.7-7.9 and no matter what I tried, it wouldn't budge. I tried all you have posted about, and I dose Kalk as well. I have scoured the internet and read Randy's thread a hundred times and watched countless youtube videos. The best advice I can give you is "DON'T CHASE YOUR PH!"


My corals as you have seen in my thread are doing wonderful. I live in a new home with an open floor plan, so my CO2 levels are high to begin with. My PH fluctuates down to 7.7 and up to around 8.0. It is now finally getting up around 8.1 but that is because I have added more Kalk to my ATO since I also have added more corals. I will provide you with some links to the CO2 scrubber I have seen on you tube as I was planning on doing this too as well. I seriously would just not worry about your PH as long as your tank is happy. I hope this helps! Take care!


BTW-The last link I think will make the most sense and is the most important piece of advice!








http://www.mrsaltwatertank.com/mr-saltwater-tank-tv-friday-am-quick-tip-the-ph-tap-of-saltwater-tanks/ <---MOST IMPORTANT

Link to comment

That's actually the exact video I used to confirm my co2 scrubber build after running across the items on BRS' website lol.


And thanks for that last video ;) Funny thing is I know I shouldn't chase pH but I can't help myself heh. In all honesty I came to terms with the low pH because everything was growing regardless of the 7.7-7.9 pH levels. My sudden interest in the CO2 scrubber is a result of my wife. She constantly and irregularly opens the windows. This subsequently bumps my pH up dramatically and then crashes it when she closes them back up for a few days. And then she does it all over again. This yo-yo of pH as a result concerns me because it doesn't provide a stable parameter anymore. And I can't tell her she can't open the windows because of the tank...I'd loose that discussion hah.


That's why I'm hoping the scrubber works, so that no matter what she does with the windows the pH shouldn't fall and rise so dramatically and random.


But yeah, It constantly surprises me how many amazing tanks I see on here running 'low' pH. Not to mention awesome tanks with no skimmers, making my 'to skimmer or not to skimmer' choice even harder.


But in the end I'm just looking for stability- only a portion of my OCD perfectionist secretly demands a pH of 8.2 ;)

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

So I finally got my CO2 scrubber hooked up and I am surprised at how well it worked. My pH is stable at 8.2 - 8.1 throughout the day/night. That being said it's causing heavy micro bubbles in the rear chamber due to the airstone.


A solution to this seems to be hooking the scrubber to a skimmer's air intake. I am subsequently debating doing this as I have been seriously thinking about getting a skimmer (Tunze 9001 to be exact). So who knows...maybe a holiday sale will give me the push to pick one up.

Link to comment

Reading through your thread and getting caught up...glad your CO2 scrubber is helping out! In your pics of all your corals, I believe the one you labeled unknown sps is a cyphastrea or Astreopora. Here's a video with some information about them. I've actually had my eye on a Meteor Shower Cyphastrea over at Vivid Aquariums for a few weeks now.


Link to comment



Yeah someone in the ID sub forum helped me with that one. The one I received doesn't look very good, I think it was dying when I got it and it's not doing much better now. But the one you linked me to just now looks amazing! I may take a chance on one soon, but I'll pick it instead of mystery boxing it lol

Link to comment

So my royal gramma has been missing for about four days now. Just before his disappearance I found him hiding in a hole/cave in my center live rock even during feeding time. Ever since then I can't find him and he doesn't show himself during broadcast feeding like normal. I checked all around the tank, behind the tank, and the rear chamber in case he jumped but he's nowhere to be found. There are two holes in the love rock he could be hiding in but I can't see inside. I also checked my ammonia levels and nothing showed up so I'm assuming he's not dead in the tank yet.


I hope he's just being grumpy due to the change in pH over the last week or so and he'll come out of hiding :(

Link to comment

So it's been about two weeks and I've still yet to find my royal gramma. I've been testing the ammonia levels every few days but I'm still getting a reading of zero. I can't imagine he's still alive after two weeks of no food, but I'm suprised his dead body isn't showing signs of ammonia. And I'm certain he didn't jump out. It's a mystery...


Also as an update I decided to pick up the Tunze 9001. I've wanted to try a skimmer for awhile now and the added benifit of hooking my CO2 scrubber up to it pushed me to pick one up.


That being said, I'm having an issue with green hair algea over taking the tank. I'm having to replace my filter floss almost every 2-3 days as it clogs up. And my BRS dry rock is covered in it, along with the sand. Not to mention my rear chamber is algae city. I've done manual removal, sand vacuuming, rock blowing, and mag raising. But this dry rock mini cycle grew strong GHA lol. I'm hoping that the skimmer helps as I've heard it can. In this reguardless I'm also seriously thinking of purchasing an Innovative Marine Minimax reactor for GFO.

Link to comment

I really like the way you hung the AI light, very clean! Going to have to steal that idea for when I hang the light on my tank. Great looking tank as well.

Link to comment

I'd go with gfo, it should help starve the algae.

Yeah, I'm starting to think I just might make the buy. Any particular brand of GFO you recommend?


I really like the way you hung the AI light, very clean! Going to have to steal that idea for when I hang the light on my tank. Great looking tank as well.

Thank you very much :)

Link to comment

Yeah, I'm starting to think I just might make the buy. Any particular brand of GFO you recommend?

I personally use BRS, never had an issue with it and price is right.

Link to comment

Tunze 9001 was installed in the center chamber. It was a tight fit due to the elbow connection of the output nozzle for the main pump which goes through the false wall. I think they're may be a way to push it in a little but I'll save messing with it for later. Due to this issue I added the supplied adapter to bump out the skimmer from the magnet. This not only allowed the skimmer to fit, but it gave a nice half inch space from the waterfall of water dropping into the center chamber from the chamber before it. This space allowed the flowing water to not be directly pushed into the plate below the skimmer cup. I also had to screw the air intake almost closed to stop the cup from wildly overflowing and I've got a good steady foam going.


I also have a CUC from ReefCleaners arriving with today's mail, so hopefully those buggers will help with my algae. I also changed the purigen packs out, which I admit I may have completly forgotten about because they were dark brown and exhausted. It's been 48 hours since I added the new purigen and I've noticed that my sandbed algae has turned dark brown. Not sure if it's related.


That being said, I'm still unsure about getting a GFO reactor. I definitely want something contained inside my tank to help lessen the possibility of a water leak which exists with a reactor placed outside of the tank. This is what lead me to the IM Minimax Mid-Sized reactor. However, I've read a few reviews stating this reactor's pads allowed GFO to flow through it and into their tank, a huge problem. I then debated about a TLF Phosband 150, but heard even more complaints about the build quality and the unit failing on people. So I still have more research to do on picking a reactor, let alone a brand of GFO.

Link to comment

The regular or the high capacity? And how much do you use?

I run 7tbsp (http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-calculator) of regular because the high capicity is to fine for the IM Reactor. Another option to the IM reactor that i think looks promising : http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/brs-gfo-carbon-reactor-5-single.html. I've used BRS for years and always had good luck with them. Doesn't Purigen leech if left in the tank and exhausted ? Maybe part of the problem ?

Link to comment

I've heard reviews stating that BRS' calculator is extremely exaggerated when it comes to GFO. Have you found that to be true?


Thanks, yes I've been looking at BRS' reactor too. You said you had no issues with your reactor right? How long did you say you've had it running?


And yes, I'm sure it would leach and may indeed be part of the problem -.- Time will tell, but I've made sure to keep an accurate record of when I added it now. I think I forgot to write it down the last time.

Link to comment

I've heard reviews stating that BRS' calculator is extremely exaggerated when it comes to GFO. Have you found that to be true?


Thanks, yes I've been looking at BRS' reactor too. You said you had no issues with your reactor right? How long did you say you've had it running?


And yes, I'm sure it would leach and may indeed be part of the problem -.- Time will tell, but I've made sure to keep an accurate record of when I added it now. I think I forgot to write it down the last time.

I've used the Calc for a long time and never had issues. I have no issue with the reactor if I don't use the very fine particle GFO, and its been on the tank since about July/August. Really though if it was me I would go with the BRS reactor as the sponges (atleast on the larger ones) are much nicer and they're built like tanks. When I bought mine the mini reactors wern't out yet or atleast i didnt see them.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Create New...