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MrJoel

MrJoels Evo 13.5 Journal

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So I started this tank back on March 16th. I picked up the tank from my local fish store  Neptune Aquatics. I set it up with ~15 lbs of  Real Reef rock , 1 bag of Natures Ocean live sand and ~10 Gallons of their purified ocean water. I also picked up some pre-seeded MarinePure bio balls from their system.  I set it all up on our old sturdy butcher block. The drip channel around the perimeter is nice for capturing any water that drips out when I am working on it. 

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With this I started phantom feeding my tank for about a week and started on the Red Sea reef mature kit. After that week I added a Turbo ( a serious poop factory at first)  3 blue leg hermits and a GSP frag.

I added a Hydor 240gph powerhead to improve flow in the tank. the 134gph return pump did not seem adequate. 

I had some PH issues where it was consistently too low at around 7.6 and it got better with an open window and the ceiling fan running. So I could be pretty sure it was CO2 in the air getting mixed in through the skimmers air intake. 

I followed a build posted by Water Dog last May and made an inline CO2 scrubber for my skimmer and the PH has been back up to 8.0-8.2 depending on the time of day tested. I change out the soda lime every 4-7 days.

I also swapped out the heater for the cobalt 50w  NeoTherm. It fits with the pump better with the return pump and the old fluval 50W is now used to heat water change water.

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Once everything was testing as ready, I added a few more corals and 2 small Ocellaris clowns.

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There was also a glove polyp but after a week it closed and just faded and shriveled up. First loss in the tank. =(

 

We also added a Conch to help work on the sand bed. The kids named "him" Gary after the snail in spongebob. This little guys is doing an amazing job on the sand bed.

 

This Friday we added 2 trochus snails to help clean the rock work since the Turbo lives on the glass and then hides in the sand. In addition to the snails we added 2 more corals.

An Aussie Acan of which I do not know the name.

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And a nice healthy looking piece of wall frog spawn which adds a good deal of moment which the tank was lacking.

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Livestock wise I may be holding off on new additions for a bit other than replacing blueleg hermits that die off. We lost 2 during molting and shell changing. We had an assorment of replacment shells in for them but only one of the original 3 is left in his upgraded shell.

 

I also have a Chill solutions CSXC-1 chiller on the way to be ready for summer it has already been hot enough a few days this week that I had to turn off the lighting early. It frequently gets hot in the house and a low power peltier chiller is a cheaper option than chilling the whole house. I will post about that when it is here and installed. I wrote the company and they verified to me that the only parts that make contact with the water are HDPE and Ceramic. I was worried about common water block materials that would be bad for the reef.

 

this was a long post to catch up with a month or so of activity. More to come soon. =)

 

 

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The meteor shower is spreading out and new polyps are popping up, but I am not sure what that white line is. Noticed it this weekend in 2 spots.

 

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You're off to a most excellent start!!!

I like the in-line CO2 scrubber. 

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Any Idea what this is or what would cause it. This white line has showed up in the last week. And it  look like there may be another one forming  that cannot be seen in this image..

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

58fe2b621d419_meteorline.jpg.4861c34ef3ce45cf3f099aaeb92a2f7a.jpg

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I did actually wonder about that a bit and almost commented on it yesterday, but got distracted by my kids. 

I don't know specifically what it is, but it looks like something that needs to be addressed before it goes further. 

Did you dip your corals before adding them to the tank?

If it were me I'd do a lugol's iodine dip first and see if that helps. 

(1 cup tankwater, 2 drops lugol's, for 4 or 5 mins then return to tank). 

If you do that a time or two and are unable to find predators and all tank parameters are in check, I'd consider doing a CoralRx dip, but I'd eliminate other stuff first. 

What are your tank parameters, while we're on the subject?

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All corals have been dipped in Coral RX before introducing them to the tank. 

If need be I could use a scalpel from the kit to remove that area and the one on the left hand side not visible in the image. I want to be sure it is an issue before I do anything so drastic and stressful to the coral.

The area on the left side where I can see the other white line with my eye is a healthy looking area almost 3x as thick as when I first got it and spreading over the edge of the plug growing towards the rock. 

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I found a polyp off of the frog spawn today on the sand at the other end of the tank. Do they occasionally lose polyps or is this something to be concerned about? 

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A few updates.

I did not like the look of the 2 areas on the meteor shower with the white lines . And in one on the left hand side where those dart bumps were, there looked to be a black tendril that I would try to plow away and would go away but would be back later.  With the possibility of this being an infestation I re-dipped and cut away the affected area with a scalpel and including the thing that looked almost like a small black worm.  I cleaned the area or rock where the tissue was removed and re-dipped to prevent infection. Tissue on the frag still looks great and the polyps are slowly opening again.

I also picked up a ORA neon green birds nest frag and a green Mushroom freebie from Legendary Corals who offer local pickup less than a mile from my house. The packaging was fantastic. The way they package the coral I could not imagine them ever getting damaged in transit. The level of care they clearly give to orders, health of the corals and outstanding/friendly customer service means they will be seeing more of my business in the future.

Will post some updated pics soon.

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Can you post any picture of "inline CO2 scrubber" installed?

 

Thanks

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16 hours ago, MrJoel said:

I found a polyp off of the frog spawn today on the sand at the other end of the tank. Do they occasionally lose polyps or is this something to be concerned about? 

I've heard that the skeletons of hammers and frog spawns can be very sharp around the edges and actually cut tentacles off.  If you hold them up right out of the water, or place them some where in the tank with strong consistent direct flow, the tentacles can rub against the sharp edges of the skeleton and cut it off.  I believe this is why they are floated upside down when packaged for shipping.  Hopefully, I am not spreading misinformation or perpetuating an "urban legend" here.  Someone more knowledgeable please feel free to correct me if this is wrong.   


Are you still running the stock LEDs? If so, keep us posted on how the birds nest is doing. I also recently added some SPS (monti cap) to my EVO 13.5 under the stock LEDs, so I am interested to see how other folks are doing with SPS as well. 

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11 hours ago, EvilFish said:

Can you post any picture of "inline CO2 scrubber" installed?

 

Thanks

I will try to get a pic and post it later.  I basically took the airline valve off the Simmer Cup of the Fluval PS2 Mini Skimmer and ran airline from the valve intake that used to pull from the cup and ran it to the inline CO2 Scrubber.  I wanted to pull the intake valve off the skim cup anyway because it kept pulling foam from the cup into the valve and causing buildup that would block the airflow which then would cause the water level in the skimmer to rise and fill the cup. Seems like a design issue to me, but it was easy enough to bypass the issue. I had the filter held on the side of the tank with the heater holder suction cups from my original Fluval heater but it kept falling off so for now it is laying next to the tank.

 

---edit to add photo---

 

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5 minutes ago, TheBig053 said:

I've heard that the skeletons of hammers and frog spawns can be very sharp around the edges and actually cut tentacles off.  If you hold them up right out of the water, or place them some where in the tank with strong consistent direct flow, the tentacles can rub against the sharp edges of the skeleton and cut it off.  I believe this is why they are floated upside down when packaged for shipping.  Hopefully, I am not spreading misinformation or perpetuating an "urban legend" here.  Someone more knowledgeable please feel free to correct me if this is wrong.   


Are you still running the stock LEDs? If so, keep us posted on how the birds nest is doing. I also recently added some SPS (monti cap) to my EVO 13.5 under the stock LEDs, so I am interested to see how other folks are doing with SPS as well. 

I am still Running the Stock LEDs. I have the birdsnest pretty close to the top right now.  

I have been looking into adding a strip or 2 of good blue LEDs since the stock blues don't seem bad but there are not many of them. Or I may look at swapping the light out all together if needed. But I would like to retain the hood since it does help reduce evaporation.

Once I have the ThermoElectric chiller in place the additional heat from LEDs should be a non issue.

I would be curious to know what the PAR rating actually is in this tank when stock. I know my meteor shower started to lose its vibrance when I had it unshaded at the bottom, But got their color back soon after I moved then a few inches back. So anecdotally I think the lights are not that bad.

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Tank update with whole tank and some pictures of the recent additions.

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The ORA Neon Green Birdsnest I picked up from Legendary Corals  regular and blue light.

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Neon Trumpet. Exposure is hard with this bright coral. =P

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Rainbow Montipora

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For most frags I have been mounting them on BRS Natural Coral Frag Mounts or more recently onto some broken up pieces of real reef rock.This way new frags blend in better. For the trumpet I was able to drill the real reef rock with a drill to glue the stalk of the coral is on into the whole. I am debating doing the same on the Birdsnest but since the base of that frag is alive I am a bit hesitant.

 

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I am trying to decide If I need to move this coral lower.  The tissue is getting fuller looking but it looks like it may be getting lighter in color. I have heard some favites color better in lower light or light shade.  What do you guys think?

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On 4/27/2017 at 11:40 AM, MrJoel said:

Tank update with whole tank and some pictures of the recent additions.

6rFrJbgFFcfgrY5iXXhKTeI2b-KzQz1wcD33Ycc_

 

The ORA Neon Green Birdsnest I picked up from Legendary Corals  regular and blue light.

6lUkwCjf0Af9-5u4SOf6sCGGaLwtj3Uc30wnJvDr

V_BTMR5Zho3ql701Oo-6NQWOqHCgj3Ljo_N30k9X

 

Neon Trumpet. Exposure is hard with this bright coral. =P

oy49V3F3lNs6z6HrxfWFnOGbLAiKu3-jRGxzrpJQ

 

Rainbow Montipora

EL5FS_mm7DZjRMcpYsTP2AIONDrjpaWN2mfwPohZ

 

For most frags I have been mounting them on BRS Natural Coral Frag Mounts or more recently onto some broken up pieces of real reef rock.This wat new frags blend in better. For the trumpet I was able to drill the real reef rock with a drill to glue the stalk of the coral is on into the whole. I am debating doing the same on the Birdsnest but since the base of that frag is alive I am a bit hesitant.

 

This monti looks super cool, looks like it's encrusting well.

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1 hour ago, frahny said:

This monti looks super cool, looks like it's encrusting well.

Yeah I saw it in the shop a few times and then decided I needed it. It caught my eye every time I saw it. 

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I just Got the CSXC-1 installed into my tank. Waiting to see how it does over the next few hours this evening. I think the thermometer is off a bit so I may need to change the temp it is set for. Tank temp is lower than what the internal sensor of the chiller reads. I was hoping to pull it down to ~76.

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Also added a red scooter dragonet yesterday.  He was not shy in the tank, he would swim to the front and look at me and he was also eating pellet food in the shop so he seemed like a safe bet. 2 Employees said they were disappointed because they wanted to bring him home for the reasons listed above. =P

I also have so many copepods in my tank it can looks like bubbles  in the water before you get close enough to see their shape.

The little guys coloring makes him blend in with the sand and rock. He has been hidden in plain sight a few times today.

Here he is in his little cave. The wife and daughters have named him Frank the wonder fish. Why I cannot say.

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After running the Chiller unit overnight with no lights adding heat, it has not been able to get the temp to drop below 78.5F. Since the ambient temp in the room was ~6-7F cooler than the tank this does not give me confidence in the CSXC-1, especially with summer on the way and Spring temps already in the high 80's to low 90's here. I have reached out to Chill solutions to see if they have any info that can help me, or if they think there is an issue with the unit.

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Chiller on the way back to chill solutions. They will be checking it out and sending a replacement. Great customer service though even if I would prefer to not have had to learn about it. =p 

Today's temp hit between 96 & 98f at my house depending on the source. The tank hit ~84. Could really use that chiller today. For now I have put some water in ziplock bags which I then sealed into vacuumed seal bags to prevent any leaks. I also vacuumed sealed 2 gel freezer pouches. And I have those cycling between freezing and floating in the tank.

Hopefully early May is not an indicator of what the summer is going to bring.

 

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That's frustrating! Keep us posted on how it goes with the replacement unit, I'm really curious how this will perform for your tank in your climate. It was a scorcher here today too, but it's only getting started.

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Well you are in Phoenix. No idea ho one would work there. Some people have run multiple units in their sumps.  I have only been in Phoenix one time and it was in August. Missed a flight due to delays and had to stay in Phoenix over night.  At 10:30pm it was still 108F outside.  I could live with not doing that ever again. I can only imagine what it must have been like during the day.

With y tank having ~10 gallons after the displacement is should be able to pull down 10F based on the specs. But we will see.

 

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Interesting but useless discovery today. The Evo 13.5 hood is not completely opaque. It looks like it is actually a really dark smoked plastic.

The visible condensation is inside of the hood and is visible from the top.

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The return pump was building up some funk on the filter sponge. I decided to give it a cleaning. Man that thing was funky. When I got it powered back up the flow was noticeably improved. I guess cleaning that out just became a maintenance item.

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I am not sure about he birdsnest. It seems to be growing and branching out but a shaded part near the base is showing almost no color in the polyps. Could just be from the shade of the branches above.

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