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A College Fusion - SPS Dominated IM 25 Lagoon

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On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:24 AM, Lisa166 said:

This is one amazing tank! 

 

Can I ask you what your maintenance system is atm? How often do you do water changes and what do you dose and such? 

 

I am in college too, but still afraid to leave my tank alone for more than a few days (which not very nice. Considering I would like to be able to go on holiday for two weeks this summer). I have a 16G. Two clowns and only very easy corals. Picking up a dosing system tomorrow and planning to use the dsr ez method. 

Hi Lisa!

 

As far as maintenance I keep it fairly simple: weekly water changes, ESV b-ionic two-part dosing, and occasional additions of Acropower throughout the week. Filtration is mainly some filter floss and ROX 0.8 carbon. 

 

It is nice to see more college reefers! I understand about being afraid to leave the tank alone for more than a few days. What really helps is having an auto-top off system, dosing unit and automatic fish feeder. With those 3 things I am able to leave the tank up to 2 weeks at a time (which is my longest break in the year). If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

 

On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 9:20 AM, Indiana Reefin said:

Wow wonderful setup. Colors are popping like crazy! 

Thank you!

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13 hours ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

Hi Lisa!

 

As far as maintenance I keep it fairly simple: weekly water changes, ESV b-ionic two-part dosing, and occasional additions of Acropower throughout the week. Filtration is mainly some filter floss and ROX 0.8 carbon. 

 

It is nice to see more college reefers! I understand about being afraid to leave the tank alone for more than a few days. What really helps is having an auto-top off system, dosing unit and automatic fish feeder. With those 3 things I am able to leave the tank up to 2 weeks at a time (which is my longest break in the year). If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

 

Thank you!

Thanks! I do not need the ATO here. I do have an automatic feeder and am saving money to get the dosing system, which I really want to install before summer. I will look into the things you are dosing, because I am still unsure about what's the best way to go. DSR EZ seems like a good system too, since I mostly have problems with dropping KH. 

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7 hours ago, Lisa166 said:

Thanks! I do not need the ATO here. I do have an automatic feeder and am saving money to get the dosing system, which I really want to install before summer. I will look into the things you are dosing, because I am still unsure about what's the best way to go. DSR EZ seems like a good system too, since I mostly have problems with dropping KH. 

Only recommendation would be to watch the salinity without an ATO. It is amazing how quick it can fluctuate on such a small system once water starts to evaporate. Sounds like you are on the right path though! All dosing supplements aim to do the same thing. I find my alk drops fairly quick too but, I am still keeping it simple and dosing equal parts. I check both calcium and alk a couple times a week to make sure everything is within normal limits. 

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It has been some time since my last update! School has definitely kept me busy as the semester comes to an end. Not much has changed with the tank. All I have really kept up with is regular feedings. I cannot imagine keeping the tank going without a doser at this point.

 

I wanted to give a huge shoutout to @micoastreefing for his generosity. Knowing that I would be in his area he reached out to me offering free frags! Sadly, the red dragon I got from him did not pull through but, the other frag did. Great guy!

 

I also picked up a BattleCorals Hyperberry from a fellow reefer from one of the recent frag swaps. No photos of it yet as I am waiting for it to color up. Stay tuned! 

 

As usual I snapped a couple photos since I know everyone enjoys those the most :)

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Time for an update! Unfortunately that tank has gone through some ups and downs over the last 6 months. I was not keeping up with testing the alk and calcium and did not realize how much 2-part the system was consuming. This lead to the alkalinity dropping to around 5 dKH.. The tank is slowly starting to regain strength and the corals are getting back their color. It really is incredible how much 2-part a little system can be consuming! Here are some updated photos - I am most impressed on the growth of the Walt Disney! Definitely one of my favorites. Enjoy!

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5 hours ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

Time for an update! Unfortunately that tank has gone through some ups and downs over the last 6 months. I was not keeping up with testing the alk and calcium and did not realize how much 2-part the system was consuming. This lead to the alkalinity dropping to around 5 dKH.. The tank is slowly starting to regain strength and the corals are getting back their color. It really is incredible how much 2-part a little system can be consuming! Here are some updated photos - I am most impressed on the growth of the Walt Disney! Definitely one of my favorites. Enjoy!

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Whoa, I was just looking up this thread the other day. Tank is looking great!!!

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7 hours ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

Time for an update! Unfortunately that tank has gone through some ups and downs over the last 6 months. I was not keeping up with testing the alk and calcium and did not realize how much 2-part the system was consuming. This lead to the alkalinity dropping to around 5 dKH.. The tank is slowly starting to regain strength and the corals are getting back their color. It really is incredible how much 2-part a little system can be consuming! Here are some updated photos - I am most impressed on the growth of the Walt Disney! Definitely one of my favorites. Enjoy!

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Very nice! 🙂

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Thank you everyone for the kind words! 

 

So I got an early jump on the Black Friday sales.. splurged on a new return pump, nitrate test kit and new airline tubing for my doser. I decided on a new return pump since I have been less than thrilled with the Sicce pump. On multiple occasions the impeller jams and does not start. This ends up with me having to disassemble the rear chamber to service it. No matter how many vinegar baths I gave it, it would happen every other time I restarted the pump. Anyways, here is to a fresh start with the IM MightyJet! I have read fantastic reviews and I like the functionality of being able to adjust the flow and having a feed mode.

 

As for the nitrate test kit, I have started reading up on nitrate dosing and improved color/health of coral. I have always strived to have a very low nutrient system between water changes, skimmer use and reduced feedings. Maybe having more nitrates will push coral color in my case. Before dosing anything I plan to increase my feedings and reduce skimmer use and go from there. We will see! 

 

Lastly, I bought new airline tubing for the doser. Has anyone ever noticed mold growth in their airline tubing? Specifically I noticed it in the calcium dosing lines. Regardless, I figured airline tubing is cheap. I plan to start servicing the tubing every month or so with vinegar baths to prevent any unwanted build up.

 

I highly recommend Aquacave for dry goods - fantastic prices and fast shipping!

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WOW that little thing is jammed packed! Great update, also curious to see how you like that IM DC pump, looks identical to my Jebao DC1200 with a different vault. 

 

Also Go Blue! That campus and Rick's is unreal lol

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2 minutes ago, Fish_Wiz said:

WOW that little thing is jammed packed! Great update, also curious to see how you like that IM DC pump, looks identical to my Jebao DC1200 with a different vault. 

 

Also Go Blue! That campus and Rick's is unreal lol

 

Haha! Sure love going to Rick's over the weekends! Game days are wild. Today's game vs. Indiana will be a blast!  I also have season tickets to the football games which makes the weekends even more fun 😁

 

I will definitely review the MightyJet after some time!

 

Also, not sure if you remember, but we met in person way back in the day when you and a family member drove up into the northern suburbs of Chicago to pick up a Red Sea Berlin skimmer (not far from Six Flags).  

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21 minutes ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

 

Haha! Sure love going to Rick's over the weekends! Game days are wild. Today's game vs. Indiana will be a blast!  I also have season tickets to the football games which makes the weekends even more fun 😁

 

I will definitely review the MightyJet after some time!

 

Also, not sure if you remember, but we met in person way back in the day when you and a family member drove up into the northern suburbs of Chicago to pick up a Red Sea Berlin skimmer (not far from Six Flags).  

Yeah I visited a few years back for the Michigan vs. Indiana game, unreal time.

 

Also, is that really you!? I definitely remember the skimmer, it's been awhile to put a name to a face. Skimmer is long gone but it served us very well when we had it, thank you a ton for that. Glad to see you still around. I recently got back onto here, graduated and now have a little seahorse tank. 

 

-Wiz

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11 minutes ago, Fish_Wiz said:

Yeah I visited a few years back for the Michigan vs. Indiana game, unreal time.

 

Also, is that really you!? I definitely remember the skimmer, it's been awhile to put a name to a face. Skimmer is long gone but it served us very well when we had it, thank you a ton for that. Glad to see you still around. I recently got back onto here, graduated and now have a little seahorse tank. 

 

-Wiz

 

Sure is! It has been some time. I am glad the skimmer served you guys well! Congrats on graduation too. I remember when you were parting ways with your 125 system. Happy to hear you are still in the game. 

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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 1:10 PM, specore said:

Looking great!

Thank you!

 

Initial thoughts on the MightyJet - this pump can MOVE water! I was not expecting it to be such a difference over the Sicce pump. Here is a breakdown:

 

Positives:

  • Ability to control flow - reminds me of an Ecotech vortech pump with the different modes
  • Silent just like the Sicce
  • Quality - the pump just feels well-built
  • Run-dry protection - the pump will actually turn itself off if it detects lack of water

Negatives:

  • Inlet guard has to be taken off to fit in the return chamber
  • Water height in the display increased
  • Extra cables outside of the system (due to controller)

Overall, I am loving this pump. My SPS are loving the extra flow alongside the vortech! The controller gives you the functionality of a vortech, but in a return pump. I will update my review in time, but for now I am content. 

 

Since I take so many shots of my SPS, I figured I would put some spotlight on a favorite acan of mine. Picked it up as a no name a couple of years back and it has exploded in color for me. I have searched and searched for the original colony, but all I have got from the collector is that it came in as a wild colony. Anyways I figured it needs a name! When I first saw the photo it reminded me of candy - particularly a gobstopper. So from here on let us call it - Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper! Enjoy!

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So the experiment begins! I received some potassium nitrate in the mail today. Decided I was not comfortable dosing "stump remover" into the system.. So I bought some food grade potassium nitrate for not much more money. Excited to see how the tank responds to the slow addition of some nitrate! I have been testing nitrate over the past week without doing a water change, increased feedings and shutting down the skimmer and still my nitrates are undetectable..

 

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Other than that, here are some shots of some of the corals

Battlecorals Sky Dopple

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Aussie Candlelight:

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A colorful acan:

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Side shot of the tank:

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So I made the potassium nitrate concoction in a 300mL mason jar following the calculator here: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm

 

Having such a small system I did not want to make a liter or more. The calculator helped a ton and if I continue to dose long term, the amount of potassium nitrate I received will go a long way! As of right now I am testing nitrate daily and dosing manually until I understand how much nitrate the system is consuming (it would be nice to eventually automate it and include it in my doser).

 

Yesterday I dosed enough to raise my nitrate to around 1ppm. I tested the tanks water before and after the dose to confirm. As of today, my test kit measures zero 🙂 Ultimately I would like the tank to be right around the 5ppm mark - from my research that appears to be the sweet spot. 

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I swear my weakness is frag swaps 😅

 

Made it out to a local swap this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised how many vendors made it out. Having such minimal space in the 10 gallon, I really have to see something I like to consider buying anything. Well.. that happened this weekend! Came across a gorgeous frag of WWC Supafly (Superfly) chalice. I recently cleared some space on the sand so I went for it. First photo is a shot from WWC - not my photo wwcsupafly.thumb.jpeg.a8bca3d697caf6927cd474bb881ba90b.jpeg

 

Next photo is the actual frag I picked up. It does not look like much, but I made the mistake of taking a shot right after dipping and remounting on a new frag plug. I also made sure the frag had all the colors you see in the photo above 😁 Really excited to see how this one grows out! 

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Checked nitrates today after dosing roughly 2mL yesterday (equivalent to 0.69ppm nitrate per the online calculator). Back down to zero nitrates! Will up the dosing a bit and see how the tank responds. So far, everything has been responding well! Corals have great polyp extension and LPS are puffier than usual. No complaints so far! 

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Finished the semester strong and finally have a little break for the holidays! Unfortunately, that means I have to leave the system as I travel back to visit the family in Chicago for a few weeks.. Thankfully I have a buddy that lives close by and has agreed to check up on the tank every couple of days. Between the ATO, doser and automatic feeder the tank is fairly self-sustaining. Still, can't say I am not worried 😕

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Happy New Year! I know it is a little late but, I got caught up all of January on an external rotation through school. Finally back in Ann Arbor and lots of updates!

 

My tank sitter did a fantastic job of keeping everything going while I was away. Unfortunately, the tank hit a bit of an algae outbreak due to not doing a water change for over 5 weeks.. Nothing too serious but enough to combat with frags 😕 Thankfully, there is nothing like a good water change! Below are some shots I took today.  The tank is consuming buffer like no other! I recently bought the 4 gallon buckets of ESV B-ionic two part 😅

 

Walt Disney and the crew

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Tyree Blue Matrix

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Overgrowing frag rack

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WWC Superfly chalice with the pink boobies chalice photobombing

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Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper getting excited

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And last but not least.. a little glimpse into the near future 😉 More info to come!

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5 minutes ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper getting excited

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Wow, that acan, and the blasto next to it too!  oh that WD is looking awesome btw.

 

What did you get Fusion 20 or the lagoon 25?

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3 minutes ago, micoastreefing said:

Wow, that acan, and the blasto next to it too!  oh that WD is looking awesome btw.

 

What did you get Fusion 20 or the lagoon 25?

Thanks man! The amount of space between the two is a good picture of how close most of the corals in the tank are.

 

I was able to snag the IM lagoon 25 from a vendor that had 2 remaining. I absolutely love the dimensions and it should give me the extra space I need for coral. 

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man that stuff is beautiful. can we get a full tank shot?

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17 minutes ago, JR! said:

man that stuff is beautiful. can we get a full tank shot?

I appreciate the kind words! You know, I always forget about the full tank shot every time I pull out the camera 😅 Here a "somewhat" recent (old) photo I took last semester. I'll be sure to take some more tomorrow once the lights come back on!

 

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