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ReeferND

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ReeferND

@mcarroll the pink/purple is coraline. It is going crazy. The big red spot on the right is coraline too. It was the first spot that started in the tank and I cant bring myself to scrape it off 🙂 it is kind of my canary spot but I need to scrape it off...its getting big. I am just gonna keep doing what I am doing and see if I cant get rid of the rest of the dino. Hopefully the pods and shrimp with add some biodiversity and I can get things stabalized.

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ReeferND

Hey everyone, little update here. To say that I successfully beat dino would be a little premature here.....but they are gone!!! Tank looks way better and everything seems happier than ever. In complete transparency, I did NOT stop dosing Dinox. However, I cut the dose in half and what I really think helped was raising nitrate and phos. Nitrate is ~20ppm and phos is about .15/.2. Most of this increase is due to stopping water changes. I have not done a wc for over 2 weeks!!!! Scary! Obviously, I will be looking to lower these numbers and I will be doing that with a gradual weekly wc of 10%. 

 

I am super excited that this worked. When I first confirmed dino, I was heartbroken. I now have a recipe that will work, even if they do come back. However, I will always be keeping nitrate and phos above 0 by dosing if need be. I am considering reducing the weekly wc a bit so that i wont have to dose. I would love to find a feeding and wc schedule that will keep these numbers at 5ppm nitrate and 0.03 for phos. I think that is doable.....

 

Thanks everyone for your help! I love this community very much. I will keep everyone posted on the tank progress! I did add a watchman goby and shrimp to the tank, they seem ok but still adjusting. 

 

Fingers crossed for another year of success!

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mcarroll
5 hours ago, ReeferND said:

Obviously, I will be looking to lower these numbers and I will be doing that with a gradual weekly wc of 10%. 

Not obvious!  I wouldn't do one thing extra to lower those numbers for risk of going back in the same dino-boat.   no apparent bloom does not mean they are gone. All it means is that they have gone back to being photosynthetic, non-blooming.

 

FYI...

 

There's nothing scary about not doing water changes.

 

There's nothing scary about your current numbers.  

 

(Your old numbers – zero's! – are what was scary!)

 

Brace yourself for a new nutrient reality for your tank...and relax. 😀😀😀

 

5 hours ago, ReeferND said:

would love to find a feeding and wc schedule that will keep these numbers at 5ppm nitrate and 0.03 for phos.

Those are only guidelines for minimums, so don't start obsessing over them. 😉  

 

The more mature your tank gets the less the actual numbers will matter too.

 

Leave the nutrients be.

 

Let algae grow.

 

Hand pull it if/when it gets too big.

 

Upgrade your cleanup crew so your hand pulling effort has backup to keep your work area clean after you're done.

 

Sooner or later corals, coraline algae, and all their allies, will be the only things you see using up those nutrients. 😎

 

BTW, I don't know if I said it in this thread already, but if you are in a low nutrient situation and you want to do a water change — go ahead. Just dose the water change water up with nitrates and phosphates to the level the tank is supposed to be at (5.0/0.03 ppm for example) and it will be fine. 

 

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ReeferND

@mcarrollall great advice and I appreciate it very much. Yes, I was planning on maintaining nitrate and phos by dosing the wc water just like I do with alk and sometimes calc. I am very happy with how the tank looks now. My shrimp/goby pair is driving my crazy covering my corals all the time, but they are worth it! The green on the rocks and sand is almost completely gone, no sign of any dinos (I know they are there just not in bloom). I will be doing my first wc today (a birthday present to myself to be sure 🙂 ) but everything is looking amazing. I will post some pictures tonight after I get home. 

 

Thanks again everyone for all the help. I love this community because of this stuff. Maybe one day, I will quit doing noob things and just learn to relax and watch....but I am a tinkerer by trade so obsessing over this or that is par for me. Maybe my obsession can just turn into growing the biggest colonies possible.....maybe 🙂 

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ReeferND

You can see the sand is back to white. Rocks are just covered in coraline. I think I am ok! I beat dinos!!!! I am proud 🙂

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20190924_195543.jpg

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ReeferND

Hey everyone, quick update. Dinos are still gone, I haven't done anything except maintain nitrate at 5ppm and phos around 0.1. So, I feel pretty confident in saying that DinoX worked, it took a while but DinoX with elevated params seems to have done the trick. I have started feeding a bit more to maintain those elevated numbers. Corals are growing very well but I do have aiptasia growing in many locations.....its always something. Thinking of trying peroxide injection on some of those to see how it goes. Hope everyone out there has a great vacation (Thanksgiving in the US). Tank is almost a year old! I am thinking of letting it have some vodka for its birthday....1 year in tank years = 21 in human right??

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VaporCountry
3 hours ago, ReeferND said:

Hey everyone, quick update. Dinos are still gone, I haven't done anything except maintain nitrate at 5ppm and phos around 0.1. So, I feel pretty confident in saying that DinoX worked, it took a while but DinoX with elevated params seems to have done the trick. I have started feeding a bit more to maintain those elevated numbers. Corals are growing very well but I do have aiptasia growing in many locations.....its always something. Thinking of trying peroxide injection on some of those to see how it goes. Hope everyone out there has a great vacation (Thanksgiving in the US). Tank is almost a year old! I am thinking of letting it have some vodka for its birthday....1 year in tank years = 21 in human right??

Glad you got the dinos clear up, I had a small out break and a UV solved it for me. I also had some aiptasia, tried aiptasia x and they kept come back. Ordered this stuff called F-aiptasia from franks-tanks and they haven't been returning after using. 

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billygoat

Congrats on beating dinos! That's definitely not a victory that every aquarist can claim, but based on your recent pics it sure does seem like they are down for the count. Things seem to be shaping up pretty well! 😊

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ReeferND

Hey all! Long time no chat. Tank and I are still here....its been a busy holiday season. I am still having a serious aptasia problem but I have a filefish heading my way next week. I am aware of the potential issues with these guys but I am willing to take the risk. 

Tank is awesome, coraline algae is a pain in my butt :). I wanted it soooooo bad when this all began and now.....its pretty much occupies about 30% of my maintenance time....gotta love it though. I also got some goodies from the wife for the holidays. More to come!! 

20191229_213805.jpg

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ReeferND

Got the Apex installed. What a day, that was not easy switching everything to a  new system and keeping the tank happy. 

20191230_161419.jpg

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ReeferND

Full tank pic.

20191230_162720.jpg

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billygoat

Your setup looks super clean. And that Apex! What a kingly gift! I'm loving it. 😁

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ReeferND

Thanks everyone! The tank is really coming along. Can you guys help me identify what is coming out of duncans? Last night was the first time I feed the corals anything specifically (reef roids).....just coral poop? I sucked some out and it sure looks like poop after a night of too much drink and bar food. The far left head you can see a little coming out of the mouth, the retracted head to the right of that has a lot of brown stuff coming out of it.

 

20200107_183319.jpg

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mcarroll

Probably poops. 

 

What are your nitrate and phosphates like in the tank?  Any change to lighting?   Bleaching would be the only other cause of something like that I can think of, depending on tank conditions.

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ReeferND

@mcarroll nitrates and phos are 5ppm and 0.1ppm respectively. I have not changed lighting spectrum, intensity, or on/off since putting them on the tank ~1year. Salinity is perfect (1.026). Alk = 9.0, cal =450, mag=1500. Everything seems to be on so I am going with just poop. I thought maybe something bad, but I am going to be optimistic. 

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billygoat
On 1/7/2020 at 5:37 PM, ReeferND said:

Can you guys help me identify what is coming out of duncans?

Almost certainly just poop. I definitely wouldn't worry about it at all. Just let them do their thing and they should be back to normal in no time.

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mcarroll
19 hours ago, ReeferND said:

@mcarroll nitrates and phos are 5ppm and 0.1ppm respectively. I have not changed lighting spectrum, intensity, or on/off since putting them on the tank ~1year. Salinity is perfect (1.026). Alk = 9.0, cal =450, mag=1500. Everything seems to be on so I am going with just poop. I thought maybe something bad, but I am going to be optimistic. 

Never hurts to check the basics!  I agree with the poop theory.  😉

 

(Nothing to do with the poop, but why is Mg so high?  Ca is a little high vs alk too.  "Balanced" at 9 dKH would be around 420 ppm.  "Balanced" at 450 ppm of Ca would be significantly higher at 12 dKH.  Alternately, why is alk so low when specific gravity, calcium and magnesium are all so high?)

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ReeferND

@mcarroll To be honest, I dont really ever trust my Mag readings to be that accurate but use them for a ball park. I am sure if I checked Mag right now it would fall anywhere from 1350 to 1500. I dont even dose Mag, it is just maintained at those levels with water changes. If your curious I use the red sea pro mag test kit. as far as other numbers, I am essentially replicating what WWC uses in their display tanks. My alk I try to maintain around 8.9 (depending on the day and tank pH it will swing between 8.6 and 9.0). WWC shoots for alk of 8.6dkh. WWC also shoots for a cal of 480ppm and Mag of 1440. I think their cal is a bit high and is a tough number for hobby grade test kits. May cal will fluctuate between 425 to 450 but never goes above 450. 

 

I know these numbers aren't what occurs naturally or even, like you said, balanced. However, I dont think I could ever be disappointed with what WWC has and so I was just imulating success. But if you have some sound reasoning as to why my numbers are not or would not produce optimal growth, please let me know. I am always thirsty for knowledge in this hobby!

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mcarroll
4 hours ago, ReeferND said:

WWC shoots for alk of 8.6dkh.

Interesting!

 

As another writer put it in A Love Letter to the Hobby, Trade, and Industry, there is no "Goldilocks Zone" of parameters that are "just right".

 

The question is why do they target that (or anything else)?  If you don't know, find out.  👍

 

It's probably for a good reason that I bet that has nothing to do with "8.6" which we can tell from the number is an arbitrarily specific value.  Wasn't like: "Well corals won't grow at 8.5 or 8.7 so we better shoot for 8.6!"  🤪

 

The only set of paramers I've seen that sort of approximate that weird set of "standards" that it looks like WWC has put together is the levels for Tropic Marin Pro Reef, which has one of the most bizarre set of levels I've seen....ca and mg levels "high" while alk levels are in the basement.  Seems like a pointless setup, but I'm sure there's a very esoteric context where it makes sense.

 

image.png.1e7064b2338adc5199c87660aee1dfe1.png

From : Synthetic Salt Mixes - Reef Central Online Community

 

My guess would have to be that WWC are targeting those strange levels purely because those are the levels of the (strange) salt they are using.

 

For most people, the choice of salt is what dictates their targeted levels.  But that's a pragmatic choice - it's a self-defeating make-work effort to use a salt mix that has different parameters.  Keep it simple!  👍

 

IMO you should look at the parameters of the oldest and most-established salts on that list to see what the most "ideal" parameters are....after all they're trying to sell their salt to the widest variety of tank owners.  That's Tropic Marin and Instant Ocean...both of which are pretty similar to one another.  A number of others are also similar, for what it's worth.)  I wouldn't consider the other salts anything worse than "weird"....just specialty salts for situations I'm not in or that I don't understand, such as TMProReef.  Wish their website was more clear on it's purpose...a mention of calcium reactors is the only thing really distinguishing about the description. 🤷‍♂️   Personally, my guess is that it relates somehow to the mostly discredited "ULNS" style of reefkeeping that seemed to be directly associated with (casued by, IMO) so-called "burnt tips"...so not something an ordinary user would gain from.

 

Interestingly, WWC now has a gigantic "Powered By Brightwell" sign right on their brand on the fron of their new facility....wonder if they've switched to Brightwell's salt, which has pretty different parameters?  Might be worth a call to ask them if you're really trying to track with WWC's processes.

 

So anyway...at least for most folks, if the salt mix you're using at home doesn't have those levels, then those AREN'T the levels you should be targeting.

 

(You can get your target levels off that chart for whatever salt you're using, but even better to test your own saltwater a few times after you mix it up and see what you get for comparison.)

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ReeferND

@mcarroll Wow! What a great response!!! Those are the types of responses, from seasoned reefers, that many more beginning/learning reefers need. I greatly appreciate that level of feed back @mcarroll! Truly amazing you would take that time to do that and I hope alot of followers see it!! 

 

Here is my understanding of why WWC chooses those levels: 1) probably the most influential; they receive tons of free salt and to save costs they use whatever salt is coming in the cheapest, most being capable of achieving 8.6dkh; 2) this is just a number, most of the time their tanks vary significantly from these numbers but they report them in BRS videos just to show "average" values they see in testing; 3) just like you said, they are adhering to an "old fashioned" ULNS framework. 

 

I think all 3 play a role, and you are right....I shouldn't just be a sheep. So here is my big question @mcarroll what do you maintain for major and minor elements? Your success should be imulated as well!! I would gladly heed your advice and slowly change my system to have the success you have had. Teach me th ways of the dark side!

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mcarroll

I'm pretty traditional I think.   

 

I used Reef Crystals before I had a doser.  RC gives you elevated levels of key elements to protect the system from dipping too low (esp. in alkalinity) in between water changes or in between doses.  I also dosed manually during this tank to maintain those levels....slowly at first (and I cycled through a number of good products as I had to scale up dosing: ESV, Brightwell, Tropic Marin...maybe one or two others), but eventually I was dosing 150mL a day of Randy's Recipe #2 manually.  That setup lasted about 7 years when I finally got a doser.

 

After I added the doser, I switched to Instant Ocean salt.

 

I targeted RC's levels (see chart) when I was using that and now I target IO's levels.

 

The only thing I really like about having a doser is that I don't have to be there to dose every day.  Sounds like a "Duh" but I really liked dosing manually every day.....keeps you more in touch with your reef.  But of course then you're chained to it as well.....which was fine until I had kids.  Had to move my chain.  😉

 

The weirdest thing I think is that I do very few water changes anymore.....whereas in those first 5-6 years I was generally VERY regular about them.  For about a year I did daily 5% water changes....I think that's one of the best-looking times for my tank.

 

Ok, that's not the weirdest....the weirdest must be that I've mostly always just kept corals.  Mostly stony corals.  Until my recent upgrade to a 125 Gallon, my system was composed of two 36" tanks running on a common sump.....I considered that too small for fish in general.  I did try a single six-line...purchased him extra small (1") but he jumped out after just 1 month.  I suspect he was being hunted by the Serpent Star I had in the tank.....who later ate a whole porcelain crab that was almost as big as the Serpent.  :whoa:  ...and who I was later returned to the LFS after 3-4 years in my tank.  Supposed to be a scavenger.  🙄

 

Anyway....I had very few fish over the years in that iteration of the system....after the wrasse I had nothing for a long time until I got a 3-pack of Barnacle Blennies....which are some of my favorite fish now....tons of personality (esp. considering they stay in a hole most of the time).  Options for "normal" fish in a tank that size are marginal IMO...even the "small" fish one would normally consider tend to have personalities that aren't small-tank compatible.   IMO almost everyone puts too many fish that are too big in their tanks.  (It's also true that smaller fish have become more available over time....so that's not quite as true as it was ten years ago.)

 

I've currently got a Yellow Tang and Black Damselfish in the 125 Gallon.  That's it.

 

Black damsel looks about like this now at about 2.5-3.0" in length:

image.jpeg.19f7b4e48ea8faf041d84ba5a20045db.jpeg

 

He'll eventually develop into this at around 6":

image.jpeg.95cea81b62502ddb798b25567d9a6283.jpeg

Related image

This guy was a rescue AND was initially (when orderd and shipped) thought to be a Talbot's Damselfish......somewhat similar (and a much smaller much better reef Damsel) but NO.  If I keep him, my hope is that eventually he'll clear all the mushroom corals out of my system....suppsoedly they like soft corals at adult size.  (I'm hoping to find someone with a fish-only system that'll take him though.)

 

Here's a Talbot's for comparison:
image.jpeg.df2b2f79e26bed1ae403423b25b3aa50.jpeg

 

 

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ReeferND

Hey everyone!

It's been a while since I posted. With all that was going personally and with the virus it has been a tough time. Of course, with quarantined, I have more time on my hands. 

Anyway, tank is doing pretty good. I had a terrible explosion of aptasia everywhere in the tank....probably around 100 of them (I didn't stay on top of them quickly enough). I tried aptasiax and that just made it worse. I was kind of at wits end with it. I was convincing the wife to let me get a 425xl but she said if I couldn't deal with this, she wouldn't green light another 6k for a new setup. So, I ordered an aptasia eating filefish from algae barn......holy cow! This guy showed up, couldn't have been more than an inch to inch and half, on day one he was eating the aptasia. Within 2 weeks, no aptasia anywhere!!!! He is now almost 2.5 inches in size, if not bigger. I haven't seen him go after any of my corals....yet. I am really thinking I could make some money off of this little dude 🙂 give him to local reefers to clean up their tank...could be a cool thing to do. I have heard lots of people not have success with them, or they go after corals. My guy eats aptasia like crazy and (if I feed him regularly) hasn't gone after any corals.

 

Aptasia did take out about 6 corals before I got it under control/eradicated. So, I need some new corals.....all the corals I have now I either bought at LFS or unique corals. Anyone got some personal preferences other than wwc? Their corals are just too expensive for my taste...

 

Also, I am having another slight issue. I have two of the last gen AI prime on the tank. I was running the BRS AB+ spectrum (their lps/softie intensity). About 2 months ago, I noticed the coraline in the center of the tank is bleaching out and dying. Everywhere else in the tank the coraline is purple and pink and awesome. I recently, but not 3 months ago, put a new UV light on the tank. I was thinking that lights are too strong so I turned all settings down by 10 (whites only down 7). I just did that today so we will see if that helps. Has anyone else had this happen? About this same time, I lost my beloved torch coral too....it happened quick with the torch.

 

Stay safe and healthy folks!

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ReeferND

Oh I should add to that previous post too. 

I have sent 3 icp analyses off over the last 6 months and each always comes back great expect iodine is low. I do dose iodine occasionally and have never measured it too high but these iodine test kits suck. My params to help with the coraline problem:

Alk=8.9-9.0 ( I check this everyday; worse case once every 3 days) it never changes from this. Unless i go on vacation and my tank ph rises.

Calc= 445-450 (just depends on the day)

Mag = 1350 (honestly i dont test mag much with weekly wc)

pH=8.1-8.3 ( this does dip at night sometimes to 7.8, I does alk at night but not enough to keep it elevated)

Temp= 77.9-78.3 ( I let this fluctuate a bit to save the outlet on my apex)

Salinity = 1.025-1.026 ( sometimes skimmer goes nuts after feeding and pulls more salt water causing ato to kick on)

 

Hope that helps. Let me know if you need any more info. 

 

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ReeferND

Hey everyone. Not sure if anyone is following along anymore. However. My wife has gave me the green light to spend some money on my tank....the problem is I am planning on upgrading systems in the next year or so. So, I don't want to spend any money on equipment that cannot go to the future tank (at this point I am thinking reefer 425xl or similar). So here is my equipment list that I am considering for the 30l with the 425xl in the future 

1) 2 Vortech MP 40s. Obviously this is a lot of flow for the 30l so any advice on how to run them on the 30l would be great.

2) Aqua Ultraviolet 50W UV sterilizer (the IM sterilizer has improved water clarity but I want something I can be very specific with in regards to algae or protozoan elimination).

3) Vectra S2 return pump (again this is way overkill for the 30l but I am planning on the running the S2 to the uv sterilizer and then from the outlet on sterilizer through the 2 return lines using the stock Y connection. Running the uv at about 300-400 gph should be the sweet spot for tank sterilization and adequate return flow....maybe????)

 

Any help or suggestions here would be greatly appreciated before I pull the trigger..

 

I could also buy some G5 radions.....

 

Thanks everyone!

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mcarroll
3 hours ago, ReeferND said:

1) 2 Vortech MP 40s. Obviously this is a lot of flow for the 30l

I'm rusty on the details, but I think that means "30 Long" right?  So a 36" x 12" x 16" Tall tank?

 

I wouldn't put two vortech's in a tank that size (or even close).  I did it in a 30 Long and later in a 50 Gallon (both 36") and replaced them in short order in both tanks with three Tunze 6045's.   Nominally less flow than the Vortechs – "9,000+" GPH vs 3,300 GPH – but the result from the set of 6045's was superior in all aspects to the vortech flow.  Don't base everything on GPH numbers....they don't always translate well from make to make.

 

6045's are CHEAP these days, at $78 each.  Much better to go this route and possibly acquire the Vortech's at the time you acquire the next tank – if that's still a goal if/when that time comes.  (Too many "if's".)

 

3 hours ago, ReeferND said:

Aqua Ultraviolet 50W UV sterilizer

I wouldn't.  It's an excellent unit, and I know you have fresh memories of dino invasions, but a tank doesn't need UV when it doesn't have Dino's.  Also, UV is not a way to manage algae IMO...and you don't have other real worries as far as I know.

 

3 hours ago, ReeferND said:

Vectra S2 return pump

What is the current return pump?  Seems unlikely this is called for from what I know so far.

 

IMO spend the (78*3) $234 on a set of Tunze 6045's and call the difference "money in the bank".  (Two mp40's....366*2....$732.  Minus $234 = $498 left over vs the Tunze purchase!!)

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