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Dantrasy

CB600 Reef Tank

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HippieSquirrel
8 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

After reading some more I think the heat from the x4 T5ho’s and return pump etc, coupled with a 100w heater should do the trick. I live in a warm part of the world after all. 

 

I just find it strange how different manufactures rate the same wattage so differently. Eg neo therm (aka aquael ultra) 100w is rated for 100L max, while the eheim 100w is rated for 150L max. Perhaps the neo therm is based on a temp increase of 5 degrees C, while the eheim is based on an increase of 10 degrees C? 

Good point about heat from other sources, I’d say that sounds like a solid plan since you’re more concerned about summers/overheating.  

 

It is strange, I’m relearning this myself while working on gathering equipment for my upgrade.  Unfortunately there’s too many variables and no consistency between brands to give each person a reliable figure for their specific heating needs.  Lots of it comes down to trial and error, and experience.  On the bright side you can always add or remove heaters down the road.  

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Fragmental
19 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

Ok, thanks for the comments. 

 

x2 75w might the best option (if only for peace of mind), but it”s expensive. 

 

After reading some more I think the heat from the x4 T5ho’s and return pump etc, coupled with a 100w heater should do the trick. I live in a warm part of the world after all. 

 

I just find it strange how different manufactures rate the same wattage so differently. Eg neo therm (aka aquael ultra) 100w is rated for 100L max, while the eheim 100w is rated for 150L max. Perhaps the neo therm is based on a temp increase of 5 degrees C, while the eheim is based on an increase of 10 degrees C? 

As already mentioned, get two heaters in case one fails off. Then plug them both into an external thermostat in case they fail in the on position/ try to over heat the tank.

I use the ink bird ITC-308 with a modified stainless probe. This controller also has a cooling cycle (plug fans or chiller into it) and High/Low alarms, sells on eBay from Australian seller for around $40. Keeps my tank within 25.7C and 26C with my heaters' internal thermostat set to 28C.

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Dantrasy

Thanks for the advice! It's very much appreciated.

 

How does this sound...

 

x2 75w Aquael Easy Heaters plugged into an Ink Bird itc-308.  The 'Easy' version is accurate to +/- 1 degree (so they say) and doesn't have the flashy led temp indicator lights. I don't think I need to pay extra for the better one if they are going to be plugged into a controller, right? 

 

x2 75w Easy heaters will be almost the same price as one Ultra heater (just $5 more), and the form factor is exactly the same. 

 

 

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Fragmental
1 hour ago, Dantrasy said:

Thanks for the advice! It's very much appreciated.

 

How does this sound...

 

x2 75w Aquael Easy Heaters plugged into an Ink Bird itc-308.  The 'Easy' version is accurate to +/- 1 degree (so they say) and doesn't have the flashy led temp indicator lights. I don't think I need to pay extra for the better one if they are going to be plugged into a controller, right? 

 

x2 75w Easy heaters will be almost the same price as one Ultra heater (just $5 more), and the form factor is exactly the same. 

 

 

Sounds the goods. I don't use fancy heaters either because of the ink bird.

 

I use aqua one thermosafe glass heaters. Replace them every 2 years (when warranty runs out) which is the standard practice anyway.

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Dantrasy

Cool, I've ordered the heaters.

 

Today I finally picked up some plants (hc) for my 1ft. Pretty soon, for the first time, all three tanks will be a scaped display at the same time.

 

The 2ft is still cycling, probably has 2 more weeks to go. The 4ft just got a big clean up.

 

20190208_180832.thumb.jpg.5b2f3a06d428d08dca92627d3732b10f.jpg

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Fragmental
1 hour ago, Dantrasy said:

Cool, I've ordered the heaters.

 

Today I finally picked up some plants (hc) for my 1ft. Pretty soon, for the first time, all three tanks will be a scaped display at the same time.

 

The 2ft is still cycling, probably has 2 more weeks to go. The 4ft just got a big clean up.

 

20190208_180832.thumb.jpg.5b2f3a06d428d08dca92627d3732b10f.jpg

Excellent work. That's an awesome photo. Only going to get better! 

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Dantrasy
On 2/18/2019 at 8:39 AM, Fragmental said:

I use the ink bird ITC-308 with a modified stainless probe.

Did you modify the probe that came with the 308? Or replace the original with some other probe?

 

 

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Fragmental
3 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

Did you modify the probe that came with the 308? Or replace the original with some other probe?

 

 

I modified it like this, with silicone tubing and a cable tie. 

IMG20190205185827.jpg

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Dantrasy

Quick update...

 

It's day 29 of the cycle and nitrites are still very high. With a bit of luck they'll zero out in a week or so.

 

I haven't been checking salinity or ph or anything else for weeks now.

 

Every time the ATO pump kicks in approx 380 milliliters (0.1 gallon) goes into the sump. That happens once or twice per day. 

 

According to postage tracking, the heaters and controller were due to arrive two days ago. Still haven't appeared.

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Dantrasy

It’s day 36 of the cycle. Nitrites are still very high, which is surprising as the ammonia spike never reached more than 2ppm. Nitrites could be 5+, it’s hard to tell. It’s a deep purple colour. They first appeared around day 10. Ammonia zeroed out day 21, I stopped testing it after that. I’m using dry rock and dry sand.  My last nitrate test was a few days ago, around 75ppm, but that’s likely to be off due to the high nitrites. 

 

So I’ve been reading up about this situation. This is what I found...

 

Most cycles that use a bottle bac booster cycle in around 30 days. 

Some say do a wc if nitrites are very high (5+).

Some say add more booster and hope that will get nitrites down more speedily.

Some say do nothing, just wait it out.

Some say ignore nitrites, don’t even test it. All that matters is that the tank can process at least 2ppm ammonia in 24hrs. If this is happening do a big wc and your cycle is complete. I’m pretty sure my tank has reached this stage. I haven’t added the ammonia to test processing speed for fear of prolonging the high nitrite phase. 

 

So which of these ought to be my next step? Which of the above are considered ‘true’ today? Thanks. 

 

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Dantrasy

And here’s another one... or three

 

Some say to keep ammonia at 1-2ppm throughout the cycle, which means adding ammonia at the beginning and periodically for next x number of weeks. It also means keeping ammonia at 1-2ppm during the nitrite phase. This is done to keep feeding the bacteria we are trying to culture. 

 

Others say the opposite. Dose ammonia once only at the beginning to 2-4ppm.  The bacteria can live for many months without extra ammonia. When ammonia zeros out (sometime during the nitrite spike) do not add any more. 

 

Still others something in between. Keep ammonia at 2-4ppm unitil nitrites show. If this means adding extra ammonia during the first week or two so be it. Stop dosing ammonia when nitrites show and wait for nitrites to convert to nitrates. 

 

Any opinions on these ideas or the ideas listed above?

 

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Dantrasy

It's been 30+ days since nitrites appeared and still no change.

 

I took a sample of water to a lfs and it was recommended I do a 50% wc, which i did on the weekend just gone. Nitrates have halved (now about 50-60ppm). Nitrites are still very high - I still have to do approx 80% rodi dilution in the test tube to get a readable light purple reading. Ammonia was been zero for weeks. 

 

So looks like I got off to a bad start. Either something rotted deep within the rock producing excess ammonia or my ammonia test kit under-reported (e.g. i dosed to 2ppm, but really 8ppm was introduced to the tank). Under report is a strong possibility. You see, the Dr Tim's ac bottle said to dose 1 drop per gallon to get 4ppm. But when I did that only 0.25ppm showed up on the colour chart. So I ran out and purchased a new ammonia test kit. The new one said the same - 0.25ppm. I did some research online and discovered some Dr Tim's ac bottles have had the wrong instructions printed on them. I decided to trust the test kits and dosed more ac untill the colour matched 2ppm. I dosed more over the next week - week and a half if the reading went below 1ppm. Looks like all that ac dosing was a mistake. 

 

I'll probably have to do another big wc at the end of this week.

 

The lfs person made me feel like a bit of an idiot - starting with dry rock was wrong, starting with dry sand was wrong, using ac was wrong, usinf bottle bac was necessary etc....I mean, I purchased the rock from that very shop, so what the hell?

 

 

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MattL87
3 hours ago, Dantrasy said:

It's been 30+ days since nitrites appeared and still no change.

 

I took a sample of water to a lfs and it was recommended I do a 50% wc, which i did on the weekend just gone. Nitrates have halved (now about 50-60ppm). Nitrites are still very high - I still have to do approx 80% rodi dilution in the test tube to get a readable light purple reading. Ammonia was been zero for weeks. 

 

So looks like I got off to a bad start. Either something rotted deep within the rock producing excess ammonia or my ammonia test kit under-reported (e.g. i dosed to 2ppm, but really 8ppm was introduced to the tank). Under report is strong a possibility. You see, the Dr Tim's ac bootle said to does 1 drop per gallon to get 4ppm. But when I did that only 0.25ppm showed up on the colour chart. So I run out and purchased a new ammonia test kit. The new one said the same - 0.25ppm. I did some research online and discovered some Dr Tim's ac bottles have had the wrong instructions printed on them. I decided to trust the test kits and dosed more ac untill the colour matched 2ppm. I dosed more over the next week - week and a half if the reading went below 1ppm. Looks like all that ac dosing was a mistake. 

 

I'll probably have to do another big wc at the end of this week.

 

The lfs person made me feel like a bit of an idiot - starting with dry rock was wrong, starting with dry sand was wrong, using ac was wrong, usinf bottle bac was necessary etc....I mean, I purchased the rock from that very shop, so what the hell?

 

 

First off, beautiful looking tanks! (wish you could scape my tank 😂)

 

I'm new to keeping a reef tank so this might not be helpful, but I started with dry rock and sand, did the DR. Tims Bacteria method as well. Ended up having to do multiple water changes starting around week 3 and by week 5 everything was good to go!

 

At week 4 I did add a frag of green star polyps to the tank from a local reefer and I think that helped seed my tank because by week 5 I had copepods all over the glass and my parameters were about perfect. Then I added my fish and shrimp + CUC. Thank has been up for 4 months now and besides the initial algae bloom all has been well. 

 

Your LFS personnel seems rude, to me starting out dry was the best way for a new reefer. Never had to make a "what pest is this" thread from hitch hikers. 

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Dantrasy

Thanks.

 

like you I think I’ll need a few wc’es to get things back in order.

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Tigahboy

Love these tanks!  That planted tank is top notch!  Really looking forward to seeing what you will do with the reef tank. 

 

I think you are on the right track with the cycling and WCs.  Sometimes it just takes longer.  I hate dealing with condescending LFS personnel as well, but hard to avoid in this hobby.

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Dantrasy

Thanks tigahboy, I enjoy reading your thread updates. 

 

I did a 75L (approx 20gal) wc a few hours ago. Nitrite is now 0.25-0.5 and nitrates are around 20ppm. It should all be over soon 😃 I might have wasted some salt (and time), but live and learn I guess. 

 

On a side note, the heater controller I ordered never arrived. The seller was good about it and has sent me another one. 

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HippieSquirrel

Glad to hear things are looking up!  Can’t wait to see more!

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Dantrasy

The test today looks better. I guess the water was more thoroughly mix after yesterday’s wc.

Nitrite - 0

Nitrate - 5-10ppm

 

ill add some ammonium c tonight, measure it, then see if ammonia and nitrite zero out same time tomorrow. 

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Fragmental
On 3/7/2019 at 9:55 AM, Dantrasy said:

It’s day 36 of the cycle. Nitrites are still very high, which is surprising as the ammonia spike never reached more than 2ppm. Nitrites could be 5+, it’s hard to tell. It’s a deep purple colour. They first appeared around day 10. Ammonia zeroed out day 21, I stopped testing it after that. I’m using dry rock and dry sand.  My last nitrate test was a few days ago, around 75ppm, but that’s likely to be off due to the high nitrites. 

 

So I’ve been reading up about this situation. This is what I found...

 

Most cycles that use a bottle bac booster cycle in around 30 days. 

Some say do a wc if nitrites are very high (5+).

Some say add more booster and hope that will get nitrites down more speedily.

Some say do nothing, just wait it out.

Some say ignore nitrites, don’t even test it. All that matters is that the tank can process at least 2ppm ammonia in 24hrs. If this is happening do a big wc and your cycle is complete. I’m pretty sure my tank has reached this stage. I haven’t added the ammonia to test processing speed for fear of prolonging the high nitrite phase. 

 

So which of these ought to be my next step? Which of the above are considered ‘true’ today? Thanks. 

 

I started my current and previous tanks with dry rock and bottle bacteria. I also start my water change schedule during the cycle. The nitrification process will use up minerals in the water and so water changes will help replenish these and keep the cycle going without stalling. 

 

Good to see it has worked out for you in the end, time solves many things too 🐠 

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Dantrasy

The tank is processing 30 drops of Dr Tim's ac in 24hrs. 

 

So with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5ppm nitrate I decided today I'd waited long enough and got some fishes and food. Two tiny clown ocellaris are swimming around and appear happy ☺️. About 1 hour was spent acclimatising them

 

So far the lights have not been on. The tank appears algae free (hence the decision to start with fish rather than a cuc.

 

Today, with the introduction of the fish, I've:

 

Set x2 (of 4) t5ho's to come on for 6.5 hrs per day.

Put the filter sock in place in readiness to start feeding tomorrow.

And that's it.

 

Currently, the skimmer is not running. I've tested it, but all it collects is clear water. I guess there's nothing to skim ...yet.

 

Currently there is nothing in the media reactor. I have rowaphos and seachem carbon on hand. But I'm not sure when to add them.

 

Also, can rowaphos and carbon be rinsed with tap water? Or should I use tank water and run the reactor output hose into a bucket?

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Dantrasy
On 3/18/2019 at 8:32 PM, Fragmental said:

The nitrification process will use up minerals in the water and so water changes will help replenish these

 

The guy at the lfs today said the same thing when he measured my Kh. It's a bit low. So I'll add bi carb soda. A little a day until it's back up to the 8-12 range. It's currently 6. 

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Dantrasy

20190327_155130.jpg.18d1f9bbb50e4af0676c9dca60ba96da.jpg

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Tigahboy

Awesome new additions!  Congrats on being done with cycling.

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Dantrasy

20190414_171734.jpg

20190415_130454.jpg

20190413_194514.jpg

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Dantrasy

The fairy wrasse has been mia for 3 days. I can't see him, not on any angle, even with a torch.

 

I think he might be dead and trapped under the main rock mass (there's a cavity).

 

Starting to get a lot of brown algae on the glass.

 

Nitrate is 1ppm. 

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