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Wonderboy

UGFuge 2.5G Pico - No Rules Old School Reef

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Wonderboy

Okay, not a problem - I might be working on more tricks then...                         ...illegal tricks :sideeyes:

 

 

Live action shots from tonight:

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IMG-0483.thumb.JPG.2548f087f2bcf6604df02af2b7c12d3b.JPG

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Wonderboy

So this morning, I figured I'd try doing something mildly ridiculous and search the internet to see if anyone else had some obscure reason to put pea gravel in a reef tank and had any experience thereof:

 

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/imagitarium-substrate-kills-pests-along-with-almost-everything-else.598716/

 

Figured as much. Today, I will be moving all livestock to quarantine and breaking this tank down. I don't know if I even trust the rock anymore...

 

I will be setting it back up as soon as I can. I have been thinking of adding a sump to remove some equipment from the display and also incorporate temperature control in the meantime.

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Wonderboy

Vinegar test suggested that the gravel was inert, and still I rinsed it well, but I always had an unsure feeling about it from the get go.

 

Check this out - shot looking at the bottom of the tank:

IMG_2312.thumb.jpg.ff7c156999d9eb28ccfeb11076822cba.jpg

 

Beautiful, huh? So this is where all my brown algae has been growing :rolleyes: but I expected this - I figured the brown stuff would dominate here until the chaeto filled in; that's why I thought the stomatellas where important. I had been doing my best to keep dwarf cerith out of here because I didn't want any tiny black shells multiplying and ending up on the glass bottom.

 

As for the chaeto, it was starting to grow quite well:

IMG_2313.thumb.JPG.d22896fc2f0e2df494f5aa59df844a49.JPG

 

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Wonderboy

Party time in the QT - I put the GSP tree in here, too:

 

IMG-0488.thumb.jpg.f3a33379891f9e4265ea130ca9a00c72.jpg

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debbeach13

Are you saying that if you didn't use the pea gravel that the under gravel fuge would have worked? Are you going to try again with a different substrate?

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Wonderboy
31 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Are you saying that if you didn't use the pea gravel that the under gravel fuge would have worked? Are you going to try again with a different substrate?

Yes, I think it would have worked; to me, it seems as though the amount of chaeto that I had just about doubled in size. I had to break up the dark green, intergrown clumps a bunch to see if there was any necrosis from too little/much light - didn't see any, it was looking quite healthy. Another picture:

 

IMG_2315.thumb.jpg.76fb9e63e61d39e54696896524c40324.jpg

 

I do plan on running the UGFuge again - you're right, with different substrate (maybe small shells) - and possibly with some additional modifications

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Tigahboy

Sorry to hear about the DQ and having to reboot, but I'm sure things are about to get crazy up in here now that you have zero constraints.  Looking forward to seeing what you tricks you have in store.

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debbeach13

Looking forward to seeing if this works.

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pricewayne
15 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

Okay, not a problem - I might be working on more tricks then...                         ...illegal tricks :sideeyes:

 

 

Live action shots from tonight:

IMG-0470.thumb.jpg.a1310d4fb99ddd2708601e295e0a93d2.jpg

 

IMG-0473.thumb.jpg.2a0234168b37fe70bc636e6926601b87.jpg

 

IMG-0474.thumb.JPG.c7fbbc1b731fb52849d82fb3f835fc9c.JPG

 

IMG-0481.thumb.JPG.033fd9cb3b1cc66d52e7b30d57db9fd5.JPG

 

IMG-0483.thumb.JPG.2548f087f2bcf6604df02af2b7c12d3b.JPG

Full moon snail in that first pic 🌚🌝

 

Sorry to hear in the substrate, but I’m really glad you’re going to get it back up!

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Christopher Marks

Arg a frustrating setback on the substrate @Wonderboy, that sucks! At least you were able to catch the issue in advance. It is really cool to see the chateo had already doubled in that time. Are you concerned about not being able to harvest the algae once it fills in the area?

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seabass

I'd like you see you figure out the UGF.  However, sounds like you now have a chance to use approved equipment and get back into this contest (if you really wanted to).

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Wonderboy
On 5/17/2019 at 11:24 AM, Christopher Marks said:

Are you concerned about not being able to harvest the algae once it fills in the area?

Not really - I don't 100% agree with the idea that chaeto stops uptaking nutrients when it reaches certain mass. I've always trusted secondary metabolism to adhere to consistent environmental stimuli and just let chaeto find its threshold mass and then metabolically balance from there. Algaes are known for exhausting more compounds, that are derived of both macro (especially nitrogen) and micro nutrients, into the water column aside from oxygen. These include secretion from enzyme production that contains amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidents, etc. Algaes are constantly producing/exhausting these things whenever photosynthesizing to protect itself from foreign invasion and assure self persistence. Soooo, I've always considered it more beneficial to cater to the secondary metabolism of chaeto because if it's not constantly directing nutrients to structure, then I know it is prioritizing available photosynthetic energy into producing all those other beneficial compounds that all the livestock in its system can benefit from. Orrrrr, maybe I'm just a special type of lazy, but I have never harvested chaeto, I just try to give it as much room as possible and then leave it to its business. I rarely rotate it if it's accessible, but that's about it. I haven't had problems with excess nutrients after the chaetos maxed out, *knock on wood*, but I don't really chase numbers either - if I notice more pods or algae than usual, I just tone down the feeding.

 

edit: I have been concerned about detritus and coralline though - I have been thinking about how to handle these...

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Wonderboy
On 5/17/2019 at 11:42 AM, seabass said:

sounds like you now have a chance to use approved equipment and get back into this contest

That's really tempting - though, I'm not too concerned with competing and was interested to see if the underside refugium or under gravel algae turf would work myself, and the idea of adding a sump to this tank is really hard to resist... the decision to drill the tank will be up to the verdict of whether or not you guys think this approach is legal:

 

IMG_2322.thumb.jpg.95dc1288f3933aa6dcd7bb863dff531a.jpg

 

It's a HOB with a sub-surface skimmer attachment 🤣

 

Edit - finalized attachment:

IMG_2328.thumb.jpg.2905e9749136820df56f86070bd8da6a.jpg

 

IMG_2329.thumb.jpg.36edcea0dbbdb47576191ad777a08cb5.jpg

 

It can easily be disconnected for maintenance by sliding the inner tube of the UGF down off of the HOB intake.

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748S911

Pico-gate...hahahahahaha!!

 

 

Sorry to hear about the issue, but now you can add the sump.  Like a mini complete 2.5 version 😎

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Wonderboy

Progress shots:

 

IMG_0482.thumb.JPG.b728b24e245a31bf5e48c90fabf85306.JPG

 

Since I expanded the old ATO hole so that this new palm HOB filter would fit, and the old feed hole is going to be repurposed as the ATO hole, I have to cut another hole for the new quick feed access - it's going in the HOB lid. I am happy that I'll get more flow through the UGF plenum.

IMG_0481.thumb.JPG.7d1695cee04334e09964fe30d9f40345.JPG

 

I added a shelf to the back of the stand for more tricky business. It's a chunk of terrarium screen lid:

IMG_0484.thumb.JPG.e0a87c82e3f4532e7ce806bc6fee6cf6.JPG

 

The tank and UGF are getting a 10% vinegar bath also.

IMG_0479.thumb.JPG.c7fd6b4783aed76ff4edc4c4d820983f.JPG

 

The box thing is one of these - been curious to see how well these would work for small volume systems; they usually have bad reviews, but I've had it for a while (this model is the smallest model: 20L max).

IMG_0475.thumb.JPG.5641578ff77e5bc1378247e68bee1a37.JPG

 

Since I'm assuming that this setup is still un-appoved, I intend to drill a hole in the back of the tank - I'm going to add some type of rubble/mud chamber or a small clear area (sump) for some of the natural light behind the system to hit. I am planning to plumb the chiller/heater device to it for water movement. The "sump" should fit next to the chiller/heater.

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Amphrites

When it comes to HVAC at least, you run into diminishing returns really quick when up-sizing, after all the pieces really only run full-tilt or are off and the volume you're working with isn't changing, even if it cools 10% faster. Now undersizing means you put a ton of strain on things and are running constantly because it cant actually achieve a temperature-delta, it's just that oversizing has an unintuitive drawback of using more power for similar results most of the time.

Still love this concept, maybe wait a bit before getting the drill out to see if they'll let you get away with the filter in this form.

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Wonderboy

I settled on using orange calcite for the substrate. I placed an order today for a bunch from this fantastic old school online supplier: http://www.fish-scapes.com/index.html - I was looking for something that would't fall apart easily and allow flow for long term - it should also help to buffer the pH. I also wanted to try something with color. Curious to see what it will look like in here...

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debbeach13
  • It says not for use in tank. Will change PH. Are you sure you want to risk it.
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Wonderboy
1 hour ago, debbeach13 said:
  • It says not for use in tank. Will change PH. Are you sure you want to risk it.

 

I'm not worried at all; I think that the owner of this business is so old school that he didn't keep marine aquariums in mind :happy: 

 

https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2011/10/chemistry - related article

 

I think that the orange coloration is the only risk - at the same time it's most likely iron and/or manganese, both of which I think the chaeto would pull sufficiently from the column if ever leeched, but from the article: "calcium carbonate will not dissolve in the water column of normal marine aquaria".

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seabass

The pH caution was likely for freshwater tanks.  However, calcite is a poor buffer compared to aragonite.

 

1 hour ago, Wonderboy said:

I think that the orange coloration is the only risk - at the same time it's most likely iron and/or manganese

I might try rinsing in a vinegar solution first.  Maybe try a few pieces as a test, in case it negatively affects the coloration.

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Christopher Marks
On 5/19/2019 at 11:44 AM, Wonderboy said:

Since I'm assuming that this setup is still un-appoved

Yeah, alas! The HOB to UGF is a really cool idea too, but it's no surface skimmer 😉 

 

Carry on rule breaking though, this is going to be so cool! I am really curious how that tiny chiller will perform on a system of this size, I'm glad you have one to test out!

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Wonderboy
3 hours ago, seabass said:

However, calcite is a poor buffer compared to aragonite.

That is exactly what I was hoping for. I went with calcite because it is less likely to break down in the marine environment; I want to avoid long term erosion from physical movement of the substrate (trying to avoid the development of small particulate to keep flow unrestricted). I did a few hours of research before making my decision; on the subject of choosing buffers, I had found this to be worth sharing: 

 

http://www.seachem.it/Library/Articles/Marine_Water_pH_Control.pdf

 

"It is evident from our experience and the understanding of buffers described above that the addition of calcium ions in the form of carbonates (lime, crushed coral) will ultimately lead to a pK drop, and ultimately, to a buffer at pH 7.6."

 

"Contrary to the prevalent assumptions, we have accumulated extensive data and experience that indicates that marine aquarium pH is better and more easily controlled with inert substrates such as foam, quartz, coated dolomite, oyster shell, than with dissolving substrates, most notably, crushed coral."

 

 

I was going to go with quartz for the "inertness", but calcite had the argument of originating from the ocean. Still going to try it in some vinegar. Oyster shells were a contestant, too lol - oyster shells are made mostly of calcite. 

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Amphrites

Quartz would have been pretty cool, and technically quite a few beaches have quartz-heavy substrate, after all it is a major component of most sands =p
The east coast around Orange Beach SC to New York come to mind immediately, the Outer Banks is probably the most well-known quartz-heavy beach...

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Tigahboy
On 5/19/2019 at 11:44 AM, Wonderboy said:

Progress shots:

 

IMG_0482.thumb.JPG.b728b24e245a31bf5e48c90fabf85306.JPG

 

Since I expanded the old ATO hole so that this new palm HOB filter would fit, and the old feed hole is going to be repurposed as the ATO hole, I have to cut another hole for the new quick feed access - it's going in the HOB lid. I am happy that I'll get more flow through the UGF plenum.

IMG_0481.thumb.JPG.7d1695cee04334e09964fe30d9f40345.JPG

 

I added a shelf to the back of the stand for more tricky business. It's a chunk of terrarium screen lid:

IMG_0484.thumb.JPG.e0a87c82e3f4532e7ce806bc6fee6cf6.JPG

 

The tank and UGF are getting a 10% vinegar bath also.

IMG_0479.thumb.JPG.c7fd6b4783aed76ff4edc4c4d820983f.JPG

 

The box thing is one of these - been curious to see how well these would work for small volume systems; they usually have bad reviews, but I've had it for a while (this model is the smallest model: 20L max).

IMG_0475.thumb.JPG.5641578ff77e5bc1378247e68bee1a37.JPG

 

Since I'm assuming that this setup is still un-appoved, I intend to drill a hole in the back of the tank - I'm going to add some type of rubble/mud chamber or a small clear area (sump) for some of the natural light behind the system to hit. I am planning to plumb the chiller/heater device to it for water movement. The "sump" should fit next to the chiller/heater.

NICE!  You have a decorative shell on top of your HOB as well.  Maybe this is going to become a thing.

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seabass

With the prevalence and success of bare bottom tanks, it's pretty clear that it isn't necessary to have your substrate buffer pH.  I ran a (salt and pepper) calcite substrate in a contest tank many years ago.  Hmm... I often forget about some of my old contest tanks.  Maybe it's because I've never won anything.

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