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Minimal's IM 10g

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minimal

Been digging for more lighting presets. I’ve found myself drawn towards a super popular one called “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but the ramp times don’t line up where I need them. And I need to figure out the acclimation mode. Sweet light, but customizing schedules is confusing :wacko:

 

Does anyone know if there’s a way to just shift the whole schedule on the MyAI app? As opposed to moving each point individually?

 

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minimal
11 hours ago, minimal said:

Been digging for more lighting presets. I’ve found myself drawn towards a super popular one called “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but the ramp times don’t line up where I need them. And I need to figure out the acclimation mode. Sweet light, but customizing schedules is confusing :wacko:

 

Does anyone know if there’s a way to just shift the whole schedule on the MyAI app? As opposed to moving each point individually?

 

I figured this out. So if you swipe left or right with two fingers you’re able to adjust the schedule’s start/stop times. Up and down adjusts the intensity. 

 

This afternoon I’ll be digging into the acclimation settings and also doing an initial water test. 

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minimal

Day 3: Initial water test

 

Results

Salinity: 1.024

pH: 8.3

Phosphate: 0.05 ppm

Alkalinity: 7 dKH

Nitrite: Undetectable

Ammonia: Undetectable

 

Going to test daily so I can be sure to catch the ammonia spike. Now it's time to wait out the cycle and play with the lighting setup. Will be posting the progress on the prime settings tomorrow morning, for now, I'm gonna go watch a hot air balloon race at LSUS :happy:

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billygoat

Looks like I'm a bit late, but congrats on your first fill and the start of the cycle! I've been following along and have seen how meticulous you've been thus far, so I expect you will have a lot of success with this system. 😊

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minimal
18 hours ago, billygoat said:

Looks like I'm a bit late, but congrats on your first fill and the start of the cycle! I've been following along and have seen how meticulous you've been thus far, so I expect you will have a lot of success with this system. 😊

Thanks a lot! I have high hopes for this one 🙂 

 

Quick pic and I'll be testing again this evening. Curious if anything is going on yet!

IMG_4207.thumb.jpeg.fd1005f2fc9a1b49281973106809af9d.jpeg

 

 

 

Lighting Updates

 

1083481574_ScreenShot2019-07-13at3_10_09PM.thumb.png.fd062a4fa29290542fc988492817b1da.png

Has a couple respite periods, sunset starts around 5pm, UV/purples/royal blues on for moonlighting, and a few storms thrown in.

 

High period

653294860_ScreenShot2019-07-13at3_10_31PM.png.2a562ecb9bad130d2acc6e667c172496.png

 

Respite period

446832294_ScreenShot2019-07-13at3_10_43PM.png.6becf7601461077cd24ba34e56eab7ed.png

 

ATO Updates

 

I have the ATO working smoothly now. Just had to add water to the reservoir for the first time last night. So that gives me three-ish days before chamber three water level will start dropping. I ended up getting a cereal storage container for the reservoir. It fits well under the desk and has a swing-open lid that was perfect for cables and tubing 🙂

 

I travel for about a month every year, so I'd like to get a bigger reservoir. Now I'm not quite sure this is a good idea, but because the float switch is in the back chambers (where no critters can get to it) is it ok to get a bigger reservoir than the tank can handle? Currently, if the float switch were to fail and keep pumping, the water won't overflow the tank, but any bigger reservoir and it would. Now the ATO is built to pump water for just under two minutes before automatically shutting off. But two minutes of water into my tiny tank...I'll look into it, but perhaps there's another float switch I could place in chamber three, hook up to the ATO and would kill it if it gets too high as opposed to too low. Or maybe that's too complicated and there's another ATO that does this natively. Not sure if this makes sense.

 

I just don't want to have a constant worry of the tank overflowing in the off-chance the float switch fails.

 

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry

 

I've been stationed in Louisiana just under a year and a half, and this is the first hurricane that will get us. Shreveport (in the top left) is where I'm stationed. We shouldn't have too much wind (under forty mph) but we're forecasted about eight inches of rain. It shifted west and looks like we're gonna get almost a direct hit. Fingers crossed we don't lose power! I'm glad it's hitting on the weekend though, so I can take care of the tank if it does go dark. I have plenty of extra RO/DI and saltwater, and will get the hot water bottles ready :happy: Gonna go grab some snacks too in case it gets too bad to drive. Maybe I'm overreacting, but better safe than sorry I guess?

 

 live-map-hurricane-barry-path-promo-1562889517953-square640-v127.png.1cc75a126886ec6fb847e601b73c9bdf.png

 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

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billygoat
5 hours ago, minimal said:

Maybe I'm overreacting, but better safe than sorry I guess?

You're doing nothing that I wouldn't do! The order of importance goes life, loved ones, and then aquarium... the rest of my belongings can take a back seat. 😅 I hope everything ends up going smoothly for you! At the very least this is a pretty good opportunity to get your major power outage for the year out of the way, since you don't actually have anything in the tank yet. 😉

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minimal
23 minutes ago, billygoat said:

You're doing nothing that I wouldn't do! The order of importance goes life, loved ones, and then aquarium... the rest of my belongings can take a back seat. 😅 I hope everything ends up going smoothly for you! At the very least this is a pretty good opportunity to get your major power outage for the year out of the way, since you don't actually have anything in the tank yet. 😉

That’s true, I gotta throw my MacBook in there too 😅 we’re just getting the outer bands as I type, but it looks like we should be totally fine. It’s losing strength super quickly, we may get rain but that should be it!

 

and right?! I almost wish it would kill the power, prove to those rain gods they’re not killing my (baby) tank 😤

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minimal

Day Seven: Cycle is underway!

 

Very good news, I'm finally seeing levels start to spike this evening 🙂

 

Test results:

Salinity: 1.025

pH: 8.2

Phosphate 0.05ppm

Alkalinity: 8dKH

Nitrite: 1.0ppm

Nitrate: 30ppm

Ammonia: 0.4ppm

 

Big spike in nitrite/nitrate as well as ammonia. Haven't seen any diatoms or signs of life yet. No worries! Watching the levels move up and down is interesting. It's near meditative to test the water manually :happy:

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minimal

 

Day Nine: Signs of life - the diatom snowfall.

 

This morning I did a quick check to make sure all was well, and noticed growing diatoms! Dustings on the rocks and sand, as well as the glass.

 

Test results:

Salinity: 1.025

pH: 8.2

Phosphate: 0.05ppm

Alkalinity: 5-6dKH

Nitrite: 0.5-1.0ppm

Nitrate: 30ppm

Ammonia: 0.3ppm

 

  • Ammonia and nitrites have dropped, alkalinity took a dive, but other levels have remained stable.
  • The ATO is a godsend. I'll never run a reef without one again! Perfect 1.025 all the time.
  • The alkalinity drop was interesting, but I think I've figured it out. I went researching found this quote on a random forum:
Quote

A drop in alkalinity, especially at your stage is likely due to the die off from the live rock and is a normal part of the process. As the die off occurs, the rotting organic matter is acidic. These acidic ions then bond to the salts in the water that contribute to the alkalinity of the tank, thereby reducing the alkalinity in the tank, and thus eventually resulting in a drop in pH. 
 

 

Initially I didn't think this was my problem. I started with BRS dry rock, so I didn't think that I should have any issue with organic die-off. But I found that some people have reported organic matter still present, even after a heavy washing like I did. This would also explain the just-above-ideal phosphate levels, though I'm sure that will change throughout the cycle.

 

Overall, I think we're on the right path. Hopefully ammonia + nitrite keep dropping as quick as they have been. Once levels zero, I'm going to do a water change to drop nitrates under 10pp-ish, then it's on! We're getting close fingerscrossed

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billygoat

I imagine your alk will quickly level out once your rock is done doing its natural leaching thing. It's almost impossible to purge rock entirely of nutrients, and bacteria are very efficient at using even the smallest amount of fuel that is available, so I think your explanation makes good sense.

 

So what's going to be your first livestock addition? Are you planning on adding fish first, or starting with some corals?

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minimal
9 hours ago, billygoat said:

I imagine your alk will quickly level out once your rock is done doing its natural leaching thing. It's almost impossible to purge rock entirely of nutrients, and bacteria are very efficient at using even the smallest amount of fuel that is available, so I think your explanation makes good sense.

 

So what's going to be your first livestock addition? Are you planning on adding fish first, or starting with some corals?

Awesome, good to know I was in the right direction!

 

I’m going to see if that trio of Trimma gobies is available to order. Hopefully I can find tiny ones, as Trimma gobies’ lifespan seem to be on the short side. But more importantly, I don’t want to overwhelm a freshly cycled tank and throw things out of line. If they can’t get them in, I’ll pick up some frags first 🙂

 

I might grab a few mushrooms with the fish as well. They had some super pretty ric’s in their $10 section 😍

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minimal

Day sixteen: cycle complete!

 

The levels have dropped and I believe my cycle is complete. Everything is going perfectly so far.

 

Test results:

Salinity: 1.024

pH: 8.3

Phosphate: 0.05ppm

Alkalinity: 8dKH

Nitrite: 0.05ppm

Nitrate: 1-2ppm

Ammonia: 0ppm

 

Levels are looking great. Alkalinity could be a tad higher, but I'm happy for now. The only notable thing during the cycle was how low the nitrates fell.

 

Perhaps this could be how sterile the system was to begin with? My working theory is that once the bacteria dealt with most of the organic material present, there just wasn't enough to work with and nitrate plummeted as a result. I triple tested and the levels came back at 1-2ppm every time. Assuming the validity of the test kit, I feel ok moving ahead. Nitrite is just about undetectable and ammonia is at zero, so I'll assume the cycle has completed. 

 

Tomorrow I'll do a 10% water change, and as long as levels remain stable, in goes the clean up crew. Very excited to get things rolling!

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billygoat

Looks like things continue to go well! Strange that you would be reading zero Nitrates though... have you been doing any water changes throughout the cycle? Something must be eating them up, otherwise I'd imagine you'd have quite a bit more than what you are reading. Either that or they are getting absorbed into something... they've got to be going somewhere, after all. 🤔

 

At any rate, I'm happy to hear that the cycle seems to be finished! On to the Trimma gobies! 😄

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ninjamyst

$10 rics?  Orange ones?  They usually go for $20-$30 for orange so snatch them up!

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minimal
8 hours ago, billygoat said:

Looks like things continue to go well! Strange that you would be reading zero Nitrates though... have you been doing any water changes throughout the cycle? Something must be eating them up, otherwise I'd imagine you'd have quite a bit more than what you are reading. Either that or they are getting absorbed into something... they've got to be going somewhere, after all. 🤔

 

At any rate, I'm happy to hear that the cycle seems to be finished! On to the Trimma gobies! 😄

It is very odd! No water changes either, so I'm not sure. But clean up crew is gonna go in tonight!

 

7 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

$10 rics?  Orange ones?  They usually go for $20-$30 for orange so snatch them up!

They're all gone 😞 but they were green I think, nothing too special. Will keep an eye out though! I love orange rics.

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Gravity
On 7/25/2019 at 9:57 PM, minimal said:

Day sixteen: cycle complete!

 

The levels have dropped and I believe my cycle is complete. Everything is going perfectly so far.

 

Test results:

Salinity: 1.024

pH: 8.3

Phosphate: 0.05ppm

Alkalinity: 8dKH

Nitrite: 0.05ppm

Nitrate: 1-2ppm

Ammonia: 0ppm

 

Levels are looking great. Alkalinity could be a tad higher, but I'm happy for now. The only notable thing during the cycle was how low the nitrates fell.

 

Perhaps this could be how sterile the system was to begin with? My working theory is that once the bacteria dealt with most of the organic material present, there just wasn't enough to work with and nitrate plummeted as a result. I triple tested and the levels came back at 1-2ppm every time. Assuming the validity of the test kit, I feel ok moving ahead. Nitrite is just about undetectable and ammonia is at zero, so I'll assume the cycle has completed. 

 

Tomorrow I'll do a 10% water change, and as long as levels remain stable, in goes the clean up crew. Very excited to get things rolling!

The nitrate drop seems unlikely. However, the 30 ppm at startup was also odd. Did you use RODI water? What was your cycle process? 

 

I ask because I also used BRS dry rock. I did not clean the rock and cycled with liquid ammonia without any unexpected nutrient spikes. This method produced very predictable results. Theoretically you can expect 3.4 ppm nitrate per 1 ppm ammonia. 

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minimal
On 7/26/2019 at 10:34 PM, Gravity said:

The nitrate drop seems unlikely. However, the 30 ppm at startup was also odd. Did you use RODI water? What was your cycle process? 

 

I ask because I also used BRS dry rock. I did not clean the rock and cycled with liquid ammonia without any unexpected nutrient spikes. This method produced very predictable results. Theoretically you can expect 3.4 ppm nitrate per 1 ppm ammonia. 

I used saltwater (made from RO/DI) from my LFS, I'm not in a situation to have my own RO/DI unit unfortunately. I wish I had gone the route you did, the reliability would have been awesome to have.

 

I ended up ghost feeding for the first three days to start it out, and left it alone since then.

 

Day nineteen: clean up crew!

 

I'll be updating water quality tomorrow, but I added the first members of my clean up crew today! Two nassarius snails, one cerith, and one astraea snail. They're all hiding so pics aren't worth it, plus they're boring anyway :biggrin: 

 

Gonna stay away from anything with claws or an appetite for corals/small fish in this tank. As long as water quality stays steady, I will be picking up some softy frags this Thursday! Lastly, after talking with my LFS, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get the goby trio 😞

 

I'm not sure what to go with now! Still want small gobies, but now I'm thinking about a more active, open water fish. Gonna look into this

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Couesfanatic

What are you using to shutoff the ATO at 2 minutes?

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minimal
On 7/30/2019 at 12:05 AM, Couesfanatic said:

What are you using to shutoff the ATO at 2 minutes?

It's a setting built into the tunze osmolator 3152. If the float switch were to get stuck in the on position, it would automatically shut off 🙂 

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billygoat
2 minutes ago, minimal said:

It's a setting built into the tunze osmolator 3152. If the float switch were to get stuck in the on position, it would automatically shut off 🙂 

I could be mistaken about this, but I believe it's also possible to fiddle with the exact amount of time required to trigger the auto-cutoff by opening the control unit and turning a dial. I also have a Tunze 3152 and have been meaning to look into this, as I think 2 minutes is a pretty long time to have RO water flowing freely into my rear chambers. 😅 It probably wouldn't overflow my tank, but it wouldn't be great for the inhabitants either!

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minimal
3 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I could be mistaken about this, but I believe it's also possible to fiddle with the exact amount of time required to trigger the auto-cutoff by opening the control unit and turning a dial. I also have a Tunze 3152 and have been meaning to look into this, as I think 2 minutes is a pretty long time to have RO water flowing freely into my rear chambers. 😅 It probably wouldn't overflow my tank, but it wouldn't be great for the inhabitants either!

I'll have to try that this evening! I totally agree on how long the water flows. It's supposed to be a nano version, two minutes of freshwater into a tank sounds badWill take pics if I can find a dial, and update soon 🙂

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billygoat
5 minutes ago, minimal said:

I'll have to try that this evening! I totally agree on how long the water flows. It's supposed to be a nano version, two minutes of freshwater into a tank sounds badWill take pics if I can find a dial, and update soon 🙂

Oh that's fantastic! Please do post about it; I am very interested in learning if this is a real thing. It's just something I remembered reading somewhere, so I hope I am not leading you on a wild goose chase! 😅

 

Another possible method of limiting the total amount of water that a malfunctioning ATO could dump into your tank would be to simply not fill your reservoir with more than a gallon or so of RO at a time. This is of course rather inconvenient though, since having to frequently top off one's reservoir kind of defeats the purpose of having an ATO in the first place.

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minimal
2 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Oh that's fantastic! Please do post about it; I am very interested in learning if this is a real thing. It's just something I remembered reading somewhere, so I hope I am not leading you on a wild goose chase! 😅

 

Another possible method of limiting the total amount of water that a malfunctioning ATO could dump into your tank would be to simply not fill your reservoir with more than a gallon or so of RO at a time. This is of course rather inconvenient though, since having to frequently top off one's reservoir kind of defeats the purpose of having an ATO in the first place.

I'll look into it within the next hour-ish. Got off work early, so I have quite a lot of free time this evening :biggrin:

 

That's what I did initially but I could only go a day and a half without topping it off. :lol:  

 

I'm probably on someone's naughty list for this, but I'm risking an accidental overflow right now by having it completely full. The ATO can go a week without maintenance that way! Definitely a short term fix though.

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billygoat
1 minute ago, minimal said:

I'll look into it within the next hour-ish. Got off work early, so I have quite a lot of free time this evening :biggrin:

 

That's what I did initially but I could only go a day and a half without topping it off. :lol:  

 

I'm probably on someone's naughty list for this, but I'm risking an accidental overflow right now by having it completely full. The ATO can go a week without maintenance that way! Definitely a short term fix though.

I think it's probably fine to fill it up all the way; that's the point of the ATO after all! How big is your reservoir? I'm running a 2 gallon bucket, which I top off about once a week in the summertime.

 

Awhile back I had a few problems with my ATO pump turning on for extended periods of time for no apparent reason. An investigation revealed an encrustation of pineapple sponges (which grow prolifically in my rear chambers) inside the plastic part of the float sensor. These were apparently interfering with the proper operation of the float mechanism, causing it to occasionally get stuck in the "on" position. So that's something you might also want to keep an eye on!

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minimal
5 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I think it's probably fine to fill it up all the way; that's the point of the ATO after all! How big is your reservoir? I'm running a 2 gallon bucket, which I top off about once a week in the summertime.

 

Awhile back I had a few problems with my ATO pump turning on for extended periods of time for no apparent reason. An investigation revealed an encrustation of pineapple sponges (which grow prolifically in my rear chambers) inside the plastic part of the float sensor. These were apparently interfering with the proper operation of the float mechanism, causing it to occasionally get stuck in the "on" position. So that's something you might also want to keep an eye on!

Absolutely! It's just that my reservoir holds about a gallon (plastic cereal storage container), and that will definitely overflow the tank a little. If I can dial the potentiometer back, I'll be finding a bigger reservoir. Try to see if I can get two weeks of water. I take a few week long trips a year- peace of mind would be great!

 

That's great to know, thanks! Will definitely start checking that sensor every week during water changes.

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