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Enthrol

Struggles of a beginner

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billygoat
8 minutes ago, wiigelec said:

Why do you need to have your lights on for 12 hours?

Seems that it was simply an accident. 😊

 

41 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

Also thanks for the suggestion to check my lights. I thought I had LC2 set to 10:30-7 already so the extra 4 hours on those was not intended.

I think your algae troubles will decline considerably after the light schedule gets fixed. The only downside to shortening your photoperiod is that you'll have less time to observe your tank with the lights on, but it's definitely worth it for the health of your animals. 12 hours is a good middle ground for total "lights-on" time, I think. A lot of the animals we keep in our tanks come from tropical equatorial regions that get approximately equal daylight/night time throughout the year, so half light and half dark is what a lot of home aquarists end up going for.

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wiigelec

Does your LFS use RODI to make their saltwater?

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Enthrol
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Seems that it was simply an accident. 😊

 

I think your algae troubles will decline considerably after the light schedule gets fixed. The only downside to shortening your photoperiod is that you'll have less time to observe your tank with the lights on, but it's definitely worth it for the health of your animals. 12 hours is a good middle ground for total "lights-on" time, I think. A lot of the animals we keep in our tanks come from tropical equatorial regions that get approximately equal daylight/night time throughout the year, so half light and half dark is what a lot of home aquarists end up going for.

I think they're meaning the new schedule. With the new schedule I still have some version of lights running for 12 hours.

 

Thanks for the suggestion on lighting duration. Now knowing that I should be aiming for a 12 hour no lighting schedule normally, I better understand wiigelec's advise to shorten it further. Though I'm sure the changes now should have an effect think I'll shorten it further to 4 hours daylight, 30 minute ramp up and down on either side of that for sunrise/sunset, and an hour outside that for moonlights. That would bring me down to 7 hours of lighting until this algae is better under control and then work my way back up to 12 hours.

 

Really appreciate the patience everyone, feel silly that I didn't look into this more before setting up my light schedule.

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Enthrol
16 minutes ago, wiigelec said:

Does your LFS use RODI to make their saltwater?

They do, but I've moved into mixing my own with distilled. Haven't changed my water in a week and a half though.

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Enthrol
23 minutes ago, wiigelec said:

Folks that grow coral for a living don't run the lights for 12 hours:

 

https://ecotechmarine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ReefWholesale_CoralLab.pdf

 

If you don't have any photosynthetic animals in the tank there should be no issues reducing the lighting period significantly to see if that helps with your issue. No guarantees of course but IMO worth a try...

 

Agreed. With any luck it'll have a noticeable effect on nitrate and phosphate uptake.

 

So the schedule I'm considering now is:

Daylight (no ramp up or down): 4-8pm

 

sunrise/set (30 minute ramp up and down): 3:30-8 this set of light will be full off at 8:30

 

moonlight (30 minute ramp up and down): 2:30-9 this set of light will be full off at 9:30

 

that gives a light schedule of 7 hours. I can pull the moonlight in by 30 minutes of either end to reduce total lighting to 6 hours. 

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Clown79
7 hours ago, wiigelec said:

Why do you need to have your lights on for 12 hours?

Alot of people do with ramp up and down. 

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Enthrol

3-12 update:

 

Ran the new light schedule last night, so the tank had 6 hours of light to this point. Only other change was replacing the filter pad last night and adding 3 cups of top of water.

 

Alk: 6.5

Phos: .10

Nitrate: 0, could have been slightly yellowish but not going to overestimate. 
 

GHA looks greener, but I think that might be the brownish slime breaking off. The filter today was already browning and I replaced it well after feeding so no food could have dirtied the filter pad. 
 

Actually saw both hermits today so that was nice. The red moon and the margaritas were a lot more active today, but the Mexican turbo is still just sitting in one place. Hoping he livens up, getting worried for him. 

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Enthrol

Anyone have any suggestions for a replacement led light?

 

I've been noticing bigger temp swings in my tank as summer weather approaches. I keep my house at 73 and normally tank temp stay around 79.2. We had 2 days where outdoor temp hit high 80s and I noticed the tank temp hit 80. 
 

I'm not terribly concerned about a .7 degree difference but as temps here reach the 110s mid summer I'm probably going to raise my house temp to save energy costs. 
 

I intend to do a few hood mods to my biocube 32 but can easily see where I might need to remove the hood for better heat transfer.

 

If it comes to removing the hood I'm thinking I'm going to use eggcrate with mesh siliconed to it to keep out dog hair and keep inhabitants in. 
My ceilings are too high for a hanging light so I either need a clip on that's safe for glass or a light bar with feet

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Tamberav
2 hours ago, Enthrol said:

Anyone have any suggestions for a replacement led light?

 

I've been noticing bigger temp swings in my tank as summer weather approaches. I keep my house at 73 and normally tank temp stay around 79.2. We had 2 days where outdoor temp hit high 80s and I noticed the tank temp hit 80. 
 

I'm not terribly concerned about a .7 degree difference but as temps here reach the 110s mid summer I'm probably going to raise my house temp to save energy costs. 
 

I intend to do a few hood mods to my biocube 32 but can easily see where I might need to remove the hood for better heat transfer.

 

If it comes to removing the hood I'm thinking I'm going to use eggcrate with mesh siliconed to it to keep out dog hair and keep inhabitants in. 
My ceilings are too high for a hanging light so I either need a clip on that's safe for glass or a light bar with feet

AI prime is very popular

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billygoat
9 hours ago, Enthrol said:

My ceilings are too high for a hanging light so I either need a clip on that's safe for glass or a light bar with feet

AI Prime for sure would be a solid choice for a clip-on light. For light bars with feet you could look at the Current USA Orbit Marine, but check the dimensions - I can't remember off the top of my head if it's too long for the BioCube.

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Enthrol
8 hours ago, Tamberav said:

AI prime is very popular

 

25 minutes ago, billygoat said:

AI Prime for sure would be a solid choice for a clip-on light. For light bars with feet you could look at the Current USA Orbit Marine, but check the dimensions - I can't remember off the top of my head if it's too long for the BioCube.


Thank you for the suggestions. I was a little overwhelmed with options, but that gives me a place to start. 

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Clown79

The AI HD is a great light.

 

The current orbit marine smallest is 18-24"

 

Another option if you get rid of the lid is diy a frame with mesh. Its actually better at keeping things out and in.

 

You can get window framing kit at hardware store and 1/4" mesh at online reef store. It's super easy and cheaper.

 

Eggcrate is ok but fish still can get out

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Enthrol
1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

The AI HD is a great light.

 

The current orbit marine smallest is 18-24"

 

Another option if you get rid of the lid is diy a frame with mesh. Its actually better at keeping things out and in.

 

You can get window framing kit at hardware store and 1/4" mesh at online reef store. It's super easy and cheaper.

 

Eggcrate is ok but fish still can get out

 I'll check out the window frame idea. See if there's enough of a lip in the dt and back chambers to sit one. Since the front is curved I'm not sure how much of a gap that'd leave or if the framing is pliable enough to fit it.

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Tamberav

I have seen people pull it off..

 

img_0475-jpg.529568

 

IMG_0193.jpg&key=f1c146e0faa06bbee7bc13b

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Enthrol
1 hour ago, Tamberav said:

I have seen people pull it off..

 

img_0475-jpg.529568

 

IMG_0193.jpg&key=f1c146e0faa06bbee7bc13b

That looks really good. Going to do some research on lights and setting this up. Much prefer the window frame look to the way the eggcrate looked in my head.

 

Thank you both for that idea.

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Ratvan
22 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

That looks really good. Going to do some research on lights and setting this up. Much prefer the window frame look to the way the eggcrate looked in my head.

 

Thank you both for that idea.

FYI fish can make it through eggcrate as well

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mcarroll
20 hours ago, Enthrol said:

Anyone have any suggestions for a replacement led light?

 

I've been noticing bigger temp swings in my tank as summer weather approaches. I keep my house at 73 and normally tank temp stay around 79.2. We had 2 days where outdoor temp hit high 80s and I noticed the tank temp hit 80.

The built-in lights might be fine...they are for some folks.  I'd only upgrade/modify the tank if you are really into DIY.  (But then I might suggest some other upgrades instead....which would be its own tangent.)

 

For the temperature, I'd bump your heaters up little by little in tandem with increases in average daytime temperatures in order to keep the day/night temperatures swings minimal in the tank.  (If it does get really hot outside, consider putting the tank heater on a timer so it does not kick on during the day and only heats the tank after lights-out.)

 

Unless you're keeping some cooler water species (e.g. Caribbean, Aus, HI) I wouldn't worry about daytime peak temperatures unless the tank starts getting into +/- 90 defF territory.

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Enthrol
1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

The built-in lights might be fine...they are for some folks.  I'd only upgrade/modify the tank if you are really into DIY.  (But then I might suggest some other upgrades instead....which would be its own tangent.)

 

For the temperature, I'd bump your heaters up little by little in tandem with increases in average daytime temperatures in order to keep the day/night temperatures swings minimal in the tank.  (If it does get really hot outside, consider putting the tank heater on a timer so it does not kick on during the day and only heats the tank after lights-out.)

 

Unless you're keeping some cooler water species (e.g. Caribbean, Aus, HI) I wouldn't worry about daytime peak temperatures unless the tank starts getting into +/- 90 defF territory.

Oh good call on raising the heater temps to minimize swings. Think I'm going to slowly raise mine to keep the tank right around 80-81. Trying to maintain temps in the 78-79 range might be unnecessary. I'm not too comfortable with the idea of letting the temp hit the upper 80s though, and I might need to do something about the ventilation if it does climb that high. I'll do some research into optimal temp when I start looking at corals and adding new fish. The fish I've been looking at Liveaquaria says to keep them in the 72-78 range but maybe that's a conservative number.

 

I am really into diy and can't help looking at mods and upgrades all the time lol. So far been able to curb that impulse to tinker as I'm still learning and have better uses of my time.

Love to hear any upgrades you (or anyone else) would considering sharing. 
 

The hoodless option was a two-pronged idea. Better ventilation and an improved light in case I get into light intensive tank inhabitants later. Going hoodless and buying a good light is half the cost of a retro upgrade to the hood's stock light. 
If the temperature doesn't become an issue this upgrade can wait until I need it though.

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mcarroll
33 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

The fish I've been looking at Liveaquaria says to keep them in the 72-78 range but maybe that's a conservative number.

Definitely worth researching/verifying. 

 

If you don't have the Scott Michaels' Fish Guide, I'd get it ASAP as a minimum alternate reference.   

 

If you can get more than one book, then also consider getting "Coral Reef Fishes" from Princeton Pocket Guides by Lieske and Myers.  Simon & Schuster's Guide to "Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Fishes" is also good, and covers a range of aquairum inverts and reptiles as well.  If you're into Caribbean, check out the National Audubon Society's "Field Guide To Tropical Marine Fishes".  For Hawaiian fish, check out Hoover's "Hawaii's Fishes". 

 

Among others of course.....LOTS of great fish books out there.

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Enthrol

Found some cernith and nassarius nails at another lfs in town. Going to grab a couple this weekend. 
 

I was planning to do a good cleaning on the tank before adding them in. Vacuum the sand, fill up any water removed with new mixed, then brush the rocks again using my syphon through a filter sock into the back chambers to reduce the impact this will have on my already low nitrates.

 

The slimy strands I'm fighting are still growing rapidly while the gha doesnt seem to grow too much day to day. The snails I have are making slow progress on the gha. 
 

i want to remove everything I can from the tank so I can get a better idea of what's causing the slimy strands. I thought the strands were thinning out earlier this week but they are as bad as ever today. They have started to grow pretty well from the sand now too, so hoping the nassarius can help manage the sand.

 

I also noticed after my weak cleaning a few days ago that the strands with bubbles havent come back. I'm starting to think I'm fighting three different things. Gha, a small case of dinos, and whatever these slimy strands are.
Also saw a small patch of redish-brown slime that's sticking close to the rock and not coming up in strands like the brown-green strands are. Its a quarter sized patch that hasnt changed over the 3 days I've been watching it. It's placed on high on the rock side about 3 inches from where my return flow hits the wall, seems like a high flow area if the gha near by is any indication. I'll grab a picture tomorrow while my lights are on.

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mcarroll
22 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

cernith

👍 herbivores

 

23 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

nassarius 

👎 scavengers

 

27 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

I'm starting to think I'm fighting three different things.

Have I mentioned getting a microscope yet? 

 

Having one seems past due given your developing context....$10 and up, so cost can't really be much of a factor. 

 

If you can swing $50+ you can get a full-sized, metal-bodied scope that's fully capable, it would be worth the +$40 difference.   The $10 toy scope is functional, but wobbly...it's still a plastic toy scope after all.  (How much more than $50 you spend is up to you....you have necessities covered, but there are LOTS of "nice features" that you can add on if you want.....$200 buy's a swe-ee-et scope.  $500+ gets you up to "amazing".)

 

For what it's worth, I started with the toy....if that's all you feel like you can swing, don't hesitate IMO -- get one.   After a few years of using it, I serendipitously ended up finding a basic, full-size metal scope at a second-hand store for $10...wasn't even looking for one....I did spend $30 on it to upgrade from a mirror to an LED light (optional, the mirror works well) and a 3D mechanical stage (almost mandatory IMO). 

 

Craigslist is a good place to look too, BTW.  Seems like used scopes are listed all the time.  400x or higher will work for us, BTW.....higher magnification like 1200x or 2400x is merely nice (and even handy in some ways) but not necessary.  Having multiple lower mag's available in a 400x scope is also handy in some ways:  my toy scope was 1200x....my "real" scope is 400x.....so I've had some experience with both.  (Admittedly not a lot.)

 

 

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Enthrol
1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

👍 herbivores

 

👎 scavengers

 

Have I mentioned getting a microscope yet? 

 

Having one seems past due given your developing context....$10 and up, so cost can't really be much of a factor. 

 

If you can swing $50+ you can get a full-sized, metal-bodied scope that's fully capable, it would be worth the +$40 difference.   The $10 toy scope is functional, but wobbly...it's still a plastic toy scope after all.  (How much more than $50 you spend is up to you....you have necessities covered, but there are LOTS of "nice features" that you can add on if you want.....$200 buy's a swe-ee-et scope.  $500+ gets you up to "amazing".)

 

For what it's worth, I started with the toy....if that's all you feel like you can swing, don't hesitate IMO -- get one.   After a few years of using it, I serendipitously ended up finding a basic, full-size metal scope at a second-hand store for $10...wasn't even looking for one....I did spend $30 on it to upgrade from a mirror to an LED light (optional, the mirror works well) and a 3D mechanical stage (almost mandatory IMO). 

 

Craigslist is a good place to look too, BTW.  Seems like used scopes are listed all the time.  400x or higher will work for us, BTW.....higher magnification like 1200x or 2400x is merely nice (and even handy in some ways) but not necessary.  Having multiple lower mag's available in a 400x scope is also handy in some ways:  my toy scope was 1200x....my "real" scope is 400x.....so I've had some experience with both.  (Admittedly not a lot.)

 

 

I hadn't considered that, I'll look into picking one up

 

I was watching some youtube videos just looking for coral prospects in the future and stumbled into a tank cycling video hole. Ran across several videos with growth similar to mine that called it diatoms, others cyano, and still others dinos. So hopefully the microscope helps.

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Enthrol

Latest water parameters:

ph: 8.0 (down .4 from last test 4 days ago)

Alk: 6.6

Phos: .14 (glad to see that isnt dropping anymore)

Nitrate: 0

 

No new changes other than seeing a new aiptasia stalk pop up in a new spot and my mexican turbo died. 

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mcarroll
17 minutes ago, Enthrol said:

Latest water parameters:

ph: 8.0 (down .4 from last test 4 days ago)

Alk: 6.6

Phos: .14 (glad to see that isnt dropping anymore)

Nitrate: 0

Everything but alk looks good to me.....but 6.6 is concerning (just realized I failed to notice that from the 3/12 post...sorry!!)....it's the reason for the corresponding drop in pH.  Might be contributing to the algae weirdness too.

 

Seems like a water change is going to be needed.....but maybe re-test to make sure of that number if it sounds low compared to what you expected from the last test.  Mg drops too slow to detect in tests right away, but calcium-usage might be detectable -- is calcium still testing at the proper level, or has it dropped as well?

 

If you can, I'd dose the water change water with 0.10 ppm PO4....that way you can pretty much do as big of a water change as you want.

 

What salt are you using BTW?   Wondering what your original alkalinity level was.

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