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Spencer7

Reefer 170 SPS Bonsai (Est. August, 2020)

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Spencer7
20 hours ago, Manfred said:

I think Ikea will have someting suitable! ....which test sets do you use ... I have a Hanna tester for Po4 ... I will get for the other test also HaHanna testers...

I have yet to test a single parameter for the tank. Ballsy reefing. Confident enough to observe the cycling process and health of the corals. 

 

That said, with more frags now, I just ordered a Hannah Alk Checker and RS Ca Pro Test Kit. 

 

I suspect that I won't need to worry about dosing for another 3-4 weeks. First water change next week will likely be sufficient (small frags still new to tank...not consuming tons of elements just yet). 

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Spencer7

2,000th post! Frag pics from Saturday (before glueing) for tracking growth/color in the future. 

 

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Spencer7

So I hooked up my RO/DI unit and a few observations...

- Water pressure is only hitting ~20psi

- Probably in part bc of that low pressure there is a disappointing amount of waste water (but don't feel like spending $160 on a booster pump...)

- The TDS meter was reading 10ppm going in and 0ppm going out!  Such a low TDS makes it tempting to just use tap water with Prime...

- However, the tap water pH tests at 10.15

 

My metal shelf came and is set up. Now to consider a ATO reservoir for the gravity-fed setup...

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=120724

 

Should be able to adapt the spigot to 1/4" tubing and not even have to drill. Now the stand is 14x15" and this had a diameter of 17.4". It looks fine on paper but this fit is going to really really close because the vertical pipes of the stand encroach in on those corners. I measured the diagonal between corners to be ~17.5".

 

Checking on a return policy before I order. If it fits, it efficiently uses the space and gives me a large reservoir for the tank (good for when I'm gone more than a week). 

 

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A.m.P

Wow, a ph of 10 from your tap? Are you certain it's not a false result from low alkalinity? I think WV reefer and a few others have been doing tapwater-tanks, but I don't know how many are soaking sticks in it.

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Spencer7
On 9/30/2020 at 8:58 AM, Amphrites said:

Wow, a ph of 10 from your tap? Are you certain it's not a false result from low alkalinity? I think WV reefer and a few others have been doing tapwater-tanks, but I don't know how many are soaking sticks in it.

Tested again today on two faucets and saw a more reasonable 8.20-8.27. Wondering if I used water from RODI waste line to fill my little cup lol. Don't really trust my cheap pH meter anyway lol. 

 

Tested calc and alk for the first time -- 9.7dKH and 390ppm so pretty good! Haven't started dosing the BRS system just yet. 

 

Outside of the hyperberry, which has faded, the frags look happy! I conceded and decided to position the RP-M's in the more effective but less aesthetic positions...

 

Even the little no-name LPS test frag, which looked dead (tissue gone, even over mouth)has started coming back. It's hard to say but I swear a couple corallites on some of the corals look fatter! 👀👀👀

 

My light schedule is currently...

 

Mitras : 9am - 6pm with peak intensity from 1-3pm (Avg. brightness 42% ) - linear ramping to this bright period

Spectrum: 60% Blue + Royal Blue, 50% UV, 50% Hyperviolet, 35% Cool White, 35% Blue White, 35% Sky White, 10% True Green

4x T5's : 11am -3pm 

 

Without a PAR meter, it's somewhat guess-work but let me know what you guys think. 

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Spencer7

Two quick pics from just now. It takes some forensics analysis if the tank isn't your baby BUT growth confirmed. The Peril Betty has some lengthened corallites while the misc brown acro (coral #1) has new growth on it's encrusting perimeter and the North Star Clathrata is just starting to encrust over the glue.

 

Nothing crazy exciting but it's a good sign the tank is happy (and maybe ready for more frags...) 

 

It looks like the Hyperberry will be the one casualty out of the first ten frags in the tank. It just never recovered or opened up after being shipped, unfortunately. (was acclimating to the lighting with everyone else and gave it a few diff spots to try in the tank)

 

Alk: 9.6

Ca: 390-410ppm  (depending on how long you expect that dark blue to hold) 

 

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Leo_ian

can't wait to see this tank all grown in

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Spencer7
On 10/9/2020 at 10:08 AM, Leo_ian said:

can't wait to see this tank all grown in

Thanks Leo! Welcome to the site. 🖐️  Little less pretentious than R2R hehe

 

I spent decent money on this water reservoir tho...

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/files/tamco/14320.pdf

 

BUT I don't have to drill (I'll adapt from spigot) for gravity feed, it is as large as my stand will physically allowed (to a mm) and the size means I should be able to leave for two weeks without a problem. Probably up to like four.

 

Next on my list is to get some dosing containers and set up my doser in the stand. Automation and stability approaches!

 

My water pressure is too low for the RODI unit I bought. I haven't done a WC so dechlorinated tap for topping off. After I get my first ICP results, I'll decide if I'll invest in a RODI booster pump. 

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Spencer7

Chilling. 

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Spencer7

Frags and FTS's 😍  Love that 45 degree angle from the front...acro alleyway! 

 

First pic is the only one under more blue light. Everything else is under honest ~15K lighting. 

 

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Reefkid88

Love the update bud,everything is looking good !!! In a matter of no time you will have a nice acro forest. 

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Pjanssen

Just came across this. Very nice! I saw the BRS video on negative space aquascape a few months ago and have been tempted ever since. I've had a few of the same inspiration tanks filed away a for a couple of years as well. Now I can add yours to the collection. Thanks! Just waiting until I can afford to pull the trigger on a new tank.

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Spencer7

Not much (good) to report on...

I left the tank for a full seven days for the first time with meh results. Didn't come back to the growth I was hoping for. 

 

Doser had been set up for a week before I left but I hadn't been dosing Mg manually prior (so the initial programmed dose wasn't terribly scientific). My Mg was 1400 before I left (good) but off the charts when I came back (less good). I did my first water change as a result and have stopped dosing Mg for the time being. 

 

The other change was lowering the set temp from 76 to 74F before leaving. Main reason was to slow the metabolism of the fish and reduce the risk of overheating--but I don't feel like it was worth it. 

 

The hyperberry, which was in a near-dead (light brown state) after transit looks like it kicked the can after the Mg spike. There is some tissue loss on a few acro tips but I think they'll have a healthy chance to recover. I'm returning one of my Reefbreeder RP-M's, which I took out before leaving (squeaky impeller and signs of corrosion after only two months). 

 

I recently started feeding some EasySPS EVO gel. I'm going to feed generously to help the corals recover. Excited to hook this up to the doser--doesn't need to be refrigerated! 

 

TL;DR - gone for week, Mg spike, minor damage

 

Fish are fine, other equipment working great, deep color on the BC frags (more settled). No nuisance algae, aiptasia, or pests. 

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Spencer7

Misery loves company I'm afraid.

 

I think the Tailspot blenny got too close to the RP-M last night while trying to clean the glass. Found him dead with a big gash on the sand. He was my fav of the bunch! 😪 Worked hard keeping the rocks clean, leaving mouth spots on the glass...fattest fish in the tank. Please take a moment of silence for the *good boy* if you're reading this.

 

Oh lord, why couldn't it have been the freeloading neon goby?!? 😫

 

After a 2nd 5g water change and not dosing. My Mg is at a nice ~1400. My alk is high now (~11.7 if I remember) and I'm seeing some STN. Dropped daily dose of Ca/KH from 6mL to 2mL. Might be too sharp of a change but we'll see. The corals haven't been happy so consumption dropped. 

 

The only positive with the tank is that I finally have my large gravity-fed ATO running. So at least something will be stable... 

 

When everything has tissue and the tank is stable, I'll take an official young FTS. 

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A.m.P

Sorry to hear about the fish, the RP-M doesn't seem like a nero-class-murderer from its' design, poor thing must have gotten pretty unlucky.

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Spencer7
7 minutes ago, A.m.P said:

Sorry to hear about the fish, the RP-M doesn't seem like a nero-class-murderer from its' design, poor thing must have gotten pretty unlucky.

Yea, that's my best guess. I can DM a pic if you're curious. No spots or lesions and it's not like I have a bobbit worm or mantis shrimp hiding in the young artificial rock.

RP-M is on variable flow mode with reasonable power.

 

I watched one of my Banggai cards just swim straight into it during feeding and get stuck. Luckily I was there lol. 

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A.m.P

I believed you, just weird, I guess that denser front-grill on older style wavemakers really is a lifesaver.
Tunze had it right with the honeycomb lol.

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Spencer7

Comprehensive update! (1/2)

So over the past two months (starting with my first one week trip away from the tank) the SPS frags have been struggling. It's been an "interesting" process trying to decide what the issue(s) might be...I could say 'eh, new tank' but that's too much of an excuse haha. I suspect it's been a few issues...maybe a Mg spike followed by phosphates followed by etc. etc. but it's tough to stay what the current issue is.

 

The obvious target is tap water (which I treat with Prime) BUT the Triton results don't support this! I was pretty confident I'd see heavy metals or something obvious but nah. To be clear: I had a RODI setup but it seemed like my water pressure was too low to run. Seeing the TDS <5, I figured I'd keep using tap water until the Triton results came in.

 

Now I realized I made the same mistake I made with my first RODI system when I was 10 years old haha...I immediately convinced myself the red line was waste water (and black was input). Meaning it also seems like I waste $175 on a booster pump. 

 

Pics below...

Showing off the 15g ATO reservoir I rigged up to a float valve...enough water for ~a month! Ignore the GHL doser balanced on my skimmer 😂

With the other pics, I just want to do a sanity check that my system is plumbed properly. Regarding the three flow pics: "normal" operation around 40psi (left) has the 3:1 waste to output ratio I'd expect, the center image is with the booster pump on (pic is at 65psi, seems like it just boosted the waste water more than anything at...), then the right image is some magic spot with the output flow valve creating ~46psi where after after some shaking, the system went dead silent and was putting out 99% clean water (almost no waste, no pump) 

 

Is that last result...possible? I'm so used to there always being more waste water than clean water (watch Mr. Saltwater Tank's vid for instance). 

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If you read this and want a $10 off code for BRS, let me know and comment on thread

 

 

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Spencer7

Comprehensive update! (2/2)

So Triton results are below. I bought Lugol's for Iodine and KZ Coral System #2 for Strontium, Boron and Bromine. I also got an Eheim Autofeeder and two new types of pellets and a Pygmy/Cherub Angel who eats everything. I've always loved Cherub's and all dwarf angels. 

 

Screw the Banghai's...I need the tank to be able to run autonomously with dry food and these guys refuse everything. If they don't let me catch them, they may face a hard ultimatum with trying dry food...

 

Even when I'm not gone, I'd like to keep nutrients stable/regular for the corals. 

12/17 Evening: 9.4 dKH and 415ppm Ca 

Screen Shot 2020-12-16 at 9.13.33 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-12-16 at 9.12.46 PM.png

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Spencer7

Feel guilty not posting any pics but it's been slow going. Nothing really exciting happening. I had some issues in ~December but things have settled since. Waiting to see some more growth (preferably upwards, less encrusting) before buying more coral. Phosphates are a bit high (cyano) but nothing insane. Need to attach trace elements to my fourth dosing channel vs. dosing manually, just been lazy on that. 

 

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mitten_reef
2 hours ago, Spencer7 said:

Feel guilty not posting any pics but it's been slow going. Nothing really exciting happening. I had some issues in ~December but things have settled since. Waiting to see some more growth (preferably upwards, less encrusting) before buying more coral. Phosphates are a bit high (cyano) but nothing insane. Need to attach trace elements to my fourth dosing channel vs. dosing manually, just been lazy on that. 

 

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I'm gonna have to keep this in mind when I go to scape my tank.  I like how you don't place all the frags right at the tips.  

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Spencer7
37 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

I'm gonna have to keep this in mind when I go to scape my tank.  I like how you don't place all the frags right at the tips.  

Yea haha, trying to leave room for showstoppers later on. I realize that my first e.g. ten frags won't be my best.

 

For any tank, some corals will thrive and others won't do much. Same thing happens in the wild with species. First year is kind of finding those special corals that will become the focal point of your reef. At least, that's how it tends to work in smaller tanks. 

 

A good example would be e.g. January TOTM's red dragon

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JustReading

Amazing scape

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Spencer7

Tank is doing well 🙂 finally going to add some frags soon for first time in 3-4 months.

 

Coming up on six months old, it's no coincidence things have stabilized. 

 

Just need to get my alk up, which is good problem to have lol

 

Patience

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Spencer7

Fun news! My male banggai has a nice fat clutch of eggs in his mouth! 

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