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geekreef_05

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geekreef_05

UPDATE:

Nitrates are around 10ppm. 

So im gonna keep the skimmer off. 

I'll give it a clean and keep it for the future, in case needed.

 

In its spot, i placed a sicce 0.5 pump,  which i had laying around, positioned to maximize surface agitation. 

 

Hopefully replaces the 02 and pH boost the skimmer was providing. 

 

There's now alot of water flow in this reef.  Some cyano patches are blowing off. Lol. Looks good so far. 

 

EDIT: The sicce pump is really a return pump. I might pick something up thats more appropriate..

 

I also removed the 2nd uv sterilizer... down to a single unit with more confidence the white bacteria wont return. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
geekreef_05

UPDATE:

 

Well a few days ago the reef looked like this: 

20240404_090933.thumb.jpg.b3adf62dba6cd876692d06f2f82b25e5.jpg

 

20240404_090943.thumb.jpg.642aa5f00059cf6c3b6ea9422cb52448.jpg

 

Cyano has been slowly but steadily declining. Snails have been cleaning up the rockwork well. 

 

Generally things have settled on the Office Reef. Im very happy with the results of the liverock. No corraline yet though! 

 

Also, Ive replaced the sicce return pump with a maxijet 300. Old school, but they are quiet, reliable and have a directional attachment to focus it on surface movement. Does that nicely without creating a vortex below like a circular flat pump would do (nero, vortex). 

 

So yesterday, i added 20lbs of livesand! I did it by starting with an 85% water change. During the water changed, i siphoned out the remaining cyano on the sandbed. When the water was at its lowest, i added the sand. I thought this would reduce the sandstorm. Didnt really help. But its nice to do a big water change lol. Overally, touchy, but done. I moved some big sand piles this morning and created a huge sandcloud. 

 

20240409_095327.thumb.jpg.92a4846af1ff2e0fb7433c6a673ea72a.jpg

 

Ive also added a SeaChem Ammonia Alert to monitor any die off cycle from the livesand. We'll see. So far, so good. 

 

20240409_102902.thumb.jpg.ecfd4611bcabdcfe2581042dc80905e0.jpg

 

 

Once this clears, I'll be considering next steps. Starting with pulling the remaining skimmer equipment and moving my dosing equipment into the skimmer area. That will allow enough room to have automatic stirrers in my stand and keep the dosing liquids fresh.  

 

Then i'll start to balance Mg, Calc, Alk, once again! 

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geekreef_05

UPDATE:

 

Sandstorm has cleared! 

20240412_154744.thumb.jpg.9fcb8b0196c41acc4fe9febb9781cef6.jpg

 

Things are looking relatively good on the Office Reef this week.  The Ammonia Alert has not moved past zero, which is great the livesand didnt create a spike. I'll probably toss the Alert in a couple days. Water clarity is excellent right now.  UV is still working away, now working at full speed after a filter replacement. Im not sure if I need it for the long run, but I'll keep it for a little while longer. I like the crystal water effect. Notably  algae production has drastically dropped. We'll see if cyano or hair algae come back... few red patches have settled on the sandbed...  but generally she's purdy clean! Finally the last positive sign is the GSP test frag i got a while back is opening up after being battered with white bacteria, DINOs and cyano since introduction.   

 

Overall, Im gonna consider adding 20lbs of livesand a win!  

 

NEXT STEPS

Over the weekend Im planning to re-vamp the skimmer and dosing equipment below the reef. The skimmer equipment will be fully removed, creating some space below deck. And then the auto-stirring machines, which have arrived from Amazon, will take the skimmer equipment place. Once complete, I can re-start dosing Mg and All-4-Reef ... get water chemistry super dialed!  Cause anyone that's been around long enough knows... 

 

...the secret to a tidy reef is a tight dosing game! 

 

Im also dosing MB7, using a bubbler to keep it stirred. I'll ditch the bubbler for the auto-stirrer on that as well. I'll post some pic's later this weekend. 

 

 

 

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InAtTheDeepEnd

omg, what a rollercoaster this has been so far, but it looks like things are on the up now! well done for sticing with it, honestly your tenacity and determination should be an inspiration to hobbyists everywhere. That flame angel is looking awesome 

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geekreef_05

UPDATE:

 

Ive completed the re-vamp below decks. Skimmer equipment is out and dosing equipment replaced it with automatic stirrers. 

 

Here are the Amazon stirrers: 

20240414_120423.thumb.jpg.a31c668689087f54d50d39d8f2fd9da6.jpg

 

Here's the before pictures. Full tank: 

20240414_120504.thumb.jpg.2a53e825748e239af2f83e161e8aed95.jpg

 

Dosing equipment on left side: 

20240414_120430.thumb.jpg.dc3ffac13907bc6b24f9f1a9ca6b7de9.jpg

 

On the right side are vortex controllers, ATO reservoir and skimmers c02 scrubber with airline pump. 

 

20240414_120443.thumb.jpg.7a8755fb571c1105c341458800b72b90.jpg

 

After about an hour.... 

This is the updated configuration: 

20240414_140428.thumb.jpg.72e94527b3945271b77c225d429587f5.jpg

 

On the left is a combo of power bars, fish food and dosing pumps. 

20240414_140439.thumb.jpg.69bc9db1f0ffe2c5cb80c2cb88e5f1d0.jpg

 

And on the right are now the dosing containers with autostirrers. Im just keeping them running 24/7. They are completely silent which is perfect. 

 

 

20240414_140454.jpg

 

Later this afternoon, i'll do some water testing! 

 

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geekreef_05

Paramater Check:

 

Ca = 100

Alk = 9.1

Mg = 1600+ 

pH = 8.04

Temp = 79F

 

I tested Ca and Mg twice to make sure i wasnt getting erroneous results. Very odd results. 

 

Previous Dosing Schedule:

AFR = none

Mg = 1ml / day 

MB7 = 5ml / day

 

Current Dosing Schedule:

AFR = 20ml / day

Mg = none 

MB7 = 5ml / day

 

Looks like my AFR line is ceased from lack of use. I'll replace it shortly...

 

EDIT: ...both the Mg and AFR lines are clogged. Super annoying. But also means Mg probably wasnt being dosed after the 85% water change a few days ago. Odd the levels are so high. 

 

Im running out of time this evening to work on the reef. 

 

Minor problems at this stage i suppose. Im never a fan of changing dosing lines.

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geekreef_05

Well! Exciting stuff! 

 

My new cell phone reef lens kit has arrived. Its by Reefing Art and was an Amazon Purchase for about $35 CDN... maybe total $45 after shipping and tax. 

 

I have never heard of Reefing Art before but at the price and vareity of lenses, in the kit, i thought it was worth a try.

 

Comes with a bunch of lenses, in yellow, orange and gradients as well as a shade lens, zoom lens and a lens cap! 

 

20240418_151837.thumb.jpg.821a43b1d38e251ea2dafd3f9f5e4dcc.jpg

 

In the photo of the kit, is also my previous smaller clip lens (right) that i have been using until now. Tiny compared to the new lens (left). 

 

Here are some photos through the new equipment that allow you to compare lens/no lens

20240418_151735.thumb.jpg.34331a2b5f08c0942e8cbf29e4ea846d.jpg

 

20240418_151718.thumb.jpg.f0263d60147248b008ec01ad51ac1a95.jpg

 

 

Zoom lens with clown and snail:

 

20240418_152023.thumb.jpg.e6518bc349e7a04c4753deec35de71b4.jpg

 

20240418_152121.thumb.jpg.a3332e4d4cf06eaaf0cc09699e04d336.jpg

 

So far, i think its an improvement!

 

Im gonna keep trying different stacked lens combinations and see if theres roim for improment. 

 

Right now these are shot with 3 lens stacked together. 

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geekreef_05

UPDATE

 

Fnally replaced the AFR dosing lines.

 

Required some silicone glue to seal it all properly. But now its cured and dosing will begin overnight tonight. 

 

For the Mg lines i need to go through the same process. Might have to order more dosing tubeline. 

 

Didn't have time to do them both at once!

 

I hate replacing dosing lines. Booo! 

 

UPDATE

Both AFR and Mg dosing lines are fixed and tested. 

 

Current Dosing Schedule:

AFR = 20ml / day

Mg = none 

MB7 = 5ml / day

 

This should raise Calc to an acceptable level in a few days, then i'll back it off. 

 

Lets see what baseline dosing levels the reef settles at! 

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ml86743

Happy to see this tank coming around! I have the same phone lens kit, it’s been great so far!  Had a random Amazon gift card from Christmas and picked that kit up. 

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geekreef_05

Oof my Mg line blew-up. I think there was some particles of hardneded Mg in the line. They collected and formed a blockage. It may not have been working for a couple days.

 

The dosing pump dumped a bunch of Mg into my stand when it blew. I cleaned it up this morning. What a mess though.

 

I'll have to replace the line asap. 

 

Water Test on Saturday at 1130am: 

 

Calc: 100 

Mg: 1200 

 

Ive increased AFR dosing to 30ml/day. Note that my AFR is actually cut with RO.water 2:1. I assume the reef is just eating up calc right now. 

 

 

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geekreef_05

OBSERVATIONS over the last two weeks..

 

First water clarity is exceptional lately. I havent cleaned the glass in many days, so its hazy, but... 

 

20240423_105351.thumb.jpg.54c5ef63da87e32df8bf6a1a36651728.jpg

 

visibily down the 4ft pipe is excellent..

 

20240423_105344.thumb.jpg.e3681af13fd30d2091a4c46e4e377a1e.jpg

 

Ive gotta fix my Mg line this evening and get dosing back on track. 

 

That said, alge production has slowed to a crawl. Dinos are long gone. The cyano is gone. Hair alge gone. Which is a stark contrast from the previous life of this reef. Twice daily cleanings have been needed at times and alge has been predominant on the sandbed and rock.

 

This is a great marker of early stability to be past the agle bloom phases. 

 

Once again, i dont see any coralline, though. But lets see how it changes as my calc increases from its extremely low current levels (100). 

 

EDIT

Tested Calc this evening. 

Now between 200-250. 

 

I'll check every 24 to 48hrs to keep tabs on the rise and level off dosing when needed. 

 

Dosing still at 30ml/day. 

 

Ive also fixed the Mg line. Replaced the whole line and resiliconed the connections for extra hold and no dips.

 

Tomorrow evening, hopefully i can resume Mg dosing. 

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geekreef_05

Well... 

 

I did a quick calcium test yesterday. Still around 100-150. Shockingly low. The reef is probably starving for calcium and quickly consuming it as its dosed. 

 

I started Mg dosing as well, now that the line is fully fixed. Unfortunately last night the app crashed while i was priming the Mg line and it dosed 5ml or more. Probably no biggie given that i was at like 1200 and im shooting for 1500. 

 

Dosing Schedule Update

Calc: 40ml/day 

Mg: 2ml/day

MB7: 5ml/day. No change.

 

I also received an order of 5 fire shrimp. That restores my shrimp colony for a total of 6. 

 

20240425_122524.thumb.jpg.e13a7fcc6f08ccde6934723565f27fea.jpg

 

They got a 45min acclimation and seem to be doing well. 

 

Once my water chemistry is settled, my online shopping finger will be iching to get some corals lol. 

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Sprinter70

Looks sweet, seems like you are changing things a lot, but glad you’re approaching stability.
Just a heads up, if you are increasing your calcium with all for reef or kalk, keep an eye on your alkalinity, these products are typically are used to maintain roughly balanced levels. For adjusting calcium on its own, I’d recommend using a calcium source without alkalinity or magnesium. Most of the time, the bottles have directions for how much to add to increase your levels by 5 or 10ppm at a time, just be sure you don’t change it too quickly, the recommended daily limit is usually on the label too! Seems like an awesome system and look forward to seeing it grow!

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Sprinter70

Also, be careful about using additives, like microbacter7, when your parameters are out of wack. This usually causes problems where the bad guys end up with more food to grow and outpace the good guys which typically need more stable parameters.

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geekreef_05

Your right about ALK testing and that AFR may not be the solution right now.

 

Ive been thinking the same thing... I might need to get some calc dosing started and back off the AFR. 

 

ALK tested at 11.6 this morning. 

Thats up from 9-10 before dosing. 

 

Not a big deal. But i dont want it to skyrocket.

 

CALC is still 100. Ive never had a reef this low. And after a week of dosing, im getting suspicious at these readings. ive been using a Salifert kit, which i got when my hanna reagents were done. I just ordered some fresh Hanna reagents, so mid next week i'll be able to compare. 

 

Im gonna make a cup of fresh saltwater and test today as well. The results will allow me to mentally calibrate the readings ive been getting.

 

 

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geekreef_05
On 4/25/2024 at 9:14 PM, Sprinter70 said:

Also, be careful about using additives, like microbacter7, when your parameters are out of wack. This usually causes problems where the bad guys end up with more food to grow and outpace the good guys which typically need more stable parameters.

When calc or alk is out of whack your saying that i risk algae problems with MB7? 

 

Is there a specific issue or pest you were thinking of? 

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geekreef_05

UPDATE:

 

Yesterday I mixed up a cup of new saltwater and took some readings. 

 

Salinity: 35

Calc: 100. 

 

Obviously something is wrong with my test kit. This morning I embarked on a journey to the LFS and got a new Salifret kit. Its all they had. 

 

Retested the new cup of saltwater...

 

Salinity: 35

Calc: 410. 

 

Oh yeah. Problem identified. Old Salifret Kit went bad somehow over time, although its marked to expire 2027, but it was opened a while back, not used for sometime when my reef was unstable. 

 

I still have some hanna reagents on their way. I'll switch later this week. 

 

Anyway...Office Reef: 

 

Salinity: 35

Calc: 480

 

Now that makes sense. Phew. I'll continue with AFR. No need for ANOTHER pump and dedicated calc dosing. Im running outta space under my stand. One more dosing container would make it a mess down there. Lol.

 

Yesterday, i backed off AFR dosing. 

Lets see if i can get it to settle around 450 over this week. 

 

Should be a good week of fine tuning chemistry. 

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geekreef_05

Paramater Check @ 1030pm:

 

Ca = 500

Alk = 11.1

Mg = 

pH = 8.0

Temp = 79F

 

Looks like ALK is slowly dropping. 

I wont change AFR dosing. I'll just let Calc and Alk slowly drop this week. 

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Sprinter70
On 4/27/2024 at 12:54 PM, geekreef_05 said:

When calc or alk is out of whack your saying that i risk algae problems with MB7? 

 

Is there a specific issue or pest you were thinking of? 

Until you have your water chemistry dialed in, I feel this can just create more problems for you. The more primitive organisms will benefit from added food in a constantly fluctuating environment (cyano, dinos, algeas) while the more complicated organisms (coral) will have to acclimate before being able to utilize the food sources from these extra additives. A matter of opinion I suppose, but any food not consumed by your corals and fish is a free for all for whatever can use it the quickest and my experience says the pests of the tank get it first!

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Sprinter70
On 4/29/2024 at 11:12 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Paramater Check @ 1030pm:

 

Ca = 500

Alk = 11.1

Mg = 

pH = 8.0

Temp = 79F

 

Looks like ALK is slowly dropping. 

I wont change AFR dosing. I'll just let Calc and Alk slowly drop this week. 

Where is the magnesium in all this landing, I know your dosing which is probably helping to keep it elevated but with the high calcium and alkalinity I’m curious where it’s at!

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