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Home Office Shallow Reef


geekreef_05

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Drumroll please....

 

...final results of the uv sterilizer are in!

These are morning pitures, just a few mins after lights up, so corals arent out yet. But its clear, easy to see right through the 4ft reef

 

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Clarity is now very good. Its been over 24hrs. And may leave the uv on a little longer for a total of 48hrs, before removing it from the tank.

 

Im pleased with the basic amazon drop in uv. Solved this problem.

 

The worst part about this whole process is the stench. The reef, my home office room and my home STINKS! 

 

ITS SULFUR. The distinctive rotten eggs smell of death and decay. 

 

I'll be checking nitrates in a bit.

 

 

And the offset of stink, even in the winter, is that your willing to open the windows. I opened my office window for a couple hours, expecting the reefs pH to increase a tad. But nothing. 

 

I have an 02 probe in the tank and 02 didnt increase either. 

 

Maybe i need to seal the room with the window open for that to really work and wait longer. 

 

So..

I amazon'd a cheap C02 meter. We'll find out what the levels are inside and out soon enough. 

 

#overbudgetreefin

 

My biggest hobby gripe right now is that solving problems cost money. 

 

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Where is your pH sitting?  Mine goes from 7.8-8.1, but I'd be OK in the high sevens.  You can make your life needlessly hard chasing 8.3.  Your tank won't look appreciably more grown in, your corals will have denser skeletal growth for the most part.  

 

It was -40C here last week, so the ventilation wasn't great in the 2 bedroom condo we're in.  My pH never topped 7.95, things are fine.

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7 hours ago, geekreef_05 said:

Drumroll please....

 

...final results of the uv sterilizer are in!

These are morning pitures, just a few mins after lights up, so corals arent out yet. But its clear, easy to see right through the 4ft reef

 

20230211_083334.thumb.jpg.7f8e611e59e90df849a582c4d9fb442f.jpg

 

 

20230211_083415.thumb.jpg.e3fd185924513825bbfd714c1d9d4340.jpg

 

20230211_083350.thumb.jpg.865945d2d0b2b9ed99fb5a75cf08373b.jpg

 

 

Clarity is now very good. Its been over 24hrs. And may leave the uv on a little longer for a total of 48hrs, before removing it from the tank.

 

Im pleased with the basic amazon drop in uv. Solved this problem.

 

The worst part about this whole process is the stench. The reef, my home office room and my home STINKS! 

 

ITS SULFUR. The distinctive rotten eggs smell of death and decay. 

 

I'll be checking nitrates in a bit.

 

 

And the offset of stink, even in the winter, is that your willing to open the windows. I opened my office window for a couple hours, expecting the reefs pH to increase a tad. But nothing. 

 

I have an 02 probe in the tank and 02 didnt increase either. 

 

Maybe i need to seal the room with the window open for that to really work and wait longer. 

 

So..

I amazon'd a cheap C02 meter. We'll find out what the levels are inside and out soon enough. 

 

#overbudgetreefin

 

My biggest hobby gripe right now is that solving problems cost money. 

 

It’s only as expensive as you want to make it be, the more parameters you’re chasing. The tighter controls and monitoring you need around them. 

I’ve seen first hand how well a reef tank can run/grow when budget is a non-issue, and sometimes I’m def jealous of the outcome. But most of the time, I’m just happy not spending the kind of money he was doing, def a lot of upfront investment .  You can check out his tank on Instagram https://instagram.com/reefforest?igshid=NDk5N2NlZjQ=

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PJPS, my pH ranges from 7.6 to 7.8. 

 

Its kinda brutal. If the skimmer and c02 scrubber dont work, i wont chase it much... 

 

...i'll add some sps so i can dose soda ash/more alk and that'll up my pH. 

 

Ya, a pH this low will haunt me if i never solve it. Previoulsy in other homes ive effortlessly run at 8.2. 

 

Mitten, that dude has a helluva reef. Like thats top notch. Im just a middle class dude with big torch coral dreams. My budget is definitely finite and now that im overbudget on this project i won't be jumping at exploratory solutions anymore. 

 

Gotta work with what ive got from here on in. 

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Alk is stable, but very high at 14. 

It should come down in time. 

 

There's alot of water movement and surface movement. Like i would not be able to keep acans, zoo's or mushrooms anywhere in my reef. 

 

And i have that skimmer coming so it should help, fingers crossed. 

 

I also have an 02 sensor, cause im using a seneye. So i will let you know how much 02 a nano skimmer adds.

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Alk at 14 and your pH hits 7.6?  This is out of my comfort level, @mcarroll may have some good knowledge here.

 

The skimmer likely won't add much, I have a nano skimmer drawing through 2LF CDX (the most effective scrubbing media I've found) and get an imperceptable 0.05 bump.  Recirculating, maybe 0.08.  (I bought the fishofhex skimmer cup adapter, the whole thing, 0.08 pH boost) 

 

I drip 250ml kalk, overnight, just to keep it over 7.7 overnight.  250ml is my daily max, any more and my corals get grumpy/start to peel.  It adds .2 dkh or less.  My tank drops 1dkh/day.  So the kalk overnight is just to goose my pH a bit, A BIT.  If you do ACI Kalk dosing, your daily evaporation in saturated kalk over night, you'll most likely lose coral in a nano. I know I did, when I was all obsessed with pH.  I can't explain the specifics, but @mcarroll might know.

 

 

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Sorry in advance for the length....

 

On 2/8/2023 at 1:22 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Here are the hardware spec's:

- Custom low-iron glass tank (manufactured in Toronto), measuring 16" wide, 48" long and 13" high.

Time to move this thread over to the Large Reef section.  🙂 

 

On 2/8/2023 at 1:22 PM, geekreef_05 said:

4x Kamoer dosing pumps for All-for-Reef, Mg, Soda Ash and Kalk 

 

This is an odd combination.  Especially for how new the tank is – are you doing all of them??  

 

Kalk and soda ash shouldn't generally be necessary and kinda jump out of your list as potential problems.  

 

High pH is associated with problems like abiotic precipitation.  High pH is really unfriendly to a supersaturated solution like seawater.  

 

There is no downside to ordinary "low pH".

 

On 2/8/2023 at 1:22 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Seneye Monitoring System with web server. 

Did you have this from your old system?  Is this how you are measuring pH now?  

 

If it was different, how were you measuring pH before on your old system/old house?

 

On 2/8/2023 at 2:25 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Objective: 

pH: 8.4

dKH: 12

Calc: 500

Mg: 1550

In general there shouldn't be any reason to keep target numbers this high.  There are definitely risks though.

 

If there was an idea behind it (vs that's the numbers your salt mix gave you), let us know.

 

On 2/8/2023 at 2:25 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Parameters (Jan 25):

pH: 7.8

dKH: 7.4

Calc: 420

Mg: 1400

These numbers are pretty normal – practically ideal.  Even pH.

 

On 2/8/2023 at 2:25 PM, geekreef_05 said:

The low pH was something that I wasnt prepared for. In my previous reef's I seem to have run at 8.2 rather effortlessly. I suspect this older home has less air circulation and more C02. In order to drive pH and dKH into a better spot, i started to use Soda Ash (ALK) for the first time. 

 

The concept here is that it would push ALK up and pH with it as well. 

You can't put more carbonates in the water by changing pH.   Don't forget the carbonates are all we (or the corals) care about.  

 

pH and alk test results are just indicators we use to get an idea about this.  pH 7.8 is solidly within normal range.

 

Something else to recall is that we didn't always know that the chemistry of coral skeleton formation isn't directly linked to the chemistry of the water around them.  Corals control that chemistry biologically, independent from the water....unlinked from the water's pH.

 

On 2/8/2023 at 2:25 PM, geekreef_05 said:

- Reef is using up Calc faster than its added. 

With so few corals/coralline algae, and pH as high as it was, that was probably precipitation on all the sufaces in the tank....espeically where there is a heat gradient, such as onto heaters and inside pumps.

 

On 2/8/2023 at 2:25 PM, geekreef_05 said:

I reached 15 dkH at one point, where some white precipitate was found on the glass.

...as I was saying.

 

On 2/8/2023 at 10:29 PM, geekreef_05 said:

Well...thats an old common saying, not to chase pH. I think this is a good discussion to have, cause certainly im putting this effort in to "chase pH". 

You hit the nail on the head.....there's a good reason for most rules of thumb in this hobby.

 

I'm not sure I'd buy into the counterpoints you brought up against what you yourself posted here.  I would question the sources where that info came from.  👍

 

On 2/9/2023 at 6:02 PM, geekreef_05 said:

But the real point of this photo is to show the bacterial bloom. Cant see to the end of the 4ft reef. 

At low densities, phyto (aka green water) blooms look grey like this too.  Just FYI.

 

On 2/10/2023 at 9:43 AM, geekreef_05 said:

And the reef smells like death.

Are you monitoring ammonia?   Guessing that's probably an ammonia release (ammonium sulphate or similar?) from the UV running and killing all those cells.

 

On 2/11/2023 at 8:52 AM, geekreef_05 said:

I have an 02 probe in the tank and 02 didnt increase either.

As long as your tank has good water circulation and aeration, pH is going to take on the character of the air in the room.  This keeps CO2 from building up and keeps O2 moderated.   In general, good water movement and aeration prevents big pH swings.

 

So focus on what changes the room's air....

 

Whether there is HVAC and how often it runs will make a big difference to the room's air quality.

 

Having open windows can make a difference if the outside air is significantly different.  (Old houses are poorly insulated.   New hoses are very well sealed.)

 

Plumbing the air-intake of your skimmer to the outside can make a similar difference IF the outside air is significantly different.

 

16 hours ago, geekreef_05 said:

my pH ranges from 7.6 to 7.8

Absolutely nothing wrong with that range.  👍 IMO, let it be.

 

I'm curious to see how the air quality meter works out – it's something I've considered purchasing before.   Which did you order?

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1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

You hit the nail on the head.....there's a good reason for most rules of thumb in this hobby.

 

I'm not sure I'd buy into the counterpoints you brought up against what you yourself posted here.  I would question the sources where that info came from.  👍

BRS has put out quite a bit of info recently suggesting that running our tanks at a pH closer to the average ocean pH of 8.3 can lead to healthier and faster growing corals, so I think we will see more people starting to monitor their pH more closely and taking action to increase it. My tanks run at 7.8, not sure I will make any changes, but considering it. 
 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/content/post/mastering-reef-tank-ph?utm_term=&utm_campaign=EL+|+ACQ_Smart_Shopping+|+ROAS+|+All+Products&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=7373341438&hsa_cam=17740353356&hsa_grp=&hsa_ad=&hsa_src=x&hsa_tgt=&hsa_kw=&hsa_mt=&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=CjwKCAiAuaKfBhBtEiwAht6H79vuCjIWw9Vbd32ODBuFURSzqE0tIPLBJeKdZ3QMGQ8VEE6a_LqSdBoCrmQQAvD_BwE

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15 minutes ago, banasophia said:

BRS has put out quite a bit of info recently suggesting that running our tanks at a pH closer to the average ocean pH of 8.3 can lead to healthier and faster growing corals, so I think we will see more people starting to monitor their pH more closely and taking action to increase it. My tanks run at 7.8, not sure I will make any changes, but considering it. 
 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/content/post/mastering-reef-tank-ph?utm_term=&utm_campaign=EL+|+ACQ_Smart_Shopping+|+ROAS+|+All+Products&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=7373341438&hsa_cam=17740353356&hsa_grp=&hsa_ad=&hsa_src=x&hsa_tgt=&hsa_kw=&hsa_mt=&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=CjwKCAiAuaKfBhBtEiwAht6H79vuCjIWw9Vbd32ODBuFURSzqE0tIPLBJeKdZ3QMGQ8VEE6a_LqSdBoCrmQQAvD_BwE

BRS has been wrong a lot over the years... Hybrid BRS WWC method wa a fail, ULMS 2/3 fails, higher calcium = better growth... they're like a half usefull resource.

 

pH at 8.3-8.4 will speed calcification a fair bit, no question.  Healthier, yes with qualifiers.  Worth chasing in a home aquarium, especially a nano?  I'll let @mcarroll type it all out.  Short answer, 7.8 is perfectly OK.

 

Nobody believes it, but it's the truth.  BRS sells bulk kalk and scrubber media.  Just because the science is largely correct(ish), doesn't equate to a good idea.   At best it's reason to delve deeper.  As that happens, we learn more of both the benefits and drawbacks of artificially raising pH.  BRS seems to only talk up one side.  I'm in Canada and have 0 positive or negative feelings for BRS beyond my dislike of their often sciency sounding sales pitch that's to science what a slim jim is to beef.  It leads people to unnecessarily complicate things.

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Okay, I hear you, but what are your qualifications, or those of mccarroll, to think you guys are offering more reliable advice than BRS? I truly mean that in an honest way, not an insulting way. It is a challenge when we get our information from a forum like this or Facebook… are the people giving advice pretty new and trying to be helpful, are they experienced hobbyists, or are they scientists like marine biologists? We often do not know.
 

If I’m getting advice from a fellow hobbyist, then an important factor when weighing their advice is to see their successful tanks. In fact, that’s one reason I prefer forums to Facebook groups so I can view the person’s tank threads when considering their advice.

 

I do find BRS to be a pretty good source of information, and I personally believe that they are educating and advising in good faith, so I find these new suggestions interesting. Sure it could turn out they are wrong, but their rationale seems sound and it’s enough to make me rethink my approach.

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18 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Okay, I hear you, but what are your qualifications, or those of mccarroll, to think you guys are offering more reliable advice than BRS? I truly mean that in an honest way, not an insulting way. It is a challenge when we get our information from a forum like this or Facebook… are the people giving advice pretty new and trying to be helpful, are they experienced hobbyists, or are they scientists like marine biologists? We often do not know.
 

If I’m getting advice from a fellow hobbyist, then an important factor when weighing their advice is to see their successful tanks. In fact, that’s one reason I prefer forums to Facebook groups so I can view the person’s tank threads when considering their advice.

 

I do find BRS to be a pretty good source of information, and I personally believe that they are educating and advising in good faith, so I find these new suggestions interesting. Sure it could turn out they are wrong, but their rationale seems sound and it’s enough to make me rethink my approach.

You are exactly right to question 👍🏻.  I’m just a hobbyist, not even a particularly massively accomplished one.  I’ve run a bunch of nano tanks, and like to think I know the ins and outs of that particular volume of water. But in no way, do I claim to know everything or how to do everything.

 

@mcarroll has many years in the hobby and presents evidence backed info (I’m too disabled to type the lengthier evidence citations).  His posts on R2R are extremely thorough and evidence based.

 

People like Randy Holmes Farley, Dr Craig Bingman, Humblefish, etc are examples of experts not selling you something.  Julien Sprung is an expert that sells stuff.  Ryan runs the biggest dry goods only LFS on the planet, and genuinely wants to help the hobby I have absolutely no doubt.  Seems like genuinely wonderful guy.  But some stuff in BRS videos is either irresponsible or wrong.  That’s some thing they have admitted themselves, when they look back on older videos. What I don’t understand is why they leave older videos up, which they know are wrong they themselves have said that, up for YouTube to auto play, when someone is bingeing reef videos. 

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9 minutes ago, PJPS said:

But some stuff in BRS videos is either irresponsible or wrong.  That’s some thing they have admitted themselves, when they look back on older videos. What I don’t understand is why they leave older videos up, which they know are wrong they themselves have said that, up for YouTube to auto play, when someone is bingeing reef videos. 

Yes, I’ve wondered about watching older videos or reading older posts, not by them in particular but any YouTube videos or blogs, whether people remove videos and posts that they find are outdated or have incorrect info. I know when I did my TOTM writeup here in nano-reef I had just started using a home water distiller and I was excited about it, but my tanks went downhill after a few water changes… luckily CM was able to amend my writeup.

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33 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Yes, I’ve wondered about watching older videos or reading older posts, not by them in particular but any YouTube videos or blogs, whether people remove videos and posts that they find are outdated or have incorrect info. I know when I did my TOTM writeup here in nano-reef I had just started using a home water distiller and I was excited about it, but my tanks went downhill after a few water changes… luckily CM was able to amend my writeup.

That’s the perfect example 😊. Now multiply that experience by all the youtube and insta influencers that have done very openly sponsored videos.  They’re up front, state they received it for free etc, it’s still 10 minutes of why it’s good and you should get one.  Fast forward five months, was it really that great? Live ups are all your initial hype? We never get to find out, but the video lives on.

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39 minutes ago, PJPS said:

…has many years in the hobby and presents evidence backed info (I’m too disabled to type the lengthier evidence citations).  His posts on R2R are extremely thorough and evidence based.

Well the keyword here is “many years”, and I still haven’t seen a prime example of a grown-in successful reef tank from all the advices given.  And I’ve been lurking and/or participating on here for at least 10 years now.  
 

not saying that the advices aren’t any good, cuz they are in most cases. they just aren’t matching the actual tank that I last saw.  
 

I really wish that more ppl that like giving advices will at least keep an up-to-date tank journal so other folks can actually interact with them on their journals as well.  That’s how I learned, participating in the journal conversations from the likes of@markalot, @metrokat, @HarryPotter and a few others that I can’t think of right now. 

 

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16 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

Well the keyword here is “many years”, and I still haven’t seen a prime example of a grown-in successful reef tank from all the advices given.  And I’ve been lurking and/or participating on here for at least 10 years now.  
 

not saying that the advices aren’t any good, cuz they are in most cases. they just aren’t matching the actual tank that I last saw.  
 

I really wish that more ppl that like giving advices will at least keep an up-to-date tank journal so other folks can actually interact with them on their journals as well.  That’s how I learned, participating in the journal conversations from the likes of@markalot, @metrokat, @HarryPotter and a few others that I can’t think of right now. 

 

I agree completely, I just agree with @mcarroll ‘s advice tank unseen because it jives with my experience. And he helpfully writes detailed responses, that I don’t have the patience for 🐒.

 

To your point, I’m trying to post almost every change I make, and openly post my actual tank journals from AquaticLog. I can think of no more detailed sharing.  I like to help, but don’t feel the need to be absolutely right or argue a point to any large degree.  Just sharing my journey for those who care to follow, and if you ask for help on a forum and it’s some thing I know something about, I’ll help.  I’ll also bow out when did exceeds my knowledge comfort zone.

 

I haven’t seen a really nice tell grown in tank from anyone who followed the latest advice and kept up-to-date with it and kept screwing around with their tank.  I’ve always found success mimicking nature as much as possible.  That means learning endlessly about marine ecology. all the contradicting information goes away, and is replaced with paper after paper stating the science.  So what seems contradictory on a surface level, makes sense with a deeper understanding of what’s going on. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a shortcut to that deeper understanding.

 

Started my first nano in 2006.

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3 hours ago, PJPS said:

BRS has been wrong a lot over the years... Hybrid BRS WWC method wa a fail, ULMS 2/3 fails, higher calcium = better growth... they're like a half usefull resource.

 

did you just use the phrase "over the years" then proceed to list... 4 fails? c'mon. 

 

lets count the things they got right. 

don't cherry pick and demonize a relatively reputable brand, espeically when they have an entire playlist called "xxx we did wrong," which covers those exact things. 

 

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8 minutes ago, TheKleinReef said:

 

did you just use the phrase "over the years" then proceed to list... 4 fails? c'mon. 

 

lets count the things they got right. 

don't cherry pick and demonize a relatively reputable brand, espeically when they have an entire playlist called "xxx we did wrong," which covers those exact things. 

 

I don’t understand?  Those things happened across like 8+ years.  I didn’t realize I had to do a highlight of pros and cons. They have been right on many things and wrong on fewer things that still isn’t helpful. If people are following all of the advice and some of it is wrong. I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m just saying it’s irresponsible to leave up wrong information that they’ve identified as wrong.

 

I don’t understand what it is that I’ve done, did I speak badly of your leader? I’m not describing any ill motives, just stating that it’s unhelpful to have wrong information floating around.

 

although if you could list off the things, they’ve been absolutely right about please feel free.

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Lightening things up a little, my friends 💛… POG is really good, especially with rum… I don’t have any POG at the moment but I do have this TJs juice so I just poured myself a drink to make a toast to all of us and getting ready to do some stuff with my tanks.
 

I think BRS and reefers that post in forums are trying their best to help. I have a blog, after all, and I’m still pretty new… I think we are all trying to connect and contribute and learn. I think it’s good to remember as individual hobbyists we are sharing our own knowledge and experience so it’s good to keep in mind as we are offering our suggestions they are not “the right answer” since there are lots of ways to run a successful reef tank. Some people like to go with older, more time tested approaches… some of us like to try some of the newer methods that come up.
 

Cheers, friends!
 

2D0F1A61-CF44-4B49-921E-273C71D934DC.thumb.jpeg.75dc94a25eaf1da7a3dd283fbb0f1c75.jpeg

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