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About Rcpilot

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    Water Farmer Extraordinaire

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    Melbourne, FL
  1. Definitely make sure your ATO reservoir is big enough for a 20-day trip. I'd clean all pumps and auto feeders before leaving. It will give you a chance to inspect for wear and hopefully catch any impending failures if you see something looking as if it's about to be worn out. Replace batteries in auto feeder with new, fresh, name brand (high quality) - if battery powered. I used to put a SeaChem product in my ATO water. I think it was Reef Buffer (NOT reef builder). It kept my pH, alk and CA within specs. I used to add a premeasured amount to my 10g ATO reservoir and that was good for about 10 days or so, on a 65-70g system. I had to experiment with the amount I added to my ATO reservoir. You've got 2 months, so plenty of time to figure that out. I'd change the water before I left and then cross my fingers.
  2. Just one problem.... That's an Icecap 24 sump. It only fits, if it's empty and you turn it on end, then twist and turn it down into the stand ..... from the top. I've turned it every which way I can think of and can't get it out of the stand without taking the top off. Hopefully not a problem down the road. When I get done with the plumbing, the whole thing gets disassembled and moved to the garage for a water test. I'll replumb it and fill it with a garden hose. Turn on the pumps and let it run for a week or two. If nothing leaks, we'll tear it down and move it back inside the house.... reassemble... and cross our fingers.
  3. Not really. I bought a factory stand and modified it. It's a cheap stand for a 75/90g tank. It's the correct length for a 40g breeder and the 20XH. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood for the top and trimmed it. Painted the inside white. Went over the outside with black so it would match the top and the trim. It was easier than building a stand, but still quite a bit of work. The 3/4" plywood top just sits on top of the factory stand. I was originally going to glue and screw it down, but in the end I decided it wasn't needed. It's got a 2" wide lip hanging off the back to accomodate the 20XH. The 20XH has the same footprint as a standard 10g tank -- just twice as tall. With the little 2" lip on the back, it fits perfectly. The ribs under the plywood top rest on the uprights that carry the weight to the floor. So weight is distributed across the entire top rail system (as intended by factory) and a little is spread into the vertical legs themselves. The ribs are really just to keep the plywood from bowing. They didn't need to be full depth and rest on the wood underneath, but it also didn't hurt.
  4. I wouldn't reuse an old heater. My experience is -- once you remove them from the water and store them -- they never work right again. I don't know why. Maybe the rubber seals dry out and the next time you put them in the water they pop? I dunno, just never had any luck reusing heaters. I'd use the Kessil and the AI Nano. Why not? I'd use the pumps and powerheads you have. A good vinegar soak and a thorough inpsection/cleaning of shafts and impellors would be a good idea. I can't give any recommendations on AIO tanks. No experience there.
  5. You won't really know unless you actually test the water that's you're getting out of the RO unit. Do you have a TDS meter?
  6. I don't kow what tank you're using. Is it an AIO? This is how I set up my 40g breeder with a 20XH display refugium next to it. There is a sump. The return pump just feeds the tank. There is a separate DC controllable pump in the skimmer section of my sump. It's plumbed with vinyl hose up to the inlet on the bottom of the 20XH refugium. The refugium has an overflow and a single bulkhead fitting to drain it downhill into the DT. What happens when the power goes off? Nothing unusual. The refugium drains down until the water is below the overflow teeth. Then it stops. There's a standpipe on the inlet bulkhead, so as soon as that breaks siphon, the refugium is done draining. The tank takes a few gallons of water from the refugium (at the most), and it drains down into the sump until the water is below the overflow teeth in the tank. Sump fills up.
  7. What ever happened to your refugium idea? I'm working on a 40g breeder. I set my display refugium next to the 40g DT, like this:
  8. Ordering some of this now. I'm 'bout to scape a 40g breeder.
  9. I used to use Instant Ocean. I switched to RS Coral Pro for 1 bucket and hated the way it mixed up. I never saw alk in the range as the chart above suggests. It was always really really low. 1 bucket of that was more than enough frustration. I switched to Reef Crystals and had no issues at all. I'm starting a new 180g reef. I'll be using Reef Crystals again. Amazon!! Several different ways to buy it from that site.
  10. I had an invert nano back in the late 80's. I was a teenager who was in love with marine biology. I had a little 10g tank with a single banded shrimp and 1 rotten little blue damsel. I used old T5 (not the high output kind) lighting and changed 1--1.5g of water every week. Didn't even have an RO unit. Tap water and a freshwater dechlorinator!! I ran that tank for 3 or 4 yrs, until I left for college. The shrimp was still alive and thriving when he was donated to a friend with a 50g tank full of inverts.
  11. Reefing is an expensive hobby that is funded with expendable money. RC airplanes are pretty expensive when you get up to the 50cc or larger airframes. ($2,500 to build a ready-to-fly airplane) Now there's a hobby that's full of elitists... WOWZERS!!! I used to have smaller tanks. I remember people always assuming I didn't have any money or I didn't know what I was doing because I had smaller tanks. Peple at the LFS would suggest I needed to upgrade. I'm thinking, "Yeah... you got a boat payment coming up next week. I'll bet you'd just love it if I bought a whole new setup today." I just bought a 180g tank. Sitting around thinking aboutall the money I'm about to spend on pumps and lights. 😟
  12. It's still cycling. Wait. Give it a month or 6 more weeks. It will settle down. Your ammonia and nitrites will go to zero in their own time. The nitrates will have to be removed via water changes. But not necessary until AFTER your ammonia and nitrites are zero. Don't add anything. Just let it sit there and mellow. Reefing is a slooooooow hobby.
  13. You can set a refugium above the display tank. A lot of people do this because it allows the beneficial pods to naturally flow into your diplay - rather than going through the pump impeller to get into the tank. A 5.5g tank or a 10g tank makes a nice refugium. Get a small overflow and silicone it into a corner. Drill your hole and install a small 3/4" or 1/2" bulkhead and strainer. Run a powerhead in the display tank to pump water up to the refugium. It will naturally drain back to the tank via your bulkhead and some minor piping.
  14. We have a split floor plan, so pretty much wide open - as you described your home. You could always make a plastic curtain to help seal off that room. Staples and tape would work to hang a piece of plastic. Think of a walk-in cooler with the plastic curtain at the entrance. That plastic wall has a slit or opening that allows you to walk through, but it also keeps a lot of the cold on the correct side of the wall. You could make your living room a lot smaller with 1 or 2 plastic curtains, and maybe get away with a little smaller window AC. I used to work in the HVAC field. For reference: 12,000 BTU is eqaul to 1 ton of cooling 1 ton of cooling will usually handle 400--600 square feet of living space If you can make some plastic curtains, it may be possible to reduce that room down in size enough to get by with a little 5,000--6,000 BTU AC unit. (roughly 1/2 ton of cooling or 200--300SQF) I'm working on the same problem. I bought a 10,000 watt generator. It takes about 5,000w just to run the AC compressor, and another 3,000w to run the air handler inside the house. Doesn't leave much for anything else. It will almost run the entire house... EXCEPT for the AC unit. Hope this helps.
  15. You may want to help reduce the ambient temp of the room with a small 110v room air conditioner. A "window Unit" that can be mounted in the window and usually only cools 1 or 2 rooms. Cheaper than a chiller - so you could maybe buy a smaller (cheaper) chiller.
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