Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About mcarroll

  • Rank
    Community Member

Contact Methods

  • Website

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Northern Virginia
  • Interests
    Anything related to nature....I do aquariums, and gardens. I also love to cook and bake. I specialize in using fresh-ground flour for everything I bake – not always easy, but it packs in the nutrients. Last, I also help school my kid. :)
  1. A store would test it for you. Let us know if its condition changes any more.
  2. If those numbers are right and don't dramatically change, then I wouldn't do much at all right now. Clean it up as you see fit via elbow grease, but cyano is generally a temporary phase. It's mostly just the tank starting up all normal biological cycles...cyano is one of the early ones...and you want to avoid slowing or stopping the process to the extent you can. As long as your numbers stay in the positive, eventurally hair algae and coraline algae will show up. Hair alge....your CUC will eat, so no big deal. You just clean up what they can't. Quantity of algae (and thus CUC) will more or less be based on the speed and magnitutde of your fish stocking, so plan accordingly. (You really don't want to impair your CUC through lack of numbers....that is precisely how many wild reefs get overrun by algae.) Coraline is the best algae to have since it takes potential living spaces away from pest algae....it notably requires the same positive nutrient conditions as corals and hair algae.
  3. I concur.....don't overdo the filtration, even though it seems to be "the way to go" these days.
  4. Seems like your nitrates and phosphates are in balance at least....if you populated the tank with plenty of corals sooner rather than later, they'd happily use up those nutrients during acclimation and growth. I think I'd get the rock with coraline algae into the display sooner than later too.....you really want that algae to be growing in the tank to reduce the amount of space between corals that's available for pest algae to settle on and grow. Just some thoughts! :-)
  5. May as well have a lux meter on hand at the very least......a lux meter app is free and a handheld only has to run you from $7-$20. I use an LX-1010B handheld, just for reference.
  6. Can't remember for sure about Current, but some vendors advertise the nominal wattage of the LED's in use and some advertise the actual wattage. IIRC, very few vendors report actual. A 165w black box does not use 165 watts during usage, for example....it's just an indicator that the unit has 55 three-watt LED's. Not sure what LED's are on the unit you're looking at, but it's common for some types of LED's to be run at 1/2 to 2/3 max wattage for maximum life / to avoid prematurely setting the LED's on fire. 😉
  7. Even at the very lowest dimming settings on my 3w moonlight, it registers on my lux meter as several times brighter than what I've read for moonlight. (Admittedly, I still have yet to take my meter outside and measure moonlight myself....so comparing with a reference value for moonlight.)
  8. This. Rick Ross has gotten his corals to spawn (I think last year?), but it took MORE DEADICATED BLACKOUT TIME (not more moonlighting) to do it. Seems in nature that the timing corresponds to the LEAST FLOW conditions on the reef that immediately follow the MAX FLOW conditions...it's only coincidental with the moon phases because of the moon's influence on the flow setting. Apparently, spawning during LEAST FLOW gives all those gametes time to mix before getting washed away from the reef "into infinity" so it seems to be logical. Here's a good video on it (not from Rick tho....couldn't find the vid of his I wanted....this is from Blueworld TV):
  9. Love it! You might consider lowering the light closer to the tank so most of the actinic light hits the tank instead of the room though. 😉 90 degree lenses give a spread radius about equal to mounting height, so take your tank's shortest surface dimension (length or width) and divide by two...make that your mounting height and adjust from there. Voila! No more blue babies! :-)
  10. Seems like you'll want a pair of spotlights vs just one since the tank is relatively long. Are you a fan (e.g.) of halide vs T5?
  11. Did they allow pictures to be taken?
  12. Since you already know that you prefer T5-style light (very even, homogeneous, no drama), you should really be considering LED strips rather than spotlights. Orphek, GHL and Current USA are all worth looking at, as are any others you know of. If you're feeling dedicated to switching your tastes over to spotlights, which give a VERY different look to a tank.... At $350 for a two-pack, the OR's really are the best bang for the buck. Between the feet and hanging mount points, there are plenty of creative ways to mount them if the included hanging kits don't work for you. (You'll have to add on the cost for a mounting solution to the Primes....not sure they come with any way to mount.) As far as lasting forever, maybe the fixture itself....but T5's have to be replaced as the bulbs lose color. Most replace them yearly so the difference from old bulbs to new isn't so large. (Coral stress.) One more thing: When the folks that replace their LED systems before they wear out, they do so voluntarily, not because they have to. To wit, my Razor 160 isn't dead or even slightly worn out as far as I can tell, but I still replaced it....didn't work for the tank upgrade I did. Nothing to do with LED's per se...and I could have added another Razor to cover the rest of the tank upgrade if I wanted to. You'd be up against the same decision when upgrading tanks with a T5 light. Some quick T5 vs LED math on 5 years of ownership: 36" ATI reef bulb: $21 $21 * 4 tubes * 5 years = $420 in bulb replacements alone. Those tubes are 39w each, so 156 watts total. 156 watts * 12 hours * 365 days * 5 years * $0.10/kW = $370 in power usage. $420+$370=$790 Put that on top of the up-front cost of the fixture -- probably another $500 if you're looking at ATI, which is what I'll presume. $300 for Wavepoint...which doesn't change the math significantly. That's almost $1300 in cost after 5 years. The Ocean Revive (just for example) is $350 for two fixtures. At 120 watts....240 watts for a pair. 240 watts * 50% dimming * 12 hours a day * 365 days * 5 years * $0.10/kW= $285 in power $350+$285=$635 That's only $635 total after 5 years. In fact, with a shallow tank, your dimming level could be even more than that, but this still makes a good example. That's barely half the cost of owning the T5 system. Plus, the T5 system cost will keep increasing vs the LED's as long as you keep using it whereas the LED's are paid for until they break, which is very rare indeed. And they are fixable if they do break. Check out some google action to see the inside of the Ocean Revive. The same basic math applies equally well to LED strips, BTW. Silly comparison: You could throw away and replace one of your Ocean Revives with a new one every year and it would only be marginally more expensive than running T5's through that time....after 5 years of that craziness you'd STILL only be out ($200 per fixture * 5 years + $285 in power = ) $1285 and you'd get to have a brand new fixture every year. You'd even have an extra $15 left in your pocket vs T5's!
  13. Since nutrients seem too low, I would only do water changes as-needed to maintain alkalinity....doing no water changes is fine if your alk isn't really moving. Keep us posted! :-)