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About NightAtTheOpera

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  1. If you decide to go with a generator, keep in mind that if you don't have power the local gas stations probably don't either so always make sure you keep fresh gasoline on hand. Also be ready with your emergency plan. That means extension cords of the right size to handle what the genny puts out and making sure that you start your genny on a regular basis to keep the carborator from gumming up. I spent a fortune on a Yamaha generator that puts out a constant voltage and then forgot to start 'er up every month. When time came to use it the carb was gummed and I was without power
  2. Someone is going to murdalize me for reviving this thread but I can't help myself. Please don't ban me! The Smithsonian Marine Station uses ATS's (designed by, you guessed it, Dr. Adey) as their primary method of nutrient export and uses activated carbon primarily to remove the yellow plant pigments which can build up and block light, particularly in the Coral Reef model. They use protein skimmers in all but the Mangrove model because skimmers are best at removing organic compounds produced by animals such as mucus and specialized compounds produced for defense. Mechanical filters are only used when neccessary to clear up cloudy water caused by a serious stir up of the sand bed by inhabitants or staff. As for water changes, they change 10% to 20% of the water once a year; the ATS's make routine water changes unneccesary. The water exchange is done only to replenish rare nutrients and other compounds, as well as remove accumulatad detritus and/or loose algae. This shows that an ATS can be the best form of filtration for an aquarium. However, this doesn't mean that I believe that the average reefer can setup an effective scrubber, or that a tiny 5" X 5" piece is enough to do squat for even a nano. I don't know what size the scrubbers at the Smithsonian Marine station are but I'll bet they are substantial. I DO know that they were designed by pros to be safe, setup by pros to provide the best nutrient export possible and are maintained by pros, probably on a daily basis. Since most of us are anything but pros (double that for us newbies) I think that the chaeto in the refuge is our best and safest bet at using algae for nutrient export. For all I know the only reason the Smithsonian doesn't do the same is because it's easier to maintain racks of algae instead of balls the size of Volkswagon Jettas.
  3. I don't have any suggestions on what you can do but I'm sending postitive thoughts to the the little guy, hoping he'll pull through.
  4. If you have the means and are looking for a custom acrylic tank I highly recommend Tenecor. They may do massive custom builds for the uber-wealthy like the Queen of Jordan but I never felt that my order for a piddling 30 gallon breeder was any less important. Great service and a gorgeous tank.
  5. Thanks, Evil. I have the Potrans supply so I can split them but since just wiring to the PS isn't the safest way, what would you recommend instead? They must make some sort of power bus but I have no idea if that's the right term or even what I'm looking for. If it were you, what would you do? EDIT: Nevermind. I found a power distribution bus by Miniatronics that handles up to 15 amps. I'm pretty sure it's exactly what I've been looking for
  6. Ok, just when I thought I was done with questions on my LED build I have another one. My power supply is 24v, 6.5 amp. I'll have 6 buckpucks that I'm wiring in parallel to the power supply. I'm using 22 gauge AWG to wire the buckpucks but taking the six + wires and screwing them onto the + terminal on the power supply (and the 6 - ones to the- terminal) doesn't seem like the best way to evenly distribute the power. Using a 14 gauge wire on the power supply terminals and then using wire nuts to clamp the 14 gauge to the 22 gauge wires doesn't seem like a good idea either. So, what is it you electronics gurus are using to get power to your buckpucks? Ignoramous's like me want to know! Thanks in advance...again... Night
  7. Thanks everyone for the great advice. I've had the same 5 swordtails and 1 oto cat (who has a very nice, very round belly) in my FW planted tank for about 2 years now. I used to be tempted to add more fish but I got over that. Now they are pets just like my cat and I am very attached to them. I wouldn't do anything to make their happy home more stressed; I will feel the same about my SW fish I am sure. If the clowns will be happier as a pair then that is what I will do. Only question is should they be a female and a male? If so, how on earth do I make sure I am getting the right genders? The only options I have locally are Petco (gag!) and an LFS which isn't all that good. I wanted to get tank bred fish so as not to remove fish from the ocean (they are happier there). LiveAquaria has tank bred clowns and Bangaii Cardinalfish but I don't think I can specify gender. That's the article I read. I thought it was on wetwebmedia but it was reefkeeping.com. Now that I have read the replies to the post they have filled in the gaps in my brain left from the reefkeeping article. Thanks again!
  8. Ok, hopefully this will be my last question before I can actually start my LED build. From what I've read all components in the system should have a common ground. The buckpucks and LEDs will be powered by a 24v 6.5A powersupply, the Arduino by a 9v 600mA wall wart. In order for the Arduino to share the same ground as the buckpucks do I just run a wire from a ground pin on the Arduino to the ground on the power supply the buckpucks are using? The ground on the Arduino I am referring to is a pin in the power section (pins there are RESET, 3V, 5V, GND, GND, REF). I really am looking forward to the day when I can answer questions on nano-reef and not just ask them!
  9. How about the quarentine tank? I use a VERY small amount of ammonia in my FW QT to keep the bacteria alive because it rarely has any inhabitants but I like to keep it ready for one at all times. Since my SW QT won't have any live rock can I do the same, or should I just keep some extra live rock in the sump which can be moved to the QT tank when it's needed?
  10. Thanks for the advice. I didn't think of waiting to add detrivores until they had something to live off of! I'll start with just herbivores. If I'm reading you right I shouldn't be adding detrivores until I have something in the tank to feed. I will be using cured live rock, the best I can get. Unfortunately I live in an area where you cannot buy live rock (or corals for that matter) so it will have to be shipped in (FedEx priority overnight since it's cold here in New England). Is it best for the long term health of the tank to wait 3 months between additions, i.e. once the cycle is complete and I start adding my CUC wait 3 months to pass after the last CUC addition before adding corals then another 3 before adding fish, or does it not matter. Since my long term goal is a stable environment for my inhabitants I want to do what's right for them, not what is quickest for me. Thanks again! PS (My beautiful Tenecor tank has been sitting empty for a while now. It will be nice to see something in it, even if it's just rock, sand and my CUC!)
  11. Ok, after a year of reading I'm reading to set up my tank in the next month or so. It's a 30G breeder (36 x 18 x 12) with a 15 gallon sump. I want to get a Deltec skimmer but they don't make any for tanks this small so I'll probably get an AquaC Urchin or a Tunze. There will be chaeto in the sump and a media reactor with ChemiPure (I think; looking for opinions on this). Lighting will be DIY LED controlled by an Arduino. About 40 lbs of live rock; I'm not sure how much live sand but enough for a 1" sand bed. Water movement in the main tank will be provided by a Vortch MP20 and movement through the sump will be by a pump that will give 5x turnover, probably one of the Mag pumps as I've read good things about them. Heater will be a Hydor inline heater (best heater ever made, IMO) and I'll be adding a chiller once the New England winter is over. My end goal is to have one clownfish and one Bangaii (sp) Cardinalfish and some soft corals. Nothing too demanding as I'm a complete NOOB and am not ready for the more difficult specimens. I am willing to wait as long as I have to between cycling, then adding CUC, then corals (2 or 3 at a time) then fish (1 at a time). What I want is stability (as much as possible in this hobby) and don't want to rush things. The problem is I'm not sure how long to wait between additions. An article I read on wetwebmedia states that I should wait 3 months between each addition. If I do this: 1) How do I keep the bacteria on the rock and sand alive if there is no bioload (after cycle but before adding CUC) and then light bioload (after adding CUC)? Can I just feed with a few drops of pure ammonia? 2) How do I keep the CUC alive when there aren't any corals or fish to feed? The herbivores will probably have algae to graze on but what about the detrivores? Do I give them a very small amount of food? Also, should I wait until the cycle is complete before adding the chaeto, turning on the skimmer and/or adding the Chemipure? Sorry if this post is kind of long but I've read so much that I'm now mostly just confused! Any advice at all is appreciated.
  12. If the problem was internal parasites then triple sulfa won't have done anything. That's only for gram negative bacterial infections as well as fin rot, cotton mouth, etc. An analysis of the feces would have helped to determine if it was parasites or bacterial infection; fish with parasites usually have white, stringy poop because the parasites are absorbing the nutrients. Keep an eye on the feces of your new fish; if you see stringy poop remove them immediately to a quarantine tank and treat for parasites. If it was a gram negative bacterial infection the triple sulfa might have helped but you won't be sure until you have had the new fish long enough to be sure that the tank is "cured". You said that the problem started with the addition of the 3rd clown. Are you sure that your system can handle 3 fish? If not it's quite possible that the fish became stressed and unable to fight off infection. Like all living things they are constantly surrounded by bacteria and a strong immune system is what enables them to stay healthy. Stress in the environment weakens the immune system and leads to an increased chance of becoming ill.
  13. Congrats on Tank of the Month. It's beautiful, a real inspiration.
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