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About reefhippie

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    Reefer Advocate

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  1. Just Starting Out

    It's not necessary as long as you keep up with your water changes and you don't have anything that requires the higher standards of water quality, but as you drift further into the hobby, assuming you enjoy it enough, you'll get bored with the "easy" stuff and start getting jealous of the SPS tanks, the clams, the harder-to-keep fish, the beautiful colors, and so on. Before long, you'll be pawning your mothers jewelery in for acros and freebasing phyto.
  2. Do you wear gloves when working in your aquarium?

    I'm surprised at these answers! You should ALWAYS wear gloves, every time, no exceptions. Not only is it unhealthy for your inhabitants, but a lot of people, myself included, have been rushed to a nearby emergency room for getting poked by "something" in their tank. I bet you'll all be wearing gloves after it happens to you once, either that or selling your aquariums. For shame! For shame! You're naughty little reefers!
  3. Help with relays?

    Never mind. I was doing it all wrong. I've got it figured out now. Thanks again for the help.
  4. Help with relays?

    Thank you! This sprinkler valve closes when the float switch rises and completes the circuit. Here's the valve. http://www.rainbird.com/diy/products/valve.../cp.htm?id=2197 Here's the float switch: http://www.floatswitches.net Actually, the float switch can easily be swapped between NO and NC by taking the clip off and turning the float part upside down. The NO and NC thing is a little confusing. Does "Normal" mean that power is going through it and "Closed" mean that it's not floating? The reason I got the 12 VDC lights and these relays is because the guy at Radio Shack said it would be really hard to find a 26.5 VAC relay. Thanks again! Your drawing really helped me understand the relay wiring better.
  5. Help with relays?

    The water valve closes when power is applied. That means the float switch is NO, right?
  6. Help with relays?

    Anybody here know anything about relays? I have no idea how to hook this thing up. The guy at Radio Shack assured me that this is what I need but I didn't get the feeling he really knew how it would work. I have a sprinkler solenoid valve that runs off of 26.5 VAC and is controlled by a float switch. When the water level rises, the float switch makes contact and closes the valve. That part is simple and has been working great for a while. Now, when the float switch makes contact, I'd like for a green light to come on so I can get a quick visual and know that the tank is full. The lamp is 12 VDC and has a seperate power source. The relay is rated at 110/120VAC and the contact rating is 10A at 110VAC or 24VDC. Again, I don't know what that means, but that's what the guy at Radio Shack said I needed for this application. I asked him what wires would go where, but he referred me to the diagram on the back of the package and then quickly pretended to be busy with other customers. BTW, this is for a 44 gallon RO/DI fresh water reservoir for a 200 gallon system, so it's not a nano, just in case you're thinking this is crazy overkill. Can anyone help me with this? I posted this on RC but nobody has responded. Here's a diagram for the "High Point". I just don't know where the wires go. Does the relay get power from a different source, on pins 7 and 8, from 110 VAC house current?
  7. What is the best way to ship?

    Get some large zip-lock bags, or ask your LFS for some of their bags, and fill them with your tank water and put the corals in there. Seal them up VERY well and secure them with a rubber band. Then put them in one of those cheap styrofoam ice chests, securing them in place with other bags of corals or packing foam, tape that up really well, and put that into a box and tape THAT up really well. With a black magic marker, write really big all over the box, "LIVE CORALS", and ship them. The sooner they make it to their destination, the better.
  8. Can't scratch that Itch

    First, it's important to understand how Ich actually works. They are small parasites, not unlike ear mites that are found in cat's ears, which bury under the skin and feed off of the fish's blood stream. These are the white spots you see. Once they mature, they fall off of the fish and into the sand bed, where they start reproducing. Once the eggs are hatched, the juveniles swim up and start looking for a host, and the cycle continues to repeat itself. Since you don't have a QT, you might want to try a product from Ruby Reef called "Kich-Ich". There's no copper in it. The active ingredient is 5-nitroimidazole, which is just a buffered metronidizole. It's safe for corals, inverts, and has no effect on live rock. A lot of people have used it with success. In addition to reading and following the directions very carefully, you can try SLOWLY lowering your salinity but keep it in the safe zone for the corals and inverts. This will give a little relief to your fish's immune systems, so that rather than compensating for the high salinity that we usually keep in our tanks for the corals, that energy can be used to fight the parasites instead. Also, something that hasn't been proven but makes sense and is used by a lot of reefers, is to feed garlic. Garlic is also known for aiding in the build-up of the immune system. You may also be able to get medicated food from some LFS's. Otherwise, there's a Formula 2 flake food with garlic already in it. During the 15-day treatment period of the Kich-Ich, you'll want to overfeed, like twice a day. Remove all of the carbon filteration and turn off your skimmer, if you have one, during this time as well. Important note: Kich-Ich will only kill the parasites while they are freely swimming, so don't expect the white spots to start dissapearing after the first few dose's. If they do, it's the natural part of the parasites life cycle and has nothing to do with the medication. The only way Kich-Ich can rid your tank of Ich, is by killing the newly hatched parasites while they're looking for a host, so that's why it's important to follow the directions carefully. Using a combination of ALL of these methods should do the trick. For a nano, you should be able to get away with the minimum treatment requirements, so one bottle (about $17), should be enough. If it doesn't work, do the cycle over again for another 15 days. Don't add any new fish for at least 30 days after the Ich is gone. It can appear to be gone and come back at times. If that still doesn't work, you'll HAVE to get a QT tank and use hyposalinty, and possibly even copper. If you don't do anything about it, it's likely that you'll never get rid of it. Good luck! And AReeferIsExpensive is right. A cleaner shrimp will not get rid of Ich. In fact, I wouldn't add anything to your tank until the Ich is gone. Your fish are stressed out right now and that would just make things worse.
  9. What will Clowns host other than Anemones

    I didn't have the heart to move it. I just got another one.
  10. What will Clowns host other than Anemones

    I have one that's hosting a mag float.
  11. RO/DI and lights question

    I've seen a lot of threads where people are complaining about the waste water that comes from the RO/DI units. If you just let it drain back down your sink or whatever, then YOU are wasting it, not the RO/DI unit. This water can be recycled and used for your pets, to water your lawn, plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, gardens, koi ponds, wash your car, etc. Remember, it came out of the tap so if it's drinkable, you take a shower in it, and you wash your dishes and laundry with it, then it's not so dirty that it's unworthy. It may seem trivial for a nano tank, but I'm sure you can find a good use for it if you think about it.
  12. temperature problem

    It doesn't cost anywhere near that. I think the AC was recommended to not only cool the tank, but to cool his house too. He said he doesn't have AC in his house and if his tank is getting up to 88 at night, imagine what it's like outside of the tank. I initially got the AC unit to cool the room itself. Keeping the tanks cooled was just an added bonus.
  13. temperature problem

    That's what I do. I have an 800 sq ft basement that I'm converting into a bar and one of those little bad boys is currently keeping a 10 and a 50 right around 82 degrees with the lids closed. Mine's a little noisy though, which is no big deal for me since it's downstairs but if it's going to be in your living room, you might try to find one that advertises to be quiet.
  14. What will your next tank be?

    I'm setting up a 240 which will be the home of two shark eggs. If they both turn out to be males, the LFS said they'd trade one in so I can have a male and a female.
  15. Breeding shrimp

    Well, it's been a while since I've done any breeding, but I'm starting to see a growing interest in the gobie and shrimp combo, so I'm pondering a new little project. I have bred gobies in the past, which isn't too difficult, but I've never tried to breed shrimp before. The combo I'm thinking of is the Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (Amblyeleotris randalli) and the common Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus sp.). Of course, I'll be breeding them in seperate tanks and once they reach a semi-juvenile stage, I'll experiment with pairing them up. Anyway, if anyone has had any experience with shrimp breeding, or just spawning in a home aquarium, or knows of a good book, resource, etc., I'd love to hear about it. Thanks in advance.