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About SkiCatTX

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  • Birthday November 11

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    South of Houston, TX
  1. Also, got a cheap AIO UV Sterilizer to stick in temporarily. Kind of a monster in such a small tank, but it's just for a few days as needed.
  2. Blackout's over and everyone is doing well. In fact my tanks have never looked better. Water tests fine, but I went ahead and did a 40% or so water change. The sand is completely clear no signs of Dinos or Cyano. I have read that it can come back in 3-4 days so we'll see if it stays, but so far I'm happy.
  3. Hehe, yeah, the black plastic is only on the glass, then there is a black cloth over the top, it’s completely open in the back and the skimmer is running as well.
  4. 4 day blackout starting last week:
  5. Hi pieceofreef, I love it so far. It is very quiet, only a slight hum when you put your head right up to the tank. I plan to get a couple more for when I want to run a skimmer in my QT tanks. I love that it is DC, hardly uses any power, and is never going to b a shock or stray voltage danger for the tank. Note that I believe there are two versions of the IM NuvoSkim DC. I have the smaller “desktop” version I think it is called. You might want the slightly larger size if it fits your tank. Also, in fact I have an older generation of the Aquamaxx HOB Skimmer which I also like on my JBJ tank. It has worked great for maybe 4 years nonstop with only maybe a yearly cleaning. It is also pretty loud and at least the one I have it pretty huge on the side back of the 28 gallon tank, so a it of an eye sore compared to the tiny NUVOSkim that fits entirely in the AIO sump.
  6. Uh Oh, Dinos? I noticed some brownish formations in lit areas on the sand in the WB10 which appeared to me to be dinos, so I scooped up some of them and sent them off with my microbiologist wife to be examined. She grabbed a video in her lab. Looks to me to be Ostreopsis Dinoflagellates (dark ovoids connected like balloons), what do you think? Lighter colored matter is fine sand. There is a clear worm with a bunch if them inside and a bunch of other life in there as well... Also grabbed this image of a water flea with what might be a stomach full of dinos... There is no obvious sign of them in my JBJ tank, though they are likely just in there and not enough to cause any problems. Likely will have to take some measures. Definitely need to increase Phosphates, start UV, and consider a blackout period before they start taking over...
  7. I keep hearing that was coming, but last I checked it wasn't available, at least I didn't see it online. Will have to check that out.
  8. Should have mentioned that, I have a decent sized bag of Matrix and ceramic cubes under the skimmer, holding it up to the right height. I would have preferred to have anaerobic media prior to the skimmer (so they don't get overly oxygenated), but there was no way really to do that if I wanted the skimmer before the fuge (so it doesn't skim any pods that try to leave the fuge for the DT). Plus the center chamber is slightly larger. As for water height, it does in my case because I have a SmartATO that keeps it there. There is also a baffle on the return chamber a bit lower down than the one on the first chamber (which does keep a constant height with a high overflow). Here is a link to a document that shows some internal images for a few WB tanks: http://www.waterboxaquariums.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/WaterBox_Manual_2017.pdf If you Google "waterbox manual" quite a few documents come up.
  9. DIY Refugium Continuing my pattern of DIY tinkering, I decided to have a go at adding a nano refugium. While having a refugium on a minimally stocked small aquarium like this one is probably not strictly necessary, I wanted to give it a try. They are all the rage now, and are appearing everywhere. The idea is not new, I had one of sorts on one of my tanks almost 20 years ago, though at the time it was mostly to house inverts, sand, rock, copepods, etc., and was counter lit to help with pH, not just to grow algae for nutrient export as many are today. Looking at existing external reactors and large sump models, I figured I could do something on the cheap that would fit inside the back of this small 11.8 gallon tank. Many people scrape off some of the black coating and mount a light outside, or put an LED light directly in a sump chamber, however, I would prefer not to grow significant amounts of algae, especially coralline algae, inside the AIO sump, so I wanted some material that blocks the light, and that I can remove easily. What I decided on was a colored BPA-free plastic cutting board that I found at a local grocery store (I would have preferred black, but blue will do…). I just rolled it up, sized to just fit into the middle chamber of the WB10, then drilled a few holes and connected the ends with black plastic cable ties. For good measure I also cut a few notches into the bottom for flow, so it can't sit flush with the bottom of the chamber. To keep the algae inside the tube, I cut a small piece of egg crate into an oval shape, attached it with some more cable ties, then inserted a small oval of black plastic filter sponge. The sponge has the largest sized openings I had, so as to allow flow and copepods to freely exit, but hopefully keep Chaeto in for the most part. (I did clean the edges up a bit from the pictures). For the light, I used a single Santa Monica GEM5 LED grow light which are typically used in an algae turf scrubber. These are 10w, 12v red LED grow lights specifically tuned for algae growth, and they are completely submersible. The light is pretty powerful, but hopefully will work in this situation, perhaps I can run it for fewer hours if necessary. I was originally concerned with heat, but they are not hot to the touch when running dry, and after watching it closely for a few days, it raises the tank temp less than 1 degree F, and I can put an additional small fan on the tank that runs with the refugium timer if I need it. It would only run in the middle of the night when the tank tends to be cooler anyway. I had to move the IM NuvoSkim DC to the first chamber where it fits just fine as well. After inserting my little hacked up Fuge tube into the middle chamber where it fits completely submerged, I placed a small bit of sponge on the right side to give it a bit of pressure against the left side where the water overflows from the first chamber. Then I placed a larger square of black sponge over the entire contraption, which blocks the light from shining up. All in all it seems to be a fine solution, and noone will ever see it unless I remove it for cleaning! Now I just need to get some Chaeto to put in it...
  10. ooh, nice image, and quite helpful. Thanks!
  11. Quick update on the Innovative Marine NuvoSkim DC, I'm loving it! I'm getting maybe an ounce a day of (fairly wet) skimmate. I could raise the cup just a little I guess, but as long as I replace the bit of water regularly I'd rather just get it out. The image is maybe 3 days. I am still having a bit of trouble getting the NO3 and PO4 up. Both have been effectively undetectable in this tank since I set it up. I keep adding slightly more feeding each day, and even get a bit of algae, and possibly some diatoms (which I'm watching closely). I also removed some of the Matrix and ceramic media, I think I put a bit too much in initially seeded from another tank. That started a bit of brown algae as well, but I'm hoping that will even out in a couple days.
  12. The Buildout: Lighting So far I am not happy with the A80 Blue light. Its signature very small LED footprint and single round lens creates a significant disco effect, which I don't particularly like. Compared to my JBJ tank which I have a Radion XR30 Gen4 Pro on with diffusion lens. That is rock solid color, with almost no discernible LED flicker. It's also way under powered at 15 watts. I would love to put a Radion on this tank as well, but that's probably overkill. Likely an AI Prime HD would be better at about 45 watts, but since I have an older Apex, I can't control that light. I may just get one anyway and control it with its app for now. In the mean time, I have fashioned a DIY diffuser for the A80. I'm sure this, along with my egg crate lid, cuts too much light, but the disco effect is just too distracting in my office. I noticed that the A80 has 4 small screws on the bottom front face, which turn out to be M3 machine thread. I figured if I used 2 M3 nylon standoffs, I could attach a filter over the light. I got a small piece of 1/16" acrylic from a craft store for $1, cut it to size to be slightly larger than the light circle from the A80 at about 3/4", and then sanded it on one side with rough sandpaper. I drilled two holes at the location near the back of 2 of the M3 screws. Then attached the acrylic. Works like a charm! Unfortunately, the reflected light is pretty bright in the room now as it hits the diffuser, and I'm certain it cuts even more light from the tank, but the disco effect has been cut by more than half. Probably not a workable long term solution for a reef tank even at this size, but I figure if I get an AI Prime for this tank, then I'll just use the A80 for a QT tank.
  13. Looking forward to seeing more. Great pics!
  14. huh, I really should. Considering getting a frag rack and formally plugging for trade or sale... Will do!
  15. Wow, very nice!