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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Well I tested the product water on our desalinator and TDS is at about 300ppm. This is fine for drinking water but clearly not for top-up. I guess that's the tradeoff for producing 58 gal/hr! Granted that 300ppm could be full of useful stuff since it is derived from fresh sea water, but I don't think it's worth the risk. When I get my test kits I will certainly test to see what's in there just out of curiosity. I have added an AquaFX Octopus to my order (luckily I don't think it has shipped yet). I picked it because it has a 1:1 wastewater ratio. There is no city water here and all of our fresh water is rain water fed into a cistern. The fiancee will like my aquarium even less if I run that dry. The upside is that I can run a tee off the membrane for drinking water, saving cost at the grocery store. I will also feed the waste water to the washing machine creating almost zero waste. I also measured the TDS in the cistern water and it is around 50ppm so I don't imagine the RO/DI will have to work too hard. Obviously there shouldn't be any chloramines in there so it should be mainly organics that get filtered out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Ok, update. The order should leave Salty Supply next Monday or Tuesday. Christmas is coming. They were waiting on a few things that were backordered. Funny enough one of them was a flipper magnet... needless to say I will be getting the mag-float instead of waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Christmas! It's here! Everything has arrived. I have had a busy couple of days.

The boxes in the Jeep.


...and on the Jeep


In the house


...Installed with water... took me two days


Problems so far:

Everything is installed. So far not a single leak on my pipe joints. A few on the screw fittings which I will just tighten. The chiller is cycling off too often on a shutdown as I managed to design the system to give me control of every aspect of flow except the flow to the returns. Subsequently everything goes to the return and not enough to the skimmer. Tank temp is high right now (about 84) and I expect to fix this tomorrow when I pick up more ball joints. Media is in the reactors but I haven't flooded them yet. The local fishermen looked at me strangely the 6th time I appeared parked on the boat ramp with a 12volt pump to fill the 55 gallon bladder in the back seat of the Jeep. The system works well and will be fine for water changes, but man it's a long process to fill the tank. The next step is to add sand and rock which should raise my water level enough to flood my reactors one by one. The only reefer on island is getting rid of some rock and a few damsels, which I will try. Not a big fan of cycling with these things in the tank, but he seems to think they're pretty hardy. Since it's that or disposal, I figure I may as well give them a try. The APEX hasn't been as trouble free as I had hoped. So far the base module and the AWM work fine, but the PM1, PM2, and WXM all have problems (I assume they're all related). Neptune has a support ticket running and we're working through it. They have so far asked for a dump file and my firmware version, standard stuff. Hopefully things get a little more advanced in the coming days.

The system closed up...
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
The chiller wasn't working earlier (I thought it was a little too quiet). After calling AquaEuro on the phone, the lady kept mentioning a fan (which I wasn't hearing). Rather than ship it back to the states (I may as well buy a new one for that cost), I decided to open it up. The fan blades are aluminum or some kind of sheet metal (nice and sharp) and had bent in shipping. They were rubbing on the heat exchanger. Since that's fixed my tank is now back down to 81 degrees. Since I will be keeping things from local waters in the tank I have tried to mimic local conditions and the APEX has some neat stuff to do that. I have programmed the season table to accurately duplicate sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, moon phase, and water temperature year round. It's pretty cool actually.

I also found out today I have to ship my CO2 cylinder out to get CO2 as nobody sells it on island. Guess I'll need two cylinders now...

Got the RO/DI working this morning. Have made myself a reservoir out of a garbage can.

The only big thing slowing me down now is the APEX and its software (I hope it's not hardware) issues. Neptune had been in touch daily until yesterday. I tried calling them today. The first time I called I got a message saying that they were closed. It went on to state their business hours. It turned out that even though they were "closed" I was, in fact, calling within business hours. I called back an hour later and the phone just rang and rang. I really need to get this fixed so I can program everything else and put some rock in! I shall try again tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
OK. Have the APEX running. Neptune got back to me and had it fixed in about 15 minutes through screen sharing. I'm pretty impressed with them. Everything is set. Have set alarms, calibrated probes, and set profiles for lights and vortechs. The big problem I'm having now is with intensities. I have no idea how to gauge the amount of flow from two MP60s. All I know is it looks like there is waaay too much. Similar situation with the Hydras. Wondering if anyone out there has any input on settings for MP60s on a 6ft tank or Hydras in a 30" deep tank. Currently I have profiles set up for sunrise, day, sunset, moonlight, clouds, and storms on the hydras and have profiles set for tidal swell, nutrient transport, and night on the MP60s. I have sand and rock in and we're cycling. Unfortunately I forgot to order ammonia tests so Salty Supply is FedExing them overnight!

Some pics for you all




















Still mastering the camerawork with the glass and the refraction...
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
OK... just got an email from the guys at EcoTech. The guy who emailed me said he was also running two MP60s on a 300DD and never runs them beyond 40%. He suggested I dial back to 35% and try that so that's what I have done. I run Tidal Swell mode all day with Nutrient Transport running when my lights are displaying clouds or storms. At Night I currently run Tidal Swell at 15% One is antiSynced to the other. In theory the programs should deal with the intensity and all I have done is set the max... We'll see how this goes. Next step is to adjust my lighting. I have a few zoas and things that came on my rock which I'd love to keep alive, but I think it's most likely that it will die!
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Well... blew out my bottom seal last night. The fiancee is not impressed. I think I'm going to have to disassemble the whole tank and start from scratch. The GFCI tripped although nothing looks too wet, so we'll have to see if any electrics got damaged. What a waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
OK... I have made an emotional recovery from the loss of the tank. I will make a financial recovery, maybe, one day. In the meantime, I need a new tank! Hoping to keep my existing stand and hood. Lots of work went into there and the rest of my equipment is set up. Naturally an Aqueon tank seems like a good fit, the question is, is it a good choice. I'm looking for input on tank manufacturers. Really like the black silicone look. As it stands, I'm thinking the same Aqueon 210RR with black silicone. Starphire seems like a bit of a gimmick, but I have never had it. Thought about a coast-to-coast overflow, but that may get expensive. Money is getting tight as this is an unplanned setback and I still have to have it crated and get it here. Tell me your thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
PS - Elected to replace rather than repair for two reasons. 1) I'm not sure I can get the bottom trim off and get the panels apart without doing more damage than good. 2) I need to have confidence in the tank not to leak again for a while... I'm not sure my (future) marriage can take it...
 

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I have seen Starphire next to regular glass, and it is noticeable, but personally I don't think that regular glass is that bad. That one is up to you. Also, I think the coast-to-coast overflow is nice, but is definitely not a necessity. I agree that replace is a better option than repair.
 
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