The Reef Tank banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, here we go! I am jumping out of the known into the unknown with a 24 gallon aqua pod. My fabulous girlfriend got me an aquapod 150W HQI system for Christmas. I am pretty stoked. Right now, I have a 47 gallon bowfront that is freshwater community. It just migrated to a planted tank. DIY CO2 -- the whole bit.

We have the new tank up and running, and thankfully have not had any of the cracking problems that have plagued so many users of the nano-cubes and the aquapods.

Right now the situation is 24lbs of Marshall Is. live rock with about a 2" bed of live sand under the rock. We sort of lucked out with the live rock in that the day we went to get it the store had just taken delivery of several hundred lbs of fresh rock. We got our pick of the litter. We took the rock and water home from our lfs (which coincidentally is about a block away :)) After spending some amount of time trying to find all of the bristleworms and pull them out of their hiding places with tweezers, we put together what we thought was a pretty good reef. It is truly amazing at how hard those bristleworms can hang on...even considering the fact that they have been out of the water for a few days!

Here is a picture of our first go round with the placement of the live rock.
PICT1848_sm.JPG

After a week or so during an early water change, we found that the rock was pretty unstable. We went to town with some underwater epoxy and some creativity and came up with a much more pleasing (in our opinion) reef. Sort of an atoll type thing. The first picture is with the blue night lights on, the second is with the white.

PICT1854_sm.JPG
PICT1856_sm.JPG

As we are waiting for the rock to cure (which seems to take forever btw.) we have been doing some pretty extensive reading on the options for filtering. Mini sumps, small protein skimmers, bio filters, no bio filters. There doesn't seem to be any "right" answer. So I am getting somewhat creative. Before I planted my freshie tank, I had a bit of a problem with two things, laziness and nitrates. I had some kicking biological filtration running with a canister filter and an undergravel filter. Of course the output of all that filtration was a pretty astronomical amount of nitrates. I tried huge water changes all the time, feeding less and less, all sorts of stuff. Some things helped a little bit, others did not. I grew a lot of really nasty hard corps algae too. Finally I found this denitrator setup that wasn't all that expensive when I bought it (now it is more expensive I think. It is the aquaripure system...) Anyway, after that thing cycled, it worked like a champ. My ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites were basically zero! Anyway, with a planted tank, you want to run nitrates a bit high for plant growth so I pulled the system. I stuck it on the aquapod in hopes that I will have similar luck. It seems like the best of both worlds... you get the stability and robustness of a solid bio filter (couple of bio balls, some ceramic rings, and live rock) with the very very low excess nutrients (nitrates) that a protein skimmer would give.

At least that is what I am hoping for ;-)

Stay tuned for more updates... Btw the tank started on the frist week of January.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sheesh! I came home from my girls house last night to a problem child. I walked in the front door, and I could hear the pumps in the back of my tank starving for water! Dagnabit!! I bolted to my room and took a look at what was going on. The water level in the tank was good but the overflow and pump chambers were near empty! I had this happen once before when I was using the two large sponges that come with the pod. They had sort of gotten gunked up a little bit with the cycling tank ooze. When it happened that time, I cleaned the sponges and only replaced one of them. I put it sort of far down the overflow so water woud "drop" onto it. This worked great until last night. What I think is happening is that due to evap and the sponges getting sort of full of gak the tank can compensate for a while, but eventually the rate of flow of the pump overcomes the rate of flow from the tank into the filter chamber and the pumps starve for water. The bizzare thing is the compensatory nature of the system. It sort of hides itself from you until it crashes.

What did I do? Well, I cleaned the sponge and then opened one more of the "flood gates" that the aquapod offers. Previously I only had one opened up. This radically increased the flow of the water into the filter chamber and now both the pump side and the filter side are nearly full of water. The real kicker to me was that in the end I had been running the system several liters low on salt water (yes it was salt, i checkd the sg of the water to make sure I was not just needing to add fresh)!

Also I have been noticing that the output of the pod is sort of lame. There is this little flappy thingie that is supposed to direct the flow from the pump. It doesnt work so great. The rio 1400 offers so much flow in that little tank that either I blast water out of the tank or if I angle the water flow down a little bit it blasts my sand into giant dunes on the bottom, leaving sections of bare glass. I just placed an order with Dr.F&S for some locline. I got a Y, two six inch pieces of tube, a spreader, and a hydor flo for the other side of the Y. I hope to stick direct the flow in such a way that the sand bed does not get so disturbed.

Stay tuned...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, all seems good in the ole nano. The live rock has cycled and the denitrifier is almost there. 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and roughly 5ppm nitrates. Today is the day for the cleaning crew. Bout time too because I am starting to suffer a bit from the long green algae.

I also got an order from Drs.F&S with a bunch of loc line. I am going to do a basic diffuser on one section of a Y and a hydor FLO on the other. The flow will likely be turned horizontal so it doesnt disturb the surface too much.

I think I will let the cleaning crew go to town for a week or two then start upping the photoperiod and introduce some corals. wOOt wOOt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, got the cleaning crew tonight... Drip acclimated the army and now they are safely put to bed. Hopefully I did everything correctly and I will have good success.

The roster:
1 red brittle sea star
14 red hermits
5 scarlet hermits
10 trochas snails
10 margarita snails
1 big ole turbo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have to say, once you start adding stuff to your tank, the amount of excitement goes up tons! :D It has been so fun just watching the live rock mature. Unfortunately, I dont have much living stuff on my live rock... at least not that I have found yet. 1 aptaisa that my girlfriend killed (on purpose) some macro algae, and now a ton of hair algae.

Still, every morning excited to look into the tank. Now, it is even better. I get to see how the crew is working, watch the hermits prowling around and eating. It was fun to find the brittle star also. Pretty fun stuff this hobby is.!!

I know I havent put too many shots on here yet, they will come. I think that my girl has some shots during setup that I can add too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it has been forever since I have posted anything besides words. The cleaning crew has been in place for almost a week and they have done AMAZING things to my tank. Nearly all of the green hair algae is gone and the rocks are looking very clean!

Here is a close up of one of the Scarlet Hermits.

And a shot of the cleaning crew after they were first deposited in the tank....

The tank seems to be looking better... decent rock work in my opinion ;)




Would you believe it!?? These shots were taken about 3 days ago. Today there is basically no algae present! Those guys are AWESOME!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Man oh man... Time really flies when you are having fun!

The tank is just shaping up beautifully. Coraline algae is kicking on the rocks. Loads of purple and green colors. Also, I have spotted two mini feather dusters growing and two little snails that are pretty unique. Pictures forthcoming.

Also last two nights ago I added some livestock. A high fin goby and a pistol shrimp. They are awesome... They have moved in together in a nice little place in the front of the tank.

I love this hobby!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Allright! Now we are getting somewhere cool.

Just put in over the last week a bunch of coral and one cleaner shrimp.
Green bubble coral
Green hammer coral
Green frogspawn
Green open brain
Frag with star polyps (green?) and some unidentified pinapple coral
purple encrusting montipora
blue striped mushrooms
brown mushrooms
candy cane coral
flowerpot
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top