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Just some guy, you know?
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·

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Just some guy, you know?
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
It's been a little bit since I've updated this thread, and today, with it's wind-chill temps of -20 to -30 degrees (very unusual for us) and 10 inches of snow (also unusual) is a perfect time to update!

The tank has been running Triton for the last few months and I really like it over the standard 2 part solutions. I like the consistency of mixing up new batches, and the stability I get from that more than anything. I also like the added trace elements, and the PH result from using it over something like a CA reactor that I've used in the past. My PH runs between 8.1 and 8.3 and this is the first time that I've been able to do that effortlessly and without using Kalk, and outside skimmer lines, and baked baking soda etc.

Another thing that I've been really loving is the BB Tank. Although I much prefer fresh white sand, the fact that this tank was moving twice in a couple months made it easier than having to replace a sandbed after such a short time. I really love that I don't have to worry about sand blowing around, or corals dieing because they fall in the sand. I've struggled with BB in the past, meaning I could never keep the coral alive, but this time I have much more fish, and I'm not trying to push Phosphate to 0, and it's just doing amazingly well.

Speaking of the move, that should have been done already, but I've had some setbacks with my new house. It's now looking like the move is pushed to the end of March.

That aside, here are some pictures!
IMG_3236 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3240 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3241 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3242 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3245 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3257 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3265 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

IMG_3234 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

Whiskey
 

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I think one of the mistakes people make is trying to keep Phosphates at 0.
Most of the time people find corals look better with some Phosphate.
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I think one of the mistakes people make is trying to keep Phosphates at 0.
Most of the time people find corals look better with some Phosphate.
I have absolutely found this, it's been one of the hardest things for me to get over in this hobby. The Phosphate levels I'm targeting now would have terrified me 10 years ago. I'm shooting for Phosphate between 0.1 and 0.2 - I basically don't make changes if it lands between those two.

I used to target 0.03, and lost all kinds of corals to bleaching and anytime I traveled and just had an autofeeder instead of myself feeding frozen for a day or two STN seemed to start.

I've learned to accept a little algae, and my corals seem much happier. I do think that I could cut back to 0.05-0.1 and be okay, but this is working so any changes will come very slow.

Whiskey
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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I HAVE GOT TO GET AN 8 X 10 GLOSSY of that Blenny! AWESOME!
Once my Phosphates fell below the scale on my API kits I quit checking them, and go by 'looks'. Whatever you are doing Whiskey, KEEP DOING IT! 👍
Hack
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I HAVE GOT TO GET AN 8 X 10 GLOSSY of that Blenny! AWESOME!
Once my Phosphates fell below the scale on my API kits I quit checking them, and go by 'looks'. Whatever you are doing Whiskey, KEEP DOING IT! 👍
Hack
Didn't that come out great!? If you click on it you can go to my Flicker profile and download the image. That's at 4K resolution, with 300PPI, it should be plenty to print.

Speaking of which, I'm keeping a book with a 8x10 FTS shot monthly so I can look back over the tank's life. Not so cool yet with only 3 photos, but it will be super cool when it's 5 years old. It's like a man scrap book.

You handled the phosphate thing much better than I did, I went all crazy with it.

Whiskey
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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THAT sounds top shelf cool right there Whiskey keeping a photo album of your tank's journey. WAIT.....I'm an 'old person'.....are you talking a PAPER PICTURE ALBUM or 'virtual'? Either would be cool, but PAPER on a coffee table would be awesome!

As far as 'me doing things right' Pal, the jury's still out and won't pass judgment till I get tired of this hobby.......After that righteous battle I fought with GHA 4-5 years ago which started me on the road of 'cleaning my tank up'.......paying attention to Nitrates n Phosphates, and my journey to control/lower them. And this leading me to my Carbon dosing journey with Vodka, which I'm in my 4th year of now, I think. Has allowed me to keep my NO3 at a level I choose, which is > 0 < 5 ppm which I find our system likes the best, and Phosphates below the scale of API I am in my HAPPY PLACE with THAT. I haven'd seen any GHA rearing it's obnoxious head since then. THOUGH at the moment I am inching towards panic till I get my new skimmer and my UV back on line.....THAT'S just a wide open door for bad juju.
20170218_121038.jpg 20170129_181439.jpg 20170218_121038-1.jpg
Hack
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
THAT sounds top shelf cool right there Whiskey keeping a photo album of your tank's journey. WAIT.....I'm an 'old person'.....are you talking a PAPER PICTURE ALBUM or 'virtual'? Either would be cool, but PAPER on a coffee table would be awesome!

As far as 'me doing things right' Pal, the jury's still out and won't pass judgment till I get tired of this hobby.......After that righteous battle I fought with GHA 4-5 years ago which started me on the road of 'cleaning my tank up'.......paying attention to Nitrates n Phosphates, and my journey to control/lower them. And this leading me to my Carbon dosing journey with Vodka, which I'm in my 4th year of now, I think. Has allowed me to keep my NO3 at a level I choose, which is > 0 < 5 ppm which I find our system likes the best, and Phosphates below the scale of API I am in my HAPPY PLACE with THAT. I haven'd seen any GHA rearing it's obnoxious head since then. THOUGH at the moment I am inching towards panic till I get my new skimmer and my UV back on line.....THAT'S just a wide open door for bad juju.
View attachment 240940 View attachment 240941 View attachment 240942
Hack
Quite the turnaround!!! I'm not sure what my Nitrate is, but I also like non-0 values. Last time I checked it was closer to 10, I would prefer 5 but I'm not going to worry about it as long as it's under 40. I would like to attack the green brush type algae I have, but it's growing super slow, my glass doesn't have a dusting of Algae for 2 days, and I really have most major things on hold until the move.

Slight side track,.. Are you still dosing Vodka without a skimmer? If so, I would recommend reconsidering that. Vodka is fuel for bacteria that grows and takes up NO3/PO4 and the skimmer removes the free bacteria. It's a great export mechanism. Without the skimmer though the free bacteria populations build eventually causing a clear slime like substance, and also using up a ton of O2 from the water. This will lower PH, and eventually can cause O2 to become dangerously low.

Long story short, if you are still dosing Vodka, I might suggest you hold off on that until your skimmer is fixed.

Oh yeah,.. and it is definitely a paper picture album (and I save the digital copies too). A coffee table book in front of the tank is exactly the vision :)

Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Happy Sunday!

Sorry it's been a while since an update, things have been super crazy with the move and travel for work. Long story short, the tank is in it's new location in my new house!!!!

The move went well, but BOY was it ever a long day. I did get the opportunity to shuffle the rock around a little bit and move the lower light coral to the bottom which is super good. I also realized one of my lights had problems with some of the channels, and I was struggling with the Ocean Revive ones too, so I made a little upgrade there. I'll get to that in a bit.

This is the current layout of the tank:
IMG_3317 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

Regarding the lighting upgrade, I did some Par tests and found that even at 24" height lights couldn't cover a 36" cube evenly. Originally I was thinking about AI 64's, but then I realized I needed 4 lights for proper coverage. With that many lights, the AI 64 was massive overkill, but 4 of the smaller units were just perfect. With this setup I have about 400 Par at the very top, and about 250 at the lower corners. The lights are running at about 80% blues, and 30% white. They have the HD option, so I could drive blue past 100% so I have lots of room to crank it up if I need to. The hood is still temporary, but this is how they are laid out now:
IMG_3328 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

This picture is just for fun:
IMG_3329 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

The next step is to build a new hood that matches my kitchen cabinets. After that I need to decide if I'm going to plumb it into the room that will become the tank room, or build a stand surround next.

Comments welcome!
Whiskey
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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CONGRATULATIONS Whiskey on your' move, and getting settled in......with your new tank up and running already.....WOW!

Looking awesome AS ALWAYS Pal, right down to the photography. Hope the new lighting continues to thrill Ya.
Hack
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Thank you Hack!!

I'm loving having a little sand in there again! It's a little more work to keep it clean, but I love how it finishes off the look of the tank.

The lighting is stinking expensive, but at least it's a one time purchase with an expected 5 year life. I will appreciate not spending $300 every year on bulbs and, over the long run, assuming the lights live as long as expected it negates the cost. There are cheaper options of course, but I find there is a big difference in how the color mixes, and how different colors look between the "high end" lights and the budget options. I'm sure the radion ones would have been just as good but AI is what I have experience with, and is what is available at local shops.

I did have one big bump in the road though. My Hanna KH test kit was giving readings of 6.4 so I kept upping my dosing. Eventually I hit a point where I really started to question things, and I was almost out of Reagent anyway so I opened another one. The test with this one showed 11 DKH!!!!! I retested with the old one and got something in the 6 range again. I confirmed the nearly 11 reading with another kit, and so now I'm bringing that down. I have no idea why it was so far off.

Whiskey
 

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By the way, Geoff made a fake sand bed for his last tank.
Worth looking into if you set up another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Any use by date on the reagent?
Great thought! Nothing that was expired, I'm calibrating the Three Part dosing right now so I'm testing KH every couple days on two tanks. I burned through the reagent I had in just over a month.

Thank you,
James
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
By the way, Geoff made a fake sand bed for his last tank.
Worth looking into if you set up another.
Yes! I did like that. I wanted to glue the rock together for a really interesting scape too, but with all the corals attached to the rock and such I needed to get the tank setup too fast for that to be possible in this case.

Whiskey
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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I loved this stuff,
And if'n it was for shear looks, I'd probably still be using it. Just enough to cover the bottom, and siphon out a section at a time as it got dirty.
Only problem is.....I'M A LAZY REEFER! By time I get around to cleanings bad juju has a chance to set in. 🤔 😁
Hack
I'm loving having a little sand in there again! It's a little more work to keep it clean, but I love how it finishes off the look of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I loved this stuff,
And if'n it was for shear looks, I'd probably still be using it. Just enough to cover the bottom, and siphon out a section at a time as it got dirty.
Only problem is.....I'M A LAZY REEFER! By time I get around to cleanings bad juju has a chance to set in. 🤔 😁
Hack
Oh yeah, that stuff is great!!! I'm using something similar, the "Special Grade" product that has about the same grain size. I like the Oothic stuff but it just blows around too much.

I've been having fun getting all the sand bed critters again, like the Nassasuris snails, and my tiger stripe Conch.

Whiskey
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Big news!!! I got a bonus at work and I used it to get something I've been wanting since it came out a couple years back:
IMG_4098 by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

I've lost more corals in this hobby due to issues with Alk (bad kits with bad readings, CO2 cylinders dumping and causing CA reactors to over-run, Topoff failures overdosing Kalk, failed dosing pumps that either dose too much or stop dosing all together). Sometimes, especially with how much I travel, I don't notice things like this until I test weekly. That is far too long with SPS sometimes.

Now? Automatic testing 4 times per day!!!!
My targets are:
Alk - 8-9 dkh
CA - 420
MAG - 1300-1500

I knew my CA was off, but I'm surprised at how high it is actually. This is because I'm trying to finish out a salt that tests quite high, but I'm backing off CA dosing to let this number come down:
Trident by Wiskey2727, on Flickr

Whiskey
 
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