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Old 12-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #71
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The tank looks great. Is your base rock epoxied together or just stacked? I'm just a bit worried about the upper pieces, depending on what you end up with in the tank.

Crushing some LR to get coralline algae in the tank and start spreading is a great idea. Just adding some LR for biodiversity is also a good idea. Pick up a few pieces at the lfs and you may get some coralline without any of the nasty hitchhikers.

I'm opting for the Apex JR and returning the RKL I just got. The built in webserver that will text/email me and the ease of setup changed my mind.

Good luck and keep posting.
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:18 PM   #72
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Rock isn't glued together simply because I'm not 100% sure that I'll like this scape later down the road. I've already decided to pull the sump and re-do it, so the chances of changing up the rock work are very high. Once I settle on a good combo, I'll probably put a little epoxy in for good measure. It's really stable though, even if it doesn't look it. I fit ever piece in to make sure that it held good.

I've looked at the apex, but I really like how the RKL/RKE is set up. It seems more user friendly, and has free software. It also has the ability to connect in to the internet, though I've not gotten that far in to my research. I actually started a thread on controllers in the hardware/equipment forum to weigh out my options. Any input you have there would be appreciated.


I found a guy who will sell me LR for $3/lb... the only LFS that has LR locally sells it for $12.99/lb and it is COVERED in hair algae and who knows what else.


On an unrelated note, my tank has evaporated 15 gallons in 7 days. There aren't any leaks (trust me, I have looked), which is why I find it very odd that it's evaporating that much. My total volume is somewhere between 50 and 55 gallons. My fw tanks in the basement don't evap nearly that much!
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:45 PM   #73
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That's a lot of evaporation. I like the rock work, +1 for using epoxy or rods (driveway markers) to hold it together once you like it.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #74
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Way too much evaporation. That's about what I get in my 125. My 45 gallon RODI ATO container lasts 3 - 4 weeks.

Is the environment especially dry? Dehumidifier running? Anything like that?

I'll take a look at your controller thread as your findings seem opposite mine. The RKL ethernet option is quite expensive whereas it's part of the Apex JR. But, let me find that thread and post there.

I like the rock work design, but I changed mien several times in the first couple years. And once again when I had to remove it all to remove all fish for a Hyposalinity treatment. That was not fun.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #75
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My house is 3 stories, and it's on the top floor. My basement tanks don't evap like that, but the humidity in the basement is really high, I'm sure. No dehumidifier upstairs. Maybe I have too much surface agitation? I know it's evap, because the SG has remained 1.026 since I originally got it set. I might try setting up the humidifier and see if that helps.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:54 PM   #76
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I agree that a humidifier in the room may help. Just make sure the mist doesn't make it into the tank. Maybe if you used RODI water you wouldn't need to worry about the chemicals from the tap water getting into the tank.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:18 AM   #77
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How about mold? Are you having any issues with that in that room? I'm having a mold problem with my tank, but it's understandable with the water volume, but if you are evaporating that much, i would think you'd see something.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:49 PM   #78
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It's at the top of the stairs, so it's not really in a room exactly. It's just on the landing and the living room, kitchen, dining room, etc are all below with no doors or anything sealing it off. I think that could be part of the problem. I've actually considered putting a glass top on it, since there's plenty of gas exchange with the sump... just not sure how I like the idea of covering a tank.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:41 PM   #79
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Is there carpet in that area, and if so do you have static electricity (too dry).

Could be the open area near the top of the house with a lot of hot air movement. That's still a lot of evaporation for that size tank.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:59 PM   #80
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Yeah, it's carpeted, but never noticed any increase in static compared to anywhere else. I will say that while I was gone (Sat morning through this afternoon), I didn't have any evap, my water level was right at the bottom of the 'teeth' on the overflow... but, I turned my mag7 off because I haven't made a bracket for my ATO yet, so I can't use it. I was afraid it would get too low and start sucking air. I'm thinking it's from all the bubbles that come up from the overflow. I wonder if raising the pipe and running a 45 so that the pipe slopes in to the sump, but half is covered, half isn't would work? Would that be too loud I wonder? Would be easy enough to test I guess. I have a rubber post-construction connection on it to make it easy to take on and off. I've got plenty of pipe and would just need a couple 45's to test it out.
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