The jaebo is still going strong. I started with W1 on high without water coming out of the top. Things looked great. I then thought about the randomness of a Reef and changed it to Else mode. Things still look great and I can see the debris moving in the tank on the bottom half which I never saw before. Problem #1 solved.
I bought a filter sock and switched up my plumbing to a single drain from a dual. I got some advice while building my refiguim/dsb
about feeding the refugium and not filtering out the particles before with a filter sock. I'm going on record that that's BAD ADVICE. Half of my filter sock is a dark brown from all the crap that it's removing from my tank. I'm almost ashamed at this. Problem #2 solved.
My reef octopus doable x200 came and I set it up almost immediately. I'm not sure if it's still breaking in, but it started pulling gunk out of the water after a few hours. I tuned the gate to have the foam just crest over. It's probably still going to need some tuning but it's not overflowing anymore. Either this thing is amazing or what I have before was a piece of absolute crap. Now that I can see what a real skimmer does I'm upset I didn't replace it earlier. Problem #3 solved.
My blue tang has HLLE
so I've stepped up the nori in the tank and I bought a fresh seafood mix that's made from a fisherman off the NC coast. Pretty cool to discover that. I didn't have the time to make my homemade seafood and what I have frozen is over a year old so it was time to freshen it up. It's like $9 for not a huge amount. I'd say this will last me 2-3 months so it's not that bad. I'll eventually make the time to whip up my own.
Problem #4 being addressed.
I finally tested and the nitrates are 20ppm. I did a 40g PWC
and estimate there's about 110+20g in the system so that's about 28% water volume. I'm mixing more for a change on Sunday if it's ready.
I also added Matrix rock to help with the nitrates long term. According to my guy at the LFS
who is either a great salesman or just really knows his stuff - the Matrix rocks are so porous that they can grow a tremendous amount of bacteria. Specifically bacteria that eat other bacteria before they become nitrate. He claimed that they need extreme darkness to grow and it's something you don't get from LR
. He says he uses it in his and knows other hobbyists that swear by it. I mean, the amount of rock I needed was like $20 so I beloved him. He said it takes 4-6 months to cycle the rock so time will tell.
My PH is chronically at 7.7 but I think the skimmer will help. Still open to suggestions. Tried Aqua Vitro, kalkwasser, Seachem buffer and all didn't work. NEED HELP ON THIS. I haven't tested for phosphates because I know they're there. I did add Chemi Pure Elite to help out. I've been removing the hair algae manually when I change water and I need to address the bubble algae next. I'm considering a phosphate reactor and would like to discuss pros/cons/experience with those. Problem 5# working on.
My new T5 bulbs came. I use ATI's - one aqua blue, one purple plus and two blue pluses. I need to swap then out one by one over the next four weeks. It's a DIY system so it's semi tricky and a little effort. I also noticed one of my led
moonlights is missing half it's bulbs. I have to replace the whole unit because they updated the housing and electric it seems. That requires a bit more commitment but since that's not as crucial as the worn T5's I am prioritizing. I will get an LED
system in the next six months. It's time. But since is have to tear out my current light fixture and re-mount the new, I have to work that into the schedule. It kinda sucks that I figured out I can spend less than $300 on a controllable system. Problem #6 being addressed.
I know I'm moving into a healthier direction for the tank and I thank everyone for the great advice. My first priority is to improve the health if my tang then get my parameters in line and stable. Then I work in keeping things up with
's and filter/equip maintenance. I'm optimistic again.