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Old 08-10-2010, 03:38 PM   #41
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...And a quick test results update (all Salifert, except pH which is API):

Nitrate 0 and holding for 6 months
Phosphate 0.1 - 0.25 (came up a bit, PWC tomorrow)
pH 8.2-8.3 solid
KH 10
Salinity 33 / 1.025
Calcium 340 - this was steady between 380-390 for a long time, and has finally started to drop about 10 points a week for the past 2 months, so now I have a solid gauge on the drop rate.
Mg - bounces around between 1185 and 1250 with no interaction. Wierd
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #42
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New LR, Corals, Fish, Inverts 1/3

I just picked up 50 lb of LR, 3 fish, about 20 Nassarius and Astrea Snails, 2 Blue Crabs, 2 Red Brittle Stars, 2 Filter Feeder Crabs, plus hermit crabs and other snails for $180. Here’s what she looks like now:

Full Tank



Green Mushrooms



More Mushrooms



Yellow Polyps



Watermelon Zoa



GUNK Zoa

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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:00 PM   #43
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New LR, Corals, Fish, Inverts 2/3

Another as of yet unidentified Zoa



Another 5 head Frogspawn, with the old one and the Branching Hammer in the background



Blue and Green Florida Rics



Tricolor Florida Ric



Scooter Blenny (not a good pic)

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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:01 PM   #44
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New LR, Corals, Fish, Inverts 3/3

Starry / Snowflake Blenny (shy)



Yellowtail Blue Damsel (free)



…and I found the Tri-Color Valida, we’ll see if it recovers



But here’s the mystery of the day: the Green Star Polyp was closed up when I got there on Friday 8/20 to put everything in, but the lights were off so I didn’t think anything of it. It hasn’t opened back up again, and it’s been almost a week. I’m getting concerned. I might start up a new thread to cover this one…



Just one more of the Xenias…pumping away and growing back from their stumps. These are for sale by the way

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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:05 AM   #45
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Nice Floyd, looking good as always.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:37 PM   #46
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Major tank re-arrangement! 1 of 3

The owner has been wanting me to re-arrange the tank for some time, and especially after adding all the LR and corals recently. So the past Sunday, I spent 4 hours and what a difference that made! It is much more open, the corals already look much better, and the fish are moving around the tank a lot more. The Engineer Goby has even ventured all around the tank instead of sticking to his hiding spot. So enough talk, here’s some pics:

Full tank shot Before (8/24/10)



After (9/12/10)



Left side



Center



Right Side

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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #47
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Major tank re-arrangement! 2 of 3

Some close-ups

Anthelia and Xenia



Frogspawn #1 and Kryptonite Candy Cane, along with the Blue Hippo Tang and one of the Clowns



Candy Cane again, along with Florida Tri-Color Ric, War Coral, Rose Millepora , Tri-Color Valida, Toadstool Leather (I believe), and Goniopora (upper right)



Acan, Branching Hammer, Tree Leather (bottom), GUNK Zoa, unknown Zoa, Green ORA Birdsnest (tripled to maybe quadrupled in size since May!!)



Mushroom Heaven (fuzzies, purples, dotted ones, etc) and the Scooter Blenny



Yellow Polyps and more mushrooms, Frogspawn #2, Red Caps, and Goby at the bottom peeking out



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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #48
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Major tank re-arrangement! 3 of 3

More close-ups

Anemone (from the Keys), Watermelon Zoa, another leather (which is doing much better at the bottom of the tank), random Fuzzy Mushroom, more Red Caps, and Anthelia colony #2



Blue and Green Florida Rics, more Red Cap, other Zoas (bought in May, not dying but not recovering too quickly either), and the Green Star Polyp (which opened way up again), and the Sun Polyp, which likes it’s new location much better.



…and a few fish shots

The Flame Fin Tang, along with a better shot of the Sun Polyp



Yellowtail Blue Damsel (not bugging anyone)



There were only a few mishaps. One was the Rose Millepora, which I managed to snap in half when moving LR around, but now there’s two of them! The other was when I realized a day later that I had set the rock full of Anthelia right on top of the rock with one of the Zoa colonies. Luckily I was able to move a few rocks around and get it back in the open, and it’s doing much better. It was the only Zoa colony out of the 3 I bought in May that spread, but it’s still looking pretty weak. Working on a dosing schedule and keeping everything at nominal levels, hopefully that will help.

Temperature during the day has been an increasing issue, even as outside temps cool off. One day, the tank was 83.2 at 1pm, even though they open the sump cabinet & take all covers off. So I shut the skimmer off on Friday, and when I came in on Sunday the temp was 76.2. I am now having him plug in the skimmer before he leaves the office at night, and unplugging it in the morning before he puts all the tops back on. This seems to have completely solved the temperature issue. However, after leaving the skimmer off for 2-3 days, Nitrate showed up on the Salifert test kit for the first time since February 15th of this year – although it was barely 0.1 ppm, so no sweat.

My Dad is bringing the Acrylic for the ATS this weekend! Next week I will be assembling all the components, and will probably install it over the weekend. I’m stoked!
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:03 PM   #49
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ATS is in progress!

I drew up my design for the Algae Turf Scrubber on CAD and had my dad make it. So here’s the design








And a detail showing how it goes together, you can take the front cover off to take the filter screen out and clean it



And the next post has the completed box…
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #50
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ATS completed box



With front cover removed



How it goes on



Edge support for sitting on the tank (40 breeder)



The slot where the plumbing goes through



Bulkhead to drain into the sump



So I’m guessing that unless you follow the mega-thread on Reef Sanctuary about these, this is probably new to you. The concept is 20 years old but no designs were really effective until 2 years ago when that thread was started. The advent of T5HO and CFL lighting, along with some creativity and innovation, has brought this into the limelight.

The overflow feeds into the horizontal pipe, where the water cascades down the screen. The screen is lit on both sides, and algae then grows on the screen. The algae, normally the enemy of the aquarium, becomes it’s best friend. As the algae grows (and it grows FAST) it removes all contaminants out of the water column (including heavy metals, phosphate, nitrate, ammonia, nitrite, silicates, pretty much everything). You then remove the screen weekly (or more) and scrape the algae off of one side under fresh water and replace it. That’s it. No water changes (at least not for the purpose of reduction of nitrate, etc). This works for all aquarium systems (FW or SW) with the exception of planted tanks, and Xenias (which need Phosphate and Nitrate, apparently). So the Xenias will probably be going bye-bye.

The big positive is pods. Pods grow like crazy on the screen, so the Scooter Blenny will have plenty of food. Pods are also one reason you rinse the screen in FW while cleaning, to kill them off (they grow back fast) because they will eat at the algae and cause it to break loose and make it into the DT. You can swish the screen in the sump before cleaning to release them. Never a shortage of pods.

The other major positive is that since all the algae grow on the screen, no nuisance algae will grow in the DT. Cyano may have a short burst, but over time it will get choked off and go away. You are left with a clear, clean tank than needs little to no maintenance, short of dosing CA/ALK/trace. Of course you can do your bi-weekly 10% for trace if you want, which is probably not a bad idea.

The biggest debate item is in reference to Protein Skimmers. This part of the debate seems to be the biggest sore point for most, because they are no longer needed and it seems people have a really hard time believing that. But the research has shown that skimming only removes about 30% of what it says it does, and more research has turned up that what it does remove ends up being the very thing your corals like. So switching to this system boosts coral growth in a big way and eliminates an expensive piece of equipment, and as it turns out in this tank, the piece of equipment that raises the tank temp by at least 5 degrees. Right now they are only running the skimmer every other night (when the top of the DT and sump are uncovered) and the temp has dropped from usually 82-83 to 76-80 during the day.

The way I design this system, the screen can be serviced without shutting the pump down, you just open the bypass valve and get going, then close it when you’re done.

So the next couple steps involve taking out the old sump so I can dry-fit the PVC with the new sump in place, then putting the old system back on, and then gluing the pipe. I have to attach the light fixtures to the acrylic, then wire up the lighting to the ballast and mount the ballast on a heat sink, and put it all together for a test-fire up. I might need to add some up/down baffles into the sump to take care of microbubbles also.
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My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
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