RedStickReefer

RedStickReefer's Dream Build

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The biological side on my tank shouldn’t have change. I used same rock only difference from this small tank and the 300 is no sand in the small tank. I’m perplexed. Only thing I can think of is quick swings in nutrients compared to the 300. I’ve chased pretty much every lead I can..going to get a slightly bigger tank to see if this helps.


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I wish I had the answer for you brother, but you know how this goes.  Corals will do what they do and sometimes no matter how much science we stack behind it, it just is what it is.  All we can do is provide the best environment possible and hope for the best.  I believe you are doing that and hopefully you'll come out all right in the end.

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Well, no coral whispering going on, but how many of you set an alarm to wake before your dosing pump goes off to feed your corals? Just woke to make sure the jebao is topping off Ca and Alk properly....natural lighting/flashlight is a must to see coral reaction or lack there of, and check for any pests.   I'm happy to report I've seen nothing alarming to date in the 30g.  Those of you that are stickheads, you should see your lead growth polyps extended and happy at his hour IMO.  DP-4 went off right on time, but seemed like a short duration for 10mL of 2part IMO.  I'm going to let it roll for a few more days though and see how the corals react to it.

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I'm definitely used to seeing the growth in my old 120, where it seemed like everything grew like weeds...Almost a week in and I don't see the frags I bought from fragniappe encrusting yet, but I'm just happy they're still alive at this point.  Definitely something I'll have to get used to in the 30g with no Ca reactor.  I have to keep reminding myself..."NEW SYSTEM".  The Miami orchid is juuuust starting to show signs of new coralite growth at the base and that's about it other than the polyps in both frags slowly coming out more and putting in work at night.  We'll see how this initial dosing of a small amount of Ca, kH and Mg goes.  I haven't even tested yet....probably need to do that, but I tested before fragniappe and I figured I'd let them settle in before I tested again...pH is looking good at 8.2 though.  Higher than I've ever been able to keep any of my tanks on a regular basis since I've been in the hobby.  Can't explain why.

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Yesterday was tank testing and water change day for me.  I guess I shouldn't have dosed so much Mg.  My calcium went up to 450, which is great, but it also pushed my alk down to 7, not great.  I have shut off the Mg dosing for now (level was at 1560) and dosed some alk alone to give it a boost after the water change.  Kept with my 10ml dosing of Ca and Alk overnight and just tested Alk again at noon today and it's back up to 8.0.  I gave the alk another small boost and increased my overnight dosing of Ca and Alk to 20ml.  My goal for Alk is 9.0, so I'll test again tomorrow and the next day to see where my levels are holding and may have to tweak dosing amounts again.  I need to get this dosing right ASAP because I have some pretty expensive SPS being delivered next week...Everything in the tank is still looking good so far in spite of the parameter swings. In addition, I'm only using a little bit of phosguard and carbon in the sump, so my phosphate levels were surprisingly low at 0.02 according to the Hanna phosphorus ULR checker.  I bought some Aquavitro Fuel and started dosing yesterday.

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Glad you didn't loose anything. I'm hoping your tank gets back to the old way so I have one more person I can trade sps with. Not many of us out here. 

Edited by lars
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Thanks.  I'm hoping I can pull this off and I get another tank packed with SPS too.  I've only ever tried SPS in a small tank back when I had my lil 12g JBJ and that didn't work out.  Mainly I think it didn't work out because I didn't automate enough to keep it stable enough for such a small tank, and I had multiple tanks going at the time.  I'm hoping I've done enough with this 30g to make it happen.  I'm trying my best to be on my AAA+++++ game with this system for super stability, and this time around I don't have any other tanks to distract my focus.

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Super pumped up about reefing again right now.  It's crazy, but It makes me feel like I'm finally getting back to my normal self since the flood.  Something had definitely been missing in my life.  I received my SPS from Fraghouse Corals today!  All I can say is WOW!!! Brandon has the most colored up, super healthy SPS I've ever seen.  Sorry I don't have a fancy camera and my phone doesn't take the best pics, but these corals are POPPING!

 

Pictured from left to right: WWC Yoda, Purple Bonsai, Rainbow Doom Mille, M-80 Mille, and Golden Nugget Mille

40795649541_bd63fe7173_k.jpg2018-03-13_05-45-50 by Jensen Esneault

 

Here's a FTS.  I just epoxied the frags in place on the rock.  Dipping and inspection revealed absolutely NO pests.  No AEFW, Bugs, algae, aiptasia....amphipods...nothing!  Just super colored up frags on clean plugs.  I know the tank looks bare at this point, but every tank starts somewhere right?

39900897635_e65fb837e3_k.jpg2018-03-13_05-46-29 by Jensen Esneault

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Awesome pieces Jensen. I’m sure it will start to fill in for you soon enough.

 

 

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I've gradually increased my 2 part dosing over the last 7 days to 30ml.  Alk is currently at 9.3 and Ca is around 430.  Going to leave it alone this week and test again this weekend.  We'll see how the corals react.  I'm starting to get some encrusting over the glue from the two frags I bought at Fragniappe, and the fraghouse corals I recently picked up are looking happy, so things are looking good so far.

 

I've been trying to decide whether or not to run my skimmer line through the wall to outside for fresh air.  I think I'm just going to go for it.  My pH is looking fine, but I know if I do it, it will help some.  I have two options.  I have an old phone line that's not in use already running through the brick wall right behind where my tank is.  All I'd have to do is pull the old line and ream out the hole a bit to make it big enough for some tubing.  I also have a cable line that's not in use running through the wall, but it's on the other side of the room.  Not looking forward to running a bunch of tubing around the room and out the wall next to the front window.  It's a very conspicuous spot, so I think I'm going to go with the phone line option on the same wall as my tank and on the side of the house.  Now I just need to pick up a drill bit long enough to go through the wall....and some sort of filter to go on the end of the tubing.  I don't want to suck in bugs and stuff.

 

Any recommendations on a filter for the skimmer tubing?

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3 hours ago, RedStickReefer said:

I've gradually increased my 2 part dosing over the last 7 days to 30ml.  Alk is currently at 9.3 and Ca is around 430.  Going to leave it alone this week and test again this weekend.  We'll see how the corals react.  I'm starting to get some encrusting over the glue from the two frags I bought at Fragniappe, and the fraghouse corals I recently picked up are looking happy, so things are looking good so far.

 

I've been trying to decide whether or not to run my skimmer line through the wall to outside for fresh air.  I think I'm just going to go for it.  My pH is looking fine, but I know if I do it, it will help some.  I have two options.  I have an old phone line that's not in use already running through the brick wall right behind where my tank is.  All I'd have to do is pull the old line and ream out the hole a bit to make it big enough for some tubing.  I also have a cable line that's not in use running through the wall, but it's on the other side of the room.  Not looking forward to running a bunch of tubing around the room and out the wall next to the front window.  It's a very conspicuous spot, so I think I'm going to go with the phone line option on the same wall as my tank and on the side of the house.  Now I just need to pick up a drill bit long enough to go through the wall....and some sort of filter to go on the end of the tubing.  I don't want to suck in bugs and stuff.

 

Any recommendations on a filter for the skimmer tubing?

 

Just get a cartridge filter canister and two fittings from home depot to run some carbon in.

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Sounds like a good idea to me.  Thanks!

 

I have to laugh at myself getting so excited over something so small, but while observing my tank today I noticed the strawberry shortcake is showing the first signs of coloring up.  It's also very slowly beginning to encrust.  I know it's hard to tell in the pic, but it's very obvious in person that it's gaining its green color with pink corallites between the branches in the middle of the fork.  Small progress, but I'm super excited because it gives me hope that this might be the first SSC I've ever been able to keep alive.

 

39183371770_dad34acdb4_k.jpg2018-03-24_02-50-05 by Jensen Esneault

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I picked up a royal gramma and sandsifting starfish from aqua hut today.  I also picked up some reef roids.  If you read my last post in the bicolor blenny thread my plan for the reef roids was to spot feed the maze brain back to health from the damage the blenny inflicted.  Well, I tried to get all out of the box and soak the reef roids in aquavitro fuel.  FAIL!...After washing the syringe and tsp scoop to administer the concoction i failed to remember that I pulled the fuel out of the fridge.  I didn't let the syringe temp acclimate before spot feeding and completely shocked the hell out of my corals.  I spot fed a few SPS too and they immediately washed out in color and expelled mucus.  My SSC was one of the first ones I spot fed and it's so sensitive.  Hopefully i didnt just kill it.  I guess we'll find out in a couple of days if not tomorrow.  Won't do that again!  In addition, im not sure if its good to put concentrated Fuel directly on a coral anyway.  It's typically poured into a powerhead so it is diluted and dispersed throughout the tank.

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Not a great week for my reef last week.  Nothing major, but a few minor inconveniences I'll have to overcome.  I let the media sit a couple weeks longer than I should have before replacing it and I got a little carried away with the fuel and reef roid dosing...My phosphates went up and I had a small cyano and algae outbreak, which has already begun to die.  I replaced my phosguard and carbon last week and tested today.  My phosphates were back in check, but my calcium was low at 410.  Alk was still looking good at 9.3 so I gave the calcium a little 10 ml boost.  The bad news is my M-80 mille totally browned out on me and it's not getting good PE.  Also, the purple bonsai is looking a little faded.  The good news from last week in spite of all that is my maze brain coral has officially completely recovered, the raptors peace favia is splitting heads and encrusting, my SSC is looking better than it ever has (getting good color contrast between the green branches and pink corallites) and encrusting, and all the other SPS are encrusting and still doing well.  So, onto nursing the M-80 mille back to it's former glory.

 

ETA a funny story.  When I went to test my tank and add more Ca/Alk to my dosing containers I noticed 3 of my snails had crawled out of the tank.  One was on the floor and two were on opposite sides of my pvc manifold behind the tank.  I have no idea how long they were out of the tank, but they were still alive.  I threw them back in the tank and they're crawling around like nothing happened...lol

Edited by RedStickReefer

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Those pesky snails...

Good luck with the M-80!

 

I appreciate your updates Jensen!

 

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Thanks Eric!  I ordered a BRS media reactor that should be here by the end of the day tomorrow.  I have two 2lilfishes reactors, but they won't work with the space I have under the stand and in the sump.  The BRS reactor should work well for me since right now im just using two media bags, one for carbon and one for phosguard, in the sump.  I plan on combining the carbon and phosguard in the single reactor.  This should allow me to get better use of the media, and the reactor can hold a little more media than I currently have in the bags.  The tank should be cleaned up pretty good by the end of the week and hopefully I'll start seeing some improvement in the m-80 mille.  I also ordered the pharmaceutical grade 2 part, which will be an improvement since it has less impurities.  Another thing I'm considering is upping the intensity of my Radions a little.  Waiting until I place my next order with fraghouse corals, and get those sticks light acclimated, before I do that though.  Right now my overall intensity is only at 45%.

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My BRS media reactor came in yesterday.  I didn't measure before ordering and the regular size reactor is bigger than I thought it would be.  I figured I had enough room to mount it under the stand above my sump, but I don't.  Never the less I was able to get it installed out of the way behind my stand to one side where I can access it easily.  I used 1/2" murlock fittings and silicone tubing for the install, and ran the reactor input line to one of the valves on my manifold.  The output line runs into my sump behind the skimmer and is wedged down in the baffle to the return pump section.  Love this silicone tubing.  It's so flexible and easy to work with.  I'll add the media and check for leaks on my next water change at the end of this month.  I'm thinking about trying a combination of carbon, GFO and phosguard all in the same reactor.  The GFO shouldn't be able to solidify into a brick with the carbon and phosguard in between the granules.  Going to use small amounts of each to start out with so I don't totally nuke my tank...anyway, we'll see how it goes.  Here's a couple pics of the installed reactor.

 

41505751542_b84c053e26_k.jpg2018-04-18_04-35-15 by Jensen Esneault

 

40653894905_c6beb16203_k.jpg2018-04-18_04-34-59 by Jensen Esneault

 

40653905555_f9dd3451d5_k.jpg2018-04-18_04-35-31 by Jensen Esneault

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22 hours ago, ericd000 said:

Somewhat convenient location.  

Besides having to use a stubby screwdriver I don't see nothing wrong with that set up! ;) Looking Good! 

I've been wondering if the NEW BRS 2 parts w/ less impurities is going to mix up the same as the old... Right now I know 421.5 grams of Sodium Bicarbonate in my old plastic measuring cup makes me gallon of alk solution. :popcorn:

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Haha, yeah getting in those two screws sucked!  I did have to use the stubby screwdriver and the wood was hard.  It was a b!tch!

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Well, today sucks!  I did exactly what I was trying not to do...Nuke my corals.  I put the BRS media reactor online for a few days and then cut it off.  It has been off for two days now.  I get home today and all my millepora are showing STN.  The gold nugget mille, M-80 mille and rainbow doom mille are all half dead. :angry:  There are still some polyps left where the skin has melted away on all three corals, but I'm not holding out much hope they'll survive.  We'll see what happens.  If they croak I'll just have to go back to the drawing board.  Sucks because things were going so well and they were encrusting and then BOOM! Goners.  The SSC, Miami orchid, purple bonsai, and WWC Yoda are still doing fine, but I'm watching them closely.  I have been testing my tank a lot, so I know it's nothing parameter related.  I just overcompensated for algae/cyano outbreak.  CRAP!

Edited by RedStickReefer
added coral to post

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Sorry to hear that Jensen. I'll be honest, I was a bit worried when I saw you out the reactor online. I was wondering if you have enough nutrients to handle stripping more out. I can't run a reactor on my tank. My nitrates sit close to zero and if I bring my phosphates down too low my sps pay for it. Hopefully the others make it through. 

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damn Jenson that sucks....I feel your pain I hate how one little thing can cause significant problems in this hobby. BUT like the rest of us, you'll continue to try lol.

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