RedStickReefer

RedStickReefer's Dream Build

253 posts in this topic

Sucks to hear about the rtn on such a nice looking frag. Did Adam ship with a heat pack? I wonder if temps might have gotten too low and caused stress.


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Yes, he shipped them with a heat pack, but temperature in Wisconsin was around 19 degrees and it was in the 40s here, so yeah.  I think temperature was a factor.  Plus the dang FedEx lady ran 2 hours late.  So much for first priority overnight...what a joke.  That's two additional hours they spent unnecessarily in the cold.

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Here we go with SPS for round two!  I let the frags acclimate in a frag rack near the bottom of the tank this week.  I just glued them all in place about 30 mins ago.  Hoping for the best.  My alk level is at 7.6,so I'm upping the dose again tonight from 180 to 200mL/day.  Hoping my alk will get up to at least 8.0 by tomorrow.

 

2018-11-16_04-56-06

 

 

2018-11-16_04-55-36

 

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Sweet! My alk hit 8.1 today.  I upped the dose to 210mL and I'm going to leave it there for a couple of days to see if my alk stabilizes.  Corals are looking happy today and the original teen wolf frag I got from Adam has stopped with the RTN.  It looks like crap and looks mostly dead, but it still may be salvageable.

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I figured if I was planning on adding a calcium reactor within the next year that now is the time to buy.  I just ordered this Skimz ca reactor from BRS.  Seemed like a good value with the black Friday sale they have going on right now.  $52 off the original price.  I also had to buy another pH monitor.  Sucks having to rebuy reactors and monitors and such, but the flood ruined all my old equipment.  My old reactors pumps were burnt up and the acrylic was pitted and stained with whatever contaminants were in the flood water.  Definitely wasn't going to take a chance in using them for this reef.  At least my CO2 regulator was salvageable.  Glass bubbler is cracked and the regulator is a little rusty, but the regulator/solenoid still work and the reactor has it's own bubbler.

 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/skimz-monzter-cm122-external-calcium-reactor.html

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I was always worried about adding a reactor to my system and found every excuse why I wouldn't because of the big upfront initial cost. But soon found out that most successful sps dominant tanks rely heavily on the reactors ability to keep parameters rock solid. The Skimz brand has really good reviews and will be worth its weight in no time. I will never run a tank without a calcium reactor again!  

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My carx is sitting in the garage. Wish I could use it. So easy to use, don’t have to worry about dosing and pure stability. But, I don’t have good gas exchange in my home and the carx lowers my ph too much.


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My carx is sitting in the garage. Wish I could use it. So easy to use, don’t have to worry about dosing and pure stability. But, I don’t have good gas exchange in my home and the carx lowers my ph too much.


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You may want to look at the CO2 scrubber options that bulk reef supply sells. I haven’t used a scrubber myself but have found others that claim their tank showed good results and enhanced growth after installing


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I added a CO2 scrubber to my tank with the Reactor and it’s been doing a good job at keeping the pH in a tolerable range of 8.07- 8.16. My only complaint is that the purple shift in the BRS media is very slight if the light isn’t just right or you toss a few pieces of new media on it to compare.

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I never really monitored the pH in my old 120g, but the few times I checked it was around 7.95 or so.  I don't remember it getting above 8.0 except maybe on a few occasions and especially not after I added the CaRx.  I still got what I felt was amazing growth at the time.  This tank's pH is running about the same as my old 120.  I'm actually monitoring pH this go round and it seems to fluctuate anywhere from 7.95 to 8.1.  I would like to get it higher and keep it there, but I'm not going to let that stop me from adding the CaRx.  I saw too many positives from the CaRx to worry about pH.

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17 minutes ago, ericd000 said:

I added a CO2 scrubber to my tank with the Reactor and it’s been doing a good job at keeping the pH in a tolerable range of 8.07- 8.16. My only complaint is that the purple shift in the BRS media is very slight if the light isn’t just right or you toss a few pieces of new media on it to compare.

 

I looked into CO2 scrubbers a while back.  I just don't think my budget can handle the expense of the media right now as far as how fast it seems people blow through it.

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I wish mine were anywhere close to those numbers. I got up to 8.0 yesterday with windows open all day. Normally 7.6-7.85 daily ph. I have growth but feel like could be much better if I had higher numbers. I’ve used scrubbers before on the 300, it exhausted very quick tho a couple days at max. I will give it another shoot on this 90 maybe smaller skimmer will
Not exhaust the media as quick. Maybe even run only during the night.


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3 minutes ago, Smtwinn said:

I wish mine were anywhere close to those numbers. I got up to 8.0 yesterday with windows open all day. Normally 7.6-7.85 daily ph. I have growth but feel like could be much better if I had higher numbers. I’ve used scrubbers before on the 300, it exhausted very quick tho a couple days at max. I will give it another shoot on this 90 maybe smaller skimmer will
Not exhaust the media as quick. Maybe even run only during the night.


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Whoa, yeah that is low.  I didn't realize it was that low.

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I looked into CO2 scrubbers a while back.  I just don't think my budget can handle the expense of the media right now as far as how fast it seems people blow through it.


Jury is still out on the speed of media usage for me. It’s only been running about 3 weeks now. I got one of the jumbo reactors from BRS and the first full lasted about 2 weeks before I noticed the pH trending lower. I refilled it just before I went on vacation so I’m hoping without me in the house for hours each day it will last a little longer.

I think if 2 weeks is the average for me, the 7lb bag of media would last me about 6 weeks @$35 or so per bag.

I should add that I also drilled holes for a couple of 1/4” tubes to the outside that I now use to push air to a couple of air stones in the sump. I now have them running into a standing piece of PVC so most of the bubbles don’t get into the sump. Originally I had it feeding the skimmer intake and only saw a 0.02-0.04 average improvement in pH, and would still range from 7.9-8.07 on a daily cycle. After the scrubber it stays stable higher.

I have the pH probe on the CaRX set to 6.5 currently.
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So, my relationship with Jebao ends today.  I came home for lunch and yet another Jebao powerhead has crapped out on me.  It's has only been in the tank MAYBE a week and a half.  Totally uncalled for.  With the money I've spent on all these Jebao powerheads I could've bought one nice powerhead from Ecotech/AI.  I'm DONE.  Not another Jebao product will be purchased by me.  I'm surprised the DP-4 is still working...I think I'm going to try out that AI Nero 5 powerhead.

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Just a couple updated pics of the system set up in my office and a FTS.  Tank is looking VERY empty at this point, but if you've ever had a tank packed with SPS that totally engulf any and all space I think you'll agree with me that negative space is crucial.  😀  The SPS I put in here will provide my structure and scape.

 

2018-11-20_04-59-15

 

2018-11-20_04-59-41

 

 

Hopefully the FTS above will be the starting point of tank soon to be packed full of healthy SPS.

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I was starting to get a good bit of cyano on my sand bed.  Probably due to a combination of stirring up all that gunk when I removed half my sand bed that had gotten rock hard and the fact that I haven't been running any phosphate removal media.  I replaced the carbon and GFO in my BRS reactor and turned it back on yesterday, BUT I only put maybe 1/3 cup of GFO and the reactor is barely on as a trickle.  I tested my alk today and it dropped from 8.1 to 7.2 in 24 hours even with that tiny bit of GFO.  CRAZY....I've upped my dosing to account for the GFO and changed my dosing schedule to be more consistent over a 24hour period.  I'll be watching the corals very closely and will continue to test alk daily.

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Okay, I know for a fact I'm dosing too much two part now.  I woke up this morning to some precipitation on the front glass of my tank.  I'm stopping dosing for 24 hours and I'll test tomorrow.  Going to use the BRS calculator to adjust my alk levels and reset my dose amount.  Funny thing is I started dosing with 5 ml and my levels just kept dropping and dropping...how can 5 ml be too much for 45g total volume tank with SPS and LPS? Lol, I guess it's possible...

 

In other news I picked up some SPS from Fraghouse Corals during their Black Friday sale (50% off).  SPS I bought were Jason fox razmataz, green goblin Anacropora, fhc incinerator mille, aquamarine Jewel, RR USA the Vinh, and WWC Yellow Tips.

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Jensen - If there is relatively no coral in your tank, I am surprised that you should need to dose at all. Perhaps you are overdosing? 

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22 hours ago, 110reef said:

Jensen - If there is relatively no coral in your tank, I am surprised that you should need to dose at all. Perhaps you are overdosing? 

 

Ken, see post above.  My dosing pumps have been off since Saturday.  Initially when I started dosing I had five or six 1" frags of SPS, a 3"x3" frag of maze brain, a booger frag of favia, some zoanthids, and a small Acan colony.  My parameters were dropping so I started dosing 5ml of 2 part daily.  My parameters were not increasing and my mg was low, so I dosed Mg, but I dosed too much Mg...My Mg level shot up above 1600 and my calcium also went up to around 480 or so and my alk dropped.  I've gave alk a boost to get it around 8.5 dkh and my levels were pretty solid for a couple months with dosing around 20 ml of equal parts of 2 part.  Well, my SPS started fading and receding at the base, and my zoanthids were staying closed.  I tested and my alk had dropped to around 6.5 dkh.  Ever since then I've been steadily increasing my 2 part dosing by 10ml or so increments and still couldnt get my alk up until recently, but only after dosing what I knew was an insane amount of 2 part.  I think I got up to 300 ml in a 24 hour period before I got my alk up to 8.1 and started seeing precipitation on the glass.

 

So, all that said above brings us to today. I've added some new SPS.  My levels for CA/Mg/Alk were 600/1600/8.1, but I was seeing precipitation on the glass.  I shut the dosing pump off Saturday morning.  I tested alk at noon on Sunday and it dropped to 5.9.  I used the BRS calculator and dosed 100ml of alk with a goal dkh of 7.5.  I tested again yesterday at noon and my alk dropped to 5.2.  I dosed 148ml of alk per BRS calculator for a goal of 7.5 dkh and will test again total at noon.  We'll see what happens.  Right now the SPS are still looking okay, but I don't know how much longer they'll ride this seesaw....Hoping to start seeing a rise in alk soon.  BRS recommends continuing this alk dosing and testing routine for at least a week.  Hopefully my SPS will survive the process.  I have a new shipment of SPS from Fraghouse Corals arriving on Friday.

 

As a side note, my skimz cm122 calcium reactor arrived yesterday.  I put it all together last night, but I'm not putting it online until my parameters are where they need to be.  I'm pretty happy with the construction and look of the reactor.  Definitely and upgrade from the reef octopus reactors I've used in the past.  Hopefully it performs as nice as it looks.

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If my tank parameters get way out of whack, sometimes the best thing is to change water with new water you know is good, and start from there. It is hard to get things back in balance if they get way out of balance. Not being critical, just a suggestion.

 

I call a massive water change a "reset button"

 

Harder to do with large tanks, but on small tanks it is the way to go. Your tank is in the size range where I would consider a total water change and start the dosing or calcium reactor again after that.

Edited by 110reef

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On 11/26/2018 at 10:50 AM, 110reef said:

 

 

No offense taken Ken.  I might actually try that next.  I forgot to mention I did a 50% water change a while back thinking it might help, but it didn't.

 

I tested at lunch again today.  My alk was at 4.9 dkh.  I dosed 160ml of alk per BRS calculator for a goal of 7.5dkh.

 

Crazy, I'm on day 3 of only dosing alkalinity and my level just keeps dropping the more I dose. LOL!  Something's going to give here soon...haha.  Maybe my alk has to hit zero and start counting backward before it gets right. 😂

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Okay, we might finally be getting somewhere.  I just tested my tank and alk was back up to 5.8.  I added 110 ml of alk per BRS calculator, so we'll see where we are tomorrow.  I mixed up about 25 gallons of saltwater yesterday that I'm going to test tomorrow.  25 gallons is about all my brute can hold.  My total tank volume is about 45 gallons, so it's looking like I'll be doing about a 50% water change this weekend if I cant get my levels lined out by the end of the week.  I'll let you guys know how it goes.

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