Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Put a Rio Rotator on a Rio 2100 in the tank this morning and hung it off a Reeftec enclosure. What a goofy device! It takes up so much space, but I have it in the tank to generate current until I fix my Reeftecs or get my Turbelle Streams. I was reading last night about how someone just took the brackets off their Sea-swirl and let it sit on the rim of their acrylic tank, I may do a variation of that, but I think I'll try to secure it with some velcro tape. It would be nice to have a Sea-swirl return on either side of the tank in addition to whatever wavemaker I decide to go with.
posted 10:29 AM
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
My PE-1 on my other Reeftec had its shaft break off yesterday. The irony of it all is that a CAP E-200 arrived today. All the shaft had to do was last another day! So now I have no functioning Reeftecs. I hope Jimmy can get me some new drivedogs soon. Today, I ordered two Tunzelle Streams from Marine Depot. I hope they show up tomorrow. It appears that you're not supposed to attach them to a wavemaker according to the Champion Lighting website. I'm also concerned about how to attach them to the tank. I'll figure something out. I still want to get the Reeftecs back into working shape, and I wouldn't mind getting my Sea-Swirl going too - I just have to decide what pump to use with the Sea-Swirl since I'm a little concerned about the Rios I presently have. I want a lot of random current in the tank! But I also don't want a lot of obtrusive equipment.
I'll be looking after someone's tank this weekend, but it shouldn't be too difficult. He has a first-class setup and really takes care of his tank. This weekend, I plan on going to Tropical Paradise in San Leandro and meeting with fellow hobbyists in order to get some more corals from the tank.
I put a new six-inch Tridacna (I really think its a crocea, not a maxima) in the tank this week, and it looks like it's doing very well. It has dug itself into the substrate, and its mantle appears to be in good shape.
I would like to get another six-line wrasse in the future. I love their patterns, colors and playful nature.
posted 6:48 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Moved around some corals yesterday. Mainly moved more soft corals to the right of the tank. Also brought green and brown star polyps and purple Tongan mushrooms to LFS for some credit for flowering star polyps. I'll be picking up a 6" Maxima clam tonight from someone who needs more room in his tank. I may also pick up a Crocea this weekend from the LFS.
I came home to transfer some corals yesterday, and I was gazing at this weird yellow and brown thing sitting by my red open brain coral. It turned out to be the propellor and drive dog of the Reeftec since the metal shaft of the PE-1 had sheared off. After talking to my lfs owner, he said that saltwater is very corrosive, and a different type of pump should have been chosen from the outset. Luckily, it looks like the CAL E200 will be a good replacement. I did a search for CAL E200 on Google and it looks like www.pumpworld.net is the place to order it from. I'll have to ask Jimmy to send me a new drive dog since the metal shaft of the pump sheared off right at the base of the drive dog, and there's no way of pulling the metal shaft out. (Maybe I can put the whole unit in Coke and see if it eats away the metal!)
Othere than this "catastrophic failure", I've been very happy with my Reeftecs. I hope the CAL E200 is a lot more durable in the saltwater.
Last night, I was thinking of putting in other types of wavemakers, but I don't want to clutter up the tank, so I'll stick with my stationary sump returns for now and the Reeftecs. I may rig up the Sea-Swirl again in the future.
posted 11:37 AM
Monday, November 18, 2002
Was brushing my teeth this morning with Tom's of Maine natural toothpaste, propolis & myrrh flavor, and I noticed the main ingredient is chalk (calcium carbonate). Chalk is dead coral skeletons.
What's up with all this coral calcium that people are taking for health reasons?! What's the difference between coral calcium and tums? My brother and I joked to my sister-in-law that she can get some very fresh coral calcium from my tank.
I added the kalkwasser reservoir over the weekend using a 29g tank as a reservoir, and the pH is now between 8.20 and 8.40. When I glanced at the pH last night, it was up to 8.37, and this morning, the pH was 8.22. During the summer, when there will be more evaporation of the tank, and more high pH kalkwasser dumped into the maintain water levels, I'll have to make sure the pH doesn't go too high. On the Two Little Fishies Kalkwasser can, it says that a pH peak as high as 8.5 isn't bad during the day.
In addition to the 29g tank, I used a solid state float level switch from David Rumpel of Aquadevices. You can purchase them at http://www.aquadevices.50megs.com/. The reason I went with his float switch is that less than 1/100 of a watt of power flows throught the reed float switch, and you can load up to 1500 watts of power on the outlet receptacle. I have all my electrical devices hooked up to GFCIs, but it's still nice to separate high wattage from the electrical connection of the float switch. The float switch came with two nice suction cups, but I zip tied the switch to the old Fluval 402 hose connector which I used to connect the hose line from the 29g reservoir for a more solid connection. The sump also has tapered sides, so only once suction cup could be stuck on a time in order to maintain a vertical configuration. I'll get a picture up soon. Originally, I was going to use a AquaClear Power Head 1000 and its Quick Filter attachment for a slow flow of water from the reservoir to the sump, but the 1000 couldn't generate enough head pressure to push the water from the reservoir from the sump. I found this strange since both the reservoir and the tank were at the same level, but I think there may be a lot of backpressure from the length of the tube. Luckily, I had a Maxi-jet 600 Powerhead lying around, and it had more than sufficient power to push the water to the sump. In order to fit the Aquaclear Quick Filter attachment to the Maxi-jet powerhead, I had to use the undergravel filter riser adapter supplied with the Maxi-jet. I plan to add another Maxi-jet powerhead with a Quick Filter to the reservoir in the future in so that it can periodically keep the kalkwasser mixed. I got the idea to attach a Quick Filter to the powerhead supplying kalkwasser in the sump from the Nilsen kalkwasser design which uses a fine bag in order to filter out any particulates. The AquaClear Quick Filter states that it can filter out particles down to 1 micron, so it should be able to keep any large particles from the impeller head and sump. This advantage of the Nilsen reactor is that no air reaches the kalkwasser in order to create calcium carbonate precipitates, but I tightly covered up the 29g tank, and dumped in a lot of calcium hydroxide. With another powerhead to periodically mix the water and calcium hydroxide in the reservoir, I should be able to keep the kalkwasser and high saturation levels. The two main reasons I'm adding kalkwasser as makeup water is to raise the pH of the tank that may be lowered by the calcium reactor (I've never really checked how much the calcium reactor lowers the pH of the tank at all), and to help out the calcium and buffering capabilities of the calcium reactor so that it doesn't have to work as hard.
I checked the pH of the calcium reactor effluent over the weekend and it was either 7.2 or 7.3. I forget exactly what it was. This looks like a good pH since it means the first reactor chamber is probably generating effluent from 6.7 to 6.8 pH.
I figured out why my Kole Tang has had some flesh dug out his sides on either side. I thought before that he may have scraped some rock or something was attacking it, but over the weekend I saw him picking at the inside edge of the Reeftec wave generators that circles the propellor. He must be doing this when the wave generator is turned off by the wave maker, but occasionally he gets caught by the propellor. I wonder now if the black version of the wave generator case would have been a better purchase since less algae will grow on the inside of the case, thus not giving a reason for any fish to pick at the inside of the case. Over time, I hope coralline algae totally encases both Reeftecs. Luckily, the Kole Tang has been recovering well from both separate injuries. It's only a flesh wound! Hopefully, the Kole Tang learns not to pick algae from the Reeftec. The other tangs in the tank (a Yellow and a Blue Regal) apparently stay away from the inside of the Reeftecs, or they're a lot more nimble. The other solution would be to put some type of screen in front of the propellor, but that would decrease the flow.
Lawnmower Blenny seemed to have a shrunken belly today. I hope he's getting enough food since there's a lot less film algae in the tank now.
posted 9:55 AM
Friday, November 15, 2002
From my Lifeguard bulkhead:
FOR PROPER SEAL GASKET MUST BO BETWEEN BULKHEAD FLANGE AND TANK WALL
1/2" BULKHEAD REQUIRES 1-1/8" DIAM. HOLE.
3/4" BULKHEAD REQUIRES 1-7/16" - 1-1/2" DIAM. HOLE
1" BULKHEAD REQUIRES 1-3/4" DIAM HOLE.
I'll just do a search for Bulkhead in the new search function I put up on this website the next time I need to find the correct size hole to drill for a bulkhead. Or I could just see what holesaw fits on a certain bulkhead. I really need to put up the larger size bulkheads and holes needed.
Added some more Seachem Magnesium and Rite Aid Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) in order to raise Magnesium levels. I eventually want to reach 1300 to 1500 ppm. Tested water parameters a few days ago and they were:
Alkalinity 2.5 meq/L
Calcium 390 ppm
I think the calcium levels are fine, but I should watch the Alkalinity. Alkalinity may be a bit down since I added some Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium to the tank and noticed some particles in the water which may have been some precipitation. This weekend, I'll set up a reservoir that will periodically pump kalkwasser in the tank in order to help the calcium reactor out with calcium and alkalinity.
Bubble-tip Anemone on the right is starting to form bubble-tip tentacles again. It initially had them when I first acquired the anemone, but it lost them in the 29g under two 55 watt PCs. Instead of bubble-tips, the anemone tentacles just became long and tapered. It must be the increased intensity of the 175 watt MHs that's causing the bubble-tips to come back. The anemone on the left still has tapered tentacles.
The sps corals are coloring up and growing very well. There's some light purple hue on one of the green sps corals and the tips are really growing on all the sps corals. I would like to clear out some of the Xenia growing on the left, add some more live rock (I'm trying to clear the green star polyps on the live rock sitting in the sump at work before I add the rock to the 150g) and add some more SPS corals. I'm a little concerned about the green zooanthids growing on the left side of the tank after seeing how the mushrooms and anemones have encroached on the SPS corals in Richard Durso's tank. I've isolated the mushrooms and green star polyps on the right, but I still have zooanthids on the left.
posted 5:06 PM
Thursday, November 07, 2002
Checked these measurements yesterday:
Alkalinity 3.5 meq/L
Calcium 375 ppm
Magnesium 1040 ppm
pH ranging between 8.06 and 8.20
temperature ranging between 78 and 80
Calcium and Magnesium are a bit low, so I'm going to try to bring them up. But they are within acceptable range and SPS corals and coralline are growing. I may add a more powerful heater (the 300 watt Won titanium) to replace two of the three smaller Ebo Jaegers.
posted 9:18 AM
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
I noticed some coralline algae growing on one of the sump return outputs. pH was down to 8.06 this morning. Added a 13-watt PC fixture to the 15-watt NO fluorescent already over the 10g refugium.
posted 4:31 PM
Monday, November 04, 2002
pH has been slightly dropping to 8.06-8.17 range between night and day. I think it's due to the sea cucumber that died over the weekend. I noticed the tiger tail looked pretty pail one morning. Later on in the day, I could see the largest peppermint shrimp eating its flesh. Algae has also been growing back again on the front on the tank despite all the snails constantly eating it. The increased algae growth was probably due to the Maroon clown throwing up the substrate underneath the rock where the main bubble-tip anemone stays. The clown has been pretty quiet lately, so I hope the algae doesn't grow back. I tried to feed some Formula 1 over the weekend, but the skimmer still goes crazy over the gel in the food. I'll have to start feeding the tank some other type of frozen food. I attached a Kent ProScraper Short to a length of 1" pvc with zipties, and this works as a really good scraper for the tank. I got this idea from another reefer named Derek. I have the ProScraper Long, but the long handle flexes too much when I try to scrape hard. The pvc is a lot more stiff and it's a good size to hold. I'll just add to cap to the tip of the pvc pipe so that water doesn't get inside it. What's interesting is that I now use the attached ProScraper Short in a reversed position, because the pipe would get in the way if I used it in the normal position. I'll put up some photos for a diy later on.
Bought a pair of Playtex neoprene gloves to help clean out the old tanks, but I'm still using them to clean out the protein skimmer cup since it's so gross. It's nice having a bathroom sink close by in the garage in order to clean out the skimmer gunk!
Moved two Cell-Pore balls from the refugium to the sump in order to provide more room for macroalgae growth. Gracilaria is all red again. Chaetomorpha and Ulvaceous also look like they're doing well.
pH of calcium reactor effluent was measured at 7.36. That's a good number for a two stage reactor. I'm trying to drip the effluent close to the input of the skimmer. I may attach a tee to the input of the skimmer so that all the effluent is sucked into the skimmer in order to blow out any excess CO2. My only concern is that the calcium may gunk up the skimmer's pump.
posted 5:02 PM
Send comments to