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Who's Into Saltwater?

Discussion in 'RC-Help Lounge' started by Tony, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I needed to do a little work on the tank today (not the sump lmao) such as cleaning the top of the lights. I'm not sure the fans could run with as much dust as was on them. Hell I never look at the top of them, I'm not that tall lmao. So I grabbed the vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment and sucked that crap right off of there. Worked like a charm. But I need to take the lights down and do a good cleaning on them.

    I also dusted off the canopy for the tank and polished it up. While I was there, I took the tops of the tank off (matt leaves his off and his heater activity shows it lmao) and the sight and sound of those waves my new powerheads are making is outstanding! So I decided to grab my phone. Have a watch, more info in the video description. Be sure to subscribe to that channel, it is my personal channel and not the RC channel!


     


  2. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I think I may have a problem. And some of the virtual outlets and some other things are hidden lmao.

    screencapture-apexfusion-apex-53e934d2d63ac1a048131660-2018-06-17-15_51_15.png
     
  3. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    OMG, I just smelled the WORST smell I think I have ever smelled in my life. It's been about 15 minutes and I can still smell it!!! But lets start at the beginning...

    I go out to get some ice for "an adult beverage" and as I'm walking back to the room I look in the tank and think "I wonder what that large colony of Hammer would do if I put it directly under the light, but still in the sand bed?". So I sat my glass of ice down, took the top off the tank (the canopy is already off, never put it back on lmao) and reached in and fanned water towards the hammer so he would close up.

    After a few seconds of fanning, and getting bitten repeatedly by the small clown..., I grabbed the hammer colony and gently pulled it out of the sand bed and shook off what sand I could. Then, i took it over and placed it in an open area that looked like it was made for this hammer! I pushed and twisted it into the sandbed all while continuously being bitten by this FRIGGEN FISH!!!

    So I'm done, it is in the sand, I pull my arm out, clown chasing and biting me the whole way and I start drying my hand off. Before I get everything completely dried off, I look in there and I notice the Mexican Turbo Snail that was attacked by my Left Handed Blue Legged Hermit Crab (whom is dead now thanks to the new coral banded shrimp lmao. Circle of life) and the shrimp had not moved in a few days. So I decided to slowly flip him over and look at the blockage plate they use as protection. It looked fine, it was in the correct place an I started to set him back into the sand.

    That is when I noticed the plate sink into the shell and a slight bit of "black crap" come out of the shell. Yup, I knew then he was a gonner so I figured since he was spewing out liquefied Escargot, I would put him in my 10 gallon that I had setup for when I was sucking sand out of the tank and I use that "holding tank" to find any snails or hermits that may have been sucked up, and when I did it I found over a dozen lmao. I pull that snail out of the water and straight into the 10 gallon tank and that is when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

    Apparently the smell of a dead snail will trump anything and everything on the planet!!! I have no way of even trying to describe the smell because I have never smelled anything even remotely resembling that smell! It was absolutely horrible. At that time, I said screw it, this tank is going outside and I don't care if there are a few good snails or hermits in it, this smell has to get out of my house immediately!!!

    So there you go, the explanation of the worst smell I have ever smelled in my life! You have to love Saltwater Aquariums!

    And I just thought of something. For one, that snail could be a contributing cause to my rise in Nitrates I mentioned in an earlier post. He was definitely leaching crap into the water, but I did more damage taking him out than he did just laying there sealed up for the most part.

    The other thing is, I have 5 or 6 rocks in there that are going to be going through a cycle. I did have them in a bucket with saltwater for about two weeks so most of the cycle should be done, but it still could be contributing to the rise in Nitrates. I guess we will see in a couple weeks. I will check it again next weekend and see where it is after all of this has settled. I'm also going to check Nitrates and Ammonia tomorrow just to see if anything happened. I have a high suspicion the Ammonia will be up tomorrow...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  4. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Did some more work on the tank today. Well, actually the lights. In an earlier post I stated that I took the vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to the lights to take off the quilt that was laying on top of them. I'm not tall enough to actually see in them, and since the actual LED's are on the other side, the top is quite dark. Today, I grabbed a flashlight and had a little look down inside the cooling fins where the fan is and OMG, that vacuum didn't do squat!!!

    As you can see in this picture, There is absolutely no way these fans were cooling these lights. There are 24 high power LED's on this light and they get quite hot. This fan is required for anything over about 30%. Anything below and the light doesn't heat up enough to kick the fan on. But holy hell this was WAY worse than I thought it was. I have never taken it apart to clean it because you have to take it COMPLETELY APART to clean it. The fan is plugged into the main board which is on the other side of the heatsink and you have to take the plastic housing off as well as all 8 of the reflectors (each reflector has 3 lenses). Then you can unplug the fan and you flip it back over, take the two bolts out of the fan, loosen the hot glue they have for the hole where the wires go through and pull the fan out. In this picture, you are looking at the bottom side of the fan that faces the light.

    IMG_1055.JPG

    I knew this thing needed a FULL cleaning so I broke out the tools and removed the fan blades from the base unit. What I found inside was pretty amazing. I have never had a fan get this dirty! It was so dirty that even the INSIDE of the magnet had dust caked onto it! On the right side you can see a clean spot, that is the noise I was hearing. It was hitting some dust that was scrapped off the magnet and stayed on the stator (I think...). Either that, or the blades were hitting the case. Either way, they spin free now!

    IMG_1057.JPG

    Cleaning the actual cooling fins was the hardest part. I just didn't have a brush that was the right size to fit inside the fins to get all of that dust off of it. It was caked on really good! So I used a microfiber towl that was folded over a large allen driver. Once I got the loose stuff, I sprayed some foaming window cleaner onto it and did it all again. It took about 30 minutes to clean the fins alone! Since I had the fan off the motor I went ahead and just washed that in a sink with a toothbrush and hot water. Cleaned that right up. I completely forgot about the cover that is over the fan so I just wiped that off with my microfiber towel and called it good. And this is the result.

    IMG_1058.JPG

    I think the fans on these lights are going to work much better now as well as be much quieter. Just another thing I'm doing to this tank to save some energy! I know the picture doesn't look perfect, but it is MUCH better than it was! The flash on the camera made every speck of dust show up lol. I did to both lights and they are over the tank now doing what they do. I am experimenting with different heights off the water just to see how the corals react to them. Same intensity but closer to the water gives a higher PAR value in the water. Some corals are going to love it, some are going to hate it. I just need to see which is which...
     
  5. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Purchased a new fish for a very specific reason yesterday. Waiting to see if it is going to make it before I explain what it is. Again...
     
  6. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh yea, and I ordered a new light for the refugium. Even though my nitrates are low enough to not show up on my test kit, I'm still going to add some more light to the fuge to try and suck up the rest of them. Hoping it will help with the algae I have in the main tank... More on this after I do some testing when I receive it.
     
  7. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Update time!

    Wednesday I posted that I purchased a new fish and that I wanted to wait to see how it was going to do before posting about it. Well, the fish is still alive and is actually doing well. What I purchased was an Orange Diamond Goby. I'm sure you saw in the latest pictures that my sand bed is not looking that great, and that is because I have nothing that will turn the sand over and eat what is on top of it. That is where this little Goby comes into play.

    This guy (which I have shown in a video before in this thread) will pick up mouth fulls of sand and sift it through its gills. The don't really eat the algae on it, but they do keep it moving which makes the sand look better. Unfortunately, this little Goby decided to make his home where I didn't want him to lol. So he is staying on the left side of the tank with the clowns.

    But after a few days the little Goby is doing pretty good and here's hoping it survives this time.

    DiamondWatchman.jpg

    The other fish that I wanted to update is the Lawn Mower Blenny. I have had Blenny's in the past that would eat flake and/or frozen foods, and the one that I have now is NOT one of those fish. This guy ONLY eats algae off the rock and glass so I have been worried about him and I still am. But I have stopped cleaning the back glass and my overflow and I'm letting my power heads get a little more dirty than usual to hopefully keep him for quite a while. He has been doing an amazing job at helping to keep the tank clean as long as he keeps eating lol. here's hoping.
     
  8. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Now this is funny. Right after I wrote what I did above, I go out to take some pictures of a new coral that just kind of showed up on a rock and I have no idea what it is. It is definitely an SPS, but I have no idea what kind of SPS. I will just have to wait for it to grow out and find out lol.

    But I went out there to take pictures of this coral and noticed the tank was extremely cloudy. This tank is usually pretty clear. I noticed that it was sand floating in the water and figured the Goby was doing his thing. So I start looking for him and low and behold the Goby is digging his new home exactly in the center of the tank where I wanted him!!! This is absolutely AWESOME!! There are 4 possible places where the Goby can make a home, well 5 if you count the one the Goby made lol, but this center one is THE one I wanted it in!

    First are a few pictures of Goby and then a video of him digging out his cave.

    IMG_6592.JPG
    IMG_6600.JPG

    He REALLY doesn't like my Cleaner Wrasse!!!

    IMG_6598.JPG

    And here is the video of the Goby doing his thing!



    And as mentioned, here is an enhanced photo of the coral that is just growing. On the lower left is the Orange Acan coral, you can just barely see it, but in this photo, it is LARGE! This coral in the center(ish) is very small!

    IMG_6594.JPG

    And here is a full tank shot because I know you all want to see it.

    IMG_6595.JPG
     
  9. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Last week, I ordered a light for my refugium. The one that I ordered was a 300 watt light which was WAY overkill for my system. But it would allow me to grow and keep the same light. It was not supposed to be here until Wednesday and to my surprise it showed up today.

    Now I had to take a helicopter that I had been working on to the post office and as I was heading there, I saw that the lock box on the top was without a key, meaning that key was in someones mail box and there was a large package in that box. Yup, that was my light! Or so I thought...

    I came back from the post office and I opened the mail box to get the key to open the lock box and there was no key.. There was a package in there though, addressed to me, and it was small, and crushed. I grab it and take it to my car and I open it up. This is what I find...

    soporte-ring-stent-para-celular-iphone-kickstand-wn-004-D_NQ_NP_628325-MLA25415521380_032017-F.jpg

    Apparently this is to go on the back of your cell phone as some kind of kickstand thing. I'm just reaching here, but I don't think this is going to grow macro algae worth a crap... My email to the company I purchased from was not kind. First off, they are a china based company drop shipping from the USA. The page I purchased the light from stated the item was located in Texas, but it actually shipped from California. It also stated it would ship via UPS and it shipped by DHL. And not only that, YOUR NOT EVEN GETTING THE ITEM YOU ORDERED. I order a $40 light an I get a $0.14 plastic POS! But thanks to them being located in CHINA!!! I get to wait until the middle of the friggin night just to get a response from them on if they are going to send me my light over night which I requested, or if they are going to return my money and I forget about growing chaeto with a massive light...

    I guess we will find out in the middle of the night... ugh... Things were going so well too...
     
  10. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Bad things are happening.... More to come, TONIGHT AT NIGHT!!!
     
  11. murankar

    murankar Moderator Staff Member Armed Forces

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    Is the fecal matter making contact with a rotating devise.
     
  12. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    It's "Aerial Rotating Device"... :chuckles:

    And kind of. Bad things happening with me out on the road.
     
  13. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Alright, I needed to do some testing overnight before I could come to a conclusion. Well it is now the next day, and what I thought was happening is actually happening. And I have absolutely no scientific idea why at this time.

    As I'm sure most of you know, this week (last week I guess) on Monday was Labor Day in the USA so I 'kind of' had the day off... Basically because of the holiday, I had to leave out for work on Monday rather than Sunday. Well on Tuesday I was sick as a dog and came home and have been here ever since trying to get over this cough. It's horrible. Well on Monday after I left, the ATO in the tank went low and the wife put fresh water in it. I know, I should have done it myself. Well since then my PH went from 8.25 to 8.35 all the way down to 8.0. A very high swing that hasn't happened since I recalibrated that PH probe. I asked her if she put Kalk (Pickling Lime) in the water to raise the Calcium and Alkalinity and she said she did.

    When I got home Tuesday night, I didn't care and didn't even look at the PH or the tank for that matter, I just wanted sleep and copious amounts of medicine to get over this crap. The next day I noticed the PH was still very low and again I asked her and again she said yes. This went on until Friday lmao. She is pretty pissed at me over this one lol.

    So this weekend I decided to do a little experiment. My refugium flows very slow and has accumulated a lot of detritus. I first was thinking this could be the cause of my algae in the display tank but I figured when I do the second water change in two days (more on this later) that I would clean out the fuge and fill it with fresh water. Well, before I did that, I just went ahead and shut off the flow to the fuge and started getting some new fittings together to redirect the flow in the fuge. When I left the aquarium to get the parts, the PH was at 8.15 as seen in this screen shot below.

    Untfdsitled.png

    As you can see, 8.15 on the right but last night at 1800 it was all the way down to 8.08 to 8.09 and this is with the lights on. This is not normal.

    So I went into my closet where I have all the aquarium stuff and found the fittings I needed and fitted everything together and when I came back I installed them on the fuge. Before turning it back on though, I got distracted with some other stuff and in only two hours, the PH had jumped up...

    Untfdsitled2.png

    This may not look like a lot, but look how flat the PH stayed and once I shut the fuge off, this is what it did. It went from 8.15 to 8.21 without changing anything on the tank, without opening any other doors or removing the glass tops (which does usually cause the PH to rise slightly), the only change was stopping the flow in the fuge cutting it off from the rest of the tank. So I waited some more...

    Untfdsitled3.png

    Untfdsitled4.png

    The PH went up all the way to 8.26!!! This is about as weird as it gets. The dips that you see on the right, lets explain those for a second... The first 8.26 spike you see, and then it drops. I turned the fuge back on! I left it on for about 5 minutes and it started rapidly dropping the PH. I turned it off and it started climbing back up. The second dip you see in there happened when I shut the whole tank down to do a water change. Just something that happens when water sits still in the sump.

    Which brings me back to the fuge. I'm guessing I'm running about 20 gallons an hour through the fuge on average. Enough that it keeps the top of the water skimmed off but slow enough to not stir up the detritus that is in there. Which should be more than enough flow to keep the water from sitting and causing this issue, but I guess not. I will definitely be watching this very closely over the next week or so to see what it does.

    As stated above, I have done two water changes in two days. I'm sure you are wondering why I did this since I rarely do water changes... The reason is simple... The algae in the main display tank and the fact that I have lost a lot of coral since I have been gone. All of my encrusting Montipora is dead. The red/green plating monti is just barely hanging on, but most of it is dead. The Pink acro birdsnest has been bleached out for a few weeks now with no polyp extension. Even my hammer was getting bleached out. So I was thinking that something had to be WAY off in my water.

    I did a full run of tests, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, PH, Calcium and Alkalinity. Everything was within normal range with the exception of the Alk which was a little on the high side at 11. Calcium was 440ppm, nitrates were <5ppm, no ammonia or nitrites and the PH was right where my apex was showing it should be. It was at this time I decided to do two 15 gallon water changes.

    I did the first one yesterday and I screwed up. Not bad, but it was still a screw up. I turned the pump on in the water, A Danner 1200 Mag Drive Main Pump. This is a BIG pump (okay, not that big but it is the largest physical size that I have) and it puts off a lot of heat which you really don't notice when it is in the tank. Although I do now since I'm running DC and my heater was kicking on more often after removing it lol.

    Well the next morning when I was ready to do the water change, after leaving that pump on all night, the water was about 83ºF to 84ºF. This is not really hot, but is above my normal tank temp which is heater on at 77ºF and off at 78ºF. And it is still below the 85ºF where you start losing oxygen in the water. So it wasn't bad, but I knew it was really going to piss off things in my tank for a minute since I was doing a tank drain and fill rather than a sump drain and fill. My back didn't want to lean over like that and my lungs definitely didn't want to do it with all this coughing I have been doing.

    I got that water change done, the tank heated up to about 79ºF after everything mixed together and everything seemed about as happy as it was. So I sat the barrel back in the kitchen and started making more water. I measured out the salt, filled up the barrel with water, put the salt in the water and put my little Maxi-Jet 1200 in there. Don't get the Maxi-Jet 1200 confused with the Danner 1200. The Maxi-Jet is a powerhead and the Danner is a main pump. HUGE difference. The Danner is 1200 gallons per hour, but the Maxi-Jet is only 295 with no head pressure. And more importantly, less heat buildup in the water. So I let this go over night.

    The next morning I started doing everything above with the testing and water change. However, I noticed something different today. I can see polyps on the acro and I can also see some polyps on the plating monti.

    IMG_1165.JPG

    IMG_1166.JPG

    IMG_1167.JPG

    The first pic and the second pic are of the same coral. The first one is just blown out with blue light. The second one is what the acro looks like now. And the third one is of the plating Monti. So something is doing something. I will be doing another water change next weekend when I get home if everything goes as planned.

    So that is where my tank is at right now. I am starting to rethink my new sump design though after this. I was going to have the overflow water going into the sump be split 75/25 in the skimmer section / refugium section respectively. But I'm starting to think that may not be enough flow. So I may be going back to my original design of a large fuge in the middle with full water flow in it. Still thinking this one over though.
     

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