bondolo's combined tanks

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by bondolo, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I've reduced the light cycle length and replaced the ancient 50/50 PC tube with a fresh 50/50 65W tube. Even I noticed the change in colour. Reducing the light cycle duration to 8:15 seems to be working to reduce the cyano growth already and the corals seem happier than ever. I may lower it by another half hour. Hair algae on some of the plugs and the brown slime algae seem to grow unabated. I scraped and peroxide dipped again on the weekend.

    I didn't post my testing results from February 21st so here they are along with today's testing results.

    February 21st: 8.3 pH 7.5 dKH
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    And the large open top!
  3. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Tank parameters have improved quite a bit:

    1.025 salinity
    8.25 pH
    11.5 dKH
    440 ppm Ca
    1250 ppm Mg
    0.0 PO4
    0.0 NO3

    kH got a little high because I forgot that I was supposed to be using the max dose for 4 days not a week but I've changed water so it should be back down to 10. My goal was 9.5 dKH.

    I've also been testing whether keeping the window shade behind the tank closed reduces the brown slime algae much. I scrubbed the tank spotless and changed the sock and carbon. So far it doesn't seem to make much difference. The corals are happy and there is noticeable growth on the capricornous montis, undata and chalice. I am feeding only a tiny amount of phytoplankton and primarily rotifeast and oysterfeast as nearly everything is SPS. The display tank gets more phyto but also arcticpods and target fed mysis for the duncans and various soft corals.
  4. tam

    tam Guest

    Looking good! Is this a 24x24x12? I think I have the same tank as you except I need to put in a little elbow grease to get it looking as nice.
  5. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Yes, it's exactly that dimension. I bought off of CL from a guy in castro valley. He had another he was selling so perhaps you have the mate.

    My current goal is to keep the dKH within a 1.0 range for a two week period and never let calcium fall below 420. (Testing PH/dKH/Ca/Mg twice a week) If I can do that then I believe it will be time to start adding a few additional frags. The couple of zoas I got at the swap in February seem to love this tank and the lighting. One of the frags has nearly filled the plug with new heads.
  6. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    Roots are now visible on several of the mangroves. It may be a couple of more months before they put out leaves. Corals are growing extremely well. The DBTC green slimer is positively lurid (which is good).

    Montipora Nudibranchs appeared and attacked the rainbow montipora I got at the February frag swap. I suspect they came off the "interesting" mushroom/paly/zoa/clove rock I got two weeks ago. The rock had been quarantined for a week and double dipped in iodine. I guess longer QT and more dips may help but in this case I think it was the vast amount of hiding spots that was the problem. I've been aggressive with povidone and also got a Yellow Wrasse to groom the tank.

    April 6th, 2011 : 1.0255 NaCl 8.3 pH 9.5 dKH 400 ppm Ca (huge drop)
    April 10th, 2011 : 1.026 NaCl 8.3 pH 9.0 dKH 420 ppm Ca 76F

    Overdue for testing...
  7. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I've finally got the red mangroves I wanted and have been planting them into the back part of my frag tank. Each propagule is in a 1.5" basket stuffed with rockwool. The rockwool acts as a rooting medium and is a lot cleaner than mud. It also doesn't have any phosphates or nitrates to release into the water.


    The coral frags have never looked better. I believe that I've succeeding in stabilizing the tank parameters and fine tuned the lighting effectively to keep algae at bay.
  8. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    My frag rack is starting to look full. I think I will need to buy another smaller one soon. Everything is growing marvellously. The skimmer is entirely too large for a tank this size so I am only running one side right now. I've been experimenting with increasing feeding considering how much skimmer capacity I have. I am wondering about keeping the parameters stable with all the extra coral that has been added recently. I hope that the large water volume will make maintaining stable values easier.



    Yes, it's still power compact lighting but other than bland colours nothing seems to be suffering.

    Most recent tank parameters: 1.0265 NaCl -- n/c 78 F 8.275 pH -- 0.075 up 8.5 dKH -- 0.5 up 460 Ca ppm 1500 Mg ppm

    I am going try to raise the calcium and alkalinity a bit more. pH has been quite steady even without the extra 20lb of coral rubble I had in the old sump.
  9. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Very cool looking. I'm generally not a bare bottom kind of guy, but yours looks good.

  10. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I haven't cleaned for two weeks and have been feeding pretty heavily. I'd say I have the algae under control:


    There's a slight green sheen to the tank divider but otherwise very clean.

    1.0255 NaCl -- 0.001 down 78 F -- n/c 8.3 pH -- 0.025 up 10 dHK -- 1.5 up 0.35 ppm PO4 (using Hanna pH colorimeter for the first time. This is suspect).

    I really let alkalinity get far too high though nothing seems to have suffered terribly because it was very gradual. I suspect calcium is really high as well because I'd been dosing both in proportion. I'm going to help it go down with a minor water change. The display tank was even more out of whack.

    I replaced the very worn volute cover on the return pump after finally finding a place that would sell me one for less than $15 shipping. It seems to be pumping about 50% more volume.... funny that. This lesson prompted me to clean the impellers on every other pump and powerhead.

  11. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Mike I've seen that same defect in many of the same parts. It must be the mold they make them in.
  12. Yep ... I just had one go bad this weekend as well ...
  13. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I meant to mention that all of the corals I got from yardartist are doing well and a few have visibly grown with one exception. The one coral which I thought would be entirely bulletproof, purple encrusting monti, faded out and slowly died. The other montis and the more finicky blastos, favia and zoas are all perfectly fine. :puzzled:
  14. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    Those were tiny chips of the purple monti. I will be taking the pipe out they are encrusted on soon and let you know so you can get a larger chunk. Glad to hear the others are well.
  15. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    My dad built me a very fine oak stand and I've moved the tank over from the earthquake-death-trap stand. The new stand also let me set up the refugium in addition to the skimmer and sump. The new stand is rock solid and built for my eventual 48x24x12 flat (I'm officially looking now). I still have some wiring work to get the power bar off the floor.


    I dumped about 20 pounds of live coral rubble into the refugium that I had been prepping in my quarantine tank into it. I need to set up chaeto lighting on the refugium.

    Some of my corals have finally been getting to the point where I need to frag them before they outgrow the plugs. Yay! No more buying corals for future swaps. Hopefully my swap corals will just get better and better (and more numerous). I've done my first dremel fragging of chalices and montiporas. I have only accidentally fragged acroporas but the broken bits seem to be growing. Most importantly, nothing is dying. I've decided I hate stick plugs and am doing round disc plugs. I almost need another rack. I managed to kill one frag by touching two corals that didn't get along. Not likely to be the last time that will happen...

  16. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Looks good Mike!
  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Nice work. Be patient. You will find a good deal on a frag flat if you are!
  18. boun11

    boun11 Supporting Member

    Look nice mike! Come by if you need more live rock to stick in your sump :)
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Looking good!

    An alternative to consider is to buy a used 120G acrylic tank, cut the top off, and eurobrace it a bit with the scraps.
    Ok, that sounds a bit easier than it is, but it is not super hard.
    And I think there was a 120 on cragislist for $180 recently.

    BTW: With bigger tanks come bigger spills.
    You may want to put a waterproof rug, or a larger board, under that sump.
    You have nice white carpeting.
  20. houser

    houser Past President

    Or you can sack up and build one...

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