Cymen's 20G tall

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Cymen, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: ~5-20 (hard to read, will do some water changes and retest, could be 50+)
    SG: 1.026
    Temp: 78f

    So it looks like I cycled. Maybe just barely in the past couple days. I'll give it a while longer before calling it cycled. There is still some diatom algae but leaving the light off has helped as it is thinning and/or the hermits are scraping it off. Once the vacuum arrives, I'll try exporting more by cleaning the sand bed.

    The sump changes are working great! It is much easier to adjust the head on the skimmer. I also aimed it away from the bubble trap baffles into a corner of the tank. Then lowered the DC-3000 return pump to 1 bar. That seems to have gotten rid of the constant stream of microbubbles that were coming. I'm going to try putting the skimmer and the return pump on a piece of silicon mat to see if I can quiet it down even more. ATO is working out very well -- it is accurate and sensitive. The current 1g ATO reservoir needs to be topped off every other day so figuring out where to put a larger container and getting one is pretty high on the list.

    I tore down the QT tank and am soaking all that equipment in a mild bleach solution.
  2. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Nice. Just so you know, my tank converted all the amonia to nitrate but then some time later, after I added my invertebrates, I noticed nitrite had come back. Next time I have to do this, I'll redose the amonia and make sure it's all converted to nitrate by the next day.
    Cymen likes this.
  3. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    That makes sense -- the Dr Tim's Ammonium Chloride directions said to do that too (dose should be fully converted in 24 hours). I've hesitated to fully dose the tank with the hermits in there but maybe I'll put them in a bowl w/ a heater and try it. I'm not in a rush though as I want to get some more rock so I'll wait another week or so and try it then. Thanks!
  4. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I did some research on acrylic concrete additives. My research method is lots of googling and trying to piece information together. I found some interesting information on the comments of this Youtube video:

    The person who posted the video is making pond rocks. They prefer Dayton-Superior J-40 or J40 acrylic additive but explain the differences between it and Acryl 60 and what you can find in stock at Home Depot/Lowes:

    So there is a bit of false economy in buying a gallon of say this stuff:

    SAKRETE 1 Gal. Concrete Bonder and Fortifier for $11.27

    However, for my purposes of just wanting to try it out, it's great as I don't have to go far to get some. I'm going to try some of it and see how it goes. Home Depot also has the Sika pro but the directions (at least online) don't say to mix it with water. If that is true, going by the comments from the video, Sika pro has 1/2 the solids of the Sakrete product. But it might just be bad directions online -- I'll read the directions on the product itself in the store.

    I know White Cap carries Acryl 60 but not sure who would carry the Dayton-Superior products. The issue with White Cap is the hours -- they close by 5pm so it's a hassle to get over there.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
    Enderturtle likes this.
  5. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    One of my hermits came with a bunch of algae on his/her shell. Looks kind of like green hair algae but not the thick soupy stuff (maybe that's the real green hair algae). Take a look and sorry for the horrible photo quality:


    It's growing well on his/her shell. Should I worry about it? Or just let it ride? I haven't seen any around the tank yet.
  6. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    With a little more research, I think the Sakrete product is a risky option for using in live rock. Enough that I'm not going to use it. I assumed it was similar to Acryl 60 just more diluted but the SDS has a warning:
    That sounds bad. The MSDS for Acryl 60 doesn't say anything similar so...

    I'm going to try making my center structure out of pieces of the dry Florida rock which should arrive on Tuesday. I can use the MasterEmaco cement to bond it if I can't come up with structures without bonding.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Yeah, that would sway my decision too.
  8. Cymen

    Cymen Guest


    * tank needs to remain fishless through 3/3 (at least for the Ich life cycle)
    * traveling starting 3/25 for two weeks and don't have a spare ATO or want to go down that route

    So I'll wait until April to get some fish to quarantine (with the tank transfer method). In the meantime, I'd like to get an easy to take care of coral. I'm leaning towards GSP. I'm happy to give up an isolated rock to GSP. I also like the movement of pulsing Xenia. I know both are considered to be pests but I need to start somewhere. I'm leaning towards GSP over Xenia to start.

    In other news, I'm growing fonder of the hermits. The big scarlet legged one is doing a lot of work on the algae. After the molt, he isn't very scarlet anymore but maybe that is down to a poor diet of diatom algae. I'm also feeding Spectrum pellets but I don't see him going for those. The little blue hermits are active and at least one is smart about the pellets but not sure how much they do. I'll just assume they are effective at a smaller scale. So I'm going to keep the hermits.
  9. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I received the 30 pounds of Florida dry rock from Billy's Reef Connection this afternoon:

    It looks great! I'm really happy with what I received. I wish I'd just gone this route in the beginning but such is life :).
  10. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I did a 90% water change on the display tank and made some rock towers:

  11. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I started reading scuzy's restart thread and got a little paranoid that plant material on my hermit might be bryopsis. So I took out the hermit with the big tufts, yanked out as much as I could (tough stuff whatever it is) and then used a nail file to file off whatever remained on the shell. Then I repeated that with the hermit that only had a couple of stalks. I used a dropper to rinse both before returning them to the tank. I don't know if it was bryopsis but at least I don't have to worry about it now.
  12. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Scratch the GSP or anything else invasive. After putting in more rock, I can see why putting in an invasive thing would be a huge pain.

    Ammonia: ~0
    Nitrite: ~0.1
    Nitrates: ~10-20? (I believe the test is indeed influenced by measurable presence of Nitrites so not very useful at the moment)

    The new rock is getting seeded. Everything is working well except the second bulkhead from Glass-Holes cracked. I used the not-very-flexible black hose from them and it connects directly from my pump to a splitter to some elbows that screw into the bulkheads. On the second replacement, I tried not tightening it too much but it started dripping so I had to tighten it down tonight. I think that moving the pump below is putting a lot of force on the bulkheads and I should have put in a 90 degree at where it enters the back of the stand and another one down into the pump to take some pressure off the system. At that point, I'm kind of thinking PVC just makes a whole lot more sense. I was moving the pump a bit when cleaning/arranging things so I'll stop doing that for now (and figure out which elbows to order to fix it).
  13. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    I also am going to build a reef computer. I can't really resist. My first part arrive:

    MiniPH pH interface from Sparky's Widgets

    I'm going to start with an ESP8266-based approach. I considered Arduino and Particle. Arduino nixed due to lack of wifi (but it can use the ESP8266 so fallback option) and Particle sounded not so great with the toolchain (I'd rather have a local one than cloud, I get that is an option but it not being the default... hrm). My professional work is focused on client-side web applications that talk to APIs so having a simple JSON-emitting server (or servers) is perfect. I think I'll split that whole thing off to a separate thread and keep this one focused on non-computer.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Looking forward to new thread! Sounds like fun.
    I have been curious about the ESP8266.

    Particle has a lot of +/-, that is for sure. I flip-flop between being all excited and tearing my hair out.
    But the tool chain has not been one of the problems.

    Arduino always works ... and that is unfortunately something I have yet to really see on other devices.
    There are wifi shields. But so poor performance, I doubt it will do what you want.
  15. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Today is the day I could have put Piero (our name for the deceased Clownfish) back into the display tank. So the tank has lay fallow enough for at least the ich lifecycle to complete. In about a month, we're going on a trip for two weeks so even though the new rock is cycled too, it seems best to wait until we get back to get some fish. Mostly because I think I can figure out a way to keep the ATO supplied for the display tank but not for the QT tank (don't have an ATO, etc). So in holding mode.

    For the ATO on the display, I'm currently using a 1 gallon tea jug and it needs to be filled every two days (would last about 2.5 days I think). I use an AquaLifter pump to go from the jug to the sump. For the two weeks, I could either find a 20g container or run a line from my 32g Brute garbage can RODI water storage. I can get a bunch of air hose on Amazon and run a temporary line from the garbage can to the AquaLifter. Then I'd put the other end of the pump exiting higher than any other point in the system so into the display tank (to avoid siphon).

    As a programmer, I'm skeptical about hacks like this so it'll require two weeks of testing too. Thankfully, my wife is onboard. Now if only Amazon sold 50 foot sections of air hose instead of 25 feet or 100/500 feet. I have about a 25 foot run to do all on the level but I'd prefer a little extra to accommodate routing out of foot traffic. Definitely not splicing together two 25 foot sections because I can see some potentially massive water damage going that way. Opinions welcomed!
  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    You can probably use standard drip irrigation tubing. Depends on fittings.
    Cheap, and better outside than airline tubing. You may have issues with UV degredation and
    algae growing in the clear tube.

    Testing is key.
    For me, I have two parts:
    A standard controller used really for monitoring.
    (I wish Fishbit had come along a year earlier)
    My DIY boxes for actual control.
    So if something goes wrong with my controller, the other monitor will tell me.
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    PS: Test like crazy with the wifi down.
    I had quite a few issues with Particle hanging/stalling.
  18. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    Do you go online for drip irrigation tubing or is that commonly in stores too? I would be hooking it up to the AquaLifter pump I'm already using (that feeds into the 1g jug currently). It is controller by the AquaHub DIY ATO controller. I'd stay w/ that for now -- don't want to rush the controller (and still waiting for parts from China to arrive).
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Lowes and Home Depot have tons of it.
    Along with barb connectors that can easily attach drip tube to airline tubing.

    Note: Aqualifter has pretty limited head height. I am not sure it will pump water out of the bottom of a big brute barrel.
    You may want a better (but far more expensive) perstaltic pump.
  20. Cymen

    Cymen Guest

    That is great on the tube -- I'll try that. I think the AquaLifter will work based on reading a ton of threads of people putting it in their basement and having it pump up to their tank. But I get it's border-line. I'll try it and find out. I think the water coming down the other side will lessen the load (but physics was a while ago).
    Enderturtle likes this.

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