"Giant Mini Fridge" - Red Sea E-170

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by revnull, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

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    It's ok for now. The chaeto is kind of a pain to load and that top oring drives me nuts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    My Algae Barn order showed up this week.

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    The chaeto from Algea Barn lived up to it's name, it was very clean, but I do not recall my old chaeto ball being this brittle in my last tank.

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    At night with the lights out, I dosed 1 bag of pods to the display and the other directly to the reactor. I let the pods marinate for about 30min before turning the main return pump back on.

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    The next day, fully plumbed with the lights on.

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    Today's project was increasing the size of my ATO container in preparation of an upcoming trip. I picked up a 50lb Vittles Vault from chewy.com that holds about 13 gallons of water. Using a stepper bit, I drilled a 3/4-in hole near the top for a BRS 1/4-in bulkhead. Using a nibbler, I cut a small channel for the PMUP power cord and rounded it out with a drill bit. This has the side benefit of allowing air into the container to break the vacuum.

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    I installed a check valve to prevent back siphoning. Since the check creates a small mount of back pressure, I figured it would be better to locate it in the container with the PMUP where the head pressure is the strongest.

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    All filled up and ready to rock. Next step is to install a level sensor (I still have 1 open port on my FMM) to notify me when I'm down to ~1/4 tank.

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  3. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Current livestock list:
    • A mated pair of clowns (they were my first livestock purchase 12+ years ago; older than my children)
    • 2 Turbo Snails
    • 4 Scarlet Hermit Crabs
    • 1 Blood Shrimp


    Current tank shots:

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    Yes, Chia Homer made it into the scape. :) I drilled out a 2" hole in the back of his head to make another hiding spot for future fish.

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    Side shot from my favorite chair (after dosing Alk, hence the cloud).

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  4. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    This evening I spent some time preparing my BRS space saver containers for the day I finally decide on a doser (I'm open to suggestions based on personal experience). I picked up a length of 1/4-in ridged acrylic tubing from Tap Plastics and cut a 13.5-in section with a small pipe cuter.

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    Using a stepper drill bit and BRS 1/4-in bulkheads, I drilled the caps and assembled all the parts.

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    It all came together nicely if I do say so myself. :)

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  5. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Just a few days after I added my cheato, pods and started dosing live phyto, I start getting hazy/green water with TONS of film algae on the glass. It was so bad that about an hour after cleaning my glass, is was covered once again. All of my water params are good, but I performed a 20% water change anyway. Still no luck. After reading about others with similar issues, I decided to dust off my old Turbo Twist 6x UV sterilizer. This thing has been through hell, epoxied case that leaks a little, been installed on tanks and ponds for different family members. It's almost a family heirloom. :)

    I hacked together quick and dirty plumbing that attached it to my return manifold. Then rigid plumbing on the output that flows directly into my 100 micron filter sock.

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    Its been running for about 12hrs so far and the water is MUCH better. (Sorry, no before pic)

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    Another interesting side effect of adding the UV was an increase in pH. Not sure why.

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    This bout with algae blooms has me thinking I should add a permanent UV sterilizer to my setup. Does anyone have an opinion one way or the other? Do modern sterilizers use LEDs now? Seems silly to burn 20w of power on fluorescent since LED technology has advanced so quickly in the last few years.
     
  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    I’m curious why you are dosing live phyto?
     
  7. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    To feed the new pod population. I probably overdosed and put myself in this pickle.
     
  8. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    So about 60hrs after adding UV, my water is near crystal clear. :)

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    Skimming has been extra wet for the past couple of days. I assume its been picking up the die off of whatever was clouding the water. Next step is a full set of parameter tests to see if my water chemistry was adversely affected by this bloom.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  9. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    I wonder if you might have actually had a mild bacteria bloom that just coincided with the added phyto.
     
  10. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Possibly, but I think I'm going to lay off the phyto for a few weeks just in case. Then start dosing 1/2 the recommended. I'm hoping my chaeto reactor will keep the pod population happy until then.
     
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

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    What’s the goal of the pod population?most tanks will have lots as long as they are given space to live and a refuge from predation.
     
  12. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Years ago I kept a mandarin that was a very healthy eater. He would even eat frozen brine. I made the massive mistake of buying a flame angel from a very questionable shop (long since out of business). Being early in hobby, I didn't QT and the flame angel had flukes. Before I realized what was happening, my mandarin was dead. :(
    Long story short, I'd like to keep a mandarin again, but there is no guarantee that it will eat frozen, so I wanted to make sure I have an established pod population before I dive back in.
     
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

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    I added pods for the same reason and started out feeding them phyto but after only a few times adding it I decided to just let it go and see how they did. It’s been probably a year without adding any phyto and they’re going strong and my mandarin looks great. I see both amphipods and copepods so they must just propagate in my chaeto and rock work.
     
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  14. daddio

    daddio Supporting Member

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    We stopped adding live phyto because since it is alive, it propagates and makes a mess of the tank. We switched over to RG Complete which is made by BAR sponsor Reed Mariculture. It is as healthy as live phyto but wont reproduce 'cause it is dead. It also has ClorAm-X to control ammonia. Here is a link:
    http://apbreed.com/product_rgcomplete.php
     
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  15. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    Could you accomplish this by buying a captive bred mandarin?
     
  16. Fish Boss

    Fish Boss Supporting Member

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    I don't believe captive bred mandarins are guaranteed to eat frozen. I believe that was the issue with the ORA ones. People expected them to eat frozen right away, and were disappointed when they didn't. I'm not sure about other breeders though
     
  17. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

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    Biota’s claim is “Thanks to the captive breeding at Biota Marine Life Nursery Palau these mandarins are eating prepared foods and can be a great addition to any community tank. These fish are being fed PE Calanus, V2O, Ocean Nutrition and Hikari Cyclops, and a fine dry food in the 200-400 micron size”

    I would really like to try one of these someday once my new tank is setup.
     
  18. Solitaryensis

    Solitaryensis Supporting Member

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    Nice set up!
     
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  19. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Today I added a new optical level sensor to my top off reservoir.

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    I used an old magnetic single probe holder that seems very similar to the one that ships with the other version of the stand alone sensor saving me $10. (I probably paid more than $10 for that probe holder years ago. :) )

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    Oddly, when I plugged in the new optical sensor it was recognized as a flow sensor. I re-inserted the cable into the FMM and it was then correctly identified as an optical sensor. All good, except the state of the sensor was stuck in the "Open" state despite being in or out of the water. Several more inserts ans reboots later, still no luck. The solution I found was to reconfigure the FMM module. I disabled "auto detection" on the port and made sure it was set to "Optical Sensor". For whatever reason this fixed my issue. I'm guessing, the auto detection in the FMM firmware is still a little buggy.

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  20. revnull

    revnull Guest

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    Today's project was to "fix" my ongoing low pH problem. I know a lot of people say not to chase pH and I agree to a certain extent, but if you are going to do it, I think doing it naturally when possible is better than chemically. For that reason, I chose to run a fresh air line outside.

    Part list:
    • 20-ft length of 3/8-in clear vinyl tubing
    • 3/8-in push fit to 1/2-in male threaded adapter
    • 1/2-in female thread to 1-in slip PVC elbow
    • course sponge
    • short length of 1-in PVC pipe
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    After screwing the push fit adapter into the PVC elbow I cut a section of sponge so that is was just slightly larger that the 1-in PVC opening. This sponge should filter dust and bugs from entering the tube. I'll have to keep an eye on it to establish a replacement schedule.

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    Using an old hole that a satellite TV company drilled years ago, I fished the 3/8-in tubing through to the outside (it helps to put something thin and ridged in the tube to help guide it through to the other side).

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    Once outside, I pushed the vinyl tubing into the PVC filter "thing". The extra length of 1-in PVC pipe helps hold the sponge filter in place and should keep the rain out. I plan on installing a pipe strap to hold it to wall and silicone the remaining gap in the exterior wall later.

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    For now, the fresh air line runs over the top of the 1/4-in ridged tube for my skimmer's silencer. I left enough length to be able to run it down to the skimmer venturi, but I'm still not sure it's needed yet.

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