Hornberson Reef - DSA 90 gallon mixed reef

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by wpeterson, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Sorry to hear about the water disaster...we all have been there and it is not fun at all....

    In regard to the Apex ALD (Advanced Leak Detection)...if possible wait till next year as they are coming out with the new module that is very flexible in measuring fluid in various states, flow metering, optical water level sensors, lead detection probes or future sensors you might have planned for your aquarium.

    Read more: http://reefbuilders.com/2015/09/04/neptune-systems-fluid-monitoring-module/#ixzz3sAR36T2o
    wpeterson and Enderturtle like this.
  2. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    If you need an ALD with a couple of sensors immediately, I can loan you one for a little bit until you sort out your leak.
    wpeterson likes this.
  3. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Mysterious leaks are a pain in the butt!

    Hope it's just the reactor leaking!

    I need to check for leaks more often too to make sure this excess evaporation is just due to the temperature change/addition of the frag tank.. Loosing way more water than usual.
    wpeterson likes this.
  4. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Thanks for the advice guys. Not making any big changes. I took the carbon reactor out of the system and I'm just running GFO. No leaks since doing this.

    I ordered new fittings and I'm planning to replumb the whole reactor chain when they arrive. I like how easy to use and dissassemble the TLF reactors are, but they use soft rubber elbows with pvc hose barbs that tend to wear out. I think one wore out or I dislodged it accidentally. We'll see.

    I may switch over to BRS media reactors which appear to be the same used in RO/DI filters which are much beefier but probably a pain to open and clean. Any of you have a media reactor setup you love?
  5. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Have them. Don't love them but they work.
    wpeterson likes this.
  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Have but don't use any more BRS
    I do use the TLF...so far so good
  7. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I replaced all the rubber boot 90-degree joints on my TLF reactor plumbing. It's hard to believe how degraded the originals were after 2 years, didn't seal well. I put the new boots on and also tighten zip-ties around the barb connections where I could. ::fingers crossed::

    I also took time to clean out my drains today, it's amazing how much filth builds up over a month or two. Thankfully that gave me a moment for a top down shot of the tank:

    neuro, Corallus, Enderturtle and 4 others like this.
  8. humu

    humu Guest

    *thumbs up* that's a healthy looking tank!
    Enderturtle and wpeterson like this.
  9. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Sorry to hear about the leak but it sounds like it's all patched up now (I hope)!
  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    We have confirmation that our high pH problems were due to too much chaetomorpha in our refugium. I had been trying to find a home for our extra chaeto but folks didn't follow through picking up. I pulled out about a cubic foot of chaeto from our refugium last weekend. Even with an 8 hour light cycle on the refugium, our pH never goes above 8.3 now. Previously we were at 8.5 or 8.6 max. I think the large volume of chaeto absorbed all the CO2 from the water every day.
  11. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    There is someone looking for chaeto on RC.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    yes, his screen name is AgentSPS.
    old school reefer,
  13. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I had offered my chaeto up on RC, someone wanted it but was flaky about picking it up so I gave up and culled it after 2-3 weeks of trying. Oh well. If anyone you know asks for chaeto, feel free to send them my way.

    In other news, our RBTA split and instead of one big softball sized anemone, we now have three smaller ones. I hope they find spots for themselves and don't walk all over the tank, we shall see. The monti caps growing above the anemone have gotten huge and may have been shading him - I wonder if that was the root cause.
  14. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    We upgraded from 2x MP10s to 2x MP40s a few months ago and the additional flow has been nice, but the MP40s sure are a pain to keep quiet and adjusted. I bumped up the strength of the magnets by moving the spacers to a thicker glass setting. I hope the newer MP40s have the same quality as the MP10s we had.
  15. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Good news and bad news. The new MP40wES that has been making a racket is back in the tank after a vinegar soak and teardown/rebuild of the wet side and it's back to normal. We'll see for how long.

    Bad news, I've been battling a slow leak in my sump area for a month now and I finally found the cause. One of my TLF 150 reactors had a hairline crack 2-3" long near the top - I probably damaged it during maintenance or dropped it or something. I was debating getting BRS reactors or something fancier, but I'm planning to replace it with another TLF 150. They're simple and inexpensive and that one lasted 2-3 years.

    Cracked reactor, I could this guy red-handed with salt creep and dripping water this time:
    neuro likes this.
  16. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Finally you found it!
  17. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    At least it was contained within the cabinet, that's a huge plus too.
  18. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    FIY livestock including chaeto is always desirable at most fish stores. You can donate or even ask for store credit.

    That and I feel like people ask for chaeto too.
  19. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I'm happy to say our tank survived 10 days on autopilot while we were in Hawaii. Both dosing reservoirs were totally tapped out by the time I got home, which led to the Alk dropping to 8 dkh which is not good but not awful. I'm going to have to upgrade to larger reservoirs for alk/calc - currently using 2L glass jugs, but I bought some 5L plastic jugs from BRS that should work better.

    I've been experimenting with letting my phosphate and nitrate climb to more natural levels and seen a lot more coral growth. Enough growth that my dosers couldn't keep up with it and I may need to re-evaluate my plans. I've also switched to bulk Calc dosing from dry BRS calcium chloride - so I'm doing the Randy Holmes-Farley two part #2 recipe by the book now.

    The 2015 MP40 I bought has been nothing but trouble - noise and vibrations enough to scare the fish and drive me crazy. I broke it down and cleaned it, spent months playing with the spacer setting and meticulous alignment of the wet/dry sides before we left. I've given up and I'm planning to RMA it to Ecotech ASAP. The used MP40 I've bought is working great and I've been running the whole tank off of it for the last month or so while I've been debugging the wonky new MP40.

    Nutrient export seems well under control and if anything I believe I've been skimming and running our media reactors too aggressively. I think theres a curve from a new system (needing lots of automated export) to a more mature system (where larger coral biomass are importing more nutrients from the water column and less aggressive automated export may be needed). It's fascinating how much the different balances of our ecosystem change over time. I put the media reactor (carbon/GFO daisy chained) on the Apex controller so I can experiment with schedules. Running them for only 12 hours a day now vs. 24 has let phosphate creep up, but still low (< 0.10 ppm vs. previous 0.03 target)

    I'm happy to say our tank seems at a happy capacity for both fish and coral. The corals are growing enough they are beginning to war and grow over each other. I should probably be more actively pruning and fragging the larger colonies - so let me know if you want some frags. This is a new phase for me, having a tank overgrown and in maintenance mode.
    jonmos75 and Nav like this.
  20. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I should've just come over and topped off Alk n Cal.

    What colonies are you pruning?
    wpeterson likes this.

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