In the beginning...

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Flagg37, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I've got the Neptune ATK being delivered tomorrow. Finally, no more filling the tank every day by hand.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    ATK? Oh the auto-topoff

    Yeah a bit pricey for a top off setup, but worth every penny if it works flawlessly. I will say I'm happy to see the continuing trend of "no apex required" for these products that very obviously have everything they need to work by itself.
  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Wow you have been very patient. When I bought my setup I heard it would be available "any day now" and I only waited a couple months before breaking and buying the tunze. I hope your patience is rewarded greatly.

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  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I borrowed the tunze one from @Vhuang168 but my reservoir is higher than my sump so I was going to need a solenoid and the tunze one was $80. Now $80 would be fine on its own but I was only borrowing the tunze so I chose to wait.... just like I've been waiting for the COR to come out.
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    So the ATK has been running for 24 hours now. I've been keeping an eye on it and it's doing its job quite well. I had a little hiccup with setting it up. It doesn't help that there's no manual that comes with it. I plug everything in but there is a sticker taped over the aqua bus port so I didn't plug it in to the apex originally (this works as the stand alone ato). My reservoir is higher than my sump so instead of the pmup that comes with the ATK I used a Neptune solenoid. It worked but my reservoir was only half full and it only would allow drops to flow through. So I played around with a couple things. I found that the fmm gets enough power from the aquabus cable to power itself and the optical switches but not the 24v accessories. For those you need the power adapter. So I've got the pmup hooked up to it with the siphon break (a little fitting with a hole drilled in it so that air can get in a break the siphon).

    I also decided to try out using kalkwasser added to my ato to maintain my alk and Ca with the added benefit of increasing my pH. Right now it's just in a 5 gallon bucket to test it out.
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    1) why not use both the pmup and a solenoid? You can trigger them both to be on at the same time and be good to go.

    2) Be careful with adding kalk with a pump pulling it directly it's a sure fire way to get preciptation on your pump, plus the higher pH might do some nasty things. Best way to do kalk is to push fresh water into your kalk vessel and let it flow into your sump via gravity.
  7. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I'm using a fmm to top off with kalk. I just set it to today. I have the mechanical float to shut off the kalk ato and the solenoid that the litermeter pump is is pumping in case ph is out of wracked or water level too high.

    But I moved the solenoid behind the the kalk Rx.


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  8. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    The kalk pumo is a litermeter perialistic pump instead of a apex pmup.

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  9. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I'm going back to the basics. I lost a couple sps pieces recently from too muck alk from the kalk. My paletta pink tip and the DBTC chalice I got from @Coral reefer. Even before the spike (10.9 dKh) things weren't great so I'm dialing things back a bit and trying to get things to a better baseline.

    I had originally programmed my heaters to follow the regional table that the apex has to be able to simulate the natural seasonal temperature changes. I've switched this to have them come on at 77.0 degrees and off at 77.5 degrees.

    Next I set my sump light to turn on and off on a schedule instead of having it controlled by my pH.

    I've also stopped my AWC for the time being and have stopped dosing kalk through my ATO.

    The increased alk and ULN are a couple of the things I'm trying to get a better grasp of. Right now my alk is 10.9 dKh and I'd like to be around 8.0 to 8.5 so I'm going to let it drop on it's own with the coral's daily uptake.

    My nitrates are undetectable and my phosphates are 0.19 and I'd like them to be around 5.0 and 0.3. I had previously already increased my feeding (my phosphates used to be at 0.05) and I just harvested about 1/2 my chaeto (at least a gallon sized bag full). I'm hoping all these changes will in a way restart things in a better direction.
  10. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    The basics is always a good plan. Are you doing anything for the phosphate?
  11. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I'm letting it rise naturally with the increased feeding and the removal of the large chunk of chaeto. Oh, the other thing to help with increasing the nutrients is adding fish :). I've got 3 more cardinals, a new mandarin, and a black cap basselet in TTM right now.
  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Did you get a lid on that thing yet?!?
  13. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Why .3 phosphates?
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Because that's 1/16 of 5. The redfield ratio.

    No. It's still in the works.
  15. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    If your nitrate was already in the right ratio to the .19 phosphate would your test kit be able to resolve that? Or what if instead of proactively raising nitrate you tried to remove any anaerobic bacteria centers that could be freeing all your nitrates? Might be as simple as removing some porous media or reducing your sandbed depth. Just some counter ideas! :)
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Good ideas. I do have one of the 4" marine pure blocks in my sump. It's in the back corner though where it's hardest to get at. I don't think I want to mess with it at this point. Most of my sand bed is only about 1" to 1-1/2". I don't think it's deep enough for anaerobic bacteria. I do have one corner though that is about 5" deep. I already stir it up occasionally. It's not intended to be a DSB. I want to try and find a few garden eels for it.
  17. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    5" is still too shallow for garden eels as I remember reading that even the smallest species requires at least 1 ft. depth of sand at the bare minimum.

    Outside of the Redfield ratio, but I see a lot of successful tanks being run outside of those ratios. Just some parameters to consider as well as the reefer keeping these very established tanks.

    Julian Sprung (via Triton): NO3 10-15, PO4 .015 (666.66:1 to 1000:1)
    WWC (Casper's tank): NO3 10-15, PO4 .03-.08 (333:1 to 500:1)
    Elegant Corals: NO3 5, PO4 .05 (100:1)
    Stuart Bertram: NO3 15-20, PO4 .046 (326:1 to 434.78:1)
    Jeff Leung (AquaWorld): NO3 54, PO4 .04 (1350:1)
    Brad Syphus: NO3 20, PO4 .10-.20 (100:1 to 200:1)
    Jason Fox: NO3 5-10, PO4 .08-.10 (50:1 to 125:1)
    Sanjay Joshi: NO3 20-40, PO4 .12-.22 (90.90:1 to 333:1)

    I also see a number of guys in the SPS forums shooting for nitrates of ~5 and a phosphate of 0.03 for reference, which is 166.67:1.
    Coral reefer and Gablami like this.
  18. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    For the garden eels, I've read more than one source that says to shoot for 6" and then the eel simply goes horizontal once it hits the tank bottom.

    For the nutrients, I guess I don't really mind lower phosphates, I'm really more trying to get the nitrates up. If the phosphates rise too then so be it as long as I'm not seeing algae. I remember my 30 gallon that was always 20-40 no3 and grew coral just fine.
  19. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    That's correct, you can get away with 6" before the eel goes horizontal, but that's 6" of uniform depth all around. Seems that 7-8" is more normal and there's also other factors to consider when keeping them. They're not really meant to be in a reef tank and more along the lines of a dedicated species tank due to how skittish they (anything and everything will scare them) are as well as the way they feed (plankton from the water column).
  20. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    My tangs and snails take care of any algae in my tank except on my maxima's shell. Any suggestions on getting rid of gha on a clam shell?

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