My 150G Reef in the Wall

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by aalhait, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. aalhait

    aalhait Guest

    I've been a salt water/reef hobbiest for almost 15 years now. I've owned a few small 60-100G tanks over the years (mainly 60G reefs). But I've always wanted a tank in the wall... At last after buying my 1st home about 3 years ago. My dream had begun to materialize.

    I even had the wall picked out before we made the offer on the house! I walked in and there it was!

    Anyway, after 2 years of ownership I've decided to start the tank of my dreams I guess. So last September, I cut a hole in the wall and started the major project :D

    I'll take it a step at a time...

    1st was cutting the hole and preping the wall. Then I built cabinets around the tank all the way accross the wall. I purchased the 150G tank (clear on both ends)

    The initial filtration was a 30G Sump with 3 24x12x12 chambers. one for the biological filtration (bio balls), 2nd for a Bubble Master 160 Skimmer, 3rd for the pumps and chemical filtration (carbon/phos pure/denitrate media bags)

    I read about and selected Solaris i48 LED system to be the light source, but later was disappinted to find out that it was not enough since my tank is 36" deep. I also added a Current inline chiller with a 36W UV Twist filter.

    My tank ran well for a few months, then the NO3 started creeping up... I started reading about what can be done to control that. I've always had issues with NO3 in all of my tanks... But this was my pride a joy dream tank! I cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.

    I also added a 20G salt water mixing tank for water changes. (I need to make an auto water topoff system which I have yet to install)

    The next upgrade was to get a Aqua Controller and upgrade all filtration. I decided to add 2x250 MH for additional lighting. And added an extra Turbo Floater skimmer, 2 more UV filters (I have an ich problem with my tangs). But I've also had a constant low pH problem. I purchased and will add a CO2 system and a phosphate reactor, removed all Bio Balls and switched the 1st stange of my sump to a refuge (currently adding plants... Just got 4 mangroves and some Halimeda plants. I'm looking for additional Algae to add to my refuge. I also added some copepods and brine eggs to the refuge to see if I can breed food there ;)

    I am trying to see what else I might be doing wrong... I'm trying to get a few people to look at it and give me feedback.

    1. My problems are the following: I cannot keep Zoos alive too long, I am sure no parasites are there nor sundial snails exist. Some fish may have been picking at them (But I only have Tangs that would do that) I suspect my blue tang) but still!
    2. I cannot keep Acroporas alive! They bleach after weeks!
    3. Low pH is too low - between 7.75 and 8.2 (7.9 average). My Chemicals are fine... NO3 is high (22-30) Ca is 400 (used to be 600) My CO2 level I have yet to test. dKH is 10.
    4. I have an ich problem where I've killed almost 4 powder blue tangs! Only they manage to die! My Blonde Naso, Yellow and Blue tangs are fine! The blue tang gets infected, but manages to kick it out after sometime! I made a few water changes and vaccumed the gravel and have the UV filters running 24/7!


    These are the 1st stage pictures attached

    Thanks,

    -AJ
     
  2. aalhait

    aalhait Guest

    2nd Stage pictures attached

    Oh as for fish:

    I have:

    5 tangs: Blonde Naso, Powder Blue, Yellow, Blue and Sailfin
    2 Angels: Flame, Coral Beauty
    4 Cardinals, 3 Spotted and 1 Kaudern
    2 Clowns: Percula and Pink
    1 (6 line wrasse)
    1 Purple Firefish
    3 Mandarin 2 Green and one spotted
    1 Royal Gramma

    2 Fire Shrimp
    2 Cleaner Shrimp
    2 Banded Shrimp
    1 Pistol Shrimp
    2 Peppermint Shrimp
    1 Camel Shrimp
    2 Reef Lobsters
    2 Urchins (pencil and longspine)
    1 Flame Scallop
    1 Serpent Starfish
    10s of snails
    1 Emerald Crab
    a few red hermit crabs
     
  3. aalhait

    aalhait Guest

    For 3rd stage pictures, and since I cannot post all the pictures up here...

    http://picasaweb.google.com/aalhait/FishTank?authkey=ijLVk-5G7cU#

    I will update it with the latest (especially the new filters soon)
     
  4. LeviT

    LeviT Guest

    Looks like you have a good start. I'm sure some folks here can help with some of your issues. Glad to have you!
     
  5. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    adding Co2 can actually mess with your PH more....what do you use to measure it? have you checked salinity and temp? for the bleaching. Also check the amount of flow, because SPS like flow. I couldn't tell from your setup.
     
  6. aalhait

    aalhait Guest

    I have 2 Tunze 6200 I think... As for flow, I get plently! Perhaps I may not be feeding as much as needed. But I've recently got Brown/Red Algae at the bottom... So I assume I'm feeding too much.

    As for CO2, I have not connected it yet. I have it ready, installed the CO2 reactor, but have not connected the CO2 to the AC3 Pro controller yet. I was trying to raise my pH, but did not realize that CO2 actually decreases it! So I may need to add some other reactor! Ca or something like that. My temp runs a bit hot year round. (79-80 is the range) Salinity is 1.024-1.026 (average 1.025)
     

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