Rygh's 250 gallon - rev.2

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by rygh, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Uh oh, my phone is probably going to "mysteriously" break now...
    WrightReef likes this.
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    So I had a leak while on vacation.
    Grrr. :eek:
    While I was in Hawaii, a crack developed on my return.
    I figure about 5 gallons dripped on the floor. Fortunately in the garage.
    Salinity dropped a bit, since ATO compensated for lost water.
    I do have a max-time on my ATO, but a slow leak like that cannot be detected.

    Fish are fine of course, most corals ok, but not all. Time will tell.

    Leak fixed, and bringing salinity back up slowly.

    Crack was probably because I over-tightened that threaded fitting a bit.
    Perhaps finally triggered by the cold weather.

    Had a power outage as well, but that was no big deal, except both controllers
    stopped getting through to the internet.

    The glue on the crack was a temporary fix yesterday. Didn't really help.

  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I did have a good time in Hawaii of course.
    But it was sad - MANY bleached corals!
    Big heads, not just a few spots. The local divers said water temp was 86 for a while.
    Global warming + El Nino I guess.

    Interestingly, there were many big schools of yellow tangs. More than I ever remember.
    My theory: Dying coral has a lot of algae growing on it, and the tangs like that.

  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Just about wiped out my tank over the weekend .... :eek:

    I was doing an extra-big water change, and unplugged my ATO top-off from the controller.
    When done I plugged it back in.
    Simple enough...
    But I plugged it into the wrong plug. Accidentally put it into the currently unused fuge light plug.
    That runs at night. ALL NIGHT!
    But since it only runs at night, I did not hear it when I first plugged it in.
    Fortunately I heard it before going to bed.
    Otherwise, I would have pumped 50 gallons of fresh water into the tank.
    Major salinity drop, plus a flood.
    Still put in a good 10 gallons, but note that big of a deal.

    I think I will set up a feed-like mode for maintenance. No more unplugging.
  5. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Bummer Mike...

    Do you use a float switch to tell your ATO to turn on & off???

    If so you could setup a VO that will notify you that your float switch has been open or closed for "X" amount of time and if that time has exceed it will alert you that there is an issue...

    float switch changes state from on to off every 30min so alert me if the status has not changed in 45min or something to this effect.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yes, that would be a good check.
    Right now ATO control is temporarily on the Apex, so hard to program that logic though.

    I also have a higher float switch that is mounted, yet to be really connected, that should trigger an alarm.

    This is one of those "Too many ongoing changes" type of problems as well.
    My Rev2 makeover could have been more organized.
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    My swallowtail angel died yesterday.
    It was one of my favorites. Bright, colorful, active...

    My wife said she heard a bang in the middle of the day, so my guess is that
    it was really startled, and slammed up and into the lights or something.
    All other fish are fat and happy, no injuries or white spots.

    Oh well, these things happen.
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

  9. Geneva

    Geneva Supporting Member

    Boo Hoo! Get another right away!
  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yeah, I might do that.
    Need to set my QT-buckets up.
    But they are not so common in the local stores.
  11. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Aquatic Collection has a pair.
    rygh likes this.
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Wow, cool.
    I hope they still have them after spring break.
    Having a pair would be even better.
    MolaMola likes this.
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I put sand back in my aquarium!

    Going bare-bottom was an interesting experiment, and it definitely seemed lower maintenance.
    But I simply did not like the look all that much.
    Terrible when it looked like a mirror, but even colored in purples and reds did not look great to me.
    Personal opinion of course.

    I was also surprised by how much darker and gloomy the aquarium felt, with no light reflecting off the sand.

    I used a bit coarser sand as well, so it blows around a lot less.
    Geneva likes this.
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    The easier maintenance is appealing but the whole reason we keep these tanks is for their look so I can understand your decision to add the sand bed.
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member


    My GEN-1 was a DIY T5+LED hybrid on my 55G tank.
    Nice light, and sold it after getting rid of the tank.

    My old GEN-2 lighting thread is here:
    Hard to believe it has been 6 years now.
    Two problems:
    1) Two drivers and 3 LEDs have died, and I can only turn the rest up so far.
    2) By today's standards, the color spectrum is antique.
    So while I could fix it, why should I fix something that is that old and out of date?

    As reference, my current tank is roughly 8' x 2' x 2'

    I really really really thought about a T5/LED hybrid.
    But the hassle is simply not worth it for me.
    In fact, the hassle of a full-DIY is not worth it either.

    The plan is a partial BUY / DIY all LED system.

    PART 1:
    The "BUY" part will be 4 x Kessil A360W. Yeah, boring and simple.
    Each is 90W at the plug, so a guess at 80W of LED lighting.
    So 320 Watts.
    I really do like their technology!
    It is hard to beat, hence not really worth the effort of a full DIY system.
    The AP700 is tempting, but the spread on an 8' tank would be all weird, and there are controller issues.
    Using 4 x Radeon XR15W-Pro is also very tempting, but no Apex/DIY-controller interface.
    BUT: What I do not like with Kessil is all the shadows. Point light sources are both good and bad.
    And 4 alone would me marginal for my tank.
    So it needs more.

    PART 2:
    The fun "DIY" part will be a set of 14 or so clusters.
    This section fills in the shadows, plus adds even more spectrum.
    Each cluster uses two 3-up stars.
    3-UP Mains
    Cree XT-E Neutral White R4
    Cree XT-E Royal Blue Q04
    Cree XT-E Royal Blue Q04
    Run at 700mA, so 6.3W
    3-UP Color Fill
    Deep Red: 660nm is 2.2v @700mA
    Turquoise: 495nm is 3.5v @ 700mA
    Cyan: 470nm is 3.5v @ 700mA
    Run 500mA, so 4.6 W
    I can get those solder-less from ledgroupbuy.
    With 14 clusters, that is about 150 Watts of LED

    Both parts will be dimmable, and certainly will be dimmed, since 470W is too much
    for my tank. I would guess 2/3 Kessel and 1/3 DIY at the end.
    Power is overkill, but it is hard to get good coverage any other way.

    A rough drawing.

  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    So why are you using the Kessils at all?
    rygh likes this.
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yeah, I have asked myself that a few times.
    Partly because I wanted to get some high energy point lights, so get a bit of shimmer.
    Partly because I like the color.
    Partly to save quite a bit of work.
    But, it adds a LOT to the cost.

    And one big thing I just realized, I lose my low-profile top because those Kessils need 12+ inches.
    Hmmm......needs more thought.

    Ancient picture, but see how the top is flush. The wife likes that because it does not look so bulky.

    tankguy likes this.
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    There are some ready made clusters I could use instead.

    The Lumia from ledgroupbuy one has a pretty nice set of LEDs.
    Around 70W.

    And there is a smaller one from Nanoboxreef
    Around 25W.


  19. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    You turned me on to the lumia 5.2's. I've wanted to try them out since they're like 1/2 the price for what appears to be the same output.

    I'll buy them for my tank if you get them for yours. I've wanted someone to do it with. To make sure what I'm thinking is actually correct.
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Sure! It is always more fun when someone else is interested.

    I guess I could still do the same mixture.
    4 (or 6) of the Luma 5.2 in the center, plus the other clusters as-is.
    Or just two rows of the Luma 5.2 would be a lot simpler.
    I need to do more drawings and calculations.

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