Surviving Mr.D

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by ofzakaria, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    Some aquascaping today. Test frags are doing good.
    My clam is hanging for dear life but not giving up. Notice the broken shell and how bad it looks...but I hope it will pull through.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
    glee likes this.
  2. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    Don't know too much about clams. How do they recover after their shells break?
  3. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    You and me both. I have never had such an issue. The shell of this poor guy is cracked from the joint that hold the shells.
    Am taking care of him with feeding and placment adjustment as much as I can. Will see if it will pull through.

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  4. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    To pick up where we left off. At 1 month mark I do the first water change. Also change zeolite (90%) and leave 10% of the old zeolites in the reactor to help jump start the new zeolit with bacteria.
    It's worth talking about water change here.
    I am very careful with salt mix. Salinity is one of these things that is overlooked very often. Every reefer knownits important but I have seen so many reefers thinking they know the salinity if their tanks to discover later they are off. Seriously u have helped many reefers with issues that end up being salinity issues.
    Calibrating the reflectometer is absolut must before i use it.
    I use multiple salinity test methods to cross correlated. Cheap common Refractometers drift all the time so be careful.
    When calibrating I make sure the device is in room temperature ad well as the calibration solution.
    I like using the redsea Refractometer because they are made to be calibrated with regular rodi which I have access to all the time.
    I also have pinpoint salinity monitor on my mixing station.
    Used to use digital one from Milwaukee but stopped using it.

    When I prepare salt mix I use the redsea. Then i depend on the pinpoint to make sure the mixture in the mixing container is consistent when it's time to use it.

    Ok going back, day 30, i did water and zeolite change and cleaned the sump.

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  5. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    Bacterial bloom issue:
    From day 20 my water was getting cloudy. I knew I was dealing with bacterial bloom but was not sure how and why, I have done 14 days cycle multiple times before never had cloudiness past day 14.
    After debugging here and there I realized i had a dosing mistake that resulted in using too much zeo start (carbon) which caused bacterial bloom. It was bad.

    - I quickly added 2 air stones in the sump and tank. When you deal with bacterial bloom and you have live stock in the tank its important you provide oxidation to your tank cause the bacteria consume the oxygen and can cause issues for your live stock.
    - cut the carbon dose ammount by half and skipped every other day for a week. I cannot take drastic measurments otherwise mess the tank bio system. In these situations reefers can freak out and drastically cut the carbon. Yes cloudiness goes away but they wiped out their bacteria comoletly and go through a new cycle.
    - waited till day 30 to do my water change.

    All the above helped but did not fix the bloom completely. After eater change cloudiness went away but came back next day which means the bacterial bloom still there.

    So I used option B to fix it:
    Got myself a cheap submegreable UV sterilizer. Ran it for 2 days 2 hours on, 2 hours off. Also turn it off for 2 hours when I dose carbon or bacteria.
    Mid day 2 coldness is gone and bloom is over. So it took the UV out.
    I cannot use UV alone with zeovit just for the record. What I did here is tactical solution for 2 days only.

    Since then, system is good and bio load is building up every day.

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  6. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    Currently I am on day 60. Just did my weekly water change.
    Po4: 0.08ppm
    Kh: 8 it will drop as I add coral
    Ca: 450 it will drop ad I add coral
    K+: 380.

    Zb: 6 drops 2 times a week
    Zs: 0.7ml 2 times a day
    Sp: 6 drops 3 times a week
    Zf: 6 drops 2 times a week
    Amino acids: 6 drops 2 times a week
    Coral booster: 6ml 2 times a week.

    The dosing will change as I add more stocks and as my system go through diffrent phases until I reach UNLS phase which I am not at yet.

    With this post we are current to where I am right now. Moving forward I will update whenever I have meaningful update or event.

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  7. JVU


    Lots of great detail here, thank you for sharing it!
    ofzakaria likes this.
  8. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    @ofzakaria, you said you stopped using the Milwaukee digital refractometer but you didn’t say why. Did you find it to be inaccurate? Do you trust your apex salinity probe?
  9. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    My problem with the Milwaukee is the way they do calibration. I have found it not ad accurate ad i would like it to be. And when there is a drift that cannot be taken care off via calibration yoi cannot adjust the reading. You have to depend on the calibration itself only. In my case, when calibrate the reading is off by 1~2 ppt
    It might be the unit I have.

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  10. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    As for apex good God no. Nothing less accurate than apex salinity prob. Most of their probs for that matter. I use their probs just for reference measurment not absolut measurment.

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  11. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to know your salinity accurately.
    High salinity means high kh and ca. Low salinity means low elements.
    The issue that some times reefers fall in to is they do water change, their salinity is lower 1 or 2 ppt but they do not know, then after a day or 2 you see kh is bit lower, you would think that means coral growing so more consumption in the system, you adjust your dosing. Then you go ahead and do another water change this time maybe 1ppt higher, now you dosing more elements than you need...on the long run you realize that you are having kh swings which is a big no with SPS especially millies
    I have found it to be very very difficult to maintain solid kh unless you start with having solid understanding of your salinity..

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  12. grizfyrfyter

    grizfyrfyter Guest

    I lost all of my sps a long time ago because I had a bad bottle of refractometer calibration fluid.

    I've been wanting to get a Milwaukee digital refractometer.
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  13. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    That's why I mentioned that reason I like the redsea is because its calibration use RODI.
    I do not like using calibration solutions to calibrate cause once you open the bottle, I cannot trust the accuracy of the calibration solution after couple of weeks.
    Evaporation, contamination and dilution happen quicker than you think with chemical based calibration solutions.
    With RODI, you always have access to fresh liquid for calibration.

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  14. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Calibration with freshwater is only good if you have a refractometer that is perfectly made and the calibration has not deviated from the time of it's manufacture. I personally would not trust calibration of a refractometer with RO/DI alone.

    Randy Holmes Farley explains it plenty well here.
    ofzakaria likes this.
  15. rygh

    rygh BOD

    So true.

    The electronic conductive ones be off pretty badly.
    Apex is nice for quick monitoring, but I no longer trust it for accuracy.
    Not really a fault in Apex. It is just that crud, bubbles, and the method itself,
    makes it prone to inaccuracy.

    And a warning to all that old calibration fluid can easily be off also.
    ofzakaria likes this.
  16. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    Yup. I have read this in the past and even talked to randy about this topic.
    You should read redsea literatures about their refractometers.
    Still the risk of using rodi based calibration is less in my openion if you are careful with refractometers maintain then well and have something to cross correlate every now and then to judge their accuracy. I have 3 methods and tools to test salinity which is overkill. But again when I give advice to reefers since I do not know how diligent the person is, I recommend what I think is the lowest risk rather than take them through what I do which is over kill.
    But agree with you on the concept

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  17. grizfyrfyter

    grizfyrfyter Guest

    I calibrate off a friend who has a Milwaukee digital. Calibrated 4 days ago and tested my tank, 35ppt. I just mixed up some calibration solution from the formula in the article posted above and it was exactly 35ppt.

    I have a cheap refractometer so as expected, my reading of rodi water was well below 1.000sg.

    I see why the red sea would be more accurate and why using rodi is a good way to calibrate it but you're still relying on the equipment to be manufactured without any errors.

    Just another thing that needs redundant checks to confirm accuracy. I don't trust calibration solutions anymore, mine was brand new and was off by 5ppt.
    ofzakaria likes this.
  18. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    If you're going to recommend calibration with freshwater, it should also be added that they should test with a known standard close to what they are measuring to ensure accuracy of their refractometer after their calibration. This is hobbyist grade equipment that costs < $50; they are not perfect by any means.
    ofzakaria likes this.
  19. ofzakaria

    ofzakaria Supporting Member

    Yup cross correlation us important.
    Btw I did not recommend calibrating with fresh water. This statment if I gave is not accurate.not every refractometer can be calibrated with fresh water.

    I said: I like using refractometers that are made to be calibrated with RODI water. Thus far only red sea that I know off that is made specifically to be calibrated with RODI water.

    As for me: I actually use Vee Gee refractometer and I also have a misco aquar-h20. But I do not like talking about these cause they are expensive and not exactly something you want to recommend to avrage reefers.

    Hope that clarified things.

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  20. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    Good point!

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