Vincerama2's 180 gallon "Wifebane" reef project!

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Vincerama2, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    If it works, we should, @Coral reefer ?

    How did the PAR measurement go?
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I had one.
    It was a bit fun for a while since you get the satisfaction of watching a Majano slowly dissolve.
    But the emphasis is on slow, and if you do not get it all, it just grows back.
    In the end, it was easier and more effective to use the normal Joe's juice / etc.
  3. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    It'd take weeks and months to eradicate all the pesk aips/majanos with that wand. Not really something that gets passed around unlike a PAR meter.
  4. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Haven't done the PAR meter test yet, but will get on it this weekend, I know others are waiting.

  5. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord


    Water Test Results (from, which cost about $40)

    Date (mm-dd-yyyy) - Source - Test ID:
    01-27-2017 - Wife Bane -

    Wife Bane -
    01-27-2017 Ammonia (NH3-4) Good 0 0.000 - 0.050 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Nitrite (NO2) Good 0.029 0.000 - 0.100 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Phosphate (PO4) High 8.2 0.000 - 0.250 mg/L

    01-27-2017 Nitrate (NO3) High 219 0.000 - 25.000 mg/L

    01-27-2017 Silica (Sio2-3) High 1.9 0.000 - 0.500 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Potassium (K) Good 381 350.000 - 450.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Ionic Calcium (Ca) Good 198 100.000 - 400.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Boron (B) NA NA 3.000 - 6.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Molybdenum (Mo) High 0.4 0.000 - 0.300 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Strontium (Sr) Good 7.7 5.000 - 12.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Magnesium (Mg) High 1460 1100.000 - 1400.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Iodine (I) Low 0.02 0.030 - 0.090 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Copper (Cu) Good 0.07 0.000 - 0.100 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Alkalinity (meq/L) Good 3.4 2.500 - 5.000 meq/L
    01-27-2017 Total Calcium (Ca) High 570 350.000 - 450.000 mg/L
    01-27-2017 Iron (Fe) NA NA 0.000 - 0.010 mg/L


    I've highlighted in red the things that I think require immediate attention. In orange are the things that are important, but not life dangerous to the animals.

    The immediate problem is that Nitrates are 9 times too high and phosphates are 32 times (!!!!) too high. Now Phosphates may just add extra algae growth, and I can deal with that, but the Nitrate is the real problem.

    I believe that the nitrate is the accumulation of insufficient water changes over the years, plus possibly the lack of a deep sand bed which I had in my 58G tank, both in the display and in the sump. Wifebane has only about an inch or two of sand. The sand is also covered with little sand-tube worms which I'm sort of reluctant to clobber with more sand. I do have sand in reserve I can use.

    What to do now?
    Well, the most obvious immediate action is a water change. I will test the wc water for nitrates. There is no point right now in rechecking the main tank. I just did that and the test tube showed bascially "non-zero", but it only really measures up to 160, which I've far exceeded.
    The easiest fix is ... I ordered a biopellet reactor. That should help until I can get it under control, which I believe means paying attention and doing water changes in a timely manner.
    Until it shows up, I'm looking into dosing some vinegar, to add carbon (etc, etc, etc) and then the reactor can then take over that role.

    A "remote deep sand bed" (ie; a bucket of sand) may be in the future, I may yet buy another bunch of mangrove pods and plant one in a RDSB to disguise it as a house plant so my wife doesn't burst a blood vessel in her head.

    Also, a container of sand in the sump might also help as a tiny DSB, though it may be useless. I am reluctant to just dump sand into the sump, since I still plan to make a properly sized sump from acrylic with baffles OR reuse my old sump. I discussed this with a coworker and he suggested ... why not put two sumps there and connect them with a bulkhead? which is a good idea. I really regret not building my own tank stand and just using the excessively overbuilt one. I regret even more not shelling out some money for a steel framed stand with a wooden facade that would give me a lot of stand space AND easy access. Oh well.

  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Suggest you get nitrate and phosphate down to a reasonable level BEFORE starting biopellets or carbon dosing.

    Opinion on Nitratre reducers (of which others will almost certainly disagree)
    Biopellets : I have never used them, but I have heard as many bad stories as good. Suggest more research first.
    Vinegar dosing : My current strategy. Works well. Very simple to run!
    Algae scrubber (waterfall type) : Used it for years. Can be difficult to set up right, but once done works well. Too well in fact. Starves corals.
    Remote deep sand bed : Tried that. Helped a tiny bit. It needs to be pretty big to do anything useful.
    Mangroves : No personal experience. Seems fun but pointless. Too slow growing. You need a giant grove to make a difference.
    Chaeto : Done that. It works if you have enough. But can be a pain to tumble, maintain, clean, prune, etc. Not nearly as powerful as a full algae waterfall scrubber.
  7. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Well, the problem is the first statement on "getting nitrate and phosphate down". The only tactic I have is large water changes, which I'm going to do. Took forever to fill my brute can up with RO water.

    Biopellets: Too late, it's in the mail. And I "researched" it quite a bit, if reading endless forum posts counts as "research"
    Vinegar dosing: Started this yesterday ... cheap, easy, currently requires manual effort
    Algae Scrubber: Not going to try it, but will "harvest" the algae from the back wall of the tank more often. Did this yesterday as well
    RDSB: Not actually sure I could get away with this, however...
    DSB: Adding sand to the tank might not be a bad idea, though if I do it too quickly, it may kill off those little sand worms, causing more issues. But maybe I can pull this off. IN my 58G tank, I never had problems with a DSB
    Magroves: I've killed probably 100 mangrove seed pods over the years. Not sure if I want to add to my kill count. Apparently what I was not doing was spraying the leaves with fresh water every day. If I can sneak in a RDSB, I would cut a hole in the bucket lid and plant a mangrove in it, to disguise it as a house plant.
    Chaeto: Already doing that with a clump in my sump. However, I never harvest it and it's basically a worm/pod wildlife preserve. I've moved it up higher in the sump though (it was trapped under my return pump) so this will become a more active method, though I doubt it will really do that much.

    So the "carbon" dosing is my current strategey, be it with biopellets or vinegar/vodka/sugar.

    I've tossed a few more pieces of LR into the sump to help with the bacteria colony thing.

  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    There is a diy recipe for Red Sea's No3Po4-x product which is a mixture of alcohol n vinegar I think.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    To get carbon dosing cranked up, you might want bacteria supplements for a bit. Microbacter / Prodobio.

    If RO time is a big issue, perhaps a higher GPD membrane + restrictor. And perhaps a booster pump.

    Be careful of "too many plans"
    For me at least, I start to lose track of things, forget things, then a plan can make things worse not better.
    So I like to keep it really simple.

    Not trying to be negative though. It seems like you should be fine. It will just take some time.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  10. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    Also, by trying out multiple things at the same time you can't tell what is working and what is not.
  11. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    What about like a 75% water change? I know it's hard for you to make water fast enough, (get a booster pump and a second membrane) but I could bring you 100-130 gal if that helps. 20-25% water changes are gonna take FOREVER to fix it
  12. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    +1 on BIG WC
    3x25 remove 58% of waste
    1x75 remove 75% of waste, far more efficient
    Coral reefer likes this.
  13. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    It's even less efficient than that if he isn't doing the 25% in consecutive days as more waste builds up in between
    Sure seems cheaper, easier, and more effective than a bio pellet reactor, deep sand bed, mangroves, etc etc...
  14. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Large water changes (30% or more)
    Do them every 7-10 days
    feed fish and corals well (more than twice a day)
    I test NOTHING
    Fish breed, corals grow
    many have seen it
  15. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Different strokes.

    I don't do WC.

    Feed fish n corals well.

    Have close to 0 nitrates and phosphates.

    I test often.

    Fish grow
    Coral grow and color.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Yes, but this doesn't work for vince...
  17. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    This would work well for Vince, once he is at the maintaining a healthy tank point, I doubt it will get him there from here though...
  18. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I might be able to pull off a 40-50% water change as I have two brutes and I marked the level today after doing one brutes worth.
    I offered to lend one to Euod soon so I better get on it.

    I do have a booster pump for my RO but haven't installed it because it says you can't use it on a saddle valve tap, which is what I used to install my unit.

  19. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Still doing brute water changes, I have another one in the works.

    I went on vacation and when I came back one of the metal halides was "broken" (The ballast, not the bulb). Several generous club members offered me their old ballasts as it seems that I cannot find any 175W MH Electronic ballasts for sale! Seems like Icecap "restructured".

    Also, wow. The Aiptasia exploded. I'm now going to attack them with Aiptasia-X, which, from experience usually just explodes them into multiple smaller ones. But I'm going to try a daily assault so when the small ones pop up, I will hit them as well. MAYBE killing them when small is the key. Seriously, some are wider across than a half dollar coin.

    So 4 weeks away will do that!

    On the plus side, the small QT tank I set up with frags is still going OK.

    I bought 5 Marine Pure blocks (At $60 a pop!) Maybe it's just snake oil. Two are in the sump, one is jammed in the back of the DT and two are holding up my frag racks in the QT tank.

    My Monster Skimz 203 DC pump died, replacement ones are $260. However AC pumps for the Skims 201 (I think) are cheaper and possibly MORE RELIABLE than the DC pumps so I'm going to try the AC pump in the 203. From what I've seen the bodies are identical.

    Possibly one reason for skimmer pump death is the use of a bio pellet reactor I bought to deal with nitrates. Once the pellets are gone, I will decomission it. It leaks the pellets everywhere and the skimmer pump has jammed a few times with pellets. I put the trusty EV-120 back on, but it's nozzle gets crammed full of pellets. I've redirected the pellets away from the skimmer which is not how a bio pellet reactor would ideally run.

    So ... more tank maintenance fun. When do I get to enjoy corals in this stupid tank? I might need to rename it to Vincebane.

  20. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    thats my experience with the aiptasia ex as well, but yeah just going after the small ones every day eventually gets em

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