REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum

    Help me choose which LED for coral "farm", Jul 31, 2018
  1. mcarroll

    There are/were some waterproof models out there, but you'll be in the >$50 category.

    A ziplock baggie will work in a pinch. :) (Runs some searches or click this tag #lux to see some threads where folks have done this in the past.)

    That said, I do all measurements at the surface.

    The relationship with the measurements underneath are coincidental and mostly predictable to within the degree that corals care. We need to hit a range, not a specific number.

    Mostly that means >10,000 lux. But technically corals can go even lower under good conditions.
  2. Algae but good parameters?, Apr 17, 2018
  3. mcarroll

    I'm guessing without having you take some #lux readings (get an app), but there's a strong chance that your lights should only be on from 5-7 hours a day. More could favor algae more than corals.

    But that's not all... ;)

    I like the tankscape! Plan on adding another 800GPH pump on the right wall. When you do, then run both pumps on timers so that one runs for 3-4 hours, then the other one runs for 3-4 hours. MUCH better than what you need for wavemakers or anything further until much later.

    Your Ducans, Frogspawn and Anemone are indications of phosphate limitation. It plays a big part in sensitivity to light stress. All corals have a significant need for phosphate, but anemones are known phosphate hogs.....probably due to body mass. ;) I'm guessing the other corals that are apparently suffering are also "hogs".

    You might want to remove 90% of your chaeto or even try running the system without it for a few weeks....I bet your corals perk up.
  4. Trying SPS, bleached white overnight / 2 days, Mar 29, 2018
  5. mcarroll

    And maybe I didn't mention this detail on the post I linked (but hope I did!), but your phone in a ziplock bag IS waterproof if you really wanted those underwater measurements. Some do that, but I've been at this a while and have yet to need more than surface measurements. Check out past posts by clicking this tag: #lux (need to be on the web view I think)

    I would suggest more than a cellphone app in the long run though. Nice for now, but a $10-$20 dedicated handheld meter like my LX-1010B is better and almost a no-brainer. (And also works with the ziplock.)
  6. Increasing Lighting Intensity, Feb 1, 2018
  7. mcarroll

    No idea how much light is in "5%".

    IMO use a light meter to measure changes like this. A simple lux meter like my LX-1010B will do it. Click #lux. :)

    Change by no more than around 2000 lux per week IMO. Slower than that is OK too. :)
  8. Smartphone as lux meter?, Feb 1, 2018
  9. mcarroll

    #lux tag (click it) has lots of past posts of folks making use of lux meters. :)
  10. What Foods Contribute Most To Algae Growth?, Jan 30, 2018
  11. mcarroll

    I wouldn't get in a big hurry on that fast were obviously on the right track back then. :)

    Lose the "modern" nutrient controls...blocks, bio-additives, etc. This encourages mostly-bad things in many tanks. Newish tanks seem to be at a big disadvantage.

    Just rock + protein skimmer. That's the basis you want to build from. (Not news, right? :))

    Lose the added nutrients unless they're being applied to dry foods like your pellets which can actually absorb them. Don't over-apply then for obvious reasons either. :)

    Modulate those LED's down a few notches so the algae can't get so charged up in the first place. A #lux meter will help....PM me or keep posting here. (Interestingly, it's possible that your corals might even be more able to compete vs the algae at lower light levels.)

    I'm not opposed to this, but for the effort (and $) you'll apply corals have to be more fun to grow and to have around the tank. Fish will benefit as well IMO.

    Since you already have the lights (obviously) I think I'd try to maintain a Leather + Fish tank. I'm thinking toadstools, Yellow leathers....lotsa good options. The demands they place on chemistry are small. Place them where the problem algae tends to grow and just make sure the tank doesn't run out of phosphates. :) Anemones may be another option for you if the fish population is compatible.

    Other soft corals can work too, but most seem to have issues in my book....toxins in the paly's and zoanthids, for example. nth degree spreading in some of the star polyps. Etc. Leathers are nice since they still grow from a base (and stay put), and can usually be trimmed with scissors when they get too big. ;)
  12. Algae removal, Jan 19, 2018
  13. mcarroll

    My guess is that you have a co-bloom of some filamentous algae along with something like diatoms growing as epiphytes. It's common.

    Probably too much light and too many nutrients into too new of a tank....nothing but space for algae to grow and ideal conditions for it. (I.e. immature tank)

    Egg crate is too hard to clean might consider switching to something easier.

    Looks like your nutrient numbers have not crashed yet (good!), so I'd remove this plate. Keep numbers where they are, or let them fall naturally. Depend on your live rock.

    No other filtration or media at work?

    Can you also turn down the lights a little? Before you do, any idea what the current #lux or PAR levels are like?

    It seems like what you're missing is a solid cleanup crew. Any change you have an herbivore fish in a larger tank nearby that you could "borrow"? Otherwise just get plenty of snails.
  14. Is There Any Possibility I Have Too Much Light?, Jan 18, 2018
  15. mcarroll

    Sounds like a lot, especially if your nutrients have been unstable.

    But what #lux or PAR reading do you get for a maximum?

    I would let your nutrients stabilize around where they are. If they fall lower naturally, great, but don't force it except if you can reduce your inputs to the system. Let algae use it up and let snails keep your algae grazed.

    I would stop carbon dosing right now if you're seeing any signs of coral stress in the tank. What exactly do you mean though by "beats up" your corals and anemones?

    Maybe too much light. Definitely too much filtration.

    Also makes me question flow.

    Your nutrient levels "ought" to be able to support pretty intense light levels...BUT...too little flow or too soft flow can be a real problem even in a situation with good lighting and good nutrients.
  16. A new metric on the rise., Jan 17, 2018
  17. mcarroll

    I'm sure it's useful to someone. Cool! :)

    But as the PBAR folks (who???) agonize over that level of minuteness, we still have 90% of the folks in our little hobby not using any light meter at all. Not even a #lux meter, which can cost next to nothing and which can tell you almost everything you'd need to know for our purposes.

    90% is much better than it was even 5 years ago, but the point still stands – wa-a-ay more folks need to have a light meter.
  18. I’m at a loss. Help me out here., Jan 4, 2018
  19. mcarroll

    This stands out as a potential source of problems.

    New tanks are rarely all that stable since everything from tank maturity to livestock load is usually in a state of flux.

    How stable have these numbers been?

    Do both seem to vary normally, or do one or both of them seem to be always the same?

    I don't think I'd bother. Check out Randy's article(s) on iodine.

    If you don't have a light meter at all, I'd suggest getting a #lux meter to answer questions like this with some actual data in your pocket. :)

    Check out all that past posts under that hashtag (or just run a search for posts with "lux" in them) and check this out as well:
    Beginner’s Lux

    They only run $10-$20, so it's an easy buy. Anything like the "LX-1010B" I have will do.
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