★★★ Project " GENESIS (II) 2020 " ★ [ Re-Engineered / REBOOT ] ★ SPS 110G ★★★

Mikeltee

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Hey @Mikeltee,

Tons of info to digest.

I'm really enjoying this chat with a fellow engineer. You tease me with more tech project ideas. I have two projects on the horizon while I wait for rocks to finish puking. One more single tank water changer to also automate the 3rd tank, and a dedicated single tank frozen food feeder using an mini table top Ice Cube Maker (Super easy design), and one day if time permits a 3D printed compact single Tank Alk tester based on the original protype and code, so anyone can build a copy.

Thanks for the Pod and Plankton project. I used to have a manadarin for years and lost it in a freak accident. He lives on in my Avatar Photo. I did cultivate pods the madarin using Tiger Pods and Live Phyto from Reef Nutrition. I only needed to buy the pods once to get started and had endless food for the Mandarin. I think I will want a Mandarin or two again to add to this new tank. I will certainly enjoy cultivating food again since as you say it's so simple, if you keep tools sterile. Once a brine shrimp got into my copepod farm somehow. I didn't notice. Then I noticed when he got huge and was eatting up my whole harvest like a combine machine.

So you had something worse than my Polyps causing you to bleach. I don't want to even mention the D word to jinx myself. Sorry to hear you had to go through that since I know that you probably suffered trying quite long before going the nuke rute. I assume you totally sterilized your system. I didn't so our restarts are a bit different with my live sump. I also skipped the rock acid bath thinking my rocks don't need it. Maybe I shouldn't have since that would have opened the pores in all the live rock. I'm just as impatient as you to get started. So are my fish to get back their home. Unfortunately we can't rush anything since the pain may be worse.

I'll be posting progress on the rocks here. You are a bit ahead of me, so if you learn something new come back to share with everyone. Maybe you have a tank thread I can follow. Either way works.

All the best.

Wally
I didn't think the acid bath was necessary either until I pulled the rock from bleach and it was still covered. Acid is supposed to come first so you can expose the rock that you are trying to sterilize. That is probably why I had coraline growing after all of that. You will probably be okay.
 
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WallyB

WallyB

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I tested N&P last night after rocks washed in Salt Water Tub for about 3 hours.

1702154666373.png


I tested again today approx 12 hours later.
N = 5.0 which doubled, P remains the same at P=0.24

I was wondering if the Reef Crystals salt has any N&P and apparently very little so this is rock residue/leach happening.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/the-ultimate-salt-test.949805/
 
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WallyB

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Wow thats low. It will be interesting to see what it is in a few more days. That's usable as is.
Indeed a suprise. Too early to say right now. I expected much higher based on your experience. It could be that the Tank these rocks came out of had low N&P (N=5 & P=0.1) for last couple of years.

I did go to LFS to get some bacteria, but decided to not get any after some thought. My sump has plenty of good bacteria for the eventual rock seeding, so why waste money. I may add bacteria into the Tank system later if needed.

Instead I decided to use some of my surplus Phosguard that I no longer use on my systems. I switched to RowaPhos for my SPS tank since it works much better.

I also add a small live rock from sump, and a 10ml of vinegar (bacteria food) into the 30 Gals of salt water in tub get some bacteria going. I added a heater to the bath as well.

1702167971996.png


I don't think it will hurt while waiting for a week. Might help speed things up a tiny bit in the big picture.
 
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Mikeltee

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Keep us posted. I am kind of jealous. I just turned my lights on last week so I know I'm going to have a ton of algae. I have a Foxface and White Tail tang that I hope remembers how to clean rock. I'll slowly build up the CUC as well. I'm starting to get a little diatom action on the sandbed. I've had two green hair algae outbreaks in 15 years. A sea hare took care of both in a day. I hope that I don't need to resort to one because they die off once their job is complete, but it is an option. Too bad people don't rent them out. I'd pay more to rent than to buy for the sake of the animal.
 
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Keep us posted. I am kind of jealous. I just turned my lights on last week so I know I'm going to have a ton of algae. I have a Foxface and White Tail tang that I hope remembers how to clean rock. I'll slowly build up the CUC as well. I'm starting to get a little diatom action on the sandbed. I've had two green hair algae outbreaks in 15 years. A sea hare took care of both in a day. I hope that I don't need to resort to one because they die off once their job is complete, but it is an option. Too bad people don't rent them out. I'd pay more to rent than to buy for the sake of the animal.

Diatom is expected and a sign of progress. I actually started a mini tank a few weeks ago. Couple of dead rocks and a sprinkle of dead-sand plus small pump. I added live water and trumpet from my frag. It's purpose is my UGLY timer/calendar. I know I will hate the ugly stage of my bleach rocks once they are in the tank. Maybe looking at the uglier rock in the globe will help. If it starts recovering nicely it will give me a rough timing on the DT duration.

1702179593546.png


During my GHA battle I tried manual means like plucking. You must have gone through the same thing before discovering the Sea Hare. I even made a Dremil driven GHA weed wacker to make it easier and faster.



Too bad the sea hares die so quick. I would also rent for compasion reasons. During my Mega GHA bloom I was trying everything too battle the outbreak. I tried every kind of CUC in a tank and filmed time lapse to see who did best.

Guess who won?

Amazing to watch in high speed.



These were the other contestants. The Conch won first place since the Sea Hair Died. Problem with the Conch that I learned later is it also ate Corals. Shaved Digi SPS clean and ripped the guts out of a Torch in front of my eye as I watch in horror. Turns out it was a Tiger Conch. He lived in my sump after that and kept it spotless. 2nd place went to the Ninja Star Snails.

1702179992135.png


You certainly want to get some CUC to groom the rocks at the early stage of algae film growth. After I scrubbed the GHA off the purple rocks, I got a lot of snails for the DT. Maybe that's why my GHA never came back.



I only have two big snails left since my rocks had no algae they were covered in nothing but the Purple Polyps. When the new rocks go back I have no idea what I will face up against, since there could be seeds in the sump for all kind of stuff from past like Bubble, Byropsis, etc . I'm not 100% tank sterilized like you are. I will get CUC at some point. The other lesson I learned battling algae was not to get fancy with Aminos which can fuel algae even more.

All the best with your progress. That's for the support, it helps.
 

Mikeltee

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That whack a whirl is genius! Can you show me a pic of your dremil attachment? How does the vacuum work? Is it gravity fed and you use a valve to control flow? I have a ton of rocks. I'm not looking forward to the inevitable battle. My tank is 30" high so I can't get my hand down there to do much without pulling the lights and removing the canopy. I'm going to look into the ninja star snails. I haven't seen them. Ill also look into conch. Im going to keep this 40g tank that i used to hold my fish while i resealed the tank. Ill probably just do clowns and an anemone and a trail for my mandarins.
20231126_121550.jpg
 
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WallyB

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That whack a whirl is genius! Can you show me a pic of your dremil attachment? How does the vacuum work? Is it gravity fed and you use a valve to control flow? I have a ton of rocks. I'm not looking forward to the inevitable battle. My tank is 30" high so I can't get my hand down there to do much without pulling the lights and removing the canopy. I'm going to look into the ninja star snails. I haven't seen them. Ill also look into conch. Im going to keep this 40g tank that i used to hold my fish while i resealed the tank. Ill probably just do clowns and an anemone and a trail for my mandarins.
20231126_121550.jpg
These are the Ninja's I am talking about. They are nothing like the Sea Hare, or Cowrie but they did better than all the other snails who won't touch GHA with a 10 foot pole.
https://candycorals.ca/products/star-snails?_pos=1&_sid=15771fbee&_ss=r&variant=39625721544859


Your rocks look great. Sand all sparkly white. Very Nice tank and wood cabinet with canopy. I can see how you have a bit of challenge to reach inside. I have similar problem with my lights hanging above. I have back access but really touch to reach bottom/front of tank.

I'm hoping you don't need a GHA cleaning tool this time for those nice rocks.

This was one of first Whirl-a-Vac prototypes. I did like the flexible hose. I also tried a more firm hose, clear. Yes, it was a gravity siphon.

1702258414487.png


I still have the parts dissambled. This is the clear hose that isn't as flexible as the black hose, so I added a wooden stick for better control.

1702258473508.png


You don't really need the Dremil Router attachment. I only used it since I had one for easy mount and better one-person operation. Without a mount you will have to have someone hold the demit. I also designed it so I could move the dremil in and out to extend or shorter the whipping side.


You will need a thick rectangular weed wacker line that fits into the dremil tip.

One important note!

During testing I was just using a bucket to siphon out the GHA and catch in the nylon filter sock. It worked so well I wanted more time to clear the GHA off rocks, so I just put the sock in my sump for endless cleaning. I had fun clearing all the rocks in record time. BIG MISTAKE. Even thought the sock captured the GHA, it did pass through the liquified GHA as well. THAT liquid GHA was loaded with pure phosphates and that really make Phosphate levels in tank rise. I had to do a water change and carbon clean water up. So if tackling a big GHA clean up, you should shiphon the crap into a bucket and dispose of water. If only cleaning early algae on rock you could siphon into sump/sock but best not too if you want to avoid a phosphate level spike.

I look forward to seeing how your rocks progress. Hopefully they will be covered with coraline and nothing else in a few months.

Onward! We both made a decide to bleach and there is no turning back.
 
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Mikeltee

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That's sweet. I appreciate it. I was so cheap on this build that I spent about 12 hours cleaning the sand. I picked out every shell. Lol

I'm definitely going to order some ninjas once the algae starts to bloom. They look so cool! I'm going to have to buy a bunch of empty shells to make sure the hermits don't kill them.
 
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WallyB

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That's sweet. I appreciate it. I was so cheap on this build that I spent about 12 hours cleaning the sand. I picked out every shell. Lol

I'm definitely going to order some ninjas once the algae starts to bloom. They look so cool! I'm going to have to buy a bunch of empty shells to make sure the hermits don't kill them.
What's wrong with keeping good sand. I didn't have much but I kept it all (for the Mellanarus Wrasse). I never bleached it and there could have been some of the purple polyps in there. I have been changing water every day because it stunk next day after each rinse, each rinse keep getting better. I think it will be ok to dry it out and use months down the road. No wonder your sand looks so great you shell picked it back to powder perfect. Congrats, better than store bought.
 
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ROCK Soak TEST results

Nitrates dropped to 2.5 mg/L. Last test was 5.0

Phosphates went up to 0.36 ppm, last test was 0.24


I decided to remove the PhosGuard from reactor and replace it with my preferred RowaPhos product. It should remove the phosphate better and allow me to delay water changes to allow the live rock in there to seed bacteria and continue processing the nitrates. When testing PhosGuard in the past my analysis showed it doesn't work as well as RowaPhos. If I tested the output of reactor using RowaPhos I get zero phosphates, not the as low with PhosGuard. Plus I have always worried about PhosGuard releasing alluminum that's in the product. One reason I stopped using it.
 
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ROCKS READY? ( Last Test )

Nitrates 2.5 ml/L
Phosphates 0.26 ppm (after RowaPhos Reactor 24hrs)

I don't think these rocks will do much better soaking in the tub, even if I wait another few days, or a week(s). I see no point in changing the soak water since I rather use the salt for Tank water changes. The Tank is running slightly higher Nitrates (5.0 mg/L). Phosphates (0.2 ppm) which is very close. I think rocks should be more than okay to put into the Live Tank and let them finish the aging there.
 
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Rocks are in the Tank.

I gave the rocks a final rinse and shake then laid them out for the assembly.



1702441104754.png


I played with all kinds of rockscape possibilities, this time proper sizing for my tank base dimensions. This was one attempt. Doing work on the dry table and then transferring to the tank would be impossible, even with separate large islands. I have a Euro Reef Trim Top. My rockscape would be constrained in size.
1702444052933.png

I decided to not make the rockscape permanent at this point. Let the rocks age in the tank for a while and see how things go with the ugly stage. That worked well last time.

I swept the tank clean one last time and cleaned the glass from corner to corner. I got most of the remaining asterinia starfish.

I randomly placed the rocks in a solid/stable interlocking layout with plenty of caves and passages. Bigger rocks on bottom for a very stable base. No putty, no glue. Everything was spaced out for future power heads and I left generous clearance from glass to be able to use my magnetic floating glass cleaner.

Not perfect but good enough to get rocks aging and exposed to some light & bacteria.

1702441259062.png


Fish are happy and I ended up putting some sand back at far right of tank for the wrasse.

1702441338916.png


The purple look is just the LED lighting to give me an idea of what rocks will look like one day covered with coralline algae.

Rocks are sparkly white, (Purple Star Polyp free) and this photo shows the most important view....The view from my office desk chair while working at my computer.

1702442301300.png


1702444974479.png


Not too bad for an impatient hasty hack. I will do the final rockscape in early 2024. Time to take a break and enjoy the Holidays.
 
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Mikeltee

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Bro that looks amazing! I just watched the hour long BRS aquascape episode. Im half way tempted to redo mine. Only being 22" width and having a huge overflow in the center kinda limits me though.

I'm definitely getting a chisel out after my fish come out of QT in my 40 breeder. I think I'll make it a wrasse and test mandarin pair tank. I want to see how well the pods do in a recently cycled tank before I put the mandarins in my main. I work from home 3-5 days per week and the 40 is in my office, so it receives way more viewing time and there's nothing more beautiful than wrasse and mandarins IMHO.

I want to do a test skip cycle with the tank as well. I'm going to get one liverock from my LFS and 30# dry rock to see what happens. The goal will be to test a small ratio of dry to live to see if it cycles immediately. A few cheap coral will be the testing subject. The skip cycle thread is rather enlightening. I like ideas that go against the grain! Most people use a 50/50 ratio though so it's not really surprising.
 
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Bro that looks amazing! I just watched the hour long BRS aquascape episode. Im half way tempted to redo mine. Only being 22" width and having a huge overflow in the center kinda limits me though.

I'm definitely getting a chisel out after my fish come out of QT in my 40 breeder. I think I'll make it a wrasse and test mandarin pair tank. I want to see how well the pods do in a recently cycled tank before I put the mandarins in my main. I work from home 3-5 days per week and the 40 is in my office, so it receives way more viewing time and there's nothing more beautiful than wrasse and mandarins IMHO.

I want to do a test skip cycle with the tank as well. I'm going to get one liverock from my LFS and 30# dry rock to see what happens. The goal will be to test a small ratio of dry to live to see if it cycles immediately. A few cheap coral will be the testing subject. The skip cycle thread is rather enlightening. I like ideas that go against the grain! Most people use a 50/50 ratio though so it's not really surprising.
Your rock layout looks good. Plenty of future potential. No need for drastic changes especially with your constraints. Always room for fine tune-up improvements over time so long as you haven't glued everything permanently. Things will change when corals come along. Don't chisel to many big rocks since they are key to having a good foundation. I agree on a Mandarin tank concept and want to get into the Phyto and Pod cultivation. I may start soon (when and if my tank is ready).

I've never heard of this "test skip cycle" thing. Is it similar to what I'm doing by keeping my live sump and rocks while killing DT rocks?

Thanks for the compliment on the temp rock setup. It's growing on me. Good enough for now. Plenty of time for later adjustments as I play with powerheads etc, to figure out flow. My last rock setup had many issues that I'm correcting this time. Flow and coral placement was biggest pain. The right side of old tank setup had the big Turbinaria coral that shaded 1/4 of the tank and was useless for any coral placement. Now the turbinaria plate coral is low and central. It's interesting that the Black Cap recognized the plate coral that he lived under. Now he is front and center. Before I only saw him rarely. This is really cool.

1702502763050.png



The high vertical walls last time were also a pain and had limited functionality. I think this new modular/sloped layout will work better and have better side view too once corals are placed on the more gradual slopes.

1702502039892.png


Plus I moved the rocks forward this time and made the back of rock scape useful for coral placement. I spend a lot of time behind the tank so might as well appreciate the back side this time. Easier to access those acclimating corals from back of tank.

Right now the main goal is monitoring the tank water parameters and keep fish alive. Last night my Nitrate jumped to 40 mg/l, and phosphates rose to 0.30 ppm. I don't think it was the rocks going back, it may be the sand I washed and put back, plus other cleaning I did. I do have Ammonia alert tags in my sump and my sump refuge I have a sacrifice Trumpet coral to give me early warning on any problems since it does react quickly. It's been there just before I took out rocks to bleach.

1702502225911.png


Here is a better quick video I just did of the Rock Scape, including the back of the tank this time. Easier to see 3D in a video over a 2D flat photo.

 
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WallyB

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GOOD Catch (RO SYstem - Shut off Valve) ** FAILURE **

Since I've been checking all my Tank systems I caught a failure on my RO system. Something that everyone with an RO system should check quite often, replace every few years/yearly, or watch their wastewater output.

There is a SHUT OFF Valve on every RO setup.

1702522259179.png


When the reservoir fills up and back pressure builds up the shut-off valve shuts off all water flow. If that valve fails then the "Wastewater" keeps running forever. Most people don't notice this since the RO waste goes down the drain.

The hint I got is when these valves start failing they make a weird buzz, cat meow sound. It got my attention and when I checked my waste water output it was running continuously. That could mean a HIGH WATER Bill with water running 24/7.

These valves fail since they have a Rubber Diaphram that moves back and forth and it gets dirty or can rupture after years of use. I tried cleaning mine, but it was bad.

1702522809780.png


Cheap to replace. Way cheaper than the high water bill.

1702522830623.png


Sometimes it's the backpressure valve (flow restrictror) which are also cheap to replace.

1702522989102.png



This isn't the first time my shut-off valve has failed.

The worst part is if the RO membrane ruptures unfiltered water enters the RO output sending bad unfiltered (HIGH TDS) water to your reservoir for Salt Water Making, or your ATO reservoir. The easy way to catch this rupture is to test your RO output with a TDS meter. This will not identify if you have continuous running wastewater. That you have to watch.
 
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AQUA SCAPE ( FINAL Rock Layout Look ) with Sand Bottom in Front

I changed the left island arrangement to give fish more caves and passages. No more central rock pillar spike. Same rock but flipped sideways. I think the rock arrangement is now ready for some putty and glue.

53409938224_c687b14e6a_b.jpg
 
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Gumbies R Us

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ROCK SCAPE ( FINAL Look ) with Sand Bottom in Front

I changed the left island arrangement to give fish more caves and passages. No more central rock pillar spike. Same rock but flipped sideways. I think the rock arrangement is now ready for some putty and glue.

53409938224_c687b14e6a_b.jpg
Aquascape looks great!
 
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The Ugly Stage on Rocks has arrived and keeps getting uglier daily. Hoping it doesn't get too ugly and passes in a reasonable time. I assume adding snails and sand-sifting critters is a bit too early. I'm not sure. Best to keep hands out and let the tank ride a few weeks.

1703791263579.png



NO3 has nicely dropped to 30 mg/l and P04 is down to 0.20 ppm.
 
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35G Frag Tank Update (After Reset)

So it took one more Flatworm Exit treatment to get every Red Planaria. No more aiptasia at this point, so tank is very pest free.

I decided to move the Large bubble coral out since it was too big and those stingers are nasty. I left the smaller Bubble and I had to move it around to contain it.

The bad news which I expected is the Berry Wine SPS Colony got so bad I had to throw it out. The lighting wasn't enough to keep SPS. I can't raise the light intensity to SPS level to save one corals and kill the rest. This tank is not meant to be for SPS. I do have the Branching Cryphaestrea, the Yellow Turbinria that I kept from the 110% shutdown.

I have no fish (and hope not to have any other than a Mandarin) so I worry about the corals getting nutrients. I decided to start adding 3 drops of AquaForest Amino Mix once a week.

Everything is doing fantastic now that things have stabilized.

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Time for a Tank Tour! What is your favorite thing to look at in your tank?

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  • I actually have several favorites!

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  • I don't have a favorite thing! I just watch everything!

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