550 Gallon: 120Lx36Wx29H + Fish Room

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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Regarding UV sterilizers: I firmly believe in them, and understanding the difference between flow and turnover properly can maximize their potential.

People commonly describe UVs for binary uses:
  • Algae control - Regular flow rates will help with controlling algae, assuming that the turnover rate is high enough to keep pace with its growth
  • Disease prevention/limitation - Low flow rates will help with disease by neutering free-floating nasties
But wait, can I do both? Yes, and understanding flow and turnover are key here -- they are different. Algae control isn't lost when you slow down the flow into a UV to go after diseases; it's just that the algae spreads faster than that system water turnover rate might allow. More tank water needs to be zapped to control for algae, but you would then have to turn up the flow through the UV, potentially going too fast to have a lethal effect on the nasties.

To do both, you need to either:

1. Oversize equipment on Single Return:
Let's say you are working with a tank like a 90 Gallon, and you are using a very large 120W UV. The manufacturer specifies a max flow rate through the UV of 600GPH. At that flow rate, you would be hitting the kill rate for nasties AND you would be turning over the tank volume 6x, which is more than enough to slow down algae growth. Most 90 gallon setups don't have room for a big ole 120W UV sterilizer -- but the math does support the idea of suppressing both disease and algae at the same time.

2. On larger tanks, keep flow rates consistent for disease, and increase the number of UV channels/returns to be able to get overall tank turnover to the rate you need to combat algae growth.

For example, if I have one return line going through a UV that feeds my 550 gallon tank, and the manufacturer says 600GPH should flow through the same 120W UV, that flow rate of 600GPH will equate to a ~1x per hour system water volume turnover rate. Nasties will get zapped, but algae growth will outpace a 1x per hour turnover rate.

For me, I would like to have twice as much (2x) flow through the UV sterilizer to get enough algae zapped to slow its growth rate. But if I need 2x to help with algae, and I'm only allowed to have 1x before it stops killing nasties, the only way to solve for both is to add another channel.

Two different return channels, or 2*(1x turnover):
  • Return 1 = 600GPH through UV (kill nasties)
  • Return 2 = 600GPH or more (Increase overall system turnover to combat algae)
Kill nasties + Mitigate algae growth!
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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New stainless steel tables just arrived from webrestarauntstore.com -- one for water testing (double checking the Trident with Hanna / Red Sea tests each week), salinity, etc. -- and the other for a fragging and additives (Alk/Ca/Mg) station.

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TylerC

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Have you had any difference from trident to other test?
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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Have you had any difference from trident to other test?
I have found the Trident to be pretty accurate. My Hanna Calcium and Magnesium tests are challenging to get a consistent reading from, so it's nice to have multiple equipment opinions on what the levels actually are.

I think of the Trident as a trend meter. Hopefully it's accurate too (double checking with another system to verify) - but I'm looking for the big picture trends.
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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Quick question on siphon breaks:

If my return line splits into multiple sub-lines (display tank, frag tank, refugium tank) -- if the power goes out and the return pump has back flow, will the first tank line that starts sucking air stop the back flow all together from the rest of the tank?

Example: if my frag tank loc-line is barely below the water and has a hole just above the water line, it stops a siphon very quickly. But, will that stop siphons from the other tanks too?
 

TexAgReefer

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Quick question on siphon breaks:

If my return line splits into multiple sub-lines (display tank, frag tank, refugium tank) -- if the power goes out and the return pump has back flow, will the first tank line that starts sucking air stop the back flow all together from the rest of the tank?

Example: if my frag tank loc-line is barely below the water and has a hole just above the water line, it stops a siphon very quickly. But, will that stop siphons from the other tanks too?
Any air in the line should break all siphons I believe.
 

emvanburen

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Awesome -- thanks! In that case you'd think more people would run a teed manifold line that dumps water back into the sump 2" or so above the water line to always have a siphon break handy.
I would look at the plumbing arrangement carefully. If the plumbing from a sub-tank had enough pipe lower than the tank it fed, but before hitting the main return line, it could keep siphoning even after the main line gets stopped by the siphon break.
 

TylerC

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That’s a great catch on video man looks good
 
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I'm having a heck of a time with my balance of Alk/Ca/Mag. I'm using Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride, so the amount added each day should be about equal, but the amount of of Alk is almost double the amount of Calcium:
  • Daily Alk: 205ml (to maintain 9.5dkh)
  • Daily Cal: 115 ml (to maintain 475ppm)
The tank is still young and coralline algae is growing everywhere, but that ratio still seems a bit off to me. Making me scratch my head even more is that I have started dosing magnesium, but that has oddly dropped the Mag readings and increased the Calcium readings.

Any thoughts on what is going on?
 

rushbattle

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I'm having a heck of a time with my balance of Alk/Ca/Mag. I'm using Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride, so the amount added each day should be about equal, but the amount of of Alk is almost double the amount of Calcium:
  • Daily Alk: 205ml (to maintain 9.5dkh)
  • Daily Cal: 115 ml (to maintain 475ppm)
The tank is still young and coralline algae is growing everywhere, but that ratio still seems a bit off to me. Making me scratch my head even more is that I have started dosing magnesium, but that has oddly dropped the Mag readings and increased the Calcium readings.

Any thoughts on what is going on?
This seems like a precipitation issue, but that's hard to diagnose if so. If mag is going down faster than it should through calcification and dilution via dosing NaCO3 and CaCl, that sounds like precipitation as well. Please remind me, how are you dosing the soda ash solution? Do you dose limewater?
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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This seems like a precipitation issue, but that's hard to diagnose if so. If mag is going down faster than it should through calcification and dilution via dosing NaCO3 and CaCl, that sounds like precipitation as well. Please remind me, how are you dosing the soda ash solution? Do you dose limewater?

I use regular 2-Part, and just recently started dosing magnesium to get those levels back up. The container of liquid Magnesium solution I was using was 9 months old and hadn’t been dosed since, so I’m not sure if the levels got wonky with the old Mag. I went through that and put in new Mag (5/2: chloride/sulfate) and that has normalized over the last few days.

Aside from the new Mag solution, nothing else has changed so I think I’m in good shape now!

74CD09E1-C7FC-4537-BAA9-50F5583971D6.png
 

rushbattle

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I use regular 2-Part, and just recently started dosing magnesium to get those levels back up. The container of liquid Magnesium solution I was using was 9 months old and hadn’t been dosed since, so I’m not sure if the levels got wonky with the old Mag. I went through that and put in new Mag (5/2: chloride/sulfate) and that has normalized over the last few days.

Aside from the new Mag solution, nothing else has changed so I think I’m in good shape now!

74CD09E1-C7FC-4537-BAA9-50F5583971D6.png
Sounds like it’s sorted! For those that don’t know, magnesium at nsw levels helps keep calcium carbonate from precipitating. So low mag will definitely throw things off.
 
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As I shared earlier, I firmly believe in the power of UV lights to control ich, velvet, and other nasties that might come into my tank. Yes, I also thoroughly quarantine, using TTM and light meds, which I view as far less stressful than copper unless the fish is already visibly infected.

I finally got around to plumbing my second return line with another 120W UV. Each one runs at a relatively low flow rate (at the disease kill rate) between 520-560GPH [measured by a flow meter, not guesswork from head pressure calculation] for a total volume turnover of 1100GPH.

Algae growth on the glass is reduced as well -- I love these things!

IMG_1747.JPG
 

VegetaD

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Nice!
I got my second 120 but haven't done the pluming on the system yet. Happy it's working for you!
 

BZOFIQ

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As I shared earlier, I firmly believe in the power of UV lights to control ich, velvet, and other nasties that might come into my tank. Yes, I also thoroughly quarantine, using TTM and light meds, which I view as far less stressful than copper unless the fish is already visibly infected.

I finally got around to plumbing my second return line with another 120W UV. Each one runs at a relatively low flow rate (at the disease kill rate) between 520-560GPH [measured by a flow meter, not guesswork from head pressure calculation] for a total volume turnover of 1100GPH.

Algae growth on the glass is reduced as well -- I love these things!

IMG_1747.JPG

Love it!

Does it add much heat into the system?
 
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