A few pictures of my 400g reef

ReefWithCare

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I used to run a QT at all times, before I upgraded to the 400g. Corals are always dipped, typically I use ReVive by Two Little Fishies since I never run out of that. ;) Worst pest would be Acrpora Eating Flatworms. But every pest I've dealt with ended up being an article for my website. :p
I’ve been debating coral QT —- is this something you would believe in or are you not more in the camp of deal with it when it happens?

I have fish that would eat most pest except for pest anemones.
 
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melev

melev

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The benefit of a QT tank running is that any time you come home with new corals, you have a place to put them immediately. You can later add them to your reef when you have the time to deal with dipping, gluing, etc. I have a frag system to put stuff in, and no I really don't worry about pests all that much. Dip upon arrival, then inspect livestock closely over a few days' time, and if all looks good put them in the reef.
 

ReefWithCare

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The benefit of a QT tank running is that any time you come home with new corals, you have a place to put them immediately. You can later add them to your reef when you have the time to deal with dipping, gluing, etc. I have a frag system to put stuff in, and no I really don't worry about pests all that much. Dip upon arrival, then inspect livestock closely over a few days' time, and if all looks good put them in the reef.
Thanks Melev.

I had another question about Safety Stop. If you Safety Stop and QT the fish for observation, is it okay to Safety Stop the fish again before they go into the Display Tank after say 30-60 days?

I also wanted to know if you sell frags? Some of us aren't that far away from you. I would love to just buy frags from you given I'm only about 2-3 hrs away from you :). There are no local coral sellers outside of the LFS in Texas and I would love to just support ya by buying coral off you if you ever offered it. Your tank is amazing.
 
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melev

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Thanks Melev.

I had another question about Safety Stop. If you Safety Stop and QT the fish for observation, is it okay to Safety Stop the fish again before they go into the Display Tank after say 30-60 days?

I also wanted to know if you sell frags? Some of us aren't that far away from you. I would love to just buy frags from you given I'm only about 2-3 hrs away from you :). There are no local coral sellers outside of the LFS in Texas and I would love to just support ya by buying coral off you if you ever offered it. Your tank is amazing.
I see no reason to Safety Stop the same fish a second time a month later. I don't sell corals like most people, but occasionally frags happen. So if you were ever in my area and wanted some, I'd be happy to comply.
 

ReefWithCare

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I see no reason to Safety Stop the same fish a second time a month later. I don't sell corals like most people, but occasionally frags happen. So if you were ever in my area and wanted some, I'd be happy to comply.
Oh nice that will save me some Safety Stop then :). Ya I mostly put them in QT because I sometimes have to deal with internal parasites and Metro pretty much takes care of that in QT while giving me time to figure out what they will eat and get them fat.

I'm about 2 1/2 hrs from you. But ya I would totally love to get some frags. I tend to be in the Dallas area from time to time as I live in Austin.
 
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melev

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I'm in Fort Worth, just give me some notice in advance. I don't have frags growing on plugs currently.
 
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Got a new picture to show y'all tonight. I've been coveting this ricordea from the LFS near me for years. Talked to a customer in the store who actually had gotten one, and he had a spare. I finally got my own. It's way up high in my reef and seems to be doing well.

special-ricordea-101918.jpg
 

Centerline

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Got a new picture to show y'all tonight. I've been coveting this ricordea from the LFS near me for years. Talked to a customer in the store who actually had gotten one, and he had a spare. I finally got my own. It's way up high in my reef and seems to be doing well.

special-ricordea-101918.jpg
That's one sexy little ricordea!
 

SPR1968

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Got a new picture to show y'all tonight. I've been coveting this ricordea from the LFS near me for years. Talked to a customer in the store who actually had gotten one, and he had a spare. I finally got my own. It's way up high in my reef and seems to be doing well.

special-ricordea-101918.jpg
I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss your build thread @melev but what a beautiful tank you have and the photography is simply stunning!

I’ll read the thread from the beginning when I get the chance and now following along.
 
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melev

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I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss your build thread @melev but what a beautiful tank you have and the photography is simply stunning!

I’ll read the thread from the beginning when I get the chance and now following along.
Fortunately for you, this thread isn't too terribly long. I've not been really good about updating it, but from time to time something reminds me.
 
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melev

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Here are some things that have happened over the past two months:

1) Nitrates have been up for a long time. I tried a brick product to bring them down but after a long wait (8 months) it seemed that wasn't going to do it. Instead, I decided I'd go back to vodka dosing, and rather than being patient I decided to dose it aggressively. Within a few weeks I was looking at some strange pink slime growing in the refugium, the sump's skimmer and return zone, and within the body of my Vortech pumps. Still, I was determined to see NO3 drop. It was measuring over 40ppm.... I stuck to it, but surprisingly watched my phosphate drop from .75ppm to .05ppm to .03ppm while the nitrate didn't budge. Weirdest thing ever. Then a couple of corals starting turning white, and it seemed to be spreading. I slammed on the brakes with vodka dosing. The white stopped just as fast, and within two days the pink slime vanished.

I still have nitrates. ;)

2) Had a metal halide go out inexplicably, and I did some cross testing but nothing would bring it to life. Ordered new bulbs and ballasts because I found myself without backups (how is that even possible). The bulb was the culprit, which was odd since it should have lasted more than a year. Btw, I did some PAR testing before my presentation at RAP last month. The bulb on the right is the brand new one, so the numbers measure higher naturally.

400g-10k-PAR.jpg


3) Tried out Phosban-L to see how effectively it works, and so far I'm pretty impressed. As you know, I've been recommending Phosphate Rx for a decade. This one is a little more complicated to use in comparison, but it definitely works. I used it at 50% of the recommended dose and got my desired results overnight.

And the biggest thing to update:
4) Tank alkalinity was somewhat low but I couldn't figure out why. My calcium reactor was full of media, the CO2 tank was full of gas, everything looked right. That's when I realized I was missing the point, that the pH measurement inside the reactor was not where it belonged. Normally it's between 6.1 to 6.5 depending on my mood, so to speak. The pH controller showed that it was 7.5 and my brain didn't click, that it wasn't 6.5... dumb mental error. In the meantime, I labeled that spot with my target numbers to avoid ever doing that again... though I'm reasonably sure that it won't after this. lol

I had to clean out an inline check valve on the calcium reactor that was sealed shut with salt creep, which prevented CO2 from entering the reactor. That's been corrected, and the controller was forced to a lower set point to help get my tank's alkalinity back up to normal levels. It's been stuck at 7.5 dKH for some time, as of last night it's reading 10.5 dKH. I prefer somewhere closer to 10.

I've burned through a brand new Elos alkalinity test kit doing some serious testing over a 24 hour period. I wanted to know a few things:

What is the pH in the reactor?
What does the pH controller state is in the reactor?
What is the alkalinity of the tank?
What is the alkalinity of the effluent?
What is the alkalinity of alkalinity solution (2 cups Soda Ash to one gallon RODI)?

And my answers after some tweaking:
pH in the reactor was 6.12
pH reported by the controller was 5.8
This means I need to replace the pH probe since it's old, and that's going to require me to buy a new pH probe holder as well.
Alkalinity of the tank was 7.5 dKH for nearly a week, down from 9.5.
I dosed soda ash every other day to help buffer the situation while I was trying to resolve whatever was going on.
Alkalinity of the effluent measured 70 dKH.
Typical effluent should measure between 19 and 35 dKH. 70 dKH was because I ran the pH down hard trying to overcome the 7.5 it seemed to be stuck at. It was visibly too low because the water in my reactor was cloudy grey, instead of clear. After I was done with testing, I raised the pH slightly and the water within has turned clear once more. 70 dKH is crazy high, and I've slowed the output from a normal trickle to a semi-decent drip to avoid raising alkalinity too much at the moment. Now that the tank is sitting at 10.5 dKH I don't want it to go higher.
Alkalinity of the mixed Soda Ash measured over 180 dKH.
That's why I nearly wiped out my test kit. I filled the beaker with so many drops that it was full before I got the color change. I've never tested dKH of mixed solution so I was curious what it measures. If you've measured it or would like to measure yours, I'd love to hear what value you get.

My reef is doing just fine despite the minor alkalinity drama, and all my crazy numbers. I was on a fact-checking mission this week to gather some intel and answer some questions I'd pondered about for some time.

fts-400g.jpg
 
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melev

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Where has the time gone? Well, clearly I've been AWOL from this thread. So here's a few pictures that David liked and wanted me to post. These are of the 60 Anemone Cube, which is plumbed into the 400g reef. All were shot at the same time, when the tank was in full blue mode and I had the PolypLab Coral View lens affixed to my iPhone Xs.

These are all Bubble Tip Anemones.

IMG_8522.jpg


IMG_8473.jpg


IMG_8475.jpg


IMG_8480.jpg
 

ReefQueen

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The nems look gorgeous! I was talking with Tullio the other day and he mentioned you used the live rock enhance and really seemed to like it. Just wondering, if you are still using it, if you noticed any long term pros or cons with it? It sounds like a great product and I’d like to give it a try.
 

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