A Pale Blue Dot – My SPS Dominated Reef

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chrishet

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Here is an image I shot a few years ago that is a good example of an LRGB combination image...this is M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy. M31 is about 2.5 million light years away but that is very close to us. It is estimated that there are 1 trillion stars in M31. Hubble has done extensive imaging of this galaxy and has detected over 100 million stars. That sounds like a lot but our galaxy, The Milky Way, is actually larger than Andromeda. This is an LRGB image, meaning I shot this through 4 filters, Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue. 200 minutes of L, 60 minutes each of R,G,B. This was taken from my observatory at Deerlick Astronomy Village using a 14 inch DSI telescope and Apogee camera. Just imagine how many planets there are circulating those 1 trillion stars, and how many of those planets have life.

 
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chrishet

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On the water change discussion...I am assuming a small water change daily (1 gallon) won't effect the cycle really since the bacteria we want is populating on the rocks and not in the water column. Also, should I feed the bacteria during this stage? I haven't for a few weeks since ammonia levels have been detected, but what about after they go down to zero? Thanks all!
 

KrisReef

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The reason to hold off on water changes is to allow the developing bacteria beds to grow by feeding on the ammonia present. Water changes (partially) remove their food. 20 nitrates isn’t that high and can be removed at the end of the cycle with water changes. Your lights are off now, so high nutrients are not a concern for growing algae.

When ammonia drops to zero, the bacteria have started to become established. Water change then to remove nitrates.
 
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chrishet

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I've decided not to test my tank till 2019! just going to sit back and watch.

more fun while waiting....I do a little diving - hopefully more now that I am retired. This was from Turks and Caicos in 2016. I mounted a GoPro rig to the top of my dive camera - you can see the flashes as I drift around. The music is by my brother Randy Hetlage - guitar player god!
 
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I’m starting to see a few strands of hair algae in my fuge. I’ve had the Kessil on for 12 hours per day with a small ball of clean algae...I shortened the period to 4 hours. Do you all think it would be ok to start up the UV? 2 months into cycle.
 

Ron Reefman

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chrishet, I don't often look at other people's build threads. But while I was looking for mine (scrolling through the days of new posts) I saw your avatar which caught my attention. I love space info. Then I saw your name for this thread... Carl Sagan was/is my hero. I think I've read every book he ever wrote for the masses, including the only fiction called Contact which was a difficult read, but IMHO, an awesome movie.

Good luck with the new tank build.
 
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Cycle continues...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years everyone!

The tank is coming along nicely...cycling and seeing lots of pods and critters....perhaps a white flatworm population but I need to get a good pic and verification. I am not sure where it came from, I have no livestock other then the pods and chaeto from AlgaeBarn. I am not even sure its a problem critter - we shall see.

I am hoping to put in a few fish in January, once the nitrites and nitrates are in check. I'm thinking about putting in a Yellow Tang and Lawnmower Blenny first...thinking it might help keep any algae under control. Probably will add a few corals in February - that will be the 4 month mark.

I cleaned up some of the wiring in my sump area in order to take a few pics - more cleanup is needed buts hey its a work in progress! I still have some more work to do on my electronics cabinet before I can post any pics of it...soon. Also the water mixing station needs some cleaning up as well.

So here is my sump.

Kessil H180 Light - I am thinking its an awesome fuge light but will need to get the chaeto growing first to give my final thoughts. Its a great size for my sump and its very bright.
UV - In this pic you can see my UV Sterilizer mounted up high
BRS mini on the wall (I modded this with barbed fittings and silicon tube because I didn't like the stiff tubing that came with it - don't bother with the upgrade kit, its way over priced IMO).
Fuge - As you can see this sump design is a bit different than most in that I feed water to the fuge from the manifold system. This allows me to control how much flow I get in there. I cut up some Marine Pure to put in the fuge. Right now its teaming with pods! The chaeto hasn't grown much but its a pretty clean system at the moment.
Essence Skimmer - The skimmer is broken in nicely but it also doesn't have much to do right now. I also modded its lid with a float switch that is attached to my Apex to power down the skimmer if the cup fills.
ATO - I'll get some pics of my ATO brackets and RODI line brackets later but so far they are working perfectly. I did not feel the Apex ATO mag bracket was strong enough for my sump walls and its just too important to have a failure. The brackets I designed, and printed, fit on the wall of the sump and does not move. The ATO bracket has 3 sensors, 2 optical and one float. I also have the float switch that came with the ATK mounted to another bracket for even more redundancy.
Manifold - The manifold works perfectly. See the orange PVC straps, I printed these as well! I have a flow meter on the UV Sterilizer input, on my return line, and on the auto water changing pump In/Out (I can change water at a rate of 3 gph which is plenty).

Regards,
Chris





 
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KrisReef

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Chris,
Nice update. Glad to hear the microfauna are invading your habitat.
Do your 3 switches on the ATO all default to stop replacement water input? I have a single manual float switch with gravity feed, your system is more similar to the intricacies of the universe, and I am not surprised really. :)

You mentioned stocking, and a Yellow tang first addition does raise a little flag in my mind. Lots of people on the site mention YT as an "add-last" fish due to aggression issue they can bring. I am wondering what other fish you may wish to add, and I do understand the utility of an algae preditor.

I have no experience with 3D printing but am curious, how much does a printer cost and how much is the, um "ink" for one of these. You are the second or third entity on R2R who has posted brackets or other marvels that come from this technology, and I am amazed and curious about this new technology. (Sorry for the hi-jack questions, kind-of).
 
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Chris,
Nice update. Glad to hear the microfauna are invading your habitat.
Do your 3 switches on the ATO all default to stop replacement water input? I have a single manual float switch with gravity feed, your system is more similar to the intricacies of the universe, and I am not surprised really. :)

You mentioned stocking, and a Yellow tang first addition does raise a little flag in my mind. Lots of people on the site mention YT as an "add-last" fish due to aggression issue they can bring. I am wondering what other fish you may wish to add, and I do understand the utility of an algae preditor.

I have no experience with 3D printing but am curious, how much does a printer cost and how much is the, um "ink" for one of these. You are the second or third entity on R2R who has posted brackets or other marvels that come from this technology, and I am amazed and curious about this new technology. (Sorry for the hi-jack questions, kind-of).
Hi KR, Thx!

My ATO is basically a Neptune ATK however I replaced the bracket and added an additional float switch. My ATO is sourced from an RODI container which is 35 gallons. I need a lot of redundancy and safety as this much water accidentally pumping into my sump could cause a lot of damage. The logic for each sensor is a bit different, I’ll be happy to share my Apex logic if you wish. The lowest sensor is an optical sensor and it detect a low water level situation. This triggers power to a PMUP pump till it closes again, but also has some safety logic to ensure it doesn’t overrun and flood the sump. The next sensor is a sump level high sensor. It is an optical sensor as well. The logic on this sensor is basically safety and alerts me as well as shuts down all pumps if the water level gets this high. The third sensor is a float switch and is a second high level indicator, it should never trigger unless the return pump is off however it adds another level of safety. The fourth sensor is an mechanical ATO float switch that the RODI line goes into. This should never be needed unless all others fail.

I hadn’t thought about the aggression thing on the Tang...maybe I should just add the Benny for now? I’ll have a pair of clowns of course but haven’t settled on anything else...a Mandarin perhaps.

My printer is a very basic one but does the job. It’s a Creality Ender 3, about $200. Filament is cheap, about $25 per roll and it makes a lot. You need to be technical for sure so you may want to research it before you jump in.

Have a great day!
 
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One more astro-image...I took this image of a lunar eclipse during the winter solstice. It was taken 8 years ago almost to the day and I was fortunate enough to get a NASA APOD for it - a big deal for us amateurs!

Here is a link to some of the details - One of my favorites!

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101223.html

 
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Might look good to have a nice full orange acro colony in the center of my tank to represent....keeping with the theme and all....
 
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Nice picture! It almost appears to be a sphere and not a pancake?
Whatever the shape, one can clearly see the lunar freeways and ancient aqueducts in this incredible photo.
The universe and some of the people in it are amazingly talented. :)
 
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OK, I lied! I couldn't wait till new years day, I tested my tank today and NO NITRITES and NO AMMONIA! Nitrates at 10ppm. I am so excited! Almost critter time!
 

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WOOT! Congrats and awesome photos!
 

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With this kind of photography skills I'm looking forward to seeing the individual zooxanthellae smiling back at us.
 
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Because this is a BUILD thread I am going to try to keep up monthly progression shots...so here is Month 1 - Cycle Complete. I'm going to wait at least another 2 months before adding coral. I'm going to work on getting through the ugly stage and planting some coraline algae first. Once the coraline seems like its growing well I'll add some corals. I really like the rock work. It is so stable and not glued down so I can tweak as needed. There are so many place to secure frags!

Front Shot - Once I get some livestock going I'll take closer full tank shots.



Left Side - Definitely need to get closer to the glass to reduce those reflections!



Right Side - Some curtains for the window are coming! Nice view from my office!

 
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