Diving The World's 80g Acro Wonderland!

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DivingTheWorld

DivingTheWorld

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Purple Chronic. So 2 years ago I had a major acro crash. Fish were fine, shrimp, non acros, all fine. But I lost most of my acro colonies including one of my favorites, Purple Chronic. Fast forward to a few months ago and I noticed a couple polyps show up on my live rock...it's back baby!

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DivingTheWorld

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Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been a busy summer! Now for the good and bad...

4 weeks ago we got to watch my cousin become commanding officer of his US Navy FA/18 Fighter Wing. It was a truely awesome weekend with fly by, change of command ceremony and even got to fly a FA/18 flight simulator. I'm not into video games, but I'm pretty sure this was a cool one. Go NAVY!

That was followed with a couple weeks up in Oregon visiting my parents with hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, tubing, etc. Just what the doctor ordered for a little family relaxation!

We arrived back last weekend to a reef tank in CRITICAL condition...

I'd been experimenting since last January running a CO2 reactor to raise my pH. It's been working great and my pH was running around 8.1-8.4, raising to 8.2-8.5 once summer hit. Coral growth exploded and was actually a bit rediculous and the media lasted a long time. I changed it out every 1.5 months, but it probably could have gone 2.

What was tricky was the Cal/Alk consumption. With pH swinging so much, I was making adjustments to my dosers almost every day and it was sucking up Cal/Alk like nobody's business. I was having to take saltwater out of the tank every few days to keep the salinity down due to so much dosing. I do not have a Trident or other auto tester so going on vacation takes a bit of finger crossing. This was my first decent length vacation since adding the scrubber.

We arrived back Saturday evening to the following:
  • Alk was down to 6.0
  • Salinity was up to 1.027
  • Both MP40's had seized and fallen off the wall
  • My Cal/Alk dosing containers were empty (They are just over 1G each and this is only an 80G tank!)
  • My return pump was making noises.
  • Corals were not happy.
I immediately tested Alk/Cal and shut off the return to check the salinity. I use a Tropic Marin Precision Hydrometer which I float in the tank and it requires no water movement. Anyways, I checked the salinity and restarted the return. No bueno! The return pump seized and my impeller broke!

This is the point that many reefers might say, "That's it, I'm out. Who wants to buy a tank?"

So I got to work. I pulled my MP40 wet sides and dropped them in some 50/50 vinegar. I was smart enough to have a back up wet side so I popped that on and got some water movement going. I also have a back up return pump although I was too lazy to have it pre-plumbed to the union. A quick trip to Home Depot and a little plumbing and the return was back in business. A couple hours later, both MP40s were as well. I slowly adjusted the Salinity/Alk/Cal back to where they should be.

At this point I have disconnected the CO2 scrubber and I'm taking a break. I might consider running it again this next winter if my pH drops super low, but I have no intention of running it in the summer again.

I've thought a lot about what might have gone wrong and my theory (with absolutely no scientific proof) is that running super high pH (8.5+) causes precipitation. I feel it caused all my pumps to seize up. That coupled with the fact that my tank is so small and that I was dosing massive amounts of Alk/Cal and my tank just couldn't handle it. I'm not sure what a safe level of pH is, but I'm going to try to keep it under around 8.3 going forward.

The good news is nothing in the tank died, and other than my very picky CB Maleficent which browned a little, all my acros look just fine! Even my picky Tyree Pink Lemonade colony is looking good.

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lbacha

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Glad to hear everything is ok, i know where you are coming from, I added a scrubber (haven’t changed the media in months now that it’s summer) and started dosing kalk and the ph is between 8.25 and 8.45. The coral growth and coralline growth is just crazy at this higher PH. I have been making sure to dip my vortechs and gyres in citrus acid every 3 months just to be safe as the coralline growth is crazy.
 
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DivingTheWorld

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When I plumbed in my back up pump last weekend I used an Askoll based AC pump to replace my Reef Octopus DC pump. The new pump is dead silent. The DC pump was quiet, but the new AC pump is actually quieter. But I had to grab some hose clamps to plumb it in and in a pinch I went to Home Depot and picked up a pair of stainless steel ones. Yesterday my new titanium hose clamps arrived and I swapped them out. Can you believe that in only one week the stainless steel ones were already starting to rust?

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Topreefer92

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Those titanium pipe clams look awesome!! Vaseline or Aquafor work really good to stop the rusting. I put that on all my stand/cabinet steel hardware and never had it rust ever! Love the tank!!
 

homer1475

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Sorry for the lack of updates, it's been a busy summer! Now for the good and bad...

4 weeks ago we got to watch my cousin become commanding officer of his US Navy FA/18 Fighter Wing. It was a truely awesome weekend with fly by, change of command ceremony and even got to fly a FA/18 flight simulator. I'm not into video games, but I'm pretty sure this was a cool one. Go NAVY!

That was followed with a couple weeks up in Oregon visiting my parents with hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, tubing, etc. Just what the doctor ordered for a little family relaxation!

We arrived back last weekend to a reef tank in CRITICAL condition...

I'd been experimenting since last January running a CO2 reactor to raise my pH. It's been working great and my pH was running around 8.1-8.4, raising to 8.2-8.5 once summer hit. Coral growth exploded and was actually a bit rediculous and the media lasted a long time. I changed it out every 1.5 months, but it probably could have gone 2.

What was tricky was the Cal/Alk consumption. With pH swinging so much, I was making adjustments to my dosers almost every day and it was sucking up Cal/Alk like nobody's business. I was having to take saltwater out of the tank every few days to keep the salinity down due to so much dosing. I do not have a Trident or other auto tester so going on vacation takes a bit of finger crossing. This was my first decent length vacation since adding the scrubber.

We arrived back Saturday evening to the following:
  • Alk was down to 6.0
  • Salinity was up to 1.027
  • Both MP40's had seized and fallen off the wall
  • My Cal/Alk dosing containers were empty (They are just over 1G each and this is only an 80G tank!)
  • My return pump was making noises.
  • Corals were not happy.
I immediately tested Alk/Cal and shut off the return to check the salinity. I use a Tropic Marin Precision Hydrometer which I float in the tank and it requires no water movement. Anyways, I checked the salinity and restarted the return. No bueno! The return pump seized and my impeller broke!

This is the point that many reefers might say, "That's it, I'm out. Who wants to buy a tank?"

So I got to work. I pulled my MP40 wet sides and dropped them in some 50/50 vinegar. I was smart enough to have a back up wet side so I popped that on and got some water movement going. I also have a back up return pump although I was too lazy to have it pre-plumbed to the union. A quick trip to Home Depot and a little plumbing and the return was back in business. A couple hours later, both MP40s were as well. I slowly adjusted the Salinity/Alk/Cal back to where they should be.

At this point I have disconnected the CO2 scrubber and I'm taking a break. I might consider running it again this next winter if my pH drops super low, but I have no intention of running it in the summer again.

I've thought a lot about what might have gone wrong and my theory (with absolutely no scientific proof) is that running super high pH (8.5+) causes precipitation. I feel it caused all my pumps to seize up. That coupled with the fact that my tank is so small and that I was dosing massive amounts of Alk/Cal and my tank just couldn't handle it. I'm not sure what a safe level of pH is, but I'm going to try to keep it under around 8.3 going forward.

The good news is nothing in the tank died, and other than my very picky CB Maleficent which browned a little, all my acros look just fine! Even my picky Tyree Pink Lemonade colony is looking good.

62.JPG
Let me start by saying, awesome tank! Absolutely beautiful!

But to your point about high PH and precip, it's the reason I switched to using randys part 2. Long story short, high PH and incorrect dosing(not noticing it precipitating so kept adding more which raised PH, which precipitated more, etc, etc) turned my sandbed to a solid rock, and made me reboot my tank.
 
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