Growing Pains from a First Reef Build - 55g

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Time to change the RO filters!

Quick update from the modern era - I took about an hour yesterday evening to finally get my RO filters all swapped out. I've been horrible about doing so - I hadn't done it since getting the system in Feb 2018 (like I said, horrible). Last week my TDS was showing 1 on the output, though, so I knew now was REALLY the time to do it. Incidentally, I'd tried before, but frankly couldn't get the stupid cylinders unscrewed, even with the tool. For now, I'll just blame @Bulk Reef Supply and, by extension, @randyBRS :D . Yesterday I managed to remove some of the stored water from inside the system before taking them off - not sure if it mattered, but point being I got them out! Hooray!

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It looks weird when it's empty, right?

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I made sure to keep the cylinders in order so I can track them more easily. It helped a little.

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It really seems mostly OK, but as mentioned, I was getting >0 on the TDS, so swap out it is!

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Bye bye, varied stuff! (looking at you, yellowed 3 um filter).

Glad to have gotten that done, though I should've so long ago. Now I'll need to get another kit and new membranes for when the new year rolls around :D .
 
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Today's another loss :( :( :(

Early this morning my new angel died. I had eaten fine yesterday (7/13) and subsequently was swimming around as normal, then this morning I didn't see it at all. I finally found it hiding behind one of my rocks. It was still alive at the time. I managed to get it into my acclimation box, but it died within a few hours. No sign of infection, distress, water parameters were great. Just.... dead. So even after all this other stuff I've done, still constantly losing. It's bad.

20190714_093114.jpg

This was a few hours before dying - it was vertical like this for awhile, sometimes on its side, and all in all just very lethargic and not moving around. Tried feeding but didn't work, obviously.

Just don't know sometimes, you know?
 
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Another recent update

Following the death of the Elibi angel, my girlfriend felt really bad about it and went out to get another new fish that same day (7/13). It died last night (7/17), a few hours after coming out of the acclimation box. I've no idea why this keeps happening and am seriously considering hanging things up. I hate that I keep screwing up so badly and, even after all this time, it doesn't seem to matter that things look OK, because SOMETHING is going on.
 
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Reality Check 6 - Damsels ARE distress, and the floor is wet (part 1 - September 2018)

No pictures for this one, but I'll borrow again one I showed earlier:

lg-70301-blue-velvet.jpg


This monster. Velvet (Japanese) damsels are REALLY cool looking. They add a fascinating streak of coloration to a tank, and get quite large, so they can be fun to look at.

Around this time of ~September 2018, I realized that, on adding new fish to the tank, said damsel would constantly and actively chase the new ones all over. I never saw biting, but highly aggressive chasing. It was at the point that new fish would hide under rocks to the point that they'd starve and/or be so stressed out they died. I thought to myself "AH HA!! If I banish this fish back to the LFS, it'll all be dandy."

Catching a fish is HARD. At the time, I had rock and really only one semi-viable coral. After trying for literally hours to catch the thing (net, homemade trap with lots of food, etc.), The only way I could think to do it was to remove EVERYTHING from the tank, catch it, and move everything back. I had to do it fast, for the sake of other livestock, and came up with a plan of action:
  • Remove return pump from sump, lights, etc., start timer
  • Take rock work out and place in trash can used in move
  • Use pump in DT to move water quickly from DT to trash can
  • Grab fish, put in bag
  • Pump water back, replace rocks
Quick bit of info - the trashcan, since moving, had subsequently been used to store and remove ashes after grilling. Rinsed thoroughly, etc, before doing this. Hot coals + plastic = ??? . If you guessed melted plastic resulting in minute holes, have a round of applause. The holes were at the very bottom of the can, and only on one side. They were small enough to not be seen, but big enough to... you know.... be holes.

Having ~35 gallons of water sitting in a hole'd trash can for 10 minutes while you catch a fish is a recipe for a bad time. The holes happened to be on a side of the can we weren't facing, and gradually leaked onto the floor. Finally, after catching the fish, saw the floor and immediately freaked out. Got the water and rocks back in ASAP and started making a new batch to replace what was lost (much less than it could've been, about 3-4 gallons). After a couple hours of cleaning up, and all the towels in the house getting soaked, took the damsel to the fish store and got a new Firefish! Hooray!

So ridiculous, though.
 
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Reality check 7 - the floor is wet (part 2), time to gain control and try more corals (Oct - Nov 2018)

Excited about getting the jerk fish out of the tank and being able to expand again, I went out and got fish for the DT, more corals on a new rack, and more. Ever since I started my tank, I was saving up to get an Apex system. I love tech and science, so this was a really fun way for me to combine everything, not to mention make tank maintenance easier, not to mention a bit less dangerous (see below). The question was always "when do I set it up?". I had most of the system on hand around mid-October and was trying to figure out an agreeable setup that would work well with the house aesthetic. Started thinking a simple panel with the stuff mounted, a custom-built TARDIS cabinet (that would've been AWESOME), and a few other things. Eventually settled on modifying an existing cabinet. It'd work well. I found a good deal on the cabinet and got the supplies, but still wasn't really in a hurry. My setup worked as it was and I didn't have too many problems, plus I'd just gotten new fish and corals!!

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Ok, so it's not a great idea to precariously lay a coral rack atop rocks. This is true. BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY. Really, though, I was pretty excited about it.

I had a new Anthias that was doing sort of OK (the firefish I'd gotten died) and a forktail blenny that was perky and happy in the tank.

One day, my return pump was giving me various troubles: I had to take it out and get it cleaned extensively. I hadn't replaced any of the plumbing pieces since getting the tank, aside from the busted tube a few months in, so I was going along doing my thing, cleaned it a few times and got the tube back on. A few hours later, the tube popped off. (remember, kids, clamps are your friends). Water once again was getting all over the floor (right near the power box for the tank) and again we had to soak some towels and sweep things to get it all cleaned up. Well. Seems like it's a good time to get those leak detectors up and running, right?

It should be noted that I'm in no way an expert in electronics, construction, or the like, and have never even done major DIY projects, but I wanted to do something cool on my own, and this seemed like a good option. Here's a list of everything I got:
  • Apex system with:
    • Leak detectors
    • DOS
    • WAV Kit (including 1LINK)
    • AFS
    • PM3 module (just for the breakout box connection)
    • 2 breakout boxes
    • Apex Display
    • COR 15 pump (purchased later by a few weeks)
  • Tunze ATO
I also got the other key pieces together:
  • Used armoire with removable back (i.e. unscrew it)
  • 3/4" plywood fitted to back size
  • 2 way toggle switches
  • Momentary off buttons (with LED lights)
  • LED strips
  • Paint
  • Wiring
  • Desk grommets

I took the original backing off the armoire to replace it with plywood later.


I needed a lot of stuff aside from the actual Apex.

First, I sanded and prepped the backing. It covers the whole back, including the space under the shelf, so I set out my spacing for the piece and laid out my components, leaving lots of room for wiring grommets, etc. This was primarily to determine where holes were needed for switches and wires.


The dots on the top indicate centers for the toggle switches and buttons, while the whole thing is lined up to fit in the "main" portion of the cabinet, above the shelf.

The plywood piece was huge, so I had a lot of extra material that I was able to use for testing. I tried using my hole saws and the small mounting screws to make sure everything'd work well.

Mounting and hole test result. Also FISHIE and coral.

For the real deal, I just used some cheap sawhorses to hold it, then drilled and sanded as needed.


Ready for paint! I did 3 coats of latex paint on each side. Basically paint, wait, flip & paint, wait, etc.

Next step was getting the electronics set up. I have 5 LED buttons, 10 toggle switches, and LOTS of wiring. To ensure the best connections, everything was finalized with soldering and heat shrink wrap on the terminals. Initially, I didn't wire up all the toggle switches, either. If I need more, I can get them, though.


1 12V power supply can light all the buttons. Hooray!


I soldered all the wire terminal connections for the switches and buttons, then did heat shrinking.


(mostly) wired and ready! Full disclosure - I basically ran out of wire. The switches are relatively easy to remove and solder if I need more control, though.


Trying to be at least somewhat organized.

Finally, time to get things in their final places. Using my initial layout as a general guide, I finalized everything as squared off and level as I could manage:


Templates are very helpful. The velcro is for the ATO box.


All the little modules lain out


All set up plus some extra space if needed for more stuff later.


Hardware ready!

After all this I got the back panel placed on the cabinet with screws and wood glue and let it dry for a couple days before placing in all the modules, but soon enough got it in and began wiring it up.


The breakout boxes had to be mounted directly - they don't "click in" the way everything else does.


Ewwwwwww. Gross. I heavily cleaned this up using command strips for the power bricks, a few cable wranglers, and some other stuff, but in the end it's a LOT of cables. Also look! Corals on an actual rack.

One thing I wanted to do was get cabinet lighting setup, so that meant reed switches on the doors. Pretty easy to set up.


Remember when I said my old setup was bad and unsafe? Yea, this is what I meant. It's just awful.


Got the Apex connected to my home network and was making sure that communication was functioning; all seemed to be working well.


Fully wired/tubed and running now, plus ran DOS testing, calibrations, etc. for all things.

After migrating everything over to the system (sump, return, etc.), I ran into a few problems. I had programmed the green, blue, and red buttons (feeding, water change, all stop, respectively), as well as the toggle switches for specific equipment (return, skimmer, ato, wav), but the return pump wouldn't always start up properly after a feed cycle. The impeller was just acting weird. In addition, the ATO would prime after coming back on and send ~half a liter a water to the sump, regardless of the level. After this, I ended up getting the COR15 return pump so I could still have enough flow to keep things on, but it would mess much with feeding and the like. In addition, I ran into issues with both the DOS and WAV pumps. The former had an aquabus/power issue that was fixed by using a 1LINK cable and the latter had the 1LINK power brick die. Both handled quickly by Neptune, thankfully. Afterwards, the DOS still wasn't working well, and there were lots of bubbles in one of the lines. The tubing material I used was too slick, and the fluid couldn't move through properly. After replacing the lines, everything was fine.


All done plus COR controller added next to the screen. Good stuff.


I set up to get a fuge started, as well, by moving the skimmer to the first chamber. No light at the moment, but it was the next upgrade on the list at the time. I also REALLY want to get a bigger ATO container (to this day an accurate statement), as I need to refill it every other day.

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And we come back to the corals! This is my homemade frag rack that can actually stay away from the rocks. After a few weeks I cut and glued these all around the tank where it made sense for the types, but the vast majority of them died again :( . A few are still mostly around, at least.

After all this hubbub and fun, the anthias ended up dying, as well. Forktail was still doing alright, but I genuinely didn't know what was going on, and was devastated since I didn't have the aggressive fish anymore.

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Getting ready for a water test. You can see a good handful of the corals on the various rocks still, but many of them were starting to go down at this point (early Nov).
 
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Reality check 8 - vacation, testing, and recovery (Dec 2018, Jan 2019)

While I don't have pictures for this "era", there are a couple of clear messages to take home:
  1. Make certain to test your vacation gear setup/programming/etc.
  2. Learn to use testing kits properly
  3. Have plenty of key chemicals/mixes on hand and ready to use.
I was excited to vacation in December of 2018. I hadn't tried adding anything new to the tank because a) I still didn't know what was going on, and b) with a trip coming up I didn't think it was a good idea anyway. The trip itself was only about two weeks, so a water change wouldn't even really be needed, as well. The new corals from earlier were mostly dead or dying, I didn't really know why, but regardless, I got everything ready:
  1. Fellow reefer/co-worker who was willing to come by every couple days to feed frozen mysis/reefroids, fill the top off container, change the sock, etc.
  2. The Auto feeder system was set up and programmed to feed the minimal amount only every other day
  3. Plenty of top off water on hand for him and an easy to use feeding system
The system seemed to work quite well - I had tested the feeder and, while it seemed to feed a bit more than I wanted, it wasn't too bad. Since everything ran through Neptune, I successfully programmed a feed cycle along with activating the AFS so my guys could all eat well. As I was testing, though, even the LOWEST setting started to pour a LOT of food. Around 20 times what I normally feed. But inconsistently. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to either find a new system or otherwise fix it, so I reduced programmed feeding to only 1 day a week, but still with the mysis feeding going.

As one might expect, this ended in disaster. After only one week, my friend tested the water (just to see), and the nitrates were in the 120's easily. The fish and most coral seemed fine, but he used his own water to do a change, I stopped the AFS altogether, and essentially freaked out until I was able to get home to test again. When I returned, I did a test and breathed a sigh of relief. My nitrates were fine - the biofilter and skimmer had done their jobs well, not to mention the water change.

To celebrate, I decided it was time to try for a new fish again. Took a water sample to the LFS so they can test as well.... and nitrates are sky-high. Again in the 120s-140s.

WAIT WHAT????

I had no idea what was going on, and scared for my fish. I ran back home and tested again. Same thing, 0. Soooo.... called the shop, there must be something fundamentally wrong, correct? Yes. In a phrase...

I'd been running the test wrong since I started my tank.

"invert a few times" does not give the same result as "shake vigorously for a minute", incidentally. Needless to say, not exactly a fun realization to have, and of course made me wonder just how long my water had been so bad and killing everything (I hadn't always brought it to the store for testing). Regardless, time to fix the problem, and that means water changes, and BIG ones. I decided to run at least two ~80% system changes: I bought two new garbage cans, to avoid the floor getting wet again, and filled one gradually with new salt water. The other one would act as a giant waste bucket. Using my backup pump, I drained the tank and a good amount of the sump, and replaced it with the new water. Everything survived, thankfully, and after two weeks and as many big changes, my nitrates were under control. Long walk for a short distance, to be sure, but I was ready again for some more livestock now!
 

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Glad to hear you found the cause of your problems!
Good luck in the future :)
 
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Glad to hear you found the cause of your problems!
Good luck in the future :)
Thanks! Unfortunately, the nitrate issue is only from the beginning of this year, so there's still a couple other things to happen :p
 
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Reality Check 9 - damsels are STILL all jerks, also fuge (Feb - Mar, 2019)

Following the realization of nitrate testing and general terror related to my own stupidity, I was waiting a few weeks for things to calm down in the tank. At the same time, I got my sump rearranged and set up for a refugium - I knew this'd help out with the Nitrates, plus I wanted to eventually seed pods into some chaeto or the like.

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Fuge set up with an H80. Macroalgae was soon to come - about a baseball sized piece of chaeto.

I was also excited to add some more new stock. I tried another firefish, anthias, a lubbock wrasse (which I found skeletonized), solarhead wrasse, and coral beauty at various times during the few weeks/month after fixing the nitrate issue. For some reason, though, the new livestock were all STILL DYING. Unfortunately, I couldn't get to any of them in time to look at what was wrong - the CUC got to them first. I had no idea why, until I was finally able to watch a bit more closely.

You may remember this guy:
lg_70444_Yellowtail_Damselfish.jpg

Not my pic, but @LiveAquaria 's.

This thing was attacking and killing all my new fish!!!

I was able to see it clearly with the damsel's interaction with the coral beauty. The damsel was constantly nipping at its fins, chasing it, and just generally being a jerk. After a few days in the tank, I was able to get the beauty as it was dying and put it into a box away from the others. Finally getting a good look at the fish, I saw that its fins were all nearly destroyed, nips all over its body... just in bad shape. Time to catch another damsel.

I tried the trapping thing again, and unfortunately it didn't work... again. I was tired, annoyed, and just wanted to be done. As with the velvet damsel, I drained the tank again. This little guy was extra frustrating, though, since it was small enough to go inside some of the rocks, which is where I found it, flopping around. Finally managed to get it out, reset the rocks and refill the tank, then take it to the store. Once there, I got some new fish - another firefish and an orangeback wrasse. Since the aggression was out of the tank, I figured they'd be OK for the most part, at least.

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Firefish doing its firefish thing

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While not new at the time, Leonard was still very happy in his new home, and the nem itself gaining a nice brown color back.

Difficult start to the year for sure, but it seemed that I was out of the woods. Oh, the macroalgae thing ended up not working so well - got strangled in the fuge by other algae growing on top of it. Eventually added a small powerhead to the fuge to keep some water flow going and to eventually try again.
 
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Reality check 10 - deaths continue, the stand is wet again, and a slowed roll (Mar - present (Jul/Aug) 2019)

After dealing with so many issues with the fish, testing problems, corals, etc., I really decided that it was high time to substantially slow the roll of things. I lost out on a hefty chunk of extra money that I'd been earning, and my main job is a bit up in the air regarding how much longer it can last. Because of this, the last few months have seen very few things happening to the tank, but I did still try a handful of things. I still tried to increase my livestock (the wrasse and firefish were doing great), but things were still dying, and didn't really do anything for corals. In addition, I tried to get a phytoplankton reactor/culture system up and running so I could eventually grow pods as well, prepping for a Mandarin. I'll put that in my next update post.

First things first though. I was having some issues with my overflow - it was WAY overfilling, and it ended up draining my ATO reservoir pretty much daily. Thankfully, I only have a ~2 L container, so it didn't affect salinity too much. I saw that the main overflow drain was getting clogged with algae, food particulate matter, and some other gunk. It was a pain to remove, but I finally managed to dislodge the pipe, clean it all off, and even added a laminated black sheet to cover the overflow from light to stop the algae growth. A few days later, I noticed the bulkhead was leaking.

Thankfully, the leak was not intense, but enough that I had to put a container underneath while I figured out what to do. LFS had a good selection of bulkheads, so I drained the overflow again, (eventually) got the old one off (I'd WAY overtightened it), and made sure the area was clear of particulates, then put on the new head. It worked OK, but... that stupid barb fitting that I'd gotten with the initial build was seriously bugging me, and the new bulkhead itself was barbed, so it didn't fit correctly. I finally realized I could use a PVC coupler and a smooth bulkhead to finally have a glued drain. Hooray! drained, replaced, and DONE! The main pipe is also MUCH easier to remove now, as I'd previously lightly pounded it in with a mallet. Because smart. But not.

Thankfully, the leaky bulkhead was the biggest MAJOR issue that I had during these months. In June, a straw came that broke this camel's back: I got a couple new corals and fish (a pair of queen anthias). The anthia both died within about a week.... still. I got an acclimation box and an Elibi angel. The angel stayed in the box for a few days, then released into the tank.

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All the fishie!
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Angel being a fishie
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New corals hanging on the rack.

All was going well, but the firefish died a couple days after releasing the angel. I figured it was due to stress from the bigger new fish, but it was still very frustrating, and I felt awful. Then, the angel got lethargic and was dying, as well, about 3 weeks later.

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Managed to get the angel in the acclimation box before it died. No signs of illness... just.... dying.

I followed up that day with a yellow goby. It didn't even last 3 days (all in acclimation box). I couldn't figure it out and felt awful. Not only did I lose a fish that was doing great (firefish), but I'd lost still more beyond that, again. I posted a thread here on the forums, and got some wonderful advice and encouragement. In the end, the consensus was that the store's hyposalinity was causing too big of a shift to my tank's salinity, hence the random timing and 'no sign' deaths. I'm working on getting my QT set back up and keeping it at a hyposalinity, then gradually increasing the level to match my DT. Here's hoping it all works. I put the QT's ceramic bioballs in my DT sump around mid July so they can gain bacteria, and will have the QT running soon.

And that pretty much brings us to now for all the stuff I've done. Hooray :D
 

PanchoG

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You hav some serious DIY controls, really cool. Sorry for your fish losses.
 
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Phytoplankton Culture Setup

As mentioned in my top post, one thing I've wanted to do was make a phytoplankton/copeopod culture system to accommodate a Mandarin Goby. I could constantly seed my DT with pods while keeping a sustained system of everything I need. I've seen the Poseidon Systems' setups, but they're well beyond my price range, not to mention wouldn't fit well into my cabinet, so I decided to somewhat re-create them on my own. Part of my issue was that I wanted to have multiple culture systems simultaneously so that I could have a lot of redundancies. Hugely helpful in any culture project. I started the process in June of this year, and the basic plan was:
  1. Build out the box/prep materials
  2. Wet test for temperature
  3. Wet test for temperature with aeration
  4. Initial seeding
All the materials were from Amazon and/or my local grocery store, depending on what was cheapest.
20190616_114157(0).jpg

Yay for stuff!

Here's all the materials:
  1. Clear storage container
  2. Wide mouth pint jars, cleaned heavily and rinsed 3x in RO water
  3. Plastic (food safe) jar lids
  4. Neoprene foam pad
  5. Rigid 3/16" tube
  6. Flexible 3/16" tube
  7. Airline splitter/distributor (5-way)
  8. Daylight LED strip (waterproof)
  9. In-line air filters
  10. Algae fertilizer 2 part
  11. 10 gallon aerator (not shown)
  12. Aluminum foil and duct tape (not shown)
Tools:
  1. Drill with 3/16" bit
  2. Sturdy line/wire cutters
  3. Scissors
To start off, I roughly lined the inside of the container and lid with the neoprene and foil
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I tried to keep the foil as wrinkle-free as possible, but not super necessary.

After that I lined ALL the lights along the inside, with the end sticking out what would become the back.
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Part of the reason for the insulation is to stop all the light from blaring around the house. Works pretty well!
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Fits nicely on the bottom shelf!

I filled up all the jars for ~a week and left them to test the temperatures. Turned out they were too high (near 95 F!), so I Trimmed the lights, removed the insulation from the lid, and drilled holes to allow the heat to dissipate out:
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Sweltering!
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Cut the light line before the third wrap and bottom portion, leaving two full wraps of lights.
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No more insulation!
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Vent holes

Simultaneously, I was working on the new lids. The basic idea is this - have a rigid line going into the bottom of the jar allowing for air flow, then another, filtered line allowing air to exit to accommodate the new air. I drilled 2 3/16" holes in each plastic lid, then cut the rigid lines to size for the jars.

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Ready to rock!

I did a test fitting with the airline tubing to get the lengths correct there - the distributor would sit under the shelf above the jars.

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Looking good!

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Everything mounted and set under the cabinet for one more test ahead for temp before getting phyto in.

I decided to use the F1 fertilizer formulation - it doubles the concentrations of F2. Mostly I did this because I was only making batches of a half gallon at a time, and I don't have a really reliable way to measure 0.25 mL. 0.5 mL is pushing it. For the first test, I only used 2 jars, each with 300 mL of fertilizer and ~5 drops of off the shelf Phyto Feast. The week did not go well.
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Starting off not so bad.
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I skipped a few days, but the idea is that it didn't work. I tried again with ~1 mL of the phyto in each instead.

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Starting off.... OK?
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Days later, nothing.


At this point, I learned that there are two major categories for the PhytoFeast product line - hibernated/quiescent and Live. Guess which one a) I had at the time, and b) doesn't have mitotically active cells. I popped over to my LFS and picked up a thing of live and restarted the experiment, this time with about ~5 mL in each jar.
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Much nicer color to start us off at least, and still bubbling nicely.

I checked after a few days and didn't see much. It wasn't clear, but wasn't yellow'd either. I waited for 2 weeks and checked again.
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SUCCESS!!! WE HAVE THE GREEN!!!

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A day later, time to harvest and split.

I took about 20 mL from the cultures to the other jars and/or kept it in place, and the rest went to the fridge in a separate jar.
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Looking good when out of the box

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Far left is headed to the fridge, while the others head back for the box with fresh fertilizer and innoculate. Importantly, I re-used the two jars I'd had in there before.

Over the next week, I watched them grow decently well. Thankfully, my redundancy plan proved useful, as 2 of the jars started failing (lacking green, more stringy (look in the back of the pics:
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Day of new start to the culture!
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Mostly good, deep green, but not all.

For the second harvest, I was more calculated with things - 100 mL innoculates for new cultures (all jars replaced with clean ones), 200 mL fertilizer, and the remainder innoculate goes in the fridge. Filled up the fridge jar and hoping in the next week or two to turn one of the jars into a pod system.

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Day of second harvest after starting the third, great green coloring all around
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This morning's pic - some has settled out, but still wonderfully green and awesome.

Will keep posting particularly when I get the pods going on this, but very excited it's working!
 
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Blutspitze

Blutspitze

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You hav some serious DIY controls, really cool. Sorry for your fish losses.
Thanks very much! I was (and still am) very excited to have the controller set up, it makes things a lot easier. Thanks also for the empathy - it's much appreciated as has been very difficult.
 

New&no clue

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I just wanted to send a quick thank you for sharing. I am new too and I have learned a ton from reading this. I know we all want to present the best and we hide the errors but this has been so helpful to me and I'm sure others.
 
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I just wanted to send a quick thank you for sharing. I am new too and I have learned a ton from reading this. I know we all want to present the best and we hide the errors but this has been so helpful to me and I'm sure others.
Thanks! Glad that you enjoyed it and found some of the info helpful. I figured that there's a lot of things most people make mistakes with, regardless of how much you can read and research ahead of time, so hoped that my fixes and experiences would help at least a bit.
 

PanchoG

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As I said before, this is some good DIY @Blutspitze. The phytoplankton/copepods is another example. You are doing more than I. Keep sharing !
 
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As I said before, this is some good DIY @Blutspitze. The phytoplankton/copepods is another example. You are doing more than I. Keep sharing !
Thanks! The phyto is looking good this week, so I'll likely be putting some pods into 1 or 2 of the jars this weekend. I've also got some QT updates to post in the next couple days, as well.
 

New&no clue

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I had a couple questions on your move, maybe I should just reread the section that again but I don't think you had this information.

1. How long did you have your fish in buckets?
2. What size buckets did you have, and how many fish in each?
 
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