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Clean up crew and copepods appear to be doing their job - the diatoms are all but gone. No cyano yet.

I got the two 10W wavemakers set up on the back wall at the top running random flow mode and I'm really happy with the circulation I'm getting and the gradient in flow from high and turbulent at the top down to slower laminar flow towards the bottom. If I decide to get some SPS, I might turn back on the 30W on the side across the two 10W and return flows to create turbulence.

I put in an order for a QT Royal Gramma at Dr Reef. I have some travel coming up first week of Nov and didn't want to risk leaving the fish in such a small tank for 4 days. After that trip I'll pick up the 2 Cardinals and start QT.

Speaking of the trip, since I'm currently just FOWLR, I think I'm just going to put a fresh diaper in, empty skimmer, 10% WC, and risk the auto feeder (it is all taped up now). Any other advice is welcomed.

Off to the store to grab more furniture for the room. The bookshelves I wanted are finally back in stock!
 
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Clean up crew and copepods appear to be doing their job - the diatoms are all but gone. No cyano yet.

I got the two 10W wavemakers set up on the back wall at the top running random flow mode and I'm really happy with the circulation I'm getting and the gradient in flow from high and turbulent at the top down to slower laminar flow towards the bottom. If I decide to get some SPS, I might turn back on the 30W on the side across the two 10W and return flows to create turbulence.

I put in an order for a QT Royal Gramma at Dr Reef. I have some travel coming up first week of Nov and didn't want to risk leaving the fish in such a small tank for 4 days. After that trip I'll pick up the 2 Cardinals and start QT.

Speaking of the trip, since I'm currently just FOWLR, I think I'm just going to put a fresh diaper in, empty skimmer, 10% WC, and risk the auto feeder (it is all taped up now). Any other advice is welcomed.

Off to the store to grab more furniture for the room. The bookshelves I wanted are finally back in stock!
Are you going to be gone long?
 
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Major progress on the office today. A plant stand coming Tuesday to raise the floor one by ~10". Just need to hang a few things on the wall and I'm done for the most part. Co-workers are going to ask if I've moved rooms again :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:.

PXL_20221010_005924182.jpg
 
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Just set it with enough food for one feeding each day. That way even if there’s a malfunction it won’t be too bad.
Sage advice. I got a notification you replied and was afraid you were going to try to convince me to fill the space on the stand with a bigger tank! :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
 
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Maybe late next year pending a certain stock's price, but only if you come up to help with the upgrade. I was able to lobby for the office upgrade because we just put a deposit on the Mrs' new made to order Volvo S60 to replace her 12 yo Carolla.

@TheWB you don't know it yet but I'm buying you (and your SO, if applicable) dinner to come up and help us when corals enter the equation. You're literally the only local reefer I "know."
 
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Maybe late next year pending a certain stock's price, but only if you come up to help with the upgrade. I was able to lobby for the office upgrade because we just put a deposit on the Mrs' new made to order Volvo S60 to replace her 12 yo Carolla.

@TheWB you don't know it yet but I'm buying you (and your SO, if applicable) dinner to come up and help us when corals enter the equation. You're literally the only local reefer I "know."
Sounds good, happy to help if I can. Keep in mind that my good advice tends to focus on No Brainers like “don’t put too much food in the feeder when you go out of town”. I freak out like everyone else if a coral starts going sideways. My tank looks pretty good right now but it’s mostly not my fault, lol.
 
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Sounds good, happy to help if I can. Keep in mind that my good advice tends to focus on No Brainers like “don’t put too much food in the feeder when you go out of town”. I freak out like everyone else if a coral starts going sideways. My tank looks pretty good right now but it’s mostly not my fault,

I'll take any advice/feedback/help at this point. I think I stress more about this aquarium than I do our dog! After 13 years, I think I understand the dog's wants and needs. I've kept FW tanks almost twice as long as we've had Lucy and I've never worried so much as I do about this tank.That being said, I had one book about tropical aquariums back then and not the entirety of the internet at my disposal.

Ok, one other experience might come close. I had a 29g cichlid tank that the silicone catastrophically failed on that might take the cake. That was a bit of a mess to handle, but no losses. Grocery stores rent carpet cleaners that are very good at sucking aquarium water out of carpet :grinning-face-with-sweat:.
 
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Quick update today. Messing with the AI light profiles - checking out the signature series and liked the Saxby but wasn't the intensity of the BRS recommended for a 40B. A little python script later and now I have a Saxby x BRS 40B LPS profile. Link below for when I inevitably forget where I put it.


When I figure out how to port the checksum from js, I'll upload the script.
 

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I'll take any advice/feedback/help at this point. I think I stress more about this aquarium than I do our dog! After 13 years, I think I understand the dog's wants and needs. I've kept FW tanks almost twice as long as we've had Lucy and I've never worried so much as I do about this tank.That being said, I had one book about tropical aquariums back then and not the entirety of the internet at my disposal.

Ok, one other experience might come close. I had a 29g cichlid tank that the silicone catastrophically failed on that might take the cake. That was a bit of a mess to handle, but no losses. Grocery stores rent carpet cleaners that are very good at sucking aquarium water out of carpet :grinning-face-with-sweat:.
Dogs are easy, we have two. They want love, food and exercise, Thats it. What kind of dog is Lucy?
 
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Dogs are easy, we have two. They want love, food and exercise, Thats it. What kind of dog is Lucy?

Lucy is super easy. She's a Border Collie x Golden Retriever who found us at a shelter in Fort Collins, CO. She turns 13 in two weeks.

1665495419198.png
 

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Lucy is super easy. She's a Border Collie x Golden Retriever who found us at a shelter in Fort Collins, CO. She turns 13 in two weeks.

1665495419198.png
What a great looking dog. Shelter rescues are always the best dogs. We have a Border Collie that is a shelter rescue from Tacoma and a Border Collie/Lab mix that I consider to be "rescued" but actually came from a backyard breeder. He was only 3.9 pounds and losing weight when we got him and had to be dewormed. I'm so glad we have him though, he's a super great dog.
 
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Since last update, added Pink & Purple Live Coralline Algae on Thursday, then just watching the clean up crew try to keep up with the uglies.

Still have some diatoms, but starting to see some other stuff pop up. The green tint on the rocks is pretty easy to see under white light, more brownish under the more typical blues. I am interested in this (and a number of other smaller) pink spot - it doesn't scratch off. Too soon to see coraline probably, but it's better than brown, I guess.

PXL_20221017_211831363.jpg


Two of these guys popped up and I removed them. No idea what it is. Forgot to take a white light pic but someone might know. Hopefully no imminent tank takeover.

PXL_20221017_211344055~2.jpg


Nitrates are still under 5 on the Red Sea test. Give it another month or so and I'll try a test coral. Gramma is still with Dr. Reef. Hopefully I'll have more interesting updates soon.
 
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Since last update, added Pink & Purple Live Coralline Algae on Thursday, then just watching the clean up crew try to keep up with the uglies.

Still have some diatoms, but starting to see some other stuff pop up. The green tint on the rocks is pretty easy to see under white light, more brownish under the more typical blues. I am interested in this (and a number of other smaller) pink spot - it doesn't scratch off. Too soon to see coraline probably, but it's better than brown, I guess.

PXL_20221017_211831363.jpg


Two of these guys popped up and I removed them. No idea what it is. Forgot to take a white light pic but someone might know. Hopefully no imminent tank takeover.

PXL_20221017_211344055~2.jpg


Nitrates are still under 5 on the Red Sea test. Give it another month or so and I'll try a test coral. Gramma is still with Dr. Reef. Hopefully I'll have more interesting updates soon.
I have no idea what that thing is but it’s probably good you got rid of it. Was it easy to remove?
 
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I have no idea what that thing is but it’s probably good you got rid of it. Was it easy to remove?
Yeah, plucked right out. I did a thorough inspection and only found two. I was looking at the algae ID forum and looks to be some sort of red hair algae, maybe polysiphonia or gelidiopsis?
 
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Quick update for this week. The uglies continue with mostly diatoms and cyano, but a few hairs here or there that I've been manually removing. Here's a shot under the white light just to give an idea of where I'm at.

1666641938509.png


Not terrible, really. I need to get a phosphates test kit at some point, but nitrates are at 2ppm. I am reducing the CW down to 45% from the BRS 65% to see if that does anything. To accomplish that, I finally finished my python script to update AIP files. I found someone (github user mdcollins05) had built a python implementation for the checksum calc, so I leveraged that for the final script. Hope someone gets some use out of it.

Python:
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
"""
Created on Mon Oct 10 15:39:20 2022

@author: ScubaSnacks
@credit mdcollins05 for checksum - https://github.com/mdcollins05/ai_checksum
"""

import xmltodict
import re
import numpy

# START HERE - UPDATE INPUTS
inputfile = 'C:\\PATH\\TO\\INPUT\\FILE.aip'
new_max = {'uv': 2000, 'violet': 2000, 'royal': 2000, 'blue': 2000, 'green': 100, 'deep_red': 100, 'moonlight': 10, 'cool_white': 450}
outputfile = 'C:\\PATH\\TO\\OUTPUT\\FILE.aip'

# read in aip file as xml
with open(inputfile, 'r') as f:
    data = f.read()

# convert to dict
lightdict = xmltodict.parse(data)

# For each color make a colorpoint dictionary
for color_key in lightdict['ramp']['colors']:

# for each colorpoint Find The max intensity
    colormax = 0
    for i in lightdict['ramp']['colors'][color_key]['point']:
        if int(i['intensity']) > colormax:
            colormax = int(i['intensity'])

    # Update each intensity by multiplying by ratio of newmax/oldmax
    for i in lightdict['ramp']['colors'][color_key]['point']:
        i['intensity'] = int(int(i['intensity'])/colormax*new_max[color_key])
        # print(color_key, i['intensity'])

colorstring = xmltodict.unparse(lightdict)

# Calculate New Checksum
results = re.search(
    r"(<colors>.+?<\/colors>)", colorstring, flags=re.MULTILINE | re.DOTALL
)
results_group = results.group(
    1
)  # There shouldn't be more than one match so we only grab the first
results_text = re.sub(r"(\r\n|\n|\r|\s+)", "", results_group, flags=re.MULTILINE)

checksum = numpy.int32(0)

for char in results_text:
    charCode = ord(char)
    # print("{} = {}".format(char, charCode))
    checksum = numpy.int32(((numpy.left_shift(checksum, 5) - checksum) + charCode))
    # print(checksum)
    checksum = numpy.int32(numpy.bitwise_and(checksum, 4294967295))
    # print(checksum)

if checksum < 0:
    checksum = numpy.int32((numpy.invert(checksum)))

# print(checksum)
# Update Checksum in Dict
lightdict['ramp']['header']['checksum'] = checksum

# Dict to String
colorstring = xmltodict.unparse(lightdict)

# Save new file
with open(outputfile, "w") as f:
    f.write(colorstring)
 
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_MG_8277.jpg


Now just over 3 weeks since the first sight of diatoms in the aquarium, and now the cyano bloom seems to be over (at least the red slimy stuff) and now on to some sort of green and brown encrusting stuff. It does not toothbrush off easy, but the dwarf ceriths and the hermits are making a dent. The green looks like the "pre-coraline" stuff I've seen on some other threads but that could just be wishful thinking. I just took this FTS under 10k for reference. I want to minimize the manual labor so I'm going to let the CUC give it its best go while nitrates are staying at 2ppm. You may notice a new shelf by the main arch that I put in. I think I might put one more about 4 inches above between the two on the left side and then I'm going to try not to touch the aquascape for a while.

In other news, the pod population has exploded this week with the cyano bloom and OceanMagik and they are everywhere in the tank. The clowns bob up and down in the flow snagging them as they go past. 10mL might be a bit much OceanMagik as the water is starting to look a bit cloudy. I'm going to reduce to 5 mL next week to see if that is any better. I don't have anything but pods to consume it at the moment.

_MG_8278.jpg


Royal Gramma is still in QT at Dr. Reefs, first days away from the tank next Thurs-Sun. Then hopefully first corals the next week? Thinking about duncans for the middle-left foreground, and zoas for a few spots near the base. LFS has a pink branching hammer for an incredible price so I might grab one for the rock to the right of the duncans. That should be a reasonable start (maybe?). Interested in other ideas on how to lay it out and what corals to start with.
 
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Added the last of the ledges on the main structure today, but now I want to bridge the two large rocks on the right hand side. Adding a frag rack to the back wall, too. One day I will give up on modifying the aquascape - but it won't be today (who needs negative space anyways).

I re-read my coral plan from Friday and realize it is pretty hard to follow. This is what I'm thinking so far. There are 7 places in the view that I don't know what to put yet, but that's fine. These spots are guestimates based on PAR readings on the BRS video for 2x AI Prime 16HD on a 40B LPS dominant. There's basically one spot that could support SPS (PAR > 150), and the rest LPS/Softie. ?1? is around 150 PAR, ?2? at 100 PAR, and ?3? at 75 PAR. What would you put at the ???s? What shouldn't I put where I have it?

1667184427068.png
 
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How difficult is it REALLY to keep Acropora corals?

  • 1 - easy to keep

    Votes: 17 3.7%
  • 2

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • 3

    Votes: 13 2.9%
  • 4

    Votes: 10 2.2%
  • 5 - average

    Votes: 114 25.1%
  • 6

    Votes: 44 9.7%
  • 7

    Votes: 120 26.4%
  • 8

    Votes: 67 14.8%
  • 9

    Votes: 17 3.7%
  • 10 - difficult to keep

    Votes: 46 10.1%
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