How did that happen.......there is a 260 gallon aquarium in our walkout basement family room now......”the dipper”

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Jeto2004

Jeto2004

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:D That had me lol.

Everything looks great: the room you chose to have the tank in, the quality of the stand build, excellent choice of Planet Aquariums for the tank, mixing station etc. Just awesome.

Where are you at with the build present day? How lagged in time are these posts, or are they up to date?
Thank you for the generous praise!

Now that would spill the beans wouldn’t it? I try to catch up to the point were my post would reflect very recent work or progress. Currently I’m about a month behind with lot of things that I haven’t shared yet.... enough of a cliffhanger?
 
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Rjukan

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Thank you for the generous praise!

Now that would spill the beans would it? I try to catch up to the point were my post would reflect very recent work or progress. Currently I’m about a month behind with lot of things that I haven’t shared yet.... enough of a cliffhanger?
Haha, yeah I didn't mean to jump to the end, was just curious how far behind we were. Thanks for the update, keep up the great work!
 
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Since I put salt into the aquarium it was time to set up the auto top off. However that meant to first get the Apex up and running. Spend an evening setting it up and to install the probes. To my surprise the pH probe read 6.5 after the initial calibration. Such pH for fresh mixed saltwater didn’t seem right. Did a quick pH test and was reading pH 8.2. Went quickly to the LFS to get new set of pH calibration solutions. New calibration broad the pH to 7.8 - Better..... Still poundering if the reading is right. Read in some forum that it can underreport by 0.3 pH. So for the moment I will leave it at that and see what will happen in the long run.
 
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The plan is to directly feed and ATO from the RO/DI storage container to the sump. I quickly had to learn how the programming language at module distribution works, luckily I found it fairly intuitive well, plus the awesome neptune community message board that helped a lot. Installed an Neptune System ATK 2.0, but had to split the control of the pump to the FMM module in the garage and optical sensors for fill and backup to the FMM module on the controller board. At the same time I wanted to automate the filling of the RO/DI container and installed to optical sensors in the container one for high and one for low. Added a solenoid to the RO/DI feed line that get it’s power from the EB823 on the controller board. Took me a while to get all the programming done, but it’s working thus far.

ATO 2.0 comes with redundancy build in - first optical sensor, back up optical sensor and a manual shut off valve.
My RO/DI filling set up has only on redundancy that is the manual shut off valve, added programming that the RO/DI feed solenoid can’t be open for more than 12 hrs.
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Always wondered what the inside of a RO/DI water storage looked like? I drilled the tank for a quick connect RO/DI bulkhead, and dropped the PMUP into the tank halfway done. The upper sensor is around 50 gallon the lower one at 10 gallon. This probably will enable ATO for quite a while........ will have to see if I should change the levels for the sensors. Any suggestions, or should I leave it as is?
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The big day was here. Seeded three xport blocks with microbactor7 and added a liferock I got from the LFS. These are Atlantic life rock, but kept at their warehouse for extended periods of time so very unlikely that this one will have any unwanted hitchhikers, even less likely since I put it in the sump.
B176CF66-AC15-4509-86C4-A2B9CD0AA004.jpeg


And went old style adding a shrimp - don’t know what is in the mircobator7 bottle besides bacteria, but I think bacteria will need more than just ammiona to thrive well so I see the shrimp as a wholesome meal and not one molecule that we would like to change. Yes it’s their energy source but for them to multiply they need more......
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Within a couple of days it developed a nice biofilm......

Cycle started!!!!
 
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Thank you! Yes can’t wait, but everything that I read or watched says all the same go slow take your time - hope I can contain myself and go slow.....my wife and daughter asking, when do we have the first fish every other day.
Sounds familiar. I was afraid to put the fish in my DT. They stayed in a 40 gallon quarantine for over 6 months. My husband kept saying I might as well get rid of the tank if I am never going to put fish in it. So impatient. I moved them while he was at work.

Lovely tank. Hard to believe you were going to ever put fresh water in it. Welcome onboard!
 
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Sounds familiar. I was afraid to put the fish in my DT. They stayed in a 40 gallon quarantine for over 6 months. My husband kept saying I might as well get rid of the tank if I am never going to put fish in it. So impatient. I moved them while he was at work.

Lovely tank. Hard to believe you were going to ever put fresh water in it. Welcome onboard!
Wow over six month, no way I could do that - my daughter would not speak to me anymore. Sometimes I don’t know who is more excited about the “big” tank - myself or my daughter.....

Thank you, yes don’t have any coral or fish but could not think about any other way anymore....
 

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There are lots of opinions on quarantining. I know what I would do differently if I were where you are now. I would cycle some quarantine tanks at the same time as the DT. And have some meds on hand. Just a thought.

My dad gifted me with 2, 30 gallon tanks when I turned 13. And 2 tens also. All fresh water. He had never had fish. Unless you count the sunfish in the water troughs. You are making memories that will stay with you always.
 
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There are lots of opinions on quarantining. I know what I would do differently if I were where you are now. I would cycle some quarantine tanks at the same time as the DT. And have some meds on hand. Just a thought.

My dad gifted me with 2, 30 gallon tanks when I turned 13. And 2 tens also. All fresh water. He had never had fish. Unless you count the sunfish in the water troughs. You are making memories that will stay with you always.
Yeah, something I will have to figure out soon, still learning a lot! But seems QT seems something that should be implemented...

Yeah agree totally!
 
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One of the best part of the new hobby for me is to involve our girl. Sharing learning and aspects of biology and science. Very rewarding as a parent if your off spring wants to help and asks questions during water testing....

One week in - no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate....
Yes using API tests need something better.

What kind of tests kits are you using?

F91F2D00-82E0-4204-AC85-8812DA2918CC.jpeg
 
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With cycle started and the plan to cycle the tank dark for a while I directed my attention to set up lighting.

Got eight XR15 pro gen 4 with light diffusers. Decided to hang them as heigh as possible into my planned canopy to make access easy for tank work, but also to have a wide light distribution as possible. Got some 3/4 inch square aluminum tubing, stainless stell U braces. I drilled the square tubes to be able to attach them to the upper frame of the canopy. Since I got RMS rails to hang the lights from I drilled them for the with of the U braces, that will allow be to slide the two rails independently back and forward to find best positioning.

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Have to say running the cable through the channels of the RMS rails and using the supplied cable clips is close to impossible. Not very user friendly. Learned that using a wood wedge to jam the cable in with the clips was friendlier on your fingers than just using your fingers.
 
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Salifert or Red Sea are better for nitrate once you're up and running and past the cycle. For the last part of the cycle API are fine. You just want to be able to see some nitrate after nitrite is zero, then do a water change.

Once the tank is running and established people like the kits I mentioned because you can get more accurate readings.
 
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Salifert or Red Sea are better for nitrate once you're up and running and past the cycle. For the last part of the cycle API are fine. You just want to be able to see some nitrate after nitrite is zero, then do a water change.

Once the tank is running and established people like the kits I mentioned because you can get more accurate readings.
Thanks for the info - good to know!
 
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