Ludnix's 120g reef and Coral Room!

ludnix

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Welcome to my build thread for my current tank, the office 120g.

I had a fairly detailed build thread for my last 50g cube. When I was convinced to buy a local members 120g reef tank I ended up migrating all my livestock over to this new tank. Being at work has added a new set of challenges that I have not had to battle with reef keeping previously, simply being related to limited time with the tank. At home I had so much more free time to keep things perfect and do a little thing here or there between chores. The work tank though has taught me discipline and I am starting to see it's effects so it's time for a proper build thread to keep this momentum going.

Let's start off with some FTS shots of where it's at currently.
fts1.jpg

side.jpg

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This tank is currently heavily overstocked with corals and anemones. There are several duplicate specimens that I am planning to sell off so I clear some more space and scape the rocks more to my liking. The Turquoise Rock flower anemones are extremely prolific to a fault. I am hoping to reduce their numbers soon as well so my corals have a little more of a chance.
 
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ludnix

ludnix

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One of the main challenges I am facing with the 120 is keeping up with the Alkalinity consumption. My 50g was getting along really well with just kalkwasser ATO and weekly waterchanges and I made the assumption that I could continue this trend with this tank. That is definitely not working though as I have discovered over the past few months. I started using my Excel spreadsheet to keep track of parameters and found the alkalinity was being depleted very rapidly despite the kalkwasser. I decided I needed to dose 2-part for this tank to maintain levels that will keep the corals growing and healthy so I began calculating the consumption rate and testing with manual additions of the liquid Calcium Chloride and liquid Soda Ash solutions.

excel.jpg

You can see I am definitely not testing everything everyday, but I do try keep up on alkalinity and calcium right now as I fine tune the dosing regimen. Realistically with the changes of coral stocking and other plans I have for the tank I will likely need to do regular alkalinity testing at least twice a week to ensure stability and correct dosages.


alkalinity.jpg

Alkalinity spikes towards the end are indicative of when I dosed the the daily maximum to slowly bring the alkalinity up. The first section of the graph has very little data so it's curve is smoothed out more than is realistic. I imagine the alk dropped much faster than it shows and stayed low until I dosed more on 3/18.
 

cancun

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Welcome to my build thread for my current tank, the office 120g.

I had a fairly detailed build thread for my last 50g cube. When I was convinced to buy a local members 120g reef tank I ended up migrating all my livestock over to this new tank. Being at work has added a new set of challenges that I have not had to battle with reef keeping previously, simply being related to limited time with the tank. At home I had so much more free time to keep things perfect and do a little thing here or there between chores. The work tank though has taught me discipline and I am starting to see it's effects so it's time for a proper build thread to keep this momentum going.

Let's start off with some FTS shots of where it's at currently.
fts1.jpg

side.jpg

20190321_140915.jpg
20190321_140924.jpg
20190321_140930.jpg
20190321_140935.jpg
20190321_140943.jpg
20190321_141003.jpg
20190321_141007.jpg
20190321_141014.jpg


This tank is currently heavily overstocked with corals and anemones. There are several duplicate specimens that I am planning to sell off so I clear some more space and scape the rocks more to my liking. The Turquoise Rock flower anemones are extremely prolific to a fault. I am hoping to reduce their numbers soon as well so my corals have a little more of a chance.
I love your zoas.....! Very nice set up! I plan on adding some nice zoa colonies at some point. I currently have large Acan colonies.....I tend to buy colonies not frags.
 
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ludnix

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I love your zoas.....! Very nice set up! I plan on adding some nice zoa colonies at some point. I currently have large Acan colonies.....I tend to buy colonies not frags.
Thanks cancun! I love zoa colonies as well, but I wouldn't mind some more Acans! I have the large colony of the green/turquoise ones but my other frag fell face down onto the red open brain coral and lost all but two small heads.
 

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Wow! Looking great. It's not the cheapest solution, but if stable alk (and little work) is your goal, I'd strongly suggest getting the Alkatronic. My tank is at work too, and it saves a ton of time.
 
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ludnix

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Building a Coral Room!
One of the most exciting things about my office tank is the ability to use a small space here for a coral growout room! We are still in the process of construction but i'll be including that progress in this thread.

So far we have the old lath and plaster removed and old conductors removed for new circuits. We had the plumbers setup for a stacked laundry unit in the corner and hookups for a utility sink and RO/DI unit.
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I was given this fiberglass utility sink as donation to my project. It's seen better days but I figure the material is good enough to continue working with a little TLC.
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I scrubbed it out and roughed the surface in prep for high durability epoxy paint.
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New faucet for the sink installed:
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When the walls get finished I'll work on the legs for the sink and counter to mount it next to.

Ultimately I want to have a few lowboys for coral grow outs and space for QT/hospitals, refugium and some space to culture phytoplankton and other live foods. The space is going to be vented for humidity control and only has a single window making it potentially a great coral room.



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ludnix

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Wow! Looking great. It's not the cheapest solution, but if stable alk (and little work) is your goal, I'd strongly suggest getting the Alkatronic. My tank is at work too, and it saves a ton of time.
Oh man, don't give me any ideas! $$$$!! But really that looks like a real eventuality for me, I might see if I can endure the patience of manual testing for a year or two until some of the controllers to come down in price. The $450 GHL alkalinity director is getting closer to range but I'll wait till either frustration justifies the price or it comes down on it's own :D
 
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I am continuing to manually dose the 2-part while I monitor alkalinity consumption. In the mean time I have an older Bubble magnus dosing pump that I plan to use so I've gone ahead and programmed it with the current daily dosage of 120ml of alk and have it filling a measuring cup. I'm just doing this to ensure the dosing pump is accurate in it's dosages before entrusting it with the job. I used the manual feed settings to clear the line of any air bubble and started the the schedule! I will return tomorrow morning to see if were at the expected 120ml line.

dosing.jpg
 
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ludnix

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Checked on the bubble mangus doser after 24 hours and it's working well, exactly at the 120ml mark! I'm going to continue testing out of tank with each dosing pump for the next week to ensure that everything is working reliably. For now it's nice to have my daily dosage waiting for me, looking forward to not having to do it at all soon once this is installed.

As a side note I'm finally seeing some good polyp extension from some of the SPS and even LPS like the pagoda cup. I am kicking myself for not getting on the ball with the alkalinity sooner but it's at least getting taken care of now.
 
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ludnix

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I'm getting close to getting the alkalinity and calcium where I want it and the doser seems to be working great. Next step is going to be figuring out how to mount the bubble magnus doser in the stand.
alkalinity.jpg
 
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ludnix

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Keeping up on the daily dosages and testing, the corals seem to be appreciating the increased stability in alk even though it's only been a few days.
Alkalinity  (dKH).png


The little dip yesterday (3/28) seemed to suggest I needed to increase my addition from 128ml to 158ml. The negative feedback loop with alkalinity consumption as you raise it is really interesting. Makes trying to get the dosage ideal a constant battle but I'm happy to keep testing until I get comfortable with the tank's consumption and dosing schedule.
Calcium  (ppm).png

I am dosing Calcium in the same quantity currently as the balance should be around 420ppm. So far it's going well but i'll keep monitoring both daily for now to ensure correct dosages.
 
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ludnix

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I had a mishap where I left my bubble magnus doser on a menu screen on 4/2 and you can see quite a drop without the doser running. I've corrected for it since but hopefully will avoid those kinds of incidents in the future.

Alkalinity  (dKH) (1).png


Next update is photos, I promise!
 
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A local club member was kind enough to bring back some frags for me from southern california! I decided to give them a dip in revive and put them in the acclimation box until I had time to glue them in. I wish I could have removed the frag plugs before putting them in my tank in the acclimation box but things didn't work out that way this time.

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Floating for temp

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Prepping the dip in Revive

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Soak for 10 minutes

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And back in the acclimation box!

I did some GSP removal and gave it away along with some of the Borneman Anemone's I was able to remove. There's still a lot more I would like to get rid of but they are currently all protected with their foot in holes in the rocks.

I rearranged the right side of the tank and have been working towards my high light and flow corals on the right and LPS on the left as much as possible. I normally have a mix all over but I want to try and give them all a little more specific care and see how they do.
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ludnix

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I did some work on a little 3d printed dosing line holder for my 2-part additions to the sump. I have a dosing line holder from BRS but I don't like how it consolidates all three lines to be dosing in the same spot. With my design I can have the 2 part dosing on opposite sides of the sump.

70339a9ec9cb19c7d1752ef272011b1a_preview_featured.jpg

016b0a33638f9353cbd081d6307141a3_preview_featured.jpg

911508288f5b8a2317cab490df392b5d_preview_featured.jpg

You can download it and print it yourself here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3570832

0f245da4be452852ed6f8900c6e18b43_preview_featured.jpg
 
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ludnix

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I haven't made a lot of changes in the display tank lately, but things are continuing to color up and grow. I did lose the little acropora echinata frag that was recently acclimated. It had shown good PE up until a Saturday recently when I noticed it missing about 1/8" of flesh at the base. STN or RTN I'm not sure because either way it wouldn't take long to lose the whole 1/4" frag. The other species that were acclimated at the same time are continuing to do well.

I have also been able to remove about 9 of the Borneman's anemones. They breed prolifically and can really reak havok on the corals if they wander. I would remove them but I'm hoping to keep at least one for when the coral room is complete and ready.

Alkalinity dosing has had it's issues but I think I'm happy with the current dosing regiment. I lowered my goal from 9dkh to 8.3-8.5 because the green slimer started to get burnt tips. I am hoping keeping it a little lower will prevent that in the future. The bubble magnus dosing pump has been reliable, but I have left in on a menu screen on several occasions now and learned that it will not dose on schedule if it's not displaying the clock. You can see the occasions where I left it on a menu screen and the alk dropped from lack of dosing:
Alkalinity  (dKH) (2).png

This graph has the data points spaced equally which is not how far apart they actually are. It's not quite the roller coaster this graph makes it appear, but it is pretty close to it. This chart actually accounts for the time elapsed between data points and places them appropriately. It's also a much uglier chart to look at though.

chart.png
 
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ludnix

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I took some time to move my Euphyllia collection off the sand. When I moved everything over to this 120g there was so much coral it was really difficult to find rockwork for everything and the abundance of Euphyllia ended up living on the sand bed. Things shift over time and eventually heads started getting buried and I felt it was time to do something about it. I moved everyone up on to the rocks and feel much better about it. I should have done this sooner, I would had a lot more heads still!

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So far I have been able to identify:
Purple tip frog spawn - generic - Euphyllia paradivisa
all purple with pink polyp frog spawn - Euphyllia paradivisa
Green hammer - Euphyllia parancora
Ultra green hammer - Euphyllia Ancora

The ancora is my favorite, it's been fragged 3 times since I've owned it. I wish they were more common, such a beauty.
 
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ludnix

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The tank's alkalinity is being maintained around 8.3 dkh which seems to have provided good results from almost all the corals except for my green slimer. I have very high nitrates at around 20ppm so I am curious if running the Alk higher might help prevent those burnt tips. If anyone has any input on the nutrients vs alkalinity balance I would love some insight!

I haven't had a chance to bust out the DSLR and tripod yet for some good quality photos but I'm really looking forward to it in the future. Here's some tank photos from my cellphone in the mean time to get some photos banked here in the thread! I am looking forward to tracking their growth here on this build thread.

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A club member gave me this cap to try and rescue, it's still very bleached but I am starting to see a little bit of polyps on it. I am hoping at least some of it will make a recovery so it's not totally lost.

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Salty Lemon

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I did some work on a little 3d printed dosing line holder for my 2-part additions to the sump. I have a dosing line holder from BRS but I don't like how it consolidates all three lines to be dosing in the same spot. With my design I can have the 2 part dosing on opposite sides of the sump.

70339a9ec9cb19c7d1752ef272011b1a_preview_featured.jpg

016b0a33638f9353cbd081d6307141a3_preview_featured.jpg

911508288f5b8a2317cab490df392b5d_preview_featured.jpg

You can download it and print it yourself here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3570832

0f245da4be452852ed6f8900c6e18b43_preview_featured.jpg
That's it...I'm buying a 3D printer. So many cool things you can use them in the hobby for.
 
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