Installed a bubble magus QQ2 skimmer in the sump (in middle chamber)
Removed the Skilter 250 (will probably put on the 10Gal QT)
There was a tremendous amount of salt creep on the Skilter. A big reason I removed the Skilter is that I've been noticing leaking onto the bottom of the cabinet which I attributed to the Skilter. I think this will fix it.
The QQ2 skimmer isn't broken in yet but I think it's going to work well to improve the sump efficiency. Now I have the first chamber dedicated as a refugium and I will probably increase the flow there using a maxijet.
I'm lowering the kalkwasser dosage by about 25% because the alkalinity is creeping up. I want to keep dKH between 7 and 8.
So a little exposition here...
The new skimmer is doing pretty well so far. It's taken over from the Skilter 250 (w/ airstone mod), and while the container is smaller, I think it's skimming just as efficiently.
A couple of issues have come up now though, most notably there are dinos and maybe some fuzz algae growing in the first chamber of the sump (refugium). From what I researched, dinos are fed strongly by ammonia and possibly can't use nitrates in the water (once ammonia is converted to nitrates). So what I am thinking is that if I can increase the nitrification efficiency of the sump in the second chamber (skimmer/bio media), then I am reducing micro algae and dinos' time to use ammonia before the ammonia is "nitrified".
So to increase the nitrification, I added a maxi jet 400 power head (not propellar mode) to the second chamber, so the water in that chamber is getting almost violently agitated. This is accomplishing two things, it's trapping the micro bubbles that are spilling out of the skimmer in that chamber for longer and the flow is giving the bio media better access to that "aerated" water instead of the water just spilling over into the (final) return chamber and going straight to the display.
To further increase nitrification I may need to overhaul the biomedia itself (take it out and optimize the space to allow better flow underneath and around it) and to prevent detritus from accumulating in that chamber.
I am somewhat concerned that the increased flow in that chamber may adversely affect the skimmer/skimmer pump, but that's only something to watch out for right now. It may end up being fine.
The final overhaul to the sump that I need to do is to increase the flow in the refugium chamber. At this point I am simply using a 1/4" hose plumbed off the return line that feeds back into the refugium to generate flow, but I'm not sure if this is a long term solution. To determine if I need to add another flow generating device, I'm first going to manually remove all the microalgae/dinos/fuzz algae/cyano/whatever from the refugium chamber and see if it keeps coming back. If it all comes back by next week, when my new snails arrive, I'll add either a powerhead or a HOB filter to the refugium chamber (aqueon 20).
Going to be doing a comprehensive update post soon. New light, new sump, new corals, new snails... (thank u stimulus check) probably something else I'm forgetting.
I recently got an Orphek OR3 which I'm still adapting to the current lighting setup. It's very powerful, but has a narrow beam causing shadows on the corals. Further, the Current TrueLumen strips I have are wide angle LEDs so if they are mounted at the same height as the Orphek OR3, there's an incogruency that I have to manage. Still not decided yet on how I'm going to finally implement the OR3 bar.
Also, I'm working on a new 15 gallon sump. Larger water volume, more mechanical filtration and I'll be integrating K1 media for biological filtration. I need to solve refugium light spillover that's causing excess algae in the current 10 gallon sump and I'll increase the skimmer chamber size for future proofing. Basically it's 4 extra inches of space vs the 10 gallon (20" vs 24" length). So the mechanical filtration and skimmer chambers will get an extra 2" each.
I need to increase mechnical filtration chamber because the current filter pads/floss get clogged every 2 to 3 days (and to possibly use filter socks in the future). I want something that will at least last a week before overflowing from clogging.
What happens now,
First, the mechanical chamber gets clogged (filter pads/floss/mesh screen),
then refugium water (containing algae) overflows into the skimmer chamber,
and the skimmer filter pad clogs up, screwing up the skimmer.
Also I have a phosGuard reactor that gets clogged from the chamber overflowing.
So if I can get the sump maturation transition correct, a new sump will drastically improve the tank's nitrification efficiency and possibly reduce algae. I need to make sure I "season" as much of the new sump's bio media as I can before swapping out the sumps. I may end up running both at the same time for a period for bacterial colonization.
Just caught a peppermint shrimp (Well fed) tearing apart a Trochus snails that I just placed in the tank 2 days ago!!! These peppermint shrimp must be what have been killing all my snails!!! I made a trap with clam for bait and hope it works!
These things are monsters. They got rid of all the aiptasia but they killed so many of my snails!!
Kalk will kick on in about an hour, so the tank will likely start the morning around 8.5 dKH
The back-wall rock broke in half while I was removing algae so it's now in a bucket with tank water until I decide what to do with it. Simplest thing would be to just epoxy/glue it back together and keep on trucking... but I don't know if I really like the shape. I'll figure it out.
So I'm still not happy with alk levels... Just dosed 2-part alkalinity again to bring dKH up 0.5 (5ml). I'm thinking that the pickling lime (calcium hydroxide) I'm using has lost a lot of potency. Notably, when I mix 20grams into 3 gallons of RODI, there is a large quantity that settles in the bottom of the container. I will either have to learn how to measure kalk potency or just buy a new batch of calcium hydroxide (pickling lime).