My 4ft Peninsula Tank Journal

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Gedxin

Gedxin

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Reef Raft had one banana for sale on July 4th. I've seen it around on other sales too, just not usually more than one. It's my favorite.

More pics cause I'm obsessed
 

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An update, and the first significant set back on this Peninsula tank.

Thursday I received my order of 6 fish from DrReef's. 4 ignitus anthias (1 male 3 female), 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 katherine's wrasse. All looked good, were eating and acting normal. Come Sunday and I can't find one of the female anthias. The wrasse is also looking bad, with heavy breathing. I made a post about it in the fish disease forum. Literally 20 minutes after I post the wrasse perishes. :loudly-crying-face: Went from being fine Saturday to dead around noon on Sunday. what the heck.

I eventually find the missing anthias poking out of my live rock...without an eye. Clearly it's dead. I use tweezers to pull it free and a 1" mantis (NOW THERE ARE TWO, CRAP) fights me for it, smashing at the rock trying to keep its prey. Super unclear if it killed the anthias, but it definitely ate half of it!

And the final loss...my god torch melted/disintegrated in about 36 hours. I saw some flesh sloughing off Friday evening, and by Sunday it looked like this:


PXL_20220801_174855429.jpg


All my other torches seem to be thriving, so it's an enigma at the moment. Costly enigma. :(

A few photos to end on a high note:

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I slapped together a budget refugium setup today! How/why did I decide on this? Well, I think @Coral Euphoria is my Reef Guru. Abe’s videos are incredibly well researched and presented. I recently watched his bucket refugium video, and loved the concept. My current refugium is a small frag rack, with a mounted AI Prime 16HD. Things in the sump are growing like crazy…that includes algae. The frag rack had a bit of GHA, but my chaeto was covered in the stuff. There was too much surface area for bad things to grow, the frag setup was neat and convenient but ultimately I need to move things quick that I’m propagating and that should be in the display to motivate me to get rid of it.

Enough chatting, here’s a few pics of the new setup:
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After experimentation I ended up removing the outer uni-seal to ensure there’s almost no chance of an overflow, the 1.25in drain is currently emptying plenty. Proper drainage is a must with the way I’ve got the AI prime sitting on top. Plan to hang the mount in the future with a small gap, or maybe build out some plastic shelf. Also could raise the bucket off the bottom of the glass. I'll definitely do something more to improve safety.


s_F3111B64F8ADF3BF41C8EDA2000F9D23DE8E8CFAD38E38107E0E1A1349321C5A_1660111841653_PXL_20220810_053054598.jpg

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Pretty happy with the result. We’ll see if I can keep this bunch GHA free.
 
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jhuntstl

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I really love the idea of a bucket refugium. I had made one made up and ready to go for my current build. Plans changed and I never ended up using it. Are you getting a lot of moisture on the Prime lens? I had a cheapo light off amazon, but it was IP rated. Water never got inside the fixture, but it still made me nervous. I would definitely find a way to 100% keep the bucket moisture away from the Prime. Like a glass barrier. Something that can't melt, cause I know those primes get hot!

Here's my attempt to show you what I'm thinking. Prime is red, black is bucket lid, blue is glass. Third one is elevated with some other cylinder or square you can modify.

The glass will fog and affect par, but you're not growing acros in there. =)
gedxin.png
 
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I really love the idea of a bucket refugium. I had made one made up and ready to go for my current build. Plans changed and I never ended up using it. Are you getting a lot of moisture on the Prime lens? I had a cheapo light off amazon, but it was IP rated. Water never got inside the fixture, but it still made me nervous. I would definitely find a way to 100% keep the bucket moisture away from the Prime. Like a glass barrier. Something that can't melt, cause I know those primes get hot!

Here's my attempt to show you what I'm thinking. Prime is red, black is bucket lid, blue is glass. Third one is elevated with some other cylinder or square you can modify.

The glass will fog and affect par, but you're not growing acros in there. =)
gedxin.png
Thanks for the advice and photo to support the idea! I like the glass addition, I have about 1/8" of a gap between the hood and the Prime, provided by a 3M velco strips. That seems to be enough to maintain a decent airflow/cooling. I bet I could double-side tape a thin piece of glass on the bottom bucket like your top/middle design. I haven't detected any condensation on the lens yet though, so no rush. I have drilled multiple holes near the very top of the lid to allow additional emergency overflow drainage, as well as airflow. I'll keep monitoring. The chaeto seems to be spinning nicely at the bottom with a slightly obstructed view to the light due to the massive overflow drain. Once I get a bit of growth I suspect it won't be a problem.

PXL_20220814_032135158 (1).jpg
 
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Thanks for the advice and photo to support the idea! I like the glass addition, I have about 1/8" of a gap between the hood and the Prime, provided by a 3M velco strips. That seems to be enough to maintain a decent airflow/cooling. I bet I could double-side tape a thin piece of glass on the bottom bucket like your top/middle design. I haven't detected any condensation on the lens yet though, so no rush. I have drilled multiple holes near the very top of the lid to allow additional emergency overflow drainage, as well as airflow. I'll keep monitoring. The chaeto seems to be spinning nicely at the bottom with a slightly obstructed view to the light due to the massive overflow drain. Once I get a bit of growth I suspect it won't be a problem.

PXL_20220814_032135158 (1).jpg
I couldn't help but picture a Prime paperweight or an electrical hazard

Surprised it's staying so dry with such a small gap. That's good. I remember mine was dripping. Maybe my flow was too high or I needed more airflow?
 
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Got my Avast Marine K1 Kalkwasser stirrer installed and running last night! Thanks @jhuntstl for the ‘where to buy’ limewater reference (I went with captiv8 Reef Blueprint.) I’m going the stir while running route, which I suppose makes a bit of a slurry. Dosing from lights out (7pm) to just before lights on (7am.) Dosing about 430ml (which a calculator says should be a .1 dKh for my tank size.) The biggest struggle right now is to try and ‘drip’ the Kalk in to the tank. Right now it queues up the kalk, then dumps all of it each time there’s about 10ml. This causes a decent ‘spike’ in my pH. I say queueing because the output nozzle builds up a little bit each time my doser runs, and then it’s like a dam gets loose and all of the ‘queued’ satured kalk goes out in a hurry. I read a few other threads where people say they deal with the same issue. I’ve alleviated some of the splurge by adding a valve, but this seems like it will inevitably get clogged. I tested the stirrer with pure RO water before and the same ‘queueing water’ happened, so it’s not sludge buildup.

Photos of the setup:
s_F3111B64F8ADF3BF41C8EDA2000F9D23DE8E8CFAD38E38107E0E1A1349321C5A_1661272832874_PXL_20220823_162322157.jpg

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Here’s what my pH monitor looks like with each ‘splurge.’ The gap in the middle is due to me messing with the valve and upsetting the amount of water in the reservoir.
s_F3111B64F8ADF3BF41C8EDA2000F9D23DE8E8CFAD38E38107E0E1A1349321C5A_1661272969580_Screen+Shot+2022-08-23+at+9.41.42+AM.png
 
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jhuntstl

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You're not dosing a slurry with it mixing 24/7. The slurry stays down low and only saturated(or possibly slightly less) kalk should be overflowing from the top. Is it dosing near your pH probe? This could be why you're seeing such a spike. Try putting your pH probe up in the display or a different part in your sump. I doubt your graph will read the same.

10ml doses is very low for the K1. I remember when I first started around 30-40ml each hour, sometimes it wouldn't even dose. It wasn't until I got around 60ml that it consistently overflowed out of the chamber. You are correct that the design is that of a "dam breaking". It fills to a certain point until it overflows. What's the rate(ml/min) of the doser you're using to feed it?
 
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You're not dosing a slurry with it mixing 24/7. The slurry stays down low and only saturated(or possibly slightly less) kalk should be overflowing from the top. Is it dosing near your pH probe? This could be why you're seeing such a spike. Try putting your pH probe up in the display or a different part in your sump. I doubt your graph will read the same.

10ml doses is very low for the K1. I remember when I first started around 30-40ml each hour, sometimes it wouldn't even dose. It wasn't until I got around 60ml that it consistently overflowed out of the chamber. You are correct that the design is that of a "dam breaking". It fills to a certain point until it overflows. What's the rate(ml/min) of the doser you're using to feed it?
I follow that it's not technically slurry, but it's not just 'saturated' like yours is, is it? For example, if I added 1 cup of kalk to the reservoir and tied a few fan blades to the stirrer, that'd make a huge cloud and would dose particles and would definitely be considered a slurry. I added 1/4cup and do not have those extra blades, but the stirring in my mind still makes it more than just a saturated solution (especially soon after adding the kalk to the RO.) Maybe the science doesn't work that way though with fully saturated water.

My pH probe is in the same return pump area that I'm dosing, so it's definitely why the spikes happen. I guess I'm just a little concerned with the concentration that's dumped at once. Last night I was dosing 36ml/hr. The doser only does a max of 2ml/min. Based on my RO testing it needs about 12ml to break the dam (every 6 minutes it would spill water.)

I'm gonna double the dosing tonight, up to 860. My alk dropped from 8.1 to 7.9 over 24 hours, and that's with the overnight kalk on. The BRS doser is not meant to operate continuously, so I imagine I will exceed the capacity of the 2ml/min within a few short months (if everything goes well.) 12 hours a night I could dose a max of 720 minutes, which is 1440ml. So I'm at 60% of that max right now. Crap, I goofed and should have bought the bigger 50ml/min doser.
 
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jhuntstl

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I follow that it's not technically slurry, but it's not just 'saturated' like yours is, is it? For example, if I added 1 cup of kalk to the reservoir and tied a few fan blades to the stirrer, that'd make a huge cloud and would dose particles and would definitely be considered a slurry. I added 1/4cup and do not have those extra blades, but the stirring in my mind still makes it more than just a saturated solution (especially soon after adding the kalk to the RO.) Maybe the science doesn't work that way though with fully saturated water.

My pH probe is in the same return pump area that I'm dosing, so it's definitely why the spikes happen. I guess I'm just a little concerned with the concentration that's dumped at once. Last night I was dosing 36ml/hr. The doser only does a max of 2ml/min. Based on my RO testing it needs about 12ml to break the dam (every 6 minutes it would spill water.)

I'm gonna double the dosing tonight, up to 860. My alk dropped from 8.1 to 7.9 over 24 hours, and that's with the overnight kalk on. The BRS doser is not meant to operate continuously, so I imagine I will exceed the capacity of the 2ml/min within a few short months (if everything goes well.) 12 hours a night I could dose a max of 720 minutes, which is 1440ml. So I'm at 60% of that max right now. Crap, I goofed and should have bought the bigger 50ml/min doser.
It should be dosing just as saturated kalkwasser as my reservoir. A lot of complaints with stirrers is that when the RO is introduced via a doser or ATO, it is lowering the potency of the kalkwasser. Basically as the RO is fed, the calcium hydroxide is not dissolving fast enough before it's dosed. I think the design of the K1 is better than other stirrers on the market. The solution up top is absolutely fully saturated and ready to overflow. The RO is fed at very bottom while it's stirring. As long as you are not dosing too fast, I believe you'll get saturated kalkwasser with each ml dosed. A 1/4 cup or 2 cups of calcium hydroxide in your stirrer should yield the same potency kalkwasser per ml dosed. The amount you add to the stirrer will only prolong the time between refilling.

12ml is very little kalkwasser to dose at once. When I ran my kalk stirrer, I was dosing hourly upwards of 220ml IIRC. This was being dosed at 70ml/min via a Kamoer ProT Stepper. That's about 1 1/2 gallons. I now dose about double that.
 
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It should be dosing just as saturated kalkwasser as my reservoir. A lot of complaints with stirrers is that when the RO is introduced via a doser or ATO, it is lowering the potency of the kalkwasser. Basically as the RO is fed, the calcium hydroxide is not dissolving fast enough before it's dosed. I think the design of the K1 is better than other stirrers on the market. The solution up top is absolutely fully saturated and ready to overflow. The RO is fed at very bottom while it's stirring. As long as you are not dosing too fast, I believe you'll get saturated kalkwasser with each ml dosed. A 1/4 cup or 2 cups of calcium hydroxide in your stirrer should yield the same potency kalkwasser per ml dosed. The amount you add to the stirrer will only prolong the time between refilling.

12ml is very little kalkwasser to dose at once. When I ran my kalk stirrer, I was dosing hourly upwards of 220ml IIRC. This was being dosed at 70ml/min via a Kamoer ProT Stepper. That's about 1 1/2 gallons. I now dose about double that.
Agreed with your reasoning, sound advice.

I started at 12ml just to make sure things all made sense and nothing funny happened with the automation. I'll definitely be upping the dosage tonight and checking alk again to see how things are trending. I did also dose 1/3 of my usual A4F today, just to not go cold turkey on the usual additives. I'm currently double dosing alk/calc, so I need to whip out my salifert calcium test kits.

@jhuntstl how often did you test during all the changes you made? Daily?
 
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If the plan is to supplement the AFR with kalk, then you're doing it right. You should be starting low and working your way up while monitoring alkalinity. This is how I did it for a while. I was testing alk 2-3 times a week then. I didn't do any math, just kinda winged it. Could explain why I had some issues keeping them balanced. ;)

There's so many ways to dose kalkwasser, though. You could dose it all at night to combat the night time pH low. You could drip it 24/7. Dose each hour. Or go crazy like me and dose based on pH.

You're just gonna have to experiment and see what works best on your system!
 
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Went to town on my sump last night. Finally removed the two filter sock holders. Due to the filter roller plumbing bypass I was losing out on a whole chamber of water and this change nets me probably ~2 gallons total additional volume. It also opens up a future design/build to accommodate a skimmer. No rush for that though, it won't be a quick ~1hr job like this was. Photos of the after (before photo #24 you can see the sock holders) below.

PXL_20220826_154241703.jpg


Kalk stirrer and dosing is going alright. I've set my ATO to off and am going to continue closely monitoring my sump water height, alk, and pH, turning on RO when needed. My temp is reaching 80.5 at the hottest/peak of the day. I've got a 4 GHL fan in the sump evaporating as much as it can, but I really have no idea how much water I'm replacing each day. Between my two tanks they have just been auto filling with gravity replacement (solenoid + float valve for redundancy.)

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PXL_20220826_154241703.jpg
 

jhuntstl

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Nice job knocking that project out! Always feel good to check one off the list. It'll be nice to have a skimmer as an option down the line. What else is involved to get one to fit?

What's the orange acro up top? And how are you liking the gravity ato? How does yours function with the solenoid?
 
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Nice job knocking that project out! Always feel good to check one off the list. It'll be nice to have a skimmer as an option down the line. What else is involved to get one to fit?

What's the orange acro up top? And how are you liking the gravity ato? How does yours function with the solenoid?
The easiest way to get a skimmer in would be to remove my bucket fuge and have it sit in that chamber. If I want to keep the fuge, then I need to cut the plumbing for the filter roller and move it to the right. I'd have to build some sort of arm support for the filter roller to hold on to as well. Assuming that was successful I could then place a skimmer on the left in the first chamber (where you see the filter roller today in the photos.) Really hoping I can manage nutrients without needing a skimmer. I still dose 10-15ml of NeoPhos daily and only just saw a .01 po4 reading yesterday, using a ULR Hanna.

Orange acro is a TGC Creamsicle, very pleased with how that's growing, color and all.

Gravity fed ATO is fantastic. Truly a set it and forget it thing. I use a flood guardian that has a 1/4" push connect with a solenoid. If power is provided the solenoid is open, while the optical is clear of water. If the optical sees water, the solenoid closes. So I keep the power off 23/7 and turn it on for 30min twice a day to replenish top off. There's a mounted float valve on the end of the tube, placed at the height where I want the sump level. So the water automatically stops. If the float breaks the water will rise to the optical and close the solenoid.
 
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Visited a friend's reef today and saw he had a TGC Dreamsicle as well. Now I really want one! He had a small frag, so maybe one day I'll convince him to cut me a piece. I told him yours looked better. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

That sounds like a fantastic setup for a gravity ATO. Lots of redundancy.
 
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So I ran in to an issue with my pH probe not being properly calibrated - or at least not matching the new 7 & 10 calibration solution I used. This resulted my pH shooting up by more than .1. It's given me a bit of a shock/scare in that if my core data is not accurate...then I'm putting everything at risk by chasing a bad number. I'm vowing to keep up a regular cadence of calibrations. Just another quarterly maintenance fee. :loudly-crying-face:



So here's my new Grafana dashboard (ph-ezo sensor > rasp pi > home assisstant > grafana) to monitor a few things. This is the last 7 days (when I started this type of monitoring):
1662608154114.png


Overlaid with events I'm tracking:
1662608306783.png

First red line event is my pH calibration.

Second red line is me stupidly dropping my AI Prime refugium light in the water. I left it out over night (no chaeto to help pH, nooo), took it apart in the morning, cleaned the circuit board as best I could, there was quite a bit of water on things. I put it back together and...it worked! Whew, a costly lesson averted - and I know exactly what not to do when performing chaeto maintenance now.

My alk is now around 9.7 dKh , when I started this (8/22/ I was at ~8.2 dKh.) I'm not comfortable dosing any more Kalkwasser due to the alk increase. I'd rather slow my increase even more, and cap around 10. I like the idea of chasing pH and the science is tempting. But for now I'm going with what's mostly worked and just shoot for 8.3 as best I can.

After waiting nearly 5 weeks since I bought a new XR15 pro, I decided enough was enough and installed it. I've been following sound advice to not blast my rocks with light yet, lest I risk algae taking over. Well, GHA has pretty much already reared its ugly face with the current two XR15 setup, so what have I got to lose? Now running three XR15s (2 blue 1 pro) and four T5s. I've measured par at about 350 at the highest acro point. I think I want to shoot for around 370, and have set a 18 day acclimation to get there. The only acro that seems annoyed is my ORA Red Planet - it's bleaching or going pale for some reason. I moved it lower in the tank to try and see if it's just location. Everything else seems to be fine, though perhaps growing a little slower? Hard to say.

My RBTA split and here it is in a jail while it awaits its new owner to pick it up.

PXL_20220902_232620879.jpg
PXL_20220902_173309212 (1).jpg



I picked up 5 new frags over the labor day weekend from a local reefer. Haven't had a chance to photo them yet.
 

jhuntstl

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So I ran in to an issue with my pH probe not being properly calibrated - or at least not matching the new 7 & 10 calibration solution I used. This resulted my pH shooting up by more than .1. It's given me a bit of a shock/scare in that if my core data is not accurate...then I'm putting everything at risk by chasing a bad number. I'm vowing to keep up a regular cadence of calibrations. Just another quarterly maintenance fee. :loudly-crying-face:



So here's my new Grafana dashboard (ph-ezo sensor > rasp pi > home assisstant > grafana) to monitor a few things. This is the last 7 days (when I started this type of monitoring):
1662608154114.png


Overlaid with events I'm tracking:
1662608306783.png

First red line event is my pH calibration.

Second red line is me stupidly dropping my AI Prime refugium light in the water. I left it out over night (no chaeto to help pH, nooo), took it apart in the morning, cleaned the circuit board as best I could, there was quite a bit of water on things. I put it back together and...it worked! Whew, a costly lesson averted - and I know exactly what not to do when performing chaeto maintenance now.

My alk is now around 9.7 dKh , when I started this (8/22/ I was at ~8.2 dKh.) I'm not comfortable dosing any more Kalkwasser due to the alk increase. I'd rather slow my increase even more, and cap around 10. I like the idea of chasing pH and the science is tempting. But for now I'm going with what's mostly worked and just shoot for 8.3 as best I can.

After waiting nearly 5 weeks since I bought a new XR15 pro, I decided enough was enough and installed it. I've been following sound advice to not blast my rocks with light yet, lest I risk algae taking over. Well, GHA has pretty much already reared its ugly face with the current two XR15 setup, so what have I got to lose? Now running three XR15s (2 blue 1 pro) and four T5s. I've measured par at about 350 at the highest acro point. I think I want to shoot for around 370, and have set a 18 day acclimation to get there. The only acro that seems annoyed is my ORA Red Planet - it's bleaching or going pale for some reason. I moved it lower in the tank to try and see if it's just location. Everything else seems to be fine, though perhaps growing a little slower? Hard to say.

My RBTA split and here it is in a jail while it awaits its new owner to pick it up.

PXL_20220902_232620879.jpg
PXL_20220902_173309212 (1).jpg



I picked up 5 new frags over the labor day weekend from a local reefer. Haven't had a chance to photo them yet.
I think you are good to stop chasing for some time at the levels you're at. General consensus is to keep nutrients up when running higher alk, so keep an eye on them. Algae growth is unavoidable and will be exacerbated if you're blasting lots of par and white light in my experience. I chose the blasting route and had some struggles, but ultimately came out alright on the other end.

As for probe maintenance. I use a Hanna cleaning solution monthly. After it's use, it calls to soak the probe in storage solution for an hour, and then re-calibrate. Dip in clean RO between each calibration. This is working well for me so far.
 
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How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 58 33.3%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 92 52.9%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 58 33.3%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 36 20.7%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 28 16.1%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 41 23.6%
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