My Little NPS Experiment

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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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That's a big setup for your skimmer. Not what I was expecting lol
Looking great so far.
When I started looking into the project I wasn’t planning to go that big, but everything I read seemed to basically say making a decent skimmer is easier if you just go bigger.
So I decided to skip the computer modelling and multiple prototypes and just go as big as I easily could.
So far the only thing I don’t really like about the design is the lack of clear components. Hopefully it doesn’t need too much adjustment or troubleshooting.

Thanks for the Selcon recommendation. I will try to grab some in my next order.

I am also debating when to add some macro algae and if I should add something like Oyster Feast to the feeding mix.
I am going to have to dig up some of the older pictures from the camera mounted there. I should be able to use them to get a better idea of how the gorgonian is growing and if I need to enhance my food.
 

Sleeping Giant

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I make a concoction, lol a weeks worth

Seachem:
Reef plus-3 capful
Reef complete-3 capful
Garlic guard-1/4 capful

hikari frozen fish food:
4 cubes-Krill (orange)
4 cubes-Ocean plankton (orange)
4 cubes-mysis shrimp (purple)
4 cubes-Spirulina Brine Shrimp (green)
5-6 cubes-Baby Brine Shrimp (pink/red)

1 tsp-reef roids

10 drops- Selcon

Tank water in container until full.

It's crazy, but good, lol
 
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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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I make a concoction, lol a weeks worth

Seachem:
Reef plus-3 capful
Reef complete-3 capful
Garlic guard-1/4 capful

hikari frozen fish food:
4 cubes-Krill (orange)
4 cubes-Ocean plankton (orange)
4 cubes-mysis shrimp (purple)
4 cubes-Spirulina Brine Shrimp (green)
5-6 cubes-Baby Brine Shrimp (pink/red)

1 tsp-reef roids

10 drops- Selcon

Tank water in container until full.

It's crazy, but good, lol
That is a crazy recipe. No wonder your tank looks so happy!

I looked at getting a couple of those frozen foods to try, but couldn’t quite come to terms with the cost of shipping.
I did end up getting some Selcon though. Will hopefully get around to trying it out soon.
 
Zoanthids
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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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I finally got time to get the skimmer setup and it took quite a bit of fiddling.
I am pretty sure the issue is that my pump height is a couple inches different that what I tested at. When I ran it in the actual setup there were no bubbles going into the skimmer. For a quick fix hooked an air pump up to the Venturi hose.
A16AE33A-A85F-42B2-AFE8-3F27AFDA919D.jpeg


Seconds after startup the bubbles came up into the collection cup.
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It only took a few minutes to fill my temporary collection cup (with bubbles). I am hoping after break in the skimmate will improve.
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The air pipe produced a lot of bubbles.
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Going to turn it off for the night. Still have a couple pvc joints to glue going into the pump, so don’t want an overnight disaster.
The bubble piles look to be shrinking already and the tank is looking significantly clearer after running for about 30 minutes.
7CBF584B-81A4-4FF9-904C-A7B9609FAC9A.jpeg

It’s not crystal clear, but is a significant improvement from earlier today.
 
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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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Will have a more detailed update soon. Just been having some issues with this guy keeping me from Reef2Reef lately.
04B81F7A-4BD5-46E8-B07B-77C6136126AD.jpeg


The Sun Coral are doing well. They seem to be shooting up little ones on the open skeleton. (I have some better shots waiting to be pulled off a real camera).
The Finger Leather is not looking so hot lately. I think some of the branches are thinning and I’m not seeing many polyps out during feeding time.
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Algae is still doing great.
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Skimmer is working. I am not longer running a filter socks and parameters seem to be in check. Also loving how much clearer the water is.
Here is this weeks haul.
8FB4D371-0773-4958-ACE3-F1C55476CA4B.jpeg
 
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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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As much as I hate going there, I ended up at the giant "LFS" for some supplies. I managed to get what I needed, but succumb to an impulse purchase. They had some cool Molluscs that I hadn't seen in any of the other LFS.
Got to say though, this place really needs to up their game. All of the fish they had were dead and the only living things they had that looked healthy enough to bring home were a couple species of Molluscs and tank full of Lobsters. I wish they had smaller Lobsters though. The ones they stock are always too big for my tank.
And don't get me started on their equipment selection, it is appalling for a place this big.

...so I have an Oyster in my tank now.
IMG_0885.jpg

Other purchases were some coral food (clams and frozen shrimp), milk, cucumbers, and burgers.

Jokes aside, I was curious how alive some of the Little Neck Clams and Oyster I was getting were.
I diluted some fresh saltwater down to 20 ppt and cooled it way down after getting home. I was making ro/di that day, so I ran the waste into a bucket and set my tub of salt water in it. I used the water water to help keep things cool longer.
I also put an ice pack into the salt tub to get it nice and chilly for the clams, since they felt like they had just come off ice (curbside pickup, so not sure how they are stored).
IMG_0864.jpg

After the water felt really cold I dumped the clams and oysters in.
There was also an airlift pump in the tub to keep things from being too stagnant.

It was hard to see the Oysters at first, but the clams didn't take long to open up and stick out their siphons. I fed them some Reef Roids and went to bed.
IMG_0869.jpg

The next day I removed the clams (still looked healthy) and froze them. As cool as it would be to have one in my tank, I don't really know what they eat and have nowhere near a deep enough sand bed for them.
At this point the water had warmed up to room temperature (~20C / 68F) and I removed the inner container. This made viewing the Molluscs a lot easier. With the clams removed the Oysters were a lot easier to see.
IMG_0870.jpg

After the disruption the Oysters opened back up. They seemed to close fairly quick if the container got bumped, so I think that means they were adjusting well. I was feeding them roughly a half teaspoon of Reef Roids twice a day.
The two days later I changed the water out with new water at a salinity of 23.5 ppt.
A day after this I picked one of the smaller Oysters that was opening and closing quickest and transferred it to my tank. The rest were still in decent shape, so this wasn't an easy choice.

So far the lone Oyster has been in my tank for about 2 days. It seems to have been fine just being dropped directly into the tank (~20C -> 23.5C and 23.5 ppt -> 35 ppt) .
I have turned the skimmer off to try to maximize particles in the water for it to eat, but I am thinking I will soon transfer it to the upper tank and turn the skimmer back on. I was originally worried it wouldn't survive and quickly foul the little tank.



The Sun Coral is still doing well. Here is a slightly better picture of the little ones that are popping up in the vacant space. I am hopeful that they will grow up to have tentacles, since the original colony does not seem to be growing theirs back.
DSC06798 (2).JPG


It is almost not worth posting this photo, but the Red Finger Leather is showing some improvement. It is putting out more polyps on a couple of the branches for the past few days.
IMG_0850 (2).jpg


Other changes to the tank include switching to Granulated Ferric Oxide (GFO) instead of PhosGuard, and adding Selcon and PolypBooster to the food. I also tried drippping the PolyBooster into the tank before feeding a couple of times.
The switch to GFO went smoothly, phosphate levels seem to be fairly stable since switching and my initial guess on the amount to use seems to have been correct.
The addition to Selcon is still up in the air. I am not seeing any sort of miracles, but I am not seeing any obvious issues. I am going to keep using it and see what happens.
I am not impressed by the PolypBooster. So far I am seeing no difference between when I use it or don't. I have stopped using it with this tank, but plan to try it again with some photosynthetic coral later. I noticed that some of my other photosynthetic coral responded really quickly to the addition of Red Sea Reef Energy AB+, so I am hoping the PolypBooster may have similar results. The coral in this tank don't seem to respond to Reef Energy either.


I also had a good algae harvest recently, not that you could tell the difference after.
IMG_0843.jpg
 

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Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
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58e970b2-3f88-4897-87ba-5

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I turned the skimmer back on yesterday. There was enough foam being generated from the upper tank’s drain that I needed to have it on to avoid an overflow.
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Also the surface of the lower tank was starting to look pretty unpleasant.
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I just moved the Oyster in to the top tank. I noticed it’s movement is slower than a couple days ago. Hopefully the higher concentration of food up top helps.
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The Sun Coral looks pretty unhappy in the picture above because I just cleaned it off with the turkey baster. There was quite a bit of left over food between the polyps. It was looking quite good before that.

I am starting to suspect that the Red Finger Gorgonian (which I mistakenly called a Red Finger Leather in my last post) is being bothered by the large quantity of pods in the tank. They don’t appear to be eating it, but seem to like eating food that sticks to it.
My current plan is to see if I can blow them off a couple times a day. Hopefully that will buy me some time to think about how I want to reduce their population and help me verify that is the actual problem.
 

Do you house a "Reef Safe" Angelfish in your reef tank?

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