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Fishy888

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After some much needed rest I came down to work on hooking the sump up. I then notice a cord behind the stand that was unplugged. There are only 3 cords back there and since the lights and circulation pump are on it was clearly the heater. A quick glance at the thermometer revealed a temperature of 70 degrees. No wonder the coral is all closed up.

At first I thought it was allellopathy but the only real colonies I have are the xenia colonies. The rest are frags. Considering this is a 75 gallon tank and most of these corals are fairly non aggressive except the mushrooms that are like 2 cm in diameter and the cabbage leather. Considering I just finished battling dinos nutrients aren't an issue and even if they got a bit high I'd run the lights on the chaeto longer and it would suck it right up. Thankfully I now have the heater plugged in. It'll take some time but the temperature will come up over the next several hours. That should be enough for the corals to open up again.
 
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The tank temperature is up to 73. I added a second heater about an hour ago. Since they are both smaller heaters having 2 will keep any 1 heater from working too hard.

The corals are starting to respond positively to the temperature increase. The UC zoas (my only zoas... for now) were opening slightly just before lights out. My green mushrooms were the most open coral except for the xenia and cabbage leather. The duncans were also more open than they were. All the other corals were slightly open except for the GSP which was closed still.

The temperature increase should help a lot. Once things open more I'll post pics.
 
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2 yellow tail damsels came home with me today. They are doing well so far. The clownfish were curious at first who the new kids on the block were. They haven't harassed the new damsels so far and hopefully they won't.

The zoanthids were a little more open today but not all the way yet. The duncans were open almost all the way today. The only coral not open at all was the GSP.

I decided today to shore up the front of the stand enough to remove the center leg temporarily. That way I can get the 30 gallon sump into the stand. It does make me a little nervous. I have built basic stands that don't rely on screws or staples to support the weight of the tank like this stand does. At least the center supports do. I got some 1 inch PVC elbows today as well so I can keep the sump totally inside the tank instead of having it partway out.
 
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2 yellow tail damsels came home with me today. They are doing well so far. The clownfish were curious at first who the new kids on the block were. They haven't harassed the new damsels so far and hopefully they won't.

The zoanthids were a little more open today but not all the way yet. The duncans were open almost all the way today. The only coral not open at all was the GSP.

I decided today to shore up the front of the stand enough to remove the center leg temporarily. That way I can get the 30 gallon sump into the stand. It does make me a little nervous. I have built basic stands that don't rely on screws or staples to support the weight of the tank like this stand does. At least the center supports do. I got some 1 inch PVC elbows today as well so I can keep the sump totally inside the tank instead of having it partway out.
Good luck!
 
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Ok. I now have a 30 gallon sump. I'm going to fill it this afternoon. Even though I had temporary supports in place taking the center leg out was one of the scariest things I've ever done. Even with the supports holding things up my heart skipped a beat or 2 when the center leg came out. Everything is back together now. I used clamps to get the center leg back in all the way. I then screwed it together while the clamps held it.

I just finished the plumbing this morning. I'm going to mix up new saltwater and let it mix thoroughly. Then I'll start the siphon. I still need to set the lights up but I can run them from the sides like I did before.

The only real casualty of the move was to the creatures living in the sump. I am getting some new chaeto with said creatures in it. They'll build back better and stronger than before.
 
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I have the sump up and running. So far so good. Now I have to figure out why 3 of my corals aren't opening still. My cabbage leather, xenia, anthelia, mushrooms, and duncans are wide open. My UC zoas, GSP, and candy cane are closed tighter than Scrooge's purse strings. The zoanthids may be in too much light but I have about 54 watts worth of light over a 75. They're in the sand not far from the duncans. I doubt that's the problem but I'll try moving them anyway. They've been there a week. The GSP have been in there for a week and a half. They have yet to open. I'll try it elsewhere later.
 
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They say every aquarist will eventually come home to find water all over the floor if they stay in the hobby long enough. Well I've had minor leaks in the 30 or so years I've kept fish. Yesterday afternoon was different though. We got home and my wife saw water in front of my recliner. We thought the dog peed. It turned out the DT decided to pee. Thankfully only 5 gallons actually spilled. Thankfully there was no damage to the newly renovated floor or anything.

As soon as I saw what was happening I cut off the power to the whole tank. After the cleanup I restored power to the DT lights, heater, and circulation pump. The sump was down to half full. Much longer and the heater would have cracked. That would have nuked the tank or worse, like a fire. I kept the sump without a heater or flow until about an hour ago. I made 10 gallons of fresh saltwater and filled the sump to the level I usually do. Then I restored the power to the sump's heater and lights. I also added a circulation pump to establish flow for the sump.

I figured out that the infamous U-tubes both lost suction. I had a 120 eons ago that I had to use a U-tube overflow box on. Not one drop of water on the floor. I have this overflow box and I have 2 U-tubes now. I can see why one would lose siphon but both? I don't know.

Anyway I'm going to restart the siphon and return pump today. Hopefully there won't ever be another flood on our floor.
 
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Today things were much better until I saw the power supply spontaneously combust. Thankfully these floors are vinyl. The power cord was toast of course. I put out the fire before it could do any serious damage. Unfortunately one of the 2 grow lights now cycle off and on. It could be a heat issue under the sump. I am going to try the second light and see if it does the same thing.

On a more positive note I got a ball valve to put in the return line. I am certain that the pump is now too strong for the current configuration of the overflow plumbing. This pump is 1200 GPH. The overflow is capable of 1200 GPH. There are 4 feet of head. I still intend to install a manifold at some point soon because I may need a kalk reactor or GFO. Maybe both. That is why I got this pump.

Thankfully the livestock are doing ok but diatoms are coating the sand now. More flow is needed soon. Tonight I'll install the valve and cement it in. When I build the manifold I'll use unions and the like but for now I am keeping it simple. For now I have a new power strip in place but I am going to install GFCI outlets as soon as possible on the side of the stand. Then I can make drip loops. I don't ever want to go through that again. Ever!
 
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I figured out the issue with the one light and it's working fine now. There have been no more issues so far with arcs or flames.

I'm taking this as a learning experience. Tomorrow night I'll start the siphon and return pump. I just cemented the ball valve in place. It takes 24 hours to cure all the way. I do feel better than earlier today but I am also going to be on high alert for a while. The livestock made it through ok thankfully.

Edit:

For anyone who reads this I want to give a quick summary of why my DT overflowed on me. The U-tubes lost their siphon. This was due to me not having a means of restricting the flow in the return line. This caused the rate of flow from the pump to exceed the rate of draining from the DT. That lead to all the issues I had.
 
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My sump's temperature was about 86 degrees for 36 hours give or take. I forgot to mention that in last night's post. It is now closer to 80 which is where I keep my reef normally. Thankfully my chaeto didn't crash. I saw a bristle worm that was very much alive in the chaeto even at 86 degrees.

Today went much better than any since the tank overflowed Wednesday. I know it's only been 2 days but they feel like 2 weeks. The moment of truth is upon us now. The 24 hour curing period ends in 3 hours. I might give it until tomorrow morning before I start the sump again though. I want to make sure no leaks happen. No leaks, no floods, no evictions.

I was extremely fortunate that I got home after only 5 gallons spilled and that the floors are vinyl over concrete. I'm also unbelievably fortunate that the arcing and fire happened while I was seated right next to the power strip and was able to pick it up in time to not damage much more than a power strip, an extension cord, and my ego. That is what I call a win.

The status quo has not changed except for diatoms that are growing on both sand and the sides of the tank. It's not growing as much on the rocks but it's visible in spots. The same corals that have been closed are still closed and the same ones that have been open are still open. I've recently changed the positions of my UC zoas and my candy cane coral. I'm going to dip my GSP in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. I suspect the algae on them isn't helping any exactly. I need to research whether it is safe to dip zoas or candy cane corals at all. If so I will dip them also.
 
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I've restarted the siphon and return pump. Using the ball valve I just added to the return line I restricted the flow by about 25%. It's at the point now where the gurgling sounds have stopped. The return pump is not drawing more water than than the overflow can handle anymore. I'll be keeping an eye on the U-tubes just in case air is building in them.

There's certainly a risk of issues big and small using U-tube overflows. I've run U-tube overflows that never lost siphon when those overflows were able to keep up with the pumps.

Now I need to attach the adapter and tee fitting so I can attach my loc line today. That will then be finished.
 
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It seems I've misplaced the fittings. If I find them I'll install the lock line. Once that's done I can actually add sand and not have it blown all to the front of the tank. I did however dip and clean the 3 corals that have been closed since day 1. I used about a 10 to 1 ratio of water to hydrogen peroxide.

In the process I discovered that there is a ring of GSP polyps that formed around the edge of the frag plug they're on. They were hidden by places where the mat was bound by algae. I suppose I'll have to frag the frag fairly soon.

I also dipped my zoanthids in the same solution and cleaned them. There was a very light coating of diatoms on them. Hopefully they open soon.

The candy cane coral slipped out of my hands and into the solution. I quickly rinsed them in tank water. I then took the soft bristle toothbrush and cleaned the GHA that was all over the base and plug. I used the peroxide dip I used for the other corals. I did my best to not get any on the polyps. The coral must still be doing ok because it was sliming while I was cleaning it. So far it seems to be doing ok.

The GSP has several polyps that look like they might open soon. That's more than I have seen since it got here. I feel optimistic about the others as well.
 
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I've restarted the siphon and return pump. Using the ball valve I just added to the return line I restricted the flow by about 25%. It's at the point now where the gurgling sounds have stopped. The return pump is not drawing more water than than the overflow can handle anymore. I'll be keeping an eye on the U-tubes just in case air is building in them.

There's certainly a risk of issues big and small using U-tube overflows. I've run U-tube overflows that never lost siphon when those overflows were able to keep up with the pumps.

Now I need to attach the adapter and tee fitting so I can attach my loc line today. That will then be finished.
I'm curious if the flow from the return were increased instead of decreased if it would help. I've noticed with two U tubes the flow through each is decreased and it doesn't move the air bubbles out so they sometimes get air trapped and lose siphon.
 
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Believe it or not there are no air bubbles stuck in the tubes. I did increase the flow through there a bit. That said the pump is rated at 1200 GPH. The overflow supposedly is rated at 1200 GPH. When it was just straight pipes to the sump and chaeto somewhat restricted inflow to the pump it worked perfectly. Now there are 90 degree elbows since the sump is completely inside the stand. That reduced the draining ability. I would hear a bunch of gurgling. I just figured it was from water hitting those resistance points. I didn't think it was that more water was being drawn than the overflow could supply. At least, not until water was everywhere. As I searched for the solution to the problem my new suspicions were confirmed. The solution that was proposed made sense. If the overflow was overburdened it would pull massive amounts of air through the tubes.

I noticed that the air bubbles weren't being cleared at 3/4 flow so I turned it up just enough to clear the bubbles but not enough to start the gurgling. So far so good. It's been about 10 hours since I started the siphon. No air bubbles being trapped whatsoever. That said it took only 3 days from starting the siphon and pump to having 5 gallons of saltwater on the floor. I am going to watch things closely.
 
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It's been a while since I've posted pictures. Also there's a good chance of more rock coming tomorrow.
 

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Fishy888

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Today I am going to do some aquascaping. I am going to clean and add some fresh sand. I also have to find the fittings for the loc line and assemble it. Once I put that together I'll add sand because the flow won't be straight down.

The return pump is strong. Even with 4 feet of head and 4 90 degree elbows It blew almost all the sand from the back to the front. That flow can go towards the overflow and the circulation pump. Turbulent flow is the name of the game.

I am going to do a partial water change within the next few days. The system has been through a lot lately. Since fighting the dinos and because of the move I hadn't done a water change until we finished the move. That water change helped things but now that I have hard corals especially I want to make sure things are balanced.

The GSP mat and stolons look healthier than I have ever seen. Some of the stolons open up oh so slightly but the polyps stay retracted. I'll dip it again in a stronger peroxide solution. I won't go overboard but there's still some algae left on it. The GSP will get put higher in the tank as well when I re-scape.

The candy cane coral is still closed. I may raise them higher because I suspect lighting is my issue.

My zoanthids are still alive thankfully but they're still closed. I think lighting is an issue with them.

I am tempted to use one of my grow lights to supplement the very poor light that's on this tank. I have all the corals on the left side of the tank. This light is several years old and unfortunately since it was made for a freshwater planted tank there's a lot of corrosion. It didn't help that the light got totally submerged while plugged in about 9 months ago. I am going to go with Viparspectra for lighting fairly soon.

I have Viparspectra grow lights on the sump. They did awesome on my planted tank while it was running. They're holding up quite well considering the humid environment they're in not to mention the DT overflowing into the stand as well as on the floor. Most importantly the chaeto grows like crazy with them.

To make it work I assume I'll have to block the light from the red diodes. There are more white diodes than red. There are some blue diodes as well. I might even try to use one of the grow lights to supplement the 3 foot Beamswork light currently over the corals. My xenia and cabbage leather corals are doing well under the Beamswork lights as are the two polyps of duncans. Nonetheless all the corals will benefit from better lighting.

In October I should be able to get the first Viparspectra reef light. Hopefully in November I can get the second. It'll make a huge difference.

The cabbage leather coral is doing well as stated above. It decided it didn't like where it was and broke loose from the rubber bands that held it in place. I have to take care of that as well today.

I took a picture about an hour ago of the reef as seen from my recliner. Lots of diatoms right now. I'll likely have diatoms for a while since I'll be adding new sand. I'd much rather have diatoms than dinos any day. There are a lot of microbubbles in the picture. They come from the UV sterilizer and the sump. I'll fix it eventually but they don't bother me like they did at a time. I also need to get the bigger priorities taken care of first.

IMG_20220807_111313110.jpg
 
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I'll be getting another decent sized rock and new chaeto. I'm also trying an experiment. I have one of my grow lights on the DT. I do believe my candy cane coral is opening. No response from the GSP yet however. The zoanthids melted on me today so at least the candy cane looks better. I think the Duncan likes it too.

I have had this light on it for about 15 minutes so far. Of course there's a lot of red so we'll see how things go. I'm willing to risk extra algae if it means keeping everything alive. Lights are high priority right now. Hanna checkers are another.

The water is cloudy. It will be a bit cloudier soon. After the new rock comes new sand will be coming. Finally I get to have what should be my final scaping and some semblance of stability for the system. Unless a 150 falls into my lap or something lol. All jokes aside I am very happy with this tank size wise. I am getting happier with how it looks as bits and pieces come together. And corals.
 

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tbrown3589

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I'll be getting another decent sized rock and new chaeto. I'm also trying an experiment. I have one of my grow lights on the DT. I do believe my candy cane coral is opening. No response from the GSP yet however. The zoanthids melted on me today so at least the candy cane looks better. I think the Duncan likes it too.

I have had this light on it for about 15 minutes so far. Of course there's a lot of red so we'll see how things go. I'm willing to risk extra algae if it means keeping everything alive. Lights are high priority right now. Hanna checkers are another.

The water is cloudy. It will be a bit cloudier soon. After the new rock comes new sand will be coming. Finally I get to have what should be my final scaping and some semblance of stability for the system. Unless a 150 falls into my lap or something lol. All jokes aside I am very happy with this tank size wise. I am getting happier with how it looks as bits and pieces come together. And corals.
Go try to win that noopsyche. It ends today.
 
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I got the rock tonight. I got a couple big rocks and several small ones. It's about 10 lbs worth of rock give or take. The new chaeto is chock full of pods. As for the grow light experiment is concerned I am going to run it tomorrow. In the approximately 3 hours I ran the light the candy cane coral actually opened a bit. Not all of the polyps opened but most did. My wife feels like I should build a canopy and run both of the lights in the DT. I need to see how things go tomorrow as far as the corals are concerned.

I want to make sure the red light won't have a bad effect on the corals, fish, and everything else that keeps the reef thriving.

Assuming the corals continue to look good I'll use them. Any algae that would form will get eaten by pods of all kinds, the Mexican turbo snail and limpets, as well as the fish and perhaps the bristle worms.

I will start building the canopy within a few days. Since the Viparspectra reef lights are about the same size as the grow lights and mount the same way; I'll use the grow lights as my template while building the canopy.

I will probably leave the 1 grow light for the sump where it is. I need to get that chaeto growing like it was before the move. Of course if I were to win the Noopsyche light I'd build the canopy a bit differently.
 
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