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Fishy888

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Within the next couple of days I want to buy some ammonia to dose in both bins of rock. Is it ok to buy any ammonia solution assuming there aren’t any other chemicals except ammonia and water?

I suspect that, having pulled out so much phosphate, the surfaces of the rock have dissolved; which is one of the reasons the surfaces look so clean now. I imagine that quite a bit of nitrifying bacteria died during all that.

Even if I hadn’t lost any good bacteria I still need to feed it since I haven’t fed either bin this whole time. I can only assume all the bacteria on the rock in the second bin, the one I had in only RO/DI water for a couple of days, died off.

Once both bins are cycled I’ll start seeding them with life. I have a rock in the sump that has some life in it. I believe it even has brittle stars in it. I’m going to test it for phosphates first though since I don’t want my nice clean rock to be full of phosphates again. Of course I need to keep SOME phosphates in the system but nothing like what came out of the rock in bin one, and likely will come out of bin two.
 
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I just tested bin number one. This time my phosphorus level was 39 ppb. That’s 0.12 ppb. I really want zero so that when I do add live rock from my system; it should give the zeroed out rock just enough phosphates to avoid dinos.

In the last six hours my phosphates have only risen by 0.04 ppm. I dosed two capfuls just to maintain things. I believe they’re 5 ml caps. I dosed another 30 ml to tank number two. Bin number two should be slightly more than halfway done now.

I’ve dosed a grand total of 197.5 plus two capfuls to bin number one and 150 ml to bin number two so far. The rock in bin number one may still be leaching slowly but it’s pretty much there. I have to wait until Wednesday to get my phosphorus reagents so I can’t test the rock until then. The way things look though I’m going to put a rock or two from my system in bin number one later today.
 
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The long awaited water change has begun.

image.jpg


It’s gonna be a large one. I’m taking a break for now. It’ll be nice to see it looking good again.

Sadly my nepthea detached while I was blowing the detritus et al off of the rocks in the DT. It could just be that it wants lower flow. It doesn’t look like it’s dead. Hopefully I don’t lose it.

In the first rock bin I just dosed… a gallon of water from the DT. I put a small rock from the DT in the bin as well. I expect phosphates to rise briefly in the first bin. I’m about to pull the one rock I have in the sump so I can get the life from that rock in to the rock of bin number one.

As far as dosing ammonia I decided to use tank water instead. It’s got plenty of stuff in it that should feed nitrifying bacteria of all kinds. I haven’t dosed either bin with LaCl yet. I’ll dose 10 ml in bin one since the rock from my tank has plenty of phosphates.

Speaking of phosphates it looks like I’ll get my phosphorus reagents on Wednesday.
 
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And what started as a simple water change became rearranging the room. Thusly…

3215355F-7172-472D-98E6-146ACB0F656E.jpeg


I like where it’s at now. The corner overflow faces, well, the corner. It has to move a few inches closer to the window though. The window faces north so direct sunlight won’t get to enter the tank.

I’m taking a quick break, then it’s time for new saltwater.
 

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And what started as a simple water change became rearranging the room. Thusly…

3215355F-7172-472D-98E6-146ACB0F656E.jpeg


I like where it’s at now. The corner overflow faces, well, the corner. It has to move a few inches closer to the window though. The window faces north so direct sunlight won’t get to enter the tank.

I’m taking a quick break, then it’s time for new saltwater.
That's not a water change, That's a regime change..
 
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That's not a water change, That's a regime change..
Maybe so but with the overflow facing the corner I get to view through two panes. I’m not moving it again though if I get my way.

If my stand was made of the crapboard that is particleboard it wouldn’t have survived the move before this one much less this one. Some commercial made stands are so badly made that you can feel the stand jiggling when you move them. Bob Vila I am not but thankfully my stand is built like a tank. There was probably 15 gallons left in the sump and another 10 or 15 in the DT when I moved it.
 
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Ok so the water change is done. It took me a while to fill it because I fell today so I did everything slow and steadily. Although I’m going to feel it tomorrow I didn’t hit my head so thank God for that!

So here’s what bin number one looks like as of about 30 minutes ago.

EDA7D846-BC72-4B71-8EF7-9033A73B0C63.jpeg


There are signs of life in there. Even though it doesn’t look it I scrubbed the rocks with the cyano on them. I dosed 30 ml of LaCl to both bins. So far though everything looks good. I have a xenia colony in bin one along with brittle stars, asterinas, and pods. So far so good. No casualties from the LaCl.

I know the rocks I put in bin number one have loads of phosphates. It’s my hope that I can decrease the amount of phosphates in all my rocks to a decent level. My goal is to get both bins to zero phosphates.

Once the rocks in both bins are at zero and not leeching out more phosphates I’ll start putting that rock in the DT. Some of the rocks might have to go to the sump but I’m not complaining.

I’m going to try and zero out a few other rocks from my system. I’ll leave some of the rock in the DT alone. The phosphates in the rocks and sand I leave in the display should get sucked into the rock with zero phosphates. After all the system needs some phosphates. Between 0.07 ppm and 0.1 ppm of phosphates is my goal.

Although I didn’t take any pictures it turns out I have several cryptic sponges. Hopefully they’ll survive in there. The sponges are about half the size of a dime. I didn’t want to cause them anymore distress than they already had from me moving the rocks around.
 
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I forgot to mention this but the rock in bin two must be pretty close to done. Coralline is coming back in spots where it was dead. It’s pink in color.

Several of the rocks have a decent amount of coralline. These rocks might well be what triggers big time coralline growth in my system. I’ll have to get some pictures later today. This is another reason I need to get my phosphates down.

I’m sorry to say that the nepthea is no longer alive. It developed necrosis. That said I’m pretty happy with how things are going.
 
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I think I caused a small ammonia spike because the water is slightly cloudy. I guess that’s to be expected considering that I stirred my not so deep sand bed last night while I did the water change. Even so the fishes and corals are doing well. The DT looks much better even though the water’s a bit cloudy.

The rocks in the DT are in there a bit haphazardly but when the new rocks are ready, and they might well be already, I’ll arrange all the rocks into their permanent positions.

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The anemone’s not amused but it’s out.

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Depending on how I’m feeling I’m going to scrub the rocks in both bins today. I might only be able to get one bin done. Once I get the rocks scrubbed in one bin the water gets changed. So far there’s life still in bin number one. That’s encouraging considering how bad off the rocks were when I got them. I won’t be dosing LaCl to bin one until I get my reagents tomorrow. Bin two however will get 30 ml today.
 
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The DT looks a little more clear tonight but it’s still hazy. It’ll likely clear out tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.

Bin two is looking good.

198C86E1-70FF-42F7-9854-931BFF9C44D8.jpeg


For the rest of the pictures I took of bin number two I turned off the circulation pump and the lights on the sump. The only light was from a nearby lamp. This piece of Tonga branch has the most coralline algae out of all the other rocks in both bins.

2B18019C-5DC2-486B-BB14-07EA6CBCE88F.jpeg


A lot of the growth has come back since I had it in RO/DI water. There’s also growth in places that were devoid of coralline even before I put these rocks in RO/DI water.

There are other rocks in bin two showing some nice coralline growth. Here’s one which not only has coralline but has a grayish black area that might be from anoxic bacteria, likely from when the rocks were all in the 75 gallon tank. It could also be a sponge due to its shape. Do any of you know what it might be? If not I may try to see if someone can ID this.

5BE7322B-0DAA-4A58-8B93-120DA6146C70.jpeg


Here are a couple more rock

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16DB8D10-33F3-4C0C-8051-40F532B1170D.jpeg


I dosed 30 ml of LaCl to the second bin tonight. The fact that coralline is coming back so quickly most likely means that conditions are fairly good in there; so I have to think I’m close to if not completely done with LaCl in bin two. If so I’ll keep things as is and wait for the rocks in bin one to be ready.

I’ve dosed 30 ml since putting the rocks from my system in bin one. When the rocks in both bins are done I’ll arrange the new rocks in my display. It’s likely that I’ll put the large xenia rocks in the sump depending on how much space I have left in the DT after the new rocks go in.
 
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Now that I got my reagents today I tested both bins. Keep in mind that I added about 10 lbs of rock from the DT to bin one. I haven’t dosed anything to bin one in -48 hours. Bin two got a dose last night but hasn’t ever had any rock from my system added to it.

The results are:

Bin one: 72 ppb of phosphorus/0.221 ppm of phosphates.

Bin two: 33 ppb of phosphorus/0.101 ppm of phosphates.

I have to make a choice here between…

1. adding the rock tonight and letting my system average out its phosphates and nitrates and treat any remaining phosphates after the “merger”

2. I hit both bins with another 30 ml each and retest tomorrow.

About one quarter of the rocks from my system are in bin one. That’s about one quarter of the mass of bin one though not of its volume.

If nothing else I think it’s safe to say that with the time elapsed since the last tthe rocks have all stopped leeching phosphates into the water.

The readings were taken in 10 gallons of water volume. In a system with 120 gallons of total water volume (probably 100 after I add the rocks) that 0.221 ppm would scatter out to 0.00184 ppm in a 120 gallon water volume and 0.00221 ppm in a 100 gallon water volume. That’s close enough to zero for me.

Typing out this build thread update has helped me decide what to do. I’ll blow any LaPO4 off the rocks and add the rocks to my system tonight.

Coralline should spread in my system once the rocks are permanently arranged. I just have to shade the pieces with the most coralline.

As for lighting I now know of two companies still making mh lamps in the typical values all the way up to 20000k. I’m thinking of going with 20000k. Radium’s they aren’t but both manufacturers have good reviews so I’m encouraged by that. Hopefully next month I’ll be able to get a 140000k or 20000k lamp. I also need to get my RO membrane replaced next month and to get a 32 gallon brute trash can for water changes so I can put my excess buckets in storage.
 

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Now that I got my reagents today I tested both bins. Keep in mind that I added about 10 lbs of rock from the DT to bin one. I haven’t dosed anything to bin one in -48 hours. Bin two got a dose last night but hasn’t ever had any rock from my system added to it.

The results are:

Bin one: 72 ppb of phosphorus/0.221 ppm of phosphates.

Bin two: 33 ppb of phosphorus/0.101 ppm of phosphates.

I have to make a choice here between…

1. adding the rock tonight and letting my system average out its phosphates and nitrates and treat any remaining phosphates after the “merger”

2. I hit both bins with another 30 ml each and retest tomorrow.

About one quarter of the rocks from my system are in bin one. That’s about one quarter of the mass of bin one though not of its volume.

If nothing else I think it’s safe to say that with the time elapsed since the last tthe rocks have all stopped leeching phosphates into the water.

The readings were taken in 10 gallons of water volume. In a system with 120 gallons of total water volume (probably 100 after I add the rocks) that 0.221 ppm would scatter out to 0.00184 ppm in a 120 gallon water volume and 0.00221 ppm in a 100 gallon water volume. That’s close enough to zero for me.

Typing out this build thread update has helped me decide what to do. I’ll blow any LaPO4 off the rocks and add the rocks to my system tonight.

Coralline should spread in my system once the rocks are permanently arranged. I just have to shade the pieces with the most coralline.

As for lighting I now know of two companies still making mh lamps in the typical values all the way up to 20000k. I’m thinking of going with 20000k. Radium’s they aren’t but both manufacturers have good reviews so I’m encouraged by that. Hopefully next month I’ll be able to get a 140000k or 20000k lamp. I also need to get my RO membrane replaced next month and to get a 32 gallon brute trash can for water changes so I can put my excess buckets in storage.
I would have put them in as well. I try to keep my phosphate around 0.1 anyway so adding rocks right where I want them to be wouldn't hurt the system.

What are your tank parameters? Still running around the 0.1 to 0.2?
 
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Why shade coraline?
Because I have a 400w 6500k metal halide so there’s a ton of PAR. They’re not in the dark shaded. They’re just somewhat shaded. I could have stated that better.
 
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I would have put them in as well. I try to keep my phosphate around 0.1 anyway so adding rocks right where I want them to be wouldn't hurt the system.

What are your tank parameters? Still running around the 0.1 to 0.2?
I’m actually trying for 0.07 to 0.1 ppm. I’ll certainly be there now. I’ll run a phosphorus test tomorrow morning hopefully.
 
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So after several hours of rock-ing and rolling (yes pun absolutely intended) I like what I see. Here’s the view from my seat.

A0C8AD71-C1D5-4753-A19D-D5565DC16953.jpeg


Here’s the view from the (new) front.

9DCE5F0C-20E4-4941-B60A-3352BE008749.jpeg


Even the nem likes its new position. You can see the nem out the above two pictures as well as the one below.

03590EA0-CCEC-4EF4-9FDE-BA52746BCE15.jpeg


You may notice something missing here. The xenia rocks, at least for tonight, are in the sump. I might bring the smaller colony back out of the sump and put it in the display tank. I love xenia but I don’t want them everywhere. In the sump it’s different. They’re not exactly going to climb the return line and hop on into the display. More than likely I’ll frag a few stalks. One stalk can go into the DT and any others I frag I’ll put on rubble pieces and give to new reefers. I still want an SPS dominated reef. I love the softies I have but I’ll be buying stony corals from now on. I’m also getting some clams at some point. If everything stabilizes well in July I hope to get either a birdsnest coral or a purple slimer.

That’s why I wanted a 400w metal halide fixture. I’m going to be changing my 6500k lamp for either a 14000k or a 20000k reef grow lamp. Catalina Aquarium in California sells them.
 
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I also want to say that all my fish are exploring the new environment and the corals seem good with their positions. The water conditions must have been good enough for everything to come out including the nem.

Well everything except the duncans. That tends to happen, so I’ve been told, when you accidentally put a rock on top of them. Thankfully my duncans weren’t buried all that long. Of course, since they were buried in sand under the rock they were closed. They appear to be fine though. They’ll come out in the morning I have little doubt. I’m going to mount the duncans on a rock before long. They started as two polyps last June or July. Now there are like 12 or so. Its got a lot of skeleton. It’s also heavy for its size. I’ll take it.

It took 10 days for the new to me rocks to leech out their phosphates. Using LaCl sped the curing process up considerably. If I just relied on water changes, It would have taken at least a month, even with two bins going, to cure them; not to mention the cost of the water changes I would have had to do.

Today I want to see how bad the sand is phosphate wise. I have an idea that I want to try. I’ve got a Rubbermaid food storage container that I want to fill with sand. I’ll place the container in one of the bins I cured the rocks in. Doing it that way will let me rig the container of sand so it can leech PO4 into the water in the bin but not get LaCl in it.

Since I have more LaCl than I expected, and if I find that it doesn’t take much LaCl to get rid of the phosphates in the container of sand, I’ll try to save it all. It’ll help a ton if I can use it because my system desperately needs more sand.

The sand has some crushed coral in it but not tons. There are some decent sized rubble pieces in it too. There’s about 40ish lbs of sand.

I’m assuming the sand has the same amount of PO4 as the rocks. The rocks weigh almost twice as much as the sand but sand has more surface area. I estimate that the rocks had approximately 20 ppm of phosphates so the sand likely has that amount too.

I’ll calculate the amount of phosphates removed from the rocks altogether from both bins later today. Getting an actual amount, rather than just an estimate, of PO4 removed from the rock; along with the result of doing the test on the container of sand; will give me a much better idea of how much LaCl it’ll take to do all of the sand. If it would cost me more in LaCl than buying 40 lbs of special grade sand then I’ll buy the special grade instead. If the sand only has 20ish ppm of phosphates then it’ll be well worth saving.
 
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Check out the anemone today.

9B95E7F6-9C89-4987-BD5A-B41858A90A3F.jpeg


The nem looks awesome. I also took some coral pictures too.

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Ok this guy needs some time to get used to things. I need to mount this piece since it’s shaped like a small tree branch. I need to semi-shade it as well.

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Here’s a picture of the xenia. I had the two rocks stacked on each other just before the lights went off for the night. Not long after taking this picture I moved the top rock down and to the center of the sump so both colonies get light.

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Even under grow lights these guys do well! Pretty cool. I figured they would. If they didn’t I’d have changed these lights out. Most coral wouldn’t be able to handle the red spectrum this light gives off but xenia don’t need tons of PAR to be happy although they grow much faster with more of the right kind of PAR. These particular grow lights also have a decent amount of blue spectrum as well.

Here’s my Halloween hermit. Now that I have all this rock I might get a second Halloween hermit.

CC4147CA-F276-4FCA-B0DB-93E4DA1BEB90.jpeg


Some diatoms are growing on the rocks now. They actually started growing in the bins but now they’re more noticeable. I also see more signs of coralline coming back to life on the rocks I just cured. On the Tonga branch rock you can see pink coralline and several prominent white areas where coralline was. The largest white area was like that when I got the rocks. I’m starting to notice a touch of green forming there that may or may not be coralline. Time will tell soon enough.

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