Perseverance Reef

tbrown

Nominated Cronie Intern - Might be failing?
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
47,029
Reaction score
94,763
Location
Peoria, AZ
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
So after further review of my fish tank.... As mentioned by @Goaway , shading of the coralline may not be necessary. The majority of my coralline grows on the glass immediately below the surface at the areas the lights hit the hardest.
IMG_20230504_122024929.jpg
IMG_20230504_122046228.jpg
IMG_20230504_122029500.jpg
IMG_20230504_122034655.jpg

Interestingly enough, the shadows from my light mount have 0 coralline growth. I do have some growth on a few of the racks on the sand bed as well so it obviously doesn't require high light levels but it sure appears to dislike shade, at least in my tank.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So after further review of my fish tank.... As mentioned by @Goaway , shading of the coralline may not be necessary. The majority of my coralline grows on the glass immediately below the surface at the areas the lights hit the hardest.
IMG_20230504_122024929.jpg
IMG_20230504_122046228.jpg
IMG_20230504_122029500.jpg
IMG_20230504_122034655.jpg

Interestingly enough, the shadows from my light mount have 0 coralline growth. I do have some growth on a few of the racks on the sand bed as well so it obviously doesn't require high light levels but it sure appears to dislike shade, at least in my tank.
As it turns out I didn’t end up really shading it. I think that as high as my phosphates got; that that might have been what was causing the coralline to bleach instead of the light intensity. Not being able to keep nitrates much above zero doesn’t help either. You can see where the bulk of my coralline covered rocks are. They’re front and center. There’s a pinkish red haze on some of that rock and not cyano.

I’m hoping that the new rock shuts down the cyano machine but that’s another story. Now that the water is this clear I’m going to make sure it stays that way by stepping up my water changes among other things.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I love how great the display looks. It’s not just the rock work. The water clarity is astounding. The fish and corals all look happy and vibrant.

F9E95A35-0D7F-43EA-8FD7-B473CBBE389A.jpeg


0FB54CE3-316A-4C0D-8D78-2546FB7E1FDE.jpeg


Now it’s time to start working on the sand. I’m going to take it outside and open the bin here in a couple hours. I don’t want the smell of sulfur in our apartment. It’s been closed up since I brought it home so I expect it’ll stink.

I’m going to empty the two bins I cured them rocks in and rinse them out really well. After that I’ll set one bin up to start. I’ve got to get the food storage container, fill it with sand, and I’ll wait a few hours. I’ll test the water and see how high the phosphates are. If I like what I see I’ll set up the other two bins.

Unless it’s apparent that the sand is holding 50 ppm of phosphate or more, then I’ll cure it. There’s a lot of good sand in there. Other than the phosphates it’s loaded with (nitrates too but my soft corals will make quick work of those) the sand is clean as a whistle. I’ve got at least 5 gallons of sand in there, and maybe 10. At first I thought it was just a single 5 gallon bucket worth but when I combined all the sand into one bin the sand reached halfway up the bin almost. I think these are 20 gallon totes but I’ll double check soon.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Around 5:30 pm I mixed 12 gallons of saltwater for my sand experiment. In the food storage container I added 5 cups of sand and placed the container into the bin with the water. At about 10:30 pm I tested it. I got 170 ppb phosphorus or 0.521 ppm of phosphates.

After crunching the numbers, if I took all the sand and put it in a 120 gallon water volume I’d have 1.667 ppm worth of phosphates. This assumes I have exactly 10 gallons of sand altogether (not counting the sand already in my system). I’m thinking I have 7 or 8 gallons but even if I only had 7 gallons that would mean I’d end up with 2.38 ppm of phosphates in a 120 gallon water volume. That would match the amount that was in the rock.

In order to make absolutely sure the sand is as clean as I can I’ll be I’ll rinse the sand really well in small increments. That should remove excess nitrates as well as particulate matter from the sand.

I just saw that PetSmart has a 40 lb bag for $41. I don’t remember if that’s 5 gallons or not; but what I do know is that it’ll be worth curing since it’ll likely cost me half that amount to cure this sand vs buying new.

I dosed 30 ml of LaCl to the bin with the container of sand in it right after getting the results. I don’t expect there to be any detectable phosphates when I test the water this afternoon. At that point I’ll make new water for the other bin and get it up and running. Then it’ll be time to divvy up the sand. If I have another heater I’ll use three bins to cure the sand.

I’m going to get my system water tested at the LFS this week. I want to make sure that nitrates aren’t out of hand. I did run a phosphorus test on my system and I got 7 ppb which translates to 0.021 ppm.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Now that my water is as clear as it is I’m going to do everything I can within reason to keep it that way. I found this article again today about keeping water clarity.

www.reef2reef.com

Extreme Water Clarity and Cyano Eradication, Made Easy!

Coral Snow Link: Coral Snow Hello all! I have been reefing now for about 25 years, and over those many years I have picked up many tips, tricks, and best habits/practices. From a hobbyist and even a coral vendors perspective, I have gained quite a bit of valuable information. Many of you...
www.reef2reef.com
www.reef2reef.com
I’m going to try this. The DIY flocculant can also help eradicate cyano. Of course I’d need to get some Micro Bacter 7 as well as the CACO3.


I have some red cyano growing on the sand near the Hawaiian feather duster. Thankfully it’s a small area. The green cyano is gone for the most part in the display. A little still remains mainly on the rocks that were originally in the display. Those rocks are the underpinning of my reef so it should die off in the coming days. I’m starting to get diatoms on the newly refreshed rock. They’re the beige kind and not the dark brown kind.

The sump however is a different story. I need to clean the green cyano off of the sides of the sump. It’s also time to clean the return pump.

The anemone and my corals are looking better each day. Even though I have a 6500k lamp I can see fluorescence, albeit weakly, in the nem and in the duncans. My other corals lack fluorescent pigments. Nonetheless they have great polyp extension.

My fish are loving life too. I stopped feeding my DIY frozen food for a week or so in order to try and eradicate the not so lovely green cyano. I made up for it in pellets though. I started feeding the frozen food again yesterday and they went nuts for it. I’ll feed enough for my hermits and shrimp so they get some sustenance too. I won’t feed as heavily as I had previously. I’ll make sure to feed slightly more than the fish will eat in order for my starfish, micro feather dusters, pods, spirorbids, sponges, etc to encourage them to spread to the new rock. I’m also hoping to find some gulf live rock in order to increase diversity.
 

tbrown

Nominated Cronie Intern - Might be failing?
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
47,029
Reaction score
94,763
Location
Peoria, AZ
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Around 5:30 pm I mixed 12 gallons of saltwater for my sand experiment. In the food storage container I added 5 cups of sand and placed the container into the bin with the water. At about 10:30 pm I tested it. I got 170 ppb phosphorus or 0.521 ppm of phosphates.

After crunching the numbers, if I took all the sand and put it in a 120 gallon water volume I’d have 1.667 ppm worth of phosphates. This assumes I have exactly 10 gallons of sand altogether (not counting the sand already in my system). I’m thinking I have 7 or 8 gallons but even if I only had 7 gallons that would mean I’d end up with 2.38 ppm of phosphates in a 120 gallon water volume. That would match the amount that was in the rock.

In order to make absolutely sure the sand is as clean as I can I’ll be I’ll rinse the sand really well in small increments. That should remove excess nitrates as well as particulate matter from the sand.

I just saw that PetSmart has a 40 lb bag for $41. I don’t remember if that’s 5 gallons or not; but what I do know is that it’ll be worth curing since it’ll likely cost me half that amount to cure this sand vs buying new.

I dosed 30 ml of LaCl to the bin with the container of sand in it right after getting the results. I don’t expect there to be any detectable phosphates when I test the water this afternoon. At that point I’ll make new water for the other bin and get it up and running. Then it’ll be time to divvy up the sand. If I have another heater I’ll use three bins to cure the sand.

I’m going to get my system water tested at the LFS this week. I want to make sure that nitrates aren’t out of hand. I did run a phosphorus test on my system and I got 7 ppb which translates to 0.021 ppm.
Petco sells a 20 lb bag of live sand on Amazon for $14 frequently. It's $25 right now.

 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Petco sells a 20 lb bag of live sand on Amazon for $14 frequently. It's $25 right now.

I know it. I’ve got about 60 lbs though and it’ll cost me about $20 worth of LaCl if my calculations are correct and I believe them to be. If I find the water to still be at zero when I get home I’ll know my calculations are correct. If there are still detectable phosphates it’ll be a different conversation lol.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
After testing the water again I got 176 ppb of phosphorus, or 0.54 ppm of phosphates. That was approximately 18 hours after the first dose.

176 ppb + 170 ppb of phosphorus = 346 ppb worth of phosphorus.

346 ppb of phosphorus = 1.038 ppm of phosphates in a 12 gallon water volume.

I just added another 30ml of LaCl so hopefully that gets the sand to zero PO4.

Since I have 40 oz of sand in there and I’ve dosed 60 ml thus far I have a bad feeling about the sand. I calculated that I’d need 40 doses of 30 ml each.

I didn’t rinse the sand before starting the experiment. I only drained it so particles of waste, detritus, etc could be causing part of the problem. I’ll redo the experiment just to make sure I didn’t get scoops of the dirtiest sand. If the next sample tests similarly to the batch I’m working with now then yes the sand will go to the dump. I’ll reevaluate in a few hours.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I decided to wait until morning just in case there’s still more. I don’t mind spending a little extra time on something like this if it provides a savings. In this situation though, unfortunately, I’m not feeling as optimistic as I was last night that there will be a savings with this sand but I’ll test the water anyway. If I get any reading that’s not zero then I’ll just dig out the rubble and any shells the hermits can use and just cure those. I know there were some decent sized rubble pieces in there.
If I get a zero reading I’ll remove the cured sand and try adding only a cup worth of sand to the container like I did previously. This time I’ll put the cup worth of sand in a jar of water first and shake it for all I’m worth and then pour off the old water and add new. When the water stays clean even after shaking the sand in it I’ll repeat the experiment.

So far the display still looks awesome. Diatoms are taking over the world but I’d rather have them by far than any nuisance algae any day. I know many consider diatoms to be a nuisance but pods, snails, hermits, etc eat diatoms. The diatoms also overgrow the cyano and choke it off. If my rock can’t be covered in coral or coralline I’d rather have the diatoms.

I target fed the nem tonight. It ate what I gave it fairly quickly. Of course it bubbled right up like it does. I also broadcast fed the display. This time the hermits got some too.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
24 hours after the last dose of LaCl I tested the water and this time I got 130 ppb phosphorus which translates to 0.39 ppm of phosphates in 12 gallons of water, or 0.039 ppm of phosphates in 120 gallons. That’s close enough to zero for me at this point.

Later on I’ll prepare a cup of sand and put it in the container, after taking the sand currently in it out of it of course. I’ll put the container in the water then dose 15 ml instead of 30. Then I’ll test the water in the morning.

As for the sand currently in the container, since it’s cured I’ll put it in my system. 5 cups may not sound like much but it’s enough to cover one quarter of my DT with 1 inch of sand.

I’m starting to see some green coming in on the new rock. It’s growing slowly, looking like a coat of lime green paint more than anything at this point. I dosed the system with 10 ml, which is enough to bring phosphates down by 0.3 ppm.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I removed the 5 cups of sand from the bin and rinsed it like crazy to get the LaPO4 out of it. The sand looks a bit cleaner. I’m also letting it soak in a bucket of water tonight. Tomorrow I’ll pour it into the DT.

I started wondering if a little muriatic acid bath would do to the sand. Would it survive? Could that be enough to erode those phosphates and make curing the sand worth it? Honestly though I don’t want to go down that road as much as I like a good science

Right now I have the 1 cup in the container which is now in the water. I rinsed the tar out of it before putting everything back into the water. It shouldn’t take much for the sand to release its phosphates. Then I’ll know just how bad it really is.

At this point I’m viewing this as an experiment. I’m not wasting anymore phosphat-e on this nor will I waste reagents on it. Now the rubble that’s buried in the sand is another story. I want to save it if possible. I want to make a little crushed coral with the smaller pieces. I’ll use the larger pieces to mount coral frags.

Tomorrow I need to get the sump cleaned out. I need to take care of my chaeto. It floats to the surface and the top dries out and turns white. It’s done this a few times.

I’m going to cut some PVC pipe and push it through what’s left of my chaeto. That should weigh it down enough to keep it from floating to the surface but not weigh the floating basket down so much that it sinks to the bottom, which would be right on top of the xenia.

I fed some frozen about half an hour before lights out. My fish were on it. So we’re the hermits.

My Kenya Tree looks really good. It has a bushy look to it and has a healthy brown color to it. My cabbage leather looks great with awesome PE. My duncans are looking great. My GSP are getting a little longer again and fluoresce quite nicely, perhaps even more than the nem which has an amazing copper color to it. The two mushrooms are doing really well. They’re expanding more than they have in quite some time. They’re not shaded like they were before I added the newly cured rock either. Even the xenia are doing well under my Viparspectra 300w grow lights (165 real watts).

The lamp I have must have quite a bit of blue because I can see the fluorescence of my fluorescent corals and anemone even though it’s muted compared to 20000k lights. But compared to any lamp 10K or less I’ve ever seen in anyone’s systems the fluorescence with this lamp is insane! Nonetheless I’ll get either a 14000k or 20000k lamp when I get paid. I probably will start with a 20000k lamp and decide if I like that first then get a 14000k lamp but I might start with a 14000k. I need to see more pictures of tanks lit by lamps of both spectra.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I’ve started the major sump cleaning. I got the front and sides of the sump cleaned up. I’ll get the back once I take the heaters and return pump out for cleaning. The water is as cloudy as can be. The sump will, hopefully soon, be cyano free. Any phosphates now in the water in the sump will be gone too.

This is a great way I think to do a weekly or even biweekly water change, at least in my system. My sump is 30 gallons so that’s a 25% water change. Changing the water this way will hopefully keep cyano away and tilt the scales towards my chaeto being the dominant algae, at least until coralline takes over.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I cleaned the sump and changed the water in the sump. It’s looking much better now.

B35DA84C-4D23-4D1E-9239-40818E214A23.jpeg


The basket towards the right has my chaeto in it. I still haven’t weighed down the chaeto. It’s not as bad off as it looked like but I still want to weigh it down so it can’t dry out. I have it in the basket because it always gets into the return pump. At some point I might break down and get a sump kit but right now it’s working well this way. The chaeto is doing ok all things considered and the xenia is too.

I took apart and cleaned out the return pump while I was at it. It needed it desperately. The 5 cups of sand were added to the system tonight. I also blew a bunch of crud off of the rocks in the DT; including the sand grains that invariably fell on them.

I finally feel like I’m gaining the upper hand with my system. The cyano is getting edged out little by little. Taking its fuel away and being all over it when it tries to grow is a big help.

I never tested the cup of sand and I probably won’t. I need to dig out the rubble and cure it today and I need to toss the sand. The bins need to go soon. They’ve been in the living room since the rocks got here.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
This is how things look in the ol’ display. First up is the view from my seat.

C26AEA0E-6F52-4523-8653-3E0CE4BE4E6A.jpeg


This is the view from the front.

69265329-8E3F-4443-9AD8-E9BC475EF9A3.jpeg


This is the clearest my water has been in ages. There’s still some sludge in the bottom of sump but I’ll get it out with the next water change. I just dosed another 5 ml of LaCl which will bring my phosphates down by 0.16 ppm.

I’m getting every potential source of PO4 under control. The sludge in the sump was insane. So was the cyano. The glass is much cleaner in the sump now. I’m also feeding decently but less than I was.

I also blew the junk off of the rocks in the DT. There are a couple of places where cyano is trying to get a foothold but I intend to get that taken care of. Until I get phosphates under control I’ll be dosing LaCl at the rate I’ve been dosing it lately.

I’m going to research GFO and see what I need to keep it from getting used up quickly. I know that, like LaCl, if GFO were to escape the reactor there can be issues. Unlike LaCl, which can suffocate fish if there’s too much free lanthanum in the water column; GFO, from the little research I’ve done, can kill corals. I have much more research to do on GFO.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I’m seriously considering adding a roller mat to my system. I found one I really like. It’s made by Bubble Magus. As crazy as it sounds I found a Bubble Magus roller mat for about $15 on Alibaba.

I’ve always questioned how legit Alibaba is, but if I find out that others have used them and had good experiences with them I’ll make the order.

Everything looks awesome today. I have to clean the glass in both sump and DT but other than that I’m good to go for now.
 

Goaway

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
15,764
Reaction score
53,332
Location
Illinios
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
I’m seriously considering adding a roller mat to my system. I found one I really like. It’s made by Bubble Magus. As crazy as it sounds I found a Bubble Magus roller mat for about $15 on Alibaba.

I’ve always questioned how legit Alibaba is, but if I find out that others have used them and had good experiences with them I’ll make the order.

Everything looks awesome today. I have to clean the glass in both sump and DT but other than that I’m good to go for now.
If it's true... I wonder who's train they jacked.
 

tbrown

Nominated Cronie Intern - Might be failing?
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
47,029
Reaction score
94,763
Location
Peoria, AZ
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
I’m seriously considering adding a roller mat to my system. I found one I really like. It’s made by Bubble Magus. As crazy as it sounds I found a Bubble Magus roller mat for about $15 on Alibaba.

I’ve always questioned how legit Alibaba is, but if I find out that others have used them and had good experiences with them I’ll make the order.

Everything looks awesome today. I have to clean the glass in both sump and DT but other than that I’m good to go for now.
Not sure... @Jedi1199 found a great deal on a sump and it never showed up. Not sure what website it was.
 
OP
OP
Fishy888

Fishy888

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
11,186
Location
Decatur, IL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Well don’t worry, I won’t be buying from them. I thought I read some bad things about them but I wasn’t sure. After reading their reviews it turns out that they have 4.5 out of 5 stars. I decided to read the negative reviews first. There were many. They were very similar, mostly that they ordered something and got something completely different and they didn’trefund their money or send them the right item.

I’d rather pay full price for one than buy from a company like Alibaba. I’m also going to look at skimmers, and not on Alibaba.
 

Reef twins: Have you ever had matching aquariums?

  • I currently have matching aquariums.

    Votes: 8 6.7%
  • I have had matching aquariums in the past.

    Votes: 9 7.5%
  • I have not had matching aquariums, but I plan to in the future.

    Votes: 5 4.2%
  • I have no interest in having matching aquariums.

    Votes: 94 78.3%
  • Other.

    Votes: 4 3.3%
Back
Top