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Randy's Dream Methodology

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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What husbandry would I do in a dream tank? (some of this may look familiar as some was posted elsewhere in other threads)

In terms of water chemistry maintenance, I'd maintain calcium and alkalinity with limewater/kalkwasser (maybe pH limited to pH 8.55 or less to prevent overdose; probably on dosing timer rather than ATO) and a two part (if needed; maybe also pH limited to pH 8.55 or less). I'd like a continuous alk monitor, and if Mindstream or Seneye comes on line with reliable data, I'd monitor ammonia 24/7 and in different system locations (main tank, exit from refugium, etc.) for interests sake.

I would do substantial and repetitive ICP testing of the water to guide dosing and exporting.

There are some ions I would dose essentially independent of measurement because I don't think measurement is particularly useful for them (e.g., iron because it is typically below detection limits; silicate because it depletes so fast).

There are a bunch of ions that I do not consider important at the levels reefers typically have (e.g., lithium, maybe barium, I'd need to think through this list) and I would make no substantial effort to control those either by export or by dosing.

I would likely experiment on the tank over time to re-verify for myself that my longstanding opinions on certain chemicals are not particularly useful if dosed to maintain natural levels, despite the fact that many reefers do. If they showed a positive effect, I'd rethink dosing them. These include iodide and strontium. I'd certainly continue dosing them if they appeared useful to my system.

There are a whole bunch of biologically active trace elements that I'd likely measure and dose which I did not in the past, but which previously tested low in my system (e.g., molybdenum) and I'd likely dose these to roughly NSW levels. I might experiment on these in a variety of ways (e.g., allowing one to go undosed for a long time and then restart and see if anything apparently changed).

I'd probably do automatic water changes, but again, might also experiment on the amount, from none to a couple of percent a day.

As to other "methods", I'd likely do some or most of these that I partly copied from another post:
Ato
Temperature control (temp controller to kick on heaters or cooling system)
Skimmer (for aeration if nothing else)
Rodi unit with inline tds
Nutrient export (macroalgae, gfo, organic carbon dosing, GAC, maybe experiment with organic resins like Purigen)
Might try LED lights to save electricity, but I'm not yet convinced I'd like the look
 
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Newb73

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Time for a new tank.

I would be particularly interested in your trace element and dosing relevations.

The rest of my system i have modeled with various pieces of info from you, Paul and others.

Still think the use of sulfur nitrate reactors, ozone and UV are under rated though.

I also am not convinced AWC DAILY is needed.

With my travel i have started turning off the AWC when I am not home (4 to 10 days a month) and see zero difference between now and daily (saves a few bucks and wear tear on my Dosing heads). So far it seems like 1.4% qd = 1.4% 20 to 25 days a month.

LEDs.....get plenty of fixtures. I run 4x Kessils A360W and 3x Hydra 52s over a 6ft tank and it's nice. If i did it over i would grab one of the ready made T5 hybrid lamps and put 4x kessils in that....maybe.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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I’ve wondered about this. Now I’m going to read it. :)

Edit : I read it. I think I guessed right.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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There are a whole bunch of biologically active trace elements that I'd likely measure and dose which I did not in the past, but which previously tested low in my system (e.g., molybdenum) and I'd likely dose these to roughly NSW levels. I might experiment on these in a variety of ways (e.g., allowing one to go undosed for a long time and then restart and see if anything apparently changed).
Tropic Marine balling salts were the most fascinating. With the same alk cal and mag , corllaine took off. But only the pink. Several zoas also took on the ruddy magenta color.


Might try LED lights to save electricity, but I'm not yet convinced I'd like the look
I know a guy.....
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Randy, how much of this do you currently follow in your tank?
I took down my take a while ago after it was up for 20 years.

I used some of these things (limewater only, via ATO), iron and silicate dosing, 1% daily water changes with normal IO, but the biggest change would be testing and dosing of more minor and especially, trace elements.
 

HolisticBear

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I took down my take a while ago after it was up for 20 years.

I used some of these things (limewater only, via ATO), iron and silicate dosing, 1% daily water changes with normal IO, but the biggest change would be testing and dosing of more minor and especially, trace elements.
Ignoring setup costs, would you prefer to run a DT or a bunch of separate small tanks for dosing experiments?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Ignoring setup costs, would you prefer to run a DT or a bunch of separate small tanks for dosing experiments?
A long slow experiment on the display tank might better reflect a clear understanding of what the tank looks like in the absence of a particular element being dosed, and perhaps have more husbandry practices at work, than a quicker test in a specific test tank. But both can work if done well.
 

shred5

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I took down my take a while ago after it was up for 20 years.

I used some of these things (limewater only, via ATO), iron and silicate dosing, 1% daily water changes with normal IO, but the biggest change would be testing and dosing of more minor and especially, trace elements.
Why were you dosing silicate?
I have been doing it in my Caribbean reef for my sponges.
I stopped a while back but I am going to start up again...
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Why were you dosing silicate?
I have been doing it in my Caribbean reef for my sponges.
I stopped a while back but I am going to start up again...
To boost sponges, mostly, but also diatoms, and other creatures that used it (e.g., snails, presumably via the diatoms they may consume).
 
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HolisticBear

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Yes, that's one of the things I'd like to understand better. :)
I don't know all the reasons you shut down your last tank, but I'm pretty confident we could start a fund on this site to jump-start your new tank.

The information you add is invaluable and the community would learn a lot from your testing. Shall we start a GoFundMe page for your next reef ;)
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I don't know all the reasons you shut down your last tank, but I'm pretty confident we could start a fund on this site to jump-start your new tank.

The information you add is invaluable and the community would learn a lot from your testing. Shall we start a GoFundMe page for your next reef ;)
Thanks, but it wasn't primarily money. Here in my tank description thread was where I first was considerign taking it down:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/randys-tank-description.172508/page-4#post-2718359

from it in Feb 2016:

Some of the tank creatures are doing great, such as my favorite, the large blue S. gigantea which has a trio of spawning ocellaris clowns and an anemone crab sharing it.

But I lost some fish last time I was away, and I'm thinking of taking it down. It's also become overrun with vermitid snails, and without the fish I lost, it will likely soon be overrun with aiptasia and caulerpa (since the rabbit fish and the copperband butterfly were keeping them under control but are now gone).
 

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Aptisia x really does work. I'll treat aptisia, and 3 days treat again and then often don't need to tx again for up to a year.

Can't help on others. Never had much luck w copperbands (have tried twice) but rabbits are always easy and ive discovered a few wrasse really do control nudi, at the cost of shrimp though.
 
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