• For a Limited Time the R2R Partner Membership is NOW OPEN! Get some cool swag and chances to win part of over $20,000 in prizes! Click here for more details

Reefer425XL Build - Time to start growing!

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
Hey All,

Here is my Reefer425XL. It been running since December 2017 and has had its ups and downs.

Hardware Breakdown:
  • Reefer 425XL
  • 2x AI hydra26 (attached lighting profile i have been using)
  • Eshops 160 Protein Skimmer
  • 2x maxspect xf230's
  • ~80lbs reef saver rock
  • 1"- 1.5" sand bed
  • Aqua UV Sterilizer
  • Apex Controller w/:
    • (2) DOS:
      • Water Change
      • Alk / Ca
    • Trident (havent had issues and pretty accurate when compared to Hanna checkers)
    • ATO
Corals:
  • 4x Ricordea's
  • Multiple Zoa's
  • GSP
  • Bonsai SPS
  • (2) Torches
  • And a couple others that I forget the names of, small SPS/LPS frags
Fish:
  • 2x Clowns
  • 1x Tomini Tang
  • 1x Sailfin Tang
  • 1x Yellow Wrasse
  • 1x Blue Flasher Wrasse (i believe thats the name)
  • 1x (male) pink Lyretail Anthia
  • 1x Black and Yellow Blennie
  • Handful of a CUC with snails and hermits
I might be missing a couple things, but thats the gist.

From my first Meet & Greet post back in September somethings have changed a little. I have slowly added some corals over the last couple months, and you can see ~3 are not doing so well. I am still a little dumbfounded as to why i cannot 'grow' corals. Only thing that seems to be 'thriving' is GSP (slowly tho), one of the Ricordea's, and a couple of the Zoa's. Everything else seems to be just sticking around or slowly dying out.

Params: (as of current tests @ 12pm EST)
  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Alk: 9.41 (little high, I shoot for 9, adjusted DOS slightly)
  • Ca: 441ppm
  • Mg: 1351ppm
  • Phosphate: .06ppm (ULR Checker)
  • Nitrate: ~8ppm
Tanks been going for awhile, and i just cant accomplish what i have been trying to do, and thats keep and grow corals. Thats my favorite part! I love my fish, but i want to stop killing corals. I know its not a comparison, but i used to have multiple live planted freshwater tanks that looked amazing, but i cannot seem to translate that success to saltwater.

So, if there is anyone out there with good advise :), please advise me, i am starting to lose my mind. Photo Jun 23, 12 41 20 PM.jpg Photo Jun 23, 12 42 45 PM.jpg Photo Jun 23, 12 42 49 PM.jpg Photo Jun 23, 12 42 53 PM.jpg Photo Jun 23, 12 43 08 PM.jpg Photo Jun 23, 12 43 43 PM.jpg
 

Attachments

Jgerm

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
337
Reaction score
588
Location
Houston
The parameters you show seem to all be healthy. How is your Apex graphs? Does anything change at night? Temp swings? I’m just trying to get as much info. Do you have a grounding probe?
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
The parameters you show seem to all be healthy. How is your Apex graphs? Does anything change at night? Temp swings? I’m just trying to get as much info. Do you have a grounding probe?
graphs are pretty consistent day by day. I would say the tiny swings I have are normal. PH will be 8.1 at night and hit 8.3 during the day. Alk/Ca are pretty constant, temp is spot on almost always may fluctuate 0.2-4 throughout the day. I keep it at 77.

as for grounding probe, haven’t heard of that. I have taken my multimeter to my tank before (very early on I had a bad heater, and got a little shock), but since replacing that heater ~2yrs ago I haven’t had any issues. I could check The voltage of the water again tomorrow though, couldn’t hurt. Is there a specific item that can create a grounding probe? Or is it simply a wire that you ground?

side note, it’s always good seeing other germ around. I know right now they are trying to wipe us out ;). Stay safe out there!
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
I am going to perform some extended testing. I ordered ICP Standard and Oragnics, plus ICP-Analysis tests. Once received, I am going to send out all the tests from the same batch of water. This would be like a second opinion, but without having to wait.

The goal is to determine is there is anything 'out of wack' that i currently cannot test for, or if my test kits / trident is 'off'.

Overkill or solid theory?
 

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
41,106
Reaction score
57,928
Looking good!
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
Got some results back from two different facilities, but lacking much data, which is a good think, but making me think its not the water. Again, these tests are of the same sample water, taken and shipped at the same time. Only difference is the testing facility.

According to Triton ICP, Iodine is "low" and Silicon is a little up there (i just replaced all my filter media and membranes for my RO/DI after these were sent). ICP-Analysis shows that everything is 'on par'.

Would be interested to hear what others might suggest, as corals are still just chillin', not growing, but not dying.

(also, i am still pending the Triton N-DOC test results)
 

Attachments

OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
Okay, just received the Organics results... Everything is in Green besides the TNb (Total Nitrogen).

And I just manually tested my NO3 and PO4:
  • NO3 = ~10 (Brand New RedSea Test, I would say its in between the 10 and 20 color, closer to 10 though)
  • PO4 = 0.03 (hanna LR checker)
There is a little patch of cyano in the low flow area, but not an outbreak.

Just want to throw this out there... i am not in anyway trying to chase numbers, just trying to figure out and understand why my corals are not growing after almost 3yrs. These tests look pretty much 'normal', there is nothing that stands out that says FIX ME :). I wouldnt think 10ish ppm of NO3 was a bad thing, drop knowledge if you think otherwise. I struggled for a long time just to see a consistent reading on NO3.

So, now i am onto looking at other ideas on why the corals are not growing. I am up for thoughts from the community :).
 

Attachments

Jgerm

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
337
Reaction score
588
Location
Houston
I mean i would would have liked to see something far off on the ICP tests but i dont. Kinda frustrating.
What is your light schedule?
Germs got to stick together so we can avoid getting wiped out! ;Smuggrin
 

Jgerm

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
337
Reaction score
588
Location
Houston
I mean Iodine is a little low, and aluminum is a little high but i have seen worse. take some close up pics of the corals where the tissue meets the skeleton if you can. Im grabbing for some kind of explanation here.....
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
We def gotta stick together, we only make it in numbers ;)

As for my lighting schedule, here is the high level:
  • Lights on @ 10am and all out @ 9pm.
schedule.PNG


highpoint.PNG


Lights are currently off, but i will try to add some pics of the corals later today.
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
okay, lights are on, and corals have had time to open. The below pics are with orange sunglasses "filtering" and iPhone.

The bonsai SPS looks to be slowly encrusting, but there is very little growth topside. All other corals just seem to be "surviving" not thriving. Also, you will notice that the majority of my zoas are closed, i am still dumbfounded on that one (but also dumb since i havent reached out on here about them).

I havent touched these photos at all, and i did notice a couple more spots of cyano while taking these. I will take care of that :).

image6.jpeg

image5.jpeg

image4.jpeg

image3.jpeg

image2.jpeg

image1.jpeg

image0.jpeg
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
So, i think i have been watching the corals too closely. I didnt look 'closely' at the tank for a week. My corals are definitely growing, especially when compared to the photos above.

Also, all cyano is gone, lowered RedSea AB+ dosing. Speaking of AB+, anyone have other thoughts on amino's? i know there are a ton of thread out there about this topic, but it seems like i lowered (cut by ~70%) from the recommended dose, and my corals started growing faster, and my cyano problem went away.

Current tank params:
Alk: 8.52
Ca: 443
Mg: 1312
Nitrates: 8-10ppm
Phos: 0.03
Salinity: 1.025
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
Okay, i think i found what could be causing part of the problem. My PAR meter came in, got the Apogee SQ-420. Overall PAR is pretty low for SPS. I have been seeing some growth, but coloration diminishes from when i receive them. I also changed my light settings and turned on acclimation.

Now my Hydra settings are: (prior to this change you could reduce about 30PAR from each reading)
UV: 100%
V: 100%
RY: 105%
B: 105%
G: 20%
R: 20%
CW: 25%

Here is the heat map without acclimation turned on:
PARmapping_2hydra26HDs.jpg


Now, i am in the market for new lights. I was thinking about adding 2 Orphek OR3 Blue Plus. From reading online, they seem to add about 50-100PAR, and i could turn up my whites on my hydras. I think this might get me to the ~350 area on the tops, which i think would be a good place to be. Yeah the colors of the SPS may change a little coming from a 400+ ENV, but they wouldn't look sad anymore.
 

Jgerm

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
337
Reaction score
588
Location
Houston
Okay, i think i found what could be causing part of the problem. My PAR meter came in, got the Apogee SQ-420. Overall PAR is pretty low for SPS. I have been seeing some growth, but coloration diminishes from when i receive them. I also changed my light settings and turned on acclimation.

Now my Hydra settings are: (prior to this change you could reduce about 30PAR from each reading)
UV: 100%
V: 100%
RY: 105%
B: 105%
G: 20%
R: 20%
CW: 25%

Here is the heat map without acclimation turned on:
PARmapping_2hydra26HDs.jpg


Now, i am in the market for new lights. I was thinking about adding 2 Orphek OR3 Blue Plus. From reading online, they seem to add about 50-100PAR, and i could turn up my whites on my hydras. I think this might get me to the ~350 area on the tops, which i think would be a good place to be. Yeah the colors of the SPS may change a little coming from a 400+ ENV, but they wouldn't look sad anymore.
Wow that is low. I would have thought you would be getting much more from the Hydras. How high above do you have them mounted? Curious since I have seen great PAR readings from those lights on other equally deep tanks.
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
Wow that is low. I would have thought you would be getting much more from the Hydras. How high above do you have them mounted? Curious since I have seen great PAR readings from those lights on other equally deep tanks.
From top of water to light output is 10", which is the default mounting height for the REEFER425.

I am currently building and printing some brackets to mount two Orphek Blue Plus OR3s. Once i get those mounted (probably this weekend), i will redo the mapping. I will also slowly ramp the OR3s (1hr per week, until i hit the set peak time)
 

Jgerm

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
337
Reaction score
588
Location
Houston
Tha
From top of water to light output is 10", which is the default mounting height for the REEFER425.

I am currently building and printing some brackets to mount two Orphek Blue Plus OR3s. Once i get those mounted (probably this weekend), i will redo the mapping. I will also slowly ramp the OR3s (1hr per week, until i hit the set peak time)
that should raise it a bit. Would like to see the bracket to are printing. I have thought about adding some Orphek LED bars as well.
 
OP
TheGerm

TheGerm

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
98
Reaction score
211
Location
Virginia
So every so often, I like to take a look at the tank at night, just to ensure I have pods running around and checkout the feeding response from the corals.

Tonight, I noticed some that I have not had the ‘pleasure’ of being in contact with.
I think I spotted my first ever aiptasia.

being my first time, and hearing all of the horror stories, and before I dive into the google-verse (or R2R search), any suggestions / tips to quickly get rid of this guy?

what’s weird, is it’s in the area of my tank that only has around 7PAR at max (very little light).

here’s a pic for you all to confirm (don’t mind all of the pineapple sponges)....

(might need to zoom in a tad)
FF5B2499-3A68-49C3-ABF9-EF0C2665286D.jpeg
 

How concerned are you about high phosphates in your tank?

  • VERY Concerned

    Votes: 91 21.7%
  • Somewhat Concerned

    Votes: 241 57.5%
  • NOT Concerned At All

    Votes: 83 19.8%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 4 1.0%

Online statistics

Members online
2,591
Guests online
5,484
Total visitors
8,075
Top Shelf Aquatics
Top