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SkiCat's Dream Build: [Saving The] Planet 180 - The Making Of An Epic Aquacultured Mixed Reef

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SkiCatTX

SkiCatTX

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We are officially entering the ugly stage!

There is a definite film of brown and green algae starting to grow on the glass and sand, and the classic ORP and pH swings are starting. Until just a few days ago, the ORP and pH were kind of random...changing, but not following a clear pattern. You can see here that first, the pH starts with a small swing, then gets more pronounced over a few days. The ORP starts a bit later but is also following the opposite swing.

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This is clearly marking the transition in the cycle from primarily Ammonia and Nitrite consuming bacteria to primarily driven by Photosynthetic Algae. I'm sure most of that was introduced with the LPS corals that are in the tank now.
 
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I decided to try a CO2 Scrubber to get the pH up a bit more. I'll hook it up recycling the air from the skimmer cup, then back into the intake, with a T and valve to adjust the amount of outside air taken in as needed.

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I went with the IceCap Medium so that it fits right in front of the sump. Just one for now, but if it works I'll probably get another and connect them in serial. That way it will keep running when one is exhausted until I change out the media.

It is very solidly built, but I will likely cut the hang-on part off. It's glued in and kind of large, but since I'll just set it on the bottom, it is taking up valuable real estate in the stand.
 
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Installed the other 2 ATI T5s this week, so the order front to back is currently Coral Plus, Actinic, Blue Plus, and Coral Plus. For the first week I have the dimming set at 80% for all 4 bulbs. The 2 Radion G5 Blues are at all channels 100%.

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I reattached the doors this morning in order to measure the location for the door light magnets and figured I'd get a picture. They are primed, but not painted yet, and a little dirty from sitting in the garage all summer. This is a picture just as the LEDs were coming on, before the T5s.

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I then removed all the hinges, sanded, wiped, and dried them, so they're ready to paint this week!
 
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Pics of the day! First try with the new brown filter and +5 macro attachment.

This is a blue-green Stylo that I've had for like 20 years. Browned in QT and dipping, but just starting to get some color in the polyps.
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Candy Canes are getting brighter and puffing up, I wasn't sure there for a bit.
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And a bouquet of Rainbow BTAs. That's actually a group of like 4 of them all together. They're currently in jail in a glass jar, as I'm not sure I want to let them go in the tank. Once they're in there, it's difficult to get them back out. They have also browned out in QT, but it will take a few months to color them up to sell. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them...
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Mr BoJangles. He's hard to get in a good picture since he's always in the shadows. I'm going to need more light and a tripod for a longer exposure...
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I ordered a third XF350 to use as a swap for cleaning. This way I can swap one pump out at a time, clean the dirty one, let it dry, and store for the next swap. It is super easy with the cable extensions to the WaveEngine, it just plugs in right at the top corner of the tank.

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I also got some blades and a mop for the aquablade.
 

JoshH

Tank Status: Wet...ish, growing things....
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Tank is looking AMAZING!!!! and you're JUST about done. Great Idea keeping the spare gyre around, especially as from what I hear they can be finicky to clean so it would be nice to be able to have the time to take it apart and clean it properly.
 
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Tank is looking AMAZING!!!! and you're JUST about done. Great Idea keeping the spare gyre around, especially as from what I hear they can be finicky to clean so it would be nice to be able to have the time to take it apart and clean it properly.
Thanks. Yes, they are an absolute pain to clean.

I was also planning on getting an extra MP40 wet side, but they seem to be sold out EVERYWHERE...

Speaking of sold out, I wanted to buy a GHL Maxi Doser because of the larger tube size. If I want to feed refrigerated foods I'm worried the lumps will get stuck in a 2.1 doser. DOS is too loud, and I don't have any other brand controllers or dosers, so I don't want too many different kinds and app to deal with.

Anyone know if it's a temporary thing, or if there's something replacing it?
 
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CO2 scrubber is hooked up. Unfortunately, it isn't making a large difference so far. Hopefully, this will improve, or maybe there's a problem with the configuration. It could be that the surface area on the top of the tank is getting too much CO2, and the skimmer just isn't exchanging enough to counter that...

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I have the intake connected to the skimmer cup. It's already wet inside the intake tube and some water is forming in the bottom of the canister, so I know air is going in, and that it's wet, so that should be a good thing. I have a valve on the intake to allow a mix of outside air, but that is only needed if the pH is too high, but that is certainly not a problem so far.

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In order to raise the level of the Radions inside the DX-18 fixture, I bought some #3 1" stainless steel machine screws and these plastic spacers.

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This raises them so that they don't shine in my eyes when I'm at my desk. I still get a bit of the last T5 though, so I'll have to see what can be done about that. Maybe I should have mounted the fixture a bit lower...

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I am sad to say that we lost Pumpkin this week. ;(

While she and Storm appeared to get along for the last week or so, they renewed their fighting in the last few days resulting in excessive bruising and biting. I guess it was just too much. We're really bummed...if she would have just stayed on her side of the egg crate (or if I had used another barrier or netting) she may have been fine...at least until they were in the tank. Hopefully then there would have been enough room for the two of them to get along, or at least hide and ignore each other...

First Anemone
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Favorite Anemone
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Crazy Rainbow BTA under blues
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On a lighter note, I got another shipment of pods from Algae Barn.

This time I released one bottle in the sand and one in the sump. It was amazing to see them head out, they were all gone in just a few seconds...hopefully into the sand...

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I have temporarily given up hope of getting a GHL Maxi doser any time soon, so I went ahead and bought another 2.1 four head doser. I may still get one at some point, and then move this one to a coral QT tank or something.

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Without fish, I'm having trouble keeping any Nitrate and Phospate in the tank, and dosing once or twice per day is not only a pain, it's not often enough. I'd prefer to dose continuously to maintain a constant amount, rather than dosing a lot all at once, then letting it go back to 0 overnight.

So that means dosing Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Phospate for now, then I might also dose phyto or aminos as well since I have the heads.
 
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I got the new doser set up and configured as a slave to the other one. I still need to calibrate and set amounts, but it's ready to go.

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I decided to go with the tried and true Voss glass bottles as dosing containers and printed two modified Trident reagent holders to hold the acrylic rods centered. It works great.

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How often do you have some type of algae issue?

  • Constantly Something

    Votes: 241 42.7%
  • Every Month

    Votes: 32 5.7%
  • Every Few Months

    Votes: 67 11.9%
  • A Few Times A Year

    Votes: 81 14.3%
  • Once A Year Or So

    Votes: 59 10.4%
  • Every Few years

    Votes: 29 5.1%
  • Never.....(are you lying?)

    Votes: 36 6.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 20 3.5%

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