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

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SkiCatTX

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THe Invert QT is doing well, they've almost consumed all the macro algae already. Only a few weeks left.

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SkiCatTX

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Recently, the Trident has been acting up. The combined Alk/Mag/Ca tests are reading about 0.25dKH lower than the Alk-only tests. Since it alternates between the two every other test period, that results in a very bumpy Alk graph. It also makes it difficult to maintain a constant value, which right now I'm shooting for 9. The last few tests in the image are squirrelly, first because the reagents ran out and it missed a test, then I've been running extra tests while I mess with it.

A second issue, as shown in the graph is the runaway Alk values. I have almost stopped the 2-part dosing and the Alk is still rising, so not sure what's up there either. In fact, all the values are pretty high. Note the last test here was a Alk-only, so the likely actual value is about 9.3, not 9.56, but it's still higher than I'm targeting.

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I contacted Neptune support last week, but it's not been particularly helpful. First, they asked for management access then wanted me to save out some files locally to send to them. The first time they said the files did not contain what they wanted so I needed to reboot the Trident and send them again. Also, they wanted a 20-minute video of the front of the unit showing the test running. I made a video, uploaded it, and sent an email. The next day they responded, please send the video, to which I responded...did you not see the link in the first email? Here it is again.

So, after 4 days of back and forth, we haven't even successfully analyzed the problem, let alone suggest any fixes...

What a waste of time...

This morning I'm running the calibration for the new reagents I changed out over the weekend. Also, I ran a Hanna Alk test, which aligns with the lower of the two Alk results from the Trident.
 
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SkiCatTX

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Finally got the lids and they look great. I really couldn't find anything to complain about. If I get super picky, the little door sections don't have quite the smooth polish, so they were a bit sharp around the edges...the part that you have to grab to open them, but otherwise I'm very happy with them.

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I tried them on for size before removing the brown paper.

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I was a little concerned when I saw this hole in the side, but it doesn't seem to have damaged anything.

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Feeding Door

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Final. When looking level with the top, you hardly notice the top is on. A couple times already I have banged into it with something forgetting it was there.

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Aaannd, now that all the fish are in the tank, there is a bit of grandstanding to determine who is going to be in charge! I had to pull out the magic anti-fish-fighting tiles!

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One of these on each end of the tank, secured with a magnet, and within seconds they were all completely distracted by their own reflections to notice each other.

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Eventually, even the lawnmower blenny got in on the action. They all four spent the entire day swimming back and forth to the two mirrors to show off for those imaginary fish.

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Billldg

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We have a tang in the tank!

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After a couple of days in the acclimation box, there were no obvious signs of issues, so I let him go. He immediately started pecking at the algae. He's also trying to be best buddies with the lawnmower blenny, who doesn't care one bit for him, so we'll see how that goes. The two of them are always eating the same algae patch...

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Purple tangs, GOTTA LOVE THEM!!! I made a mistake when I sold mine.:(
 
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Purple tangs, GOTTA LOVE THEM!!! I made a mistake when I sold mine.:(
He's definitely a character! I originally thought he was being aggressive with the other fish, though I do think that was some of it, however, I now think it was also his tank-raised origins.

He probably grew up in a large school of other purple tangs in small grow-out tanks, so being the only one in a large 180 he was looking to school with anyone he could find. Those other fish of course want nothing to do with a large purple fish, so they flash back at him...

Interestingly, the rabbitfish is doing the same thing, so ultimately, all three of them tend to move around the tank in a ball from mirror to mirror, it's bizarre...Grover the lawnmower blenny just watches them from a perch on the rocks...
 
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I went to the LFS to get some AquaVitro SEED, since apparently, they don't allow that to be sold online...

It is my understanding that it contains a bunch of bacteria types that all the others don't, so I'll add some to my closed system to see how it does.

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I also got a few of the Reef Nutrition Tigger-Pods. I figure that's more variation as well, and better yet, they're almost 4x cheaper than the Algae Barn pods! And considerably larger too! They are clearly visible moving around in the bottle, and also in the tank. With the Algae Barn pods, I never see them again after they get in the tank.

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GoVols

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Purple tangs, GOTTA LOVE THEM!!! I made a mistake when I sold mine.:(
He's definitely a character!

Yeah,
They are cool. Our purple tang has been super kind to every new fish. As the guy has matured his yellow dots below and in front of his eyes, have grown to small yellow horns.

Ski,
Just tossing it on the table:
It may be worth 3D printing your own Trident Reagent Guides, to help keep your Trident's testing on track.

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Your reef looks amazing and those lids are off the hook.

If that is an iPhone 12 pro camera, sure would like to see some shots...;Snaphappy with it, even if you need to shoot thru an orange filter... ;Wideyed
 
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SkiCatTX

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Ski,
Just tossing it on the table:
It may be worth 3D printing your own Trident Reagent Guides, to help keep your Trident's testing on track.
huh, yeah, I made some and printed them back on page 16, based on your suggestion:

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lol! I get that you really like them! :)

Your reef looks amazing and those lids are off the hook.

If that is an iPhone 12 pro camera, sure would like to see some shots...;Snaphappy with it, even if you need to shoot thru an orange filter... ;Wideyed
Thanks, I like them. A pain to wait 11 weeks+ to get them, and they're not cheap, but worth it in the end.

These pics were taken with an iPhone XS Max, but my new phone should be here later this week.
 
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First oranges and grapefruit of the year!

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And the Rio Red are awesome, especially for juice!

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I try to run through about a gallon per week for the next couple of months, it's quite a bit of work, but worth it! First Mandarines, then Clementines, then Blood Oranges. Grapefruit can stay on the tree all the way from now through spring.
 
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After long deliberation, I have decided to do a fallow period and try to rid the tank of what appears to be a small amount of Ich. I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't, but I am now seeing an occasional brighter white dot on both the purple tang and the clownfish. It's just one or two, and only every few days, but it's enough to concern me. I think I can keep it under control with the UV and healthy tank, but if I'm ever going to get rid of it, it should be now before I get more fish.

What finally convinced me was the research that @Humblefish pointed out recently about shorter fallow periods with higher temperatures. It appears to support the hypothesis that higher temperatures increase the reproduction rate of Ich, such that at 80.6'F, it goes down to 6 weeks, and 86'F it's as short as 2 weeks. I figure I can hit 82'F safely and shoot for 5-6 weeks, while treating the fish separately. I'll be running UV at the same time, hopefully, that will help.

I have set up the 17g QT tank, and I'll get out my 10g, and try to catch all 4 fish...assuming I can catch them. With the fish trap, I'm hopeful I can get the clownfish with mysis or flake food, and the others with nori or pellets...

I may also take this opportunity to put the inverts in the tank early, and possibly order some more to add to the tank to deal with the algae.
 

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After long deliberation, I have decided to do a fallow period and try to rid the tank of what appears to be a small amount of Ich. I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't, but I am now seeing an occasional brighter white dot on both the purple tang and the clownfish. It's just one or two, and only every few days, but it's enough to concern me. I think I can keep it under control with the UV and healthy tank, but if I'm ever going to get rid of it, it should be now before I get more fish.

What finally convinced me was the research that @Humblefish pointed out recently about shorter fallow periods with higher temperatures. It appears to support the hypothesis that higher temperatures increase the reproduction rate of Ich, such that at 80.6'F, it goes down to 6 weeks, and 86'F it's as short as 2 weeks. I figure I can hit 82'F safely and shoot for 5-6 weeks, while treating the fish separately. I'll be running UV at the same time, hopefully, that will help.

I have set up the 17g QT tank, and I'll get out my 10g, and try to catch all 4 fish...assuming I can catch them. With the fish trap, I'm hopeful I can get the clownfish with mysis or flake food, and the others with nori or pellets...

I may also take this opportunity to put the inverts in the tank early, and possibly order some more to add to the tank to deal with the algae.
Oh man, now it’s your turn. I’m just finishing my fallow period. I was going to go with 6 weeks at 80.6+, but things were going well in my holding tank, so I pushed it to 8 weeks, which happens to be today. I’m a bit nervous but will probably start putting fish back tomorrow. Good luck with this period. It’s the second time I’ve gone fallow in 5 years and I’ve learned a lot each time.
 
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I was able to catch 3 of 4 last night. It wasn't quick, but didn't take too long. I used an acclimation box with the lid detached and encouraged them to slowly enter it, then put the lid side on and raised them into a bucket. They aren't happy, but hopefully they'll be better without Ich spots in the future...

The hard part will be catching the lawnmower blenny...He does like nori, so he might go into the fish trap, but likely I'll have to chase him for hours...
 
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All 4 fish are in QT and ramping up Copper Power. I started moving the CuC over to the display. I'll raise the tank temp a few tenths of a degree each day to about 82' average.

I also placed an order with Mike at quarantinedfish.us for a large assortment of snails. He does full 76 day QT on all inverts before sending them, so that should cut the observation time to get more in the tank. I have about 50 or so mostly sand-dwelling snails and conchs, so could use a few more given all this algae and no fish for a while.
 
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Oh, and get this...My mom came over and looked at the tank today. The first thing she says is that I need to get an ocean picture to put in the back of the tank because the white background is too plain and boring...lol.

I almost told her she's no longer allowed to look at my ugly fish tank...
 

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