Troy Vs 3 DTs

Discussion in 'Large Aquariums 180g - 399g' started by Troy V, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    The new system is already set up but I need a place to chronicle the adventure.

    Old system: Oceanic 240 (8x2x2)
    Setup Aug. 2004

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    Xenia Refugium


    In February of 2008 I added a Gigas clam. At that time it was around 8". But over the next 8 years it sucked up a lot of CA, Alk, and real estate. Now the problem: There is only 20" between the glass center braces, and the Gigas clam is around 30" when the mantle is extended. So It was time to either upgrade the system or risk the clam getting too large to remove without dismantling the tank.
    Picture of the center braces BC. (Before Clam)
    [​IMG]
    System Retired Aug. 2016

    My plan was to design a system around the Gigas that is large enough to handle its future needs as well as keep a variety of different fish and coral species that my last system wouldn't allow me keep. I've learned that clams are the Pringles chip of the ocean. A fish can't just take one bite. Cleaner shrimp, Cleaner wrasse, Lawn mower blennies, Blue fin damsels, Yellow tangs, Regal tangs, Scopas tang, and a Kole tang just to name a few.
     
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  2. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Location:
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    Display Tanks:
    2-36"x30"x25" Planet aquarium tanks. (ordered 4/15/2016) 1 tank-SPS dominant 1 tank-LPS, Softy

    2-36"x30"x42" (Heritage/Spanish Oak)Coastal Aquarium Stands and Roll-Back Canopies (ordered 4/15/2016)
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    1-60"x30"x31" Planet Aquarium -Gigas clam and mixed reef-
    1-60"x30"x36" (Heritage/Spanish Oak)Coastal Aquarium Stand
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    1-30"x12"x24" Freshwater reservoir

    1-30"x12"x24" Xenia refuge (future project)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  3. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Location:
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    Sump: 48"x18"x21"
    IMG_20160829_185658802.jpg

    Return pump: Sicce 5 for center tank and Current USA 1900gph DC pump for both outer tanks.

    Skimmer: Vertex 250
     
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  4. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    The move:

    The new system was going on the same wall as the old. So I set both smaller tanks (approx 240 total gallons)up in an adjacent room and began to cycle the system over the next month and a half in preparation for all of the coral and clam. But the new system was unable to handle the large bio load placed upon it, and coral began to die. Much of the death was a result of 3 hitchhiker snails that got stuck in the return which greatly restricted the flow to the sump and protein skimmer. Also within a couple of days the Xenia in the Xenia fuge melted away. It was an unstoppable chain reaction of death. I ended up losing the majority of my coral collection.
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  5. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Gigas removal and placement into new system:

     
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  6. alton

    alton Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Very nice! I have to ask did you ever weigh it?
     
  7. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    After I got the tank up and running it seemed like I had finally put the move behind me. But then the Gigas clam's health started to decline. I really thought it was a goner! Especially after it started to gape and its mantle was retracted during the day. I was watching this clam that has been with me for 9 years wither away. I turned the Hydra 52's down to 50% and started to feed phyto slowly.(which I know is controversial) Day by day I looking for small improvements. Then I saw a glimmer of hope, it reacted to stimulation. Which it hasn't done for some time. I was hopefully optimistic. But as the weeks went by I was noticing marked improvements, and after a month its mantle had recovered, and it started to clear itself again. Thank God! Now for the PO4 spike... The clam is basically a 120lb filter. Which consumes NO3 and PO4. the levels are hard to quantify, but I can tell you its very significant. While the clam was sick and not growing the PO4 levels spiked to .28! Which consequently effected my CA and Alk levels. They were way out of wack. 600 CA and 15 alk. SO I started dosing high capacity GFO at 1/4 the recommended amount. To make a long story short. It took 3 weeks for the levels to normalize at .02. I think I can say the move is finally behind me.
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    This is one of the first pics I have of the current system. I was using Reef Breeder Photon 48 to light the Gigas. Which is what was lighting it in the old 240. A month later I upgraded to 2 Hydra 52 HDs.
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    Also you can see the 2" PVC pipes between the tanks, linking them to a common sump. Because there is 14' of pipe that is resting on the foundation of the house. In the summer it keeps the system temp remarkably cool. Around 77-79 degrees. Not bad for South Texas it is by far the coolest running system I've ever had even with a 250 MH.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  8. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Hi Alton,
    I couldn't weigh it with a scale. So I measured its displacement by marking the sump when we put it in the smaller holding tank. It ended up displacing 14.5 gallons of water. That puts it well over 100lbs. In retrospect I wish I had a traditional scale to weight it so I can have an exact weight on video. Maybe one day I will do this with an engine hoist and scale over the aquarium.
     
  9. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    SPS Tank

    Lighting: 2- Hamilton Aruba Sun T-5 Fixtures. 1-16" SB Reef fixture.
    Dec. 28 2016
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    Dec. 15 2017
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    In December I removed the 16"SB Reef fixture, and went with a 150 watt MH. In the 2 weeks since I changed lighting I can already see the difference.
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  10. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Location:
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    Center Tank:
    Nov. 26 2016
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    Aug. 2017
    Added wood trim to cover eurobrace.
    Before:
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    After:
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    Oct. 1 2017
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  11. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2019

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    This is so cool!!!
     
  12. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    LPS/Softy Tank

    Lighting: 2- Hamilton Aruba Sun T5 Pendants

    Nov. 26 2016
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    Aug. 14 2017
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    Oct. 1 2017

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  13. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Full System Pictures:

    Nov. 19 2016
    IMG_20161119_123835121.jpg

    March 5 2017
    Added Hydra 52 HDs and added new (waterproof)pad and carpet to hide plumbing.
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    July 23 2017
    Added 250 watt MH for better coverage.
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    Nov. 12 2017

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  14. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Jan. 7 2017 Update:.
    I am struggling to get my NO3 levels above 0, and the PO4 is at .02 which in 2 weeks is down from .05 without the addition of GFO. Also the skimmer is on, but not pulling much of anything. I haven't cleaned it in over a month. I am dosing 40mls of Red Sea Reef Energy B and 20ml Kent Coral Accel every day. The coral in the SPS tank are lacking the POP they once had. I think the clam has a lot to do with this. On my old system I would feed 3 times a day with 2 feeders, to keep my SPS looking good. I might start weening my tank on to this regiment again. We will see how it goes. The system is only a year and a half old so it is still relatively new, and not fully mature. However the LPS/Softy tank as well as the Clam tank are really rock'n and roll'n. In the past for me the SPS are the last to take off. I might be expecting too much.

    I used Eheim Feeders to broadcast feed the coral on my prior system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  15. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Jan. 7 2018
    Pics:
    21240.jpeg 21248.jpeg 21244.jpeg 21250.jpeg 21252.jpeg 21246.jpeg 21242.jpeg 21254.jpeg 21256.jpeg 21238.jpeg
     
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  16. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    More room for growth.

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    Favia daughter colony growth progress
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    Jack O Lantern/Porites skeleton encrustation
    Nov.26 2016
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    Jan. 7 2018
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    Feb. 3 2018
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    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  17. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    KNO3 Dosing:

    I have notice that my SPS haven't developed the "POP" they used to have on my old system. That system was so mature it had a lot of excesses in terms of nutrients and PO4. I would need to periodically use GFO to bring the PO4 levels down from .06-.08 to > or = to .03. At its peak of SPS growth I was broadcast feeding the system 3 times a day from 2 different feeder, also I was running the tank skimmerless. With the new system and its design I am a little more apprehensive about taking the skimmer offline because I don't have another functioning exporter ie Xenia fuge, ATS, or even a mature fuge full of macro. So I will attempt a different approach that many have been successful with. But take it VERY slow.

    Beginning Water Chemistry:

    Salinity: 36ppt
    Calcium: 420 Salifert
    Alkalinity: 8.6 Salifert
    Phosphorus: 17 Hanna
    PO4: .05 Conversion
    NO3: Undetectable/Salifert- Undetectable/Red Sea

    KNO3 (Stump Remover):
    Stock Solution: 1 3/4 Teaspoons dissolved in 1 1/2 cups of water
    Add 1/2 cup of KNO3 water to 12 gallons in ATO. That brings the 12 gallons of ATO water to approx. 50ppm NO3
    With the tanks evaporation rate at around 2 gallons a day this time of year. I will be adding 2 gallons of 50ppm NO3 a day in a 500+ gallon system.

    Results:

    1/16/18
    The first day I added 15ML of the stock solution directly to the tank to kick start the process.
    NO3 Undetectable/Salifert

    1/17/18
    NO3: Maybe .02 With just ATO water

    1/18/18
    NO3: Maybe .02 With just ATO water
    SPS starting to show a bit more color contrast. Not as faded.
    Added another 15ml at night of stock solution

    1/19/18
    NO3: .02 I can detect a color change on the test kit.
    Starting to notice green slime algae growth on sand of LPS/Softy tank only.

    1/20/18
    NO3: .02 again I can detect a definite color change on test kit.
    Phosphorus: 7 PO4 .02 That is down from .05. Without using GFO.
    ALK: 8.3
    CA: 390
    Certain SPS are really showing signs of improvement.
    Added another 20ml stock solution at night.

    1/21/18
    NO3: .05
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  18. Troy V

    Troy V Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Update:

    On February 4th I increased the concentration to 4 tsp per 20 gallons of freshwater in the ATO reservoir. That put the NO3 levels above 100ppm. So 2 gallons of freshwater with an NO3 level of 100+ ppm was added to the tank every day. Finally I now have 5ppm of NO3 in my system. The coral have responded very well to the change.
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  19. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Looking great! That clam is HUGE!!
     
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  20. justin.k.nelson

    justin.k.nelson Active Member

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    I"m glad that the NO3 is working for you man. Kudos on getting your dosage just right. I've had a hard time finding the right amount to keep the concentration at 5 ppm consistently. I have found that with all of my feedings, my NO3 have hovered around 4ppm for roughly 2 weeks before I noticed a decline to 1 yesterday when I did my test using Redsea's kit.

    The color change is impressive to say the least for you man.
     
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