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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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Well, we did it. We have a tank birthday! I'm pretty certain this has been my first year old tank since switching to the seasoned side of the aquarium hobby, and its taught me a lot. I'm still learning new things all the time but I think I am starting to consider myself less of a beginner now and more an an intermediate hobbyist.

I'd like to share a few things this tank has taught me over the last year...

The first thing it has taught me is I dont know everything. I dont have all the answers, and that's ok. Sometimes you need to just take a step back and ask for help. Make sure you are getting help from people who are successful tho, there are lots with good intentions but lack the experience needed to actually help.

The second thing, is make sure to have a plan and stick to it. Plan out what your end goal is before you even buy a tank, or you'll wander lost forever.

I think the most important thing, is to slow down. Year old reef tanks aren't made overnight. They are called year old, for a reason. Stick to your plan, keep up with maintenance and understand that success comes with time, and patience.

Oh, and birthday FTS FTW! (window glare FTL, had to get a pic before work)

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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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So we did a water change yesterday. I'm way behind... skipped the last one, or two. So, I'm probably 3 months without. Lost the myagi tort a few weeks ago, now my tri color is starting to pale out along with the elk horn monti. They aren't dead so hopefully they recover. Odd thing is my canary in the past, the trumpet coral, looks fine.

I moved the evil shrimp underlord up to the display. All my fish are too big for him to harass, at least dangerously, and I felt like being able to see him. He's big, I guess that's to be expected for a two and a half year old coral shrimp.

I also took the shop vac to all the Figi mud from the refugium. Just two pieces of the Caribsea branch rock in there now with chaeto. I'm still looking for sources of contamination, as there shouldn't be any reason for losing corals by missing a water change. With the Figi mud coming over from the tank we do not speak its name, I suspect there may have been some metals that were slowly leaching out in very small amounts, building up over time. I'll run the refugium bare bottom for now. If I feel it needs mud again, I'll go collect some from the coast.
 
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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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We placed an order for some new supplies. We need T5 bulbs. These are a year old now(actually a little but older, but they tank was only up for a week before it cracked)... anyway, I've heard conflicting recommendations on when to replace T5s. I've heard every 6 months, some say 12, some say 18. I think BRS did a video that proved they last longer, but I believe that was simulated time and not actual, and in a cooled fixture.

Rambling... we got one coral plus, 2 blue plus and one actinic. I plan to run them in this order front to back, C+,B+,B+,A.

We also got the ATI Essentials Pro 2 part, since I sold the old Essentials 3 part and I'm low on the BRS 3 part. I never did figure out how I was going to mix up 10L of that stuff and then put it in dosing containers. We made sure to get ACTUAL DOSING CONTAINERS too. It's not the fancy Trigger containers I've wanted, but it'll hold 2L of liquid in 3 compartments and has a spot for a dosing pump to hook up to it.

The last thing, and probably the most important, is an ATI ICP test. I want to get to the bottom of this, miss a water change and lose a coral business. I'm hoping getting rid of the mud was the trick, but I want to check my water and see what's going on. Too many people out there are running extended water changes without losing something. I can figure this out and keep SPS, I know it.
 
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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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Been a busy week... wore slam out from night shift Monday and ended up sleeping all day. Doctors appt Tuesday, got fiber internet hooked up yesterday and I've been driving over and tank sitting for a friend of mine while they are on vacation.

I did get some new goodies in. The Marine Depot order made it in yesterday, as well as the Reef Breeders. My reagents from BRS may or may not make it by Monday of next week. Guess who I'm going to order ALL my aquarium supplies from for now on...(its not Bulk Reef Slow). I got the bulbs installed late last night and the RP-M pumps have been running in the tank for 24 hours now.

Not much data on the bulbs yet... they look ok but I've only turned them on briefly. They'll come on normally today and I'll see how the coals react. We have in order from front to back(or left to right in the pics below), Coral Plus, Blue Plus, Blue Plus, True Actinic. The tank is brighter to the eye, but the naked eye is horrible judge of how much light something actually is giving off. The Actinic bulbs look dimmer, but they have a very broad blue and UV spectrum. The FTS was taken last night with all lights on, no gel filter and just the 10,000K color adjustment on my S10+.

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The RP-M pumps are powerful, the control box has a learning curve tho. I'm still trying to decipher it. I think the Chinese instructions on Jebao pumps are easier to understand. The dirrections are in actual English, but very non descriptive, and the control box only has this tiny calculator screen to tell you what is going on. I have no idea which button controls the speed so I'm not sure how powerful they are, or aren't. That being said, they look nice and are quiet. I guess that's something?

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Best reef aquarium LED lighting
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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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Love the tank!! Your light setup is similar to mine. I have been wondering if I will be able to grow a few sps at the top of my tank.

How high does your intensity go??
Hey, I've switched T5 bulbs around since this picture. This was all ATI actinic bulbs last year when I first set the tank up, so the PAR may be even higher now. I changed the rock scape up a few times last year but is been the same since October. I don't have as many high spots, but more coral real estate now. I believe, the light is 6" from the water.

PAR map.jpg
 
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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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So, I've been away for a little while. Haven't posted an update. Lots of craziness happening over here.

We had a small tornado here on the 18th. No damage to me or my property other than a few limbs down in the yard. Lost a branch out of the top of a maple tree, and one of the last living parts of a tulip poplar, but the town got pretty shook up. LHOP(Lugoff House of Pizza) had it's roof ripped off, several traffic lights decided to pack up and leave, and a massive tree got tired and took out a good bit of the power grid in the town. Duke sent me a text saying over 700 houses were affected. Fun stuff. After a few hours, going to the next town over to get dinner, and once I actually saw the extent of the damage, I decided it would be best to get the generator. My mother bought it last year for Hurricane Florence, but it ended up staying in North Carolina and dumping a metric butt ton of rain on them. We never ended up needing it, so Mom just said it can stay in the garage and if anyone in the family needs it, it will be available. It was still new in the box when I went over to borrow it.

It isn't a little generator, it's a 6250 Watt rated unit. It ran 2 3ft tanks with return pumps, powerheads and skimmers, my nano, the inside refrigerator and a box fan, and was at 8-9% load. We were out of power for 9 hours total. The generator ran for 6, and barely used any gas. Tanks were fine, the house was at 78°F(storm cooled things off but near 100% humidity) and the tanks were right at 76°F.

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Needless to say, It's heavy for 2 people. Dad and I would have struggled to get it in the back of my lifted F250, and the girlfriend wouldn't have been able to help get it out once home. SO, we just loaded it on the lawnmower trailer. It has wheels so you can roll it pretty easily.

In the process of switching out hitches on my truck at 2300 in the dark using my phone as a flashlight, I smashed the carp out of the back glass, and the front had a pretty bad crack on it. I can only assume it happened when I lowered the tailgate while the phone was still sitting on the bumper. I was using it as a flashlight to get the old hitch out of the receiver, then went to get the other hitch out of the bed.

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I noticed it was cracked after everything was loaded and I got back in the truck to go home. It worked, kinda for that night... the screen was a little finicky about how you touched it, but i could operate it. The next day the top two thirds of the screen was dead. I could see everything, but I couldn't touch it. Finger print scanner is on the bottom of the screen on the S10, so I could unlock it, open an app or two, but that was it. It was bricked. I couldn't even do a wireless transfer if I got a new phone.

All my pictures... I had an idea. Ran to the laptop and got the USB cable. Plugged it in and unlocked the phone(fingerprint scanner was the only way to unlock it, half the pin keypad was unresponsive).

"Allow access to your device. The connected device will be able to able to access files on this phone"

WAS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN!!! I haven't been so happy about having a busted phone. I saved all 4 gigabites of pictures off my phone. Most of them reef pictures. I didn't bother with all the memes, too many and I can just steal/make new ones. lol...

I went thru the insurance company and they sent me out a new phone, after I paid the deductible of course. I got it last night after work and set it up. Turns out, my old phone isn't dead even after sitting on the counter for a week without charging. The sim card is removed(still hooked to wifi), but it backed up all my apps and information to the Samsung cloud. EVERYTHING(except pictues) transferred over. Apps, passwords, all of it. It's like I have my old phone back in my hand... 20190727_002056[1].jpg 20190727_002009[1].jpg
 
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Robin Haselden

Robin Haselden

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While I was phone-less we sent off an ATI ICP test. It's been a year and I've been having a few things off in the tank. Overall the tank is doing well, just struggling with some more sensitive acros. Results came back yesterday, and I just remembered to check again this morning. Everything looks pretty good, I have a few elements a little low, and one high. I'll list the low and high below...
ElementTestIdealDifference
Potassium (K)315.8ppm387.3ppm-71.48ppm
Iodine (I)27.79ppm61.7ppm-33.9ppm
Barium (Ba)2.26ppm9.49ppm-7.23ppm
Molybdenum (Mo)3.22ppm11.39ppm-8.17ppm
Manganese (Mn)0ppm0.95ppm-0.95ppm
Tin (Sn)6.27ppm0.47ppm+5.8ppm
So, the only ones I'll look into correcting are potassium, iodine and the tin.

TIN!!! Carp! Where did that come from, do I have something rusting in the tank? Look at other metals... iron, none.. nickel, ok... chromium, vanadium, zinc, copper.... all those metals are non existent. So where am I getting tin from... Hmm, we sent off an RODI test too, as ATI checks it for free with the kit. Hmmm major elements all 0... trace, 300ppm silicone, 6ppm tin. There's my tin!

Dam...sel fish!!! Lets go look at those filters. Sediment filter is, brown. That thing isn't that old. Or is it... Huh, I can't remember. Less than a year, tho, I'm sure of it. DI resin is... mostly brown. Still showing 0tds, but obviously it isn't really 0tds. It's almost a year old, so... I should probably order more.

Well, Looks like I have some RODI maintenance that needs to be done. For now, I'll have to live with a little tin. The acros I have are greatly improving with staying on top of water changes, and the LPS and zoas are thriving. So, I think I've figured out what is causing the slow decline in some of the sensitive acros. Lack of some trace elements, in particular iodine and possibly potassium. It's also possible my light spectrum was off, I was running 4 Actinic bulbs that are HEAVY in the UV spectrum. I've switched bulbs since, documented in a few posts back, and I'm pretty sure the corals look healthier after just a week.

I'll get some of ATI's iodine and potassium supplement and I think a Red Sea test for each so I can monitor my adjustments. Hopefully, once I get the ATI Essentials Pro going, it will keep up with my trace elements better. The BRS 2 part is cheap and served me well, but that's all it is. Calcium and Alkalinity.

Links to ATI ICP results below.

Display Test
RODI Test
 
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Robin Haselden

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Nice update, glad you more or less dodged that tornado and had a generator readily available! How are you liking the puck style pump now that you’ve had it a while? Ive been eyeballing them.
Don't point it directly at your monti cap. It'll rip the flesh off the skeleton....

Hahaha, so yea I like them.

It'll heal back with how fast that thing grows. Just noticed some spots closest to the pump were a little damaged the other day. I moved it so the pump is pushing water above the coral instead of right at it. Super wide flow, the reef flow patteren is nice and random, I can't hear them AT ALL, they are SUPER FLAT only 2" off the back wall, and if I ever find the video on how to program them I'm sure I'll enjoy them that much more. I figured out how to set them to run where I want, just not the timer. That's fine, I have the Gyre on a timer, these are just additional flow. I currently have them on the "Reef Mode" pattern recommended for SPS, and max flow 24/7.

The Gyre runs at 10% forward constant flow all night from 2300-1100, 1100-1400 random flow from 10-50%, 1400-2000 alternating gyre mode 100% reverse for 10 seconds and 100% forward for 10 minutes and it takes 10s to go from 0 to 100% for 20 seconds total ramp, 2000-2300 random flow 10-50%.

These are my current settings for the RPMs.

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F1-7 is the pump modes. 1, Constant. 2, Pulse. 3 Anit-Sync Pulse. 4, Nature Mode. 5, Reef Mode 6, Timer Mode. 7, Reverse Mode.

FRE: is the speed. 1-99 and < is foward and > is reverse.

FL:20 unknown. I can adjust from 1 to 20 with the up and down buttons. I'm guessing how fast or slow the pump changes between speeds.

L:OFF, I think this is the light sensor, to put the pumps in a low speed mode at night.

FE:--, no idea

Wi:M or S, Master or Slave pump for using Anti-Sync mode.
 

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Busy week! Glad to hear things didn't get out of hand.
Cool pump, Brand/cost?
I spent a total of 8 hours trying to get my wife's I-Phone swapped out :mad: Its one of the phones that had been recalled (antenna) and sho enough it failed. I think the try to discourage you or get you to up grade.....Of coarse I did both;Meh
 

How are you accomplishing water flow in your reef tank?

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