Wallets empty, wife's angry, and I'm in over my head!

TCK Corals

motortrendz

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All that for 100$ that's a heck of a deal... no reason for your wife to be angry over that. I've spend 3x that on 1 frag. And 5x that for a torch.. but my wife thinks they're all 20$
 
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SoggyNW

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Run your skimmer dry. At least I would (and do)

Yup, I like to runn it as dry as possible. Other wise it starts to creep down my salinity.

If your N and P actually end up being undetectable I wouldn’t run my alkalinity at 9. Personally I’d keep it in the 7 range and not past 8.0. And feed the tank more. Maybe throw a touch of coral food in there daily too.

So I have a theory about the No3 and Po4 that I've noticed as a trend in the "algae problem" threads that I've read through. A lot of people swearing up and down that they have 0 No3 and Po4 but also can't get the algae under control.

I have a lot of algae growing in my sump and I think it's keeping the levels way down even though there is No3 and Po4 being produced. I'm going to up my feeding and see what effect it has. My theory is that the levels will stay low and the algae will grow faster.

What is the advantage of running the alkalinity at 7 vs 8. Right now my plan is to keep things as simple as possible and not chase any numbers until I need to start adding calcium.

Also I'vee got a jar of reef roids on the way

All that for 100$ that's a heck of a deal... no reason for your wife to be angry over that. I've spend 3x that on 1 frag. And 5x that for a torch.. but my wife thinks they're all 20$

She has come around more to our way of thinking but it's been a slow process. I do now catch her sitting on the couch checking out the tank.
 

Scubadoo4u

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Edit: wallet is empty because I only had $100 on me. The bank account is fine. (Wife still doesn't understand why I spent money on a handful of twigs to stick in my tank)

I found a guy on Craig's list selling frags and arranged to stop by today to check out his tank and pick up some frags. He advertised LPS, SPS, and zoas. Turns out he had all those things but was mostly looking to trim back his SPS forest and had no where to put it.

Long story short. For $100 I walked out with a 30 head zoa colony, 3 huge pieces of chalace, and 20 SPS frags. I ran out of glue sticking them to pieces of rubble. My 40b is looking a little crowded.

I previously was only keeping zoas, clove polyps, a duncan, and a torch. Everyone has been pretty happy. I wasn't planning on any SPS in this tank for a while and really haven't done all my homework. Honestly I don't even know how to identify most of what I have.


Parameters

Salinity 1.025
Temp 78
All 9
Nitrates 0
Phosphates 0

Light is a viper Spectra 300watt. I run it 12 hours at ( I'll check power setting tomorrow and edit)

I'm also running an over sized skimmer.

For someone who has stumbled into this as I have. What do I need to know and do right away to succeed with SPS.

And what should I do with the chalace? I tried to glue them to rocks but it wouldn't hold. I ran out of glue and had to just lay them in the sand till tomorrow.

Thanks everyone

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Aww......Looks like Sprung Stunner, boy U gonna have fun with that!!!!
 
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SoggyNW

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Ok, a couple weeks in and we're doing pretty good. Much better infact than I thought would be the case.

First the bad, I've lost 2 frags. The first was dragged off by a hermit and buried, by the time I found it it had already bleached and now appears to be only skeleton. The second was the tiny frag of last dragon acro. No idea what happened with that one but it bleached and also appears dead.

Now the good news. Everything else that is alive seems really happy. Color is good, polyps extended and I'm even seeing some growth, especially the stylophora and staghorn corals. But I'm seeing a little growth on some of the acro.

This is the best before/after pics I have. All the others are at the wrong angle to see the little growth I'm spotting. You can see where the green stylophora is filling in the damaged area, these photos are 12 days apart.

IMG_20191206_164111.jpg
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Something else I wasn't expecting to see so drastically this soon is the drop in Alk/CA/Mg. The first week it was stable, the second week it dipped a few points, well within the margin of error on the tests. No big deal my weekly water change brought it back up. This week I went from

Alk 8.5 to 7.3

Ca 420 to 380

Mg 1230 to 1180

Do these numbers sound correct? I wasn't expecting it to drop so quickly with tiny frags.

I have bionic 2 part on the way from Amazon. Unfortunately I can't get it locally and prime is bogged down with Christmas. Until that gets here I've been trying to hold it steady with a few small water changes.

I'm going to hand dose till after Christmas. The wife has been bugging me for more gift ideas. I was thinking of asking for a doser. Which one should I ask for, something affordable. Should I get 2 or 4 heads. Or is there something expandable. I don't have a controller. Kind of lost with all the options

Any other options I'm not thinking about? I feel like I'm playing catch up, what problem am I likely to run into next that I should be ready for in advance?

Thanks for all the help and advice guys

Merry Christmas.
 
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SoggyNW

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So with my weekly water change I did a bunch ok ALK testing

Before 7.5
Fresh mix 10.5
After 8.4

I'm not sure those numbers make sense with only a 10% water change.
 

SeaDweller

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So with my weekly water change I did a bunch ok ALK testing

Before 7.5
Fresh mix 10.5
After 8.4

I'm not sure those numbers make sense with only a 10% water change.
Test again. You can use muriatic acid to lower your alk or something like seachem acid buffer/sodium bisulfate to lower your alk to match your DT Alk.
 
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SoggyNW

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Retested and got 8

I do my water changes and testing out of my sump and I'm wondering if the flow was to low to have fully mixed the newly mixed water with the rest of the tank at the time I did the first test. I did the first test about half an hour after the water change. This test and hour after that.
 

Graffiti Spot

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I have been hand dosing as well and things finally started consuming calcium. Now that I have gotten used to it I am kinda scared to hook up a doser. I have had a few cause issues from malfunction and I always get content with them and forget to check them.
John C used to dose manually everyday all at once and he had a staple tank. The only way I will hook up a doser is if I start forgetting to dose and I don’t have enough money to setup my reactor.
 

Alvaro_Spain

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I paid today 30€ ($35) for a tip of and SPS that is just like my fingernail... so it seems to me you made a good deal.

I like how your tank looks.

But beware of those "undetectable" nitrates. It doesn´t matter that you don´t have them or that the algae in your sump consume them fast. The fact is that you have undetectable NO3 in your water column, and that´s playing with fire (dinos). Those b____rds destroyed my previous tank.
 
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raketemensch

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The Jebao doser seems to be the most popular affordable option:


It's also pretty easily controlled via a raspberry pi later on if you go down that road.

Hand dosing is awesome until you want to go on vacation -- better to get your automation under control with lots of time rather than doing a last-minute thing before you hit the road.
 
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SoggyNW

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I have been hand dosing as well and things finally started consuming calcium. Now that I have gotten used to it I am kinda scared to hook up a doser. I have had a few cause issues from malfunction and I always get content with them and forget to check them.
John C used to dose manually everyday all at once and he had a staple tank. The only way I will hook up a doser is if I start forgetting to dose and I don’t have enough money to setup my reactor.

I think hand dosing is going to be the plan for a while. I think the extra effort will make me pay more attention to the results and make me learn the science. I'll eventually switch over to an doser once I have a real good feel for it.

I totally understand what your saying about equipment malfunctioning. My observation based on what I've seen on the forum is that dosing problems usually show up in the form of the pump under performing from lack of maintenance.

I paid today 30€ ($35) for a tip of and SPS that is just like my fingernail... so it seems to me you made a good deal.

I like how your tank looks.

But beware of those "undetectable" nitrates. It doesn´t matter that you don´t have them or that the algae in your sump consume them fast. The fact is that you have undetectable NO3 in your water column, and that´s playing with fire (dinos). Those b____rds destroyed my previous tank.

Yeah Dino's have crossed my mind. I've got a few different algae issues that I'm carefully trying to clear up. I think I'm going to try vibrant to tack back control and then see where the tank starts going. I have what appears to be crysophytes and I think they are holding the tank up right now

The Jebao doser seems to be the most popular affordable option:


It's also pretty easily controlled via a raspberry pi later on if you go down that road.

Hand dosing is awesome until you want to go on vacation -- better to get your automation under control with lots of time rather than doing a last-minute thing before you hit the road.

Yup that is the one I was eyeing. Once the holidays have passed I'll probably pick one up to start playing with
 

Graffiti Spot

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I believe John was using a doser and dosing into a collection cup to make sure it was right each day and dumping it by hand. This way he could just move the line to the tank if he left. Not many people do this but it does show that you don’t need to automate a doser to dose 24 times a day to have great success :).
 
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SoggyNW

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I believe John was using a doser and dosing into a collection cup to make sure it was right each day and dumping it by hand. This way he could just move the line to the tank if he left. Not many people do this but it does show that you don’t need to automate a doser to dose 24 times a day to have great success :).

Hmm. Never thought of that. I might have to do that at least for a while to make sure whatever I get is dialed in correctly.

Good call.
 
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SoggyNW

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I've been testing daily and dosing the bionic 2 part all week. Very slowly bringing things back up to around an ALK of 8.5 and Ca 420. I've also figured out my temperature swing problems and have the tank holding steady with less than a degree of difference during the day. All the work is starting to pay off with things beginning to grow and color up.

12/6/19
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12/20/19
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And another frag from the same Coral that is really starting to color up nicely. Lots of new blue polyps showing up that I haven't seen sense getting it home. Wether it's new growth or just getting used to it's new home, it's a good sign.

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hyprc

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B-Ionic won't let you down. Things are looking good. FYI, trochus snails can take care of that fuzzy algae you go going on the rocks ;)

Remember to dose alk/cal equally (once balanced out initially).
 
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SoggyNW

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B-Ionic won't let you down. Things are looking good. FYI, trochus snails can take care of that fuzzy algae you go going on the rocks ;)

Remember to dose alk/cal equally (once balanced out initially).
Cool. I've been trying to find something that will eat the stuff and it looks like you hit it with the trochus snails. I'm due to restock the cleanup crew so I'll make sure to add a handful to my next order.

With the 2 part dosing, my understanding is that the higher you go with your Ca & Alk the higher a dose it takes to keep it there. So being that I'm around 8 if I dose just enough to see that number creep up very slowly it will level off pretty soon at a slightly elevated level.

I'm still testing everyday and making sure that my levels do what I expect.
 
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Finally got my Hanna dkh checker. It is consistently .7 dkh lower than my salifert kit ( tested 3 different times over 3 days). Does this match other people's results? Also I'm not sure I've been using my salifert test correctly. My experience is that the salifert test can take 3 drops to fully change colors. I've been getting my reading off what it takes to fully change the color, but if I take the first drop to cause a change it is much closer to what the Hanna is showing.

Been so busy with the holidays that I haven't been able to do more than maintain the tank. Today I finally had a few free hours and got all my frags mounted to their final locations on the rocks. I used the super glue epoxy sandwich method and it worked great. Also having glued the frags to rubble instead of plugs made it way easier to glue them down pointing in the direction I wanted. Plus no ugly plugs to look at.

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Okay so from one black box owner to another dial the blues back to 50 percent and leave whites off for a week. Place the frags about 3/4 of the way up the rock. Make sure to check alk every 2 days you want that number to stay consistent. After a week of acclimating your frags to the light start bring up the blues little by little. Then turn the whites on the lowest setting for only 2 hours then a week later do 3 hours then 4 hours do not use more the 5 hours per day of whites blues should be on for 10-12 hours per day and white should be in the middle or that for only 5 hours.

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Hi dew, awesome light setup you there. Which light do you have if you do mind sharing the secret? Happy reefing!
 

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Yup, I like to runn it as dry as possible. Other wise it starts to creep down my salinity.



So I have a theory about the No3 and Po4 that I've noticed as a trend in the "algae problem" threads that I've read through. A lot of people swearing up and down that they have 0 No3 and Po4 but also can't get the algae under control.

I have a lot of algae growing in my sump and I think it's keeping the levels way down even though there is No3 and Po4 being produced. I'm going to up my feeding and see what effect it has. My theory is that the levels will stay low and the algae will grow faster.

What is the advantage of running the alkalinity at 7 vs 8. Right now my plan is to keep things as simple as possible and not chase any numbers until I need to start adding calcium.

Also I'vee got a jar of reef roids on the way



She has come around more to our way of thinking but it's been a slow process. I do now catch her sitting on the couch checking out the tank.
awesome soggy, you are doing great! I love your idea of glue epoxy sandwich and also how you glue rumbles over the frags to hide them. Any chance of a close up pic so i can see how it actually works? I need to do some remounting on some of my loose frags soon. ;Happy Happy reefing!
 
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