Zach's 120 Gallon Reef Resurgence - SPS/Mixed Reef - Build Journal

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by zachxlutz, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Rob77

    Rob77 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks AWESOME!
     

  2. happyhourhero

    happyhourhero Valuable Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I have this in my tank and i will tell you the craziest thing. SPS corals will kill it. I have documented with photos my rainbow monti killing this and 2 acros have killed it as they encrust onto the rocks. Large turbo snails will eat it a bit and your Kole will munch a bit but corals are the only thing I have seen that kill it. Once I started observing this, i did not worry about the algae at all.
     
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  3. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Phosphate consumption from yesterday evening after dosing to this evening... get this... .27 ppm in 24 hours! Nitrates are still well above 4.0, I only did the low range test and it was darker than the darkest reference. I'll dose nitrate back up when it comes in under 4.0. I went ahead and dosed 2 ml more of activate which should be my maintenance dose for the next few days. I'll keep testing and only dose accordingly until I see what the trend is looking like. I still can't get over how much nutrients my tank is sucking up!

    I've noticed the same thing! The algae turns from deep dark red to almost fluorescent red/pink and dies back! I'm hoping the Kole helps keep it trimmed. I'm not too worried about it, it's an eyesore in places but honestly the dinos are so bad in the tank I don't want to take any more photos and show it off.
     
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  4. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I should have tagged you in the above reply. My tank sucked down .27 ppm of phosphates in a little under 24 hours!
     
  5. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I'm paraphrasing @taricha here (maybe even from this thread :D), but it's amazing the hold that dino's place on your tank. The tank is quite literally theirs once they get into this mode and if they're left unchecked. They keep the whole environment hostile to everything but bacteria – and they eat the bacteria! :rolleyes:o_O
     
  6. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It's kind of funny... The experience I'm having with dinos at this current time are eerily similar to the discussions going on in the dino thread you started! Lots of discussion about how much NO3/PO4 tanks infested with dinos are sucking down! I'm on a mission to get this crap knocked out!
     
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  7. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Just got back my Triton ICP test... Everything is looking good, as far as I can tell. Still battling dinos like crazy though!

    Triton1.jpg Triton2.jpg Triton3.jpg
     
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  8. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Dosing nutrients to this tank is becoming a nightmare. Daily I'm testing for PO4 and NO3 and finding them dropping. I just pulled three 5 gallon buckets of water and dinos out of the display, mostly off the back wall and overflows. Gross stuff right here. Fortunately, it comes off fairly easy.

    Look at this nastiness!
    [​IMG]
    THREE OF THESE!

    The tank does look better when I work hard and actively remove the dinos from the tank. Between this and dosing up the nitrates and phosphates I really hope I see some results!
     
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  9. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    <GASP> ;) :p

    Definitely not wasted effort – keep up the good work!!!
     
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  10. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Not only does it look gross, it smells even worse!
     
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  11. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Last night I added 5 lbs of GARF Grunge to the display and 5 lbs to the refugium in an effort to help inoculate the system and bring in some more diversity. I've been super diligent about QT'ing things as they enter my system, yet with this I just dumped it in. It's a bit of a risk as I could be introducing some undesirables (ich, etc) but at this point I'm willing to take that risk.

    I'm continuing to dose both KNO3 (weekly, as needed), PO4 (daily) and I've been aerating the sand bed to try and keep the dinos suspended to be pulled out by the skimmer.

    I've also pulled my fuge lighting back to 6 hours a night rather than the 13 hours to try and alleviate some of the nutrient usage in the fuge. I think that's a good move in this case although my nightly pH swing has been dropping a little lower but only to 7.8-ish at it's lowest and still peaking at 8.2-ish.

    [​IMG]

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    Fingers crossed these couple of changes help to finally make a difference.
     
  12. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Here's a few shots of some problem areas right after all 8 T5 bulbs kicked on... I don't usually get to see the tank at this time of day but it appears that the dinos are a little whiter in color and not so brown, as they typically are. I'll take comparison photos in a few hours after the lights have been on and see if it has darkened up at all or if I'm actually making some progress...

    [​IMG]

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    It should be noted that the overflow and pumps were cleaned off quite a bit within the last few days, you can see what kind of snot I'm dealing with here.
     
  13. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    These 11 'acans' (micromussa lords) came from @Sheltered Reef AC and I couldn't be happier. I just dipped them in Revive and Bayer and put them on a frag rack on the sandbed! They look SUPER great!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They threw in an extra frag due to a bit of a mix-up in billing, so that was greatly appreciated.

    I need to figure out where to put them in the display and how to most efficiently make an "acan garden".
     
  14. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Things are not going well. I just got back from a short 5 day trip and the glass, sand, rock and some corals were COVERED in brown slime. I cleaned the glass with the flipper and the water was BROWN BROWN BROWN for a couple of hours. I then tried to gently blow off some of the stringy dinos off of the green birdsnest and wouldn't you know, the green polyps all came off with the dinos. Wonderful.

    I've had phosphates (ACTIVATE) on a doser at 2 ml a day and last night the phosphates were at 75 ppb/.23 ppm after 5 or 6 days of no testing due to be out of town. I think I have that rate dialed in. The nitrate dosing is as needed. Both nitrate and phosphate drop to zero if no dosing done.

    The goby and the conch are TRYING to keep the sand clean but struggling to keep up. The tang nor the foxface show no interest eating any nuisance algae in the tank. They seem to only go after nori and pellets/mysis.

    No help from adding the 10 lbs of GARG grunge, from what I can tell.

    I just ordered a magnum polishing filter, diatomaceous earth and a UV sterilizer. Obviously just dosing the nutrients up and manually removing isn't helping.

    I'm really not sure where to go from here. I'm extremely disappointed and at wit's end.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?
     
  15. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Here's the tank in all it's sad, sad glory.

     
  16. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Last night we implemented a few new methods for eliminating these dinoflagellates. UV sterilization and diatom filtering.

    I hacked the UV system together in an effort to quickly get it up and running. If I see results from it, I'll need to come up with a plan to pull water from the display and run it through the UV unit and return it back to the display without looking like a toddler put it together.

    It's a simple setup, 520 gph pump resting on the sandbed running through 3/4" tubing with a ball valve and returning directly to the display. Thoughts on cleaning this up?



    This is the Marineland Magnum filter. I put the micron cartridge in it and charged it with 6 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth while running it in RO/DI water in a 5 gallon bucket. I'm not super impressed with this piece of equipment, yet. It was blowing lots of microbubbles and making lots of noise this AM. I'll pull it out tonight and double check everything and see if I can get it running quieter and get the air out of the system.

     
  17. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The dino battle is, finger's crossed, trending towards success. I know I've said that before though. Through the use of UV, diatom filtering, limited organic nutrient input, lots of sandbed agitation and live rock turkey baster-ing, I think we're killing the dinos. I've identified them as majority being ostreopsis and some large cell amphidium. Ostreopsis, IIRC, releases into the water column at night, thusly being susceptible to the UV filtration as well as being trapped in the diatom filter. I've seen a decrease in dinos appearing on the sand bed and they've all but disappeared from the live rock and eggcrate.

    The new acans from @Sheltered Reef AC are doing great. Once I get the dinos completely under control I'm going to mount all the frag plugs. I'm trying to decide if I want to mount them to the live rock or push some egg crate into the sand and wedge the acans into that to create an acan garden in the sand.

    Anyway, here's some crappy iphone photos:

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    Bonus photo:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I was poking around last night and got this video of one of my ORA Variegated Urchins out and about. I love watching the guys scour the rock work looking for tasty algae to eat. They don't do squat against dinos but they seem to be doing well since I added them a month ago on 09/02/2017.

     
  19. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The tank looks like it hasn't in a long, long time!

    The UV filter literally changed my tank over night. It's still on top of the tank hacked together but the results have been amazing. My dino problem is almost completely gone. The nitrate/phosphate consumption has dropped SIGNIFICANTLY and the dinos barely show up on the sand bed in just a few places. I don't even have to blow the rocks off or agitate the sand-bed anymore, it just doesn't show up! My coral have gotten loads of color back, the stn on the birdsnest has stopped, polyp extension on SPS like I haven't ever seen in my tank before. Softies and LPS looking happy and healthy, too. It's safe to say the UV has made a HUGE difference. I'll be moving it to the sump soon to help maintain pristine water quality once I'm certain the dinos aren't going to rear their head again. Unfortunately, I haven't been using the diatom filter because it creates a lot of microbubbles and I haven't diagnosed the issue, although the need for it seems less, now.

    Thanks for checking in. I just made this gif of the last year or so with my tank. Not the best photos, but neat to see it's progression.

    [​IMG]

     
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  20. jozekgawlak

    jozekgawlak Active Member

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    Tank looks really good love all the updated photos!
     
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