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

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

  1. leahfiish

    leahfiish Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    This was a great read! Keep up the updates! Are you still using 2 gyres for flow? How do you like them?
     

  2. zachxlutz

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

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    I am still using 2 Maxspect Gyre 230s and 2 SunSun JVP-201B Powerheads. Flow rates are between 3200 GPH to 6880 GPH, not including the return. That's 26.7x to 57.3x turnover. The Gyres are great and reliable! I think I'll eventually upgrade them to the next size up so that I can get the SunSun powerheads out of the tank and clean up the back wall.

    Quick FTS 10/23/2017:

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    I haven't had a chance to put the remaining straggling dinos in the scope but the majority of them are gone. Just a few small patches of brown here and there on the sandbed and around some of the live rock and coral where they meet the sandbed. It tends to accumulate in lower flow areas and/or areas where CUC/Goby don't munch.

    I have to admit, the tank has been on autopilot since adding the UV sterilizer. I've been monitoring the nutrients but not dosing. The consumption dropped once the dino problem subsided. Alk/Cal consumption is steady but not requiring any major changes. I guess it's time to get back on a water change schedule. I haven't done a significant water change in a few months. Might be time to replace some water.

    The coral is all growing like wildfire. Several coral had some pretty severe recession from the dinos but have since begun repairing any damage and regaining color and flesh.

    Fish are doing great in the display. I have lost a few fish through the QT process though. I can't seem to get any more bangaii cardinals to make it through QT... Lost 3. I had a small yellow tang in QT, as well, and she died. She was eating for 2 weeks and the night prior, nori and mysis/brine/pellets. Woke up and she was belly up on the sandbed. Still have a yellow clown goby in the QT waiting to go into the display. I may be done adding fish after the goby goes in. The only change I'd want to make to the display stocking is possibly removing the purple wrasse and replacing, as he's a bit of a bully.

    Thanks for stopping in!
     
  3. zachxlutz

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

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    Thanks! It's a work in progress and always something to deal with!
     
  4. zachxlutz

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

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    I was invited to test out the Aquarium Camera app for my new iPhone 8 Plus yesterday. I took some quick shots when I had a free moment last night. No editing, no white balance adjustments, etc. Great tool. I can't wait to set up the phone on a little tripod and get some better shots.

    Under full 8x54 of T5:
    10/25/2017 FTS:

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    These photos are under only 2x54w T5 lighting (purple plus and actinic):
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  5. SallyWho

    SallyWho Active Member

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    Looks like that app does a solid job! Great shots, man!
     
  6. zachxlutz

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

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    Thanks! It really does help offset the blue tones when the tank is lit mostly purple/actinic. With the full 8 bulbs on and just the actinics, it's the most color accurate way (aside from DSLR) to take photos of the tank.
     
  7. zachxlutz

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

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    I took some closer photos of the acans I picked up from @Sheltered Reef AC a while back... They're doing great in the tank. I think I'm going to move them to the sand bed soon.

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    On a continuing positive note, the tank is doing great. Alkalinity and Calcium consumption has begun to skyrocket. I'm having to increase the dosing rate by 5% every couple of days and I'm seeing great coral growth and coloration as well as coralline algae really starting to explode in growth. I would guess the coralline growth is causing the main increase in consumption.
     
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  8. alyee5

    alyee5 Active Member

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    Tank is looking great...hope your dino problems are a thing in the past!
     
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  9. zachxlutz

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

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    Thanks. I think I saw your name in the Dino thread. Best of luck to you, getting a positive ID was a huge help in my case. I feel confident that the UV sterilizer along with balanced nutrients and the addition of some established sand have complete turned my tank around. I guess I should add some new frags soon as a “reward”!
     
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  10. zachxlutz

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

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    This morning I added in this little Yellow Goby after a 4 week QT period. I was a little concerned that the Watchman Goby would harass it, but they seem to be getting along fine. It's so small!

    Goby Party!:
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    DON'T TOUCH ME! AHHHHH!:
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    The Watchman Goby is pretty chill... He doesn't like to be touched but usually he won't swim away. The Cleaner Shrimp was investing here and got a little close to him and he opened his mouth as big as possible. What a tough guy. He'll do this to the baster when I clean the sand beds, too. He's a hoot.
     
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  11. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Wow those dinos were awful. Good to know the UV did the trick. Which UV did you get?
    Looking good now!
     
  12. zachxlutz

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

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    Thanks... Yeah, they were quite nasty. The smell of them... Oh God... The smell of them was like a tidepool gone sour.

    I used the Jebao 36 watt UV. If I had it to do over, I would have gone with the 55 watt, just for more peace of mind.

    If I ever replumb this setup or build a new setup, I'll install the largest UV I can afford and run it in line with my return. I've seen no downsides whatsoever to using the UV.
     
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  13. zachxlutz

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

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    I've been wanting to put a list of livestock together for a while... here we go.

    Coral List:
    Softies:

    • Dragon Eye Zoanthid
    • Green Palythoas (Protopalythoa sp.)
    LPS:
    • Frogspawn
    • Duncan
    • Green/Purple Fungia Plate ( Cycloseris spp.)
    • Green Candy Cane (Caulastrea furcata)
    • Orange Fungia Plate (Cycloseris spp.)
    • Pink Floyd Chalice
    • Red Stripe Chalice
    • Hollywood Stunner Chalice
    • Hills Have Eyes Chalice
    • Hammer (green/purple hybrid)
    • Micromussa Lords x 11 (unsure of trade names)
    SPS:
    • Mint Pavona (Pavona frondifera)
    • Green Birdsnest (Seriatopora guttatus)
    • Purple Birdsnest (Seriatopora hystrix)
    • AA Chameleon Acropora (Acropora sp.)
    • Red Digitata (Montipora digitata)
    • Psammocora - Green (Psammocora sp.)
    • Mystic Sunset Montipora (montipora tuberculosa)
    • Meteor shower Cyphastrea (Cyphastrea sp.)
    • Pink/Red Setosa (Montipora setosa)
    • Green Spongodes (Montipora spongodes)
    • Tyree Blue Matrix (Acropora papillare)
    • Red Planet Tabling Acropora (Acropora sp.)
    • Purple Bonsai Acropora
    • Frogskin Acropora
    • Pink Sand Dollar Porities
    • Strawberry Patch Montipora
    • Sunset Montipora
    • Neon Green Montiopora
    • Superman Montipora
    • Purple Haze Montipora
    Fish List:
    • 2x Wyoming White Clowns
    • 3x Bartlett's Anthias
    • 1x Magnificent Foxface Rabbitfish
    • 1x Bluestripe Fairy Wrasse (Temminckii "Threadfin")
    • 2x Leopard Wrasse
    • 1x Kole Tang
    • 1x Diamond Goby
    • 1x Yellow Prawn Goby
    • 1x Bangaii Cardinal
    • 1x Yellow Tang (In Near Future)

    Looks like I lean towards hard coral, huh?!
     
  14. Joseph Benfante

    Joseph Benfante Member

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    Loved reading your thread. Nice to hear the UV worked for the Dino problem. I will file that tidbit.
     
  15. zachxlutz

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

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    Thanks! Glad you got a good read out of it. Keep in mind that the UV sterilization, in my understanding, targets a specific strain of dinoflagellates, Ostreopsis. I think it does little for large cell amphidium. I still struggle with a bit of brown dusting on the sandbed and lower portions of the live rock but the UV/nutrient balancing played a huge role in diminishing the Ostreopsis dinos that were outcompeting everything else in the tank.
     
  16. zachxlutz

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

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    Well, the little yellow goby is missing. I'm hoping he's just nestled into a spot in the back of the tank where I can't see him, but I'm not hopeful. Not sure what happened to the little guy. He was eating and sharing a burrow with the diamond goby. I wonder if the diamond got fed up with him finally. Hmmmm.

    On a brighter note, alkalinity and calcium consumption is continuing to take off! I've been bumping up the dosing and it's at 48 ml of alkalinity and calcium daily. This equals 0.48 dkh and 3.35 ppm daily consumption rate. I think it's pretty close to dialed in, for now. It seems like every week I have to bump it up another 10%.

    I've been thinking a lot about dinos and why they're becoming such a problem, lately. When I started reefing, I would struggle with GHA and other controllable algae but never anything like dinos. But that was when we were using real ocean live rock and not really doing any carbon dosing or GFO. I think we're going to see a shift in the way new tanks are setup in the next few years in an effort to eliminate dinos. I think it's really important to start with some established rocks from either a very established system or from the ocean as well as teach new reefers not to strip the water bare, which is so easy to do with these newer methods of nutrient control. I wish I had more time and was more articulate so I could put it into an article that we could share around here on this site and others about how to start a system in a way to avoid dinos and dino like plagues. I've learned so much about it from @mcarroll and @taricha on the dino thread, I wish there was a way to condense that information down to a simple paragraph that would be easy for new reef keepers to understand.
     
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  17. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    How about a poem from "Everything On It"?
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  18. zachxlutz

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

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    01/21/2018 Photo Dump (some iPhone, some DSLR, some edited, some not).

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    Things are going great.
    Fish are happy.
    Coral are growing like wildfire.

    Here's a few updates.

    I just replaced the T5 bulbs after 12 months and wow... I can't believe how "dull" the old bulbs had gotten. I didn't do a formal PAR test but the fluorescence of the coral and overall look of the tank seems to be greatly improved by swapping out the bulbs for new ones. The old bulbs were definitely worn out, I'll be replacing on a 9 month schedule going forward.

    Ostreopsis dinos are a thing of the past, but I still get a bit of the large cell amphidium on the sandbed. The watchman goby does a great job of keeping the sandbed clean on some days and on others not so much. It's strange. Some days it'll look like they're completely gone and some days they'll pop up around the perimeter of the live rock and coral and dust the open areas. I'm considering adding a big handful of Nassarius snails to help keep the sandbed turned over. As a matter of fact, I need to up the snail population of the tank for several things.

    I'm dealing with a bit of a cyano outbreak. Rather than treat with chemical means, I'm just blowing it off the rocks and continuing with water changes and keeping the water chemistry as stable as possible. I'm hoping it will subside with time and stability. I've heard of cyano popping up when T5 bulbs have gone past their prime, so maybe with the new bulbs I'll catch a break.

    The only thing I'm dosing currently is Alkalinity and Calcium at the rate of 85 ml a day, which equals a consumption rate of .85 dkh and 5.935 ppm. I'll dose up NO3 and PO4 as needed but that's only been once every 2 weeks or so. I'm considering starting back up a bit of live phyto dosing but I haven't made up my mind yet. Things are going good enough that I'm not sure I need to make any changes.

    Feather caulerpa has taken over the refugium and completely starved out the chaeto and other macros I had in there. It's fine, the whole goal is nutrient consumption and it seems to work... I'm still having to dose nitrate and phosphate on occasion. I'd rather have to dose occasionally than worry about high nutrients causing problems.

    I have a few upgrades planned for the near future. I scored a Neptune DOS unit for AWCs and a new Trigger Systems Triton44 sump from BRS during the Black Friday sales. I'm going to run the plumbing for the DOS auto water change setup from the mixing station in the garage, through the crawlspace and up behind the tank... Not looking forward to crawling around under my house. I'll hopefully be installing the new sump in the next few weeks. I'll have to change up the drain plumbing a bit... That's the step I'm looking forward to the least.
     
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  19. zachxlutz

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

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    YES! I placed an order with Adam over at @Battlecorals yesterday. I should have a nice pack of 10 corals coming from him next week to fill in the bare spots on the live rock. We discussed a few needs/wants and after letting him review my tank and photos... I'm letting him handle the heavy lifting of deciding what to send. I can't wait. I should have them Thursday of next week. I've been eyeing coral from him ever since I got back into the hobby with this tank and I'm SUPER excited to see what he picks out for me!
     
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  20. happyhourhero

    happyhourhero Valuable Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Getting a battlebox is such a great experience. The week of waiting is brutal. I must have spent 80 hours on the website fantasizing about what he will be sending me. Opened the box and my expectations were blown away.
     
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