So I’m not sure if I mentioned this but a few weeks ago I put a chromis in the tank and the poor little guy died. I did some investigating and found out that it was due to my pH being super low. Apparently when you use SOME types of dry rock, it can drop your pH way down until it becomes fully alive (3-6 months). Since then I started dosing some SeaChem pH buffer, and it’s brought my pH up to acceptable levels (high 7’s low 8’s), the ammonia started to go up then down, diatoms started showing up, and the tank started to cycle the way it should have. I’m still using the SeaChem Stability, and my ammonia has dropped to 0 along with my nitrites and nitrates. After that, I ended up picking up a little hermit crab and let him roam around the tank. After he lived 3-4 days, I went to pick up another Chromis, as well as a clean-up crew (4 conchs, 10 nasarius snails, a sand sifting star, and 10 red legged hermit crabs).
I was getting mad at my DIY ATO (though it was of NO fault of the ATO I learned), so I picked up a Reef Keeper Lite by Digital Aquatics. It’s a cool little unit that has about a billion functions that I’m not even going to attempt to outline here. I’m currently using it to control my fan, my pumps, my skimmer, and my pH dosing system. I’ll probably expand it a bit here in the coming months to handle everything else like my lights, my ATO, and my return pump.
I also tweaked my Tunze 9002 Protein Skimmer. Apparently it’s common to have them come from the factory poorly assembled, so I took mine apart, realigned the ventury and the output, and got it put back together and now it’s making much better bubbles and is a lot quieter.
I’m currently having a bit of an issue with microbubbles, but I’ll get them figured out. I think that somehow they’re making it into the last chamber of my sump and getting pumped back into my tank. I’m going to be putting some rubble rock in the first chamber and hopefully that’ll weed out some of them from even getting into the system.
Wow, so I got the 40g up and running tonight! I planned on it, I planned everything I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, but that doesn’t mean that I actually expected to ever finish, let alone for everything to work! It took some tweaking, and I’m sure it’ll take some continued tweaking, but it’s working thus far so I’m pretty pumped. I still need to work on the cover a bit, but tomorrow I’ll test the water (I’ve been conditioning it), get my phosphate reactor up and going, and if all looks good, I’ll toss a chromis in there.
Today R&R got back from cali and picked up my stand and my 20g long that I’ll be using for my sump. I’m waiting on a friend to drop off my stand, but while I’m doing that, I figured I’d show you the progress that was made tonight.
I got some grid cut for the bottom of my display tank and got that in. I’m doing that because I prefer the idea of the weight of the pointy edges of the rock being distributed over a wider area than a sharp edge. I also got the return portion of my sump setup (1/4″ arylic cut, bubble trap made, you’ll see it in the pics). My girlfriend got the light put together, and I threw the powerheads and return fans into the display tank as well. I got the return pump, as well as the two pumps for my reactors unboxed and ready, in the return area. I got my timers setup and ready (one for the ‘fuge light, and one for the display light).
If you guys haven’t yet, you NEED to go check out Reptiles-n-Reefs (R&R) down off of stephanie and sunset in Henderson. The folks there area amazing!
Tonight I got as much of the plumbing completed as I could, I don’t think there’s much more that I can do until my stand comes in. I have the drains plumbed and sealed, and the returns plumbed and sealed. I know it’s not what most would consider “standard plumbing” for a tank, but you’ve got to try new things every now and then.
Not having the stand is killing me! I’m so pumped to get that part done.
I also figured I’d start the rack curing, so I put as much of the rock as I could fit into a 5 gallon pale, and dumped in some Dr. Tim’s. I probably fit about 30 lbs in there, which isn’t terrible, and at least gets it started.
Last night I also got a ‘lid’ made for the tank so my jumpers can’t escape. I’m curious to see if it will cut out too much light, and if it does, I’ll make another cover out of acrylic.
So tonight, I.. well I did the above. I decided to pick up a 3rd 3/4″ slip/slip bulkhead for a drain. I SHOULD have just used 1 1/4″ drains, but I didn’t do the calculations initially.. You live and you learn. Either way I got all 3 drain holes drilled tonight, and I cut the back off of my skimmer overflow box so it could fit over the bulkheads. I also got the back of the tank masked and painted black. I think it’s starting to look pretty good! I had to modify the skimmer box a liiiittle bit more than I wanted to, but either way, it’ll work and I’m pleased with it. Either way, check out the sexy goodness! Next week my stand should come in, and when it does, I’ll be able to get that assembled, and get the ‘fuge built/installed, and get water in the tank! I’m so psyched!
Nothing really new with the 10g tank. I’ve been trying to keep my hands out of it and keep the water nice and clean. I cleaned the tank today and did a water change. The cyano has also finally gone away and things have really cleaned up. I added a couple of new red legged hermit crabs the other day and a few hermit shells. Besides that, my zoa’s are growing quite a bit, the green star polyps seem pretty happy, the blueberry clove/glove/whatever is nice and full, and the mushrooms are really kicking some butt (the green striped mushroom has sprouted two more little mushrooms that are growing pretty quickly).
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update on my 10gal tank, and that’s simply because I haven’t changed anything about it. The cyano has gone away thankfully, and things are back to normal. The clownies are doing great, the zoa’s are growing, and the mushrooms are both kicking some butt! I had to re-glue the green star polyps to the rock, but that’s not a big deal, and I finally took the red mushroom out and glued it to a larger rock since it’s bonded with a smaller piece of coral.
The REAL news however is that I picked up a 40gal tank, and have been collecting parts for it! Tonight’s progress includes drilling the two holes for the sump return, getting the two 3/4″ thread/thread bulkheads in place, getting two 3/4″ MPT to slip fittings setup with about 2.5″ of 3/4″ schedule 40 PVC, and then used some 1″ ID vinyl clear tubing to connect them to a 3/4″ T slip fitting. I clamped it all together with some hose clamps, and that’s about where I left it tonight. I made a video outlining how to cut the holes in the glass, and will get that uploaded once I’m done editing it.
As a note, I got ALL of the stuff for this aquarium at reptiles-n-reefs in Henderson, and some random pieces at home depot/lowes. GREAT people there who are always willing to help!
Today I got some cool new stuff! I picked up a new pump for the tank as I think I was having some flow issues, and then I went over to my buddy Jim’s place, who gave me a bunch of cool new corals. I got a blueberry clove, green 5 star polyps, a green/blue striped mushroom, and a red mushroom. He also gave me a piece of live rock with a ton of coralline algie. Very cool stuff 😀
Tonight I did a water change, moved my protein skimmer back into the main tank, and glued my radioactive dragon eye zoa’s to one of my pieces of live rock. They’re still pretty mad and all closed up, but I’m hoping that by tomorrow they open back up again. They have also been brown for a day or two. I’m doing some research and finding that they may have too much light. We’ll have to see.