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justin88

Justin’s 10g nano - first time reefer

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The kid watching Nemo and Marlin. She can actually call them Nemo and Marlin. When you have a reef tank and young children, watching Finding Nemo is a given and your tank doesn’t mean anything without clownfish.

Wife and parents never cared about polyp extension and growth. Only care about a pair of cheap clownfish.


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Finally cleared up the backlog and now actually posting something current and not from the past!

Picked up a AI prime non hd from a fellow reefer bro today. Wanted a full spectrum and more ease controlling the light. The aquaknight has been great but changing settings is a pain in the ass. Now need to get a gooseneck.

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Update for the day:

Nitrate: 20 ppm
Phosphate: 0.25 ppm

Current nutrient export is chemipure elite for carbon / gfo and a bag of sea chem matrix deep in the sump for nitrate export. The matrix was placed about 2 weeks ago. Not sure if the anaerobic bacteria has started colonizing it yet as nitrates still seem to be 20 ppm.


But today, hair algae blooming everywhere. Guess the chemipure elite bag is gone. Wanna replace it with a IM Minimax reactor to run carbon / gfo / biopellets/ denitrate in the long run. Will pick up some nopox tmr as a quick fix to quickly reduce the nitrate and phosphate.

On a separate note...the alveopora was getting worse and worse

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More polyps receding and not coming out. I read that when corals start to brown it could be a sign of lack of light and therefore they produce more zooxenthellae to compensate. Decided to blast a couple of hours of full ai prime intensity with mostly blue light. In the end the most of the alveopora polyps started to extend more normally although it didn’t reach its full height.

Realized that because of the AI prime gooseneck, the light is about 25 cm higher than my previous hipargero aquaknight which is also rated at 30w. The additional height plus the light settings which weren’t at full power meant that the alveopora wasn’t getting enough light. So decided to program my own light schedule which is similar to what the hipargero was running with a plug timer last time. Purposely avoiding green and red spectrum for now because of the algae outbreak.

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No wonder people say the aquaknight can grow sps...it’s 30w but the light mount is very close to the water.




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For a small tank no need so much chemical filtration, why not do more water changes as it is not a lot of water. Also what kind of water do you top up with and do your water changes with?

 

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For a small tank no need so much chemical filtration, why not do more water changes as it is not a lot of water. Also what kind of water do you top up with and do your water changes with?
 


Hi Clement, thanks for your feedback.

I’m topping up with distilled water and using distilled water with aqua forest salt for WC.

I’m aware small tanks can just rely on wc for nutrient export but unfortunately I can get quite busy with work and family (and I admit I am lazy to do wc) so I want to give chemical filtration a shot. Aiming for a low maintenance tank.




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Picked up a bottle of nitraguard titanium. Its a carbon based nitrate remover that doesn’t take redfield’s ratio into account, ie it can remove nitrates even if there isn’t any phosphate. Nitraguard is biodegradable and will need to be replenished. Unlike biopellets, it doesn’t need a reactor. In fact it’s recommended not to use a reactor as it will self tumble into dust. Instead, you just need to put it into a media bag with an air stone to aerate it as it needs to be strongly oxygenated.

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Soaking it overnight as instructions to remove the dust.

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Put 43g of nitraguard titanium in the supplied media bag, added an air stone and used a zip tie to secure everything.

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Tried putting it in the 2nd and 3rd compartment but was not a fan of the salt spray going everywhere. In the end I found the top compartment of the media caddy to be a good place. Covered it with filter floss and a old sponge to block all the bubbles. There’s a slight gurgling sound but it’s ok.

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Now to wait 7-14 days for the nitraguard to start working. Today’s nitrate is still 20 ppm.


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Nitrates still at 20 ppm so started dosing bacteria with seachem stability.

Also added seachem phosguard in a media bag to lower phosphate and silicates. I’ve only been using distilled water so I assume the rock is leaching silicates out.

Was researching quite a lot about phosphate absorbers and decided to go with phosguard since I can just use it in a media bag.

Sump is really crowded now...

Eshopps nano skimmer
Nitraguard titanium
Phosguard
Chemipure elite
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GHA is quite bad so added a lawnmower goby.

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bro, since ur tank is small, just do water change easier, i also have a nano and doing what u did to avoid water change last time lol( adding gfo, reactor, more and more media bricks etc) doesn’t work for me and i also added a lawnmower to eat gha, that bugger dont eat gha, only munching the film algae on glass, for gha manual removal will be better plus use tooth brush to brush off the deritus, keep doing it and once ur tank stable the gha should go away. just sharing.


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Hey bro, appreciate you sharing your experience.

Can’t deny I want to avoid wc, if this round of phosphate and nitrate export doesn’t work I will probably just give up and do wc haha.

In the meantime I’m quite hopeful the phosguard will pull down phosphate and sillicates since everyone raves about it, it’s just that the nitraguard hasn’t been working out in reducing nitrate even if I have a ton of bio media (2x marine pure blocks and half a bottle of matrix)

To address the nitrate issue besides dosing bacteria, I’ve replaced the filter pad with sera crystal clear filter wool balls which I clean everyday now (no more filter pad nitrate factory) and also relocated the nitraguard to the 3rd compartment for higher flow since it needs to be oxygenated.

Saw the lawnmower goby take a few bites of the gha...hopefully he keeps doing that. Think I need to start praying to it everyday hahaha!

Anyway, forgot to mention another tweak I did recently was to remove the filter sponge from the eshopps nano skimmer pump coz it kept getting clogged and affecting the skimming level and power. I also realized if I set the water level in my sump the proper way (water level in 3rd compartment should be slightly lower than 2nd), the skimmer water level was too low even if I lowered the skimmer to the maximum. I hardly got any skimmate and wasn’t removing enough DOCs. The corals weren’t happy.

I removed the filter sponge and set the skimmer to bubble around half height of the cup and it pulled out a lot of crap. So much so the water in the display was noticeably clearer overnight.

I let it skim wet (half a cup a day) for about a week and the corals are back to full extension.


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bro just be careful of ur phosguard and bacteria dosing, the problem with chemical stuff is that its easy to overdose, i got overuse GFO and corals died b4, so for smaller tanks i tink WC is still the easiest and best, and i realized u never use rocks? add some rocks for better bio filter and will improve ur tank visual i tink, upz for the sera balls, i also using its good and eazy to use.


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Yup I’m well aware about crashing the phosphates too fast. I added 12ml which a little lower than the recommended dose of 17ml.

A shopkeeper told me when using bacteria and carbon dosing it’s important to feed the corals regularly to avoid stripping the water too much. Currently feeding reef roids every other day or 2.

What I read about GFO vs phosguard is that gfo pulls phosphate very quickly but lasts longer. Phosguard is aluminum oxide based which reduces phosphate slower and doesn’t last as long. Safer but needs replacement more often.

I have a Caribsea rock, I want to sort out my nutrient issues first before adding more. Thinking to go for a euphylia garden with some acans/blasto on the bottom. Still thinking whether to keep bare bottom or have a sand bed.

For the sera balls don’t pull or stretch them. I did that to one in my FW tank to get more coverage and it’s lost it’s ball shape and flattened out, very hard to clean now. How much and where did you get your sera balls from? I’ve been buying mine from THAT aquarium at 328...$2 a ball


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i got the sera balls from woodlands, whole box i tink 18-19 bucks got like 12 balls i tink. i sick of cleaning filter socks or replacing filter wool, i change to filter media cup and just dump all the balls inside, just clean once a week no problem. my balls also not as round after prolong use but i dont think affects its performance, still pulling a lot gunk out.


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I see, damn I should’ve just bought 1 box and save my money

Phosphate yesterday was 0 measured with API kit. Happy the phosphate got reduced from 0.25. Guess it’s time to get a Salifert or Hanna checker to see where the phosphate level is actually at. Took out phosguard to avoid crashing. Maybe I will put it in every other day for now.

Nitrates was 15 ppm. Hope it would go down more but at least it’s moving in the right direction. Will continue to dose stability for few more days to establish the denitrifying bacteria more.


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today's update:

Frogspawn is doing well and growing 

Mystic torch also doing well and polyp extension is good 

Nitrate still at 20 ppm - losing patience with nitra guard titanium. Decided to swap out the marinepure blocks in the media caddy with seachem matrix to see if matrix will do a better job at nitrate reduction. Seachem recommends matrix to reduce nitrate in high flow (>200 lph). As frequently claimed by other reefers my marinepure block was brittle to the touch. No more marinepure for me. Added about 200ml of matrix in a media bag. Just nice fit the bio media section of the media caddy. 

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u got do wc? got change in frequency? if the frequency change is less and nitrate still at 20ppm means the nitraguard working? yes agree the marine pure brittle, duno why so popular, i used both matrix and MP. but based on visual the porosity of MP is super, probably thats y lol...


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Nitrate was 20 ppm before nitraguard so it hasn’t been effective. Giving it another shot by burying the nitraguard deep into the sump as I noticed the water level fluctuation due to filter floss clogging up means sometimes the nitraguard is not fully submerged.

The other remaining option is to try a different bacteria eg mb7 or prodibio. But the nitraguard manual never state to dose bacteria so technically it should work without zzz

Just fixed up my 4 stage di filter so if this still doesn’t work will just do a 2x25% wc to get nitrates down to my target ppm of 10.


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