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My Slice of Nature (Part 3)


SubzeroLT

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Beefing up the joints of the aluminum profile side table with block nuts & joint plates in prep for a small connected  tank.

This stand straddles over the compressor & partially hides it from view. 'Open' concept stand to maximize air flow.

IMG_2711 (Medium).JPG

 

Current Zoa tank converted to house new fishes to acclimatize to eating pellets. Hungry fish on the right doing a great job grazing on the algae on the glass - its so clean compared to the left side.

IMG_2695[1] (Medium).jpg

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I remain very attentive to your evolution, your reef tank looks every day more beautiful.:score:
I have some questions for you.
Are you using soda Lime to maintain your ph, do you notice any increase in the potassium level?
What is your new configuration of your hydras lights?

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22 hours ago, Roman said:

I remain very attentive to your evolution, your reef tank looks every day more beautiful.:score:
I have some questions for you.
Are you using soda Lime to maintain your ph, do you notice any increase in the potassium level?
What is your new configuration of your hydras lights?

Muchas gracias. 

Yes, i'm using diving grade soda lime and don't notice an increase in potassium.  I still dose potassium regularly at roughly the same amounts.

In an attempt to increase pH, i'm doing the following :

1) Soda lime for skimmer air intake

2) Dosing kalk at night (auto dosing with the apex)

3) ATS lighting hours mostly at night

4) Air pump at night (though i don't think it does very much)

 

My AI lights configuration can be found here : http://www.aquaillumination.com/file/signature/ai-signature-leonTan.aip

 

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Culturing rotifer, tisbe & other free swimming pods to feed the tank.

 

Tisbe are great as they are bottom dwelling pods. 

Tisbe (Large).JPG

 

 

A quick video of the mandarins & scooter blenny.

Its nice that the red scooter & blue mandarin dragonet are eating pellets. Spotted mandarins exclusively on pods for now.

The video also shows the blue mandarin dragonet attacked by a red tip hermit crab :(

 

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Made a new LED light for the ATS as previous ones got wet from  water splashing & shorted out.

This time it is fully sealed on the 'wet' side. And have heat sinks to help with cooling.

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Ensured some gap for heat to escape

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Got these "Algae Cutter" pad (from ReefMarketSG). They worked very well for for scrubbing algae from my acrylic tank since metal blades cannot be used on acrylic. They worked well on glass too.

 

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This is what the mesh looks like under the microscope. Interesting to see the nylon strips/fiber construction. No wonder they can scrape off the algae quite well

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Setting up the Alkatronic this weekend. Small investment for that much needed peace of mind when travelling. 

Folks in the SRC chat group asked for a review, so i'll just share more updates here.

P1012939 (Large).jpg

 

It works as a standalone device or connected to any aquarium controllers.

You do this by connecting the BNC out connector from the Alkatronic to the Apex controller (PH probe input). It makes the Apex think its reading a pH probe but its actually your KH reading instead. This means i'm still able to use my Apex Neptune Classic :)

IMG_3223[1] (Large).jpg

 

Still in progress of setting it up. Saw that it comes with a tiny stir bar.

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The stir bar goes into the glass beaker. That's a magnetic stirrer beneath it.

IMG_3233[1] (Large).jpg

 

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I agree with u that the only draw back of that ATS model is the led construction.. since you have modify it with a better led with heat sink it should be pretty durable now..

Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app

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On 2/11/2018 at 11:35 PM, he said:

I agree with u that the only draw back of that ATS model is the led construction.. since you have modify it with a better led with heat sink it should be pretty durable now..

Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app
 

This ATS from you is probably one of the best addition for the tank :)

Yeah... hopefully its more durable now.

 

On the to-do list is to make a larger ATS based on this design.

 

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Awesome tank setup!! Looking forward to more updates (:
Can check with you where you get your tisbe copepods from? Thanks!

Yes, like to know as well.
Also how do you keep the pods alive and for how long. Would like to feed my mandarin if it is not too troublesome. Thanks


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On 2/11/2018 at 11:52 AM, andrewsoh said:

Nice! Waiting for ur review
 

Using & exploring it extensively now. Yeah...will share something this weekend.

 

14 hours ago, sleexox said:

Do you leave your carbon in the sump for a month or take it out after 3-4 days? 

I typically leave it in there for a month.

I've ever used too much carbon & noticed coral colors become dull (losing green base on some corals). I suspect excessive carbon was used which adsorbed too much of some elements (possibly iron?).  So i would monitor the corals & generally leave the carbon in the sump. But take it out if something odd is happening.

 

15 hours ago, Jason Ng said:


Also how do you keep the pods alive and for how long. Would like to feed my mandarin if it is not too troublesome. Thanks
 

I've had the Tisbe pods since Sept 17. They survive with fish food & algae/diatoms but do better when live phyto is added. 

The rotifer culture needs to be fed twice a day with nannochloropsis

 

On 2/13/2018 at 2:36 PM, jon77877 said:

Awesome tank setup!! Looking forward to more updates (:

Can check with you where you get your tisbe copepods from? Thanks!

Got it in USA through a friend. 

I recall its ~US$45 for a 800cc pack shipped to USA address. Not cheap at all.

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13 hours ago, Jaspertwj said:

Can you share the ATS design that you will be making as I am interested to DIY an ATS also.

Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app
 

Plan to replicate the same design as my current one. But just make it much taller to take advantage of the wasted space to the top of cabinet.  That means, about double the original size.

IMG_3421[1] (Large) (2).jpg

 

Hope this pic helps

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Setting up the Alkatronic is not too difficult. In brief,

1) Hook up the tubes to the side of the unit.

(a) Reagent In - This is the reagent that's added bit by bit to measure KH value. Use your own container depending on how often you plan to test. Size it accordingly. In my case, I made 1L of reagent (which will last about 100 tests). More on mixing reagent later.  The reagent bottle needs to be placed close to the Alkatronic unit for better accuracy (as shorter tubes means less deviation of fluid flowing through the tubes of the peristaltic pumps.

IMG_3223[1] (Large).jpg.

 

(b) Water in = Water from your tank. 

A pre-filter is provided for the tube inlet

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I placed the inlet in the sump.

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(3) Water out = Linked to your own waste container. After each test, the solution is expelled from the test beaker.

(4) Alk In / Alk Out = I'm not using this at the moment as i'm just monitoring KH this week. But this is to enable very accurate KH dosing measurement to keep values very stable.

 

After all the tubes are hooked up, download the app on your mobile phone. From the app, prime the tubes then calibrate the pumps/pH probe

2) Calibrate pumps.

IMG_3484 (Large).PNG

Pump A = Water In

Pump C = Reagent In

Pump D = KH solution

 

- There are 4 peristaltic pumps in the unit. 3 of them needs to be calibrated (except waste out).

P1013004.jpg

 

Pump calibration is straight forward. The app will trigger a certain amount of water to be pumped out into the provided cyliner. Read & enter the amount of water collected back to the app. 

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3) Calibrate pH probe

- As per standard pH probe calibration process. Uses pH 4 / 7 reference solution.

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3) Configure App

- Entire aquarium volume. This is to enable pre-calculated auto KH dosing amount

- Interval - Ranges from 2-12hrs. The recommended interval is 4 hours. It is possible to manual trigger a measurement.

- Enter KH trigger limits. I set a 8.0-8.4 for a start. Plan to narrow the trigger range once it stabilizes. 

 

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You can set how much reagent was prepared. So the app will notify you when its going to finish.

 

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2 reagents are available. 

1) 1L Ready to use type 

2) 4L concentrated version - I got this

P1012953 (Large).jpg

 

The 4L version needs to be mixed with RODI water in a 1:4 ratio.

In my case, i mixed 200ml Reagent (1 part) with 800ml RODI water (4 parts). Final amount prepared is 1L.

 

The 4L concentrate can make a total of 20L of reagent. From Alkatronic website, this is sufficient for 2500 tests. That means, if you test every 4 hours (6 tests a day), the reagent will last 1 year. Super economical!

 

Used a digital weighing scale & a 5L container (previously used for ATO water)

As the mixture needs to be very accurate, once close to the 200g reagent mark, I used a syringe to drip in the reagent to reach exactly 200g.

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Then add 800g of water to make it 1000g 

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For those who prefer convenience & dislike mixing stuff, the 1L ready to use reagent is  another option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The chart below was based on 12 hour interval readings (9am/9pm) hence more fluctuations are observed.

I'm switching to 4 hours now.

 

Regarding accuracy, in my case, there is a small 0.1dKH offset lower compared Salifert manual method. But again, it is known that Salifert optical/color observation method has less accuracy compared to the titration/pH method. I'm not concerned with the offset at all as KH consistency is more important for the hobby.

IMG_3486[1] (Large).jpg

 

I read that the next software release will allow you to offset the Alkatronic calibration for those who are bothered by the offset & want to match manual methods.

Overall happy with the ability to test kH more regularly as its the most important parameter for a stable reef tank.

 

For those using dosing methodology, the Alkatronic unit can accurately dose KH solution & control a power plug to your dosing pump.

In my case, the CO2 regulator is hooked to the controlled power plug. If KH is too high, the unit turns off the CO2. Some folks configure it to cut off the feed pump instead. Both method works.

 

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Even though the Alkatronic works just fine as a standalone unit, I hooked it up to my Apex as well (into a pH probe input)

 

P1013045 (Large).jpg

 

KH reading on the Apex classic :)

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This is done by syncing the pH calibration between the Apex & Alkatronic.

Basically its tricking the Apex to display a PH reading that is actually a KH reading.

 

On the Apex interface : 

Alkatronic ph7 cal (Large).JPG

 

On the Alkatronic app interface :

IMG_3483 (Large).PNG

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Remember to feed your anemones.

I didn't feed this max mini carpet anemone for 4 weeks. It took out a perfectly healthy spotted mandarin which must have swam too close. The spotted mandarin was badly stung. Didn't make it.  :(

P1012971 (Large).jpg

 

More pics.

Midas Blenny found a new fav spot in the rocks.

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It was opportunistic that the large 6 line wrasse swam into a basket. I took the chance to isolate the 3 year old wrasse & introduce a baby 6 line wrasse. They are both swimming peacefully together for the past week :) 

IMG_3376[1] (Large).jpg

 

 

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