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My Slice of Nature (Part 3)


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Some have asked about Nyos Bio Booster. Its a somewhat convenient all in one product that includes 'carbon dosing' + amino acids + vitamins.

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Using it the past year with pretty good results. Based on my limited layman understanding, this is what I make out of what's stated on the brochure & what it actually does.

  • Carbon dosing boosts specific beneficial bacteria population which reduces nitrate/phosphates.
  • The resulting increased biomass is also used by corals as particulate nutrition.
  • And it also contains a blend of amino acids & other ingredients to improve growth & colors.

Definition of biomass : plant or animal material that can be used for energy production

Definition of particulate matter : microscopic particles of solid/liquid matter suspended in water

 

 

 

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Hosting this chalice for a fellow reefer. Can see its covering a little more of the frag plug.   Found a baby Banggai Cardinal yesterday morning. Scooped it out before it gets eaten by

I've started to journey into the microscopic world of the reef tank. Invested in a good microscope with a camera hooked up. Its great to be able to pinpoint issues and apply the correct fix. For examp

Currently the Kalk stirrer is hooked to the Apex & switches ON for 2min. Once every hour. Quite a waste to use the Apex for this simple purpose.  Tried using one of those standard smart wifi

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@ David

This is how to better control the amount of pellets the auto feeder dispenses. By using a larger slot + add a bit of tape to dial it down a little.

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Got an AquaUV 57w UV sterilizer from RMS not long ago. Main purpose is not to reduce risks related to protozoa (ich) & algae. But more for ridding accumulated toxins in an enclosed reef tank. These toxins come from zoanthids, chemical warfare between corals in close proximity, bioaccumulation from the self prepared fresh fish/prawn meat, aerosols from the air etc. Just worried about long term effects.

According to the specs, the AquaUV unit is suitable for tanks up to 1300L. And capable of achieving 90,000 uw/cm2 with water flow rate of 4000l/hr.  At these specs, the AquaUV is easily capable to eradicate protozoa when it passes through the filter.

uw (micro watts) /cm2 is a measure of energy intensity.  For reference, the killing dose of UV [uw/cm2]. 

  • Bacteria = 15,000 — 30,000
  • Algae = 22,000 — 30,000
  • Protozoa = 90,000

 

Some pics :

Printed some brackets to hold the UV unit

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Printed a power supply bracket. Made a small slot on the lower bracket for easy PSU removal.

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Reinforcement tubes used at places where the hoses may kink (and restrict the flow rate).

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In my set up, water is fed by an Ecotech Vectra S1. Water flow rate to the AquaUV is estimated ~ 2500L/hr (rough visual guess. I don't have a flow meter).

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Outlet water pipe exits the AquaUV, right in front of one of the return pump via this tube adapter. The plan is the suction from the return pump pulls all the 'clean' water goes back to the display tank. Hence, an estimated 40% of the total water flow to the display tank is sterilized. I think this is good enough.

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UV lighting schedule. Not switched on 24/7 at this point. Plan to increase UV hours progressively.

Black = Off. Blue = On

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Amateur Apex programming below :(     Keen to get suggestions.

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Been working on optimizing 'flow efficiency'. There are 3 pumps in the return section of the sump. 2 return pump + 1 smaller Vectra S1 pump that supplies water to all the reactors (eg. UV, sulfur, rowaphos)

 

 

Ideally all the filtered/clean water should return directly to the display tank & not get recirculated back through the reactor again. This is the same issue/challenge for reefers who pump water to a chiller and return the water back to the sump instead of directly to the display tank.

 

I made a better tube adapter recently that clamps to the return pump (left). It holds the tubes from the reactor just in front of the return pump inlet.

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This right adapter clips onto the Phosban 150 reactor body & lid. And a funnel in the base that links to a PVC hose that leads to the return pump.

Left Small hose = Sulfur reactor 

Left Large tube = UV sterilizer 

Right hose = Rowaphos reactor 

 

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Currently the Kalk stirrer is hooked to the Apex & switches ON for 2min. Once every hour. Quite a waste to use the Apex for this simple purpose. 

Tried using one of those standard smart wifi power plugs. But those only allow a max of about 16 events (i.e. 8x on + 8x off) This is not enough for the kalk stirrer. 

 

Objective of this mini project was to free up one plug on the Apex so it can be put into better close loop control of equipment (instead of just using as a standard timer)

  • Using an FRM01 timer board.
  • Set to Function 5
  • T1 = 2min, T2 = 60min
  • The trigger button is added to manually trigger the stirrer to switch on.
  • Case part is printed. Box is mounted to a 'dry' section of the cabinet.

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Water change day.

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Starlight blenny & mandarin dragonet rushing to the isolation box (usually straddled across the brace) as its full of algae & pods

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Time to clear the algae in the refugium

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The Clarisea filter can still last a few weeks. (1 month 20 days so far)

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Some random coral pics from the weekend.

Noticed that duncans don't sting other corals (at least not the forest fire digi)

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Possibly time to move the valida coral :(

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Moved this to a high light area

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Croc Island Scolly sprouting another baby head

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Total 3 additional heads since getting it in Jan 2019

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Gentle reminder to check pump volumes on a regular basis. Especially for the smaller dosing pumps (eg Kamoer, Coralbox, Jebao dosers). Small errors will add up to cause problems over time. 

Here i'm testing the Versa pump accuracy. Still accurate & loving it.

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Tank has been quite stable with the Versa pushing 2.2L of kalk daily.

Alkatronic is doing 4 tests per day (6hrs apart). pH is doing OK considering this is an indoor tank with cabinet around the sump.

 

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Not too happy with the sulfur reactor water flow consistency. A Versa pump for this purpose would be ideal.

Note ORP shown on the Sulfur chart is actually reversed ORP (i.e. negative values)

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Some folks asked how i keep my big 3 water parameters stable. In reality, it is not that stable. Ca, Mg, KH is consumed at different rates. Sometimes consumption is higher on days when trace elements are added. Sometimes, the calcium reactor pH drifts a little (bubble count related?) and the concentration of the effluent changes. 

Ca & Mg is measured weekly & may end up lower than targeted (eg. Ca @ 380ppm  instead of 420ppm target or Mg @ 1350ppm instead of 1450ppm target). This is then corrected manually by mixing Ca/Mg powder & dripped in manually.

 

 

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Sometimes its hard to frag zoa when they grow on rocks.

 

3D printed a simple 'connected' frag plate where the tabs are easy to cut with a knife. Makes more sense for zoa than stony corals.

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A frag of zoa

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Stuck the chalice on anyway

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Close up of the bottom

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Tops down iPhone pics

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This purplish candy cane is changing color under very high light.

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Top up CR today.

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well it took a fair while to read the thread but it was well worth it, thankyou leon. your mythodical approach to husbandry shows what can be achieved if your repared to do the work and spend the money. i picked up heaps of great tips which i intend to use. thanks again  john

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2 hours ago, shnapper20 said:

well it took a fair while to read the thread but it was well worth it, thankyou leon. your mythodical approach to husbandry shows what can be achieved if your repared to do the work and spend the money. i picked up heaps of great tips which i intend to use. thanks again  john

Thanks :) 

 

 

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page 5 your using seachem denitrate reactors, page 30 your installing a biopellet reactor and I think somewhere there was a pic where the apex was monitoring sulfur, which would imply a sulfur reactor. So what  are you using ? which was better? I used a biopellet reactor for years which worked well so long as I checked for blockages , pump failure and medium level. If any of the fore mentioned occurred it set it back weeks to get it back to where it was.

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3 hours ago, shnapper20 said:

hi on page 34 you show your running rowaphos through the Nyos Torq, yet on page 36 you you show you are using  a two little fishes reactor .  so is there a reason for this?

The Nyos Torq reactor works very well. The media fluidizing capability is amazing, allowing good contact time & able to control phosphates quickly.

I placed it in the compartment between skimmer & return section (that's the only space available)

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At the same time, my tank's pH was quite low ~ 7.8. Partially contributed by the high effluent rate from the calcium reactor (~ 140ml/min).

A 'refugium' box growing algae is supposed to help take up some of the CO2. Hence it became a choice point to sacrifice the Nyos Torq in place of a box to take up CO2 laden water.

Pic below shows the Prime fuge light + acrylic box straddling on top of the media section.

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Since the rowa is still needed, its now running using a TLF Phosban 150 reactor. Its clearly less effective compared to a Nyos Torq for this tank size.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, shnapper20 said:

page 5 your using seachem denitrate reactors, page 30 your installing a biopellet reactor and I think somewhere there was a pic where the apex was monitoring sulfur, which would imply a sulfur reactor. So what  are you using ? which was better? I used a biopellet reactor for years which worked well so long as I checked for blockages , pump failure and medium level. If any of the fore mentioned occurred it set it back weeks to get it back to where it was.

Seachem denitrate works. Inlet water can be 10ppm nitrate. Output water can be 0.5ppm nitrate (or even 0ppm). However it dripped at a slow rate @ 1 drop per second. For a 850L tank, this drip rate is not effective enough in the whole scheme of things.

 

I later switch to biopellet reactor which is basically carbon dosing. It is effective but has its issues :

  • For the amount of media used (~700ml), it needed very very high flow rate through the fluidized reactor (possibly 2000L/hr) to prevent the biopellets from clumping
  • Biopellet water is fed directly into the skimmer for it to take away the excess slime. However its very likely that not all the slime is removed by the skimmer
  • Was using NP biopellet (not cheap @ $100 per liter). It depletes quite fast and expect to use about 2 bags per year.
  • Some cyano bacteria appeared in low flow areas of the display tank after about 2 months. Hence the decision to take it down.

 

After removing the biopellet reactor, nitrates shot up to the 25ppm levels.

I'm currently using a sulfur reactor. It has its set up challenges but feel its the best choice made so far and will likely use this long term.

Pros :

  • Media will last for many years. Just set it up & leave it.
  • Despite quite heavy daily feeding. Tank nitrate level is about 2.5ppm. Good enough. I think a larger reactor is needed if there is a need to reduce further.

Cons

  • The sulfur reactor tends to clog very easily because the effluent flow isn't high. It has a lot of slime that will even clog a 6mm hose.
  • Due to the regular clogging, I rely on the ORP meter/Apex to monitor.  Next steps could be to use a Versa peristaltic pump. That should resolve the clogging issue entirely.
  • Initial set up is more expensive - recirculating reactor like a calcium reactor, ORP meter/controller

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, fatphotoboy said:

Able to advice where you got those sulphur media? It's not being sold at most shop. Thanks in advance.

Sent from my ELS-NX9 using Tapatalk
 

You can find sulfur media from Aquamarin (Skimz brand). In the past, I also got it from DE Aquatic (Caribsea brand)

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You can find sulfur media from Aquamarin (Skimz brand). In the past, I also got it from DE Aquatic (Caribsea brand)
Thanks for the information sharing.

Sent from my ELS-NX9 using Tapatalk

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On 9/5/2016 at 1:15 AM, SubzeroLT said:

Did the usual process of cleaning the rocks

Bleach, soak, scrub the rocks for a day or so :

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Then rinse with tap water / anti chlorine a couple of time. Having a large open bucket like this 120L one from ikea is great

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Having some water movement should improve the efficiency to remove the bleach. Soaked the rocks in tap water for a few days.

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Let the rocks dry, then vinegar soak for 15min. 

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just curious why did you soak in vinegar?

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32 minutes ago, shnapper20 said:

just curious why did you soak in vinegar?

These are rocks given by fellow reefers. Were in very bad dirty state.

Soaking in vinegar is supposed to melt away some of the dirty surface, resulting in less organics waste when setting the tank. i.e.attempting to start with a clean slate. Below is a screen shot from BRSTV.

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Making a larger ring for the chalice frag.

 

Printed it out of ABS material.

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All done.

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Chalice removed from tank

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Underside of the frag. This is the 3rd extension.

A mess of material used. But i just print with whatever ABS is loaded.

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Back in the tank within 2 min

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