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My Slice of Nature (Part 3)


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4 hours ago, ben loh said:

So u replace the Alkatronic, mastertronic to trident? 
wat r the factor tat leads u to trident?

I'm still running the Alkatronic & plan to continue using it. Still find it very practical & economical to run, especially as a calcium reactor user. Its been running reliably since Feb 2018 with just one tube change so far. Mechanism is proven to be reliable and software is pretty good nowadays.


The mastertronic is covenient and replaces manual measurent using standard test kits. In particular, I find the Phosphate measurement capability good (170 tests with Red Sea test kit). One challenge with the Mastronic the past year is the avaliability of some reagents locally (eg. Phosphate & Magnesium)


I don't have a Dosetronic which executes a balanced dosing based on Alkalinity readings from the Alkatronic (not mastertronic)


Personally I'm testing the Trident to have more integration with the Apex ecosystem. What I have in mind is to integrate with the DOS pumps for dosing. And be able to set a target value & automatically dose. I may be travelling for work in the coming months & want to have a backup dosing system in case the calcium reactor has problems (bad experience in the past of effluent clogging or run out of CO2 when I'm out of the country). 


While there are a few other automated tester brands to consider nowadays, another factor I considered is having prompt & strong local technical support from Reef Depot during or even beyond warranty period. 



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Agree on the availability of regents..  but why you dun use alkalinity function on trident to use on CR instead of having 2 machine. Coz I’m thinking if can use 1 machine on CR and also measure CA n MG. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 8:09 AM, ben loh said:

Agree on the availability of regents..  but why you dun use alkalinity function on trident to use on CR instead of having 2 machine. Coz I’m thinking if can use 1 machine on CR and also measure CA n MG. 

I think both ways work.

In any case, I think the Alkatronic is very practical for Calcium Reactor since alkalinity is a good reference for the effluent and also a good closed loop check if something goes wrong with the CR system.


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Noticed the downflow slowing down. And more water flowing into the emergency drain. Probably time to clean the clarisea pipe.



As expected the internal pipe is filled with debris. This extra work could have been avoided by having a finer grill over the down pipe in the overflow area.



Trimmed one of the pink birdsnest colony and had to use rubber band to stabilize it while the glue dried.



View of the other half of the tank. 


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CO2 tank empty.

20th Feb -> 25th July => 5 months 5 days. Not bad.



Actually the CO2 pressure started to reduce probably on 24th July but I didn't set the warning PH thresholds correct in the Apex programming. Probably a typo error during the old/new Apex transfer. I received the email warning at 7.6pH instead of 6.7pH.



Because of this, KH dropped drastically on 25th July from ~ 8.3KH to 7KH in a day.



By the way, the CO2 Art regulator is very reliable so far. The O-ring is a hard plastic which does not squish or detiorirate so easily.



CO2 regulartor programming :



This virtual outlet is to fine tune the timing to switch off the CO2 in order to maintain the  KH levels within a day.



Virtual outlet to toggle notification when running out of CO2


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Trident's alkalinity reagent finished last week and i finally managed to find time to swap it out this weekend. Process is quite simple.

Just click on the task icon to triger the manual & process flow.





Step by step with instructions

image.png.c9b5849c7f84f783d1c3e2664b20f049.png image.png.14ecb567c69620db14c3887645413190.png

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Very often, we wish to know the flow rate of our return pumps or more importantly, through the UV sterilizer.  Recently I got an Apex flow sensor (1" size). Here are some thoughts that went into the piping retrofit. My AquaUV is located outside my sump but the space is quite tight.


A proper method of using the flow sensor is to set it up to measure flow only when needed. These flow sensors should not be run 24/7 and in-line with the main flow. Aside from excessive wear & tear, it'll be subject to clogs (eg chaeto or vermatid snail bits getting stuck on the paddle wheel). While its nice to know the flow rate at any point in time, or to be triggered when flow slows down, the trade off far outweights the benefits.

The initial plan was to set it up this way. This would be the way i'd have set it up during initial tank setup. Have a splitter and valves to direct the flow to the flow meter as necessary.



Bought the piping required.... but the assembly is too large.



But finally decided to go with something simpler & more versatile -just plug directly into the hose to measure as and when needed. With the threaded fittings, I could change to different fittings for different setups.



Setting it up to Apex Fusion is simple.


Plug the flow sesnor the the FMM module.



From the task selection, select "Flow Sensor"



Select the FMM module



Select the port then rename it accordingly.



Select the size of the flow sensor.



Once done. new tiles will appear. Then drag onto the dashboard.



That is is the flow rate through my UV sterilizer. 117 G/hr = 442 L/hr. WHAT!! So low flow rate!!  Absolutely not maximizing the UV effectiveness at all. 

From here, I did some changes to the tubing and pump power to significantly improve the flow (will share more on this in the next post).  Its so good to have a flow sensor handy to optimize the system and to know its possible to get up to 1817L/hr through the UV with my current plumbing & pump.


Checking flow through the UV sterilizer








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