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My Slice of Nature (Part 3)


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Many thanks to Peter from Aardenasia (Distributor for Prodibio & Colombo test kits) for the invite to a small gathering and sharing at Specialised Aquatics Solutions last week.


Learned some product insights from Dr Nicolas along the way.



Thanks so much for the goodie bag :)



Photo credits : Lincoln 



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  • 4 weeks later...
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On 11/9/2022 at 8:59 PM, he said:

The spotted clam looks huge, how long have you been keeping it ?

Got it as a baby clam (~ 2.5") from SAS back in July 21. So its about 16 months.

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Have been focussed on managing water parameters & water quality the past months.

My go-to source for managing bacteria. Since stepping up on Biodigest, Biotim & Probiotix, nitrates have fallen to a healthier 5-10ppm levelsimage.jpeg.70af268c696845ef654ff5ef73afc8ce.jpeg


Nicely wound up. Clarisea fleece roller for mechanical filtration. image.jpeg.59b8a0c6a7e1b87d61e7136ccf8be9fc.jpeg


Left side of the tank. image.jpeg.6bac2df309dc32bdfe1124590cb122b2.jpeg


Right side of the tank



Love for deepwater acropora. Purplish tip showing up recently



Tenius image.jpeg.ffe74a6019c44d27f31200ead6a4bc46.jpeg


Another Tenius (pic with yellow filter)image.jpeg.f6790e0d25885e3e913c00a6d2c4418f.jpeg


Nauti Spiral Montipora image.jpeg.1276faabf7b2856785460a95541229c0.jpeg


Branching Hammerimage.jpeg.bd39de50aa0e2d6dc0bf9ee191406f74.jpeg


Red Ferrari Acropora (with yellow filter)



Red Ferrari Acropora (without yellow filter)image.jpeg.0ad7eaf64442ef9c6f4ba2eb0d851646.jpeg





Surprised the trachy is not stung by the max mini carpet anemone.





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  • 3 weeks later...
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Reproducing a post from my facebook page in late Oct :
The Apex Trident is great but the default setting runs Alk 4x a day and Ca/Mg 2x a day.
As a calcium reactor user, such frequent testing isn't really required. Half this frequency would be good enough. To be honest I was on the fence for a while about running with a Trident back then.
Thanks Larry for sharing this link to manually program the frequency of the test.
Kudos to the author of the above post. Its a great hack to minimize wastage (sustainability) and test only what we need. Half the consummables cost now.
A couple of fellow reefing friends were holding back on the Trident just because of the running cost. Its a no brainer now. Go for it !!
Since then, I've been testing at this reduced frequency. Alk at 7am. And combined (Alk, Ca, Mg) at 7pm.
Several contacted me that the Reef2Reef description wasn't clear. So here are my screen shots with a little more detailed steps.
1) Start at your Apex fusion page. Click on the "System" icon (refer to red arrow)
2) Below is the system view. Click on the Trident "gear" icon to reveal more on the Trident.
3) The purpose of this page is to know the module address of your Trident. It can be different on yours. In my case, its located at address "7"
4) This is where the secret hack is located. To program the frequency, you need to go to the outlet of the trident. Firstly, go back to fusion home page & click on the outlet icon.
4a) Pick on any outlet. It does not matter which one. In my case, i randomly picked 2_4. 
This means Module 2_Outlet4.
4c) This is my view for outlet 2_4. But what we want to do is to edit the ending of the address bar <Module>_<Address>.
Replace the "2_4". In my case to the Module of the Trident (7) and Address for Combined test (3) to become 7_3.
5) Programming for Combined test at 7am. Rememer to save/upload.
6) Change the address to "4" for Alk test. Programming for combined test at 7pm.

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I'm one of those who don't really take care of cutters. May or may not rinse/dry it after use. Sometimes leave it on the brace of the tank for days. It was featured on Sam Parker's youtube page recently. Using it since early 2021. Pic today -  Think its quite good. Little damage from salt water. The plasma coating helps for sure.

It'll probably be in even better condition if its rinsed & dried after every use. Mental note to self.




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Super busy with work the past 4-5 weeks and spent only 5 minutes each day to feed & dose trace elements. Not really the approach I'd like to take with such a nice hobby but work had to come first. Relied entirely on the Apex to trigger when the ATO water level was low, or when the calcium reactor efffluent outlet was clogged. Relied on the Trident to monitor the big 3 (Ca, Mg, KH) but unfortunately phosphates crept up to ~ 0.55ppm when I checked it last week.

Trusty ole Apex



Fortunately the tank is generally OK. No brown jelly incidents the past month since switching back to full Coral Essentials regime. The effects of high phosphates was evident - corals not exposed to direct light looks duller.

Finally with the Christmas break, i've been able to change the Rowaphos and take some pics today.

Typically I'd use about 250g of Rowa (this fills about 1/4 of the Torq 1.0 body). Then tune it such that the tumbling reaches about 2/3 height of the reactor. On hindsight, i should have gone with the 2.0 torq body but was not in stock back then.



Shifted the gonio from sand bed to the rocks near the wavemaker. It seems happier here.



Daily coral feed - ideally 2x a day if time permits (else minimum 1x)



Running out of Reef Roids.image.jpeg.daf782e128c2802049871f0fad3aa9b9.jpeg


All mixed up with a bit of tank water.image.jpeg.6e17805f06551e7fb41e1ed0d09aa2cd.jpeg


Tenius feedingimage.jpeg.a0f286f074e7686a5eac03f9613dcd25.jpeg


Trachyphyllia has instant feeding reactionimage.jpeg.aa81fe0ceddd4c645a5f4ac91630678e.jpegimage.jpeg.e048ed1c1b104441e34f248438535ca3.jpeg


Acanthophyllia as well.



Clams tend to slam shut when you direct dose. Not sure if they like it or get irritated by it.








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I 3D printed an MP60 dry side holder to secure a cable to a 'safety hook' to take the load off the cable.



Some coral pics from today.

Elegance originally from Golden Octopus. Good memories of the place. 



Got this staghorn from Reefing Reality some monts back. 



Sea cucumberimage.jpeg.16738e65e2d57ffbb779a7942ac6c5fb.jpeg


Hammer garden



Bali Shortcake (from Coral Fanatics)



Nautali Spiral looks to have grown a bit



The trachy seems to be OK wih the max mini carpet anemone


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Logging here for traceability. 

PO4 was measured at ~0.55ppm on 23rd December 22. Used 250ml of rowaphos in a torq reactor for a 850 L system.

Measured again on Monday 2nd January 23 (10 days later). PO4 measured at 0.15ppm. That's a nice 0.4ppm reduction. Can evidently see coral colors looking better.



Based on Rowaphos product information, 250ml of Rowaphos can remove 3ppm of phosphates for 1000L system. This means about 3.53ppm capacity for 850L system.

I will probably never know how much PO4 is added per day or week. But the above numbers suggests the rowa still has absorption capacity for a few more weeks. The plan is to test PO4 again mid week. Then see if PO4 continues to drop or rise.



Also, its also very important to check that the rowaphos tumbles properly in the reactor regularly. As with any reactor that use sponge as a fine particle trap, the sponge will clog/load & the flow slows down. Fortunately with the Nyos Torq, its easy to pop out the cap/sponge for a quick rinse every few days.


Also finally cleaned the skimmer cup. As I tell myself every time - need to do this more frequently.



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Got a persistent Code 2 error on the Alkatronic despite several reboots. Related to "unstable reading".

A quick check by priming each tube shows the tubes on Pump B (tank water) having air. image.jpeg.bdc13468903d58354319fac6ccb1d6ff.jpeg


The silicone tube inside the peristaltic pump is cracked, allowing air to go in.



Got a set of tubes from Reef Depot.image.jpeg.ce1f7e7926f95647ffbed797518c1ca5.jpeg


Cleaned up the rollers


When inserting the silicone tubes into the barbs, I will dip it in water to help lubricate the joint & ease the insertion. Less risk of damaging the silicone hose at the sharp barb edge.




All tubes replaced in 10 minutes.


Primed the tubes & calibrated pumps C (Reagent) & A (Tank Water). Then ran 3 tests to 'stabilize' the readings.

Quite a few asked me how the Alkalinity numbers compare between equipment. This is what I'm having.

1) Salifert test kit : 8.3 dKH

2) Alkatronic : 8.09 dKH (baseline calibration disabled)

3) Trident : 7.94

Close enough :)


Random pic from this evening.



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Got the Apex Neptue Liquid Level Sensor a couple of weeks back. Absolutely love it. 

Initially I thought I'd just use it to notify me of the sump water level as i've had the compressor coil exposed before. But it turns out the sump water level can be an indicator & trigger for much more.


Was initially trying to avoid this :


Got the 15" version. There are 4 sizes available (4", 15", 25" & 5")image.jpeg.3c7f0792cff41b3aecf209e58935f0ca.jpeg


The bottom is open ended for water to enter 



Hook it to the edge of the sump



Placed in last compartment of the sump near the return pumps


Using to :

  1. Trigger App, email & LED light notiication when return chamber reaches a minimum low water level. Avoid problem of compressor coil exposed or water level so low that air is drawn into the return pumps (which can damage the pumps)
  2. Visually monitor sump water level as a check that the ATO (fixed volume per day) is topping up at the right rate. 
  3. Turns off skimmer and Clarisea when the return pumps are in feed mode (hence sump water level rises)
  4. App/email remotie notification when sump water level is too high - an indication that the return pump is OFF (forgot to turn it back on?) or not working (eg. Snail gets caught on the pump impeller)


In any case, here is a video review that covers what's mentioned above :


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Also got an Apex Optical Leak Detector which saved me from a messy clean up job, a couple of days back when my old sufur reactor sprung a small leak into the cabinet.

Plugs into the Fluid Monitoring Module (FMM). I think the new Apex A3 models have FMM built into it the main controller as now.





Some internal optics that allow the sensor cover a large area under the sensor. The round metal disc looks like a weight to keep the sensor in place. I like the new generation sensor as its encased in a plastic shell - protects it from salt water for long term realiability.image.jpeg.6b986b1b3e6631c90b64166d290b9b8d.jpeg


This is my 6 year old leak sensor of an earlier design.



One issue is that it'll corrode after some time. I've had some sensors that were badly corroded that the metal surface is totally corroded away (and won't sense leaks anymore).



I tried some DIY leak sensors previously but they corrode/damage too quickly after very short exposure to salt water. 

For something as critical as a leak sensor, I'd just go with something more robust & reliable. Plan to get a couple more of these Optical Leak Sensors.





Right now I've relocated it to another strategic spot.  A leak will trigger

1) FMM module audible alarm

2) A red LED connected to one of the energy bar plug turns on

3) Sends email & app notification



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Some of you may have heard my tank had a major wipe out in early January. Long story short - Took my covid booster shot that day. Did some tank maintenance that night. Switched off the return pumps, compressor & wavemaker. Felt quite ill and fell asleep. Totally knocked out. Woke up about 6 hours later to find the tank all cloudy. These died due to lack of oxygen .....



During the night, the apex app warned me of rising tank temperatures beyond the 28.5deg upper threshhold but i was asleep. The wavemaker backup batteries didn't kick in because the wavemakers were turned off. A painful mistake indeed. Too careless.

A few fishes survived - my 3 clowns from 7 years ago, male mandarin dragonet (the female died), 1 yellow tang (from 6 years ago (its buddy died), 1 banggai cardinal, a couple of springeri damsels and a starlight blenny.

All the sea cucumbers shrunk to a tiny size but survived. Most corals survived. Lost 1-2 SPS colonies and a couple of torch/hammers. 

Thankfully, the tank made it through the next day without a total crash. I'd attrribute it robust bio filtration (thanks to regular dose of Prodibio). Didn't manage to find all the missing fish. There were probably a few stuck inside the rocks. The next day night (Wednesday), i added 2 vials each of Prodibio Biodigest, Biotim & Probiotix to boost the biofiltration. Due to work, I didn't manage to 'refresh' the water by doing 100L water change till Saturday.

An old pic for reference.



Once more stable, I added new fish else the corals will suffer. Started to restock with some fish from Iwarna. 2x splendid wrasse, 3 blue eye anthias, 2 royal gramma. All healthy & doing well.

In early Feb, I installed the Neptune Systems LLS (Liquid Level Sensor). This will trigger me when the return pumps are off (i.e. sump water level high) for > 20 minutes. And sound an audible alarm via the FMM module. In hindsight, having the audible alarm on would have migitaged this silly error.


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By early Feb, the water conditions was back to normal, or perhaps, it was in better condition due to low fish load. 

I'd like to acknowledge a fellow reefer for his generosity of gifting his fish over. You know who you are. Thank you so much.

Surprisingly, his 2 smaller yellow tangs get along with the resident surving yellow tang. All fish are generally getting along well.



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Added a 4ft Aqua Illumnination Blade around mid February. It replaces the 3 Hydra32 mounted at the front bar of the light stand. Since the lights are modular, I moved 2 Hydra32 above the SPS. The other one will be for a frag tank soon to be set up.




3D printed a holder835576867_IMG_4690(Large).jpeg.49775b3229d1b6fc7d7084a332e3bb58.jpeg


This is what the cluster looks like



Love how low profile it is. And its BRIGHT!

Wit just the Blade on and all other lights off, i'm getting around 93 PAR on the sand bed



And around 113 PAR mid of the rocks area

IMG_4707 (Large).jpeg

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This is the BLADE light setting



I loaned a thermal sensor. At full power, the external hottest part (the heat sink) is only 41degC




During the initial days of running the new light configuration, I put the Apex Neptune's PMK into use.





The measurement from Apex's PMK reads very close to the Apogee MQ510 PAR meter. 

Apex : 17 vs Apogee 175. Close enough




Current tank PAR readings around 3pm


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Some coral pics taken today.

Red Microlados.  From Coral Fanatics on 8th Jan 23.



Solar Flare. From Coral Fanatics on 8th Jan 23.



Acropora Latistella. Frag bought from fellow reefer Simwj ~ Nov 22



This piece from Reefing Reality ~ Sept 22. Red coloration on the polyps appearing recently.



Frag of Blue Dragon growing out nicely. In whitish light



Some items from a fellow reefer recently.

Acan Lord :image.jpeg.ddd1bf1bb7340b89fd3ead9eeef60050.jpeg


Love the bright colors of cyphastrea. Now looking for more variety



Thanks for the clam



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Went to top up my backup CO2 tanks yesterday @ Lim Yiew Siong (Woodlands Link)







I transported the tanks secured vertically in my car boot but the guy there said "no need to be so troublesome lah". Suggested that the easiest way to transport the tank is to lay them flat, and bundle them together with a couple of towels. No need to transport the tanks vertically.


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Some updates from the past week.

Got a Gem Tang from Hai Yang earlier this week. Was a little worried about agression from my other Tangs. Hence decided to get as tiny one as possible. I've noticed less agression whenever there is a huge size difference. Perhaps the resident fish will feel less threatened by the new tank mate. In any case, it started to feed on pellets on day 2 in the isolation box. The other fish didn't really swim by the isolation box, so i let it out on day 3.


There was some agression by the resident Purple Tang (similar color?) and Starry Blenny. But the rest of the Tangs were perfectly fine with the Gem. Here's a pic few days after it was let out. The torn fins were not unexpected. After 4 days, there is no more chasing by other fish & its feeding well on pellets. It should survive.



Random pic. Tangs eating from the seaweek clip.



Update on the AI Blade supplement light. Corals are doing great with the good lighting throughout the entire front portion of the tank. Pace of new growth is picking up





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Got an oddball anemone last week as well. In prep for it, I placed it in a rock that had deep some deep crevices. Turned off the main MP60 wavameker on Day 1. And tuned to 20% speed on Day 2 (instead of the usual 60-80% peak power). So far so good, the anemone staying in place.

This is the 'full' size :). Still super tiny.



Hopefully the clowns will move to the anemone instead of bugging the torch corals.




Think this is called a Tropicana Anacropora.






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