Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > Special Interest Group (SIG) Forums > Large Reef Tanks
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 04/25/2018, 03:04 PM   #26
Whiskylen
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 51
Following along this is looking good


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Whiskylen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/25/2018, 04:13 PM   #27
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
And now to finish up the lighting update.

The basic construction is 3/4" plywood in 4 sections with gaps in between. The gaps in the middle are where the halides go.



Turning it over and looking top down, you see all the halides can move back forth so I can position them exactly where I want, and then I used some T-track, a bolt and little knobs and can lock them into place once they are where I want them.



For the T5s I was planning some fancy angled lighting where the lights towards the outside were pointed more in the middle, but it turns out the retrofit kit has reflectors which attach to the bulb, so I can just point the reflectors whoever I want. So it simply was a matter of wiring them up.



And then doing it for all 6 pairs



Then with all of that done, I just had to lift it up onto the light tracks:



And then the real key was what to do about the wiring? I came up with a solution that worked really well. All the wires (10 total -- 4 for the halides, 6 for the pairs of T5s) go along these two pivoting arms. And then in the middle of the arms is a torque hinge which wants to hold the arms in place, which serves to hold the canopy in place as I move it forwards and backwards.





All that is left is to put some sides on the canopy and then paint the outside, all things which I'm going to do in place while it is hanging over the tank.

I could have the lights on right now, but I'm not planning on turning them on until the ATS is installed, which I've still yet to receive (but hopefully is coming in the next few weeks).


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/25/2018, 04:20 PM   #28
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_B View Post
I知 in the planing phase with my 400gal. Mine will be 72x48x30. I like that you went with the peninsula style. I知 goin to do that with mine. Also how big is our sump? Love to see more of this as it progresses.
Earlier in the thread I talk about the sump in more detail but it is 72" x 28" wide x 20" high, with an operating volume of about 120 gallons and a total volume of about 175.

Especially as I finish up all the plumbing I can say the U-turn style is working really well. Highly recommended for a peninsula tank.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/27/2018, 09:29 AM   #29
ycnibrc
STAG HORN DOMINATE REEF
 
ycnibrc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Irvine, California
Posts: 2,473
Nice looking forward seeing the progress of your tank


__________________
Anthony Stag Lover
Tank build thread http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2621063
Webcam 68.5.22.251:13701
I will trade my golf swing for your tyree frag.

Current Tank Info: 360g Peninsula sps
ycnibrc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/18/2018, 08:59 PM   #30
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Been a while since the last update, but actually very little has happened in the tank until today (which I'll get into).

I didn't talk about it in the initial post since it wasn't a problem back then, but basically my old 120 gallon tank was taken over by dinoflagellates. And when I started making progress against the dinos with higher nutrient levels and UV, then algae started to take over. And due to some of the problems with the tank setup (very hard to clean, undersized sump limiting equipment, etc), it just wasn't easy to deal with the algae or the dinos. And especially knowing I was making this new tank, I didn't put my full effort into the fight. It has been sad as most of my SPS died, but all the fish are a fine and a few very hardy SPS are still holding in there.

So my chief concern with the new tank is making sure dinos don't take over. So there are a lot of facets in this battle.

1. Make sure nitrates and phosphates don't ever hit 0. I have 2 dosing pumps setup that will dose phosphates or nitrates to keep the levels up (if necessary). Currently Nitrates are >10 and Phosphates are 0.06, so neither is on but both are ready to go if necessary.

2. Have UV running. This actually worked out really nicely, because my original plan was to have 2 returns powered by two different pumps (on two different circuits), so in case one pump breaks or a GFCI gets triggered, I've still got return flow. So one return pump just goes straight to the tank, and the other pump powers a manifold, which goes to the media reactor, the ATS and then the UV sterilizers. Both the ATS and UV sterilizers have flow monitoring so I can dial in the exact flow I want. The UV units are 2 57 watt AquaUV units connected together (you can see them in the lower left):



3. Have an Algae Turf Scrubber going. This is the main reason for the delay, as I've been waiting for a very long time to get my Turbo Aquatics L8 unit, which I finally got on Friday. I wanted this going because I want a means of nutrient export that is dino-proof. This is important because since the main defense against Dinos is a higher nutrient level, I want to feed heavily and keep nutrient levels up, but I don't want them to get out of control and lead to algae to take over the tank. Why not just grow macro algae in a refugium? Well, dinos will happily grow in a low-flow refugium, so you get the good with the bad. In my experience, dinos can't grow in an ATS because the flow rates are just too high, so you get all the good algae without any of the bad.

So while it was hard to be patient, I just did not want to start the tank until I got the ATS in place so I at least had the tools to fight the initial algae outbreaks.

The wait was very tough, but I was not disappointed when the ATS eventually arrived. Turbo Aquatics makes some high qualify equipment, and though I had planned for its dimensions and everything, it was still nice to see it fit perfectly where I wanted it.




sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/18/2018, 09:16 PM   #31
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Now while I was waiting for the final piece of equipment I did finish up some stuff outside the tank. I finished and painted the canopy a nice blue-gray, and build all the cabinet doors. I'm still sanding and finishing all of the doors, but thus far I've got 6/12 done and installed and I'm quite happy with the look of the maple doors on the mahogany stand.



But who cares about the outside? The real fun is the inside part. And for the first time, there is a fish in the new tank!

With the delay I've been getting all my fish used to the aqua medic fish trap by feeding them in it every day for weeks. So when the time came to move over the first fish, my lawnmower blenny, it was quite easy. The only real trouble was having to wait out the other fish so *only* the lawnmower blenny was in the trap.

After trapping him I gave a bit of a drip acclimation, but since I know the salinity of both tanks are exactly the same I don't think it was all that necessary. However I did want to transfer as little tank water as possible so as to minimize the dino transfer, so there were multiple stages of containers in between the old tank and the new tank.

All in all the process didn't seem too stressful, and within a few hours the Lawnmower Blenny seems to be enjoying the new larger confines, perching and eating.



I'll give him a few days in there alone just to ensure there isn't anything terribly wrong with the new tank, but after that checks off I'll continue transferring the fish over.

I'll probably have to take down the old tank to get the watchman goby, but the scooter dragonets, kole tang and wrasse have all been eating out of the trap so I hopefully can catch them pretty easily when the time comes.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/18/2018, 09:21 PM   #32
Sisterlimonpot
R.C. Fraternity President
 
Sisterlimonpot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Litchfeild Park AZ
Posts: 11,363
Blog Entries: 2
Very nice, I had to scan that last photo a few times to finally see the goby... if it was a snake, he would've bit me!! hehe


__________________
Jimmy
MASVC President

Dishes are done man!

Current Tank Info: 300 in progress
Sisterlimonpot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/18/2018, 09:48 PM   #33
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisterlimonpot View Post
Very nice, I had to scan that last photo a few times to finally see the goby... if it was a snake, he would've bit me!! hehe
The iphone camera takes a lot of the blame for that, I took like 5 different pictures and this one where I held a white light up the tank was really the only one where you could even see him.

In person he is a little easier to spot, but still blends in quite well. Relatively lifeless dry rock about the perfect camouflage for a lawnmower blenny.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/21/2018, 09:44 PM   #34
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Today I moved the kole tang over, and I didn't even have to put food in the trap. I put the trap into the old aquarium and the tang swam right in, so that was easy.

After a few hours of getting used to the new tank, the tang is chowing down on the algae which is starting to grow. He also is spending a little bit of energy attacking the lawnmower blenny, but at this point nothing too terrible. This is a continuation of the fight from the last tank, but with the extra room it seems like things are better. I was a little concerned with moving the tang over so early as it is the most aggressive fish, but I wanted to get the herbivores in there first to help eat the first waves of algae. The tang never seemed to have any issue with all the other fish so hopefully there wont be any problems when I move them over.

But speaking of the algae, as the first waves are starting to grow on the rocks, sand and glass, I was starting to get paranoid about dinoflagellates. Theoretically I know I shouldn't be worried, both the nitrates and phosphates are at "good" levels (10+ and 0.05 respectively) and I've got 100 watts of UV, but I was paranoid nonetheless. So I scraped a little bit of the growing algae and put it under the scope, and this is what I saw:



No dinos! I'm not exactly sure what type of microalgae this is, I assume it is some type of diatom, but no dinos were to be found. As a bonus both the lawnmower blenny, kole tang and the few snails in the tank seem to be eating it.

So this is a very positive start. I'm not at all concerned about microalgae growth as I've got the huge scrubber ready to soak up the nutrients, so what I want to see is microalgae growth without any dino growth, and that's exactly what I have so far. Hopefully this continues.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/21/2018, 10:43 PM   #35
Sisterlimonpot
R.C. Fraternity President
 
Sisterlimonpot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Litchfeild Park AZ
Posts: 11,363
Blog Entries: 2
I can see how using a microscope helps aid in identifying nuisance algae. I'm curious as to what dinos look like under a microscope, it's obvious that you can discern between the different ones.. please educate this guy.


__________________
Jimmy
MASVC President

Dishes are done man!

Current Tank Info: 300 in progress
Sisterlimonpot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/22/2018, 02:45 AM   #36
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisterlimonpot View Post
I can see how using a microscope helps aid in identifying nuisance algae. I'm curious as to what dinos look like under a microscope, it's obvious that you can discern between the different ones.. please educate this guy.
I think this site is the best for showing what dinos look like under the scope: http://www.algaeid.com/identification/

They are really quite easy to spot once you know what they look like, mostly because as far as I've seen they are the only large single celled things that move around.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/01/2018, 02:55 PM   #37
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
What a long project this has been, but I think from the equipment perspective it is essentially done.

The calcium reactor, a Geo 624, has been installed. As of right now I'm leaving my CO2 tank/regulator on my old aquarium because there is no demand right now, but that will probably be moved over in a matter of weeks.



And then the thing I've been waiting for a long time, automated alkalinity monitoring. I was originally going to wait for the Neptune Trident, but given how uncertain the timing is on the product, not to mention no reviews of how well it works, I decided to go with an Alkatronic. The more I read about the product the more I liked it, and overall I have to say I'm very pleased with it. It performs the tests consistently, and after a few little tweaks, very accurately. The software could be a little more polished, and it isn't quite plug and play, but those things don't really bother me.

Time will tell if it can holds the consistency and continues to operate reliably, but so far, so good. I've got it running tests every 8 hours right now which seems to be a good interval.






sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/20/2018, 12:51 AM   #38
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Well that was a fun last month and a half.

The dinos started to take over the tank and I became concerned that even having a good battle plan, I still was losing. And then it got worse and worse and thinks were looking very dicey. I was also very confused as to why my UV sterilizer was not working in killing the ostreopsis dinos which it certainly should have been.

Then I realized that I just wasn't putting enough flow through the UV sterilizers to make a big enough impact. At the time I was pushing about 600 gph of flow through 114 watts of UV sterilizer and the dinos were taking over. Then I upgraded that to 1000 gph of flow. Dinos still taking over. Then I bought another UV sterilizer and put that on my backup/manifold return and upgraded that pump from an SP4 to an SP6. So at this point I had 1000gph of flow going through 114 watts of UV sterilizer, and ~600 gph through another 57 watt UV sterilizer.... and success! The ostreopsis dinos started to die off, and within a week there was barely any trace of them.

Additionally I started dosing silica to encourage diatom growth. Currently I dose about 0.3ppm of silica per day. Diatoms not only directly compete with dinos (and hopefully outcompete them), but they are also food for all my herbavores and help support a pod population.

If you have a dino problem, just search my history as I've posted a lot of advice to other people now that I'm somewhat of an expert in beating them. There also is a big thread on the other forum which I'm an active contributor to and probably has the most up to date information about beating dinos. But based on my experience I do believe that the only proven methods are nutrient control (keeping nitrates and phosphate levels elevated), UV sterilizer (for certain strains) and silica dosing.

It is kind of weird having won the battle again dinos because they basically consumed my reefing life for many months, but now with them vanquished I've recently been getting to the fun aspects of reefing. Adding corals! Adding fish! Watching corals grow!

Pictures coming up...


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/20/2018, 01:01 AM   #39
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
The Scooter Dragonets were getting a little skinny in the old tank that was decimated by dinos, which was killing all the microfauna. Now they are fattened up again and back to mating. Last night was the first time I saw the female actually release eggs at the end of the mating dance (I'm sure it has happened before but I'd not seen it).




sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/20/2018, 01:23 AM   #40
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
The newest addition was a Bicolor Blenny. I was looking to add more herbivores, and I knew the Bicolor Blenny was a voracious eater of algae and also had a good personality. What I did not know was that they sometimes nip at SPS. And of course in the second day he is in the tank, I saw him take a giant bite out of my forest fire digitata.

So that is very concerning, but in the past couple days he hasn't taken anymore bites out of corals and has been dutifully eating lots of algae. Hopefully he did not like the taste of corals, but I'm going to keep an eye on this one. I really like his personality a lot, so I'll even allow him to eat as many montiporas as he wants. But if he starts nipping on acros, that is going to be a ticket out of the tank (assuming I can catch him).




sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/20/2018, 01:44 AM   #41
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
I got a new pistol shrimp for my watchman goby, but was very concerned there is no way they could find each other in the giant tank. But yet within a couple days they were paired up, and now they are making burrows all over the place trying to find "the one".




sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/20/2018, 02:14 AM   #42
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
For a tank that is ostensibly an SPS tank, I don't have many pictures of corals yet. I got 10 frags from jdm1114 here on the forum, and I got a few corals from the LFS. They all seem to be doing well, but I'm still not quite happy with the color of the tank and they are all tiny frags so not too interesting to photograph yet.

I'm still playing around with T5 combinations to get the right look. Right now each side has 4xActinic and 2xPurple Plus in combination with the 2 250 watt Radiums. This is the best combination I've tried thus far, but I still want more actinic, so I'm going to test out adding LED actinic strips to go along with the T5s and Halides. Maybe something like 2x LED actinic strip, 2xActinic, 2xPurple plus and 2xBlue plus in combination with the 250 watt Radiums.

I was hoping the T5s would be enough to dial in the color, but the Halides are so bright you really need a lot of actinic to get the corals glowing, and if I use all my T5s for actinic support then I can't put in the purple plus which I love the look of. At least while the quest for the perfect coloration for my eyes continue, I know the corals are loving the halides.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/11/2018, 11:24 AM   #43
fixingstill
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 251
sfdan:
Update? Fish in?
Enough flow to the far end? I would think you might need some close loop from the bottom if you want no wire on the 3 sides.


fixingstill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/11/2018, 08:46 PM   #44
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixingstill View Post
sfdan:
Update? Fish in?
Enough flow to the far end? I would think you might need some close loop from the bottom if you want no wire on the 3 sides.
Yes the flow question is a good one. I was noticing from looking at some of my SPS corals that they were getting a lot of flow only coming from one direction (the side with the MP60s) and basically no flow from the other side.

My original plan was to put matching MP60s on the other side that were placed under the overflow, but the way the tank worked out it seemed that would be too low and blow the sand around too much. So I pivoted and put a couple Tunze 6255 on the other side. Not only are they super powerful, but I could put the mounting magnets inside the overflow box and run the cables through the overflow, so they blend in very nicely and I don't have any issue with the cable interfering with my screens.



So now I have 2 MP60s on one side and 2 Tunze 6255s on the other side. Both of them are only running about 80% speed, and at this speed it doesn't kick the sand around too much and seems to move the corals around pretty well. I think in theory I'd like more flow but at the time being I think this is fine.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/11/2018, 08:56 PM   #45
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
As for more general updates, I did decide to supplement the T5s and MHs with blue leds. I added 4 36" SB reef lights actinic bars.



And my goodness, what a difference! The way corals shimmer under these LEDs is electric compared to T5s, including 6 actinic T5s (I tried!).

So now I'm still playing around with the T5s but I'm getting pretty close to light I'm happy with. Each side is going to look like:

2 x 250k 14k Hamilton MHs
2 x 36" SB reef light actinic strips
2 x KZ Fiji Purple
2 x ATI Blue Plus

Then 2 more mystery T5s I'm still deciding on. I'm going to test out coral plus, KZ fiji purple and blue plus in this spot.

I did spend a while deciding between 14k Hamilton MHs vs Radiums, and when directly compared I felt like the 14k Hamiltons just looked brighter and made all the non-blue colors much more lively. I think it is easier to shift the 14k Hamiltons blue with supplementation then "brighten" the radiums and get reds to pop.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/11/2018, 11:03 PM   #46
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
And on the SPS side I'll post my first coral picture, a little frag of BC Bubblebath Unicorn I got in a battlebox.



Now that I've gotten the lighting figured out I really just need to be patient at this point. My calcium reactor is keeping the alkalinity dead stable, and I'm slowly getting the nutrient levels back where I want them. About a week ago I was at 0.15 ppm of phosphate and 0 ppm nitrates. I stopped dosing phosphates (I should have stopped long before that but just stopped testing and they got way too high) and started dosing ~2 ppm worth of nitrates per day, and as of today I'm at 0.05 ppm of phosphates and ~1 ppm nitrates. My long term targets are phosphates somewhere around 0.03 and nitrates around 5, so I'm getting there.

Hopefully the right nutrient levels will help with coral growth and coloration, but I also know that it is just going to take time for the tank to mature. Still though all the SPS corals I have are quite healthy and a few of them are slowly expanding their bases so maybe some upward growth will start happening soon.

On the fish front, I've decided my next addition will be 3 Dispar Anthias. I really don't have many fish that swim in the water column so they should have themselves a lot of room to hang out. If they work out well I might potentially add in more Anthias, but I want to get some first hand experience with a new type of fish.

In my long term fish plan I have 2 more tangs (the types of which I haven't decided on) and another wrasse or two, but both of those are going to require so much effort for the QT and TTM than I'm holding off of them for now.

I'm really enjoying the most recent addition, 2 orchid dottybacks, as they started out being very shy and hiding in their caves all the time but now they are basically out and about all day. Really stunning fish and I love any fish that are both captive bred and I can easily keep a pair of.


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/13/2018, 07:40 PM   #47
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Well I had decided on the 3 Dispar Anthias as the next addition, but then browsing around on Diver's Den I couldn't help but notice they had 3 captive bred Azure Damsels and 3 captive bred Rolland's Damsels. Since I love having groups of each type of fish and I love supporting captive bred fish, I did a little more research and to my surprise it seems like both types are only semi-aggressive and territorial, which shouldn't be a problem in my tank which has a lot of open real estate and every other fish is at least semi-aggressive (other than the dragonets which I assume will be completely ignored).

So instead of deciding between them I just got both trios, so I'll have those arriving next week to get into quarantine. I guess I'm about to become a "damsel guy".


sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/18/2018, 12:42 AM   #48
icerain29
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_B View Post
I知 in the planing phase with my 400gal. Mine will be 72x48x30. I like that you went with the peninsula style. I知 goin to do that with mine. Also how big is our sump? Love to see more of this as it progresses.
That is the size that i知 going to get for my new build. There is a guy locally who have a 72x48x24 peninsula tank and it痴 beautiful!


icerain29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/26/2018, 07:44 PM   #49
sfdan
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 361
Working the Damsels through TTM and perhaps not surprisingly I'm having decently severe bullying issues. The 3 Azure Damsels are all quite tiny and seemingly getting along, but one of the Rolland's Damsels is twice the size of the others and makes sure they know who is boss. The smallest one is getting the brunt of it and has some damage to his tail and lower fins. When I was doing the 3rd tank transfer today he basically was just hovering in the upper corner of the tank and I just lifted him out with my hands. So I made him a little acclimation box and hopefully he'll be able to recover. Everybody else seems to be doing well. I'm not too worried about the bullying in the DT since there will be so much room for him to run away, but I guess we'll see how it all plays out. I also now have 3 days to build another acclimation box for the next transfer.

And while all of this was going on I got some new corals today from therman on the forum. Here are pictures of some of the pieces:

A big chunk of "therman's rainbow":


A little chunk of "SC Orange Passion". The picture doesn't do this one justice, the color of the tips on this are just an electric turquoise-blue:


A shaggy purple tipped acro. This one really looks cool in person, once again the picture doesn't capture the contrast and depth of the purple tips:



sfdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10/11/2018, 04:34 AM   #50
Fishkeeper01
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 19
This is awesome! I'm following along


Fishkeeper01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:10 AM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2018 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ゥ1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.