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Everything posted by Timfish

  1. Timfish


    I wouldn't worry about PO4 or TDS and I seriously doubt either is the issue with your corals. Here in Austin calcium is most of what makes up TDS. Here's a system that gets water changes with tapwater just treated with dechlorinater:
  2. Timfish

    Hair Algae, a second case study

    Urchins can be critical for a successful reef as demonstrated by the problems the Caribbean reefs are having because of the dieoff of urchins in 1983 (search "Moe" and "Diadema" for more info). (In the Pacific it's the large parrot fish that are primarily responsible for controlling nuisance alga and creating places for coral larva to land and start growing.) What's overlooked is urchins are not removing the nutrients but simply putting the nutrients bound up in the nuisance algae back into the system to be used by the sponges, remaining algae and corals. Depending on the amount of Dissolved Combined Neutral Sugars (DCNS) being released by the alga dictates how well the corals are going to be able to compete with the alga. There's a well documented feedback loop (See Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" for an introduction to this process) that negatively affects corals. Urchins also can't get everywhere, as I pointed out in my first thread, there's nooks and crannies the urchins can't get into where the algae was growing then stops as the equilibrium of the ecosystem shifts. In this system I did add urchins so it's to extrapolate they fisxed the problem and there wasn't any fundamental shift in the system equilibrium. But you also need to consider what happened in my first "Hair Algae" thread, urchins had already been added but were not able to deal with the hair algae hence a more aggressive approach was used to eradicate the alga. In both systems there were places where a toothbrush or small tube brush was the only way to get to the alga and remove it. Saying there's shifts in the equilibrium of an ecosystem may seem nebulous but it was very gratifying to see Rohwer explain this in his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas". I stopped worrying about nitrate and PO4 15-20 years ago that when I realized they were only small parts of a very complex puzzle. There is much, much more going on in our reef systems than just simple nutrient export. The various roles the different types of DOC in altering the microbial processes and their influences, negative or positive, on a coral and it's holobiont which directly affects it's resiliance and immunity is just now beginning to be understood.
  3. Thought I'd post another thread on getting rid of nuisance algae. This system is a 4 year old ~200 gallon 4' tall half cylinder on a 42" tall stand. Previous maintenance companies had tried to deal with it with gfo, algae reducing products and reduced feeding (once per week). The first thing we did was remove about half the rock and scrub it off. The first water change was ~25 gallons. We also removed gfo, turned off the skimmer. With the 2nd week we dropped to just 5%-7% weekly water changes with tap water. We also added an auto-feeder set to 8 small daily feedings, ~1-2 grams Spectrum pellets daily total (X6 or X7 for approximate frozen weight). Several urchins were added, a long spine, short spine pink and royal urchins and a couple Mexican Turbos (DO NOT ADD TO MANY SNAILS! short spine urchins like Tuxedo or Royal are the best options since they chew the algae "holdfasts" off rocks ). I removed the squirrel fish partly because it was seriously under weight 😕 The sump was setup to use a filter sock which I used a few times to help remove stuff but was permanently removed in August. The finger corals are gradually being removed, my client doesn't like them but I needed them to compete with the algae until other corals get going. March 3rd April 27. Here's what it looks like during a scrubbing. The height makes it impossible to get to spots even with a scrub brush with an extended handle (I stuck it in a section of PVC). Some of the sand was siphoned off with water changes, rinsed and dumped back in. June 15. A little nit of cyano started to show up. (This didn't happen in Mike's tank.) It was just siphoned off with water changes. July 6. Here's a weeks worth of cyano growth. July 20. And the cyano has stopped. (This step has taken longer in other systems.) August 8. Still got some hair algae showing up but this is 3 weeks worth. Last week.
  4. Timfish

    Calcium levels

    In addition to Jolt's suggestions I would also be checking alkalinity and magnesium along with pH and calcium. I don't know how old your system is or your experience level but alkalinity is the test I use most often (I like APIs test kit) and until your systems matures (~10 - 12 months old) and you get a feel for what's happening with those parameters as your corals are growing I would suggest testing at least those four on a weekly basis.
  5. Timfish

    Red Sea Coral Pro Salt

    Sorry, I just edited my post.
  6. Timfish

    Red Sea Coral Pro Salt

    I was going to say "Over the years I've had this happen with Instant Ocean and with Coralife . . ." but if I understand your post correctly you mixed it up in your display tank, not in a mixing tank? If you have and you had sand and or rock in your tank it's what I would expect and it should clear up in a day or so depending on the type of sand and rock. Oooooops! just noticed you said you didn't have any sand or rock in it. Obviously you've had some precipitation and even if you haven't added bacteria you most certainly already have something going. Test your alkalinity, ph, calcium and magnesium and go ahead and stir up the precipitation. The cloudy water will clear up over the next day or so as things stabilize. I would go ahead and add sand and rock and any bacteria you're going to start with, you need to get your system going whether or not the water is cloudy.
  7. Timfish

    Hair Algae, a second case study

    Here's another update. The long spine black urchin doesn't object to chomping on xenia and soft corals. I would get rid of it, mostly because it really stings when I bump it, but the clients like it better than the xenia and toadstools. https://youtu.be/s4SNhmG5RZQ
  8. Timfish

    Need advice on chips found on DT front panel

    What a bummer! Beside the Windshield repair kit you could si;licone a 4" or 6" square of 1/4 or 3/8 plate glass over the chip.
  9. You're welcome to borrow my Catharsis Therapy tool. It fixes a whole host of problems and I'm sure it will fix your frustration with your apex. It is well used but still perfectly functional. I'll want it back of course.
  10. Half a dozen designs, two prototypes, and finally . . . 3000 PAR @ 14" (FYI, 3000 is as high as Apogee's PAR meter reads. ) The heatsink is 12" x 4" and has 3up LED stars with 16° lenses. It's pulling about 250 watts (2 150 power supplies). LED colors are 9 CW stars, 2 NW stars, 8 B & 7 RB stars.
  11. Yes, I'm slow sometimes. We've built 3 cannons using LED stars with the Cree XML2 white LEDs and XPE2 blues and royal blues. 2 of the three failed after roughly 8-10 months, one had an LED chip fry and the 2100ma driver on another failed. The heat sink that fit's 4" PVC unions appears to be no longer available and a replacement that fits 4" unions hasn't been found yet. The fixtures I built in this thread have been using just the XPG2 and XPE3 LEDs and are doing fine for 2 years now with no problems. But here's a parts list with white XPG2 LEDs Stars with XPG2 LEDs https://www.ledsupply.com/leds/cree-xlamp-xpg2-high-power-led Stars with Cree XPE2 LEDs https://www.ledsupply.com/leds/cree-xlamp-xp-e2-color-high-power-led-star Luxdrive Buckpucks https://www.ledsupply.com/led-drivers/buckpuck-dc-led-drivers Carclo lenses https://www.ledsupply.com/cree-xpg2-led-optics There are a variety of heatsinks that can be used, just be sure it's designed to handle the wattage. The Luxdrives will drive 6 LEDs in either parrellel or series but it's important to supply it with the correct DC voltage. If the Luxdrive is supplied with just 12 vdc it can only run 3 LEDs in series so to run 6 LEDs they need to be in two parrellel strings of 3 wired in series. If it has 24 vdc the LEDs can be run in a single string of 6. ****** Be careful using different brands of buckpuck/drivers. The Luxdrive I used here and on other projects can have the power supply ground tied to the led ground. Other brands may be damaged doing this so be sure to research the requirements *********
  12. Timfish

    30 watt compact cannon

    Here's what it looks like on: Initially I'm putting three of these on my rimless system to light up the mangrove. The mangrove has grown enough it's not getting any light from the LED fixtures and it won't get longer amounts of sunlight until it gets taller. With 250 PAR at 2' and 550 at 1 foot and a very narrow light field three of these above focused on it should improve it's growth without affecting the corals around it much. Some specifics: Length 3" Diameter is 1 7/8" Single 3-up LED star with 6500 Cree XPG2 LEDs Carclo 16° optics Luxdrive 1000ma buckpuck type driver. These have the advantage over other brands in the LED ground can be tied to the power supply ground without hurting the driver. Some drivers will fry if this is done to them. VGA heatsink and fan 12 VDC 1.5 amp power supply. We designed and printed out a small bracket to hold both the LED star and the lens without having to glue down the LED star. JB Weld works fine for gluing down the star to the heatsink but be carefull not to fill in the holes the lens fits into.
  13. I've been meaning to do this project using a small VGA cooling fan for quite awhile. Years ago seeing how some coral specimens expressed a wide range if colors depending only on intensity gave me the idea of small spotlights to tightly control the light field on a colony. One of the reasons the idea sat on a shelf was getting around to making a housing. Recently I got with a friend of mine to 3D print the housing and assemble it. Testing our first prototype I gotta say I'm pretty happy with the size and especially the PAR! Dimensions are 3" tall and 1 7/8" diameter.
  14. Timfish

    Stainless Steel Straws (Beta)

  15. This is a project I started after Juiceman started his thread last year on paly toxin and it got set on a shelf for awhile. After the recent comments I thought I'd post a beta version since it's a tool and technique I think can help a lot of aquarists and with my current list of projects demanding attention it will probably still be awhile before I finish it. 😕
  16. Timfish

    Sad, sad day! :'(

    Sad, sad day! My Lemon Peel Angel, Centropyge flavissimus, purchased in 2004 died. 😢 There's no data on how long this species lives in the wild but the closely related Bicolor Angel, Centropyge bicolor, has reported life expectancies of 1-13 years. What bothers me is it was looking really good up to when it disappeared. I've seen old fish (particularly wrasses) kinda look "ratty" like an old dog or cat so I was hoping it would live a lot longer.
  17. Timfish

    Mini brittle stars diet

    From what I've seen, like their larger counterparts they're just scavengers. If they can catch something I'm sure they'll eat it but like their larger cousins they're pretty slow so any prey item has got to be in bad shape to be caught and eaten.
  18. Timfish

    Tank cycle algae bloom

    How's the tank doing?
  19. I don't see any zoa/paly just pop up like Aiptasia have the habit of doing from fragments floating around when removing them so I don't worry about scraping them off in a tank. If there's a little bit of tissue left they can grow back but they are not as fast as Xenia, Anthelia or Aiptasia. Here's a video project I started after Juiceman first posted this thread I haven't gotten back to finishing.
  20. I guess depending on your comfort (risk aversion) level you could just carefully scrap them off with a knife. The 2 CDC reports I've read involved heat to airosolize the poison and the other reports involve some other method that airosolized the toxin. If teh colony is firmly attached and realatively easy to reach in your tank I use stainless steel straws stuck in the end of a siphon hose to scrap and siphon out palies (and other invasive stuff). As far as it harming other animals palytoxin is found in a lot of other animals including fish so it's negative impact on your animals is likely to be minimal and species specific.
  21. Timfish

    "The beach nobody can touch"

    Interesting article about Maya Beach in Thialand https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/the_beach_nobody_can_touch
  22. Timfish

    Funny thing I noticed

    Can't help but think the reason for a specific code is there was some incident that got both the justice system and insurance companies involved.
  23. Timfish

    Par meter

    That looks like a lux meter, not a PAR meter. If it doesn't specifically say it's water proof it's probably not. It will work fine for measuring relative light levels between different locations and different tanks. Both lux and PAR measuring standards measure blue and red parts of the spectrum. The biggest difference between lux and PAR is lux also includes the green and yellow spectrum.
  24. I've got one you can borrow.
  25. Timfish

    Battery Backup...UPS

    2007 if my memory serves me correctly and the first battery did last several years. And by all means geek out, I do whenever I have the time and opportunity! But going back to your first post; Looking at the cost/run time of a UPS and the cost/run time of a B11 battery operated air pump that turns on when power is lost the air pump is a much better choice in my opinion. Especially since I've personally known people to go with out power for almost 72 hours here in Austin. If someone wants to go with a big UPS and, like you (or me ), has come across one cheap or maybe doesn't mind spending the money that's good. But don't forget the air conditioning either, we have a lot more hot days than cold days. And as I see it running a lot of heat generating equipment in warm weather without AC is an additional complication that needs to be worked into the overall design as well. And definitely test to see how long everything is actually running.