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BBMarlin

BBMarlin's 76G - Skimmerless SPS Reef

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Light rack came in yesterday. I think it turned out great!
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Wow! That looks amazing!
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Update!  I finally started to tear things apart and decided it’s going to be best to drain the tank to be sure that I have eradicated the cloves and give the tank a good cleaning with a vinegar bath.  I’ve moved all my fish and coral to a 29G tank while I work through the rebuild.  I hope to keep loses to a minimum and I’m inspecting the corals daily to make sure I get all the cloves before anything is reintroduced into the display as they are everywhere!

Once I removed the sump and had a look at the stand it is not looking good at all.  The particle board is swollen and is concerning, I figure any day now it could have collapsed as the bottom of the back wall has completely separated from the floor panel.  I’ve decided that I will add 1x4’s across the back wall to reinforce it and 2x4’s in the corners and at the front (tri-pod).  The sides panels and front of the stand are in good shape.  After I finish this, I’m going to add shower pan liner to water proof everything underneath.

Previously I had soft plumbing into the sump.  I removed the old barbed bulkheads and will be hard plumbing everything with a manifold to further simplify my setup.  I had 4 maxijets running in the sump prior to the tear down which was cluttering my sump and taking up way too much space!

I’m glad I am finally getting around to this project, I think if I would have waited much longer I would have had a catastrophic failure of the stand on the second floor!

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Edited by BBMarlin
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Alright this update (pics) were from about a month ago.  Things have progressed nicely but currently I have a major diatom outbreak going on that I’m working through.  My rock has been cycling for like 5 months so it must be the new sand that has an abundance of silicate.  Other than that, things are going great and are beginning to stabilize.  My sump area is now water proof, accessible and simplified, stand is no longer about to crumble, and the OR LEDs are AMAZING!  I’m ready for some frags!  Who wants to take my money :lol:??

 

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Edited by BBMarlin
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I can’t believe it has been over 6 months since I refactored the tank! 

Things have been going great and I’m getting good growth and color with my acro acquisitions.  Thanks to several of you guys that have sold me frags!  Been struggling with dynos for a few months but looks like I’ve finally rid myself of that ugly mess.  Not sure what did the trick as I tried several things in parallel including: syphoning snot weekly, increasing nutrients, adding a filter sock, adjusting lighting schedule and adding GAC.

On the livestock side, I’ve had a fish go carpet surfing and a bleeny vanish but other than that things are great.  I’ve been really happy with my OR lights, not quite the growth that I would get with MH but that’s OK as I am getting great color.

It’s been nice to really keep an eye on what is going into the tank and so far I haven’t introduced pests of any kind…knock on wood.

Acros are still small but at least they are growing and still have plenty of room for more! 

Sorry for the blurry pics.

 

 

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1 hour ago, jolt said:

I agree, that looks very happy

Thanks!  Let me know when I can stop by for some frags :crab:

58 minutes ago, BobcatReefer said:

Wow - is that the same purple stylo, all trimmed down?

Yep same one, I chopped up the colony and saved one frag.  Put it lower in the tank but still wants to grow like crazy!

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Found a hitchhiker in my tank tonight - I guess he has become tired of anemone island and needed a way over to the main rock formations!  The turbo does not look very happy, lol.

 

 

 

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Found a hitchhiker in my tank tonight - I guess he has become tired of anemone island and needed a way over to the main rock formations!  The turbo does not look very happy, lol.
 
 
 
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A cross-species midnight tryst?
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The dinos are making a comeback. I’m fairly certain it is from the aminos (acropower). Has anyone else notice more dino activity with increased amino dosing?


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When my tank was fairly new I dosed Acropower. I had a horrible outbreak of dinos that took forever to get rid of. I started with dead, dry rock. I’ve wondered if it had something to do with the lack of beneficial bacteria and other goodies. My tank is just over a year old. I’ve tried acropower a couple of times and still got dinos after. I’ve never continued the acropower again to let them get that bad. A dose or two of vibrant has gotten rid of it every time.


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Update!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated and the tank is doing great!  This time around I’ve been doing things a bit differently with my reef mainly surrounding nutrient levels.   

My tank is now running "all natural", no GFO, no bio-pellets, no skimmer!!  I do not have **any** chemical or mechanical filtration in place and things are doing great. I do have a GAC reactor running to mitigate any coral warfare and any other impurities that may get introduced unknowingly into the water column.   I’m loving my new lowtech approach and am currently dosing over 100ml of 2 part a day (this is the highest consumption I’ve ever had with this tank).  This amount of consumption does make me a bit nervous as a small mistake with my water chemistry could have dire consequences for my reef.  I think I need a bigger tnak!! 😊. 

With the higher nutrient levels, I do have to deal with a bit of algae/cyano.  I think I need to add a few more snails and urchins to help with the hair algae but the cyano is ever-present.  I simply syphon the cyano out weekly with my small water change. 

Looking forward, I like tanks with very large acro colonies and I’m excited that mine are on their way to becoming quite large.  Things really are in need of a “haircut” as several colonies are touching.

Here are a few pics from today.

 

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New Year Update!

My tank has been running without a skimmer for over 6 months now. Since removing my skimmer, I have noticed an explosion of sponge activity in my system. SPS corals are growing at a faster rate as well! If you look closely at the pics you should see white sponge in all of my shaded areas of the tank. The rubble I keep in my sump is covered in sponge as well. I am now dosing BRS 2 part at over 130ml/day, and I have been able to keep my parameters stable. PO4 runs anywhere from .05 - .1 and my system seems to look the happiest when PO4 is on the lower side of that range and algae growth is slow and manageable. I ended up having to dose potassium nitrate to bring my nitrate up to ~5-12PPM. This was only needed one time and it’s been fine since. Before dosing the KNO3, nitrate was undetectable.

I did have an issue a few months ago where I could not get my calcium level above 300ppm, I was dosing about 2x the amount of calcium carbonate as compared to soda ash and still could not get above 300. Then one day it started snowing white stuff in in my tank (calcium precipitate) with my CA still at < 300. Scratching my head, I tested my Mg at < 900ppm. Once I corrected my Mg my CA shot up to 450 and my Alk decreased from 7.5 (sweet spot for this tank) to 5DKH! Everything has since stabilized, while I’ve read about magnesium’s role in the reef aquarium, I’ve never watched it that closely. I will be testing it more often now!

Since running without a skimmer, I have observed a few things. When my coral are not happy, (visual observation) nutrients spike up significantly. I assume that these issues are more pronounced in my system given that I have no filtration other than the coral and sponges. Without careful observation things could spiral out of control quickly with algae wining the battle for nutrient consumption and upsetting the balance of my reef. I keep 8-10 fish in this 80-gallon system and various inverts (snails, urchins and a few crabs). Typically, I do a 4-5 gallon a water change every week and most of my maintenance time these days is dealing with corals growing into each other.

Check out my tank from a little over 12 months ago: 

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And today (just cleaned, corals are a little peeved):IMG_4881.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Juiceman said:

Looks good man!


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Thanks!  Few of those corals are from you.  I think that red robin is invasive, lol.

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Looking good!  :smile:👍

1 hour ago, BBMarlin said:

. . . I have observed a few things. When my coral are not happy, (visual observation) nutrients spike up significantly. I assume that these issues are more pronounced in my system given that I have no filtration other than the coral and sponges. Without careful observation things could spiral out of control quickly with algae wining the battle for nutrient consumption and upsetting the balance of my reef. I keep 8-10 fish in this 80-gallon system and various inverts (snails, urchins and a few crabs). Typically, I do a 4-5 gallon a water change every week and most of my maintenance time these days is dealing with corals growing into each other. . .

I don't know if you've read Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" but this negative feedback loop you've described with algae and coral is central to his DDAM model of reef degradation.   Something disrupts corals or the primary herbivores are lost and algae is able to take over by out competing corals and dumping bad types of DOC into the water which further stress corals.  All those sponges you have help stabilize the ecosystem by removing all types of labile DOC much faster than anything else can.  (Sponges remove in 20-30 minutes what bacteria take 3 weeks to remove.)  And water changes are still the only way to remove the refractory DOC in our systems.

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Looking good!  smile.png

I don't know if you've read Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" but this negative feedback loop you've described with algae and coral is central to his DDAM model of reef degradation.   Something disrupts corals or the primary herbivores are lost and algae is able to take over by out competing corals and dumping bad types of DOC into the water which further stress corals.  All those sponges you have help stabilize the ecosystem by removing all types of labile DOC much faster than anything else can.  (Sponges remove in 20-30 minutes what bacteria take 3 weeks to remove.)  And water changes are still the only way to remove the refractory DOC in our systems.

Yep I’ve read it, great recommendation. I have experienced more than one crash over the years due to most likely DOC from the excessive algae once the balance of the tank is upset.

 

 

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That looks amazing, wow! I love the progress pics.
I found the same to be true in my tank. Both with the Mg and skimmer. Pulled the skimmer cup out and never replaced it and sponges appeared all over, in the DT and sump. Glad to hear of another successful tank running without a skimmer!

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