Archive for July, 2013

Latest Update: BioPellets

Posted: July 23, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

Did the chemiclean treatment, knocked out 99% of the cyno. Did my 20% water change, but it’s still making my skimmer overflow like crazy (fully opened up as well) so I’m running carbon. Got the HOB skimmer working too, since it’s a smaller area to overflow (so it doesn’t trigger ATO) and overflows back into the fuge. Hopefully after another water change in a couple days I should be good to go. Running low on salt, but more is in the mail.

Also, started up the biopellets! As predicted the random sized pump I had on my reactor wasn’t enough to get the stuff to tumble. So I swapped the maxijet 1200 from my mixing bucket and that seems to be doing the trick.

Lastly, I picked up an autofeeder. Planning on messing with it a while before I trust it anywhere near my tank. I have a vacation in August (1 week) where I want to have it running so I only have to have my tank sitter worry about topping off the ATO. Also, I have a honeymoon to plan for in 2014… but I might need to hire a tank sitter off my local reef club for that 2 weeks 🙂

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“Random” fish death

Posted: July 15, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

Sadly, my butterfly fish died. No idea why. He was looking healthy and eating this morning. He was king of the tank, and didn’t get picked on. His body was chubby, and showed no signs of disease. Everything else looks fine (tang a little skinny, but that’s all). Shrimp, coral, all looking great. Only thing out of place was my birdsnest that was knocked off its ledge. Sad.

This fish was definitely the main fish (aka center piece) of my tank. I want to try the species again… Just don’t know long it’ll take for me to trust the tank :/

Summer Aquarium Blues

Posted: July 10, 2013 in 90 Gallon Reef

When summer hits, I no longer need my little piece of the tropics in my basement to feel warm. The sun can do it for me!  Unfortunately, that generally means my fish tank takes the back burner as it becomes lake time.

This summer, I’ve already started to notice the effects. I am hoping to attack the problem head on. I know that I will still be unable to give the tank the time I’d really like to, but I can try to up the ante in filtration, and make my tank work more efficient.

First up, I need to take care of a small(ish) cyno problem I have. Nothing major, could be from lack of flow, but it needs to be eradicated. Based on some recommendations, I have picked up a cyno remover. It’s a band aid for the real issue, I know, but it’s gotta be done before the next item.

Next, I am adding biopellets. I’ve heard great things about them for long enough that I have decided to take the plunge.  Chaeto never seems to thrive for me, so I need another way to export some nutrients. I am going to stop running carbon in a reactor, and add the pellets. If they’re not getting the needed movement, I can look into a reactor specifically for them.  I plan on still running carbon, in bags, just in my sump.  My biggest concern is starting the pellets. I’ve read that they can be a bit rough of a start up. Especially with cyno already.

Third, I am going to FINALLY get my new protein skimmer dialed in. I keep getting it close, but then have it over fill when I enter feeding mode. I fixed my programming so my skimmer is turned off during this mode, so I should be good to go on moving forward with the dialing in of the skimmer. I have turned on my old HOB skimmer as well, but I’d like to phase that out.

Additionally, I am going to pick up a wet vac. Home depot sells one that fits on top of a 5 gallon bucket, which is what I am going to pick up. The hardest/longest part about water changes is starting a siphon from my sump. The sump is nearly on ground level, so it’s a PITA to get it going good, then it takes forever to siphon. I (originally) was shooting for weekly 15 gallon changes. This would be totally doable if it wasn’t for the huge amount of time DRAINING the water took. Premixed salt and buckets takes me under 5 minutes to fill it. If I can get that down for emptying too, I’ll be golden.

The last item will wait for fall. But I am going to seriously look into my options for dosing. I feel like I want to go with a Calcium Reactor, so I need to start my research on what I need, where to get it, and how to set it up.

My tank looks a little stressed, but is still going strong. Hopefully I can fend off the issues before they evolve into a bigger deal.