After countless hours playing with rocks (Big kid lego?) I think i finally have a structure im happy with. This big structes will be on the 2/3 of the tank and i will be re-using the structures out of my IM Fusion 30 for the other half. To glue the rocks together I have been using a product called Fijicrete. I also made sure no attach no more than 2 rocks together so its still easy enough to take apart and move it around…. It would be extremely heave as one solid piece! Let me know if you have any feedback so far.
Coralline algae looked awesome on rocks but can become an issue when it covers your aquarium equipment.
With enough buildup Power heads can slow down or even stop… This could lead to disaster if they are unable to turn on after a power outage and should be cleaned every few months. Heaters and other equipment can also loose efficiently as they they get coated im coralline.
But don’t worry there is a very easy fix! The secret to dissolving it is a very common household acid.. Vinegar! Just soak your equipment in vinegar for a few hours and the coralline will dislike and turn to mush. A quick rinse/wipe and your equipment will look like new!
Before the soak
After a couple hours in a vinegar bath.. And it’s like new!
I’m far to overdue for an update! Its been about 5-6 months and the reef is flourishing. Far to good.. infact the tank is overrun with coral (mostly because i keep adding them). Next summer i’m planning on doing a 5.5-6′ shallow reef.. so i’m slowly stockpiling!
Here is a video update of the tank:
And for fun I also made a video at night with the Blue UV lights. the UV coral really pops.. kind of like a black light party!
I have been thinking of culturing my own phyto for a while now.. recently my local store stopped selling some fresh cultures so i decided to try out my own.
Ideally one would start with a specific strain however there was slim pickens where i live so i decided to go with the only live culture i could find. I found a nice big bottle of phytofeast to get started.
I mixed the salt water to around 1.019 – 1.020. For the fertalizer I decided to use miraclegrow for the first batch (and ordered some F2 for future cultures).
I mixed two different batches. The 2L bottle was my first attempt with 5ml of miracle grow. The second batch I added 1ml of miraclge grow to the 500ml bottle and thew the bottle into the microwave for 2 min to sterilize it.. once it cooled i added some live phyto (mixed much darker than the first one) and added it to the shelf
The light is currently on a timer for to run at 16 hours per day…
I absolutely love my fusion 30L reef, however it has quickly become packed due to my slight coral addiction… Now i could just sell some frags but thats just not as fun.. so what to do?
Well im in the process of planning a 6′ long shallow reef. The tank will work out to 90-110 ish Gallons. IM looking at 5.5-6′ x 18″ x 18″. Still lots to plan and figure out but I will update this as i go and plan.
My new concept tank (so far)
The lights will hopefully be 3x Ecotech XR15 Pros. (as i already have 2 and would just need 1 more)
I’m hoping to have an L shape bar to mount it all. Im still trying to work out the pipe size to support the weight and prevent sag. I belive 1″ aluminum bar would work..however i may need to add a little support bar at the 90 degree corner.
The overflow will be at one far end as this will be a peninsula style tank. For now it will be against a wall but later on I may move it upstairs to replace the banister at the top of the stairs so im trying to design the tank to work in both places. (planning for the future)
The back section will be a removable U shaped black plastic or glass to hide allthe over flow and still allow easy access.
Bean style overflow
I will likely have a Mp40 on the side wall for flow (and probably an MP10 since i already have one!
For the overflow im debating between just adding one onto the tank when its built or going with the synergy. The synergy overflow looks very sleek.. The only possible issue is the overflow is 16″ wide leaving 2″ ish inside on the edges with likely isnt enough space for the bulkhead for the return line.. I may need to but the width up to 20″ or just get an overflow made with the tank..
For the return pump im going to use one of the new Ecotech Vectra
Update: With the bean Animal overflow you want a constant flow rate… so as lovely a vectra is I would not be able to take advantage of most of the features.. I will likely go with a Jabeo DC pump for now.
Potential Sump design (many revisions later)
On Boxing Day I ordered 80lbs of marco premium key largo rock. after many revisions of the aquascape i think i have the first structure for the most part worked out
currently i’m working on building a wifi controllable/programmable sprinkler controller… and started thinking why not turn this into a tank controller! Once this project is done ill likely start my own version of a reef controller. I’m on the fence on using arduino or raspberryPi.. but im sure it will be one of the two..
Arduino is alot easier to interface with sensors .. and raspberryPi is easier to work with wifi/webpages to interface it.. so its a trade off. (or maybe use both?!)
Stay tuned for more awesome projects and check out the quick demo below.
Update dec 2 2015
So I found an excellent project based fully with arduino by doughboy. rather than reinventing the wheel i will be using his project as a bse to build off of.. the origional project can be found here.
I started building my arduino based controller from the same project.
So far it runs tiny web server for the web interface. Logs sensor data to an SD card
Controls an 8 channel relay board
Displays info on a LCD screen
Uses a SR04 sonar sensor for ATO water level.
Next will be adding. Temp sensor
Dec 2nd! More progress
Today I hacked a cheap auto-feeder and integrated it with the Arduino… I now have own DIY Apex feeder for only $15
I also got the temperature sensors installed and logging! wooo
As you may know from my recent tank update, I now have 2 ecotech Radion XR15w Pros on my tank. I have had a number of requests for my lighting schedule so figured why not make a new post about it!
It can be a daunting task to know what to set your light at… to low and you are not getting the benefits.. to high and you risk bleaching your corals.
On my shallow reef (13″ deep) I set the radion to a max % of 45%. I also set a 4 week acclimation period which also starts at 50% (of my overall 45% intensity) this will ease corals into the new light. I had a 120w led fixutre over the tank previously so this likely isnt required in my case, however after spending a small fortune in corals i would rather be safe than sorry.
This week i decided to make a video update for the tank log. In the past few weeks i have made a few big upgrades to the tank. I recently added a MP10QD, 2 Ecotech Radion XR15W Pro’s and a reef link. In addition to the hardware goods i have acquired 2 new chalices, pink birds nest, 3 sexy shrimp and a beautiful ruby red dragnet. I have noticed my hot pink bowerbanki turning more red with pink/light orangy highlights which leads me to believe it was bleached when i go tit an is obtaining its original colors. I have also had some good zoanthid growth with new heads popping up around the tank. Sit back, crack a cold one.. and enjoy
Ecotech MP10’s and Jabeo RW-4’s are both great pumps and both have their pro’s and cons. The Jabeo RW-4 is very tiny compared to most powerheads and packs a big punch. The entire powerhead resides in tank. The controller has many options including wave modes, Else mode (random) and can wirless sync with another pump. you can control the time of the wave and the strength of the pulse. The only down full with the controller is it does not let you set a maximum level for else mode.
The MP10 uses magnets to spin the propeller and therefor the motor is outside the tank. Overall the unit is bigger than the RW-4, but the portion in tank is much smaller. The MP10 only points straight out where the rw-4 can be adjusted and pointed anywhere you like. One of my favorite modes is reef crest which is essentially equivalent to the RW-4 else mode with the added bonus of letting you set the maximum output.
If you plan on pointing the RW-4 at the front glass rather than across the the tank, then row’s profile is much similar in size to the mp10s head.
Now which one should you get? well that dends on how high rolling you feel, the mp10 costs about 3 times more than the RW-4.
If you spend an extra $100 you can get a reeflink which is web interface/communication box to program your MP10 to do what ever modes when ever you want. Now its defiantly a nice toy if you have money to burn and too lazy to turn the dial one in a while.(keep in mind this only works with the MP10W versions). RF chips can be purchased after the fact if you ever decide to upgrade to the wireless version.
EcoTech MP10 Pros
– Takes up minimal tank space
– no wires insdie the tank
– tons of controllability
– pushes a ton of water for its size
– you can purchase the wireless RF module after if you want to upgrade to reeflink
EcoTech MP10 cons
– ES models can be a little loud
– Motor sticking out of the side of the tank may look funny to some
– you cant point the power head – only straight away form the glass
– wireless version of the controller costs extra
Jabeo RW-4 Pros
– lots of features for its price
– budget version of a mp10
– Can wirelessly link 2 units.
– Output can pivot and point to where you want it.
– audiable but pretty quiet
Jabeo RW-4 cons
– Else mode doesn’t let you set a max output
– extra wire in the tank
I should be receiving a MP10QD in a week or two which is octets new quiet drive version. Ill post more pics and comparisons once i receive it!