About a month ago I gor a fancy schmancy Apex DOS stepper dosing pump.. I was previously using a Jabeo dosser however, unplugged it once i got the calcium reactor going. I decided to get back on weekly testing and stocked up on test kit refills..
For the first time since cycling my tank I decided to test nitrates and found it was much higher than i would have liked. I used a red sea test kit..and was way off the charts for the low range test.. I then repeated the test in the “high range” mode and it read some where beteween 16 and 32…. So i decided it was time to try Vodka Dosing!
Shortly after I dug out the fancy apex dos that was hiding in the closet waiting to be unwrapped. I chose the apex DOS as it deliver an extremely precise dose and was perfect for vodka dosing ( i actually got it for future automatic water changes but wont be implementing that until i move the tank closer to a water source.)
I figure my tank is around 120-130G with the sump.. subtracting sand and rock i settled on 100g to make calculations easy. I’m following the chart below as a general guide on slowly increasing my dosage
Ill update this post as i go to keep you guys updated on how it goes!
Week 1: Day 1: 29/11/2016 I started on 0.5ml/day
Week 1: Day 3: 02/12/2016 Upped my dose to 1ml/day.
After being tired of bare spots and sand dunes forming in my tank from the undertow of the mp40.. I finally decided to build a solution
I designed a plate that contours to the cage of the mp40 and snaps on. It’s made from ABS which is aquarium safe and secure should rid me of the dunes and bare spots!
I just picked up a Jacod CP-40 gyre but was disappointing to see that the jabeo > apex connector does not work with this unit.. In efforts to figure out a way to work the signal and make my own i decided to do a little reverse engendering and see how it worked.. No keep in mind i’m still learning to use my oscilloscope.. this may be a bit of a leap for me.. but hey its a good time to learn!
The connector wiring
Backside of controller
front side of controller
Yellow line is the yellow wire. Blue is brown wire.
Magnetic stirrers are one of the simplest ways to build a DIY Kalk stirrer. I used an old reactor with a missing lid for the tube. You could also just use PVC or an acrylic tube. For the used a hole saw and made a hole in the centre of a square of acrylic and bonded it to the tube. I sandwiches some rubber beteeeen a second price and drilled holes for nylon wing nuts The rubber in the middle seals the lid
The base is a square of acrylic to hold a 120mm PC fan. I did have to shave a few mm off the side of the fan to make it fit. I glued a rare earth magnet to the centr of the fan and aligned it a few mm below the top of the frame to ensure it can spin freely
Inside the reactor be sure to put a piece of glass on the bottom to prevent the internal stir bar from wearing through the acrylic over time
Having a steel stand makes it a little hard to add on.. Well that is if you don’t use magnets! I have been using strong magnets to mount all kinds of stuff inside my stand including my Jabeo doser
I vent a price of acrylic by claiming it beteeeen 2 prices of wood and going over the edge with a heat Gun. I then used drywall plugs into the space between magnets in a magnetic strip bar and used screws to attach the two together
The magnetic strip came from princess auto and was about $15. The acrylic I had laying around so all in all it was a pretty cheap project and looks great
Something magical happneed… I got a call saying my tank was done! After planning this upgrade for close to six months i was extatic to see my project coming to life.
A few buddies showed up to help with the move (thanks guys!). It showed in a big wodden crate with the stand bolted to the top.. The tank it self was sealted tight like a mummy in a vault.. There must have been 600 nails on that crate…. Opening it was another challenage. The first half to process involved hammers and pry bars trying to seperate the wood…. after slow progress i busted out the reciprocating saw and begun cutting the support posts… eventually we were in!
The tank was faily heavy but manageable. I pre cut carpet to put under the stand which made it moveable (prior to filling).. this was great as it allowed me to tweak its position, slide it out to put black vinyl on the back and make sure it was perfectly level
The tank it self is 3 sides starfire… it will eventually turn into a peninsula uptop the stairs but for the next year or two it will be down here against the wall.
With the tank in its temporary home I picked up some 3/4 plywood to build a sump stand and build my sump space.
Dry sand can be full of dust and cloud your tank for days. Used sand can be full of detritus and bad stuff that you probably don’t want to add into your tank. If you are using either of theses sands its best to give them a real good rinse prior to use. The easiest way is to pour your sand into a 5g bucket and push the garden hose all the way down to the bottom. Turn your hose on full and let the water work its way and and bring the little particles with it. You can swish it around and mix it up or just let it run. I any take a good 20 minutes with the water running so you mind as well do it in the middle of your lawn so it gets a good watering!
Once the water runs clear you will want to ensue the sand is fully dried prior to adding to your tank.
Spread your sand out on a tarp and let it bask in the sun until dry and your good to go.
A few updates photos of my planted innovative Marie fusion 16 crystal shrimp tank. The tank used is actually a marine tank. I used stainless mesh on the overflows to help keep the shrimp out. The beauty of a marine tank is you can hide your filers and heaters in the rear sump and keep the display clutter free