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Scoto's Equipment Room Build + 8ft Tank (1 Viewer)

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Scoto

Scoto

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Hi all, been a while since an update and here is where things are at.

Fish - Added lots of new family members, some from a few member tanks and some from local fish stores. I'm really happy with where the community is at and other than keeping an eye out for a solon wrasse I don't think we will have new fish inhabitants planned for a while now. Lots of movement, lots of fun personalities and a bio-load that I think suits me for a little while longer. Current list is = Powder Blue, Yellow Eye Kole, Long Nose Hawkfish, Midas Blenny, Magnificent Fox Face (newest member), Timor Wrasse, Eibli Angel, 4 Clowns, and a diamond goby.
PXL_20220430_160748030.jpg PXL_20220430_160730955.jpg
Coral - Is another story. I've just not found the parameters that are working for me yet. A few pics to compare to earlier in the thread. I guess the biggest sign that something isn't right is that I have not seen any coraline and we've been wet now 6-ish months.

Orange lepto is a success, he seems happy and you can see how much growth he's put on compared to earlier. I have a green lepto that's not quite as good as this guy, but putting on some measurable growth as well. (He's kind of upright because there is a goby who will cover him in sand otherwise).
PXL_20220430_160458402.jpg
Polyps are an example of the opposite, they grew off the plug onto the rocks, but the polyps have shrunk in size a lot and it never looks happy, mostly grumpy like this pic.
PXL_20220430_160657856.jpg

I also have two montis, two blastos and two birds nest that aren't dying but aren't thriving either. There's also some pavonas kicking round doing not much as well. I haven't added much else because I don't want to risk new purchases until I have my current test crop of corals worked out.

I have a few theories. First params - todays measurements are (after a water change yesterday), N = 2ppm, Phos = 0.08ppm, Alk = 8.7, Ca = 480, Mg, 1560. You may be wondering why that looks so whacky - don't use expired test kits. I started slowly correcting my Alk/Ca/Mg, knowing my kit was expired thinking "its chemicals, does it really expire?". Well, within a week I realized something was not adding up between what I was doing and what I was measuring so I got a new kit. Low and behold Ca and Mg are now high. Alk I'm still fighting to bring upwards, it matches with my pH cause I'm hovering 8.04ish and dropping under 8 overnight. Currently plan is a few water changes to bring down my mistakes and keep on working the alk up slowly. No dosing pumps yet, that'll be an investment after I've worked out the kinks manually.

Next light, I borrowed a MARSH PAR meter and on average my numbers don't look too bad to something a mixed reef-ish (100-150 by the sand, 300-400 at the top of the rocks), but I'm getting a lot of dark and bright patches (like 600+) as I took measurements around the tank. I need to buy some t-track and create a scaffold to lift my lights higher and I can probably raise them another 4-5 inches inside the canopy while still having air flow so I think I'll do that before messing with the %s and programming. I'm also running a 12hr schedule on the lights (2-3hrs ramp up ramp down, but a good 6-8hrs of full intensity). But I still feel like getting them higher is the thing to try first unless folks disagree.

Finally, I'm trying coral feeding for the first time. I had corals in my first tank but never took them seriously, it was just kind of what grew was what grew so I never paid them any special attention. Trying Red Sea red reef energy plus, literally only 20mL or so (enough to spot feed) 2 times a week. I've only started that last week so we'll see what happens.

There could be other things to try, but I'm also very aware that it will take weeks to months sometimes for a change to start showing results or otherwise, so I'm also restraining myself from doing too much till I can see the improvements (or not) of only a few things at a time (ideally it'd be one thing at a time, but I'm not that patient).
 

soymilk

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thats a big long nose hawkfish. it looks great

whats your alk now? i try to test with two different alk kits every now and then just to make sure everything tracks.
 
OP
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Scoto

Scoto

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thats a big long nose hawkfish. it looks great

whats your alk now? i try to test with two different alk kits every now and then just to make sure everything tracks.
Alk was consistent between the two test kits, it started off closer to 8 and it's been slowly creeping up.

The hawkfish came from someone else's tank, he's a big pig for sure!
 

second_decimal

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That is a beast of a tank man.. with that much time and energy invested, I would consider doing some icp tests to verify your own testing and water parameters
 
OP
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Scoto

Scoto

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That is a beast of a tank man.. with that much time and energy invested, I would consider doing some icp tests to verify your own testing and water parameters
You are right, I've sat on my hands too long. Ordered one just now.
 

second_decimal

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At least to see how close to your tested parameters you are. Or if anything unusual pops up on the icp. There was a long thread in the lounge about icp testing but the short of it is, proceed with caution with this as well since the icp tests are also not 100% and some are better than others. Either way, expect to spend $100-200 on tests during the first 2-4 months getting everything dialed in. Once it’s stable, as long as nothing changes too drastically, only needed every 6 months if at all but you probably already knew that lol. Tank looks great. Love the details and the sump kit is a great find. Can’t wait to see how it all comes out. Following.
 

soymilk

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I don’t find 8 alk particularly low, what’s the alk of your salt mix?

I keep my tank at 7.5-8dkh
 

MurseJB

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Hi all, been a while since an update and here is where things are at.

Fish - Added lots of new family members, some from a few member tanks and some from local fish stores. I'm really happy with where the community is at and other than keeping an eye out for a solon wrasse I don't think we will have new fish inhabitants planned for a while now. Lots of movement, lots of fun personalities and a bio-load that I think suits me for a little while longer. Current list is = Powder Blue, Yellow Eye Kole, Long Nose Hawkfish, Midas Blenny, Magnificent Fox Face (newest member), Timor Wrasse, Eibli Angel, 4 Clowns, and a diamond goby.
PXL_20220430_160748030.jpg PXL_20220430_160730955.jpg
Coral - Is another story. I've just not found the parameters that are working for me yet. A few pics to compare to earlier in the thread. I guess the biggest sign that something isn't right is that I have not seen any coraline and we've been wet now 6-ish months.

Orange lepto is a success, he seems happy and you can see how much growth he's put on compared to earlier. I have a green lepto that's not quite as good as this guy, but putting on some measurable growth as well. (He's kind of upright because there is a goby who will cover him in sand otherwise).
PXL_20220430_160458402.jpg
Polyps are an example of the opposite, they grew off the plug onto the rocks, but the polyps have shrunk in size a lot and it never looks happy, mostly grumpy like this pic.
PXL_20220430_160657856.jpg

I also have two montis, two blastos and two birds nest that aren't dying but aren't thriving either. There's also some pavonas kicking round doing not much as well. I haven't added much else because I don't want to risk new purchases until I have my current test crop of corals worked out.

I have a few theories. First params - todays measurements are (after a water change yesterday), N = 2ppm, Phos = 0.08ppm, Alk = 8.7, Ca = 480, Mg, 1560. You may be wondering why that looks so whacky - don't use expired test kits. I started slowly correcting my Alk/Ca/Mg, knowing my kit was expired thinking "its chemicals, does it really expire?". Well, within a week I realized something was not adding up between what I was doing and what I was measuring so I got a new kit. Low and behold Ca and Mg are now high. Alk I'm still fighting to bring upwards, it matches with my pH cause I'm hovering 8.04ish and dropping under 8 overnight. Currently plan is a few water changes to bring down my mistakes and keep on working the alk up slowly. No dosing pumps yet, that'll be an investment after I've worked out the kinks manually.

Next light, I borrowed a MARSH PAR meter and on average my numbers don't look too bad to something a mixed reef-ish (100-150 by the sand, 300-400 at the top of the rocks), but I'm getting a lot of dark and bright patches (like 600+) as I took measurements around the tank. I need to buy some t-track and create a scaffold to lift my lights higher and I can probably raise them another 4-5 inches inside the canopy while still having air flow so I think I'll do that before messing with the %s and programming. I'm also running a 12hr schedule on the lights (2-3hrs ramp up ramp down, but a good 6-8hrs of full intensity). But I still feel like getting them higher is the thing to try first unless folks disagree.

Finally, I'm trying coral feeding for the first time. I had corals in my first tank but never took them seriously, it was just kind of what grew was what grew so I never paid them any special attention. Trying Red Sea red reef energy plus, literally only 20mL or so (enough to spot feed) 2 times a week. I've only started that last week so we'll see what happens.

There could be other things to try, but I'm also very aware that it will take weeks to months sometimes for a change to start showing results or otherwise, so I'm also restraining myself from doing too much till I can see the improvements (or not) of only a few things at a time (ideally it'd be one thing at a time, but I'm not that patient).
Great tank! Been following along since you've been setting up. So your parameters don't look wacky to me, they basically mirror mine, except my alk is in the 7.8-8 range and mag in the 1400s, and my test kits show nutrients in the same range as yours. Looking at the coral pics you posted, I think the corals are either nutrient starved, or getting too much light or a combination of both. I think coral feeding would be good or feed the fish more food. I feed my fish twice a day via autofeeder, sometimes they get a 3rd feeding of frozen or ROE and at night a couple drops of oyster feast or live phyto if I remember. And yes I am crazy to feed this often lol. I think you have plenty of room to play with with the parameters you are reading from your test kits. Super stoked to see more progress from your tank, bc it is a beast and definitely envious of your set up!
 

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