Jump to content


President Emeritus
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About Origami

  • Rank
    President Emeritus
  • Birthday 11/21/1960

Custom Fields

  • Gender
  • Location
    SW of Leesburg, S of Hamilton, VA
  • Interests
    Scuba, reefkeeping

Recent Profile Visitors

3,816 profile views
  1. Origami

    New to WAMAS and DC

    Welcome to the club, Zac. I hope that you'll be able to join us at our next meeting (which is coming up next Saturday). Fifteen years is a good bit of experience. If you're visiting us using a regular browser, you'll see a tab near the top of the page that links to an LFS map. You can use that as a starting point to visit some of the stores near you.
  2. Origami

    Test results and what should I do

    I'm assuming that, by using API, that your alk is at 5 dKH (vice 5 meq/L). Correct? Because 5 dKH is low, versus 5 meq/L which is high. That's quite an imbalance between calcium and alkalinity? Are you dosing a calcium supplement. Do you trust that your test kits are giving you accurate results? Alk can be adjusted upward with baking soda - plain old Arm and Hammer works great. It won't affect other parameters (except pH). You can determine how much to use using a reef chemistry calculator like this one : http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html
  3. Origami

    Need help calculating salt usage...

    Unfortunately, no. Not for most of what I wrote. However, I'll often look up and use a salinity converter (such as the one here: https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/SalinityConversion.php) But that just enables me easily go from sg to ppt for artificial saltwater. The rest of the calculations just follow by application of other knowledge.
  4. Origami

    Need help calculating salt usage...

    Oh, you asked about unskimmable organics. It pays to understand basically how a skimmer works first. A skimmer introduces millions of tiny bubbles to a body of saltwater. Each bubble has a boundary - what we'll call an air-water interface. It's the boundary between the air that's trapped in the bubble and the water that the bubble is floating in. Water itself is a polar molecule and that's a very important property when it comes to dissolving things. Now, we have lots of different kinds of organic molecules in the water. Some dissolve well in water - we call these water-loving or hydrophilic behavior. Others don't dissolve but instead repel water - we call those water fearing/avoiding or hydrophobic behavior. Some organic molecules, because of their structure, are hydrophobic, some are hydrophilic, and some are a combination of hydrophobic-and-hydrophilic. It's this last class of organic molecules that tend to be attracted to the air-water interface of the bubbles in the skimmer with their hydrophobic ends hiding inside the bubble and their hydrophilic tail pushed out into the water. The other stuff - especially the hydrophilic molecules have no special attraction to the bubbles, so they tend to stay behind in the tank water. These other organics often can be addressed using activated carbon or water changes. BTW, as these organics accumulate, your tank water begins to take on a yellow-cast. It's difficult to notice most of the time. However, if you tape a piece of white paper to one end of the aquarium and look at it from the other end of the tank, it'll look a bit yellowed (under white light) if the water is full of dissolved organics. The Germans call these yellowing organic compounds "gelbstoff" or yellow stuff.
  5. Origami

    Need help calculating salt usage...

    That's a lot of salinity drop. You must be skimming very wet to lose that much salt, or you have a bubble problem resulting in a lot of salt creep. Here's what I find strange: You have 100 gallons of saltwater. That's about 379 liters total with a total weight of around 387 kg. Now, you've given us a starting and ending salinity of 34.51 ppt (1.026 sg) and 30.55 ppt (1.023 sg). From these, I can calculate approximately how much salt you have in your water. At the starting salinity of 1.026, you have about 13.36 kg of salt in the tank. At 1.023 sg, it's closer to 11.58 kg. That's a drop of about 1.75 kg, or just under 4 pounds of salt. That's one heck of a lot of salt to lose in 2 weeks. To visualize that more clearly, it's the amount of salt that you'd find in a bit over 13 gallons of your water at it's starting salinity. In other words, neglecting salt creep as a method of export, you'd have to be losing upwards of 13 gallons of water through your skimmer or through some other leak over a two-week period. Another way to visualize it is to note that a cup of IO weighs around 0.6 pounds. Therefore, you're losing about 6.5 cups of salt over two weeks, or about a half cup a day. So, You've either got a big leak somewhere (unlikely, because a gallon a day of loss would probably be noticed). You've got a huge amount of salt creep that you're picking off and discarding - about a half-cup a day of dry salt. You're skimming really wet, exporting close to a gallon a day of skimmate. Or, of course, a combination of the above. Another option is that you're not calibrating your salinity measuring tool correctly. Your dosing approach will replace many trace elements. That's the good news. Over the long haul, though, any one of the two- and three-part systems will ultimately result in an ionic imbalance. For example, in basic two-dosing, you replace calcium and alkalinity using mostly calcium chloride and sodium bicarbonate (or sodium carbonate). You'll notice that, while dosing to replenish calcium and carbonate alkalinity, you're also adding sodium and chloride ions. Now sodium and chloride are in huge supply in your water, so the added amount is small relative to what's already there. But, over the long term, these small additions add up and can shift ionic balance. That's why, even in these sorts of systems, you want to perform an occasional, major water change.
  6. Origami

    Scoly ate my Nem...

    There you go. Members helping members, selflessly putting himself between you and disaster. The sacrifices we make sometimes.... Respect.
  7. I've liked Drew since he showed that the Chargers shouldn't have let him go way back when. Incredible competitor and undisputed first rounder. It's been a long time, but I was a devoted Chargers fan from the Air-Coryell / Dan Fouts era. Over the long-haul, though, going to New Orleans has worked incredibly well for him and the franchise. Good luck this weekend.
  8. Origami

    Grey Sch 40 conduit

    Nothing seems to preclude its use. The size and material is consistent with standard PVC used for plumbing. For drain use it should be fine.
  9. Origami

    Need help calculating salt usage...

    You may have a misconception about water changes and why they're done. Ideally, you don't do water changes to manage nitrates and phosphates. That's what your biological filtration (rocks, sand, clean up crew) are there to manage. We perform water changes to replenish inorganic trace elements that may not be otherwise replaced; to remove otherwise unskimmable (nonpolar organics) pollutants from the water; and to restore/manage ionic balance over the mid- to long-term. As for your salinity question, when you find a salinity imbalance, depending upon the size of your system, you can add saltwater to your sump when salinity is low above the ATO level, or substitute saltwater instead of fresh in your top off for whatever time is needed. Evaporation will continue to occur, gradually concentrating the total salt in the system and raising salinity until you reach your target level again. This approach is better than adding dry salt to your tank because, as it is, the dry salt mix is slightly caustic and, ideally, should be mixed a day or so in advance to allow the pH to stabilize and the newly mixed water to achieve balance with the surrounding air.
  10. Origami

    Scoly ate my Nem...

    Anemones are mostly water. It might surprise a lot of people just how small they can be when distressed. Many years ago, I had ond get pulled into a pump shroud. Fully opened, it was probably six or seven inches. Caught in the shroud, intact and not shredded, it was an irregular disk about the size of a quarter and about a half-inch thick. I was able to extract most of it from the shroud and, over the next couple of weeks, it gradually reinflated. I think that, given the lack of anemone parts in other pars of the tank, including the pump, it's more likely become an unusual morsel for the opportunistic scolies.
  11. Origami

    Scoly ate my Nem...

    Very interesting. Were the anemone and the scoly near each other, such that the scoly might have stung the nem and, after it released, drew it in? Or is there any reason to think that the nem was unhappy and on the move, and wandered in too close to a hungry scoly?
  12. Origami

    what flow rate 36w uv?

    Heads up, Forrest: One more post and you'll join the 5-digit club - 10,000 posts since finding the community nearly 12 years ago.
  13. Origami

    Is this really an oregon tort?

    Absolutely. These names mean little except to a collector that is concerned with coloration, growth form, or other (largely) visual characteristics. There's not even a very reliable way of tracing lineage back to the original "named" coral, so most varieties pick up the name based on the defining characteristics of the original. A. Tortuosa is more commonly known as a "tort." You'll find many torts out there that may be colored differently. Yellow torts, green torts, blue torts, blue-green torts, etc. as well as other "named" torts (e.g Miyagi tort).
  14. Origami

    Is this really an oregon tort?

    It's a nice looking coral. I can't wait to see it after it grows out!
  15. Origami

    Is this really an oregon tort?

    Slow growing can be relative. I had one about ten years ago that grew well for me. Unfortunately, I lost it seven years ago in a tank crash following a move to our current home when I stupidly tried eliminating a bunch of toxic palythoas (what I like to call Outlaw Palys after former member Steve Outlaw who attracted international attention when, in an effort to rid himself of the nuissance palys, boiled his rock and wound up in the hospital with serious symptoms of palytoxin exposure). In the process, I managed to nuke the tank, losing 80% of my corals and about half my fish. An example of a faster growing A. totuosa is the California Tort. Besides the difference in color (the Cali tort has more green in the base even into the branches), the axial corallite is typically longer and much lighter as this is where growth is most evident. The lighter colored tips in Acropora are halmarks of growth.