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madweazl

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About madweazl

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    Grandmaster Reefer
  • Birthday 01/10/1975

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    Fredericksburg VA

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  1. While you caught the reduction in alkalinity, I'd be surprised if the birdsnest reacted because of the drop in alkalinity so you might want to run a full set of tests to double check all parameters and give everything a once over to make sure nothing crazy has happened. Our tank has dipped all the way down to about 5.5 dKh and I've not seen a negative reaction from the corals.
  2. The flow restriction from the fitting will have a larger impact than the difference in diameter. I used furniture grade throughout my system because it had the largest ID available for 3/4" tubing (and it was visually attractive). If you dont have compound angles, bending the tubing is really easy and maintains considerably higher flow. Beananimal has a calculator that will give the exact values for diameter and height differences.
  3. How would there be only water [no air] above the valve but not below it?
  4. The reason you want a full siphon is so there is no noise coming from your plumbing, something you cant accomplish with any other method. The gate valve exist to dial in whatever flow rate you desire. As for the emergency drain, I ran it just like the other two (just below the surface). The noise from the overflow is different enough to know something is up. You'll also hear the initial flush of both as they go full siphon. If having the extra alert from the splashing water is beneficial, use it though. We're coming up on three years now and the emergency has never been used and the secondary rarely goes full siphon (when it does, I run a flexible brush through the lines to clean them).
  5. He runs a reverse undergravel.
  6. Looks like a typical undergravel setup that was just remoted from the display.
  7. I had a float switch magnetic mount do the same last year; I give everything with a magnet a once over fairly often now (return pump, wave makers, float mounts, probe mounts, etc.).
  8. The Reef Angel controller is only $200 more and does anything you can possibly imagine (and then some) but, you are stuck with the coding part if you want to get crazy. The basic stuff has a simple wizard that will get you up and running.
  9. The Seneye is a nice PAR meter, all but useless for anything else but a quarantine/hospital tank though. I do ICPs about twice a year just to see the things I cant test for; I don't think you need one for much of anything at this point.
  10. They dont make anything for nitrates but some inquisitive individuals have come up with creative ways to use various Hanna checkers to get nitrate results. In my opinion, you dont need super accurate (for any of them really), you just need a history of results to see if things are trending up or down. Many people use spreadsheets or hand written journals but I've found Aquatic Log to be pretty awesome for this.
  11. AquaIllumination posted this on Facebook a while back and I just loved it!
  12. Phosphates are independent from nitrates and share no relationship. NH3 (ammonia) is broken down by bacteria to NO2 (nitrite) which is further broken down by other bacteria to NO3 (nitrate). At this point, the nitrates have to be consumed/exported in some fashion (e.g. carbon dosing, water change, macro-algae etc.). The phosphates (PO4) aren't going to be broken down any further and need to be consumed/exported in some fashion (e.g. GFO, lanthanum chloride, macro-algae etc.).
  13. The water changes aren't going to do much so I wouldnt recommend changing your typical water change schedule or amount; your nutrient reduction will have to come from introducing less to the tank (i.e. food) and export via your current bio-pellets and GFO. You'll have to keep a close eye on this the next few weeks so you don't remove the nutrients completely.
  14. Provided the water you're using for the change is free of phosphates, you are getting a reduction of 20% at the time of the change. Your rock/sand may have levels bound up in it that releases phosphates back in to the water right after you change it though; this will continue to happen until an equilibrium is achieved. I don't clean the detritus out of my sump, I don't think it contributes to nutrient levels much (if at all). It was a couple inches deep before we moved last year and it's about 3/4" deep now. You have a lot more going on with your tank than I do however; the only thing in my sump is the macro-algae (no rock, blocks, etc.). I imagine it's rather overwhelming for the time being. Over the course of time, you will likely be able to remove much of what you have going on (i.e. bio-pellets, GFO, marinepure blocks, etc.) but it certainly isn't something I'd do all at once.
  15. Vodka, vinegar, and bio-pellets are all forms of carbon dosing and accomplish the same thing, a reduction in nitrates by promoting bacteria that feed in part, on the nitrates. You then pull the bacteria out of the water via your skimmer, therefore removing the nitrates. This is why you skimmate typically becomes darker when carbon dosing. So you dont use both, just one or the other. Vodka can promote the growth of cyanobacteria, vinegar temporarily drops you pH when dosed in larger amounts so sometimes it's better to spread this out. Bio-pellets are a pain and fall off in efficiency over time (as they're depleted), that and they're much more expensive than the other two options (vinegar cant be beat). For the sake of keeping things relatively consistent for the time being, you're probably better off sticking with the bio-pellets until you get things under control. Once you're comfortable, you can look at moving to another carbon dosing solution (if needed).
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