Saturday, August 31, 2013

Red Sea System-

So I decided to go to the next level and try the Red Sea System to help out on my tank.  Currently I'm dosing Aquamaxx A & B, but I wanted to incorporate something else as my corals are looking dull and not to full in color. 
Since I have a medium stock aquarium i get issues with nitrates and phosphates.  So my 1st concerns on the list was to get rid of my nitrates and reduce phosphates.  That way I can get healthy growth and I really don't want to experience any algae at the moment. The Red Sea NO3:PO4-X is a great additive that uses organic elements and "unique complex of carbons" as stated by Red Sea, or in another words this is similar to vodka dosing. This will reduce excess nutrients in your system(nitrates and phosphates) I won't get into details or physics on the breakdown.  I started using this application with a small amount of 3.5 ml per day(the directions indicate to use 3ml per every 25gl. If nitrate level is above 10ppm, anything less than 10ppm will between 1-2ml per every 25gl).  Within the 4th day i saw results that my nitrates and phosphates had reduce to zero or close to zero.   After bringing down my nitrates and phosphates I followed up with my 10% weekly water change. (a healthy tank means happy corals) 

 I love giving my corals a wide variety of foods.  I'm the type of hobbyist that likes to baby my corals, NO one food for the rest of the week...psshhhh I provide my corals with a variety of mix foods from Coral Frenzy, Reef Nutrition, H2O Frozen cubes, Reef-Roids, oyster feast and so on.  Like all animals they require additional supplementation and vitamins, what better choice than to provide my corals the Red Sea Energy A and B supplement.  The Reef Energy A consist of carbohydrates, Amino acids, fatty acids and suspended protein flocks and the Reef Energy B will consist of Vitamins and Amino Acids.  I add 2ml 3 times a week to my tank.(manufacturer states to add 1ml per every 25gl daily for soft corals, 2ml per every 25gl daily for either LPS and SPS corals.  I don't add daily as I mentioned I like to give a variety of food to my corals I don't want to have excessive nutrients in the tank.  Overdosing of the Reef Energy A & B can develop a grey/brown bio-film on the live rocks and outbreaks of algae.  Under signs of under-dosing in a low nutrient system will result in  bleaching of the corals from the base upwards.

Since I do 10% water change on my tank every week, I add the Red Sea Colors A,B,C,D in between the week. I carefully test my Iron, Iodine, Potassium levels to make sure I'm dosing the correct amount.  Please note that this are also very important elements to maintain a nice vibrant color on your corals.  So far the program has worked really great on my system and plan on continuing using it.
Here are a couple of sample pics.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

what a little household cleaner can do

We all know that your aquarium gear can build up salt creek, calcium deposits, or any hard to get rid off waste.  With white distilled vinegar, that you can find among you common household cleaning supplies, I would demonstrate how effective it can clean up your equipment..
Here I have a two little fishes media reactor that has been running for a couple of months.  As you can see here there is deposit build up of waste inside the main send tube, the body and on the edges.  With a rinse this won't come off. 

 So I started with 20% white distilled vinegar and dilute it with lukewarm water and left the body soaking for about 15 minutes.  I gather the smaller components and did the same procedure in a Tupperware and let them soak for 15 minutes.  I have to admit... I love my Tunze Brush cleaning kit.  Oh it makes things much easier for me when I'm doing my maintenance and cleaning.  So since it comes with a variety sizes of brushes, I can use any type or size to scrub and scrape the gunk out.  The solution works great, I only have to pass the brush 2 or 3 time and it automatically comes off.  I use the fine brushes to get into the smaller crevices.  After some light brushing and scrubing I rinse the body and the components with lukewarm water and dry them with a micro fiber cloth towel. 

And now the results are in....  all I can say the reactor looks brand spanking new.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Little LED Upgrade

Even though this tank has an amazing LED setup, Moonlights, Actinics and the 14k LED lights I needed something in between to give me more options to blend in and not to mention more coloration from my corals.
After doing some research I found that the Ecoxotic Stunner Strips offer low power consumption,  smaller size, and a variety of colors.  The Ecoxotic strips are water resistance and are the perfect size to install in my hood. I ended up going with one magenta strip and one ultraviolet strip.  I figure this would give me a nice blend since the actinic leds that come with the tank are really intense.
 I was very uneasy at first about taking the hood apart to make to make some mods.  I figure I would be able to install over the glass, even with a low profile height the stunner wouldn't fit accurately and they where to close to the water.
So ended up removing the plastic cover following with the glass. My 1st idea was to place them one on the front and one on the back. To my disappointment, the stunner strips where block from the inner frame.  So the next idea was to place them in the middle of the fixture.  The stunner strips where to large that the glass cover wouldn't cover it.  I had to remove side of the black frame that holds the glass in place.  After doing some measuring and cutting the side frame for the stunner strips, I gently snap them in place and they where flush with the frame.

After the stunner strips fitted nicely on the black frame and in between the 14k leds, it was time to arrange the cords around the reflector to cover them from being exposed.  The next step I did was to get my vacuum and suck all the dust in there.  Since you can daisy chain the strips, I had to cover the expose side with a fitted plug cover that comes with the stunner strip.

I use one of the output from the stock lights and resealed with the rubber fitting from one of my old 12 JBJ DX.  So it gives it a slicker professional look.  I ended up placing the glass lid and the plastic cover guard back in place. and gave it a test drive.  Now that I have more options to play with I can set it up to different settings to give it a unique personal look.

UV Stunner Strip
UV Stunner Strip and Moonlights
Actinic and UV Stunner Strip
Actinic and Magenta Stunner Strip at 10%
Actinic and Magenta at 20%
Actinic  and Magenta at 40%
 Actinic and Magenta at 60%
 Actinic and Magenta at 80%
Actinic and Magenta at 100%
14k, Actinic, and Magenta at 80%