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Follow my Oceanic 144g half circle reef tanks progress.
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Doors and Sump

Posted 12/09/2011 at 02:50 PM by Aaarrrggg
Updated 12/23/2011 at 03:23 PM by Aaarrrggg

Well it's been 4 days and everyone is still alive! Woohoo!

First a confession... since my last post I've discovered that a pH of 7.8 is actually quite low... so my bad! I've never checked pH before and the brief investigation I did before yielded the wrong answers. Oh well, the tank seems no worse for it, but if anyone is reading this and thinking of trying Dr Tims One & Only Bacteria, I definitely recommend keeping an eye on pH, as it really can drop when you do multiple cycles! It's not bad per se... it just stalls the bacteria and can make the cycle(s) take a LOT longer! (As I found!)

Anyway, you've all been very patient with all my dull cycling posts... so hold on to your modems; time for an image intense update!

It took a bit of work but we finally got the doors on the stand!

[IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/tand-stand2.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/tank-stand.jpg[/IMG]

The base of the stand had warped slightly from water damage (3rd hand tank) which was preventing the doors from closing properly. We took a belt sander to it (scary!) to remove the lumps and then applied watered down wood glue and black paint. It took a few sandings/applications because every time we added the wood glue it puffed the stand back up again! Very frustrating, but we got there in the end. The finish isn't perfect, but who's going to be looking at the stand when the tank is teaming with clowns?

I'm pleased to report that the doors definitely help with the sump noise.... or maybe we just got used to it? Either way, I'm probably going to leave the plumbing as it is. I might change the grey corrugated tubes to solid ones that converge, but that's more because they keep getting in the way and I'd like to be able to put a filter sock over the end.

After the cycle ended, I fired up the Super Reef Octopus Skimmer. Wow it's good! It's already pulling out some pretty smelly gunk.

[IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/sump2-1.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/sump1-1.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/sump3.jpg[/IMG]

I've been having a bit of trouble getting the nitrates down post cycle. I've done a couple of 20g WCs but they keep hovering around 30ppm. I know I should be doing more than 20g, but until I have my water changer setup I'm a little restricted by the amount of SW I can store. I only have a 20g bin, which seemed like loads for my nano, but it's so tiny now! I added some carbon and purigen to help out. Here's hoping I can get the water charger running before any algae notices!

The doors on the stand are made of black glass which looks really cool, but unfortunately becomes very obviously transparent when you stick a light on the other side of it. This puts a bit of a dampener on the notion of having a lit sump. TBH though, this isn't the end of the world for me, as I've been getting really tired of constantly pulling out chaeto from my nano's return pump. I figure the glass problem will give me the perfect excuse to try an unlit fuge instead.

My primary goal here is to produce pods for the mandarin I'd like to get one day, (now I finally have a big enough tank!!! ) Apparently pods actually prefer the dark, so I have that working in my favor. I read in another thread about using dark colored "shower poufs" in pod farms. I was so proud of myself when I managed to score some "chaeto" green ones! (They're actually called "Forest Green" if anyone is looking for them.)

[IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/fake-chaeto.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r161/TheAaarrrggg/fuge1.jpg[/IMG]

It was usefully time to trim the chaeto in my nano, so I pulled a bunch out and ripped it up in a bowl of tank water. I removed all the loose chaeto bits I could and poured the water onto the shower poufs. That was a week or 2 ago and the tank is now EXPLODING with pods!
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