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Thread: 180g Show Tank

  1. #21
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    Low maintenance, high happiness

  2. #22

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    Pics from today Sept 7,2016. Tank is doing well. No livestock fish losses or additions. I just rearranged a few corals and moved several smaller pieces back to the frag tank to reduce the clutter on the substrate.

    Ready for MACNA:



    Full shot without the ugly mug:


  3. #23

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    That's a beautiful tank. A true testament to the success of natural reef keeping.

    I read the entire thread and I might have missed it, but you went from doing a lot of significant water changes to none. What changes did you make when you did that? Do you still vacuum the substrate?

  4. #24

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    Okay you asked for it, be prepared for a boring read:

    Scrubber ( + 1 cup of rox .8 carbon per week ) has proven to keep the nitrates and phosphates in check so water change was not needed for water quality purposes. Because Instant Ocean has slightly elevated strontium and potasium water changes was keeping all trace elements just fine nothing needed but the big 3 alk/ca/mg and iron for the scrubber. I decided in March 2015 to try a variation of the Triton methodolgy ( except don't use Triton 3 part ). Because I am a long term Kalkwasser user and wasn't going to change, plus the amount of Triton 3 part it would require ( about 250+mil per day ) I would be spending about $80 a month on supplements alone. I just couldn't justify that. as water changes was only $50 per month ( I box of Instant Ocean per month, not including ro/di filters to make the water which does add a little cost ). So I decided to use HW brand trace supplements as my base ( Trace-Tip1, Trace-Tip2, Mira-tip ) they cost $60 and last 2.5 months. The rest is DIY recipes as much as possible for magnesium, potassium, iron, silicate, iodine, manganese, molybdenum. I use Triton brand for nickel, zinc, vanadium, and strontium only becuase either hard to source or wasn't any cheaper to find alternative.

    It's been going well. I did a Test before starting to find my tank baseline, I did a Triton test on Instant Ocean so I could determine if any higher levels was becuase the salt itself. My first triton test was 8 months later, tweaked by monthly dosages of DIY, testing 4 months leater, refined dosing again. Last test in June was near perfect. Only issue was sulfate had been falling overtime since the beginning. I changed my Magnesium dosages to use magnesium sulfate hoping that will raise my sulfate levels. Next test is in Oct/Nov timeframe and I will have beter idea if magnesium sulfate is raising it. As always will continute refining dosagae to get better and better.


    I do scrape the back wall ( always have ) becuase I like the clean look and makes corals contrast better than letting coraline grow. I still siphon the substrate when it looks like it needs it which usually ends up about 3-4 weeks but instead of during a water change and letting the water go down the drain, I just siphon into a diy filter sock back into the sump. Really hardly any maintanance but scrap the ats screen once a week, change 1 cup of carbon once a week. Refill kalkwasser reservoir. I do daily dosages of the HW ( but been known to skip several days just double up to catch back up since they are only trace elements ). Monthly dosages for potassium, silicate, strontium, nickel, zinc, vanadium, molybdenum, manganese.

    Worked out well so far. Although 18months is not a long term track record yet. Haven't seen any elements accumulating ( assuming Triton test is accurate - there is debate on that ) to say it won't work long term. ATS been running almost 5 years now so it's definately proven long term to keep water quality in check.

    PS: I keep meaning to fully document this on my website, just not quite updated with the details. I do have it documented in the Triton sponsor forum on another site but out of respect will not mention it here.

  5. #25

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    Thank you for the info. I'm trying to go away from water changes as a "filtration" method myself. In my tank I only run a waterfall scrubber and carbon in a media bag that I change out every two weeks. I also have a spot for filter floss, but I only have floss in it about half the time. I did a 50% water change 3 days ago because I saw cyano in a couple spots on the substrate. Prior to that my last water change was on 6/1 of 20%. My tank is no where near the size or bioload of yours, but so far I'm having pretty good success in both fish and coral.

    There are so many trace elements, it's not reasonable to test for them all using kits. I'm currently using a couple drops of the red sea trace supplement's each week. I'm concerned about what is building up and what's being depleted that I'm completely ignorant about. I'm familiar with the Triton testing, I have not done much research into their supplements. Maybe I should just start getting a Triton test twice a year.

    Are you still using the fergon tablets?

  6. #26

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    Like you say for me I'm most worried about accumulation and something becoming toxic. While I'm sure Triton tests aren't perfect and may not detect low levels, the HOPE is that it would at least show accumulation. If I did see anything on the test that look suspect, I won't hesitate to abandon and go back to water changes. Instant Ocean ( despite what others think ) tests are pretty darn good and is still my choice of salt, only needs a bump in mg and ca which is just pennies and a easy repeatable process.

    I have enjoyed this experiment though and you really get more in tune with what your tank is using. I have enjoyed the challenge of it. While it may sound like I'm doing it becuase I'm trying to save money and cheap. It isn't so, if I needed I without hesistation would spend the money for me the drive has been the challenge of it and to try something different to keep the hobby from being boring.

    Yes, fergon tablets are a mainstay.

  7. #27

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    Just got back from Macna in San Diego after winning the Neptune Systems 2016 Marine Aquarium Hobbiest of the Year


  8. #28

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    Congratulations!

  9. #29
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    Very nice

  10. #30

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    Nice!!

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