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Thread: My journey with the Rain2 Algae Scrubber and my 80G Tank

  1. #31

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Australia
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    So its been about a month and I thought I'd post another update.

    Overall tank has been doing okay, my 72 day Ich fallow period has come to an end and I have finally added the only survivor, a Blue Tang back into the tank! Over the next month I will quarantine and add more fish again which I hope will benefit the tank health overall with more balanced nutrient load, import/export with increased feeding etc...

    My most recent harvest of the rain2 was ~75grams of squeezed algae, biggest harvest yet. The color has been pretty green lately with little to no yellow, I have also noticed the growth is denser/thicker with 'krinkled' wavey kind of pattern. More like 'turf' I guess. I have been feeding more and will continue to do so as I add more fish. My nitrates seems to be pretty stable at somewhere between 0.25 and 1ppm, but its hard to read, when my current test kit is finished I might change to another brand that has better resolution at the low end. Maybe the Red Sea Pro kit?

    I have reduced the vinegar dose in my kalkwasser from 200ml to 125ml over the last 2 weeks as levels Alk and Calcium have been slowly rising. My Alk and Calcium has been pretty stable at 7.7dkh-8dkh and 440ppm-450ppm respectively for the last 2 weeks at the current dosing (kalk in ATO).

    I have modified my lights spectrum a bit. I lowered overall use of 'whites' both in intensity and duration, and increased overall usage of 'blue' in intensity. I slightly lowered usage of the 'UV spectrum as well as I read reports of it being particularly strong on my particular brand of LED's. (Illumagic Blaze X)

    SPS still doesnt like me, I am still not totally sure of the cause of most of my SPS dying, but I am working on the theory of it originating from instability ~2 months ago. From what I understand SPS lags behind the stress events for some time. Most of my wild colonies are dead and gone or dying and probably not going to recover but fingers crossed. I am hoping to see improvements in my surviving SPS in the next month. Some small glimmers of hope are
    - green monti cap to the right hand side of the bridge in my tank has started returning from what I thought was totally bleached death in the last few days with new color and visible polyps
    - green monti cap to the left is looking great and is growing
    - forest fire digi frag has polyp extension again, although its general color is still 'dark' as compared to what its supposed to look like
    - green dalas frags (I have 2) are both almost completely brown and have been for over a month now, but hopefully they recover - its supposed to be a very hardy acro...

    Everything else, all my LPS is doing great!





    https://i.imgur.com/dr4KL7A.mp4

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Australia
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    33
    So I thought I would post an update. I now have 6 fish in the tank, 1 blue tang, 1 yellow tang, and 4 dispar anthias. In addition to the clam, coral banded shrimp, blood shrimp, snails and all the coral.

    I have noticed for the last few weeks the algae harvest hasnt been as green and fluffy as it was, instead it darker and more 'dirty'? Also the total squeezed mass has been smaller, around 30grams a week when prior i was getting around 50grams+.

    The tank looks great and everything is doing really well for the most part (even my few remaining bits of SPS are recovering and coloring)

    One thing I have to keep my eye on is that my phosphate appears to be creeping up. Could it have something to do with the Rain2 not running optimally? Or is my nitrate the limiting factor to reducing phosphate or something?

    My water parameters are averaging:
    Alkalinity 8.6 dkh
    Calcium 480ppm
    Nitrate 0.25 mg/L
    Phosphate 0.1ppm
    Magnesium 1350ppm








  3. #33
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    Typical progression. Nutrients in the water have come down, and there is less to absorb. Yes nitrate might be limiting phosphate, but instead of adding nitrate just double your feeding... probably coral food. If you have a good CUC then the sand should stay clean.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Australia
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    So here is my final update for 2018. Its been a great journey and my tank is about 8 months old now.

    This month I have
    - biggest change is adding a T5 fixture to my existing LED's so now I have a hybrid of both. I used the 90cm T5HO Fixture from Fish-Street.com and 2 atinic bulbs
    - added 2 mandarins (both seem to be doing great, I have plenty of pods, partly thanks to the RAIN2)
    - added some more SPS, few different kinds, hopefully it does well this time, fingers crossed!
    - added a frag of utter chaos (super cool zoanthid species)
    - moved my sun coral from under the bridge to the front where its easier for me to feed
    - moved the green torch as it was getting too big and stinging the duncans, its been pushed to the back corner sin bin for now lol
    - moved some of the montiora around a bit, they are all doing well, but i think the new locations are better and more balanced in the tank, especially with the new sps

    I have had no mortalities of fish or coral for a while now. I am still running kalkwasser and vinegar in my ATO And my paramters have been very stable averaging:

    My water parameters are averaging:
    Alkalinity 8.0 dkh
    Calcium 450ppm
    Nitrate 0.25 mg/L
    Phosphate 0.07ppm
    Magnesium 1350ppm

    I am feeding more now, few pinches of flake a day, few pinches of pellets a day, ~4 cubes of mysis over a week, 3-4 small squares of nori over a week, reef roids ~3 times a week, LPS get target fed pellets ~2 times a week except the sun coral that gets fed every second day. I think as a result of my increased feeding my nitrates more detectable and my phosphates appear to have come down a bit. I also got a hanna phosphate test which is far more accurate that salifert tests which I cant read by eye.

    My last few RAIN2 harvests have come back up again, to 60-80grams of the more 'fluffy' or 'krinkly' green hair algae.

    Anyway here are some pictures!














  5. #35
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    Great to hear. The corals really stand out on the white sand.

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Australia
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    So here is my first update for 2019.

    This month I have
    - noticed better coloration and growth on my SPS, in particular check out the difference in the strawberry shortcake acro from my last update to this one, gone from basically white, to full coloured!
    - re-arranged my torches, moved them a little lower down onto the sandbed and away from the orange hammers which were starting to sting them
    - added some new SPS and re-arranged a couple of them
    - changed nothing as far as tank chemistry, maintenance and lighting goes. Just tried to let everything stabalise further around the addititon of T5's from December

    I have had no mortalities of fish or coral for a while now. I am still running kalkwasser and vinegar in my ATO And my paramters have been very stable averaging:

    My water parameters are averaging:
    Alkalinity 8.0 dkh
    Calcium 430ppm
    Nitrate 0.25 mg/L
    Phosphate 0.06ppm
    Magnesium 1350ppm


    My last RAIN2 harvest was the biggest yet, to 99grams of the more 'fluffy' or 'krinkly' green hair algae.

    Anyway here are some pictures!

    Full Tank Shot


    Strawberry Shortcake Acro - check out the coloration improvement from the picture of it in my last update!


    Zoa Garden


    Top of the birdge is looking great


    New Chalice that I added last week


    Scollys are starting to crowd each other a bit, will likely need to move them soon to make space


    Hammers were stinging the torches which were stinging the duncan. So moved the torches to the sandbed below and put the new chalice in their place, which hopefully will sit underneath any tentactles from the hammers, ill watch it closely


    Side View


    Goni Garden - the one on the lower right has been slowely recovering for the last 2-3 months now, slowly but surely getting better


    Most recent RAIN2 Harvest pictures, biggest harvest yet (it was 10 days from previous harvest)



  7. #37
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    Wow looks great. 2-lights correct?

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Wow looks great. 2-lights correct?
    Yeah the RAIN2 with 2 lights. Didn't get the 4 light model as my tank is not heavily stocked with fish and not that big. The 2 light model is keeping my nitrates near 0 as it is and I think I feed a fair bit...

    At some point in the future I plan to upgrade to a much larger tank (dont we all :P ) Might add another 2 lights at that point.

  9. #39

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by MulletBoy View Post
    Yeah the RAIN2 with 2 lights. Didn't get the 4 light model as my tank is not heavily stocked with fish and not that big. The 2 light model is keeping my nitrates near 0 as it is and I think I feed a fair bit...

    At some point in the future I plan to upgrade to a much larger tank (dont we all :P ) Might add another 2 lights at that point.
    i wish mine can grow like this how long did it take till you started getting good growth.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeftang View Post
    i wish mine can grow like this how long did it take till you started getting good growth.
    Mine went something like this with my tank which was basically just finished cycling with minimal corals and fish at the time, my starting nitrates and phosphate were also super low as well. So your journey might be different if you are starting a scrubber on an established tank with high nutrients.

    started with only 1 light on, 16 hours on 8 hours off
    end week 2 - bit of brown film
    end week 3 - bit more brown, hint of green
    end week 4 - thin coverage of green algae
    at this point turned on my second light and a few days later growth really ramped up
    my first proper scrape and harvest clean was somewhere around the 5 week mark and resulted in about 30grams of squeezed algae

    From that point onward, i harvested weekly, with harvest amounting usually in the 50-60 gram range, and now (6 months later) in the 80-100gram range

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