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Thread: ATS for 120 Reef

  1. #101
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Ok, it's been a while since my last post so first a few weekly cleaning shots:

    12/29/2010



    1/6/11



    1/13/11



    On Saturday 1/15 I replaced the ATS box with the new design. Here's a set of pics after I assembled the new unit:













    And here it is, installed and running







    And the screen in the box (with the reflectors turned)



    The bottom 2" of the screen is completely submerged all the time in this design. I had to trim a strip about 1/4" wide and 2" long off each lower corner of the screen to allow for the drain pipes in the box. When I replace the slot pipe, I will decrease the width of the screen and increase the size of the return pump tubing and this should result in better GPH/Inch flow.

    There were only a few flub-ups with the design. The screen box is removable, but I had to flip the drain on one side so that the shorter side is down because the box is tight to the cabinet top with you lift it out. Also, I forgot about the pipe sitting on top of the box, so that has to be removed before you can get the box out, which means I have to remove the zip-ties and take the pipe out before a cleaning. Oops. I can get the box back in with the screen attached to the pipe as long as I hold the pipe off to the side with the screen hanging in the box. I may be able to correct this by removing the piece of acrylic on the end, but then I would have to install some kind of support piece between the front and back of the frame. I might do that anyways.

    One thing I noticed is that the inner box bows outward in the middle already. It doesn't affect anything, but I just found it interesting. It might have been that way before installing, but I don't think so, the moisture and heat from the light is making it bow I'm thinking. I might install a top cover piece or something, but we'll see.

    Since I had to re-assemble the whole thing, I used new end caps and siliconed the bottom of each (where the wires are inserted), cleaned up the wiring (the last pic before install shows 4 wireway loops), and replaced the 3-month-old lamps, per the new standard.

    So, I went to check on it on Sunday (1 day later) and already saw some 3D growth in the submerged section.

    I took the following pic today, 3 days after installation:

    1/18/11



    It's a little hard to see, but the entire bottom 2" that is submerged has filled out with 3D growth, the left side a little more than the right. Also, the center of the screen has 3D growth all the way up to the slot pipe.

    The owner mentioned this morning that he noticed all of the corals have opened up much more just in the one day (Monday) that he looked at it since installation of the new box.

    It's a little early to tell, but I would have to say that this style of design is hands-down the way to go. There are definitely major advantages to an enclosed-box design, the main one being better growth with 3D, and it keeps entire systems cleaner (no worries about spray, spray blockers, salt creep, corrosion), and the screen box can be cleaned more easily. I should have taken a picture of the old box after I took it out, it was caked with coraline and other algae, I had to scrub it hard with a toothbrush to get all the gunk off to keep it from smelling up the house as it dried up. There was no way to clean that out each time I cleaned the screen, I tried to wipe it out with a rag but there was always pieces that broke away and got into the sump.

    I can definitely see why the SM100 design is made the way it is. If anyone is weighing the costs of a DIY version of the SM100, I would strongly consider just getting his because now I can see why it works so well.

    I haven't cleaned the sump in about 2 months, there is algae growth down there, a couple patches of cyanobacteria actually, and some other fuzzies, but the gunk level is down quite a bit since I removed the foam over the pump intake. I will likely siphon out the sump when I replace the return pump tubing.

  2. #102
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    Phosphate test results

    After dealing with API for a month since my second Salifert kit in a row was defective, I bought a Hanna Checker Phosphate Colorimeter.

    The first time I used it to test the water from this tank, it read 0.12.

    I tested it today with a fresh sample (only a few hours out of the tank) and it read 0.19.

    He is over-feeding to keep Xenia from dying, but I took this sample on Monday in the AM right after lights on, and the fish had not been fed since I fed them on Saturday afternoon (around 3:30 pm). The other variable here is low screen flow, it's about 20 GPH/inch which I do intend to correct. Corals are all doing great otherwise, so the extra Phosphate isn't stunting growth

    Can you think of a reason why the Phosphate would still be so high after running this ATS for a month?

    Prior to this, the Phosphate was as high as 1.0 and possibly higher, then I added ROWAphos on 2/1/10 and that knocked it down to around 0.10 and maybe 0.03 but never dead on zero, and it slowly climbed up to around 0.25 (Salifert) over time. I haven't really had a reliable Phos kit since installing the scrubber. The last PWC I did was 20 gallons (about 18%) on 11/28. Scrubber installed on 10/10/10.

    On a side note, I have another FOWLR tank (not running a scrubber yet) that had phosphate over 2.50 so I had to dilute it using water from this tank to extrapolate a reading of 2.71 (that one is 2nd in line to get a scrubber).

  3. #103
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    I'd say it just a lot of feeding, versus low flow.

  4. #104
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    What a difference. Allowing for 3D growth makes a HUGE difference. Here's pics from today:




  5. #105
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    YouTube videos of screen cleaning

    Been a while since I posted here - been too busy!! I swapped out the ATS box on the reef tank I maintain and have done a couple cleanings. I made a video series of the first cleaning for those of you interested.

    This cleaning was done after 9 days of growth. Yesterday I did the 2nd one after 7 days, and the growth was a lot more, unbelievably.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9q6exxX2Hs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbwAyVu87fk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb_kSnS8Tcc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJOx1KsQHIE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FOFZMBQI0k

    And a video tour of the tank...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdH2I8RWNFs

  6. #106

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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Very impressive, Floyd (or Bud)!

  7. #107
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Super growth from this week's cleaning. 7 day growth was better than last week's 9-day growth.







    This doesn't count what made it down the drain.

    ATS inner box side walls warped outwards. This happened pretty much right away so it must be something to do with construction. It seems that this is very difficult to avoid.



    ...except in the SM100 design, this won't happen because of the top & bottom perpendicular pieces that frame out the light fixture.

  8. #108
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Nice set up. I am debating on building my own or getting one of the pre-made scrubbers for my new system. I see that the 3d seems to have a greater effect on the growth of algae and export of nutrients.

    If I had a table saw I would definitely make my own scrubber. -_-

  9. #109

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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    When working with acrylic i have noticed that it will absorb moisture and bend. Since you have a very high ad long box it may be due to the moisture/weight of the 2inches of water in the bottm of the box. i noticed that 3mm acrylic is on the small side for a box this long. I used a 2nd 3mm sheet bonded to the bottom of the box to stop it from bowing. My box is only about 4 inches high and it was the base of mine that was bowing.

    If i made it again i would use 4mm for sure or possibly 5mm for a 2 foot box. Other boxes i have made (1foot in length) for friends dont have this problem at all.

    Nice setup btw looking good!

  10. #110
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    I'm using 1/4" all around - that's 6 mm. Still bowing...but it hasn't gotten any worse.

    The only way to stop it is to brace it with a piece that runs along the bowing piece, perpendicular to it.

    This is not an issue with the SM100 design. It looks like an "I" beam from the end and is no doubt very strong. I can tell that he put a lot of thought into it.

    It still works awesome though...








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