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L2 on my 55gal mixed reef

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by djDIRTE, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Hello all! New to the forums. Just got my L2 a few weeks ago. I'm not necessarily new to the reef game, but definitely new to using an ats. My last build was about 10 years ago, n somehow I ended back up in it. here's my build ...so far. IMG_20190107_202406.jpg IMG_20190107_202350.jpg IMG_20190103_171718.jpg IMG_20181227_203221.jpg IMG_20190103_171846.jpg IMAG1733 (1280x724).jpg

    My filtration will be ATS only. I built some mounts out of acrylic to countersink the ats about 1/2" below the rim of my sump, so I have just enough room to service it. It's definitely a tight fit.

    Attached Files:

  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Nice build!

    You may want to cut the pipe on the centermost drain, you want that pipe to stop just below the water surface (0.5-1") of the sump. It's the same concept as the BeanAnimal tuned siphon, if it's too far below the water, then air can get trapped in the pipe. But if it works OK the way it is, no problem.
    djDIRTE likes this.
  3. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Already done I trimmed the pipe after the pic. It was slightly gurgly at that length
    Turbo likes this.
  4. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Just an update: two weeks into my new build. everything is still in the middle of fishless cycle. ive had a bottle of dr tims one n only on day one. dead shrimp in my sump, plus have been ghost feeding a fat pinch of pellets in my tank daily since day one. my ammonia sat at about .25ish for the first 10 or so days. i decided to "jump the gun" a few days ago and dose some doctor tim's ammonium chloride to bump my ammonia levels in hopes to speed up my cycle(im trying to be patient, but you know.... ). i added two drops/gal(directions say 4/gal), and my ammonia shot to 1ppm/0nitrite/0nitrate.

    so then yesterday, i had 1ppm ammonia/.5 nitrite/0 nitrate.
    this morning- same.
    this evening- this evening 1ppm ammonia /.5 nitrite /10nitrate - WHOA!

    no growth on my ATS just yet. but i am hoping that the presence of nitrate will finally get the ATS going. i havent turned on any lights on the main display yet either. at this rate, i will likely order my pods at the end of this week, and dump them in with some phyto. first fish in maybe a week after that(wont go directly into display, but will go through qt process for at least a few weeks.

    oh with that being said, BUD- what is your take on having a filter sock in the sump? i know that once the ATS is going, it tends to act as a the breeding area for pods. i am concerned about my pods getting trapped in my filter sock.
  5. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Don't add any livestock until ammonia is converted 100% to nitrate in 24 hrs after adding. My fav fishless cycle is using Ace Hardward Janitorial Strength Ammonia (is safe and surfactant free), bump ammonia up to at least 1.0 but less than 4.0.

    Generally once nitrite drops to zero, then dose ammonia, if it's converted to ammonia=0 nitrites=0 nitrates=increased in 24 hrs, you're good.

    Filter socks - they trap pods. Beyond that, it's a personal decision on whether or not to use them. I do not., but that's part of my LARS.
  6. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    One month in from starting my cycle. All parameters are good to go. About 4 days ago, I noticed a very small spec of green on my ATS screen. It's definitely grown in size since I noticed it. Here is a picture of it. IMG_20190208_005304.jpg
  7. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    When did you put the scrubber into operation?

    Post your light settings (intensity & duration)
  8. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Scrubber put into operation around Jan 4th 12 on, 12 off. Intensity at the 6 o clock poaitiop
  9. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Your system must be pretty clean, that's not much for growth in a month! Since this is a new system with a fishless cycle, there's not a lot of bio-diversity in the system, which could mean that even your very low level of light is causing a bit of photosaturation.

    I would knock the intensity back one notch and take the hours down to 6-8/day.
  10. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    I came to realize a few days ago that my timer had gone bad, and it was not turning off. I'm not sure how long it has been like this, but I'm assuming its been around a week or so, because I do remember it being off last time I had a day off, which was about 10 days ago
  11. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    I have since installed another timer, and I have been seeing some hints of growth all over the screen now.
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  12. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    It's been about a week since i put in the new timer. Growth has definitely increased quite a bit. Settings are still 12 on, 12 off at the 6 position.

    I've also added some new inhabitants in the past 10 days. A bonded pair of Black Snowflake Extreme clowns, a yellow watchman goby, a Randalls Pistol Shrimp, and a Leopard Wrasse. All are quite tiny- about 2" n below. IMG_20190217_183938.jpg IMG_20190208_090242.jpg IMG_20190213_184938.jpg IMG_20190213_185239.jpg IMG_20190213_182904.jpg
  13. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Looks good for a start - stay the course. Changing things too often is a common mistake, just let it do it's thing and leave it be. This is more the case on a new setup, because there will be a lot of things changing over the next 6-12 months
  14. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Weekly update- growth is nice and steady. Also added another guy to the tank- A Mcosker Wrasse.

    Bud- would you recommend me cleaning the screen at all? Or should I just allow the growth to continue? IMG_20190223_220553.jpg IMG_20190223_211255.jpg
  15. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I'd just let that continue to grow, you can take it out and rinse it if you want but unless you have some slime growth, I wouldn't even rub at it. Make sure you scrub the top edge of the screen (the smooth part w/o any mortar) every 2 weeks or so, but that's about it
  16. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Weekly update.
    My current parameters:
    Ammonia 0. Nitrite 0. Nitrate: ~10-20. Cal: 450. Mag: 1320. Phosphate: .11
    Turbo likes this.
  17. djDIRTE

    djDIRTE New Member

    Current update: I cleaned off my screen this past Saturday night. I checked on my screen today, and noticed these kinda dark stringy growths. I've included a pixture.

    Current tank parameters, taken just an hr ago:
    Ammonia/nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: .5
    CA: 460
    Dkh: 8.6
    Mag: 1320
    pH 8.2
    Phos: .10

    Scrubber is still @ 6 o clock position, running 12 on, 12 off

    Any ideas? IMG_20190314_185115.jpg
  18. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    That black stuff has actually been on your scrubber in the previous pics, just not as long and stringy, but more widespread

    I've had this coating the entire (thick) mat of algae for a couple of months. I've seen others get that as well so it's not uncommon. I'm not 100% sure what it is, but it's likely to be some kind of dino or cyano or something similar - just a type of slime.

    It's typically a stage that will pass, but it's hard to say how long it will persist. It typically shows up sometime in the first couple months of running a scrubber. Not really anything to worry about, especially if you're only getting a bit of it.

    If it starts to coat the entire screen, that's when it can start to block light. however it's not very good at that since it is so fine and weak structured, light will get through it and the GHA will still grow. But if it does get more prevalent, taking the screen out and running under water while swiping your palm across it will release all of it (it will disintegrate). Also it smells pungent when the water is shut off. If you have ever pruned "waving hand coral" or Anthelia, that's what is smells like.
    djDIRTE likes this.

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