I've been using the Apex controller for my reef for years, and for the most part once it is set up, I don't touch it. If it works, I'm happy. Occasionally I get motivated to make some changes, be it because some equipment has failed and had to be replaced, or something was upgraded. I tend to resist change, believe it or not. I know that sounds odd from a guy that tries out new products and loves gear, but when you reef is happy you normally don't change anything to avoid causing problems.
For about three days in a row, I heard a slight 'beep' sound coming from my reef. It happened exactly every five minutes, but I could not find the source. I'd set a timer, then run into the fishroom and stand near whatever I figured was causing the sound, yet had no luck after several tries. Since I'd only get one tiny half-a-second to determine the source's origin, and when I couldn't would then have to wait five more minutes for it to happen once more, it became somewhat of a mystery. I wasn't about to spend all day trying to ascertain the object, though.
Keeping everything quiet on a reef tank is an ongoing exercise, sometimes successfully pulled off, sometimes frustratingly unrealistic. I've noticed that as I've added quieter gear to my tank, adjusted how the drains run into the sump, and other minor tweaks, other things I never heard are 'louder' in comparison. The sound of water pouring into the overflow box through the teeth sounds like a babbling brook to me. I cleaned that area meticulously, and it didn't change it for the better. I'm going to accept this situation as natural and focus on other things.
You know the saying "pictures don't do the tank justice..." That continues to hold true for this one. My 60g cube has been lit with a Gen2 Xr30 for four years. In that time, I used the Radiant schedule because it's my favorite choice, but the anemones weren't all that pretty. I mean, they were okay, and near lights out when the tank was in moon-mode (full blue), it looked very nice.
You know how you put off some tasks because they are going to take more time, or because they aren't easily accessible? I'm not immune either. I knew that my calcium reactor was in dire need of refilling, the carbon was used up, and the biopellets were consumed. The skimmer needed a good cleaning too. So I did all that, plus wiped down the inside of the sump, cleaned off the ATO sensor, and cleaned some of the flexible tubing.
A few months ago, I got a Lumilite to try out over my smaller sump's refugium. I wanted to see if it would do the job adequately for my customers that buy my sumps. I placed it over the zone, plugged it into the Apex so it would turn on and off daily.
I noticed the macro algae is growing well under this daylight spectrum LED fixture, and I really do like the low profile look of the light.
Earlier today, I refilled my top off containers from the RO/DI system in the adjacent room. I noticed while walking into the fishroom that there was a puddle on the floor, and I quickly assumed that the connection to the float valve had failed, leaking out some RODI water. This had happened in the past; the fitting on top allowed water to leak past it due to the water pressure of new water being added. I replaced the valve which resolved it, but this occurence was too soon for that to happen. Still, I went on with my day expecting that puddle to evaporate.
This past weekend, I seized (cough - forced myself - cough) the opportunity to do some necessary maintenance. This blog will be a tad lengthy because while it may appear like my reef is run by magic, it's actually the effort I apply that makes it look its best. Let me break it down now.
People often ask how do you plumb the Vectra pump to your tank. While I know it is easier to use flexible tubing, that's never my preference. Plus, the Vectra doesn't come with a hose barb connection. Whether you use this pump internally or externally, it's still important to get the PVC glued into the blue part correctly.
The Vectra M1 uses 3/4" PVC pipe. That's what you see in the picture above, it's the return pump for the 60g frag system.
I don't remember when the Easy Blade came to market, but it's a piece of plastic that you glue to a Magfloat magnet. Affix a nice clean new razor blade (it's a specific one for this device), and you can work your way around the tank, carving off stubborn algae, coralline, and get into those corners that normal magnets can't quite reach. I like to use it near the sandbed too, so that area is crystal clear to see invertebrates doing their thing. And around the top rim, carving off whatever clings there. It also takes off calcification on rimless tanks.