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.
I replaced the VHO Super Actinics over my reef at last: These are XHO LEDs from ReefBrite, and do they ever deliver. The former bulbs were installed high above my tank, and my concern was "could XHOs provide enough light from that same installed spot?" I'm happy to say yes, and then some. Some corals down the sandbed have begun to get their former color back, something I didn't think was ever going to happen.
Just a heads up to everyone, there's a lot going on. I had expected to get the newer version of the website done by now, but this project below took up all my time for the past couple of weeks. Melev's Reef may be down briefly over the next week as some technical stuff is being handled behind the scenes.
This is Minion, my new CNC router setup. The installation has been quite a process but it is nearing completion and should be running soon.
In March 2016, I filled up my biopellet reactor with Biospheres. I used 1000ml worth, or one large pouch. At the time my nitrate was quite high, but within about eight weeks it had dropped them to less than 5ppm. I talked about this entire process in a video I released four months ago: http://youtu.be/aRHf8b1H5u4
Some time in early 2016, maybe March or April, the Swabbie motor stopped rotating. I ordered a new motor from Avast Marine, and it arrived within a few days. I never tackled that repair primarily because there's no space in the ABS section and I thought my tank sitter Bobby could do it more easily than I could. He loves this stuff, fixing broken things.