Earlier today, the SmartATO began beeping while I was working at my desk. Thinking nothing of it, I ignored it for about 4 minutes while I wrapped up what i was doing. When I went over to unplug it, I saw a small flood in the fishroom and grabbed my camera. The cause of this was by a quick-disconnect I shorted out a week ago, and hadn't fixed yet. I tried to fix it, got frustrated and blew it off. You know what happens when you leave something unfixed on a reef, right? Well...
One of the topics I wanted to address as a full video is biopellets. Short answer: they work. Earlier this year, nitrates spiked in my reef and despite lots of effort it didn't get them down and keep them down, so I opted to get biopellets running again on my 400g reef. The results were spectacular, as expected.
After 21 days, the tank finally measured 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5 ppm nitrate. Good enough for me, and the Red Spot Glass Cardinalfish. I filmed their introduction for an upcoming video, but here's a picture of them in the tank. They are eating well, which is perfect. They were ordered from Live Aquaria's Divers Den, and arrived in a well packed box. Pictured above.
The next thing that it needs is lights. I had to install a shelf to hang the lights from, and that's done now.
After about a year of saying I needed to do this, it's finally operational. The stand, tank, sump, ATO reservoir, doser container are all built (by me). Plumbing was accomplished and the new Vectra M1 pump is circulating the system. Here are some pictures, less than a day after water was added. The skimmer cleared the water overnight.
When I set up the 60g Anemone Cube, I knew I'd be using a Mp40w ES Vortech pump for flow, and that I would have to keep a sponge on the intake grate at all times. Every few days I pull it off and give it a good rinsing because as it clogs up, the flow rate lessens due to restricted intake. Anemones do what they want when they want to, and you can't always predict their latest move, but you can protect them from themselves and the in-tank pumps. Find what fits your pumps and install one now, rather than after an accident occurs.
It's time to refill the 265g poly tank. Using two boosted RO/DI systems makes this task faster even in the colder months of the year. After replacing the DI cartridge, I started the units at 2 a.m. and by 8 p.m. it was full. 18 hours produced about 240g of RO/DI ... All I need to do now is add six bags of Sybon reef salt and let it circulate.
Is it time to change your RO/DI filters? I date my system each time they are changed out, to help me keep track. They should be changed every six months, so I'm actually a month late in doing so. Whoops. However, the TDS reads zero, so there's no reason to worry, right?
Melev's Reef is proud to announce a new product available from our Reef Shop:
I'll be speaking at the Marine Aquarium Expo in Orange County, California the first weekend in April. And while I'm there, Melev's Reef will be represented as well, with a real live booth! I'll have some of my products for sale there during those two days, and will be speaking about Aquarium Photography on Sunday at 2pm.
I had to do surgery: Vortech Battery Backup Surgery. ;)
This is what it looked like before I began.
And the wire the feeds the pump during a power failure.