In my live stream on Saturday, I announced to the world that I was going to hook up an ATO to my christmas tree. Why? Because I'm crazy. No seriously, once I tried to water the tree on the first day I knew that was going to be such a pain. The tree hasn't even had ornaments hung upon it yet, and I had to stick my head into the branches and using a flashlight see how much water I needed to add. No way I was going to do that for the next five to six weeks.
"Everyone should be reading Coral." That's what I thought to myself months ago, and mentally added that topic to my ongoing list of future videos. Each issue has a central theme by multiple authors. Go subscribe now (we're tracking the results with this URL): http://www.coralmagazine.com/melev/
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.
I've been uploading videos to Youtube pretty regularly lately. Did you happen to catch the Youtube Live show last week? Here's the latest one, so if you've missed a few you need to get caught up. I describe how I set up the 60g frag system I built myself, including all the acrylic work.
Rinsing out used sand saves money, and you can safely put that clean sand in your next tank without concern. It's a good project to tackle in the warmer months, best done outdoors. Easy, sort of.
More reading here: http://www.reefaddicts.com/entry.php/28952-Rinsing-used-sand-for-the-new-setup
For many years, I've used foam sheets from Hobby Lobby (most hobby craft stores have these) to keep the refugium light off the rest of my gear. People often think they need colored or black acrylic in their sumps to avoid algae growth in other compartments and within their skimmer / reactors. However, that's really not the case. While we can see light in the other zones, what happens initially is the light bounces off the acrylic baffle and goes back into the refugium zone.
And as the macro algae grows and fills the zone, even that is obscured.
For some time now, I've really wanted something that would allow me to check on my tank when I'm out of town. Just a quick peek to see that all is well, although I don't really dread it - I just do whatever I can to keep it happy, and hope for the best. Once I'm out the door, there is little I can accomplish, other than call others to come investigate.
Ten days ago, I started dosing with Vodka to see how that does at lowering Nitrate and Phosphate levels in my reef. I'm taking a very slow approach to this to avoid harming the livestock. It will probably take another week to determine if it is having any effect at all.
Water parameters have been updated.