Details - it's all about the details
Recently, I cleaned out my Aqua C Ev-200 protein skimmer thoroughly. Once I hooked it up, I capped the little drain line on the collection cup so that I could remove the long piece of hose that was never being used anyway. For over a week, the collection cup filled with light green fluid, much more than I've ever had before. I blamed it on the great cleaning job :) and waited for it to break in again. The collection cup has 3 holes in the lid, so it could vent easily, right?
Well, finally I took off that little cap, and immediately the skimmate turned back to the dense dark thick stuff I'm used to. This was very surprising, but it appears that my closing that opening changed the internal air pressure. It is amazing that something so small can throw things off. I've left the drain open for now, and I'll probably do something with a drain line after all.
Some people continue to ask me about the T-5 lighting. I bought them at Pet-O-rama. Scott Mason is the manager, and the number is 817 282-2211 One of the two units had a bad ballast I assume, because it turned on whenever it felt like it. I took it back and have been waiting for almost two weeks for a new one to come in. For now, the tank looks good with 2 x 10,000K XM 175w Metal Halide and 1 x 54w T-5 Actinic, but I'd like the second one because I do like my tank to have more blue to it. Some days I just plug in my old VHOs for now, in addition to the T-5s.
Temperature issues are important this time of year. My 29g has been running a little too hot for a few days, but that problem went away on its own. I thought I'd need to add another fan to the setup, maybe to blow fresh air over the refugium to vent out some of the warm heat generated by that bulb, but before I could do so, the tank was back to 80.5F. I'm not sure what was generating the heat, because the heater has been unplugged for weeks and I didn't clean any pumps recently.
The 55g continues to stay around 81F each day, thanks to the small fans in my canopy that point downward. I did pick up some new ones yesterday at Frys to replace the 24v ones I have now, because they aren't quiet enough. I found three different kinds that are all 25 db or less, running on 12v. One fan has blue LEDs in it, but they point toward the fan blade rather than down on the tank as I'd hoped. I may try to modify it to see how I like that look! The little computer fans are doing a good job, but it turns out it was necessary that during the light-period to have one more fan ($8 at Walmart) come on over my sump as soon as the actinics turn on. That has worked out perfectly.
To end on a wierd note, my Green Target Mandarin is officially eating frozen mysis shrimp. I can't believe what a little piggy he is!