Eight weeks ago, I installed the Trident automatic tester to my 400g reef. It is made for the Apex controller. Four times a day, the machine whirrs to life and measures alkalinity, calcium and magnesium. I tend to check the numbers constantly, and know the results are usually less than six hours old. It's allowed me to be "lazy, yet informed" and I love it.
From time to time our protein skimmers decide to overflow constantly, usually right back into the sump or even worse all over the cabinet and nearby floor. Typically this is caused by adding something to the water, like Chemi-Clean/RedCyano Rx, or it perhaps a food like Reefbooster. Skimmers also can be affected by changes in weather when the barometric pressure drops in your area. Another cause could be the use of new filter socks.
I discovered a missing line in my Apex code tonight. It's programming is coded to have it notify me via alarm, email and push notification if the tank gets too cold. That would be for my 400g. However, I never added an extra line of code for the separate frag system. Oops! Three years later, I find this out. Wow.
I've been running an AquariumPlants Carbon Doser on my calcium reactor since 2010. At the time I thought it was expensive, but I was tired of buying a new regulator annually. They were costing me about $100 a year in replacement gear, so this one seemed like a better choice since it came with a three year warranty, and apparently I got free shipping too.
I wanted to share this item with y’all, because we all learn and relearn things daily. I’ve been testing alkalinity like clockwork, but the tank has been running lower than I like. I adjusted the black knob on this controller down slightly, but the number on the screen has pretty much been sitting at 7.5 (pH) for days. I thought that was odd that the number never changed, so I investigated further this afternoon.
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.