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MagicJ's 4x2x2 - New Corals 28/6/11

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MagicJ's 4x2x2 - New Corals 28/6/11

Postby Magicj » Sat 08 Jan, 2011 9:59 pm

Introduction:
After keeping a small tropical freshwater tank for a number of years, I started up my first marine aquarium in August 1999. This was a second hand 4x2x2 with a built in skimmer, wet/dry filter etc. The lack of a sump soon proved too much, and I purchased a new 4x2x2 with corner overflow in June 2002. This tank progressed well until 2006 when it was emptied to enable a house renovation to be completed - with two kids and an interstate move, the tank has remained empty until now.

This was a picture of the old tank taken in 2004 (loved the Rose BTA - I think I paid about $50 at the time) :

Image

This is how it looks today, with a bit of aquascaping to be completed:

Image

System Objectives: Create an environment that my corals and fish will be happy with and to introduce my daughter (4 1/2) to aquariums - she insists on getting a 'Dory' but I don't like her chances :nono:
After having used Reeflections as my LFS in Melbourne I am going to struggle a bit in Hobart. We have a very limited local supply, and our quarantine laws makes mail order difficult - at least it should stop any impulse buys :-D

System Type: Mixed Reef - I have mainly kept LPS and softies in the past but would like to try some SPS once the tank matures.

Display System:

Strike up Date: 18 December 2010

Display Tank: 4x2x2

Display Lighting: 2 x 250w MH

Stand: Hand made clad with blackwood, the same as our flooring

Hood: Hand made, currently using my old hood but will make a new one when I build a new LED system.

Sump: 30x15x12 with 3 partitions (skimmer, refugium and return).

Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water - collected from Roches Beach

Display Water circulation: 3 x JVP 5000 L/h - will do until I can afford something better

Return Pump: Aqua One 2200 L/h

Skimmer: Aqua Medic Turboflotor Multi SL - not a bad skimmer but probably doesn't compare to current models. I will look to upgrade in the next 12 months.

Evaporation Top Up: Currently manual but will be converted to auto shortly when I finish my Arduino based controller.


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: TBD

Alkilinity Addition: TBD

Current Water Chemistry: 21 January 2011
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 10ppm
Phosphates: Not tested
Alkalinity: Not tested
Calcium: Not tested
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Magnesuim:

Controller

I have almost finished programming my Arduino based controller, which controls all the electrical equipment on the tank - I will provide more detail in a post shortly.
Last edited by Magicj on Tue 28 Jun, 2011 10:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Lutjanus » Wed 12 Jan, 2011 6:30 pm

Are you planning to use any Live Rock in your setup?

I used 95% base rock in my build and put the LR in the second compartment of my sump :thumbsup:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:10 am

Hi Leon

The rock I have used is from the old setup and has been dry for over 4 years. I did go to the LFS and ended up buying 1kg of what they called live rock, but it was really only dead coral and lacked the open structure of my existing rock - I got the best bits that I could find but not sure what living things are on or in it :( This 'rock' will eventually be transferred to the sump.

Whilst somewhat slow, the tank has now begun to cycle with some brown algae beginning to grow :clap: . I am due to get some test kits next week so we will see what the readings are like.

Cheers
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Fri 21 Jan, 2011 11:21 pm

Initial water testing has revealed:

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10ppm
PH 8.2

Looks like the cycle has finished, not that I was expecting a major cycle given the small amount of live rock which was introduced. The tank will be given a good clean/water change over the weekend and should be good to start stocking in a few weeks. :clap:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Mon 31 Jan, 2011 1:55 pm

Magicj wrote:Initial water testing has revealed:

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10ppm
PH 8.2

Looks like the cycle has finished, not that I was expecting a major cycle given the small amount of live rock which was introduced. The tank will be given a good clean/water change over the weekend and should be good to start stocking in a few weeks. :clap:

Awesome cant wait to see it stocked :) can you put some pics of our sump and the tank at the moment???
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Mon 31 Jan, 2011 11:35 pm

I have been out tonight kj52faith

I will put up some photo's tomorrow night.

Have you signed up yet?? We need more MASAOG members in Tassie.
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Tue 01 Feb, 2011 7:03 am

Magicj wrote:I have been out tonight kj52faith

I will put up some photo's tomorrow night.

Have you signed up yet?? We need more MASAOG members in Tassie.

Yeah im goon pay the fee soon just waiting for pay day :roflmao:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 9:31 pm

so where are these photos mate :)
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MagicJ's 4x2x2 - Electric shock

Postby Magicj » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 11:27 pm

I actually gave it a good clean tonight - will take some photo's tomorrow.

However, when I was finishing up and adjusting the powerheads I felt a small 'tingle' on my thumb. Didn't think much of it but got another 'tingle' on my other hand :o :o

After a process of elimination I narrowed it down to my skimmer pump - I think it is an Aquabee. I will have a good look tomorrow but it looks like I might be buying a new skimmer sooner than expected.

Luckily it wasn't a big zap but still a bit of a worry :shock:

kj52faith, where did you get your snails from - I am in need of a CUC.
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 11:55 pm

Oh right but what does cuc stand for?? I got my snails from turbo hes one of the admins of the site... Thats very lucky about the pump i got booted twice by my skimmer once... At a full 240vs
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Thommo01 » Sun 13 Feb, 2011 12:05 am

Hmmm, I have a Bubble magus skimmer which has a Aquabee in it. Had been getting a couple of tingles also in the tank but the lights were always on. Thought it was the lights, but tonight got a tingle with the lights out. You have got me thinking now!

So how did you conduct to elimination process? Turn off, put hand in to see if tingles?

Nice tank too by the way. Really like the hardscape. Looking foward to the FTS
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Sun 13 Feb, 2011 12:09 am

well when my snails breed ill be happy to give you some... :thumbsup:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Sun 13 Feb, 2011 10:55 am

Thommo01 wrote: So how did you conduct to elimination process? Turn off, put hand in to see if tingles?


Yep, that was it. I originally thought it might have been my cheap powerheads, especially given that everything else is in the sump. I turned everything off, and then turned them back on one by one, hoping that I was not going to get a big zap when I put my finger back in the water :crossfingers: .

kj52faith wrote:Oh right but what does cuc stand for??
- Clean up crew

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Sun 13 Feb, 2011 1:03 pm

well when my snails breed ill be happy to give you some... :thumbsup:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Wed 09 Mar, 2011 5:52 pm

So how you got any updates :)
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Wed 09 Mar, 2011 10:14 pm

kj52faith wrote:So how you got any updates :)


Stay tuned - I hope the wait is worth it :roflmao:

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Thu 10 Mar, 2011 12:19 pm

:roflmao: Can't wait :)
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MagicJ's 4x2x2 - Updated 13/3/11

Postby Magicj » Sun 13 Mar, 2011 11:21 am

OK, time for an update.

Given that I have not provided too many details so far I will start with some stand pictures.

I made the stand based on this thread - http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1169964. I think it is probably over engineered, but at least it won't collapse :laugh: . I also wanted to have an open sump area and so it was designed without a centre brace at the front. The stand has been clad in blackwood boards, the same as our new flooring. Whilst the tank is a 4 footer, the stand is 6 foot long to accommodate an 'electrical' area on the left and to provide an area on the top for my controller module (more on this later) and for doing water tests etc.

Image

Main sump area

Image

On the back left wall is my DIY powerboard controlled by an Arduino based micro controller. ATO container is on the left which is also controlled by the Arduino and a float switch:

Image

The left hand side of the stand is my dedicated electrical area which currently containes my MH transformers and the Arduino box.

Image

Looks all neat and tidy now - we will have to see what it is like in 6 months time :roflmao:

After building the stand, the next thing I worked on was my aquarium controller.

After coming across a thread on Reef Central about an Arduino based contoller, I looked at what was available on the net and began purchasing the required parts to put together my own controller. I am not an electrical engineer, but with a bit of research and some common sense :thumbsup: it was not difficult to put together the hardware. The Arduino is programmed using the C programming language - I have done a bit of computer programming in the past but have never used C - the good thing is that there is a very active online community and being an open source project there is lots of sample code available on the net.

After quite a few months I now have the code to a stage where I feel confident to release it on my tank.

In summary, the contoller currently does:

- performs 'macro's' i.e. press a button to clean the skimmer - turns off skimmer pump and turns on sump light. Press a button to do a water change - turns off skimmer, return pump and powerheads and turns on sump light. I have quite a few of these macro's set up.
- controls the ATO via a float switch and a small pump in the ATO container. Multiple 'fail safes' have been built into the program to limit the amount delivered each day and to prevent the ATO container running dry.
- timing control for MH lights
- temperature sensing of tank water - the option for multiple temperate sensors is built into the system. When I am confident that this is working correctly I will use this to control my heaters.
- built in Real Time Clock maintains time
- every critical variable is saved to EEPROM so that the controller will operate correctly following a power outage.
- multiple wavemaker options - works well but the cheap AC powerheads do not like it very much. I am looking to get some DC powerheads which should work well.
- all user defined variables can be changed via the keypad - no need to go back to the computer to hard code variables :clap:

Future development will include my new LED build (LED's and drivers from the Group Buy are expected next week) which will include sunrise, sunset, moonlights etc - not sure about the storm and lightening effects that some are implementing :o .

This has been a great project to complete - at least when you program it yourself you can make it do whatever you like :thumbsup:

This is my DIY controller box which includes a keypad, 20x4 LCD, reset button and 4 LED's to display status of electrical equipment.

Image

That's all for now - the tank is settling down after the cycle so there is a bit of algae around at the moment. I will see if I can post a FTS later today.

Thanks for reading.

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Sun 13 Mar, 2011 12:21 pm

Nice controller... Im running pl'c's on my leds and i will be making a diy box too :)
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MagicJ's 4x2x2 - Pics 21/3

Postby Magicj » Mon 21 Mar, 2011 10:42 pm

Just a couple of pictures of some of the new additions:

Image
Firefish


Image
Hammer with barnacle

Does anyone know what this is?

Image

It is growing on some new live rock - very small, only about 2mm across (apologies for the picture quality but it is pretty small :) ) . I asked on another thread but no takers.

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Tue 22 Mar, 2011 5:41 am

The hammer with the barniclels neat! Unfortunately I can't help with identifying that green thing! Sorry
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Fri 13 May, 2011 7:06 pm

Whats happening at the moment mate? :book:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Mon 16 May, 2011 2:19 pm

kj52faith wrote:Whats happening at the moment mate? :book:


Lots, but not much to show at this stage :)

My yellow tang developed 'black itch' about five weeks ago - why didn't I set up my quarantine system before I got this fish rather than after :wall: . Despite numerous attempts to catch him I have failed dismally - the severity of the attacks appears to be dimishing so I am hoping that he is developing a natural immunity to the flatworms (the cause of the disease) and it will eventuially die out. I think I am being overly optimistic but we will see what happens. This disease primarily attacks tangs and as I am not planning to add any more tangs I am hoping that it will all be OK :crossfingers: .

I have also had a small red flatworm outbreak - siphoning them out on a regular basis seems to be keeping them in check at this stage. And, the normal algea growth from a relatively recently cycled tank continues - its not too bad but would like my sand to be a bit cleaner.

On a positive note, I have just about finished my DIY LED build and programmed my Arduino controller - this should be over the tank in the next week or so and then I can start adding some more corals.

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby mattgreen » Thu 26 May, 2011 11:13 pm

hey mate finaly found your journal. bumber about the flatworms try flatworm exit. supposibly works great. although have alot of water on hand to do water changes as the water turns toxic from the flatworm poison
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2 - Matt's Zoa's & Morph

Postby Magicj » Thu 02 Jun, 2011 12:29 am

I purchased a few zoa's off mattgreen last week

Image

Image

Image

Also picked up a nice Forest Fire morph

Image

Thanks Matt, we don't have access to many good corals etc in Hobart so it is good that guys like you are prepared to pack them up and send them down here :thumbsup:

Also picked up a nice little Dallas frag from kj52faith. Thanks mate :thumbsup:

Image

I have got my new DIY LED's over the tank - I will do a post on this build shortly. Also started dosing Randy's recipe last night to get my Calcium and Alk up - interesting to see how this turns out.

Thats enough for now - thanks for looking.

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby kj52faith » Thu 09 Jun, 2011 10:40 pm

looking good bud. How are the corals going now? Hopefully we will both have a nice reef going on when i finish building m new tank.
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby mattgreen » Thu 09 Jun, 2011 10:53 pm

hows everything going mate?
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Sat 11 Jun, 2011 12:05 am

Hi Matt

Received my Flatworm Exit in the mail on Wednesday so going to attack the little s@#*'s tomorrow.

Hopefully it will all go well :crossfingers:

Your zoa's and morphs are looking good - I will post some more pictures over the weekend.

:cheers:
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby mattgreen » Sat 11 Jun, 2011 12:32 am

remember to keep a big stock of water on hand, the flatworms will foul the water when they die if you have alot.
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Re: MagicJ's 4x2x2

Postby Magicj » Sat 11 Jun, 2011 12:50 am

My plan of attack is to siphon out all those that I can see then dose the tank.

Then siphon out all that I can see again, hopefully dead, and do a water change.

How long should I wait before doing the water change?
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