Finally some pics
Here are some pics of my 37 gallon reef. The tank was set up on April 25th, so the livestock is still a work in progress.
I originally intended to do a fish only tank. I liked the appearance, so the tank is a blend of live rock, live corals, and artificial decorations. This pic was taken at feeding time, so you can see the Angel Formula suspended in the water column.
The Banded Coral Shrimp drives me crazy. He has no respect for my green star colony at feeding time.
Green Star Polyp, Pulsing Xenia, and Yellow Star Polyp. The Xenia is my favorite reef feature.
This is the best picture i could get of my Coral Beauty Angel. It has more purple color than any i have ever seen. Awesome fish.
Thats it for now. I will post more as I catch good shots.
looks great :blueyay: :welldone:
looking awesome, Definatly inspiring because im setting up a tank of similar size soon. How fast do those yellow colony polyps grow for you? i just got 4 of those same polyps for free to start my frag tank and im JW.
Beautiful looking tank Pasfur :)
it looks great :D keep up the good work :D
Also, the color really shows up intense after the addition of a blue actinic bulb.
This is a good look at my Odyssea skimmer. I have been very pleased with this unit. I only paid $30 on e-Bay, including shipping, and it has really put out a very thick black foam. The collection cup doesn't tell the story in the pic, because i had just cleaned the unit. My light fixture is also Odyssea, but i have not had them long enough to offer a quality opinion yet.
As you may be able to tell, I am running a Odyssea Skimmer, a UV Sterilizer, and a gutted skilter for activated carbon & mechanical filtration only. The aquarium only has 20 lbs of (very porous light weight) live rock, but has a deep 4-5'' sand bed. My readings are Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, pH 8.4, alkalinity 10dkh, and salinity 1.024. I do not dose iodine or calcium, but do a 15% weekly water change.
Looking Good Pasfur, I'd recommend you start a testing, and (if necessary) dosing regimen for Calcium and Alk. Your Alk seems right on for now, but without maintaining your calcium at appropriate levels, you may end up with rapidly progressing problems.
I've found the following advice interesting over the years. The "industry" has created a system of products that allow the hobbyist to do very little if any water changes. We are told to run a big skimmer, use a deep sandbed, test test test our water, and supplement with weekly doses of B-ionic and iodine. The end result is a reoccuring consumer for a retail industry that supplies the test kits and supplements. Perhaps this is really a necessary step in a soft coral system, but I have to question the chemistry and status quo. Why dose calcium in a soft coral system? Where is the calcium being depleted?
I do not have an opinion on this yet. The vast majority of my experience in the marine hobby has been with fish only systems, or small fish and invert systems. I have a good knowledge of the chemistry, so feel free to be as advanced as needed in your response. In addition to calcium, i'd also be interested in how you handle phosphate, which obviously can deplete calcium at elevated pH levels.
An important point I have not mentioned. I dose Kent Marine SuperBuffer DKH on a twice weekly basis, with 10dkh being the alkalinity reading prior to my addition. I do a half dose every Wednesday and then again with my Saturday water change.
I must be a real fish geek, because this entire discussion sounds fun. Which is a serious issue. 8)
Ok, valuing your advice, I picked up a Calcium test kit this morning. I tested at 360ppm. My water change is scheduled for today, so i will test again tomorrow morning and repost the results after the water change.
Your calcium levels, as I suspected they would be, are a bit low. You want to keep your calcium in the range of 380 - 450, but ideally should strive to closely match the level of natural seawater at about 420. Your Alkalinity is spot on. The target range of Alkalinity is 7 - 11 dKH. Because alkalinity levels above the normal range increase the the abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate, I would recommend against a 2-part supplementation Though it may be handy to have at hand should you see deviations in the alkalinity levels in the future. Kalkwasser (or limewater) will also buffer the alkalinity up, so again, I'd recommend against it at this point, but future use may be in order. at this point, I would recommend a stand-alone calcium supplement, and continued testing of both Calcium and Alk.
All of this information is a bit mute without understanding the purpose of calcium and alkalinity in the reef aquarium. Hard corals, coralline algae, and some soft corals use calcium and bicarbonate (the dominant ion in the measure of alkalinity) to form calcium carbonate structures like skeletons or spicules. Magnesium is also an important piece of the puzzle. natural seawater, and more importantly, reef aquarium water is over saturated with calcium carbonate. At levels necessary for sustaining a healthy reef, the abiotic (non-biological) precipitation of calcium carbonate becomes prevalent. When this precipitation begins, Magnesium ions bind to to the surface of the forming crystals ultimately stopping the further precipitation. Magnesium is subsequently incorporated into the growing skeletons of corals and coralline algae. Target ranges for Magnesium are 1250 - 1350 ppm with an ideal level of 1285ppm. While magnesium test kits are expensive, I would recommend the regular testing, and maintenance of magnesium levels, as without it, the continued precipitation of calcium carbonate in your aquarium may make it very difficult to maintain appropriate Calcium and Alkalinity levels. Since magnesium is one of the 4 major ions (salts) in seawater, it is entirely possible that adequate regular water changes will alleviate the need for supplementation, though this fact may vary based on the quality of salt mix you choose to employ.
Hope that helped a little.
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