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Saturday, 30 June 2012

Lido 120 30-06-2012

Just a quick reference image to show the current growth.

Everything is looking very green and growing very nicely. Runners are still be produced and new shoots are appearing all over the place at the moment.

 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Pictures of my new tank!

Not mentioned this as of yet, but i have decided to start using this blog for a little more than just FTS pictures, and document my progress and build logs on my aquariums.
This is my spanking new Woodson Aquaria 60x24x30 (LxWxH) aquarium, designated for a full Reef Marine setup!
Currently in the final construction stages.
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Constructed in a traditional style, to fit in with the rest of the house, and with a closed hood that has been specially designed to take the EcoTech Radion LED fixtures.
A closed hood is a necessity for me as we have a cat who can be a little adventurous and downright clumsy at times! So the protection of having her NOT fall in has been a major consideration of this build.
Billy at Woodson Aquaria has so far been an amazing bloke to work with on crafting this aquarium, i would recommend him to anyone looking for a well put together and designed aquarium.
Here’s a picture of the top of the hood.
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It is not quite complete as of yet, as there will be some acrylic inserts applied into the routed holes in the hood panels. The Radion’s themselves will then sit in these “sockets” and have a clamp to keep them secure should the panels be opened.
As you may have noticed, the panels are double hinged. This is so separate sections can be open, but allow others to remain closed, and thus keep the light on in the tank, should maintenance need to take place. The clamping devices will prevent the Radion’s venturing down the back of the tank should one be raised!
The smaller hinged section at the front is for feeding or applying chemical dosing. Simply, it enables you to carry out such tasks without needing to lift the entire panel, and getting your retinas blasted with high power LEDs!
I got this mounting idea from Mr Saltwatertank, a prolific YouTube and Blog author for the Reef and Marine hobby.
The tank will also be sumped (not shown) will use Vortech MP power heads, a Deltec skimmer, various reactors, and a full Riffsystem Ceramic install.
It took me a while, but i eventually fell in love with the ceramics after not being such a fan, and had the full intention to use Liverock.
This is due to a few factors.
  • I really fell for the “modern” or “candy shop” look. I appreciate its an unnatural effect to some, but I'm not trying to create a natural biotope.
  • Nasty's - Zero risk of undesirable hitch hikers. With the ceramics being sterile, Aiptasia will be kept at bay. Granted it will loose the potential of good creatures, but i do intend to obtain a small amount of Liverock that will be placed in the sump to seed the main water column and the ceramics. So if any good creatures do arrive i can add them into the main tank. I have considered using the bio filter start potions, but would rather go for the more natural option.
  • Aquascaping - Something i knew i would be never satisfied with should i use Liverock, the ceramic structures literally provide interesting Aquascaping out of the box.
  • Environmental Impact - I had decided from the start that i wanted this aquarium to be as sustainable as possible. Sourcing things such as Livestock from either captive bred sources or from tank shut downs, corals from frags etc... So the decision to not use Liverock means it will not be removed from the oceans natural reefs.
  • Cost - My budget for budget for the Liverock pretty much covered the ceramics that will be installed. So £ for £ the price is negligible, and the aquarium will have full back plates and weir cover and a series of standing structures in the main body of water.
That’s all for now, please check back soon as i will post updates as the project progresses.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lido 120 20-06-2012

Starting to see quite a bit of growth now, very green leaves and growing at quite a rate! Especially the offshoot that is growing alongside the filter box.

I have made adjustments to my dosing of Flourish  and Flourish Excel. I was doing 2.5ml every 7 days, and 3ml every other day (respectively) and now doing 2.5ml every 4 days and 3ml every day. The dosing is the same but its more frequent. I am now more convinced that the activated carbon pad was perhaps moving some of the good stuff. The plants as mentioned in the past had fell behind but now they appear to be gaining strength rapidly.

I am currently keeping my eyes open for a cheap second hand dosing machine to keep up with the regular dosing of the Seachem stuff.

2012-06-20 18.10.53

Monday, 11 June 2012

Lido 120 11-06-2012

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Did another nitrate test… just above 0  i would say, but still as low as its ever been!

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Lazy snail… hiding from the bristle nose no doubt that likes to use it for football practice!

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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lido 120 09-06-2012

Noticed the plants have been sending out runners at a high rate of knots recently! Even propagated one and moved it to the bare side of the tank.

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Friday, 8 June 2012

Lido 120 08-06-2012

One day into the carbon less experiment. Reference image for the future.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lido 07-06-2012 Follow Up

Following on from the comments in the previous post i carried out a General Hardness test to see where the water quality was currently at.

I've been doing this for a while now after learning that a high degree of General Hardness in the water can help contribute to some algae problems, namely Black Brush Algae.

When i first purchased the kit i found my water was well off the scale with a huge 16dGH! And after seeking advice it turns out that regular tropical fresh water species and live plants prefer around the 3-6dGH mark. So i had a way to go, and as a bonus hopeful decreasing that value would be a benefactor for curing the BBA problem if it does indeed feed from the high nutrient/low quality (which ever way you want to look at it) from having all the “stuff” dissolved into the water.

The issue was, how would i get the GH value down in the aquarium? If i kept adding tap water it would seemingly continue to get worse. So i did the easy thing and resorted to the old favourite… RO/DI water.

This obviously gives a baseline to work with, with 0 TDS and 0 General and Carbonate hardness. I wasn't looking for Discus quality water, but this is a step in the right direction.

So since the middle of March this year, i have been replacing my water changes with straight RO/DI water of the highest quality and the results are in and impressive. In pretty much dead on 3 months, the water columns dGH value has dropped from a massive 16 down to a more respectable 4!

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I'm happy with that, as its landed within the 3-6dGH range i was after.

So the water quality is substantially softer, plant growth has been great (until a recent drop off, more on that shortly) and both the BBA and the green algae that festoons the glass have both really began to suffer, although that may also be down to other factors.

From now i will be doing a ratio mix of RO/DI and tap water to maintain a balance as i want to remain within that range. Just using the pure stuff may cause it to dip lower and out of those values, so i will experiment for the next few months and find a balance, starting with a 3:1 RO/DI to tap water mix.

As said previous, plant growth has dropped off quite a bit as of late and i have been hoping that its not been down to just using RO/DI and i have inadvertently ended up depriving said plants with any nutrients they may have been gaining from such a source.

That said i did recently return activate carbon to the filter box after not using it for a while due to using a potion for curing the hair algae, which ill be honest, was working, but working very slowly.

Using Seachem Flourish and Flourish Excel recently seem to have really helped too, but i am concerned that the introduction of the carbon may be sapping them back out of the water!

Sadly changing a few things within a short period of time hasn't allowed me to nail down the source. However i will of course monitor the results now the carbon has been removed again, the GH is at the point i want, and will continue to use the Seachem products.

Interesting i did i Nitrate test today too, and was quite taken back at the fact it seems to be registering very little if any at all! I normally have a distinct 10-20 on the scale but i was struggling to call this anything other than zero!

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I actually called this as 2.5ppm as i felt it wasn't as yellow as the 0 or had the orange tint of the 5.0ppm!

This drop has been quite interesting, and I'm wondering if the Flourish Excel has been contributing to its demise. If you didn't know Excel is a liquid carbon source, could you argue its like dosing Vodka to a salt water aquarium?

This low nitrate level may also be  factor of my plants demise… i will have to monitor the situation closely…

Lido 07-06-2012

Love to know what's happening to the plants?

They were growing really well, trailing across the water surface, now they are shrinking back?

I've started adding Flourish Excel and Flourish from Seachem. And I did return the carbon pad back to the filter box after removing it when using some anti hair algae to try and combat a BBA issue. While it helped it didn't fully cure the problem.

However since adding the Seachem stuff the BBA has really took a turn for the better!

Think I am going to remove the carbon pad again though as it may be counter productive with the Seachem products?

Also need to do a dGH test as I believe it's really low now after only using RO to do water changes. May need to start supplementing a bit of tap water back in to the mix.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lido 06-06-2012

Ok so I've sucked so far at keeping this project going! Must try harder!