Apr 18

Moved, Downsizing the 120 to a 57 Rimless.

As the title says. I recently moved, so I will be downsizing the 120 gallon to a Deep Blue 57 gallon rimless 3′ tank with middle overflow.

57 Gallon Deep Blue Rimless

57 Gallon Deep Blue Rimless

I’m going to take a bunch of photos of the old tank before I start the moving process. I haven’t really updated the blog in a while, so I can an post photos of the progress on the 120.

Sep 14

Hanna Calcium Checker Review

Hanna Calcium Checker Handheld Colorimeter

Hanna Checker, Calcium

Hey everyone. Sorry for the lack of follow-ups lately. I haven’t had the time necessary to post something worth while for a few months now.

I purchased the HANNA Instruments “Handheld Colorimeter” to measure Calcium. I’ve always dreaded doing the standard titration tests that all hobby grade test kits have out there. There is so many steps, so many delays between those steps and the margin of error on the syringes is huge. It’s guesswork to get within 25PPM in most cases depending on how big your drops are and how patient you are titrating.

With the Hanna Calcium Checker, you don’t need to do any titrations. There are still two reagents to mix (one liquid and one powder) but the overall process is much easier and the manual says that the guage is within 25PPM anyways. So it’s just about as accurate as the titration tests seem to be.

The overall process of doing a test doesn’t take very long, and the sample used from the aquarium is a tiny .1ML (so for those of you that are running NANO tanks and hate taking out a cup full of water to do a test, this is much easier to do test repeats in-case you do something wrong.

Keys to Success

Make sure you have RO/DI water on-hand as you need it to calibrate the colorimeter at the beginning of each test, and make sure that you take your time opening and adding the powder packets as the cuvrettes have a small opening.


I’d say this kit beats a titration test any day of the week. Not to mention, the price is only slightly higher than the typical Seachem Calcium kit I used to use. In Canada this kit is $49.99 (Seachem titration kit is about $35 depending on the store).

Apr 11

QuietOne 3000 Pump not Reliable

I’ve had a quietone 3000 pump for about a year now. It’s been running 24/7 with regular cleanings of the impeller shaft. Last night, I had a brief power blip due to a thunder storm and the pump doesn’t seem to be able to start up again.

After a close inspection of the impeller shaft and all moving parts, everything seems ok. When plugged in, the pump doesn’t seem to be able to turn the impeller at all. After a bunch of hits with a blunt object, sometimes it will start.

Once it’s on, it will stay on until it is powered off again. This is very unreliable for me so I’m looking for a replacement.

Stay tuned!

Jun 29

Tank Redesign in Progress

Stay tuned for a new tank!

After figuring out the issue with my toxic algae and diminising tank conditions was attributed to metal magnets mounted to rubble rock which I acuired at a frag swap was leaching into the tank for months, I have decided that some improvements were necessary and that I will be completely re-starting the tank from scratch!

It sounds extreme but here is what’s in the plans:

  • New Reef Octopus Cone Skimmer
  • No more metal halides (Upgrading to 60′ 8 bulb ATI powermodule)
  • Auto top-off connected to RO-Unit with 3 failsafes incorporated with Neptune Systems Apex
  • New aquascape to allow better flow
  • Automatic Alkalinity and Calcium Dosing with Randy’s 2 Part recipe connected to Neptune Systems Apex

Stay Tuned for photos!

Feb 11

RBTA Healed from Powerhead Incident

Here is an updated photo of my RBTA 3 months after it crawled in a Maxi Jet 1200 and almost got completely shredded.

Click to EnlargeYou can view my post to see what happened by clicking here.

Feb 11

Does Interceptor Affect Anemones or Snails?

I recently noticed many red bugs on my Acropora SPS corals. After ordering Interceptor for 51-100lb dogs (Which is the most common treatment), I noticed that I couldn’t find definitive answers as to whether or not it will affect anything else in the tank.

Here is a picture of the coral with viewable Red Bugs:

Click to Enlarge

Once I dosed my aquarium I have come to the conclusion that it will not affect anything other than your Hermit Crabs and Cleaner Shrimp. I have heard rhumors that Copper Banded Shrimp will survive but I don’t have one and cannot confirm.

Therefore it is safe to say that you can dose your entire reef tank with interceptor and not worry. Just remove your hermits and cleaner shrimp prior. You can re-add them a few days after you run carbon and do a 20% water change.

Dec 30

Just Ordered a Neptune Systems APEX Controller

Will post more info when it gets here and I can install it!

Dec 21

Built a DIY Refugium & Lighting

After reading the inspiring article from Mark Levinson’s website. I decided to build a refugium in my sump to create some extra nutrient export.

The overall goal of this venture, is to create some additional nutrient export and hopefully help reduce some of the algae outbreaks I’ve been having in my Display Tank.

Since the beginning of summer 2009, I have started to notice some brown algae (like diatoms) growing on the rocks and substrate. In September, I suspected a Phosphate problem even though it wasn’t really measurable on my test kit. I added some PhosLock and for the second part I’ve created a refugium.

This is a typical refugium setup minus the substrate. Since I have a deep sand bed in my display tank, that is where the primary denirifying bacteria are.

Click to Enlarge

Shopping List

Here are the things you will need. I found all of this stuff at home depot for under $40.

  • 1 Fluorecent Spiral bulb with built in reflector as seen in the picture above. A lighting spectrum within the range of 5100 – 6500K is needed. Do not buy a light with a kelvin of under 5100k. Your Cheato will not grow very much at all.
  • 1 light socket for the bulb.
  • 1 “L” Bracket
  • 1 Heavy Duty zip tie
  • 1 light timer
  • 1 lamp cord

All you need to do is get some Cheato algae and put it in your sump in an area with high flow. If you don’t have much flow add a MaxiJet pump.

Hang the light above the part of the sump containing the algae and set the timer to turn the light on/off on the INVERSE schedule of your display tank lighting.

The result will yield two good things:

  1. Your Cheato will grow creating competition for the algae in the tank. This will reduce the algae in the tank and create an extra means of nutrient export (Phosphate, Nitrate).
  2. When you are running the light of your refugium on the inverse schedule of your display tank lighting you will stablize the PH of your system. This is due to the fact that you have photosynthesis occuring at all times of the day instead of just during the “Lights On” time of your display tank.
  3. This was an afterthought. It will create a great place for copepods to grow because there are no predators down in your sump. If you have a mandarin fish or sixline wrasse this will produce more of their natural foods.


There are many benefits of setting up a refugium in your reef aquarium. I have yet to reap the benefits of this as it has just been setup in my  tank. But one thing is for sure, I wish I had done it sooner.

I will post updates when I can see some growth.

Dec 10

Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse (Paracheilinus carpenteri)

Picked up Gus (A Carpenter’s Wrasse) at Marinescape a few weeks ago. After over a month in the Quarantine tank he was finally put into his new home yesterday.

Carpenter's Fairy Wrasse

Click to Enlarge

Some information on Paracheilinus carpenteri

The Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse, also known as the Carpenter’s Wrasse, or Redfin Flasher Wrasse, is orange with blue vertical stripes as a juvenile. As the fish matures and becomes an adult, the coloration becomes yellow with a series of broken blue horizontal stripes. The dorsal fin features three elongated rays and is red in color accented with yellows and blues. The colors of the adult males intensify when in courtship, whereas the females coloration and overall appearance are more subdued. The females also do not feature the large dorsal and anal fins.

The Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse requires a 50 gallon or larger aquarium with a tight-fitting lid since it is a jumper. A grouping is acceptable and often recommended, since the females will encourage the male to perform colorful displays. The females should be introduced into the tank first. It is often harassed by other fish so the Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse should be the first species introduced into the aquarium. It is best to keep it with peaceful tank mates.

The Carpenter’s Flasher Wrasse diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.

Source: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+1926+329&pcatid=329

Oct 10

RBTA Crawled into a Powerhead :-(

Things aren’t looking to good for my RBTA. I woke up this morning and he had crawled into my MaxiJet 1200.

Click to Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

I’m going to slowly let him crawl out and see how it goes.

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