Back in March 2015 I lost several pieces to slowly receeding from the bottom of over the course a several months. My best guess at this point is high salinity and refractometer readings were off. Salinity was 1.029-1.030 for a quite some time.
Of the ones I lost, I'm only looking to replace the ones that I really like and showed good color under my lighting.
The three must have replacements are:
PC Rainbow acro,
Blue Tipped Tenius ( I loved the tabling effect )
I have a piece of the PC Rainbow acro reserved from Carl ( Flouder ) from a past trade.
I purchased replacments for Red Dragon and Blue Tipped Tenius from Brian@ 1stopcorals. Brian also threw in for free a browned out echinata to see how well it would do.
In addition, I got a lavendar acropora millipora from Dustin ( cheezybuda ) in a trade last weekend.
So I'm set for a while.
Below is a pic of the Red Dragon, Blue Tipped Tenius, and browned out echinata that I got from Brian @ 1stopcorals. :
I have been using a near zero water change since March 2015. This is now my 4th Triton Test. I did do a 40g water change since last test in June. I find it easier to just dump the water when cleaning out the sump a few times a year rather than trying to save it. Only other water changes are from accidental spills and the water lost when trading/selling frags.
Only surprise from last June test was Sodium levels dropped 500ppm. I don't recall checking Salinity before sending in the test so hopefully that accounts for the variation. Will test salinity prior to sending in the Feb Triton sample.
Sulfate levels were a concern from June test. During the 4month period since Jan, I used 100% Magnesium Sulfate for maintaining Magnesium levels. Sulfate is back inline of where it should be. Will now go back to using Randy's recipe #1 for Magnesium.
I ran out of Triton Strontium supplement. Decided to switch to Brightwell Aquatics Dry Strontium as it should be more cost effective. Triton supplement lasted 9 months at $42. 300g dry Britghtwell should last years at $20. This will require changing up my monthly dosages so it may take a test or two to get that tweaked. For now, I'm going to use as directed to add 1ppm per month per the instructions and see what it looks like on next tests.
One time additions based on Triton results were:
200ml of Triton Strontium Supplement ( which finished off the bottle ).
1.5 cups of DIY Potassium supplement.
20ml of Nickel ( which finished off the bottle. Undecided if I will continue dosing ).
2ml of Triton Zinc
1ml of Triton Vanadium
1 Teaspoon of Borax ( dissolved in heated ro/do ), this should raise Boron approx 1ppm per 200g.
4 drops of Manganese.
Based on the latest results, just minor tweaks to my monthly dosages:
Increased diy potassium from 1/3 cup per month to 1/2 cup per month.
Changing to Brightwell Strontium dosages to be determined
Triton Vanadium from .25 mil to .5mil per month.
Triton Zinc from .5 to .75ml per month.
Reducing from 5mil to 3ml of Silicate ( AKA Liquid Glass )
Reducing from 1 capsule to 1 every other month of Molybdenum.
Increasing from 2 drops per month to 4 drops per month of Manganese.
I run the Gen1 Ecotech Radions which don't have any UV in them. I have been running supplemental UV LED strips since 2012. They add a nice subtle pop to the greens.
The back side UV Leds strips have been burnt out for over a year. The salt spray from the corner overflows took its toll. I added corner overflow acrylic covers to resolve the salt spray but never got around to replacing the leds.
This time I went with the solderless from rapidled.com. The difference in price was negligible and much easier to replace. 12 Leds + wiring was $60 shipped. There was nothing wrong with the driver ballast and I already had reflectors.
UV LED Strip before repairs:
UV LED Strip after repairs:
I put the $500 Neptune award credit towards a new Apex. Terence threw in a pmup pump that I will use for carbon reactor for free.
I will be working on getting it mounted and my settings moved over from AC3 and apex Jr.
Will post a picture later of it mounted. I'm going to try this time to do a better management of wires.
Tank is doing well. No concerns. Will update a full shot photo in the next day or two.
Near Zero water change:
Approx. 18 months ( Mar 2015 ) since going on the near zero water change. Sump is getting pretty nasty and there is no good way to clean it without dumping water so I do plan a 40g water change later today to completely drain and refill the sump. Tank parameters look just fine, the only reason for it is to drain the water via shop vac ( since can't siphon is out ). This is where the near zero water change comes into play as I knew an occasional would be require to clean the sump.
.055ppm Phosphate using Hanna HI736 Checker
7dkh Alkalinity using Salifert.
Summer Tank temp is staying at 79 - 79.1
Time for the monthly dosing:
1/3 Cup Potassium Chloride DIY recipe
50 ml of Triton Strontium
.25 of Triton Vanadium
1 Molybdenum capsule
.5 ml of Triton Zinc
4ml of Triton Nickel
5ml of Sodium Silicate ( AKA Liguid Glass )
Next Planned Triton Test will be mid-late Oct.
I'm low on my HW Trace Tip-1, HW Trace Tip-2, HW Mira-tip trace element supplements. All 3 run about $60 and lasts me 2.5 months.
Before Fall comes I need to replace my UPS Marine Battery costs around $80.
Undecided which direction to go with replacment dosing pump for Kalkwasser so that may be an upcoming expense. Either replace the head unit $90 or just continue with the aqualifter.
No other known expenses for the coming month.
Turf Scrubber Status:
I did replace and reseed the screen about 3 weeks ago. About every 6-8 months the screen starts to get ripped from the weight of the algae etc. I am a bit concerned as reseeding hasn't bounced back as well as I had hoped. Normally withing 2 weeks its back to full thick green but has more of the brown slime on it than I would like to see. No adverse reactions from the tank itself so I just leave it be for now.
Dosing Pump Status:
Replacing the Tubing in the Spectrapure pump did not resolve it. Will need a replacement head. Unsure which direction I will go. The Aqualifter seems to be doing adequate job when used in conjuction with Apex at 10 seconds on , 5 Minutes off during the lights off period. I may just stick with the aqualifter since it's cheap and readily available for replacements.
PH was low in the tank this morning. Typically that just means the Kalkwasser Topoff resevoir is empty. I refill it every 10-14 days.
That was not the case this time. Upon further investigation, the Spectrapure Dosing Pump LM3-MPM ( controlled by Apex aqua controller ) had failed. Pump has been online since Nov 2014. The peristaltic tubing had split combined with kalkwasser had made a mess in the head unit. Hopefully all that will be needed is to clean it up and get new tubing in there. I ordered 2 sets of replacement tubing from Spectrapure so that I have a backup. Worst case, a replacement head is $89. From now on, I plan to be proactive and change tubing out annually.
As a temporary backup, I replaced with a Tom's aqua lifter. It will work fine in the interim but will probably need to tweak the aqua controller timing to compensate for the difference in flow.
Prior to using the Spectrapure pump, I was using the BRS 50ml per minutes pump. I had two BRS pumps fail both around the 12-18 months mark because the plastic gears strip out. Having used Spectrapure litermeter for many years in the early 2000's, I opted for the Spectrapure basic pump instead of another BRS. Hopefully, nothing more serious with the pump and the switch to Spectrapure will have paid off.