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SouthWest Florida Marine Aquarium Society


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About RockDoc

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  1. Sorry to jump in so late on this. Ron and Matt explained the theory of the coil denitrator perfectly. The tube length, as Matt mentioned, is critical. Regarding this, the reason that oxygenated water goes in the tube, and de-oxygenated water comes out, is because the inside surface of the tube is colonized with bacteria. It is not sterile whether it is in water or in a spool on the kitchen table. Because of the long length, oxygenated water goes in, and aerobic bacteria strips the oxygen out of the water before it reaches the end of the tube. The distal part of the tubing, and thus the chamber itself, are only able to harbor anaerobic bacteria (which are denitrating). The tube going out must also be long, as mentioned in an earlier post, because oxygen will follow it's own "oxygen gradient," and therefore move up the tubing, against the water flow. If the tube's not long enough, the chamber will get oxygenated and kill all the anaerobic bacteria. Over many generations of denitrators, I have decided that the flow rate should be such that the dwell time is about an hour. So if the total volume of the denitrator is 2 gallons, then a 2 gph flow rate would be appropriate. I'd be interested if anyone has a different impression. Also, my reactors last about 1 to 1 1/2 years, then clog up. I have never dissembled one; just built a replacement. I run three of them on my 400 gal system (which probably only has 300 gallons of water nowadays). Even with zero nitrates, I constantly battle algae problems and slime, so I set up a solid carbon reactor about a year ago and never noticed much of a difference with it.
  2. Nice build! Looks great. When it is cycling, it will produce nitrates of its own, then will settle down and eat nitrates. Thanks for posting the detailed info and photos. Good job!
  3. I have Tunzes, but they are really loud. You can hear them speed up and down with the controller, even when they're brand new.
  4. The Halimeda can be a royal pain. I go through periods where I have to pull it out by the handful. It covers corals and can block light. I have actually had a halimeda-shaped white spot on a monti plate after a branch grew over it! It also provides a place for slime to grow. Neither of my tangs, yellow or blue, eat it. I try to keep it pretty well plucked, but it's a battle, like so many other things in this hobby we love so much.
  5. Looks like a lot of people showed up after I left. I was there for the "business meeting from 12:00 - 1:00," such as it was. I'm sorry to have missed all of my SWFMAS-friends, but I promise to stay longer next time. I really enjoyed seeing Jeff's tanks and lighting system. Very cool indeed. Just shows 'ya that there's always more to learn, and more techniques to master .. ****does the "I'm not worthy" bow**
  6. RockDoc

    A New Reef

    Ron, The news stories are always new and interesting to me. Thanks for posting them, and keep 'em coming!
  7. RockDoc


    Did I miss something? Are we supposed to be mixing salt in with our water? Darn... that explains a lot....
  8. You were pretty close, Matt. The main display has 3 x 400W 20K MH 3 x 250W 12K MH 4 x 96W 420nm PCs (blue)
  9. Front view, December 2010 Mystery Wrasse Basket Wrasse t Maroon Clown - just for perspective, the Clown is over 3 inches long. In the front view above, the anemone is all the way on the right side of the tank.
  10. I would think that recirculating within the chamber would offer no advantages. But assuming the water is completely stripped of O2 before entering the chamber, there should be no disadvantages either. Any porous media with significant surface area should work just fine. Some people have built versions with all sorts of fillers, from bio-balls to blue filter material to course aragonite. I wonder if bio-pellets in a single BRS reactor would offer the most denitrating with the smallest footprint. The jury is still out on that one.
  11. Matt, I have tried the lights out thing, with no effect, except stressing my SPS. So I did some research on RC (a while ago), and most people avoid lights out treatment in a SPS dominant tank. 2 or 3 days without light can kill some of the sensitive corals. I didn't actually lose any corals when i tried it, but I lost color and polyp extension for quite a while. But either way, I wonder if my bio-load is just too big for the lights out approach anyway. I think I would need more than 3 days, and then I guess I would really run a risk with the corals. Good point though... One thing I have concluded though is this: avoid the NextReeef reactor. It is way to cumbersome and finicky to use for this. It is difficult to open and get closed correctly; the O-ring flops around and is hard to get seated correctly, and any little place where it doesn't sit right causes a leak. I wonder if the BRS reactor is a more solid piece of equipment. I suspect it would be, based on their other reactors.
  12. Nice job Ron. Way slicker than what I built. I built what could only be described as a dog house around my chiller outside. Then I had a friend who knows about roofing apply a waterproof roof. It's open on both ends for ventilation. It cut my electric bill by about $100/month, maybe more.
  13. Not totally sure about this, but here's my impression: I think Zeovites are just a pellet substrate, very porous so that they make a great place to grow bacteria. Then you add their other product (ZeoBak is it?) which is the bacteria used to inoculate their pellets. Overall, I think it is trying to do the same thing, which is isolate a population of beneficial bacteria to a specific area, such as a reactor. The Bio-pellets is also a porous pellet to harbor bacterial growth, but also is the bacteria "food" (carbon source). The pellets can get inoculated naturally from the tank water, or you can still add bacteria such as ZeoBak or MB7, if you want to speed things up.
  14. From what I understand, yes, this may be a cure. Cyano is an indication that there is too much nitrate and phosphate (N/P) in the system; it grows and eats the N/P, resulting in no measurable N/P.
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