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My first 6 weeks.

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  • My first 6 weeks.

    Well, I thought I would move my reports over here so I could still continue them as they may be of some use to someone I will also try to move the pictures over here that went with this report.

    This was my first entry after starting Zeo on 8/26/04.

    My first 6 weeks.

    I thought I would test a theory that has been brought up during some of the questioning of the ZEOvit system, namely husbandry.

    First, some of my tank specs before starting Zeo:
    1. Gross water volume of your complete system (incl. sump etc.)
    100 gallon tank and a 15 gallon sump.
    2. Net water volume (incl. sump etc.)
    Total water volume around 100 gallons
    3. Are you using a CaCO2 reactor or other technique
    Yes, a Hawkdl2 Ca Reactor.
    4. Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.)
    5. Are you using Ozone
    6. Are you using UV
    7. What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume)
    Southbay 6-1 skimmer rated for 125 gallons.
    8. What are your actual PO4 and NO3 levels
    P04 at .03 Salifert. N03 I don’t test for!
    9. What are your actual Ca, Alk and Mg levels
    Ca at 375, Alk at 10.4, Mg at 1260. All Salifert.
    10. What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.)
    Only a skimmer in my sump with some extra LR, about 5# of rubble.
    11. Type of light (Watt, color temp, how old, etc.)
    Two 175w 10k MH Ushios 9 month old, and one T5 actinic.
    12. What corals do you keep
    Mainly SPS with some leftover softies (Xenia, mushrooms, zoos)
    13. Tissue color (light or dark)
    Multiple shads of dark brown.
    14. How long has the tank been running
    5 years this time.
    15. Why do you want to use the ZEOvit system
    I find new things intriguing.
    16. Any supplemental dosing (type, amount, why, etc.)
    Kalk, to keep my PH up and stable.
    17. Live rock (how much, how old, etc.)
    A guess would be 175#. Not really sure because I inherited a tank.
    18. Any present problems
    Nuisance algae, cyano.
    19. Problem description (tissue loss tips, tissue loss base, diatom bloom, algae, etc.)
    Cyano algae
    20. What test kit do you use (how old, recently switched, etc.)
    21. Present dosing, amounts and intervals (ZEOvit, ZEObak, ZEOfood, ZEOstart, ZEOspur2, etc.)
    I will get back to you after I start!
    22. Other water parameters and water stability (salinity, temp, etc.)
    Temp is 80°F to 83°F, salinity at 35ppm.
    I also run a shallow sand bed, two to three inches deep.

    These are taken from my notes (condensed version) that I kept during the test.

    Eight weeks before starting ZEOvit (we’ll call this week one), I chose to clean out my sump, and remove the drip tray from the old dry section. I blew the rocks off, blew out behind the rocks, and generally clean up as much as possible. I moved the LR I had in the dry section down to the bottom of the sump and did two 30-gallon water changes, sucking out as much junk as possible over two weekends. I tried to do everything you could to clean up the tank.

    Weeks three thru eight, I cleaned my skimmer every 3 days, cleaned sponge on the skimmer every other day, made sure that nothing accumulated on the rocks, and cleaned my glass regularly. During this time, I also cut my feeding back some, changed my carbon, stopped dosing kalk, and did a 30 gallon water change at week 6. I know that my water changes sound strange, but I usually change out 30 gallons every 6 weeks, that’s just the way I have always done it. The first two were just to try to clean out as much junk as possible.

    While my tank did look better due to the increased time spent cleaning up everything, and maintaining my tank better, I did not notice a color change or increase in polyp extension. I did start to get a little better growth, noticed by slightly lighter tips of my SPS. Basically, during the eight-week test, I did not see anything like or close to what was being said by users of ZEOvit.

    Ok, now on to using ZEOvit.

    Day one, added the Zeo’s to the reactor and used an old MaxiJet 1200 powerhead I had laying around to feed it. Changed out my carbon. I didn’t add any other basic Zeo stuff for the first day.
    Day two, I noticed a HUGE difference in water clarity. I thought my water was clear before but this is a huge difference. I’m still going to wait to add the other basic Zeo stuff.
    Day three, noticed that my Xenia doesn’t look well. Even some of my SPS don’t look as good, slight bleaching on coral directly under the lights. Glad I didn’t start adding the basics.
    Day four, tank doesn’t look good at all, my god, what have I done!!! Didn’t add any Zeo stuff at all and shut the reactor down until I figure out what is going on. Lost 1 fish and two corals. One was fraged with some saved, one completely gone.

    Well, after a little soul searching, I found that when I redid my electrical under my tank to find room to plug in the Zeo reactor, I forgot to plug all my fans back in. My tank temp went to 88°F. I believe this, and the increased water clarity lead to my problems. Once I figured this out, I did what any good reefer would do, took a vacation!

    OK, lets start over again. Ten days after first starting (reactor was only on for four days) I started everything back up.
    Day one (first week), started the reactor up after cleaning the Zeo’s in new salt water. Added 1.5 ml of ZEOStart, 4 drops of ZEOFood, and 4 Drops of ZEOBac.
    Days two thru six, same dosing amounts every day. During this time, my corals started to lighten slightly, nothing to jump up and down over yet.
    Day seven (second week), increased dosage to 2 ml of ZEOStart, 6 drops of ZEOFood, and 6 Drops of ZEOBac.
    Days eight thru ten, same dosing amounts every day. Corals still slightly lighter, not bleaching, but a lighter color.
    Days eleven thru seventeen (third week), increased dosage to 2 ml of ZEOStart, 8 drops of ZEOFood, and 8 Drops of ZEOBac. OK, now I am noticing that the polyps are starting to come out and stay out, and am noticing new growth everywhere.

    I would like to note at this time, my husbandry has not changed at all from the first eight-week test I did to start with, and at this time (week three) I stopped blowing off the cyano that is starting to come back.

    Days eighteen thru twenty-eight (week four), I decreased my dosing to 1.5 ml of ZEOStart, 4 drops of ZEOFood, and 4 Drops of ZEOBac every other day. I started to get some slime growing in my glass. OK, now I am impressed. My polyp extension seemed to increase and I have new growth everywhere and at a rate I have not seen in my tank. My coloration has gotten better, but nothing like some people have said. It might just be the type of coral. I do notice that the new growth of some coral is showing color that I have never seen, light blue, bright purple, yellow, and a cool green. Cyano still growing.
    Days twenty-nine thru thirty eight (week five), Dosing amounts remains the same as week four, but dosing twice this week. I think I found the sweet spot! Coral is starting to darken up some, growth is still better than I have ever seen, and I noticed that the polyps are starting to color up to colors they did not have before. Browns turning green, yellow, and light blue. I think my Zeo’s are in need of changing. One thing I did notice is that my Phosphates have increased. I think that my rocks are starting to release this stuff.

    I am at the end of my 6 weeks now, and can honestly say that not all the Zeo stuff is hype. I do see a difference that I can only attribute to Zeo. I ran this test to see if it was the increased husbandry or the Zeo that made the changes. I didn’t follow the “guide” exactly, nor did I do weekly water changes, lower my Alk, raise my Ca and Mg, as I wanted the same conditions as the first test.

    For the next 6 weeks (after I change the Zeo’s) I plan to follow the correct ways of the system, changing water every week, lowering my Alk, raising the Ca. and Mg. to the correct levels to see what changes it produces.