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  • Tired of winging it

    Preface:

    I’ve been out of the hobby for 12 years. Started back a small JBJ Nano cube. What an unfortunate tank to start with. Very cramp “sump”. Starting small to get my wife’s buy in. This is my practice tank for my dream tank. I am tired of “winging it”. I’d like to start a system of reef keeping based on a tried and true principle approach. My current system is completely out of balance and I am already tired of fighting it.

    My goals: implement the zero basic 4, and select elements for basic goals, ie Amino acids for health, and long term ZeoSpur to adjust colors if desired.


    Equipment — I am going to use a small internal Innovative Marine Media Reactor for the media. Which can fit 250 mL of Zeolites with room to spare for pumping and agitation.

    I have an Apex auto change water system set up.


    Concerns — I travel out of town for my sales job up to 3 days at a time, will this be an issue? I can ask my wife to do this for me, but will not be happy to. I have preloaded her 1 mL syringes in the past.

    1. Gross water volume of your complete system (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter — 100 L
    2. Net water volume (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter — 102 L
    3. Are you using a CaCO2 reactor or other technique — water changes at this point, which is part of the issue creating imbalances, I will switch to 2 part system eventually.
    4. Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.) — no
    5. Are you using Ozone — no
    6. Are you using UV — no
    7. What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume) — Deltec MCE300 Hang on back skimmer
    8. What are your actual PO4 and NO3 levels — 0.02 PPM PO4 Hanna Phosphorus ULR and 25 ppm NO3
    9. What are your actual Ca, Alk and Mg levels — Calcium is unusually high, but I believe my Salifert test is off. 480 PPM, Alkalinity is 7.3 dKH, Magnesium I don’t test for yet.
    10. What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.) — Sand is 3 cm, I have 8 pieces of 5 cm^3 ceramic media in the lower sump area,
    11. Type of light (Watt, color temp, how old, etc.) — EcoTech Radion, G4, very blue, 20kish, new.
    12. What corals do you keep — SPS, and a couple LPS. I’d like to expand my LPS collection
    13. Tissue color (light or dark) — richer colors, but some have lost their colors due to swinging nutrient parameters.
    14. How long has the tank been running — since August.
    15. Why do you want to use the ZEOvit system —

    I want a systematic approach to reef keeping. I don’t want to fight strange unstable parameters. I know that’s tough in a 100 L tank, but it’s this practice tank that will grow into a bigger system.

    16. Any supplemental dosing (type, amount, why —- MicroBacter7 and ZeoBak, I am fighting some nutrient imbalances, which testing shows I am low on phosphates by high on nitrates. Large Cell dinos and cyno are trying to persist.

    17. Live rock (how much, how old, etc.). — about 15 lbs, well cured and established live rock.
    18. Any present problems — mild chronic dinos or cyno. Losing some color in SPS.
    19. Problem description (tissue loss tips, tissue loss base, diatom bloom, algae, etc.) — rusty stringy sand, no green hair alage
    20. What test kit do you use (how old, recently switched, etc.) - Hanna and Salifert, Apex probes, all well calibrated and cared for.
    21. Present dosing, amounts and intervals (ZEOvit, ZEObak, ZEOfood, ZEOstart, ZEOspur2, etc.) — 1 drop of ZeoBak per day.
    22. Other water parameters and water stability (salinity, temp, etc.) 35 ppt, 80 degrees F
    23. Which salt brand do you use — Tropic Marin ProReef
    Starts
    01-02-2021
    Ends
    01-02-2021
    Last edited by PJewell; 01-13-2021, 10:41 PM.

  • #2

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    • #3
      A question — because my phosphates are so low, how do I balance the system while transitioning to ZeoVit? Dose phosphates and monitor?

      Should I remove the Bright Well Bio-Media? I assume not all at once.

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome to ZeoVit.com !

        For a net water volume of 100 liters I would recommend you to start as follows:

        1. Place 0.2 liter zeovit in a Zeo Reactor. Water flow around 100 liters per hour. Connect the reactor pump to a clock timer and run the reactor pump with a 3 hour on / 3 hour off / 3 hour on interval. Please make sure the zeolite is not exposed to air while the pump is switched off. Clean the material daily. Leave the zeolite 4 weeks in the filter until you do the first change out. This is the first changing interval, others could be lengthen to 6 – 8 weeks.

        2. Place 0.1 liters activated carbon in a filter sock and keep it in a passive water flow in your sump, changed every 30 days. Knead the carbon daily to keep the surface clean. Most users get perfect results with korallenzucht carbon.

        3. Dose 1 drop ZeoBac daily for the first 2 weeks, flowed by a 2 – 3 x weekly dosage of 1 drop. Dose 0.1 ml ZeoStart 2 x daily (morning & evening). Dose those in front of the Zeo reactor pump while it is switched on.

        Later on you could use the additional products for coral coloration. Adjust your skimmer to skim wet, keeping it clean to export as much as possible. Do a weekly water change of 5 – 10 % with a good salt.

        Stop dosing the Microbacter product you use at the moment when starting.

        Try to get the basic water parameters in balance before starting with the system slowly, try to keep them as solid as possible close the NSW in the following ranges:

        KH 6.5 – 7.5
        Ca 400 – 420 mg
        Mg 1250 – 1300 mg
        K+ ~ 380 mg

        If some time has passed and the system is running nutrient poor solid you can start to remove the BioMedia you use slowly over a couple of weeks step by step.

        While you are not at home daily it might make sense to dose ZeoStart with a automatic dosing system. It can be diluted with RO water which was boiled and cooled down again before using it to make it easier to dose. ZeoBac can not be automatically dosed. The other products which you use for coloration are not dosed on a daily basis so you can add them when you are at home.

        For a nutrient poor environment K+ (potassium) seems to be a important element. I would recommend you to get a test kit for this element also, posting your results.

        This is a start-up dosage which might have to be adjusted later.

        G.Alexander

        Comment


        • #5
          Just an update - my ZeoVit journey started last Saturday.

          Parameters in process —
          • 1.026 SG @ 26.5 degC at is my average salinity (should I lower this??? I’ve read many ULNS systems run lower salinity at 1.024 but cannot find a reason?
          • 8.3 dKH (Hanna) - if I lower my water change salinity, I will hit this easily. I am set up on a Neptune Apex, with a continuous water change. 800 mL every 24 hours continuous.
          • 8.15 average pH with the cautious use of NaOH
          • Calcium is 450 ppm (Salifert)
          • Magnesium - not tested
          • Potassium - not tested
          • NO3 - 5 ppm (Salifert) — has gone down by 5 ppm since last test.
          • PO4 - 0.18 ppm (Hanna) — holding steady.

          Procedure

          Zeolite procedure is being followed is as prescribed with three exceptions. I only used 0.1 L of the Zeolite material, in fears it would be too aggressive to use the full amount.

          I am using ZeoFood, as it came with the Basic 4 kit. ZeoFood, ZeoStart, ZeoBak, ZeoLite.

          I am also using Sponge Power, I heard good results. Following per the standard guide.

          Equipment —

          Apex controlling the ZeoLite Reactor - programming for 3 hours on and 3 hours off:

          Fallback ON
          OSC 180:00/180:00/180:00 Then ON

          Reactor is an INNOVATIVE MARINE MiniMax PRO Midsize Media Reactor (300ML). I replaced the pump with a Tunze 106s mini pump. It’s much quieter. Barely fits in this chamber where I removed a return pump. Didn’t need that return repetitive pump.

          General Review —

          Prior to starting ZeoVit, I’ve been using the ZeoBak for a couple weeks. Also with BrightWell Microbacter7. Since then I’ve beat dinoflagellates. Sand is bright white. Not a spec of any algae of any type. Just coralline.

          In fact, I had some persistent hair algae on my snails. As of totally gone. I believe adding diverse bacterial back after treating my tank for dinoflagellates was key. Dropping your NO3 and PO4 by super aggressive water changes is a sure fire way to get dinos.

          I’ve been focused on getting my alkalinity stable which I think has made a huge impact on my corals color. I had a destabilizing event December 21 2020. I blacked my tank out for 3 days and did some aggressive treatments. My corals browned and now many of them are making a recovery, showing their colors again.

          Polyp extension is looking good. Especially on my stylopora.



          Any suggestions?




          Last edited by PJewell; 01-13-2021, 10:54 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Where I placed my reactor. Which is after the intake for the skimmer.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              If your salinity measurement is correct I would recommend to keep the level as it is. KH is a little bit high, let it drop to ~ 7 – 7.5 and keep it stabile there. Personally I would not use any supplement for the PH level, if it does decrease it will not cause issues.

              The ZeoVit reactor should be placed after the skimmer. If you clean the material the dust which does come out of the reactor is a excellent food source for the corals, otherwise is will be skimmed out immediately.

              G.Alexander

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by G.Alexander View Post

                The ZeoVit reactor should be placed after the skimmer. If you clean the material the dust which does come out of the reactor is a excellent food source for the corals, otherwise is will be skimmed out immediately.

                G.Alexander
                This picture will attempt to show where it’s at. The skimmer hangs on the back, and empties back into the return. It pulls down stream from the return. The Zoe reactor is down stream. The effluent and mulm goes through the bottom chamber to the return pump. It’s doing what you are recommending. Amazing that have it even back there lol!
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Update: Seeing how Nitrates and Phosphates have recently risen, I am opting to add the additional 100 mL of ZeoVit ZeoLite material into the Zeolite reactor. See attached. Currently sitting at 0.3 ppm PO4 and 10 ppm NO3.

                  Not sure if it’s due to a recent filter sock change 72 hours ago.

                  Corals appear to be fine and exhibit good polyp extension and color.
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have you used or removed a PO4 absorber before starting with ZeoVit ?

                    G.Alexander

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G.Alexander View Post
                      Have you used or removed a PO4 absorber before starting with ZeoVit ?

                      G.Alexander

                      No, never before.

                      Skimmer is running well. Sump area was thoroughly cleaned before switching over. I am using filter socks which are changed every 3 days.

                      I’ve reached 0 ppm PO4 before in this tank with very aggressive water changes. Which caused issues with undesirable organisms like dinoflagellates on the sand.



                      Today PO4 sitting at 0.28 ppm, which is within the margin of error of the previous test two days ago. I double checked my reagents, everything is matching. Checked my procedure. Procedure is repeatable.

                      I did check my auto water changing system. I did find 0.03 ppm of PO4 (Hanna Phosphorus ULR 736) in my fresh saltwater mix. I think some organics could be slipping through my dual DI stage. Possibly?

                      Last edited by PJewell; 01-19-2021, 01:20 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The increase of PO4 is weird as you have not really changed anything in your system otherwise starting ZeoVit. Do you have a chance to measure the ZeoVit reactor output which should be ~ 100 liters per hour. You can measure it by collecting the water form the outlet for 30 seconds with a small container, multiply the volume by 120 and you will get the exact output per hour.

                        Do you still dose 1 drop ZeoBac 3 x weekly and 0.1 ml ZeoStart 2 x daily ?

                        G.Alexander

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by G.Alexander View Post
                          The increase of PO4 is weird as you have not really changed anything in your system otherwise starting ZeoVit. Do you have a chance to measure the ZeoVit reactor output which should be ~ 100 liters per hour. You can measure it by collecting the water form the outlet for 30 seconds with a small container, multiply the volume by 120 and you will get the exact output per hour.

                          Do you still dose 1 drop ZeoBac 3 x weekly and 0.1 ml ZeoStart 2 x daily ?

                          G.Alexander
                          Correct, the PO4 increased. I feed very small amounts every other day to my fish. With a controlled amount from hand feeding. So I am watching to make sure every scrap is eaten. That’s the only place I can imagine it’s coming from. I will clean my 200 micron filter socks every other day. I noticed the sock was full after only a few days. No food in the sock. Just clogged.

                          Unfortunately, the reactor I am using will not allow for a measurement for flow. It’s an odd in-tank reactor which works will with the space I have to work with. I could increase the amount of flow from the pump, I did throttle it down to the approximate flow rate, but perhaps the zeolite material is slowing the rate down.

                          The procedure remains the same, but I am dosing ZeoFood as it came with the basic 4 stater package. I am dosing Sponge Power as well.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you, lets try to clean the filter bags daily for some time, that is what I have done religious in all of my systems even they where running without detectable nutrients.

                            The right reactor flow is important so if it is to low nutrients will not be processed effective, if it is to high corals can suffer. If you have the feeling that the flow is to low you can try to increase it very slowly in steps while keeping a close eye on your corals and the nutrient concentrations.

                            Lets continue dosing as follows:

                            ZeoBac – 1 drop every other day
                            ZeoiStart – 0.1 ml 2 x daily (morning evening)
                            SpongePower – 2 drops every other day

                            Lets skip ZeoFood until you notice a decrease of PO4.

                            If you like to you can also add BioMate @ 2 drops every other day to your dosing regimen, it might be helpful to decrease PO4.

                            G.Alexander

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              BioMate — Helps breakdown decomposing substances in the sand bed and on rock surfaces commonly referred to as mulm. Mulm is often an unattractive brown material that settles throughout the tank. Primary source of mulm is uneaten foods and fish waste.

                              I will give an additional “click” on the reactor pump. There’s about four clicks on the Micro Tunze Pump. As you can see the reactor is with an outer body. It’s quite convenient to change the media when needed. The inner chamber can be removed while leaving the pump and outer flow tube inside the tank. This also serves as a place to shake the media.

                              I could figure out a way to test flow, but that will require some effort and time. I could tie a bag around the base above the pump, isolate and allow water to pump in and measure the effluent. Maybe this weekend.

                              Very interesting, I do notice mulm build up in my skimmer body and in places in my sump area much before when I started ZeoVit. Read the reviews on Bulk Reef Supply. They sound great. I will definitely have to put this on order.

                              while placing an order, any else you suggest to pick up? I hear good things about Coral Vitalizer, Coral Booster and Flatworm Stop.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by PJewell; 01-21-2021, 07:47 PM.

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