Finally got around to doing my second water change. The process is super simple and only takes me about 10 minutes start to finish now. I lay out my water hose and extension cable, hook up the pump to the top-off valve, and then I open up the drain on the return pump. As the water goes down in the sump, it trips the top-off which sends fresh salt-water from the tank outside. The temperature drops about 1 degree with the temperature of the water from the outside storage.
I also finally got the power supply controller printed. It took a couple of re-designs to make everything print. I think part of my problem is that ABS shrinks and also that my printer prints a little on the small side (about .5 mm per side on a 20mm print). I still need to calibrate my printer’s axis.
I received my 3D printer a little over a week ago. It took me about 6 hours to build it and another 4 to realize that the rods that came with it were bent too much to be useable. I replaced the cheap steel rods with some hardened rolled steel ones.
It still took me a week of fiddling with it, but I finally have it printing reliably. The first thing I did was to print new versions of the DC-9000 pump mounts. I only have the power supply housing printed right now, but will print the controller housing tonight.
I’m not quite ready to start leaving the printer running through the day while I’m at work. The plan is to get a Raspberry Pi running Octoprint with a camera working. Then I’ll be willing to leave the print going. I’m going to install a relay so that I can shut off the printer when the print is done.
I also plan on mounting the whole thing in a box to help keep the air temperature stable. The programming I’ve done on the aquarium controller should make a simple fan controller pretty simple to do. I might try to write a plugin to Octoprint to tell an arduino what temp to maintain, since PLA and ABS both have their own settings.
Here’s some pics of the printer I built and the new power supply mount.
I added some more livestock to the tank over the weekend.
I added 1 of each of the following:
* Bi-color Blennie
* Golden Headed Sleeper Goby
* Engineering Goby
* Skunk Cleaner shrimp
The Citrinis Clown Goby has been much more active since adding the other fish. He’s been following the engineering goby around the tank. I don’t know if he’s being territorial or just curious. He came close to the other fish a couple of times, but I haven’t seen him nip or anything.
The Bi-Color blennie does what they always do… he’s camped out on various perches watching the other inhabitants in the tank.
The Sleeper goby immediately swam into the rockwork. He’s since been busy building a tunnel from the front to the back of the largest rock. He was out sifting sand shortly after making his new home.
The skunk shrimp went into the rock work as well. I’ve seen him out a few times, but he’s mostly staying out of view.
I’ve been able to find my peppermint shrimp using a flashlight during the day to peek under some of the rocks. I don’t know how many are still under there from the original 3… mostly because I don’t know if I keep seeing the same one, or different ones.
On a side note… Freezes are REALLY bad to water setups outside. I need to rig up some type of pump to circulate water in the storage containers when it drops to freezing. Right now I have the salt-water mixing pump running, but I don’t have anything in the fresh water. It got above freezing just long enough yesterday for me to get 10 gallons of water out of it for the top-off tank.
When I opened the doors to my outside storage, I saw that the freeze caused two of the canisters on the RODI to freeze and break. I’ll have to order new ones. I’ll just take the new canisters off and bring them inside when it looks like it’s going to freeze.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve last updated. In that time, we’ve added our first fish and had our first casualty.
On December 28th we added a hermit crab, a matted filefish and a citrinus clown goby.
On January 1st, we lost the matted filefish. I never really saw him eat anything and he barely picked at any of the aptasia in the tank.
I also had a big problem with the Citrinus goby taking plumbing rides to the sump. He did it three times in 2 days. Once was even after I tried putting filter floss in the overflow to block it.
Finally I ended up getting some light diffuser material from Lowe’s and wrapping that in the filter floss. He hasn’t gone for a pipe ride since.
The plan is to add a fish or two each month until the tank is stocked. Corals will be added here and there as well.
Here’s the obligatory pictures: