New Additions and Updates on Old

First the new Additions. Not sure what these three are yet, but I got them for a really good price.

And updates on old. The Green Birdsnest is looking a little thin. It looks like some of it may be bleaching out. I made the mistake of touching it when I had to re-seat it in the epoxy.

The Blastimossa is looking much happier in it’s new spot. It looks like I had it too close to the lights in the old spot. I also moved the Favia thinking it might like a spot with better water flow.

These Zoas have really started coming out and started spreading in the tank some. They were hitch-hikers and I never expected them to make it.

Lastly, I’ve started seeing a lot of these white dots all over the tank. I think it’s just coraline algae starting to spread, but not sure.

Temperature control

Wow. It might still be too early to tell, but initial results show that adding the fans to the tank seem to help quite a bit.

The tank went from regular flux to holding steady.

I’ll probably add some logic to the circuitry to turn the fans on/off based on tank temperature. I don’t want the fans lowering the temperature too much at night. Maybe I’ll have them come on at 80 degrees and go off if the tank drops below 79. Then, if the fans can’t keep up, the chiller will kick on at 81.

Cooling Issues

The tank has been doing quite well. The chiller cools the tank, but it doesn’t do it as quickly as it should.

This morning I added two fans to see if evaporative cooling may help the situation. I’ll give it a week or so and then I’ll compare graphs to see if the chiller is cycling on/off less.

It’s my typical, use what you have approach to adding the fans.

Stabilizing pH

Ever since I started adding Kalk to the tank, I’ve been getting quite large pH swings.

To help combat the swings, I decided to put my refugium light on a reverse-daylight cycle. Currently it was running 24×7.

Looking at my pH graph for the last 6 months, you can see the point that I started adding the Kalk (the first jump up in pH for the top-off water). Prior to this point, both pH probes were in the tank and usually shadowed each other +/- .1 pH.

Around 5/1 I put too much Kalk in the top-off and it raised the pH in the main tank.

Where you’ll see the difference in the tank swing is in the last week or two since setting up the reverse daylight. The pH only swings a few points. The large dip is right after a water change. I’m not sure I let the salt-water mix long enough to have it properly oxygenated.

Lots of changes going on

I finally added the chiller to the fish tank. It’s running quite a few times each day.

I added a cleaner wrasse and some pajama cardinals to the tank. The cleaner wrasse tormented the cardinals until they were all gone… then it tormented my sleeper goby until it died… then the cleaner wrasse died.

Once all those died, I noticed an algae bloom. Probably because I couldn’t find the sleeper gobie’s body. I did a few water changes but I think it’s still decomposing as the green star polyps are not fully extending.

I did go ahead and add a dragon goby to help keep the sand turned over. I was going to get another sleeper goby, but the store was out.

The engineering goby is getting bigger. His stripes have switched from horizontal to vertical. I’ll try to get a picture in the next feeding. I notice he’s venturing out a lot farther during feeding time too.

Lastly, I added a web cam to the environment. I’m still working on getting remote viewing to work.

Grafana Graphing

It’s strange to be talking about Linux stuff on a reef site, but then again…

I spent the better part of the weekend setting up an ELK stack on my web server. I’ve never been happy with the silly graphs my reeflog was producing. Mostly the fact that they were not dynamic at all, which made it very painful if I wanted to see something that was already graphed.

I already have all the data going to a MySQL, and I’ve been searching for a better way of graphing that data.

Thus enters Grafana. Grafana is an application that runs on the web server and can be used to alert, show and graph various timedate based data. Unfortunately it does not have hooks for getting data directly from a MySQL database.

So, you install ElasticSearch. ElasticSearch is basically a nodb logging database that can take in data from endpoints and store it in an easily searchable fashion… But how do I get the data from  the MySQL DB into the ElasticSearch.

Next you install logstash. Logstash is yet another service that runs. You can configure various inputs and provide it various outputs and it will transpose the data from one source to the other. In my case, it logs in to the MySQL DB, grabs any data since the last update, and puts it into ElasticSearch.

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned since doing this is that the Wifi connection to the internet is spotty at best for my poor little Raspberry Pi. There’s quite a few times where it doesn’t get data up to the server. It doesn’t really matter… most things don’t happen quite that quickly in a reef tank. The one thing I probably miss out on is anytime the top-off pump runs as it typically only runs for a minute to begin with.

If I setup a kalk reactor like I want to, then I may switch out the pump with a doser. That would run slower than a top-off pump would and may get caught be the graph more often.

Here’s a screenshot of the current dashboard. Alerts are at the top. pH and Temperature are graphed at the bottom.

Coral Death and Update

The Montipora Cap didn’t make it. It slowly died off until I finally removed it from the tank.

The Blastimosa doesn’t seem to be fully extending out during the day either. I’m wondering if my lower salinity is causing it. I’ll work on getting that slowly raised back up.

All the other fish/inverts are doing well. Having the pH probe in the top-off tank with the Kalk has helped me to keep saturation high. I think this is also helping me keep the Ca/Alk higher in the main tank as well.

Over the weekend I took the time to finally get the chiller installed. The tank has gotten quite high a few times now. It hasn’t gone over the 82 degree set point where the chiller would have turned on, but it’s gotten close.

I’m not actually sure if the chiller will ever run. We don’t let the house get above 82 even when we’re not home. The tank is next to a window, so maybe the heat from that might cause the tank to run hotter.

I haven’t noticed that the lights and pumps are adding much heat to the tank at all, which is nice.

The macro algae is growing quite nicely in the sump. There’s also some red algae showing up in the sump due to the excess light, but I’d rather have it there than in the main tank. I never thought sumps should be that clean anyways 🙂

I’m hopefully going to get some more fish this weekend. I’d like to get a few Pajama Cardinals. I also want some more corals, but man those things are expensive. I keep watching for frags to show up on Facebook or Craigslist.

No pictures this time… Sorry.

Bird’s Nest Growth

It’s been a month or so since I have added the corals to the tank. The Montipora Cap isn’t looking too good, but the Bird’s Nest is showing pretty good growth. Here’s a picture from the last month to compare.

Night Light

I bought a blue night-light for the aquarium. It’s a little 8″ LED light designed for smaller tanks. It’s just about perfect as a night-light on my larger tank. I think it might be a bit bright, so I’ll print some clips to cover part of the tube and limit the number of bulbs.

Right now I have the light placed on the ledge of the aquarium pointing up at the reflector on the light.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X84LRCU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

For only $10 it’s working really well. I’m pretty much leaving it on 24-7 as the main T5’s easily overpower it during the day. It keeps me from having to write any type of program for turning it on/off. It has a manual switch that I can reach up and turn it off if I need to.

There are some other lights on in the room when I took this picture. It was hard to get the camera to focus with just the blue light on.

First Corals

Well. Besides the green star polyps that came in on the rock.

I went to a guy’s house that posted on FaceBook that he had corals for sale. His pricing was very reasonable and I just got a paycheck…

I bought one of each of the following:

  • Neon Green Birdsnest
  • Red Montipora Capricornis
  • White Favia
  • Blastomusa

I walked out only spending $60, which you really can’t beat seeing that the corals were all almost 2″ in size. He said he wasn’t even planning on fragging the montipora, but one of his tangs got caught up in it and snapped some of the branches off. I think this is a pretty good start.

I also worked on trying to get the wavemaker working. That thing is a pain in the arse to work on. It was really a bad design on my part. It’s still not working, but at least I have water flow out of all 4 pipes now to help move things around.