Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Advanced Complexity" Reef Aquarium.

Discussion in 'Show Off Your Fish Tanks!' started by Jasonanatal, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    The Beginning: Jasonanatal's 120 gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium.

    After many talks with my wife and convincing my landlord that it would not rain in his apartment I finally received the okay and pulled the trigger on a larger aquarium. A standard 120 All Glass aquarium. I know many people must be asking themselves why I didn't purchase a reef ready aquarium. I have a very simple answer. I live on the second floor of an old four family aparment building in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. When purchasing this aquarium I was concerned with one thing, having the largest aquarium with the maximum amount of water capacity that could be supported by the floor and not cause hazardous conditions in my home. After contacting numerous custom aquarium companies I decided that 120 gallon was a nice middle ground. So here starts another Reef Aquarium project. I hope everyone enjoys.

    I started this build by breaking down and selling components of my 28 gallon JBJ Nano Cube HQI Reef Aquarium that I did not consider suitable for my new 120 gallon reef aquarium. Then I removed the shelves, anchors and other mounting equipment and began patching up the wall and repainting in preperation for the new aquarium


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    Photograph - Friday, November 07, 2008 - My old 28 gallon JBJ Nano Cube HQI Reef Aquarium being broken down.

    Now I had no clue what I was thinking when I figured that I could get this 120 glass aquarium up 1 flight of stairs all by myself but thankfully my landlord gave me a hand. It with the help of the wall I managed to slide this monster onto the metal stand that was purchased for it.


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    Photograph - Friday, November 07, 2008 - My wife standing by the 120 gallon aquarium for a size comparison.

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    Photograph - Friday, November 07, 2008 - My 120 gallon aquarium finally filled with RO/DI water after 3 days.
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  3. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Subtrate: Carib Sea Ocean Direct Live Sand "Aquascaping"

    I have had much success in the past with Deep Sand Beds so if it ain't broke don't fix it! I decided to line the bottom of the aquarium with 160 lbs of Carib Sea Ocean Direct Live Sand. This would give me an average of a 3 inch sandbed within the aquarium.


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    Photograph - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 40 lbs. bag of Carib Sea Direct Ocean Live Sand.

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    Photograph - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - My 120 gallon All Glass Aquarium with 160 lbs of Crain Sea Direct Ocean Live Sand making a 3 inch substrate.
  4. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Equipment: EcoTech Marine Vortech Battery Backup (Insurance for Your Reef)

    I wanted to be able to protect my investment on this aquarium setup since it will be with me for quite some time. One of my major concerns is being able to supply power to my aquarium in the event of a power outtage. Being that I'm from New York City the Summer months make me worry. So I turned to the folks at EcoTech Marine and Icecap Inc. to be the trusted guards of my aquarium. I purchased the EcoTech Marine Vortech Battery Backup System which can power a single EcoTech Marine Vortech Pump for up to 36 hours and can accomodate 2 seperate pumps. This system can switch from the main power to backup battery instantly. According to the nice folks at Icecap Inc. since the launch of the EcoTech Marine Vortech Battery Backup System they have not had one request to replace the battery for its end of life. Also if a replacement was necessary it would cost around the range of $75.00 to $85.00. so far I'm please with the system and I'm sure I can go to sleep better now to.


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    Photograph - Tuesday, December 03, 2008 - EcoTech Marine Backup Battery System mounted underneath my 120 gallon aquarium.
  5. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Do It Myself (Wife Helping) Project: Reinforcing a Iron Stand

    I recently purchase Guitar Hero Would Tour for my wife and it rocks, we rock, the little frag rocks and the aquarium rocks! Wait the aquarium rocks!?! Holy S#!t!! I then sat in front of my aquarium noticing that it rocked from Left to Right very slightly while a single EcoTech Vortech Pump in Wave Mode and then front to back when my wife started jumping while rocking to Ozzie's Crazy Train in Guitar Hero World Tour. Not the type of thing you want to see when their currently over 1,000 lbs. resting on it. Now I don't care if my landlord gets wet since he charges me too much rent already but I was concerned that my little boy, wife and little Yorkie Puppy. And so a plan is born!


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    Photograph - Tuesday, November 03, 2008 - 120 gallon Iron Aquarium Stand.

    I figured that this iron stand is constructed using L shaped iron beams yet the structure have some flaws. Their are no cross beams to resist flexing and rocking of the stand and all the weight is distributed to 4 L shaped feet. So my idea is to take advantage of the L shaped Iron Beams as guides so that I can use 2x4's to add a sturdy structure around the iron. Think if it as a metal skeleton surrounded by wood. Then I can use the wood to secure sides and even doors to create a better stand. So off to Home Depot I go.


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    Photograph - Tuesday, November 03, 2008 -Ryobi 10 inch Blade Saw (sorry I didn't have room in my apartment for the Dewalt).

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    Photograph - Tuesday, November 03, 2008 - 2x4's from Home Depot.

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    Photograph - Tuesday, November 03, 2008 - Me cutting the wood with the new lazer guided Ryobi Circular Saw.

    To Be Continued...
  6. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Livestock: Powder Blue Tang "Acanthurus Leucosternon" & Achilles Tang "Acanthurus Achilles" (Best Buddies for Life)

    Maximum Length: 9.1 in.
    Care Level: Expert Only!
    Family: Acanthuridae
    Reef Compatibility: Good
    Minimum Aquarium Size: 120 gallons
    Range: Indian Ocean
    Diet: Herbivore- herbivore preparations, macro algae
    Water Conditions: 74-80° F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

    Well as everyone knows I'm addicted to Tangs. However, with a nano aquarium I was never able to keep one. Well know with this 120 gallon All Glass Reef Aquarium build I wanted to keep both. According to reading the best chance of acclimating two or more tangs together would be to introduce them to the aquarium at the same time. Well the odds of finding both a Power Blue Tang and an Achilles Tang in one store in New York City would be... well lets just say I could catch a taxi quicker then getting these two fish at one store and the same size but I found them. So I bought them home and acclimated them over a period of 4 hours each in seperate containers. Then they were introduced and immediately is was battle royal! The scuffle lasted about 15 minutes and now there playing nice.


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    Photograph - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - My Powder Blue Tang "Acanthurus Leucosternon" drip acclimating over a period of 4 hours.

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    Photograph - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - My Powder Blue
    Tang "Acanthurus Leucosternon" swimming alone.


    Maximum Length: 9.4 in.
    Care Level: Expert Only!
    Family: Acanthuridae
    Reef Compatibility: Excellent
    Minimum Aquarium Size: 120 gallons
    Range: Hawaii
    Diet: Herbivore- herbivore preparations, macro algae
    Water Conditions: 74-80 F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4


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    Photograph - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - My Achilles Tang "Acanthurus Achilles" drip acclimating over a period of 4 hours.

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    Photograph - Sunday, December 07, 2008 - My "Acanthurus Leucosternon" & Achilles Tang "Acanthurus Achilles" swimming nicely after a 15 minute scuffle from being intoduced together. Now there playing nicely.
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  7. ermano

    ermano Zoanthid

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    nice progress!! I like it:)
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  9. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Reply to Ermano.

    Ermano, thank you for the compliments. It's nice to have you tagging along on this thread.
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  10. ZachB

    ZachB Giant Squid

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    Nice start so far! What's being used for filtration, skimmer, etc? I like choice of tangs, very pretty.
  11. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Reply to ZachB.

    ZachB, I am actually very far along the process, I'm posting more so you will see the filtration and other things. However, I'm using a Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer with a 100 Micron Filter Sock.
  12. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Equipment: Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer (Damn Good Bang for Your Buck)

    As most of you know I have a love affair with Deltec and other High End name brands within the aquarium hobby. Well I have been in the market for a new Protein Skimmer for this aquarium and all that could think of was Bubble King or Deltec. But I remembered seeing an a review for the Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer on ReefBuilders.com and decided to give it a try. What is the worst that could happen? I could have positive evidence to convince my wife that this Protein Skimmer blow more then just bubbles and that I have to purchase a Bubble King. So I made a trip to my local Fish Store and picked it up.

    Setup was extremely easy since the majority of the unit comes assembled with the exception for the Recirculation Pump, Air Line Tubing, and Feed Pump (not included). You have an option for the feed pump you can have a powerhead connected or you can tee off from your return pump. I personally choose to connect a powerhead to the feed input (I am using a Maxi-Jet 1200). The feed line states that it must be between 300 gph to 400 gph in order to get optimum results. I played with the skimmer for 2 days making minor adustments to the air intake as well as the control of the water outlet which adjust the height of the Foam. The Neck washing system is a real plus but it doesn't have a squeegee like the $1,000.00 Deltec a Bubble king counterparts. So placing the Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer in an accessible area is a must since the neck washing system is manually controlled and should be done daily.

    My overall opinion of the Protein Skimmer is that it is large and give you the most bang for you buck. The foam and Micro bubbles are amazing and as you can see in just 4 days it's pulling out some nasty stuff. I say Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe FTW (For The Win)!


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    Photograph - Friday, December 12, 2008 - Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer.

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    Photograph - Friday, December 12, 2008 - I'm a big guy so you can see Santa came early and left me a big gift.

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    Photograph - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 4 days running and look at all the nasty stuff it removed.
  13. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Equipment: Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer (Videos of the Action)

    As promised I took some time out of my crazy schedule to take some videos of the Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer in action. I also took a second video to display the Neck Washing system in operation, Unfortunately the skimmate has gotton to think in the Foam View Window to really show how the Neck Washing system normally performs. It's great at removing small clumps of think skimmate. I also zoomed in to show you the size of the bubbles being produced and I am quite impressed... you may be as well.



    Movie - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer in normal operation.


    Movie - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - Red Sea C-Skim 1200 Deluxe Protein Skimmer in neck washing operation.
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  15. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Do It Myself (Wife Helping) Project: Reinforcing a Iron Stand Continued...

    I finally managed to get my wife and son out of the apartment for a while in order to rev up the saw and start to cut the some of the peices of wood for the reinforcement of the iron stand. However, I ran out of materials again and need to make another run to home depot. Here are photographs of the project so far. I haven't completed it and already their is a dramatic increase in the rigidness of the iron stand, there is almost no movement.


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    Photographs - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - Wooden skeleton to reinforce the iron stand.

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    Photographs - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - L Brackets holding the wood together.
  16. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Aquascaping: Marco Rocks (Recreacting a Natural Reef)

    I looked at my aquarium recently and my wife said that I really needed some more rock. So with permission from the misses I began to do some searching for rocks online, within the local reef clubs and on Craigslist. Well lucky for me I stumbled upon an ad within Craigslist from an individual who was just starting a setup but decided to get out of the hobby in anticipation of his new child. So for an amazing deal of $175.00 I found myself in the possession of 200 lbs of some of the most beautiful pieces of Marco Rocks that I have ever seen.

    The rocks were delivered on Saturday, December 27, 2008 and layed out for the the aquascaping project in my living room. Now I recently lost both the Powder Blue Tang and the Achilles Tang to a massive outbreak of saltwater ich so their is no worry to the animals within the aquarium with the exception of my Ultra Grade Maxima Clam which has been exposed to this type of cycling in my previous setup. I know what many would say but I just don't have the infrastructure in place to house him in a seperate aquarium. With guidance from the Mrs. the project began within a simple idea of how the layout would be. I hope everyone enjoys. Please excuse the massive algea outbreak which will be dealt with shortly.


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    Photograph - Sunday, December 28, 2008 - Marco Rock aquascaping within my 120 gallon All Glass Reef Aquarium.
  17. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Chemical: D&D H2Ocean Salt Mix (Starting Up the Reef With The Best)

    Well they are definitely a few things that I forgot to post about in order since the aquarium has been setup. I normally get wrapped up in various projects so I wanted to get a few things out of the way. I wanted to startup my aquarium with the very best salt possible. So I contacted Marvin at D&D The Aquarium Solution and had him send me a large bucket of the D&D H2Ocean Salt Mix which the majority is made of evaporated sea salt from the Red Sea and additives such as Calcium and Magnesium. The salt mix has had some great reviews from other reef aquarists, so naturally I thought I would give it a try.


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    Photograph - Thursday, January 01, 2009 - D&D H2Ocean Salt Mix.

    For the current time I now conduct water changes on a schedule of every two weeks changing approximately 15 gallons of saltwater. The mixture is mixed one day in advance as well as aerated and heated for 24 hours. After the water change has been completed I wait another 24 hours before testing my aquarium water parameters. Below are the most recent test results.


    Water Parameter Test Results for Monday December 29, 2008

    Salinity Grade: 10.25 SG
    Average Water Temperature: 79.3 degrees Fahreneheit
    Alkalinity (CaCO3): 144 PPM / 8.06 dKH
    Calcium (CA): 474.72 PPM
    Magnesium (Mg): 915 PPM (Raised to 1335 PPM after dosing with Kent Tech M additive.)
    pH (Lights On): 8.13
    Phosphate (PO4): 0.05 PPM
    Ammonia (NH3/4): Undetectdable
    Nitrite (NO2): Undetectable
    Nitrate (NO3): 2.0 PPM
  18. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Plumbing: CPR CS90 Overflow Box (Some What Safe at Removing Water)

    I originally opted out of purchasing an aquarium with built in overflows mainly since my original design did not include a sump in order to keep the overall weight of the aquarium to a minimum. However, as this project sprials into something else I am now making the best of things and had to resort to using an overflow box to transfer water from the aquarium to the sump. I could have drilled but that would require me breaking down this aqarium and that was simply not a task that I wanted to undertake again. So I have had great luck with standard U-Tube Overflow in the past but wanted to make sure that I choose the best equipment that would work with my design. So I turned to the nice folks at CPR and purchased a CPR CS 90 Overflow Box to solve my problem.


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    Photographs - Friday, December 12, 2008 - CPR CS90 Continuous Siphon Overflow Box.

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    Photographs - Friday, December 12, 2008 - CPR CS90 Continuous Siphon Overflow Box Bulkhead being sealed with All Glass Aquarium Safe Silicon for extra protection against leaks.

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    Photographs - Friday, December 12, 2008 - Flexible tubing being connected using PVC Cement for a secure connection to the CPR CS90 Continuous Siphon Overflow Box.

    The CPR CS90 Overflow box had some nifty features which made it stand out above the rest. The box itself is constructed to be 1 entire piece where as most overflow boxes come in two parts that are usually held together with nylon screws as well as sporting individual U-Tubes giving a combing total of 4 individual pieces on average. The CPR CS90 Overflow Box is constructed to one single piece and also includes a vent hole for easy siphone starting and continued siphoning of air via a Tom's Aqualifter Pump.

    Now this device has it benefits but definitely has some downfalls as well. The siphon hole that is integrated into the CPR CS90 Overflow Box needs maintenance as much as any other piece of equipment in this hobby. It can become clogged with detritus or algea since the tubing is clear and reduce the flow or even break the siphon since bubbles cannot be extracted via the Tom's Aqualift Pump. I generally am anal about maintaining my equipment so I solved this problem by purchasing 3 seperated Tom's Aqualifter Pumps, two of which I use in a weekly rotation while one pump is strictly a backup pump should one of the pumps fail so that I can maintain the rotation. When the pump is removed for the weekly maintenance I clear the lines by running the pump in a Vinigar/Freshwater solution for 1 day. The pump is then dried off and placed in storage until the next rotation. I have also resolved the problem of the clear tubing building up with algae by replacing the tubing with Black RO/DI tubing which inhibits the light from feeding algae within the tube.
  19. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Plumbing: Custom Acrylic Sump 22"w x 16"d x 16"h (Custom King)

    Normally my original plans did not include a sump but as the project progressed I really saw a need to add a sump. So I contacted one of the members of a local reef club "Manhattan Reefs" and asked if he could construct an Acrylic Sump. The sump was constructed with Euro Bracing, four seperate areas (Protein Skimmer, Filter Sock, Refugium and Return Pump) with bubble baffles. It measures 22 Inches width x 16 Inches depth x 16 Inches height and made with 1/8 Inch thick Acrylic. It currently holds 24.4 gallons of water and is currently filled with 15 gallons of saltwater.


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    Photograph - Friday, December 12, 2008 - My Custom Acrylic Sump made by Custom King of Manhattan Reefs forum.

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    Photograph - Friday, January 02, 2009 - My Custom Acrylic sump installed underneath my aquarium.
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  21. Jasonanatal

    Jasonanatal Flamingo Tongue

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    Jasonanatal's 120 Gallon "Natural Simplicity" Reef Aquarium Update.

    Aquarium Issue: Algae Bloom Within My Aquarium (Pretty Intense)

    Well not everything that I post can about my aquarium can be good news and this is most likely the start of a series of post as my aquarium goes through the process of becoming mature. I must admit that I am a very heavy feeder for the fish that I house in my aquarium, which is most likely the source of my algae problem. However, the aquarium currently has no fish and I have not been feeding anything and this algae is wiped down in the morning and returns once I get home from work in the evening. Below are the most recent water parameter testing results. I know that the phosphates are present and that in combination with an 8 hour photo-period could be enough to keep my problem occuring. What do you think?


    Water Parameter Test Results for Monday December 29, 2008

    Salinity Grade: 1.025 SG
    Average Water Temperature: 79.3 degrees Fahreneheit
    Alkalinity (CaCO3): 144 PPM / 8.06 dKH
    Calcium (CA): 474.72 PPM
    Magnesium (Mg): 915 PPM (Raised to 1335 PPM after dosing with Kent Tech M additive.)
    pH (Lights On): 8.13
    Phosphate (PO4): 0.05 PPM
    Ammonia (NH3/4): Undetectdable
    Nitrite (NO2): Undetectable
    Nitrate (NO3): 2.0 PPM


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    Photograph - January 02, 2009 - Algae Bloom in my aquarium.
  22. stepho

    stepho Panda Puffer

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    I like your aquascaping. Looks cool!
  23. rogerstammy

    rogerstammy Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Very nice!!!
  24. Bigjoeybx

    Bigjoeybx Astrea Snail

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    damn thats a crazy algea bloom great setup niuce rocks. I'm on a 55 gal. Will wait till economyngets better before I upgrade. Theres a pretty good fish store on e 38th New World Aquarium If yo havent been there trust me you wll fall in love with that store. Bronx Here also