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Featured My 300ltr Triton Mixed Reef

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks (31-100gal)' started by jordlr, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    At the beginning of August last year i placed an order with and paid in full a custom tank maker in doncaster. The tank was to be a 100x50x60cm optiwhite tank with sump and gloss black cabinet.... After a lot of chasing around and me asking questions it finally turned up a week before christmas.

    The wait had been worth it (but not forgotten) as the tank is gorgeous. No one that has seen it in the flesh has said any different, even those that screwed their faces up at my previous corner tank. So now thats all to be done is make the inside look as nice as the outside :)

    Ive always liked the movement and colour of softies and LPS but have also admired the structures of SPS so my aim with this tank was to try and have a mixed reef. One thing that consistantly let down my old tank was lack of stability. Id have to do manual Ro top -ups, i never dosed anything and just relied on water changes to keep the perameters in check and with me frequently going away with work and the wife having to take on the maintenance duties, struggling with the water change, the tank always started to slip downhill. Id get home, bring it back to a good standard and then get sent away again and things would slide again. The tank suffered everything life could throw at it from massive GHA and cyno blooms that killed corals on a regular basis. Big temp and salinity swings when equipment would stop whilst i was away not to mention a whitespot outbreak. Ive dealt with it all, so this tank had to be as maintenance friendly as possible.

    This is where i learnt about triton. It sounded to good to be true. A dosing system that did away with water changes sounded good to me and more to the wife. I did a lot of reading up on it, all the arguements and skeptics, the pro's and potential con's but it just kept making sense to me, so that is what the system was based around.

    Systems detials:

    Tank: 100x50x60cm Optiwhite on 3 sides, black rear, with oceanlife overflows.
    Sump: 70x40x40 3 chamber set up
    Equipment: Jabeo DC6000 return pump, Vertex Omega 150 skimmer, GHL 3 channel independant doser, Vortech MP40wes and MP10wes, Reef float pro auto top up, Eheim heater on an ATC300 controller, TMC 1000HD tile sump light for the algae bed, Next reef shorty media reactor.
    Lights: 2 D&D twin 39w razor T5's and an Acardia twin 39w ballast running 1 actinic tube.

    The choice of lighting was determined by the fact the tank has a hood. This was the wifes stipulation as she didnt want the top of the tank and the lights on show. I relented and so tank has acrylic covers and the hood is only 3 sided, completely open at the rear with 2 80mm pc fans on 24/7 to push air around the hood and keep it ventilated. I intially stayed away from leds due to being enclosed and the proximity to the water but having run a temp sensor in the hood for the last month or so, it rarely gets above 30degrees with all 5 tubes on and there is never any condensation in there so i think any led unit i put in there would be adequately ventilated. Now its just the money thats stops me.

    So i guess i best post some pictures :)

    This is the tank when it first arrived and the sump once all equipment was installed:
     

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  2. chippypah

    chippypah Registered

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    Looking very nice there, very neat as well.
     
  3. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Stock wise, i transfered over 2 B&W clowns, a yellow clown goby, a hermit crab and some snails along with the mushroom rock and a rainbow trachy. I have now added a coral beauty with an odd luminous orange stripe down one side, a blue eye bristle tooth tang, an orange spot flymo blenny and hopefully tomorrow a wrasse or 2..... Unfortunately about 3 weeks ago one of my clowns jumped out the corner of the tank so now im down to one :(

    Coral wise i was very fortunate to be the winner of a £500 livestock voucher from cockfields so the tank is now full of frags too :)

    Coral stock i currently have: 4 acropora frags, 5 acan frags, a fox coral, rainbow trachy, green blasto, purple blasto, torch, candy cane, fungia, lobophylia, large leather, 3 zoa colonies, blue mushies, and some ricordias
     

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  4. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Thanks :)

    Took me about 4 hours to do the sump, running the wires, using cable tie mounts to keep it all neat, marking up all the plugs etc. I even recycled the hood from my trigon and made a curved floating self for the GHL doser to sit on.

    I'll post a current FTS when the lights come on later.

     
  5. tyger

    tyger Registered

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    Love the tank and subscribed to your thread. I'm fascinated with the triton method so will follow with interest, funny enough I have been researching triton this morning. so the more updates especially on the triton set the better.
     
  6. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Thanks

    I cant complain about it so far. Ive been dosing it for 6 weeks now and so far no complaints. The water is crystal clear and all the corals seem very happy. My Alk has remained at a constant 8.4 throughout with salinity remaining stable too. I dont remove any water, i just let the skimmer do its thing and if salinity starts to rise i just skim a little wetter. At the moment im only dosing 30ml a day. I started off on this but my alk was rising so i lowered it to 24ml a few weeks ago but over the weekend ive had to raise it back to 30.

    TBH other than an Alk test every few days, cleaning the glass once or twice a week and topping up the ATU tub i dont have to do anything. One thing with dosing such small amounts at the moment is calibrating the doser. You are meant to dose equal amounts of each solution but over a coupke of weeks or so you can see one of the containers slightly creep ahead or drop behind the others so i have to adjust again. Ive run the ghl manually for 5 mins to get a good level to program it but 1ml out still makes a difference over time.

    You are also meant to leave the algae bed to die off so it releases aminos and nutrients back into the water for the rest of the algae and corals to use but mine is growing so quick i may have to crop it soon. You can see how little i added at the start in one of ther pics above. Well now the whole chamber is full and its starting to grow out of the rocks in the chamber too. It acts as a mini fuge aswell. You should see the amount of life crawling around in the aglae chamber... :)

     
  7. tyger

    tyger Registered

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    Have you worked out the cost so far...
     
  8. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Of running triton? Well the solutions are £45 so if i carry on dosing at 30ml a day they will last me 11months. A £50 bucket of salt doing 10% water changes every fortnight would last 10 months. So at the moment im no worse off money wise but am benefitting from having stable perams and my elements being replenished daily ala balling. I dont expect it to stay that low because hopefully the corals will grow, but as it wont be an SPS dominated tank, i dont anticipate getting to some of the levels other users are. A 1000ltr SPS dominated full tank will use 200-300ml a day on average going on other users reports but as mine is a third of the size and a mixed reef im anticipating 75-100ml a day max, meaning the solutions will still last 3 months minimum. Its more than water changes and some argue more than balling lite/classic too but for ease of maintenance and peace of mind its a price im willing to pay. The solutions are far easier to mix than FM or redsea balling salts for a start so thats one burden i dont have to deal with, not to mention not mixing up new salt water for changes and constantly testing alk, cal and mag and trying to keep them in balance. I just dont have the time or inclination for that. An extra few pounds a month for me to spend time watching the tank instead of tinkering with it is worth its weight in gold...
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  9. jamesfirth1

    jamesfirth1 Registered

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    Interesting setup, another one I will be watching. I'm sure as soon as the sps get growing the levels will balance out a bit better.
    Great pictures by the way.
     
  10. Marc86

    Marc86 Registered

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    You have a really nice tank post some pics of it with the livestock showing full perspective, very interested in your method...watching with interest
     
  11. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    A quick FTS. One with all lights on an one just the actinic.
     

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  12. tyger

    tyger Registered

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    I like the rock with the blue mushrooms on.
     
  13. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Cheers,

    I was thinking of adding some different coloured ones to it but keep changing my mind.....
     
  14. markalex

    markalex Registered

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    good to see your finding triton hassle free,hows it work out cost wise?
     
  15. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Not to bad for me at the moment. Ive only used just over 1.5ltrs out of the 10ltrs of diluted solutions so far in 2 and a half months so at this rate the £45 3 bottle concentrate would last 14 months!!!

    Growth has been slow on my corals though due to high phospahate and low iodine along with some metal poisoning which i found out a couple of weeks back with an ICP lab test. Not to sure where the metals were coming from but i found my reactor pump cable had split insulation and whilst the metal wasnt exposed to the eye this dosnt mean water didnt find its way into contact with it further inside. Ive since done a couple of water changes to dilute the metals (the first ones since setting the tank up in Jan), changed the reactor pump, started adding iodine, and changed my phos media from phosguard to AL99. My phosphates as a result have come tumbling down and everything in the tank is looking plumper and happier.

    I must admit i do keep forgetting to update this thread so i'll have a read back and try to bring it more upto date :)
     
  16. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Right so time to do a proper update.

    About a month ago i was getting very mixed responses from my corals and i couldnt put my finger on why. For example, 3 out of my 4 acro frags (the 3 i got from cockfields) were slowly bleaching and stripping from the tips, whilst the 4th (from jasons) was actually growing and starting to colour up. Also the fungia plate and fox coral were also stripping and yet my trachy, blastos and acans were all very happy and growing. I also had some zoas melt whilst my other zoas continued to flourish. All very weird and i put it down to the individual corals rather than an issue in the tank. However i decided to go ahead and get an ICP test done as i hadnt tested for anything since setting up the tank other than Alk and salinity.

    The results are below. As mentioned in the post above, i generally had high levels of some metals, no iodine and high phos/po4. Nearly all the elements that are out except phos and perhaps iodine couldnt be tested for by the hobbiest so it makes you wonder how many people have excess/deficiencies that we dont know about that could be effecting the tank.....

    The phos/po4 was detected at 0.071/0.2. Thanks to the wonderful AL99 it is now down to 0.008/0.024 :) (On an Elos high res kit anyway, i didnt test prior to the AL99 as i didnt have the kit)

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So hopefully things are getting back on track now after the actions carried out in the post above. I have 2 more water changes to carry out to dilute down the metals and then back to normal hopefully. I'll send off another test in a months time to see how things compare.

    On another note, i added 2 more fish. A pair of bipartus leopard wrasse,

    [​IMG]

    Things arnt plain sailing with these either. The male was converted to the tank lights within 2 days and is now eating everything i put in the tank. The female hid for 8 days solid, then when she did come out the male bullied her and she ended up hiding again. We are now at a stalemate where the female will appear at sunrise. The acintics come on at 1300 which is when the male gets up. They will swim around quite happily together until the main lights come on at 1330 and then he will give her the odd chase until she hides about 30 mins later until the following dawn. TYhe male will then swim around on his own until lights out. Also she is a finiky eater, only eating mysis, so i end up feeding the tank a little just before lights on, when i normally wouldnt want to, just to keep her alive. Dont really know how to solve this situation to be honest. I thought about adding another female to give her a rest and then hopefully she would stay out longer and eventually adapt.

    My yellow clown goby has also taken a liking to my acans now too :( He never touched anything until i introduced the sps frags. He then started to occasionaly rub and peck these. Since 3 of them have gone he has now taken a liking to one of my acans, rubbing that and pecking at the feeding tenticles. I didnt want to get rid of it as my son bought it for me on fathers day a few years ago but im not having this little bugger killing my corals so he is now on probation. If they start to show signs of permanent damage, thats it!!!!

    Think thats me up to date now, i'll post a new FTS later
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  17. tyger

    tyger Registered

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    Great update.
     
  18. jordlr

    jordlr Registered

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    Yet again, its been a while since my last update :(

    A couple of things have happened since my last update.

    My pair of bipartis leopard wrasse are no more. I added a red checkerboard wrasse to try any bring some peace and it did actually work, with both leopard wrasse out and swimming together again. Unfortunately 2 days later the male wrasse jumped out a gap smaller than he was and was found dry and crispy the next day. Then a week later the female buried herself and never came out again, so obviously the lack of eating over the previous few months had taken its toll and my actions were too late.

    I had to eventually get rid of my clown goby as he was upsetting the corals too much. And then my lone clown fish also jumped :(

    On top of the fish issues, working away through the week meant that I haven't kept track of my RO filter output. I changed the TDS meter batteries last weekend and recalibrated it only to find it was putting out 27ppm!! That would explain the bits of algae sprouting up everywhere,the cyno and why my phosphate media was exhausting so quickly.... Doh!

    Other than that, triton continues to be maintenance free and simple to use and now the issues above have been ironed out hopefully thing will improve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  19. markalex

    markalex Registered

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    damn shame about the wrasses,glad the triton working out.
     
  20. Moormax

    Moormax Registered

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    Nice tank mate sorry to hear about up your losses. Oh and great camera skills have you been practising?
     
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