It's been a rough few weeks, with a few ups, and a few downs.. more or less up though. But there have been some developments....
I purchased most of the remaining equipment needed for the tank all at once. I honestly don't even remember everything that was in this order. It was big. But I've been slowly working through installing all of it.
First order of business, was tops for the tank. Because no fish were in there yet, I hadn't bothered to make tops for the tank to keep them safe. I already had some kits on order from BRS, so ideally it was only going to be about 2 days without tops for the little Anthias swarm. Turns out that was 1 day too long for one of them. One of them got adventurous on the morning the kit arrived. Damn. Either way, I quickly got to work building some screens, and got them on the tank ASAP.
Next order of business, was the Tunze Safety Connector. This tank is big, and valuable, and I'm really not interested in losing the whole thing due to a brownout or something stupid. But I want to be really safe, so I went big.
Step 1, Optima marine battery.
The problem I have now is, the pump on that side of the tank has been acting up. I have an original version of the Tunze 6255 on the tank. Well, I have 2. The one on the side of the tank that will be getting a battery, well that one seems to be having issues with it's speed controller. It runs at 100%, or off, nothing else. And randomly, if you turn it on and off, it won't turn on, and takes a few cycles to get going again.
This is no good for the powerhead that will keep everything alive in a power outage. I even tested it with the connector, and about 50% of the time it would just shut off when power was removed. No good.
So I decide, well, lets go get a Tunze Stream 3. Those things look great. Not as awesome in power as the 6255, but pretty good, and it will do the job. Nope.
Tunze shows up, I read the manual, and there is one little gotcha. The new streams, when set to external control (like 0-10v apex) will shut down completely when the external control is off. This means in a power outage, the tunze will just shut off. Argh.
So I decide to goof around with the old 6255. It doesn't have the big fancy box with buttons that the new one does. It's got this tiny little brainless box with a single knob and some connectors. Turns out, it runs just fine when power is pulled AND 10v is pulled. Only problem is, the working one is on the other side of the tank.
So both 6255's have to come out, the right one gets swapped to the left side, the new Stream 3 goes into the right side. OK, all wired up, seems to work, I'll call this good.
I still have the problem of insufficient flow in the tank though. A pair of Tunze's does not an 800g tank make. I've dug and dug and tried to find a way to put an apex controllable powerhead onto 1 1/8" thick acrylic, and nothing exists for that problem. The WAV claims 1", but that's just shy of working.
So I buy a WAV, and a giant magnet. I mean giant. Some 4" diameter 1" thick n52 monstrosity off Amazon, that ships with a dozen warning labels. They both show up, and I try the combo out on some big chunks of thick acrylic that I've shimmed to the right thickness. The magnet grabs the pump, and then pushes it sideways. Argh.. why?
So what I incorrectly assumed was, aquarium pump magnets were north south through the thickness of the mount. Instead, the mount contains 2 magnets, one north, one south. If you try to rotate the magnet, the pump rotates with it. The giant honking magnet is a single pole, so it grabs one side really strong, and repels the other side. I guess I need to do something else entirely.
I go to KJ Magnetics, and get a pair of rubber coated 2" x 1" x 1/2" magnets. About $34 each. With much difficulty, I manage to orient them north/south like the WAV, and test. It works!
The WAV however, isn't super happy. The magnets are kind of at a bad angle, and the WAV whines about POSERR every now and then. It's a stable hold, but it's probably shaking a bit..
Enter the 3d printer:
OK. Now What I did here was take the original back magnet from the WAV, and measure the centers of the magnets. Then, I positioned the big ones so the centers lined up. I printed this super thick, with tons of infill, so the magnets wouldn't tear it apart. Does it work?
Why yes, it does! I've since printed another one, and ordered another WAV for the other side! Here is the Tunze in it's new home as well:
(The deep yellow color is from the sun being out, and the solar tubes doing their job. It's not that yellow in real life, but the camera does funny things.
What you might also notice in that photo, is the foxfaced rabbit. He made it out of QT just fine, and has joined the Anthias in the main tank. The Anthias, thankfully, are doing ok. There are about 23 of the original 26 left, which is roughly what I expected, but it's hard to count, because they don't sit still. A male is also beginning to emerge, so it's exciting in there. They are all eating well, and looking pretty healthy. There are a few scrawny little ones that I'm a bit worried about, but they all eat, and there hasn't been any bullying.
Speaking of water flow, the surge bucket made me completely insane this week. It just stopped working. No obvious reason, it just stopped firing. Every now and then, it would goof up, and I would have to reset it. No big deal, shut the feed pump off for 1 minute, let the bucket drain, turn it back on, it fired normally. This would happen maybe once a week. But suddenly, it stopped working entirely. I messed about with it over and over for a week. Nothing I would do would fix it. I had literally no idea what was wrong.
So I took the main tube inside it apart. The zip tie that holds the little RO tube to the side of this was loose. So I tightened it up, hard. Then I put it back in, and started fiddling...
Turns out... that zip tie loosened up, and the tube moved downwards. This caused the pressure equilibrium to come off it's center, and make the whole thing fail. A few test fires, with me moving the tube up and down a bit, and suddenly my week long nightmare was over. Thank goodness. My Anthias need their autofeeder!
However, in the meantime, I figured out some code, to sorta bodge the problem. I needed to auto-reset the surge whenever it failed. This way the fish get fed, even if I'm not home to fix it!
This is what I came up with:
If LeakR1 CLOSED Then OFF
If SOVERF OPEN Then OFF
If Output Surge_B_Time = ON Then OFF
Min Time 004:00 Then OFF
If Surge CLOSED Then ONSurge_B_Time:
Defer 045:00 Then ON
If Output Cor_Acc_V = OFF Then OFF
Min Time 005:10 Then OFF
Set OFFThe "Surge" device is a limit switch at the top of the bucket. When the bucket fills, right before it hits the apex, the limit switch is activated. This code, more or less, watches that switch. If the switch doesn't fire for 45 minutes, it assumes the surge is broken, and turns on Surge_Break. Once that is set, it sets a 5 minute timer, and turns off the feed pump. This resets the whole system, and fires off the surge again. It actually works pretty good!
If Output Surge_Break = ON Then ON
If Output Surge_Break = OFF Then OFF
Min Time 005:00 Then ON
I also got a pH probe for my kalk reactor. While I was in there, I decided what I wanted was some code that would run the stirrer in the reactor, for about 20 minutes, immediately following the kalk dose. That way the newly added RO water would mix in nicely.
If Output Kalk = OFF Then OFF
If Output Kalk = ON Then ON
Min Time 045:00 Then ON
OSC 000:00/008:00/352:00 Then ON
Fallback OFFPerfect! Now the kalk strirrer turns on for about 30 minutes immediately after the kalk is dosed. The best part of this is, I don't have to maintain the programming for both. If I adjust the OSC statement in the Kalk outlet, it just magically works! Woo!
If Output KalkTimer = ON Then ON
If Output Kalk = ON Then OFF
In other minor news, I upgraded my DI system to a dual reactor, just so I don't have to swap the media out as often:
And I got some new life!!
Barely visible. A hermit crab, and 2 emerald crabs. Also, more trochus snails.
And in the QT tanks:
A royal gramma, and 2 purple firefish. (Look healthy, hope they do well...)
Well, it's been a long and difficult day, so I trudge off to bed, after feeding all the fish..