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Monday, January 7, 2008

If I didn't have bad luck...

I wouldn't have any at all.  It has been a tough week for me and my tank.  Everyone always said that it is easier to maintain a bigger tank.  But, so far, this system has given me many more headaches than my little BioCube.

Last week I reported on the death of the baby half moon angel and my other Christmas present form my wife, a majestic angel, was getting severely harassed by the yellow tang.  The yellow tang was in the tank when I bought it used, so my plan was to get rid of it and keep the majestic.  But, alas, I got home from work on Friday and the majestic had died. 

The only thing I ever lost in the BioCube was a couple of red mushrooms and a peppermint shrimp disappeared.  So far my death toll in this tank consists of a baby half moon angel, a majestic angel and my elegance coral.

Add to that the hair algae problem I have been having.  It was overgrowing everything in the tank.  So, Saturday, my wife and I spent an hour removing hair algae by hand from all of the rock.  I would say we got about half of it because so many pieces were unreachable or too small to pull out.  (Yes, I said my wife helped.  She really enjoyed it too.  It was good bonding and the first time she has done anything with any of the fish tanks!)

I also have another problem that I hope to rectify this weekend.  As you can see from my previous posts, I had a single drain line and a single return.  I was not getting the flow I wanted through the sump and fuge, but was content because my Vortechs were providing enough flow in the main tank.  Well, I finally realized that the flow through the sump and fuge is NOT enough.  I had a guy who used to build tanks for a living come over on New Year's Eve to take a look.  Essentially, the way I have designed the plumbing, I have created multiple throttle points. 

In order to fix this, I am going to have to run another plumbing line.  Here is the plan for Saturday:

  1. Run a 1 inch line of SpaFlex from the tank to the basement.
  2. Disconnect both of the 1 1/2 inch lines that are currently there (1 drain, 1 return)
  3. Reconnect the 1 1/2 inch lines so each one is a dedicated drain for the 2 overflows.  One will run to the sump and one will run to the fuge.
  4. Connect the 1 inch line to the return pump and then tee it into the 2 returns.

At the same time, the recommendation is to drain the overflows and replace the bulkheads.  The bulkheads are currently barbed and thought I hated that, I didn't want to mess with them.  We are going to bite the bullet and replace them this weekend. 

When I am done, I will be able to run a LOT of flow through the system.  The pump is rated at 1750gph and I have it throttled back to less than 10%.  Opening it up will also help to keep the pump from overheating and burning out.

So, that is the plan for now.  I will post an update with new pictures when I am finished.

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