Kirk's 350-ish build

Cigmin

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There’s a place Ralph’s electronic in LAFAYETTE. When I have these issues they always had what I needed



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BluewaterLa

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I've never seen much of any attempt to seal LED fixtures from any brand Nor use any stainless hardware that could stand up to saltwater longer.
When I rebuilt my Maxspect lights they did have some silicone sealing the ends for the driver and PCB boards so I went farther and sealed them better.
Most other brands I've messed with were just open everywhere to moisture and salt, sad that the cost does not reflect what should be.
 

Kirk_M

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There’s a place Ralph’s electronic in LAFAYETTE. When I have these issues they always had what I needed



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Wish I had someplace like this near me in the Mandeville/Covington/Slidell area... I do so many electronics repairs and builds, that a place like that would be a godsend to me.
 

Kirk_M

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I've never seen much of any attempt to seal LED fixtures from any brand Nor use any stainless hardware that could stand up to saltwater longer.
When I rebuilt my Maxspect lights they did have some silicone sealing the ends for the driver and PCB boards so I went farther and sealed them better.
Most other brands I've messed with were just open everywhere to moisture and salt, sad that the cost does not reflect what should be.

So very true. And it's not just LED fixtures that are guilty of this. I've seen many a T5 or CF fixture with corroded endcaps and rusted ballasts due lack of moisture control. I mean, how hard is it to incorporate a $2 o-ring into the design of the injection molded plastic housing for a $1000 Radion? I opened up a small Current USA fixture last week to clean it, and, was surprised to see that they at least bothered to encase the LED carrier PCB in epoxy, making it water proof (though the solder connections were just covered in silicone). The down side, of course, to that is if an LED burns out, you can't repair it without carefully removing the epoxy above it somehow.
 

Cigmin

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Wish I had someplace like this near me in the Mandeville/Covington/Slidell area... I do so many electronics repairs and builds, that a place like that would be a godsend to me.

If the have it I can get it and mail to you or drop off I go to Slidell to visit the parents often


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Kirk_M

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I miss Radio Shack, some folks think I'm odd for this though they carried a good supply of electrical components in store. Gone are those days I suppose.

Same here. Even though they were overpriced on most of those components, the convenience of being able to go there and pick up what you needed that day versus shipping from Mouser or Digikey was worth it. Their selection wasn't as good as it was back in the day, as their business model switched towards being a mobile phone store, but, they at least still had some stuff.
 

Stoned

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Have ever tried a filefish? If your worried about it eating corals, I would set up your old 120 for those corals and let the file fish go to town. I'm sure you have enough unused equipment laying around.
 

Kirk_M

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Have ever tried a filefish? If your worried about it eating corals, I would set up your old 120 for those corals and let the file fish go to town. I'm sure you have enough unused equipment laying around.

Yep, I had one of those in the 90 gallon garage tank I had at my old house. Ate the aiptasia, then proceeded to eat all of my rock anemones and LPS before I could catch him.

Nope, not setting up another tank...my days of multiple tanks are long over. Too much maintenance. Not to mention, I'd never put another tank in my garage. Between having had that huge frag system in my old garage, as well as the 90 gallon later, every single one of my tools was rusted. In my new garage, I do plenty of electronics repairs and I am not going to risk having salt spray destroy some very expensive soldering / reflow stations.
 

Kirk_M

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Reefbrite sold me a new driver for $10. I'll solder it in once it arrives.

The part arrived yesterday, so I soldered it in and reassembled the XHO fixture after doing some much needed cleanup. End result, 100% working XHO fixture again :).


My tank is now getting to the point that I am needing to dose quite a bit of two part (three part with Magnesium) solution. The problem with long term heavy dosing to keep up with demand is that salinity eventually rises. So, I went into the storage shed and pulled out my GEO 818 reactor to clean it up and test for leaks. Everything seemed to work, so, I need to pick up another 20 lb CO2 cylinder and hook up my Carbon Doser regulator to it.

I also picked up some new test kits today, since the ones I had on hand were at least 2 years old, and I wasn't totally trusting the results they were giving me. I was also missing reagents for a couple of them that I must have misplaced during my move. I got Aquaforest kits -- Calcium, Alk, low range phosphate, low range nitrate, and a Giesmann Magnesium kit (they were sold out of the aquaforest Mag kits). They were all VERY nicely made and simple to use. On a side note, my 2 year old kits (the Lamotte alkalinity kit and the Salifert calcium kit) are obviously still good, because their results correspond very closely to results the new kits gave me.

I was a little low on Magnesium, at 1150, so I bumped that up to 1400 with dry mag chloride and mag sulfate. My alk is right where I want it, at 11 dKH, but calcium was a little low at 350. I adjusted my calcium dosing pump to raise that gradually to around 410-420 over the next few days.

My nitrates are a little high at 5-10 ppm, and the phosphates were high too, as the color result was beyond the maximum value the kit would register. I'll have to find a way to lower that down a bit, but don't want to mess with GFO any more, I hate that stuff and how it stains everything rust color. Even with the high phosphates, everything looks great.
 
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clsanchez77

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I've seen many a T5 or CF fixture with corroded endcaps and rusted ballasts due lack of moisture control.

Reminds me of the canopy fires hobbyists used to have back in the day. Seems like we just discussed this last week or so.
 

Kirk_M

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I've kept reef tanks going on 20 years now. Those who know me well enough will know I've never had a problem getting corals to grow. But one thing that I've never had grow for me is coralline algae. I'd get some buildup on the glass, but, even with true live rock I bought back in the day, I never had any of that deep purple algae growth on the rocks. I don't know what it is about this tank, but, almost all my rock in this tank, all of it starting off as completely dead, is covered with shades of purple. In both areas of high light and low light, it is growing (especially in high light areas, it is a deep garnet-like color -- beautiful).
Since I've never really had it growing much, I never had noticed its interactions with nearby corals, namely SPS corals. I have noticed that the corals destroy it as they grow, changing it from that deep purple to a hot pink / fluorescent red that occurs right along the coral's growth edge as it encrusts and extending about 1-2 mm beyond the growth edge into the algae. It is as if the coral is digesting it the same way they try to digest each other when two rival corals come into contact. There is a film of mucus-like material that occurs right along the growth edge of the coral where it touches the coralline algae. Pretty cool that this is the first time I've ever noticed it after 2 decades of reef-keeping.
 

clsanchez77

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Im great at growing coralline on the glass :D. At least I know I have the right parameters.

I’ve been reading up on trophic levels and natural “coralicides” (not sure what they are actually called) put off by many algae. Since Ive always used natural algae approaches to nutrient in my tanks and perhaps this is why Ive always struggled with SPS but have had success with LPS and gorgonias.
 

Kirk_M

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Added this chalice frag today... the OG Purple Urkel. The picture doesn't show it really well, but, the coral has a really beautiful blue growth rim with a purple body and yellow/purple/red eyes.
 

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Kirk_M

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My two part dosing is starting to get out of hand, so, it's time to break out the calcium reactor. I got the cylinder refilled this week, and hooked up my CarbonDoser regulator...to be greeted by loud hissing from the pressure relief valve, which is stuck open. So, I disassembled the regulator and cleaned up and lubricated all the internals with silicone based grease and oil, and, all is good. Next step, put the GEO 818 reactor online, but, only after testing it for leaks since it's been a couple of years since I last ran it. True to form, it leaks at the junction between the PVC union and the lid, which is really a bad design. I've had to replace this lid 3 times, and the same with my GEO 612 I used prior to this. PVC to acrylic maybe isn't the strongest bond, and hence the eventual development of a leak, but, I have several other pieces of equipment with PVC to Acrylic bonds and they've never leaked. GEO always fails me here, so his technique must really not be that good. So, instead of fork over $50+ for another lid, which will fail again, I am going to modify this one.
The body of the reactor receives its flow from the Panworld pump through a Uniseal. Why on earth didn't GEO just use this on the lid too? I plan to do the following:
1. Trephine out the the existing union to acrylic part with a hole saw that is just big enough for a 3/4" ID Uniseal.
2. Insert said Uniseal
3. Redesign and rebuild the plumbing that exits from the lid and then enters the pump's input (I'll have to lengthen some of the pipe and get a new union).
4. Insert this newly fabricated part through the Uniseal on the top and connect the rest to the pump.
5. Send a photo to GEO (if they are still around and owned by George Weber still) and tell them this is how they need to do it! :)

EDIT: I stand corrected. A new lid is $100! GEO can go pound sand.
 

Stoned

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My two part dosing is starting to get out of hand, so, it's time to break out the calcium reactor. I got the cylinder refilled this week, and hooked up my CarbonDoser regulator...to be greeted by loud hissing from the pressure relief valve, which is stuck open. So, I disassembled the regulator and cleaned up and lubricated all the internals with silicone based grease and oil, and, all is good. Next step, put the GEO 818 reactor online, but, only after testing it for leaks since it's been a couple of years since I last ran it. True to form, it leaks at the junction between the PVC union and the lid, which is really a bad design. I've had to replace this lid 3 times, and the same with my GEO 612 I used prior to this. PVC to acrylic maybe isn't the strongest bond, and hence the eventual development of a leak, but, I have several other pieces of equipment with PVC to Acrylic bonds and they've never leaked. GEO always fails me here, so his technique must really not be that good. So, instead of fork over $50+ for another lid, which will fail again, I am going to modify this one.
The body of the reactor receives its flow from the Panworld pump through a Uniseal. Why on earth didn't GEO just use this on the lid too? I plan to do the following:
1. Trephine out the the existing union to acrylic part with a hole saw that is just big enough for a 3/4" ID Uniseal.
2. Insert said Uniseal
3. Redesign and rebuild the plumbing that exits from the lid and then enters the pump's input (I'll have to lengthen some of the pipe and get a new union).
4. Insert this newly fabricated part through the Uniseal on the top and connect the rest to the pump.
5. Send a photo to GEO (if they are still around and owned by George Weber still) and tell them this is how they need to do it! :)

EDIT: I stand corrected. A new lid is $100! GEO can go pound sand.

Keep us posted on this. With pics.
 

Kirk_M

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Another day, another failing piece of old equipment. This time, it’s my Poseidon ozone generator. I’ve used it for quite a few years now and replaced the air pump on it about a year ago when the ozone finally deteriorated the diaphragm on it. That was an easy, cheap fix.

I checked on it today to see if it was working. The pump was working but I couldn’t t smell any ozone from the hose when I disconnected it from the reactor.

I opened it to find the 800mA fuse on the PCB was blown. So I put another one in and it blew in a few seconds. Not good. So I disassembled things to take a better look.

IMG_9291.JPG


I found that the power MOSFET had burn marks around it on the PCB:

IMG_9292.JPG


(Damn that's some dodgy looking soldering! -- I will fix that before I put it back together, since those wires practically touch each other!)


So I desoldered it and ordered a new one, along with some more 800mA fuses and some 250mA slow-blo fuses for the external fuse compartment on the external of ozonizer’s case.

IMG_9294.JPG

IMG_9296.JPG

IMG_9298.JPG




All in all a simple repair, that cost me under $5, versus buying a new one at over $300.
 
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clsanchez77

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Send a photo to GEO (if they are still around and owned by George Weber still) and tell them this is how they need to do it!

He is, I had him recently quote me a price on a new sump. I was looking at his sumps and calcium reactors, but went another direction instead.
 
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