DIY Led hybrid

After seeing Nanobox reef T5 hybrids at Reef Builders web site I decided that will try to upgrade my DIY led which includes two Nanobox reef V3 led arrays. After figuring out my options I decided to order Arcadia T5 ULTRA SEAL LAMP CONTROLLER from my favourite aquarium web shop. Also ordered arcadia reflectors and two T5 24W tubes (ATI Actinic and Osram 67).

I did temporary fix for the light fixture and it came out about good. I need bigger frame to fit T5 tubes inside the lamp but this will work meanwhile. With reflectors I can limit the amount of light hitting out of the aquarium.

After running this few weeks it seems that coral coloration is getting better and the overall look is nicer. I do not how this work in the long run but it will be seen in the future.

Tank update

Lots of things has happened with my nano tank in last 3 months. New corals and fishes are arrived. Some new equipments etc. Here is brief update what is happening.

I installed more flow in the tank using Jebao Cross flow CP-25 (which is a knock off from Maxspect gyre) (I ordered one from Fish Street ). I also moved my rw4 stream pumps to other side and start using synchronous mode. Cross flow pump works as advertised. It is little bit louder than RW4 and it adds nice flow in the tank. I need to test it more, but it seems the flow is more gentle than ones coming from normal stream pump. Now the pump is installed horizontally but maybe in the future I put it in vertical position. I also run the pump with W3 mode and 3 dot speed (30% or something like that).

PH has been a problem to measure with test kit(s) (I have tried many, but not satisfied with the results). I bought American Marine Pinpoint Ph meter and it has been online about 3 months or so. The Ph in the tank runs between 7.85-8.1 during the day. I can see direct effect when rooms CO2 levels rise (e.g. working whole day in the room vs being away from home). No complains about the meter here :).

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Pinpoint Ph monitor

I also add new corals and two fishes in the tank. Here is almost completed list of inhabitants currently roaming my little pool.

Corals:

  • Acanthastrea Bowerbanki
  • Acanthastrea echinata
  • Acropora sp
  • Acropora Coral blue Acropora sp
  • Acropora echinata
  • Acropora millepora
  • Assorted Zoas
  • Acropora yongei
  • Montipora digitata (blue?)
  • Caulastrea furcata
  • Echinophyllia aspera
  • Duncanopsammia axifuga
  • Echnipora sp. celtic frost
  • Ricordea florida
  • Acanthastrea lordhowensis
  • Montastrea sp.
  • Montipora confusa
  • Sinularia sp.
  • Pocillopora
  • Montipora samarensis
  • Sarcophyton sp.
  • aulastrea curvata
  • Turbinaria sp.
  • Stylophora pistillata
Fishes:
CUC:
  • 4 Hermit craps
  • 4 different snail and few hitchhikers.

I now use Dupla Marin Premium Reef salt and I like the salt. I started using Fauna Marin color elements along with the new salt. Corals are getting better coloration but I think my tank has also matured a little bit more. I use biopellets with basic reactor and Seachem Seagel with innovative marine minimax reactor as well. I have Medium size minimax reactor which seems to be little bit too small for amount of seagel I’m using. I use additional bag with purigen inside the sump.

I also run problem with algae. My algae gallery has now species like: Cyano, bubble algae, brown hair algae type, green hairy algae and diatoms etc. My CUC cant keep with the algae growth at the moment so additional members is arriving later on this month. I also try to keep my tank clean as possible and start dosing Corallen zucht CyanoClean which seem to help with the cyano problem. My current water parameters are:

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I use hobby grade test kits from Seachem, Hanna Checkers (calcium, alkalinity, phosphorus (ulr)) and Red Sea Color test kit. I already received one Triton icp-eos test kit which I will use soon as possible to see what my values really are.

I also installed two t5 bulbs to my led array but more on that later. So far no disasters and corals are started to grow so my tank might look like a reef someday.

 

 

 

 

Few soft corals

Got few soft corals from my friend few days ago. Species is still unknown to me but they look fantastic in my friends tank. I put them into Fluval edge and everything seems to be happy for now. Still in the testing phase of the new camera (sony a6000) (ok. its great). I have been testing third party lenses with adapters (Canon ef -adapter and M42 adapter for old pentax lenses. I have bought M42 asahi 135mm super takumar lens which quality is outstanding (with limitations). Also Canon EF-lenses are very good with this combination. Yongnuo smart adapter works but autofocus is unusable and the quality of the build (very loose EF-side mount (duct tape helps)) is not very good. Aperture control works fine in manual mode (which is enough for me).

But here are some images (Handheld: canon ef 100mm macro, yongnuo smart adapter, Sony Alpha 6000). (If you know the species please let me know)

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New camera

After a while (6 years or so) I decided finally to buy “home” camera. Photographs in this blog are shot with cameras borrowed from my workplace (ok. some of the photos were snapped with “home ixus”). So after reading reviews and playing with Samsung and Olympus CSC cameras I decided to buy Sony A6000. I must say I’m really impressed. The IQ is just right on the money and overall build quality and functionalities are very good.

I have only few lenses at the moment (Sony 50mm 1.8 oss and Sigma 19mm f2.8) but when the EF and M42 adapters come I can start exploring other lenses as well. I tried today some Canon lenses (L-series) with Metabones speed buster but the autofocus did not work very well. But here is few quick samples which I shot today with Sony lenses.

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On the reef tank side I have few problems with SPS corals turning brown. I have pumped up the light little bit to see if it helps. I have also problem with brown algae (new tank). Some reason the magnesium is on lower side but calcium and alkalinity are somewhat in ok range. Balling liquids are little bit tricky to set correctly because low amount of corals in this tank at the moment.

Here is the link for tank profile in Aquatic log (water measurements and other data)

 

Olympys E-M1 sample images

Today I had a change to test Olympus E-M1 mirrorless DSLR camera coupled with 12-40mm f2.8 pro lens. I must say I’m impressed with build quality and the image quality camera produces. After a few minutes of getting stuck it was quite fun to take pictures with the Olympus E-M1. The camera had also a “underwater” white balance which seems to reproduce coral color quite truthfully under my diy led light.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Direct raw to jpeg conversion

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Minor Lightroom adjustments

The lens manual focus ring had also very nice feel when using the manual mode. I shoot some images with tripod (iso 200) and handheld with various ISOs. The EVF was first a quite a shock (first time I used one) but after a while it seems better than non electric ones. Tilted live view touchscreen lcd is very helpful when using manual focusing. These things are certainly options I’m looking for a new camera. But here is more detailed review of the camera (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1).

Here is few more images with not so accurate colors (messed with lightroom) :).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Echnopora sp

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Echinopora sp.

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Acanthestrea (hippie flavour)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Echinopora Celtic frist

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Caulastrea curvata

 

How do you use your old and forgotten cameras?

Today I had old Sigma 50mm f2.8 EX macro lens for testing. First images was shot with old Canon 350D. 50mm macro is little bit too short (I have to move corals for better position) for finer details.

But here is few sample images I shot today of corals added in to tank last weekend.

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Acan coral. Unknown variety

Other shots are made with Canon 5D (original version) with same object as above.

Shots with Canon 5D mk1 (12 mega pixels) with Sigma F2.8 EX 50mm macro:

All images shot without tripod. Lightning was aquarium DIY light under “evening” mode/phase.  5D image is crispier but old 350D images are quite good too. But in comparison here is one shot with Nikon d810 36megapixel  and 100mm macro… The mexa pixel count helps a lot too :).

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Non cropped image: Unknown hitchhiker (friendly one)

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And the crop of previous image. Fine details are showing quite nicely.

So what do you think about using old cameras versus new and modern mega pixel monsters?