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Frag Tank Hiatt Style

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    Posted: July 20 2009 at 9:35pm

I have started 2 tanks now using the Hiatt System of filtration. My corals are now growing and I am ready to try my hand at fragging and propagating corals. The Hiatt System has generated a lot of criticism because it claims a 0 or 1 day cycle, doesn't depend on live rock or sand (although they are a plus) and claims to aerobically convert ammonia, nitrites and nitrates into free nitrogen. It also claims to be able to biologically remove phosphates from the water column and does not require a protein skimmer. I am not a biologist so I don't know how it does it I only know it seems to work. If you want to know more visit http://www.majesticreefs.com.

So back to my latest project. The Frag Tank.
 
Objectives
1. Test the Hiatt System on a larger tank, (at least bigger than my 2 nano's). I hope to find out if this system can handle larger tanks and larger bio-loads.
2. Create a self contained frag system. No outside sump or filters. All filtration will be done inside the tank.
3. Dual use tank, The frags will be put on egg-crate trays in the top 12" of water and I will be curring Vida-Rock, LBTR and other types of live rock substitutes in the lower portion of the tank. I may also introduce fish to the lower portion of the tank.
4. Entire project should cost less than $500.00 total.
 
For this project I picked up a used 55G tank and am building a filter system into the side of the tank that will hold the Tri-Base Carbon, PH Rock and provide circulation. I should be finished installing the filter tomorrow and will post some pics then. I have ordered the lighting and my cost to date is $180.00.
 
I'll keep posting pics and progress as I go.
 
 
Burt

An equal opportunity reefer,
I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Mike Savage View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2009 at 11:16pm
Interesting. Keep us posted.
 
Mike


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Progress Report
 
The filter is nearly done so I thought I would post some pics and get your thoughts.
 
I am not a Hiatt purist so my design incorporates the Hiatt system and some more traditional ideas as well. I believe that having multiple biological filters will serve me well should there be a problem with one system. So I under-size the Hiatt system and stock the tank a little more slowly to allow all systems to get up to speed. I can still add a few fish and corals on startup but then will slowly increase the bio-load to see what this system can handle.
 
In this picture you can see the filter is divided into 3 sections. The first will contain the Tri-Base Carbon and some filter pads. The second chamber will house the PH Rock, and finally the last chamber is for the heater and return pumps.
 
This is a front shot of the tank. The 2 power heads will feed 2 spray bars for circulation. The top spray-bar is mainly to circulate water in the frag section of the  tank at the top. I am going to see how this works but if I need more control I may modify the spray-bar with the addition of valves to regulate the flow across the tank. The bottom spray-bar is drilled with holes facing straight out and 45 degrees up and down for random currents.
 
Let me know what you think of this design.
 
 
 
Burt

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2009 at 3:11pm
Very interesting, Burt
 
I'm tagging along Wink
- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kay181 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2009 at 10:30pm
 thats a nice divider i'm in. i want to know how your pluming works out i want to try something kind of like that  on a tank i'm building can't wait for more
day light scares me im going back under
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2009 at 5:37pm
It's been a while but the tank is almost finished. Unfortunately my lights will not be in for another 3 weeks or so. Here are some pics of the tank as of today.
 
This pic shows the multiple level shelves for frags. I can slide the shelves back and forth on the rails and adjust them up or down as needed. There is plenty room on the bottom for curring Vida Rock or LBTR but if I have a very large piece I can move the frag trays as needed to accommodate the rock.
 
This image shows the Maxi Jet 1200 power heads that power the filter. According to the Hiatt system you want 10x Flow for best results. I may add another power head for circulation in the bottom section of the tank.
 
This pic shows the 3 filter chambers. Chamber 1 will have Filter pads and Tri Base Carbon for the Right Now Bacteria. Chamber 2 contains the PH Adjustment rock. Chamber 3 is for the return pumps. The Hiatt system does not require a skimmer.
 
I first became interested in the Hiatt system when doing research for my first tank. This will be my RD setup with the Hiatt system. I have a 20G, 28G JBJ Nano and now this 55G Frag tank.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Fine tuning the filters today. I filled the center chamber with 20 lbs of PH adjustment rock then filled the tank with fresh water. The filter kept up fine while the tank was full but when I dropped the water level a little the filter couldn't keep up with the return pumps. I removed the teeth from the overflow to allow more water into the filter box which did help some. Next I lowered the baffle from the center chamber to the return chamber and that improved things a lot. After testing the filter at various water levels and playing with restriction to the intake to simulate a dirty mechanical foam filter I am now satisfied that the filter system will work properly.
 
While playing with the plumbing I decided to put a Tee and a couple ball valves on the top return line. This will make water changes easier as I can divert water straight from the filter box. I am planning on bringing the tank into the basement tomorrow and setting it up. Wish I had the lights but they won't be in for about 3 weeks.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2009 at 12:43am
Looks good Burt can't wait to see it up and running! 
Let me know if you need help getting it filled up with some corals! :)
Chad.
What?! You pooped in the refrigerator, and ate the entire wheel of cheese?! I'm not even mad.... That's actually amazing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2009 at 10:36am
Thanks Chad,
I will be looking for some nice pieces for parent colonies.
Burt

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burtfessler@gmail.com
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The Frag Tank is up and running. I set it up this afternoon and put in some LBTR, Vida Rock, and a some sand from my existing tanks. Unfortunately I will have to wait a couple weeks for the lighting to come in before I can stock it with frags.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Looks Great man!

Edited by Chad - August 18 2009 at 9:05pm
What?! You pooped in the refrigerator, and ate the entire wheel of cheese?! I'm not even mad.... That's actually amazing!
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Well I couldn't stand looking at the bare tank and this is supposed to be another test of the Hiatt systems 24 hour cycle so I went ahead and added the Right Now Bacteria and moved the 24" T5HO fixture from my 20G to light half the tank. The water tested good so I added a few corals, Pom Pom Xenia, Kenya Tree, Acans, Green Star Polyps and some Green polyps. I also added a few pieces of Macro Algae, (Red Titan and Money Plant).
 
My 20G is looking kind of bare now but I am getting ready to give it to my brother to get him started in the hobby.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Learned a lesson about adding corals too soon. While the Hiatt system will cycle the tank almost immediately it does not create the nutrients found in an established tank. This is fine for fish as they don't rely on the micro-plankton and other goodies growing in the water as the corals do. After a few days the corals were not looking their best so I put them back in my display. The Macro Algae and Clean Up Crew are doing fine however. Fortunately the corals perked right back up upon returning to the display I'll give the tank a little more time to mature before placing corals back in the tank.
 
Still waiting for my light fixtureUnhappy. I may go pick up some fish this weekend just to have something moving in the tank. Maybe a small yellow tang or something to graze on the algae.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 4:09am
This is a joke right? I need to set up a scam website like that one.
 
"PH rock" ROFL
"Right Now Bacteria" FROFL!!!
 
Here is more from the website:
 
"Based on our current understanding of the science behind aquarium keeping, to have an aquarium fully cycled in just 24 hours is like science fiction. Will boys and girls, this is not science fiction anymore is now science fact.

First of all, the official name of this new science is called

"Hiatt's 24 Hour Totally Aerobic Nitrogen Cycle".

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Scam check number 1: Text written by 3rd grader: Check!
 
 "Fortunately the corals perked right back up upon returning to the display" ROFL!!!!!!
 


Edited by Fishbot - August 18 2009 at 4:22am
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Case study:


We recently have to deal with a customer that setup a brand new 100 gallon saltwater fish only tank that use the Hiatt Filtration system. The tank was setup correctly completed with the Red Torpedo filter to hold the Tri-Base carbon. The tank was cycle in 24 hours and two fish was added the same day and four more the next day. The customer choose to put the pH rock at the bottom of the tank as part of his gravel. Every thing was fine until 4 more fish was added the next day. Within 3 hours of adding the 4 new fish, the water begin to cloud and fish show sign of stress and dying. Within an hour after the cloudy began, all the fish were dead! A full water test was conducted and everything check out fine, no ammonia, no nitrate except one thing, the pH has fallen to from 8.0 to 7.4 in matter of 3 hours.


After a careful investigation to the cause of the problem, it was determent the customer did not have the full amount of pH rock that is required for his tank. He has put in about half what is required, the pH never went above 8.0 and when more fish were added, the bacteria when in to overdrive, release huge amount of acid and because there wasn't enough pH rock in the system to buffer, the pH drop so fast the fish simply could not cope with the stress and die.


After all the dead fish were remove, the very next day the water is crystal clear again and the pH have rise back up to 8.0. The customer added two small fish this time waited and watch the pH closely for 24 hours, the water remain crystal clear and the pH is holding at 8.0. Since then he has added required amount of pH rock to his tank and the pH is now stable at 8.6 even with 20 fish in the tank.


I hope everyone that read this understand the importance of using pH rock to buffer your pH, it is simple, inexpensive, safe and labor free way to buffer your pH and Calcium 24/7. If you choose not to use the pH rock or does not have the full require amount for your tank, please make sure you watch your pH closely and have other pH buffer product on hand. Do not add too many fish to fast, remember the more fish you add, the more bacteria you'll have. The more bacteria you have more acid will be release by the bacteria, like all living things, bacteria need to eat, and when they eat they poop just like you and me. There will be billions of the bacteria in your filter and it does add up.

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Within an hour after the cloudy began, all the fish were dead! 
 
ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "After the cloudy began" LOL!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 4:37am
Ok now that I am done being amused.... I find it really sad that no one spoke up about this. I mean how many animals have needlessly died due to this scam? 
 
"4. Entire project should cost less than $500.00 total." Chad? Mike? Glad your not my battle buddies geesh


Edited by Fishbot - August 18 2009 at 4:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 4:53am
This blatant BS is pissing me off. The more I look at this site the more disgusted I become. check out this paragraph:
 

"Experts" urge patience in this hobby, the fact is, most of us has little or no patience. Let's face it, very few people has the patience and are willing to see a empty tank with nothing but rocks for a month or more. If this new aquarium is for a kid, how many parents can hold their kid off for a month on a empty tank? The answer is zero! Not a single parents are able to do that. So most of us are rushing in to setting up the new aquarium, add a bunch fish before the aquarium is properly cycled. Hey, you are happy, look, I got fish! But very soon disaster strikes, you lost most or all of your fish (you don't really know why) What do you do then, you go out and buy some more fish to kill! This will go on for 5 to 6 month, finally you get tired of all those dead or dying fish, spend a lots money with nothing to show for. You then decided is time to quit this hobby. Do you know most newbie will quit this hobby in 6 month after they first started?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 5:01am
This is also great:
 
*Before we begin lets get something clear, we have seen comments from many different Internet Aquarium/Reef Forum on this web site and information presented here. Many people on those forum had posted comments bashing this web site, the science and the product as a joke, junk science, snake oil etc. which we ignore.


If you are reading this for the first time understand this: people who post hateful comments about us and our product are "Afraid" of us. They are afraid because they know the science is accrued and the product works, they don't want you to know the truth.


Most of our customers are on their last leg when they found us, we were their last chance to save their aquarium and keep them in this hobby. If you find yourself on the verge of possible tank crash, the only thing to save you from losing most or all of your live stock is the Hiatt System. Our product produce results in days not weeks, or month. Switch to the Hiatt Filtration System is the best decision you can possibly made for your aquatic friends. Our advice is: Don't believe everything you read from the Internet Reef Forum, 90% of the misinformation and bad advices are coming from those online forums, do you own research on the subject in question and keep an open mind when you go through the information presented on this web site.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:02am
Hi Fishbot.
 
I don't know what your particular beef is with the Hiatt System but I have started 4 tanks with it, My latest a 10 Gallon and it does in fact work. My display tank a 28 Gallon Nano was started in March and I added the Clown Fish and Green Cromis the same day as I set it up. I used no live rock, no live sand and no other bacteria other than the Right Now Bacteria and other products required by the Hiatt System. I didn't ask anyone else to follow my example simply reported what I did.
 
You can criticize, and rant and rave all you want but the fact is it does work. I have placed my coral back in the frag tank and added a scooter blenny and all are doing great now. I am leaving on a business trip this morning but will post some pictures of the tank when I return.
Burt

An equal opportunity reefer,
I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
burtfessler@gmail.com
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