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Aquarium Operations Manual


SuncrestReef
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Have any of you reefers written up a detailed operations manual for your aquarium system? My Reefer XL 425 is relatively new, only running now for five months, so I'm still learning the ropes. But for the past several months of setting up my system, going through the cycling process, testing water parameters, and fine-tuning my Apex programming, I've learned a lot about how the system works and what to watch out for if anything looks like it might be going wrong.

But now that there's life in the aquarium, I've started to wonder what would happen if I needed someone else to take care of the system for me, or (heaven forbid) if something happened to me, how would my wife know what to do to keep things alive and running smoothly? There are just so many components to the system. Even the basics of how to log into Apex Fusion and what all the sensors & outputs are used for seems daunting to explain to someone who wasn't deeply involved in designing and setting it up.

So, I'm starting to think about writing a comprehensive Operations Manual for my aquarium system. Everything from how to turn on the RO/DI system to fill my mixing station tanks, mixing up new salt water, testing water parameters, feeding, cleaning/replacing filters, emptying & cleaning the skimmer, replacing reactor media, maintaining the UV sterilizer, cleaning the refugium, and monitoring and controlling the Apex. There's just so much to document, it seems daunting to think about.

So, have any of you written up such detailed documentation for your family in case of emergency?  Once I have mine completed, I intend to publish it as a template so others can take and modify it for their systems.

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Here's a rough draft of my operations manual topics:

  • 1)   System Overview
    • a)   Display tank
      • i)     Pumps
      • ii)   Lighting
      • iii)  Lid
      • iv)  Corals
      • v)    Fish
      • vi)  Inverts
      • vii)  Rock
      • viii)Sand
    • b)   Cabinet
      • i)     Sump area
      • ii)   Control area
      • iii)  Interior lighting
      • iv)  Door release and hinges
    • c)    Sump
      • i)     Filter chamber
      • ii)   Skimmer chamber
      • iii)  Return chamber
    • d)   Plumbing
      • i)     Return pump
      • ii)   Manifold
      • iii)  Reactors
      • iv)  Valves
      • v)    UV sterilizer
      • vi)  Flow sensors
      • vii)  Refugium
    • e)   Electrical
      • i)     Aquarium dedicated circuit
      • ii)   UPS
      • iii)  Generator
    • f)    APEX
      • ii)   Probes
        • (1)  Temperature
        • (2)  Salinity
        • (3)  pH
        • (4)  ORP
        • (5)  Leak detectors
      • iii)  Modules
        • (1)  EB832
        • (2)  FMM_Leak
        • (3)  FMM_Flow
        • (4)  FMM_ATO
        • (5)  WXM
        • (6)  COR
        • (7)  DOS
        • (8)  PMK
        • (9)  PM2
        • (10)  DOS_AWC
        • (11)  AFS
        • (12)  WAV
        • (13)  Icecap
        • (14)  Breakout box
    • g)  Skimmer
      • (1)  Skimmate locker
      • (2)  Swabbie
    • h)   Mixing Station
      • i)     Conduit between tank & mixing station
        • (1)  Water tubing
        • (2)  Electronics
      • ii)   RO/DI
        • (1)  Water supply valve
        • (2)  Filters
        • (3)  Automatic flush unit
      • iii)  Water storage tanks
        • (1)  RO/DI storage
          • (a)  Float valve
          • (b)  Optical sensors
        • (2)  Saltwater tank
          • (a)  Optical sensor
          • (b)  Heater
          • (c)  Salinity probe
      • iv)  Mixing pump
      • v)    Valves
      • vi)  Automatic water change
    • i)   Accessories
      • i)     Refractometer
      • ii)   Water test kits
    • j)     Vendors & warranty information
      • i)     Red Sea
      • ii)   Neptune Systems
      • iii)  Bulk Reef Supply
      • iv)  Premium Aquatics
  • 2)   Operations
    • a)   Apex monitoring
      • i)     Apex Interface
        • (1)  Fusion
        • (2)  Apex.local
        • (3)  Browser access
        • (4)  Smartphone app
        • (5)  Tablet in cabinet
      • ii)   Inputs
      • iii)  Outputs
      • iv)  Logs
      • v)    Alerts
    • b)   Feeding
      • i)     Feed Mode
      • ii)   Fish
      • iii)  Corals
      • iv)  Automatic feeder
    • c)    Routine Maintenance
      • i)     Water testing
        • (1)  Salinity
        • (2)  Alkalinity
        • (3)  Calcium
        • (4)  Magnesium
        • (5)  Nitrates
        • (6)  Phosphates
        • (7)  ICP testing
        • (8)  Nitrites
        • (9)  Ammonia
        • (10)  Recording test results in Fusion
      • ii)   Water changes
        • (1)  Auto water changes
        • (2)  Manual water changes
      • iii)  Automatic Top Off
        • (1)  Optical sensors
        • (2)  Float valve
      • iv)  Tank cleaning
        • (1)  Flipper glass cleaner
        • (2)  Sand vacuuming
      • v)    Filter cleaning
        • (1)  Filter cups
        • (2)  Pump filter covers
        • (3)  Refugium drain screen
        • (4)  Refugium and reactor drain filter socks
      • vi)  Skimmer maintenance
        • (1)  Emptying skimmate locker
        • (2)  Cleaning skimmer neck
        • (3)  Cleaning skimmer cup
        • (4)  Skimmer cleaning
      • vii)  Mixing new saltwater
        • (1)  Pump operation
        • (2)  Transfer RO/DI water to saltwater tank
        • (3)  Adding salt
        • (4)  Testing salinity
      • viii)Dosing
        • (1)  Mixing soda ash
        • (2)  Mixing calcium chloride
        • (3)  Mixing Magnesium
        • (4)  Monitoring and filling dosing containers 
        • (5)  Adjusting dosing quantities
      • ix)  Reactor maintenance
        • (1)  Replacing reactor media
        • (2)  Adjusting reactor flow
      • x)    UV maintenance
        • (1)  Diverting return flow for UV maintenance
        • (2)  Cleaning UV tube
        • (3)  Replacing UV bulb
      • xi)  Refugium maintenance
        • (1)  Drain cleaning
        • (2)  Refugium cleaning
      • xii)  RO/DI filter replacement
      • xiii)Pump maintenance
        • (1)  Powerheads
        • (2)  Return pump
        • (3)  Refugium pump
        • (4)  ATO pump
        • (5)  Mixing station pump
    • d)   Lighting
      • i)     Lighting schedules
      • ii)   PAR monitoring
  • 3)   Troubleshooting
    • a)   Apex alerts
      • i)     ATO
      • ii)   Leaks
      • iii)  Power
      • iv)  Skimmer
      • v)    Refugium
      • vi)  RO/DI tank
    • b)   Salinity
    • c)    Water level
    • d)   Water temperature
    • e)   Water pH
    • f)    Lights disconnected
    • g)   UPS beeping
    • h)   Flow meters
    • i)     Apex backup/restore
  • 4)   Supplies
    • a)   Salt
    • b)   Dosing additives
    • c)    Fish/coral food
    • d)   Test kit reagents
    • e)   Filters
      • i)     Filter socks
      • ii)   Filter cup fiber
      • iii)  Powerhead protective covers
      • iv)  RO/DI filters
  • 5)   Online resources
    • a)   PNWMAS
    • b)   Reef2Reef
    • c)    Neptune forums
    • d)   Facebook groups
  • 6)   Local resources

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3 minutes ago, R-3 said:

Wow sounds impressive! Im tagging along

Since my table of contents is 5 pages long, I expect the final document to be at least 100 pages long once completed.  This will be good incentive for my wife to resist the urge to poison my food...🤣

Edited by SuncrestReef
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This is a good idea. I just completed the same thing for my wife for when I am out of town.



Here is the complete document....

I. Aquarium.
A. Trouble shooting
1.something doesnt seem right.
B. Don't touch a God [language filter] thing.
C. Call the following people in order:
1. Jorge
2. jeff
3. shark lover chris.





Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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23 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

This is a good idea. I just completed the same thing for my wife for when I am out of town.



Here is the complete document....

I. Aquarium.
A. Trouble shooting
1.something doesnt seem right.
B. Don't touch a God [language filter] thing.
C. Call the following people in order:
1. Jorge
2. jeff
3. shark lover chris.





Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

I see you’ve learned not to put me on the list. 

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  • 2 months later...

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