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Billdemart's Inhuman Creation Station (20 High)


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#1
Billdemart

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So glad to be back here and back into this hobby. It has absolutely obsessed my time. I've probably read a thousand threads since I've been back trying to get the hang of things.

7 years away and now it (kind of) feels like I never left. I had a 10 gallon nano that ended up cracking and I had to give away everything I had before it died.

Well I just bought a 20 gallon high w/ stand off of CL and I am very happy.

I've ordered a new bulb for my Coralife Quad 96w 50/50 hood and a new light for my Aquafuge2 Refugium.
I've ordered a Koralia 1 Pump and a Rio 400 (for the aquafuge)
I've ordered 25 pounds of Premium Cured LR from AquariumArts.com

Tomorrow I'm going to the LFS to get Salt, Test Kits, a heater, and some RO/DI water.

I'm looking into the RKL too but still don't have a good enough grasp on exactly what it does and what I need with it.

Here are the pictures of the tank that I just brought home tonight with my dirty AF2 on the back. Gonna clean them both out tomorrow.

What I would love to have in this tank in some combination:

Fish/Shrimp/CUC

Shrimp (either cleaner or Pistol or both, the pistol to pair with some kind of Goby)
Goby
Percula Clown
6 Line Wrasse
Don't have any preference for the CUC

Corals

I'm very open to corals and need to do more research but I like:

Corals that wave in the water, the ones that look like grass. (Not sure what these are called, I think GSP)
Frogspawns
Bubble
Brain
Plate
Green Star Polyps
Toadstool Leather
Florida Ricordia


One thing I'm questioning what to do at this point is with the background.

1) I don't want to be able to see the Fuge through the back
2) I don't want light leaking from the fuge at night back through the tank.

I'm thinking of either taping a dark colored photopaper to the back or paying someone to cut a dark acrylic and gluing it on the back. I'm not really sure what to do.

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Edited by Billdemart, 27 October 2010 - 03:12 PM.


#2
Max3

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Welcome back! As far as the back of the tank, just paint it black. All you have to do is tape off all the places where you dont want any paint (just to make sure). It's really easy, and assuming the tank is glass, if you don't like it you can always take it off with a razor blade.

#3
LogansRunRx

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Welcome back! As far as the back of the tank, just paint it black. All you have to do is tape off all the places where you dont want any paint (just to make sure). It's really easy, and assuming the tank is glass, if you don't like it you can always take it off with a razor blade.

+1
Krylon Fusion paint is designed to stick to smooth surfaces (specifically plastic... but seems to work pretty well on glass too)

#4
spllbnd2

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Here are some photos of what I did to help keep the fuge light from bothering us at night. Also I painted the back of the tank with Krylon Fusion for plastic followed by a few coats of Plastidip spray paint.

Cheers,
Alex

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Forgot to mention that the special light cover I made does help in keeping the fuge light from spilling into the display tank at night.

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#5
Arkayology

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Nice DIY light cover. Is that a aquafuge with a built in skimmer or did you add that yourself? Looks like you are going to have a nice setup.

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#6
cruzH20polo

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Nice DIY light cover. Is that a aquafuge with a built in skimmer or did you add that yourself? Looks like you are going to have a nice setup.


+1
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Cruz's Cube dried up

#7
LogansRunRx

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Strong work!
;)

#8
Billdemart

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Thanks for all the hints guys. Nice work spllbnd. That looks great!

#9
Billdemart

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Spllbnd what is that you have on the back of your AquaFuge? Is it a black fiber board or something?

Should I just paint the fuge as well to cover the top part?

#10
Billdemart

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Ah spray paint is a bigger pain in the @ss than it looks. Hope it turns out alright. Probably didn't help that it was windy as hell outside. And freezing.

Got pretty much everything else I needed today.

Just waiting on all my mail orders to come in.

#11
Billdemart

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New bulbs/lights are supposed to be here today or tomorrow. Getting antsy now.
New pumps supposed to be here around the same time.

Then LR I think Wednesday.

I'm leak testing right now, now that the paint is good and dry. Just took the old bulb out of the Coralife hood, it's definitely seen better days.

Once I'm done leak testing I'm going to go ahead and mix some water and heat it up and put the live sand in so hopefully it's settled by the time I get the LR.

I am not sure how much water to put in though with the displacement of 20 lbs of LS and 25 lbs of LR and the 23.8 gallons the tank will hold of water (including the HOB AF2).

Guess I'll do some more searches ;)

#12
Weetabix7

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You're having fun with this, aren't you? :lol: ;)

#13
Billdemart

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Absolutely. It continually amazes me how obsessed I get with this stuff. I certainly have the fever now. I keep checking the tracking on all of my shipments over and over again.

The tank didn't lose a drop so I'm good there. Here we go!

Boring pics of the tank with no life to follow.....

#14
Billdemart

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Water in
Heater in
Thermometer in
Salt in

I should have pre-mixed the salt. Not having any powerheads yet is a pain in the ass. Can't move water through the tank and in and out of the fuge. Freshwater sitting in the fuge, not getting heated. Can't add the LS yet.

I should probably think through the simple things more before I do them.

SG is around 1.022 atm. Water is freezing. Will mess around more with it in a bit. Hoping SOMETHING arrives today or tomorrow morning in the mail before my freaking LR gets here.

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#15
spllbnd2

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Spllbnd what is that you have on the back of your AquaFuge? Is it a black fiber board or something?

Should I just paint the fuge as well to cover the top part?



Thanks for the compliments. I actually used the Krylon Fusion for plastic paint on the Aquafuge PS.

Cheers,
Alex


Nice DIY light cover. Is that a aquafuge with a built in skimmer or did you add that yourself? Looks like you are going to have a nice setup.



Thank you, Yes this is the Aquafuge model that incorporates a skimmer into it. I sometimes turn the skimmer down or completely off at night so that some of the critters in the fuge can eat up those excess proteins. Also I am running it with a mesh modded MJ1200.

Cheers,
Alex

#16
Markushka

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Very nice start, i'll be tagging along. And you can always siphon water out to compensate for displacement.

#17
Billdemart

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Ok updates....

I got the Salinity up to 1.025 but the temp has been giving me lots of problems. I have a 100W heater that I set at 78 degrees but my thermometer (cheap ass glass in tank thermo) wouldn't read above 70.

So I cranked the heater higher and got the thermo to read 76 but wanted it higher. So I turned the heater all the way up and it's slowly starting to rise but I have it set at it's highest number.

(Edit: Think I figured out what I did wrong. I had the dang Heater plugged in as soon as I dropped it in the water. Don't know what I was thinking. Needed a half hour to sit before you are supposed to plug it in. I'm letting it readjust right now).

My Live Rock arrived this morning. It looks pretty good. I was expecting something different based on the pictures and the price and the way it was overnight shipped but I guess it wouldn't come out completely covered in beautiful corraline through shipping.

It looks very similar to the rock I got from TBS 7 years ago. It was packed very well. Here are some pics:

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I moved the rock around then added most of the live sand. Ugh. Tried the PVC pipe and funnel method but the funnel just kept getting clogged with the wet sand. My pipe was too long and I couldn't find the pipe cutter so my wife had to help me.

Eventually I just started pouring it into the tank with a cup and now my LR looks like snow capped mountains. It's a freaking mess.....

Since my lights and powerheads are taking forever to get here I'm running up to the LFS to get another heater and a powerhead to get the water moving in this tank. I need them anyway for mixing.

My office is a complete mess haha. I forgot how much work this hobby is. It will all be worth it though.

#18
Weetabix7

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Rock looks decent to me.
Did you get it from Premium Aquatics?

Here's a tank thread for a good 20H tank to emulate:
http://www.nano-reef...?...t=0&start=0

#19
Billdemart

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No I got it from Aquarium Arts

Just went to the LFS and it's closed until 4PM. Ugh. Came home, thermometer still says 75-76 and the heater is off (Set at 81). I don't get it.

That tank does look very nice.

#20
Billdemart

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Pulled the Fuge dumped the fresh water in a bucket, mixed it and now I need to heat it and buy a pump (since I can't wait till tomorrow) at the LFS. My lights are on the FEDEX truck right now so I should have better pics tonight.

#21
Billdemart

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Went back to the LFS got a digital thermometer but it read the exact same temp as the cheap little glass one.. So for whatever reason my heater just isn't working right. Got a 50W of the same kind and have been warming up salt water for the fuge and it seems to be doing fine. I waited for 30 mins though with it in the water.

My bulbs came today and I ran into a huge problem. My light BARELY fits across the top of the tank. So I can either hang it or get new lights which I'm not really budgeted to do.

So I don't know what to do. If I leave the hood on there as is I'm afraid one small bump on the floor and thing could plunge right into the tank.

On a good note, noticed lots of small life almost immediately after turning the lights on. Unfortunately It's still very hazy in there and my camera sucks so it won't pick them up but saw several different kinds of small snails and some little swimming creatures that I had no idea what they were. Was very cool!

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#22
Billdemart

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Finally got my temp up. Lights helped with that I guess. Stuck the other heater in the tank too.

Sitting at 1.025 and 80.2 degrees.

Looking good right now. I just have to figure out what to do about the lights now. Starting to see some more life now too. Small little worm like creatures moving around. Going to take water readings tomorrow when I get home from work.

It was a lot of work today but now I'm feeling better about it.

#23
Billdemart

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Temp held steady overnight at 80.1! I was worried about that.

Now should I try and buy a T5 light fixture... Man I'm so over budget.

#24
Markushka

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Hang the light, or get a glass tank lid and sit the light on that. it'll help with evap too.

#25
Billdemart

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Hang the light, or get a glass tank lid and sit the light on that. it'll help with evap too.


I thought of hanging it but too big of a pain... The glass idea is great.. But where to get one? Just go to home depot or something?

There is a ton of junk in the water. I just got the powerheads running (rio 400 and Koralia 1) and there is stuff everywhere. Since I'm using no type of mechanical filtration, is it going to stay this dirty/cloudy for a while?