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Tylernt's Dymax IQ3


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#26
tylernt

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Rigid airline tubing arrived today, yay!

This is the lid of my 1g Wal-Mart cracker jar. Drilled two holes, inserted two chunks of rigid, sealed with silicone:

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Next I needed a way to secure the output so it didn't fall off and spew a gallon of RO on the desk/floor. So I made a little arch or bridge from acrylic scrap and superglued it on. The square is sized just smaller than silicone airline tubing, so it gently pinches it. This will keep it quite secure.

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Next, I bent a piece of rigid by heating it with a lighter. With finesse, there's a fine line between softening and burning! It's also easier if you cut a piece longer than you need, bend in the middle, then cut the excess off one side.

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And here it is installed. The output is still above the waterline, which is important.

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I also made two very handy pico reef tools: a pico-size gravel vac, made from about a foot of rigid and a couple feet of normal tubing; and, an all-purpose tool made from a baby medicine syringe feeder measuring thingie, a little chunk of airline, and section of rigid just long enough to reach the sandbed. This is so handy -- you can use it to suck up unwanted items, blast sand off of LR, take samples of water for testing, and spot feed corals. Dunno how anyone keeps a pico without one! Well I guess a turkey baster works too, but this is a lot more slender and controllable IMHO.

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The downer came when I tested the air pump with my reservoir. I scrapped the idea of building a stand, so now the tank will sit on the desk and the reservoir needs to go on the floor under my desk. The crummy little Wal-Mart air pump can only make 18" of head, tops, which ain't gonna cut it. So I definitely need a more powerful air pump, and will probably need to elevate my reservoir somehow so it's just below the desk and not all the way down on the floor.

Wish I would have just bought a Tom's Aqualifter, like everybody else smart, but I don't wanna wait for shipping now.

#27
tylernt

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Well I think the "build" part is pretty much done. I'm mostly stocked with everything I want and most of the equipment is finalized.

Since my last post, I got a bigger air pump for the ATO: failure. In my efforts to tightly seal the Wal-Mart cracker jar, I stripped the threads. So now I have two useless air pumps and a Tom's Aqualifter on it's way.

I got an inline switch and two "plug switches" from Home Depot. This lets me switch off the ATO and powerheads, respectively, without fighting with plugs (usually with wet hands).
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The stock Dymax pump likes to clog with junk and rattle, in spite of my DIY guard. It's such a pain to remove because I have to remove the 'fuge light, main light, Chaeto, carbon, and shield, then pull the hose through the partition wall. Ugh, let it rattle.

Chaeto seems to be happy with the Dymax Robot LED. It's grown a little bit, don't think I'll need to harvest it weekly but every 2 or 3 weeks. As long as it keeps pH stable at night and sucks up some nitrates, I'm happy.
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I'm still only running my lights about 50%. Which is good, it means nothing will ever be light-starved. Since I don't want to test/dose calcium/mag/alk at the office, I'm just going softies-only at this point. There is plenty of diversity already so I don't feel the need for stonies. The only remaining items I'd like to stock are a small purple feather duster worm and some red zoos.

The sticker covering the back and sides of the tank is filling with salt creep and separating. Dunno what I'm gonna do about that, far too late to remove it and spray paint it black at this stage.

Tank Summary:

Equipment:
Dymax IQ3 acrylic tank
Display about 6"L x 6"W x 8"H
Display approx. 1.5g, 1.75g total volume
Custom Cree LED light in 2" x 1"aluminum channel, 2 RB XR-E and 1 CW XM-L, 1000mA dimmable BuckPuck
Dymax Robot LED hacked as rear chamber 'fuge light
Stock Dymax powerhead relocated to left rear chamber
Mini-Jet 404 in right rear chamber
Penn-Plax Silent-Air B11 automatic battery backup air pump, plumbed through partition wall to hide airline
Finnex HMO digital titanium heater, 50W
Azoo digital heater controller
Wal-Mart indoor/outdoor min/max thermometer, probe sealed with superglue
Twin-float switch, twin-relay DIY ATO in Radio Shack enclosure
Two Little Fishies Nano-Mag
Spritz bottle of RO/DI for cleaning acrylic
Kent hydrometer
API Master Saltwater test kit
DIY airline gravel vac

Approximate cost, $400

Aquascape:
Approx 2.5lb of Live Rock
1/2" of black Petco sand

CUC:
Blue-leg hermit A.K.A. Mr. Lazy
Astrea snail
Cerith snail
Small orange stomatella
Large white hitchhiker stomatella
Large black hitchhiker stomatella (freakin' awesome)
Two tiny hitchhiker asterina stars
Bunch of hitchhiker brittle stars
Bunch of hitchhiker bristle worms
At least one hitchhiker peanut worm (those guys creep me out! Bristleworms never bothered me)

Corals:
Green spotted 'shroom
Purple warty 'shroom
Unidentified tentacled green/brown striped 'shroom
Orange riccordia florida
Green riccordia florida (about to split)
Brown palys
Green zoas
Orange zoas
Eagle Eye zoas
Pulsing Xenia
Green Star Polyps
Blue clove polyps
Toadstool leather
Several hitchhiker aiptasias (all nuked with Lye now [I hope])

Refugium:
Chaeto
Carbon (as required, not all the time)
Filter floss (as required, not all the time)

Approximate LR + livestock cost, $100

Food:
Hikari small fish pellets, 3 per day most days
Coral Frenzy on order

Maintenance:
1/2 gallon water change per week w/ IO Reef Crystals
Maintain 1.025SG w/ RO/DI
Maintain 80-82°F (hopefully once I move it to the office, I can reduce this to 78-80°F)

FTS 20 August 2011
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Right side
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Left side
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Top down
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Scale shot with U.S. Quarter:
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Blue Cloves
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Eagle eye zoas
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Green zoas and unindentified tentacled 'shroom
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Orange zoas
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GSP
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Riccordia florida
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Speckled 'shroom
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Warty 'shroom
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Xenia
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Toadstool:
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Edited by tylernt, 20 August 2011 - 01:12 PM.


#28
castiel

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Wow looks awesome, Tyler. Just over a month in and you're already stocked up nicely!

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#29
tylernt

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Wow looks awesome, Tyler. Just over a month in and you're already stocked up nicely!

Thanks! I was really lucky I got some very live rock and only live 20 minutes from an LFS, I basically had no dieoff or cycle to speak of. I know your IQ5 was not quite so lucky, but that just means you'll appreciate the end product that much more. :)

#30
castiel

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Yep mine is starting to look better now. Must take new pics as I completely rescaped (hopefully last time) yesterday.

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#31
Twilton

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Well done mate looking smart.

#32
karatekid14

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Wow amazing build, I didn't know it was possible to have so many wires coming out of a 2g.

#33
AustinV90

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any updates?

#34
tylernt

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Indeed I do, just needed a nudge to get off my lazy bum and post them:

This pic was approx September 22:

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(I'll do another FTS here about October 21ish)

After the move to my office:

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(I did this after hours, so the main lights are out because it's night.)

The move went pretty well. I put the big rock in a gallon Zip-Loc and put the half-full tank and the bag in a big cooler and drove to work. Temperature only dropped 2°F and everything started opening up as soon as I turned the pumps on. I guess "pretty well" really means "without a hitch". :)

Days before the move, I added a striped mushroom:

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Also just before the move, I took most of the Xenia back to the LFS for credit, it was bothering the toadstool leather. Two stalks had attached themselves to my main rock so I kept them:

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The GSP mat has encrusted the rock quite a bit. Weirdly, it's growing downwards into the shadows and a bunch of polyps are completed shaded.

It's been at work 1 week now. It brought back memories of my first work tank -- everyone seems surprised when I tell them it's saltwater. :huh: I guess they think all the corals are fake? Everybody raves about the 50 cent hermit crab though. Screw corals, all you need to impress co-workers is drop some dead rock and a hermit in a Betta tank and dry your hands.

I've also had to endure endless questions about where the fish are... sigh. One guy offered to buy me a goldfish. All in good fun though. :) A few co-workers "get it" so it's all good. The others will come around in time I'm sure. :)

BTW, anybody able to ID this? I thought it was a striped 'shroom at the LFS, but when I got home these tentacles came out, much to my chagrin. :o

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#35
.Newman.

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is it hard or soft? hard if its a plate coral, soft if its just some random mushroom. how much did you get him for?
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#36
tylernt

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I can't tell if he's got a skeleton without poking him with a finger. My initial thought was that it was a fungia/plate coral based on the tentacles, and I've seen some pics of fungia that resemble this guy. However, in a sideview his foot where it attaches to the rock looks like a typical 'shroom. He came attached to the rock, and I thought plate corals were sand dwellers?

I've never seen a mushroom with such a fast reaction time though -- if he gets bumped by the hermit or something, he shrinks almost instantly. He's also an aggressive feeder -- he's "sticky" if food touches him, and he moves the food into his mouth without cupping or curling up -- the food somehow scoots along his surface to his mouth where it's swallowed. I've never seen him ball up or change shape at all, so perhaps that's another argument for plate coral?

He was a hitchhiker on a zoa rock, I think the rock was like $15 or so.

#37
.Newman.

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if hes got a foot he's not a plate coral. so that leaves some type of nem probably (which includes mushrooms) or some wicked paly relative (definitely not a palythoa or protopalythoa)
touch him with your forceps and you'll feel if its soft or stoney.
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#38
Builder Anthony

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I really like it whatever it is i thought it was a plate to but i never had one so i dont know if they are sticky like maxi minis.I would just leave it be though its real small maybe check down the road if its a hard or soft coral.It really doesnt matter as long as its doing well.If its a stony it can break real easy being so small.

Edited by Builder Anthony, 15 October 2011 - 08:34 PM.

Anthonys 5 Gallon
Pictures
http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=267313

#39
tylernt

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Well I got brave and touched the mystery coral. It's hard! It's got a foot, to be sure, but I think the "foot" that I see is in fact just skeleton.

Well, this is a development. This was supposed to be a softie-only tank, and I've got a toadstool leather which may engage in chemical warfare. Indeed, compared to old pictures, this fungia appears to have shrunk over the last couple months (or at least, it doesn't inflate as much as it used to). I just cranked up my light a bit, but now I'm debating taking the guy back because I don't want to test for or dose calcium, alk, or mag. What say ye, will 33% weekly water changes alone be enough to keep calc/alk/mag levels acceptable for 1small LPS?

#40
castiel

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My noobie opinion would be yes, but that's without knowing wtf LPS this is!! I think that is the first task, IDing it.

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#41
tylernt

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Updates:

Bought some Ocean Nutrition Nano Reef Coral Food, because the Coral Frenzy was leaving an oily surface scum. That cured the slime but my evaporation rate increased so I'm alternating days with each food to maintain a thin slime layer. :-P

Had to slow down both powerheads. The stock powerhead is easily dialed back but the Mini-Jet 404 won't fit with the covers installed, so I have two layers of "plastic canvas" (used for crafting) jammed in there to choke it back a bit -- the current was battering my Xenia and rhodactis mushroom. I still think two pumps are the way to go if you want SPS, but for softies I'd choose something smaller and slower than the Mini-Jet 404.

Chaeto still growing like gangbusters. Going two weeks between trims is pushing it (it grows right out of the water). Nitrates remain undetectable so that's cool.

Coralline is finally appearing!! Got a little on my overflow grate and pump outlet. Some came in on the rock, which has survived in the shadows but bleached where it was in direct light. My ric and mushrooms were all hiding from the light too, so I dimmed it down a bit. I'd guess the light is only 3-4 watts now out of an 11 watt max. 11W of LED might be great for SPS but man is it overkill for softies!! As a side benefit though, when my spotted mushroom migrated he left behind THREE babies.

Got a bazillion hydroids in my right pump chamber (no light there). Should I destroy them or let them be?

Saw a baby Cerith snail the other day. Can't imagine how it got there, I just had the one Cerith snail and he started to go downhill so I gave him to the LFS in the hopes he would recover.

At the same time I gave away the Cerith, I sold the fungia / plate coral. It just wasn't inflating and I don't know why, so hopefully he's happy in different a tank now. The little eagle eye zoas on the same rock were sold with the fungia, but I bought 4 new eagle eyes at the same time. A baby fifth polyp is already growing!

I finally found a fellow co-worker that was a reefer, and he was kind enough to offer me a free yellow polyp from his tank. I haven't seen these for sale locally, so was glad to take it. Thanks Eric if you're reading this!

I clean the "glass" Mon-Wed-Fri, seems to be keeping things in check (I like to clean before spots become visible). My Nano-Mag's "velcro" was scratching my acrylic. :( Zillions of tiny scratches everywhere, but only visible with I spotlight something in the tank with my flashlight, otherwise you'd never know they were there. I put some felt on the Nano-Mag velcro to prevent further scratches.

I evaporate about 1/2 gallon RO/DI a week. Water changes are a 1/2 gallon weekly pour-through (siphon out the back, simultaneously pour room-temp SW slowly into the display). With my 50W heater, the temp only drops 1°F when I do this. I've also started stirring the sand every week moments before the water change -- a lot of detritus was starting to build up, and I didn't want problems down the road.

The only livestock I still want is a little purple feather duster -- the LFS sold out so I can't get one right now. I gave up on the idea of a blood/fire shrimp; the hermit already makes a pest of himself when I want to feed the corals, and at least I can bump him onto the sand. The shrimp would just be a nightmare.

What I see all day:
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What my visitors see:
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FTS 18-Nov-11:
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From top to bottom and left to right: Toadstool leather, Pulsing Xenia, Blue Cloves, Green Star Polyps, Yellow Polyp, Striped Mushroom, Blue Riccordia Florida, Eagle Eys Zoas, Spotted Mushroom, Orange Riccordia Florida, Orange Zoas (arrived with gray centers, but have slowly greened up over several months in my tank), Rhodactis, Palythoas, Green (Nuclear?) Zoas.

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These guys have really multiplied and they're so awesome. My camera gives them a cyan tint; in real life, they're pure green:
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Toadstool growing. Has a second stalk that I'll frag someday:
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New additions: Eagle eye zoas and yellow polyp.
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Hermit getting off his Astrea elevator ride:
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Astrea getting a breath of fresh air:
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Stomatella keeping the hermit clean:
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Stomatellas chillin'
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Brittlestar looking for a new crevice to haunt:
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Asterina starfish under my striped mushroom:
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#42
castiel

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Wow, tyler your tank is looking really, really good! Glad the nano coral food is working out, even if it does cause you more evap =0p

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#43
camerinero

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WONDERFUL!!!! :wub:
You have been the inspiration for my new picoreef desk!!! I am a civil engineer and spent many hours in the office... I can´t enjoy to my home nanoreef.
After seeing your pico, I decided to take a piece of my aquarium to the job.
DYMAX not sold in Europe so I have to buy a copy (JAD) and the light will be an Aquamedic´s bulb (aquasunspot 7):
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I hope to have a picoreef as beautiful as yours
Thank you very much to keep us informed :happy:
-CARLOS-

Edited by camerinero, 21 November 2011 - 02:09 PM.

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#44
tylernt

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Thanks Carlos! I love having an office tank, it's nice to be able to take a "break" without leaving your desk. Although, my boss may not be happy with how many "reef breaks" I am taking. ;)

And to give credit where credit is due, my own inspiration came from Andrewkw's IQ3: http://www.nano-reef...atured/?tank=47

#45
tylernt

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December update:

Surface scum returns with a vengeance. Can't get rid of it, even if I stop feeding for a week and skim the surface daily. So, I switched from Reef Crystals to regular Instant Ocean -- my jug was getting that nasty tan crud on the bottom, which may be contributing to the surface scum. Will do my first WC with IO today and will see what that does.

One stomatella went to the LFS and the other was moved to the rear chaeto chamber. The astrea was starting to go hungry, so I reduced competition for food in the display tank.

Chaeto now has to be harvested weekly. Growing like gangbusters, nitrates remain undetectable. I am now broadcasting powder food Mon-Wed-Fri and spot feeding Hikari S fish pellets to corals Tue-Thu. The palys, yellow polyp, spotted mushroom, ricordeas, and rhodactis mushroom eat enthusiastically.

Two Aiptasia popped up. :( I nuked several aiptasias with Lye (sodium hydroxide via syringe) months ago, but I guess I missed one. This time I will use kalkwasser paste (calcium hydroxide) in situ so I don't have to take everything out (tough to do at the office). One aiptasia I think I can kill easily, but the other is in the middle of the blue cloves -- there will be collateral damage.

Bought a new Tunze Universal Mini Pump. I throttled back the MiniJet 404, but the plastic canvas I used clogs with junk. I will wait until after the Christmas break to install the Tunze as I don't want to introduce any variables while I'll be away.

FTS Dec 19 2011
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Sideview
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Top down. Eagle eyes have gone from 4 polyps to 9.5 in just a month!
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Ricordea Florida
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Palys are growing a white stripe. Orange zoas have gone from 2.5 polyps to 5.5. Green zoas have just gone nuts, I see a new polyp forming every week (sometimes two).
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Yellow polyp not doing much so far. The first couple times I tried to spot feed, he rejected the food. Now he gobbles it up.
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Striped mushroom is reproducing
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The HVAC will be off in the office over the holiday break, but my heater is so ridiculously overpowered (50W for 1.5g) that I don't see a problem. I've been using 1/2g of RO/DI per week in the ATO, so I'll fill it to the brim (1g reservoir) and it should be just fine for the 11 days I'll be away. Hopefully the worst problem will be cleaning the glass when I get back. Keeping my fingers crossed... debating whether or not to bring in a UPS.

#46
iball1804

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debating whether or not to bring in a UPS.


That might be a good idea.

#47
castiel

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UPS?

Tank looks fantastic, I love love love the contrast of the GSP and Xenia. Once those zoas etc cover your flat/sloped piece of rock this will be an amazing pico.

Good luck with the 11 days away, I am sure as you said you will just have a bit of algae build up. Though having said that, mine went for 14 days and not a spot of algae upon my return.

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#48
iball1804

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UPS?


Uninterrupted Power Source.

#49
tylernt

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Well, the good news is the tank survived. The rock that the orange ric was on fell down (pulled down by the hermit no doubt, and not for the first time) -- that ric is alive and even a little inflated, but still irritated. Everybody else looks normal, thankfully. And I moved the stomatella from the rear chamber back into the display -- I realized the second day away from the tank that I have no snail guards on my ATO float switches! So I spent most of my vacation worrying about a flood and hyposalinity. Fortunately, SG is right where I left it (1.025).

A few new zoa polyps appeared, but my hermit crab is MIA. He didn't come running when I fed the tank, and then I found an empty shell on my blue cloves which is odd because all of the spare shells are down on the sand. I can only assume the bristleworms, bittlestars, and 'pods dined luxuriously on crab a'la king for the holidays. I wonder if he starved to death? Ammonia is 0 so if he did die, at least he didn't nuke the tank.

#50
castiel

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Nice!

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