fraggle rockette

Finding Xanadu

238 posts in this topic

Here we go again.

 

I must preface this I suppose by saying that the title is not in reference to that (oh-so-guilty-pleasure of a) movie starring miss ONJ, but rather to Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" (about an actual place in Mongolia.) The poem is said to be one of the most beautiful works ever written, yet throughout the text it narrowly teeters on the brink of chaos. (It also is about a palace surrounded by protective walls, closely watched by their keeper- get the dorky inferred reefing metaphor? lol. :P ) Anywho, I know it's a stretch, but I think this is what we as aquarists strive for- this beauty in tiny enclosures, never knowing if it will end up in chaos or bliss. And since a reef tank can last five months or five years, welcome to Xanadu.

 

So here we are. I'm going to repost my initial posts from my old thread for any newbs who haven't seen it (and just for continuity's sake) and then continue. Feel free to ask questions along the way. :happy:

 

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It has begun! :D (April 27th)

 

After several months of my 12g JBJ nano-cube, i have upgraded to a 24g Aquapod. I'm keeping the 70watt MH sunpod for it, and drilling an additional bulkhead on the opposite side for added flow, more than likely with both pumps on 15 minute timers or something for wave simulation, but we'll see. All the livestock from the 12g is going in here but should fit a lot better, and some of my rehab corals from my prop tank will be added as well. I'm also refinishing a cabinet I got for $20 to match the rest of my living room, and custom venting it for my chiller to sit in. Here are some before pics to get this thing started- any advice is always appreciated as I dive into plumbing and electrics- lol. Thanks to Nick at nanocustoms for talking me through my pod mod freakouts! :)

 

 

tank being modded

IMG_6137.jpg

 

"before" shot of the lovely cabinet (and my first attempt ever at refinishing veneer!)

IMG_6136.jpg

 

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let's see... what else... i'm keeping the stock pump on one bulkhead and putting an MJ900 on the additional bulkhead. there's also another rio pump in there for the chiller- a lot of pumps!!! agh.

 

as far as filtration goes, i plan on taking out all the stock media, and just running a bag of carbon, a bag of live rock rubble, and some cheato (which i'll rinse out once a week- sort of surface skimmer but a little more effective imo). that and water changes... but we'll see as we go. ;)

____________________________________________________________________

 

this tank so far:

 

AP24g- $100 (no hood)

plumbing parts- $30-40

cabinet stand- $20

 

i already have the lights for it and the stain for the stand, and didnt have to buy special tools to drill bulkheads b/c my lfs owner let me use his attachments :happy: i wish i had more $ to put into them, but am happy with what i can do.

 

because the cabinet is veneer, it was hand sanded. i used an all-in-one stain and seal that i LOVE to finish it. i've used it on a tv stand and planter boxes as well, and it rocks my socks. i painted the gold trim black with some epoxy i had lying around so it wasnt as cheezy.

 

i've also removed the back panel for better venting (since it didn't do anything structurally) and will see whether 1/2 a door gets cut off/slatted or not once the chiller is in place. i'm also looking at building shelving but may just get one of those wire hang-on-the-door ones that you put under your sink for now. i also braced the center of the stand with 2x6s and L-braces after realizing it was made out of MDF. whew! that was a close one. at least if it sags it'll be sitting on some tough boards. okay, off to the LFS for water!

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the finished cabinet:

IMG_6151.jpg

 

my tank, dust not settled yet:

IMG_6146.jpg

 

stand open (chiller will go to the right and ATO to the left)

IMG_6145.jpg

 

added some deep soapdishes inside the door as shelves (may do on other side too)

IMG_6148.jpg

 

close up of inside of stand (mounted power strip and braced center with 2x6s)

IMG_6152.jpg

 

i know, it's not a huge project, but it's cool i turned something that was $20 (and some change for soapdishes) into this. when my chiller's in place, i'll prolly add another high shelf or two- haven't decided yet really, and suggestions are always welcome.

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i admit it.

 

i'm obsessed.

 

and i don't sleep. well not much anyway.

 

what started as me wanting to arrange the rocks and add an inch or so to the sandbed last night turned into me setting up my entire 24g between 8pm and 3am. ha. it's at a place where i can leave it be- all water params were fine during course of setup, and are still okay this morning- the only thing that was off was the SG in my LFS water for my 24g (which is very unusual) and I didn't have salt to mix in and bring it up! (note to self- get salt) but I acclimated everything and moved some water from my 12g to try and bring the gravity up a bit.

 

also, here is a new FTS! not a great one, but i've gotta run- pardon the "dust"- it was feeding time:

 

IMG_6156.jpg

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and here we are now kids. i had a few rocks fall, so no FTS until i get a chance to fix them, but that about sums it up until the present. :)

 

Stocking list so far:

-2 Clownfish

-1 Clown Goby

-1 Aurora Goby (in QT)

-1 Croacea Clam

-1 Peppermint Shrimp

-1 Emerald Crab

-CUC of red leg hermits, nass. snails, astrea snails, an a few margaritas (i think)

-Lots of softies, some SPS, and a couple seafans/gorgs

 

i'll also be adding a royal gramma after the BBQ. (i recently had gotten one but it died, so i've decided to only buy fish from one source for now on. thanks m! :happy:)

Edited by fraggle rockette

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America's Kubla Khan!

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i just noticed that your scaping actaully looks realistic. me likes

 

kinda like you chiseled the top rocks of a reef and placed it in your tank. grr more things for me to be jealous about =]

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i just noticed that your scaping actaully looks realistic. me likes

 

kinda like you chiseled the top rocks of a reef and placed it in your tank. grr more things for me to be jealous about =]

 

i did no such thing! :ninja: haha

thanks! someday i hope to go diving and see what they really look like :happy:

 

for now, it's just me, my imagination, and my love of arches... (mmm mcdonalds- lol.)

Edited by fraggle rockette

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Awesome work Fraggle... looks like you put a lot into this one... from the stand all the way through. I love the scape!!!

Edited by Pickle010

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wow. I think my scape is super similar to your's despite the guys at PR picking out all my rocks for me. looking good, and hope this thread works better for you.

 

I give you a big...... fing10.gif

 

 

p.s. with the new pic, I think it should say......porthole polyp...under it.... 443.gif

Edited by r20crazy

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have you considered getting a gfci?

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have you considered getting a gfci?

 

we have a type of one in our circuit breaker, but i'm not going to replace the outlet with a GFCI one if that's what you're asking- i use protected power strips instead. here's why: when you use a high rated power strip, your tank can endure small surges b/c the strip helps to buffer it. however, with a gfci plate at the outlet, if there is a power surge/flicker/etc., the power cuts off at the wall source and will not come back on (unlike regular outlets). imo this is more dangerous b/c of crashes and the like versus the the risk of being electrocuted ;) . just curious?

 

 

 

 

wow. I think my scape is super similar to your's despite the guys at PR picking out all my rocks for me. looking good, and hope this thread works better for you.

 

I give you a big...... fing10.gif

p.s. with the new pic, I think it should say......porthole polyp...under it.... 443.gif

 

copier. grrrr. lol.

 

anyway, i hope so too :rolleyes:

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______________________________________________________________________

so i learned a few new things tonite:

 

1) that aquarium putty is really hard to work with underwater/out of water/all together

2) that brain and bubble corals have freaking huge mouths and can eat entire krill in one bite

3) that a five minute study break to "fix the fallen rock in your tank" turns into a two hour project of gluing, puttying, fragging, and better arranging your aquascape :D

 

i must say though, everything is neater now and i am far more pleased with coral placement than i was before. i'll post a new FTS tomorrow after the dust has settled a bit and everything is open (mid-day). my seafans are looking a bit puny, but i think it's because they got smushed by a rock i didnt move for a few days and ended up in a low flow area. (but any low flow will be fixed when i add the MJ900 in the other bulkhead this week... or at least i hope.) they both split at the base and now occupy both sides of my tank- coincidentally, they're SC colors too ;)

 

oh one question: my clowns have black spots here and there. is this normal or should i be worried? some spots blend into the black stripes and just disfigure them a bit, but others are out in the wide open orange areas... i love these little guys too much to let anything happen :unsure: i read everything i could find about diseases and the like, but none of them seem to match- i'll try to get pics of them too i guess, but my camera sucks at macros. they're still eating and not scratching, so idk what's up. thanks guys!

Edited by fraggle rockette

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The black spots seem to happen when soft corals host the clowns. It happened to my clown, and I've seen it in many others, and I haven't seen any harm associated with it.

 

 

Damn, now I really miss my old clown.

 

1td3.jpg

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The black spots seem to happen when soft corals host the clowns. It happened to my clown, and I've seen it in many others, and I haven't seen any harm associated with it.

Damn, now I really miss my old clown.

 

1td3.jpg

 

really? i hope that's what it is... i read about some sort of parasitic worm that tangs tend to get and dreamed all night of turkey bastering my substrate trying to keep it clean of these worms and they were everywhere! agh. :mellow:

 

(p.s. i think randy is getting rid of his clown ;) not that u want a new one, but if u did)

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the black spots r normal. mine get them then they will go away and they will get some more in difrent spots. as long as they r acting normal and eating they r fine.

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we have a type of one in our circuit breaker, but i'm not going to replace the outlet with a GFCI one if that's what you're asking- i use protected power strips instead. here's why: when you use a high rated power strip, your tank can endure small surges b/c the strip helps to buffer it. however, with a gfci plate at the outlet, if there is a power surge/flicker/etc., the power cuts off at the wall source and will not come back on (unlike regular outlets). imo this is more dangerous b/c of crashes and the like versus the the risk of being electrocuted ;) . just curious?

copier. grrrr. lol.

 

anyway, i hope so too :rolleyes:

 

Great opening to this new thread! B)

 

And good info on GFCIs... I however have heard that the hard wired wall GFCI outlets are much less finiky than the portable single outlet ones like Nanocustoms and other places sell. I have the portable type right now and though it's a PITA when it trips (such as a power outage and then it trips when the power is restored an the minor surge comes through), but I definitely feel much safer with it there. In my new apartment that I started moving into today infact, I plan to furnish the outlet where my tank will be, with a GFCI outlet that I'm going to swap out to later this week.

Edited by Phixion

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good stuff, hope to see you in sps soon!

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SWEET!!! IT'S PICTURE TIME!!! :happydance:

 

i'm taking a study break from finals and decided to try and enter the starfish contest. let me preface this photo post by saying that i WAS NOT trying to take pictures of my clowns... however, Sharky is a little attention hog and cheezed it for almost every shot, no matter what side of the tank i was on. sigh. Babushka isn't as bad- just kindof hangs out near the flowerpot coral. and i still cant get a pic of King Koopa (my aurora goby) even in QT. nonetheless, here is the final aquascaping- we have some growing out to do now. :happy:

 

my lovely clam, angry at me for moving him... and sharky getting in the way

clammy.jpg

 

a nifty shot (i think) of my pep. shrimp surveying the perimeter

peppy.jpg

 

nice polyp extension on a seafan frag... and sharky again

seafan.jpg

 

me trying to make a ric waterfall like helfrich's :happy:

ricfall.jpg

 

a side shot

side1.jpg

 

my clowns wondering why im taking a picture of mr. stumpy and not them

starfanwithclowns.jpg

 

starfish finally by himself

starfan.jpg

 

 

 

second half:

 

grr... my camera just isn't fast enough for this hobby... upgrade? :D

starclowns.jpg

 

the zoa cove (if it ever grows out in the right directions)

zoacove.jpg

 

first attempt at a top down shot (move sharky move!!!)

topdown1.jpg

 

full shot top down

topdownfull.jpg

 

FTS

fts2.jpg

 

wider FTS :)

ftswide.jpg

 

whew that was a lot of pics... i'm really not sure if any of these are worthy of the starfish contest yet for this month... sigh. back to studying now... -_-

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Very cool!

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Your right that sharky is quite the ham. Trust me he's better than the nonexistant goby that I have.

 

-pinner

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Great aquascaping. I hope my soon to come clowns are that hammish (sp?).

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Great Looking Pics Fraggle!

 

Uhm...just read the opening of this thread very nice :)

Edited by juin21

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So which fish is olivia newton john?

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MR. Stumpy. :D how fitting. looking good, and nice pics.

 

 

Great Looking Pics Fraggle!

 

Uhm...just read the opening of this thread very nice :)

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thanks everyone- taking pics of your tank is hard! i never thought figuring out the white balance and iris on this little camera would be so difficult, especially since camera-work is what i have done for a living for the last four years... lol. sigh. :P

 

So which fish is olivia newton john?

 

omg ur right! lol. buddha, i think u just named my new royal gramma that i get at the end of the month :) congrats

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Photographer as well... *sigh* :P

 

Yeah, I have issues with that too though. I'll leave my camera at one setting for tank pics, then come back a few days later and it's like that same setting doesn't apply anymore, what's up with that?? White balance is definitely hard to master with our tanks.

 

Oh yes, great pics BTW!! OMG, they are really good actually, like good lighting and all that. I hope my tank becomes as purdy after I move it next weekend... :(

Edited by Phixion

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Photographer as well... *sigh* :P

 

Yeah, I have issues with that too though. I'll leave my camera at one setting for tank pics, then come back a few days later and it's like that same setting doesn't apply anymore, what's up with that?? White balance is definitely hard to master with our tanks.

 

Oh yes, great pics BTW!! OMG, they are really good actually, like good lighting and all that. I hope my tank becomes as purdy after I move it next weekend... :(

 

quit swooning before i beat you with your own arm! lol. lmk if you need help moving the tank or something... unless it's this coming weekend- the parents are in town. bleh. :happy:

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