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Cultivated Reef

the sun sets today on kgoldy's all natural 90


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Just some thoughts on the fuge today....


Would it be beneficial to have the LR rubble in the fuge lifted off of the substrate using egg-crate? (about an inch or so)


This way the surface of the substrate can be maximized for fauna- And the LR rubble can still serve as a breeding ground for pods.


I got the idea from looking as Bonese's thread



I think Krylon makes sand colored Fusion spray paint, so I could use that so it's less noticeable and it should remain display worthy.

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I've got my RO/DI water ready to get mixed with salt... Carrying 20+ buckets up a flight of stairs should be "fun"... It looks like I have a good reason to skip going to the gym at least one day soon.


I've got some things holding me up, so that's why I haven't updated in a few days.


Okay, so general consensus says that Deep Blue Professional RR plumbing kits totally suck. That's from a small pool of individuals who've contacted me to ask WTF and were looking for advice on setting them up.



1. No instructions. No contact info at all, whatsoever, on anything that came with the tank to ask questions directly to DBP. No phone number, no email. Just an address where to send your warranty card to.

2. Threading on bulkheads are worthless. It's not even a matter of "don't over-tighten the plastic nuts, or you'll strip them"... It's more like "wait... I've been screwing this thing on forever... I'm going righty-tighy, right? How many threads are there? Oh... the nut is just slipping around and has been in the same spot for the last two minutes..."

3. Loc-line spouts are nearly sealed shut... This is the case with both tanks I've purchased.

4. Much of the black plastic is warped- including the bulkheads, making it impossible to get a watertight seal. I'll take pictures later.

5. Strainer is very small compared to the size of the tank (and waterflow required), and there's nothing that holds it in place other than draining water. So, shut off your pumps, and the strainer falls to the bottom of the overflow, and you need to stick your entire arm down in there to get it.

6. The pipes hit the overflow strainer when installed- making adjustments to the strainer impossible... and having the pipes go straight up and down seems unlikely.


I talked to the LFS where I got the tank from, and they agreed that it's crap. They're ordering a replacement kit from DBP, and if that kit sucks too, they'll just give me an AGA plumbing kit instead.


In the meantime, I just have to get some heaters... And I think I'll be ready to rock and roll!

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Played with the rockscape a little bit. I think I like this- Lots of little caves and crevices... And plenty of room for frag placement under a variety of light exposure. Pictures don't do it justice in this lighting... There's a lot of depth that you can't see on the computer... <_<










What do you guys think about building a rock wall inside the display fuge? I looked it up... "Great Stuff", two part epoxy, rock, sand, and light diffuser. Already got everything I need...





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Made the wall for the sump....


I think the black foam looks pretty neat... Maybe I'll skip the whole sand with epoxy thing.


I didn't want to eat up too much volume from the fuge, so it'll be kind of top heavy... I'll have to wedge it against the glass with some big pieces of LR rubble or something.


Tomorrow morning I'll do a dry fit and see how it looks.

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Here are some pictures with the real camera... I've been using the cellphone since I lost my camera's charger. These few pics sucked the last of the life out of the battery... -_-
























With these pics you can really see how nice the wood of the cabinet is. I'll have to go to best buy and get a camera charger so I can do some closeups on the rock.

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Got a pretty thorough response from Dr Shimek. In the DSB vs SSB contest, he votes...














































SHALLOW SAND BED. In both the refugium and display. SSB wins. The gobies and pistol shrimp were the knockout punch.

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this had to be the best part.


one final thing... me. I am Ron, Ron Shimek, or Dr. Shimek, sometimes even "hey you!" (to my students in a classroom), but Please NOT: Dr. Ron... This term was coined by some reefcentral powers and glibly used without my consent. When I start to earn as much as the media monkeys who go by such monikers... maybe I will go by "Dr. Ron," but not before.

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Got my final plumbing parts... Assembling this monster TONIGHT! And, drinking, because there is no better way to get your non-reefer friends to lend a hand than to feed them beer. This should get interesting. Lots of pics, I promise.

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Gotta love the single life. Girlfriends think projects like this are interesting and fun. Wives see them for what they really are. A big hole in the ocean you throw your money into. Just like owning a boat - except this hole in the ocean you get to keep in your house.

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Installed a GFCI - because I know at some point I'll drop something electrical into one of the three (or four) tanks.






Used the "float method" with windex to apply gloss black vinyl on the back of the tank.




Installed BRS reactors, one for carbon, one for GFO.




Guard dog makes sure I keep the floors dry.




Test fit the bulkheads. Feels like a good seal. Foolishly, I didn't test for leaks at this point.




Applied teflon tape. (not enough though...)






Installed RR kit. This replacement (still Deep Blue) is much better than the other- no defects that I've seen at all... Minus the fact that they provided the wrong washers- but I caught this before leaving the LFS.


Decided to run the black vinyl only along the back of the tank, so that I can see what's going on inside the overflow. I have a feeling a few neon gobies will end up back there at some point. The strainer that came with the kit is junk, and won't be used.










Placed the display sump into the cabinet. I didn't realize until later that I didn't flush it up to the front all the way... No one else will ever notice- but this is going to drive me crazy until I have a good reason to empty the sump so I can move it into the proper position.






Put the black nylon in the hottest water I can get out of the tap to get it nice and pliable- shoved the nozzle that comes with the Ehiem pump into it, then ran it under cold water to make they vinyl tube seal on there really tight.




Painted the valves black and put some hose fittings on there. Couldn't find gate valves anywhere local... and really, didn't have the patience to order them online.




Split the drain with a T, because I couldn't find a wye for hoses. Used the hot/cold water trick to get a good seal on everything.








Bubble Magus installed.









Vortechs installed.






Drilled a hole for the ReefKeeper wire. It'll be covered by the control unit, nice and neatly.




Two gallons of Miracle Mud. I like this stuff. After reading a lot of Dr Shimek's stuff, I think this is great to have in a refugium, or really, any area that has low enough flow to keep it on the bottom.
















30lbs Aragamax Oolite sand, 20lbs Figi Pink #0. I like the pink color, it gives an interesting twist to the sandbed. In the picture right above, you can see where I mounted the Vortech controller. This side is set to be the slave right now.

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At this point I'm beginning to wish I added sand before the rock. It's a pain in the butt to try to level the sand behind these rocks....




ATO installed. I still need to buy a top for this tank- that will be sprayed black so it looks nice and neat.




It's getting crowded in here, quickly...






Guard dog inspecting floors.






Keeping notes... So I know the true total volume of my system.














I realized it'll be near impossible to service the BRS reactors inside the cabinet. Now I'm toying the the idea of an external installation.














Used the hot water trick to slide some black vinyl over the rigid white tubing that comes with the BRS reactors. Added a T so that I can use just one pump to feed both reactors. It took nearly 30 feet of vinyl tubing to do all this.





















I installed a temporary filter sock to clear the water. I didn't flush any of the sand bags before I used them...


Also added another 30lbs of Aragamax Oolite, and 20 lbs of Figi Pink #2. After the water cleared a little bit, I realized I had already added too much for a real shallow bed. Maybe I'll go for a DSB and add some more Oolite and Figi Pink #0....


So, one thing that isn't apparent in the pictures, is that I ran into a few problems. ReefKeeper Lite, still won't connect to my computer. For the amount of money I spent on the thing, I'd like it to be a little more "plug and play". Stupid SID card should be made like any other USB plug... or maybe mine is just busted. It's been extremely frustrating, so I stopped messing with it.


Also, I have a small leak in my drain bulkhead. Dripping at a rate of 1 drop every 10 seconds or so. I think it's coming from the threads, but can't be sure, because I can't see it. I've tried plumbers putty (a LOT of it), epoxy, and superglue gel. Still haven't fixed the leak. It'll be dealt with eventually... I just don't know what else will work since I've already built up so much stuff around it...


So. Hope you guys enjoyed watching my two solid days of work!

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Mmm... thats weird about the leak. with every thing it should have stopped. Did you use silicone grease on the rubber washer thing. that can usually fix it.

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Nope... Duh... Wish I thought of that.


I found and isolated the leak. It's now coming from between the glass and the plumbers putty I wrapped around the bulkhead. Tiny pinhole... causing all this aggravation. Will fix tomorrow. A little super glue gel might do the trick.

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