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Viewpoints - A Photographic Journal of my Reef Tank

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Squared

i like how well organized you are; it's unreal lol

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eb8919
i like how well organized you are; it's unreal lol

+1...This is great...You've motivated me to go above and beyond when it comes to organizing my next tank B) . Keep it coming!

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iball1804

Unreal is a great way to describe it.

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urbaneks
Very clean :)

 

surgicalsense - Thanks - Clean is a goal of mine. This tank sits in the library next to our front door so anything less would not be allowed by the Mrs.

 

Wooowwww. I can't to see this up. That's incredible.

 

iball1804 - Thanks again, I'm should have some updates with water in them tonight or tomorrow.

 

i like how well organized you are; it's unreal lol

 

Squared - Thanks so much. I've found that if you take the time up front, you get the time back along the way. When I don't have to look for missing tweezers, scrubbers, etc. etc. it makes the effort worth it.

 

+1...This is great...You've motivated me to go above and beyond when it comes to organizing my next tank B) . Keep it coming!

 

eb8919 - Thanks for the view and post here on the journal. It makes me pretty pumped up to know my work has motivated you. Don't hesitate to PM me if you have questions on any of the projects or build.

 

Unreal is a great way to describe it.

 

iball1804 - Makes me smile!

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Deleted User 4

I totally agree with you on that!!! :D

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urbaneks

Viewpoints - Overflow Cover

 

Upon completion of the plumbing and starting my leak test I quickly realized that I was not crazy about the overflow. First the top of the durso drain is an eye soar and stands out due to the white pipe against the black overflow. In addition the noise from the overflow while minimal was still something I wanted to address. Any bit of noise from the tank that I can reduce is worth my time and effort.

 

OverflowCover.jpg

The drain pipe stands out against the black overflow. The trickle from the overflow was also something I wanted to address.

 

I came up with several ideas to address the overflow but decided on building an acrylic cover. I set out looking for black acrylic but the smallest piece I could find was still huge and they wanted $70 for it. I had some clear acrylic on hand and contacted a co-worker who provided me with a sheet of black vinyl that I could use to cover the acrylic. Add Weld-On 4, clamps and my table saw and I had what was needed to build the cover.

 

OverflowCover1.jpg

Clear acrylic, Weld-On 4, clamps and vinyl made up the supply list

 

To build the cover, I cut two pieces of acrylic, the first and larger piece was cut to match the outside dimensions of the overflow box. This measurement includes the thickness of the glass. The purpose of the larger piece is to sit on top of the overflow and provide the framework for the cover. The second and smaller piece was cut to the inner dimensions of the overflow box. This piece was adhered to the larger piece such that it becomes an inner guide that prevents the cover from sliding around. I use the clamps to fix the smaller piece to the larger keeping the dimensions needed. Weld-On 4 was used as my adhesive for the acrylic.

 

OverflowCover2.jpg

Photo shows the two pieces of acrylic clamped together before gluing.

 

Once the acrylic was adhered the clamps were removed and I used the black vinyl to wrap the overflow cover. If you don't have a resource for vinyl, sign shops will have it and often have scraps that they will just give you.

 

OverflowCover3.jpg

Photo showing the completed overflow cover.

 

The overflow cover simply sits on top of the overflow. The inner piece of acrylic prevents the cover from sliding back and forth. Since taking the picture below, I ended up drilling two small holes in the cover which match the hole location on my durso drain. This allows more air to enter the overflow and resolved a gurgling noise that was present before the holes were drilled.

 

OverflowCover4.jpg

Final photo showing the overflow cover installed on the tank

 

Viewpoints - Cabinet Hardware

 

In an effort to dress up my cabinet and make it more functional I added some hardware from Home Depot. Based on other finishes in our home I decided to buy hardware that was finished with brushed nickel. Coincidentally, the brushed nickel also matches the cables that support the Geisemann light and really ties the light and the cabinet together.

 

When Cadlights build their stands, they don't leave much room between the top of the doors and cabinet. As a result, opening the doors is a challenge without some type of handle. After looking at all of the handles and pulls available, I decided on a simple rounded handle. The cost for the pair was just $4 and adds to the beauty and functionality of the furniture.

 

doorhandles.jpg

Door handles installed on the cabinet

 

I like to have towels on hand to accommodate adhoc maintenance or emergencies. Rather than having a towel sit in the stand, I bought two towel hooks which I installed on the inside of the left door. The location makes it easy to grab a towel and ensures I have a couple on hand when needed. My wife originally bought some microfiber towels for the kitchen but I quickly reallocated them to the tank. The towels are very absorbent and super soft which makes them usable on my acrylic sump without worry of scratches.

 

thook.jpg

Photo of the towel hooks installed

 

thook2.jpg

Photo of the towel hooks with microfiber towels

 

In addition to the towel hooks, I also like to have a roll of paper towels handy. I found a paper towel holder that matched the other hardware and decided it was a nice addition. The paper towel holder is installed on the inside of the right door.

 

ptrack.jpg

Paper towel holder installed at the top of the right door

 

ptrack2.jpg

Final Installation

 

Viewpoints - Plumbing Improvments

 

Since posting the first update on my plumbing I've made three improvements that I felt were worth updating here on the Reef Journal. First was an improvement to the Reef Octopus Skimmer, the second was to my down pipe and the last was simply installing a check valve on the return line.

 

After getting the skimmer hooked up, I was very disappointed with the amount of noise and splash that I was getting from the output pipe. The noise was bad enough but I was getting an incredible amount of salt creep on the sides of my sump due to the splashing from water leaving the skimmer. After visiting the Coral Vue website, I found that they sell an optional Output Vent (pictured below) which they wanted $50 for but could not ship because they had not setup a distribution network yet. First of all having something for sale that you can't actually buy is not good business. Secondly, selling PVC parts for $50 that should be included with the skimmer is just wrong.

 

outputvent3.jpg

Pictured is the $50 Output Vent on the Coral Vue website that you can not actually buy.

 

I was able to use the picture supplied and a coupler that was supplied with the skimmer to build my own output vent for $7. For those of you with a Reef Octopus Skimmer, here is quick summary on how to build the output vent. The parts needed for the output vent are; 1 1/4" PVC T and Cap along with ~7" of 1 1/4" PVC pipe. The two photos below should be more than enough for anyone to build themselves a Vent Pipe. The result is outstanding. The skimmer makes zero noise, zero splash and works perfectly. Well worth the $7.

 

outputvent.jpg

Here are the parts you will need to build an output vent. The black coupler was supplied by Reef Octopus, the rest of the parts can be found at any hardware store

 

outputvent2.jpg

Here is the finished product. For just $7, I now have a silent, splash free skimmer

 

The second improvement I made to my plumbing was to the down pipe which brings water into the sump. When I first started the tank up, the down pipe was very noisy due to air gurgling and air escaping from the bottom of the pipe all at once. I can't take credit for the improvement as i was given the tip by an employee at my LFS. The simple fix was to ensure the down pipe extends 1/2 way down the sump and then cut slits about a 1/4 of the way through down the length of the pipe. This allows the air bubbles to break up and escape through the smaller slits rather than leaving the pipe all at once. The cuts were made using a table saw. Here is a picture of my down pipe after it had been modified.

 

downpipe.jpg

Photo of modified down pipe

 

The last update I made to my plumbing is not pictured but was a simple check valve that I installed on my return line. Because of the depth of my return in the aquarium, my sump would not hold all of the water that would back stream into the sump when the return pump was turned off. This obvious problem was something I overlooked in my planning but was easily fixed with a $3 check valve from Home Depot. I'm also happy to report that I did not have to learn this lesson the hard way.

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iball1804
:eek: Keep 'em coming!

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twan

I appreciate this build. I am about to order a custom tank from CADLIGHTS (their 50long but relocated overflow and rear in starfire) and appreciate all your photos. Your equipment panel is something I really want to attempt and hope I can pull off. Can you tell me a little more about your LFS sump and what I can expect a similar sump to run that will fit in the CADLIGHTS 50long stand? I really want the integrated ATO reservoir.

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Mini-Dude

I am out of words, words couldn't explains awe anyway! I just wanna like hug you! And then rob you of your tank! Jkjkjkjk! :P, but for realz this is like the most inspiring tank and tank thread on Nano-Reef. Your perseverance is unreal, when something bad happens you pick yourself up and try again with something else. You are and always have been an amazing mentor to me from the very beginning I started reefing. Remember all the long conversations that we would have about NanoCubes and stuff? You gave me so much information and inspiration. I am really sad that I'm tanking down my tank this weekend, but I have to and need too. I can't make it what I want it to be at the age I am. In 3 or 4 years from now I will deffinatly have a tank. Good luck man and keep or keeping on!!! :)

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Kylebeano

Bravo! Your forethought and craftsmanship is top notch. I'm nominating you for tank plans of the month.

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urbaneks
:eek: Keep 'em coming!

 

iball1804 - Once again, thanks for the views and comments. I'm thinking based on your quick replies to updates that you are addicted to Nano-Reef.com. I understand.

 

I appreciate this build. I am about to order a custom tank from CADLIGHTS (their 50long but relocated overflow and rear in starfire) and appreciate all your photos. Your equipment panel is something I really want to attempt and hope I can pull off. Can you tell me a little more about your LFS sump and what I can expect a similar sump to run that will fit in the CADLIGHTS 50long stand? I really want the integrated ATO reservoir.

 

twan - Thanks for the reply here on my journal. Overall, I'm happy with my Cadlights but there are a few things that I wish were done differently/better. For example, the silicon seams have some flaws that just don't seem like they should be there given that all they do is make tanks. It's not a functional issue, just cosmetic and I'm sure no one else sees them but me. If I had to do it over again, I would do more of a coast to coast overflow attached to the back of the tank. The corner overflow beats the center overflow but still cuts into the aquascape. When I spoke with Eddie at Cadlights, I told him I wanted a poor man's version of an Elos, I think they came pretty close. I also wish that I would have had them build my stand taller. I went with a 30" stand with is standard for them. You will find that you can never have enough room under the stand when it comes to maintenance. I would also prefer if the tank sat up just a bit higher. I'm thinking somewhere between 34-36" would be better.

 

When you get closer to doing your equipment panel, feel free to PM me and I'll give you my cell phone number. We can chat about it in detail.

 

As for the sump, anytime you go acrylic on the sumps, they get expensive. I paid about $350 for the sump. You could take a larger glass tank and accomplish something similar with dividers. Not sure if you read the details by my ATO reservoir is 6g and I have to fill it every 4 days. My tank is 112g so a similar size could get you a week or so.

 

I am out of words, words couldn't explains awe anyway! I just wanna like hug you! And then rob you of your tank! Jkjkjkjk! :P, but for realz this is like the most inspiring tank and tank thread on Nano-Reef. Your perseverance is unreal, when something bad happens you pick yourself up and try again with something else. You are and always have been an amazing mentor to me from the very beginning I started reefing. Remember all the long conversations that we would have about NanoCubes and stuff? You gave me so much information and inspiration. I am really sad that I'm tanking down my tank this weekend, but I have to and need too. I can't make it what I want it to be at the age I am. In 3 or 4 years from now I will deffinatly have a tank. Good luck man and keep or keeping on!!! :)

 

Mini-Dude - It makes me sad to hear you are taking your tank down. As you said, we spent a great deal of time PM'ing one another about the details of my tank and what your plans were. At any rate, thanks for the compliments on my build.

 

Bravo! Your forethought and craftsmanship is top notch. I'm nominating you for tank plans of the month.

 

Kylebeano - Thanks so much! I do appreciate your kind words and any nomination you will give me is appreciated.

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urbaneks

Viewpoints - Initial Aqua-scape and Tank Start Up - May 2011

 

This journal entry is actually from May of 2011 which is when this tank was started.

Looking back at these photos, I regret taking them with just the one bank of T5's on. Obviously, the white balance could not compensate for the blue light. The aqua scape is nearly unchanged today from the pictures you see below.

 

It's been 3 weeks since I started the cycle on my tank. In terms of a cycle, I really have not had one. My ammonia has never registered higher than .25 with a Salifert Kit and my nitrates are currently at .2 after 3 weeks which is consistent to what they were after the first week. After the second week with no ammonia spike, I added a McCosker's Wrasse with no effect to the water parameters.

 

I've been wanting to take some photos of my aqua-scape but have waited due to an issue I've been having with my tank. The tank is crystal clear in the morning but gets a bit cloudy into the night. I have been adding MB7 to seed the tank which I think is contributing to the nightly bacteria bloom/cloudiness. Today ended the 2 week MB7 loading phase so we will see how the tank responds.

 

Here are a few photos that I took this morning of my aqua-scape. As with any scape there are things that I really like about it and a few things that I don't care too much for. I have to keep telling myself it will all look different once the livestock starts going in. My goal for the aqua-scape was to create a trench running through the middle of the tank. I've tried to capture the trench in a few of the photos. I never get to excited about aqua-scaping photos, it's the coral shots that I'm after. It shouldn't be much longer. I will give the tank 1 more week which will mark a full month before I start adding some corals.

 

RockScape.jpg

Here is a full tank shot with the stand and light included

 

RockScape2.jpg

Another FTS from the other side of the tank. The trench is visible from this photo

 

RockScape3.jpg

A closer view of the middle portion of the tank. I plan to use tabling acros and montis to create layers within the trench

 

RockScape4.jpg

One last photo, again showing the trench that runs through the center of the tank

 

 

Viewpoints - First Live Stock Update - July 2011

 

This journal entry is actually from July of 2011 which is when the tank was 2.5 months old. Looking back at these photos it amazes me how much growth and color improvement I've had. When you look at the tank daily, it's difficult to see the differences. I'm rarely satisfied with the progress but looking back like this definitely helps.

 

I've been reluctant to post any photographs to my journal over the last couple months due to a nightly bacterial bloom that was causing my tank to get a bit cloudy every night. After several months of troubleshooting the issue, I've come to the conclusion that the clouding was due to an imbalance between my bacteria and carbon dosing. I've found that adding MB7 every 3 to 4 days with small (.4ml) daily carbon doses works the best for me.

 

FTS1.jpg

FTS at 2.5 Months

 

I've got a pretty good start on my stocking plan. To date, I have a Blue Tang, Tail Spot Blenny, McCosker's Wrasse, Cleaner Shrimp and a pair of Clown Fish which were moved over from my Nano Cube.

 

For corals, I moved over a few of the larger corals from my Nano Cube which has helped to fill in the tank a bit quicker. I've been filling in with a few frags that I've bought from a couple online sources and my LFS (Reef Culture).

 

PortraitTrench.jpg

Current shot of my center trench. I have plans to add a nice tabling acro on the left side of the trench.

 

Since my last update, I did change my MH bulbs from the stock Geisemann Bulbs to EVC 20K's. I was never fond of how white my tank was when the MH's were on. ReefsAhoy here on RC recommended the bulbs and I'm very pleased with the EVC's. The bulbs almost act as an actinic bulb but does not give the water that windex look that some 20K bulbs do.

 

ORAPurpleRimCap.jpg

Here is a shot of an ORA Purple Rim Cap under the EVC 20K bulbs

 

Viewpoints - Live Stock Update II - September 2011

 

This journal entry was from September of 2011 when the tank was about 4 months. You can see that color is improving but still not what it is today.

 

I'm currently using Bio Cal made by Tropic Marin for my calcium and alkalinity dosing. If you have not used Bio Cal before, it's a one part dosing agent that raises alkalinity and calcium together. Sounds great but my tank is using a lot more alkalinity than calcium which has made the use of Bio Cal difficult. As a result I recently started using Kent Marine Buffer to raise the alkalinity and only use Bio Cal when the tank needs a calcium dose.

 

UnknownAcro.jpg

One of my favorite Acros, I have no idea what kind it is but it's starting to put some good growth on and always has great PE - Unfortunately, I lost this coral. RIP

 

I recently had some issues with my Apex Controller. The main unit would shut it's self down and become unresponsive to any commands. After 2 firmware updates and 3 tech support calls to Neptune, they had me send it back to them for repair. I was not able to get out of them what was done for the repair, but it's worked perfectly since getting it back. I've since added the WMX which is a wireless controller for the Vortechs. For anyone that has Vortechs and the Apex this is an awesome $100 upgrade. My Vortechs switch between modes every 2 hours which helps to provide varying current to the tank.

 

ORABlueChalice.jpg

This ORA Blue Chalice is one of the few corals that I moved over from my Nano Cube. It seems to be very happy in the new tank has put on noticeable growth. I've always loved the color and texture of this coral.

 

When debating over MH vs. LED lighting one of my biggest concerns was how to deal with the heat from the MHs. I've been pleasantly surprised by how little my tank heats up while the MHs are running. The open top really helps as well as the light being installed 12" off the top of the water. The real trick though has been a ceiling fan in the room. I installed a digital timer on the light switch that kicks the fan on 30 minutes before the MHs turn on and does not turn the fan off until 45 minutes after the MHs turn off. With the Apex I control the temperature between 78 and 78.5. With the MHs on, the hottest my tank has climbed to is 79.3. As I mentioned this has been a very nice surprise as I was anticipating buying a chiller. I live in AZ where our highs have been 110+ degrees. This is about as bad as it gets and the ceiling fan is doing the job.

 

LantanaMonti.jpg

This is a coral that I just recently picked up at my LFS. The base is becoming more and more yellow which is making the polyps really stand out. I'm really digging this coral.

 

ORABorealis.jpg

Another ORA coral that I really like. It's been moved since the photo and it's getting blue tips.

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JR!

this is just unreal. gives me so much to work up to with my new build.

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oncorhynchus

Urbaneks, did you use dry rock for this or was it live rock? Did you buy online, if so, where?

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TMG

Attention to detail much? This is just awesome!

 

Tagging along on this one!

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surgicalsense

Love the purple rim monti and amazing documentation...

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iball1804

It's the weekend and I'm awake. Of course I'm on NR ;)

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urbaneks
this is just unreal. gives me so much to work up to with my new build.

 

Jrmiller - Appreciate your view and comments and I'm glad that the journal is providing you with some new ideas for your next tank. There are so many great projects you can do to improve your setup, there are still several that I have planned, just need time and $.

 

Urbaneks, did you use dry rock for this or was it live rock? Did you buy online, if so, where?

 

oncorhynchus - I used live rock purchased from 3 different LFS in the Phoenix area. I had a pretty good idea of the size pieces that i wanted so I made a day of it going to all 3 places to find what I was after.

 

Attention to detail much? This is just awesome!

 

Tagging along on this one!

 

TMG - The devil is in the details. Thanks for the compliment.

 

Love the purple rim monti and amazing documentation...

 

surgicalsense - I will post some newer photos of that monti real soon, it does not any look like the same coral. The color is so much brighter now. Thanks for the compliment on the documentation.

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jgpico

This tank is just unreal! You have taken every step to make this tank one of the most beautiful and functional setups I have ever seen. I am vigorously working on a new setup and this has given me so many amazing ideas. I don't want the inhabitants in my tank to be the only thing that looks good, I want my entire setup to look flawless and that is what you have done here. Awesome build!

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Deleted User 4

can't wwaitt

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urbaneks

Viewpoints - November 2011

 

Since my last update, I received an order from rockymoutainfrags.com. I bought 5 frags which have been placed and seem to be adapting nicely to their new home. After they have a chance to adjust and begin to encrust I will get some photos of them.

 

I also added a new shrimp/goby pair to the tank. I can lose an hour in a quick hurry watching them work together to build and protect their home. One would think at some point the shrimp would be happy with the home but he never rests.

 

I placed both in the tank at the same time but the goby immediately bolted in a different direction. When i work up this morning the goby was hanging around the rock the shrimp was under but the shrimp had not surfaced yet. Just this evening, the two have paired back up. What a cool relationship. In my opinion a must for every reef tank.

 

ShrimpGoby1.jpg

Yellow Watchman Goby pair with a Tiger Pistol Shrimp

 

ShrimpGoby2.jpg

Both went into the tank together but it took about 24 hours for them to find one another

 

As I've mentioned before, I moved a couple corals over from my Nano Cube. In the case of the Duncan, it was one of the first corals I ever bought and has been with me for almost 3 years. The frag started with 3 heads and at last count has 18. It's not the most colorful coral but it adds some nice movement to the tank. I've also noticed that the centers are getting greener in the new tank. This tank will be dominated by SPS but there will be a few LPS sprinkled throughout the tank.

 

Duncan.jpg

Duncan was one a few corals that were moved from my Nano Cube

 

Blastos.jpg

Blastos - Also moved from the Nano Cube

 

I'm making my third attempt at keeping a cleaner shrimp. The first two vanished into thin air but I'm quite certain they were taken down by an Arabian Dotty Back. After witnessing the Dottyback kill my baby Blue Tank, he was traded in on a new Blue Tang. The cleaner shrimp has been going strong for 2 weeks now so it appears that we are in the clear. I'm liking what he adds to the tank.

 

Cleaner.jpg

Very active cleaner shrimp adds some character to the tank

 

 

Viewpoints - 8 Month Tank Update

There's been a lot of pictures posted to get to this point in the tank journal. The next set of photos takes the journal up to the current status of the tank.

 

JanFTS.jpg

January 2012 Full Tank Shot

 

Over the past 5 months, I've been trying to refine my maintenance, feeding and dosing to optimize water quality and color. Over that time period, I've struggled to get my phosphates to zero and had a pretty long battle with green hair algae. My phosphates typically read .03 to .07 on the Hanna Meter but always read zero with a Salifert Kit. I've settled in on the use of Phos Lock in a media reactor and replace it approximately every 3 weeks. I also do a 12g water change every two weeks. Even with this regiment, I still can't get the phosphates to read 0 on the Hanna Meter but have the green hair algae about knocked out.

 

Tort.jpg

Cali Tort - One of my best growing corals, beautiful blues and greens in this coral

 

Now that I am on the other side of my battle with the green hair algae, I'm convinced that my phosphates being at .03-.07 was not the cause. Rather than the phosphates, I believe that dosing some of the Zeovit supplements according to the directions is what caused the algae. Specifically, I used Coral Vitalizer and Pohl's Extra which I believe caused the bloom. With that said, I really like these products as the PE and color is noticeably different when I dose them. I've concluded that these supplements need to be used in 1/4 of the recommended dose if you are not using the full Zeovit system. I'm on week 3 of dosing 1/4th the recommended dose and I'm getting good color and more importantly no algae.

 

RedTable.jpg

Red Tabling Acro - One of my favorites - This one is starting to really color up and put on new growth

 

While my plan for the tank continues to be mostly SPS, I did recently add a Torch Coral for some extra movement in the tank. I'm very pleased with what the Torch has added to the center of the tank. I also have plans to add a few Acan Colonies to the right side of the tank. As far as SPS goes, I continue to add pieces when I see something that I can't live without. I've taken my coral additions slow to allow for growth which I have to admit is even slower than I expected when first moving to a SPS dominated tank.

 

Torch.jpg

This Torch Coral has added some extra color, movement and pop to the center of the tank

 

 

Viewpoints - 8 Month Update Part II

 

Aqua Scaping - For the most part my aqua scape is unchanged from when my tank was first setup. I have made some minor tweaks to a couple of the rocks which were in an effort to open up the tank. My first scape created a very nice center trench but also made flow and shadows a bit of a problem. Since making the last adjustment, the flow is much better and there are less shadows for the corals positioned low in the trench. It's not perfect by an means but getting closer to the vision I have for the tank. At this point, I'm trying to remain patient and allow the current corals to fill in. Being patient is not always easy but forces me to only buy a coral when I absolutely love it.

 

I continue to look at the tank from all viewpoints in an effort to create a great scape from all 3 viewable sides of the tank. While many shy away from plating and encrusting montipora, they remain one of my favorite corals. I think they add a color and texture to the tank that helps to offset the acros. I've tried to keep my plating montiporas low on rocks and over the sand bed so they don't create shadows on prime real estate. The photo below shows one of my monti's growing out over the sand bed.

 

RightSide.jpg

This photo is taken from the right side of the tank looking towards the front. You can actually see the reflection of the tank in the front panel.

 

ChiliPepper.jpg

This encrusting montipora is a frag from a display tank at my LFS (Reef Culture) in Tempe, AZ. If any of you have been to Reef Culture, you know the colony I'm referring too. I hope this little guy grows up to be half as nice as the mother colony.

 

 

Maintenance Schedule

While I wish I could tell you that I have a perfect maintenance schedule, the truth is I don't. I started this tank up with the schedule that I used for my nano, over the past 8 months, I've realized that the demands for this tank/SPS are different and thus require a different approach.

 

For the last 3 months, I've really been working to refine the maintenance needed to keep the tank clean and balanced while still caring for the fish. At the end of each month, I evaluate the tank and the schedule to see where I need to improve and in some cases reduce maintenance. Just recently, I went from weekly water changes to every other week. Based on my water tests, the tank definitely supports the longer frequency on water changes however, I feel I sacrifice in crystal clear water in the 2nd week.

 

I estimate that I spend about 3 hours a week in maintenance time. While many in my house wonder why it takes so much time, the truth is I enjoy the maintenance aspect of the tank almost as much as just sitting back and watching the tank. The photo below shows a screen shot of my schedule which is an excel file. If anyone is interested in the file send me a PM and I'd be happy to share it. The excel file has multiple tabs which also tracks dosing, charts water parameters, bulb age, RODI replacments, etc, etc. I feel that documenting your activities is the only way to determine what to improve when things are not going right and continue the things that are working.

 

Schedule.jpg

This is a screen shot of the maintenance schedule that I follow

 

Live Stock

My current stocking consists of two Percula Clowns which have been with me for 3+ years now and go back to my Nano Cube. I also have 2 Bartlett's Anthias, 2 Lemark Angels, a Melanarius Wrasse, Blue Tang, Yellow Watchman Goby/Pistol Shrimp Combo and a Red Mandarin Dragonette. While all are great, the Mandarin is my favorite, the secretive nature and continuous hunting makes him a favorite of most that visit the house. I would have to say that the goby and shrimp pair are my next favorite tank mates. It's very easy to burn an hour watching the two of them work together.

 

Mandarin.jpg

Red Mandarin Dragonette - Tank Favorite

 

StarFish.jpg

This star fish is another favorite for the kids to look for. He also adds some great color to the tank.

 

 

Viewpoints - 8 Month Update Part III

These first two shots show a couple viewpoints of the tank that I've taken a liking to.

 

The first photo shows the center trench which is the focal point of the tank. Since taking this photo, I've separated the two sides a bit making the trench about 5 inches across.

 

The second photo shows a view from one of the side panels. You really have to go out of your way to view the tank from this angle but I do really like it. I had a huge colony of brown monti cap that I fragged, you can see a couple of the pieces in this photo. Not the prettiest coral but very natural looking and great for texture. The caps are positioned over the sand bed so that other corals are not shaded.

 

Trench.jpg

A closer look through the center of the tank, I designed the scape with this trench as the focal point. Still needs some work but the fish do hang out in it.

 

RightSideBack.jpg

This photo is taken of the back right corner of the tank. I really like the view through this section of the tank. It's kind of a shame that it's in the back and out of view.

 

PearlBerry.jpg

This coral sat idle for about 4 months, it wasn't until one of the tips broke off that growth was triggered. It's really coloring up nicely. I believe this is an ORA Pearl Berry

 

WhiteCap.jpg

This coral is growing quick relative to most of my other pieces. It's getting some very nice purple stalks with white tips and polyps

 

BirdsNest.jpg

This coral started out in my nano as a 1" frag. I now have this piece that is about 4" by 4", another piece that is about 8" by 8" and two other pieces that are about 3". I really need to find a home for some of this. I will say that it's one of the best strands of Birds Nest I've seen. Very, very green with an orange stalks.

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Squared

you are amazing

 

wait how big is this tank? dimensions and all?

Edited by Squared

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Lawnman

Wow never seen this thread before. Very nice attention to detail.

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Mini-Dude

Do you like your skimmer?

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urbaneks
This tank is just unreal! You have taken every step to make this tank one of the most beautiful and functional setups I have ever seen. I am vigorously working on a new setup and this has given me so many amazing ideas. I don't want the inhabitants in my tank to be the only thing that looks good, I want my entire setup to look flawless and that is what you have done here. Awesome build!

 

jgpicodope009 - Thank You!!! I'm glad to read that you like what I've done so far on this tank. I see it just like you described it, I want the entire setup to functional, ascetically pleasing and easy to maintain. Most of the things I've done on this setup are a result of issues or difficulties I've had on past tanks. Again, thanks for the kinds words here.

 

can't wwaitt

 

IIX - Wait no more. I just posted again which brings the journal up to date to where the tank is at today.

 

you are amazing

 

wait how big is this tank? dimensions and all?

 

Squared - Thanks for the compliment - The tank holds 112g empty and is 48x30x18. I have 40g sump on the tank as well. With 100lbs of live rock, I have right a 100g total for the system. I'm pleased with the size of the tank however if money and available room were not an issue, I would go with something that was at least 48 from front to back.

 

Wow never seen this thread before. Very nice attention to detail.

 

Lawnman - Thanks for the compliment. The thread is very new to Nano-Reef. The tank is 8 months old now and I've had the journal on another site but decided to add it to Nano-Reef. This site was home when I first started with my nano and I really like this forum better than the other.

 

Do you like your skimmer?

 

Mini-Dude - If you look at my equipment line up you will notice that my skimmer is not inline with the rest of my equipment. In otherwords, i went on the lower end as far as skimmers go. With that said, it works fine, but is a littler undersized for my tank. I'm actually in the market for a Bubble King Mini 180 which is a major upgrade from what I have. I will be selling the current skimmer in the very near future.

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