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RollaJase

RollaJase's Trip Off the Deep End - Custom Rimless 55G

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Tank Update - 9th May 2018:

With a week of annual leave booked I figured I owed you all an update. Tank has been going amazingly well since the last update with an explosion of growth and colour. I've had a few losses and headaches along the way but nothing too serious.

 

First up, two new FTS. The first being from the 26th March and the second being from the 8th May.

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The most noticeable changes being the change in scape and the green monti that was growing up the overflow. Late February/early march I decided to move the rocks out from under the monti in order to give me more rock directly under the lights for some SPS pieces. This worked great, effectively giving me a second rock island on the right side of the tank exclusivity for SPS. It also gave me a larger, calmer area in the back right corner for LPS to chill out and not get hassled by strong current. This worked well for a while until my largest trachy decided it wasn't happy and slowly started to die. After monitoring it for a week or so it looked like it was recovering only to spew out its guts while I was at work. I cam home to a large chunk of the monti dead thanks to the stinging cells of the trachy. The trachy was removed from the wall and surgery commenced to remove the dead piece and prevent any further die off.

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After the monti was mounted back on the wall (a little lower this time) everything went well for a month or so until I noticed it dying from the inside out. The piece was removed again and unfortunately had to be broken into several pieces to remove the dead piece and to inspect for any Monti eating Nudis (no Nudis thank God!) This happened towards the end of April and so far there has been no signs of anything getting worse, just lots of new growth and healing wounds.

 

As I had the week off I decided to dedicate a good 1-2 days (resulted being almost 4 days 😐) to give the tank a really good clean, clean out the sump and replace/upgrade some hardware. I ordered some custom dosing vessels to fit my stand which resulted in me needing to drain the sump so I could slide it back roughly 5mm and to the right roughly 10mm. This took all bloody day but the result was just what I was after.

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I also decided to upgrade the pump in my protein skimmer to the Jecod DCA-2000. These pumps have a new controller which can have a float valve connected to cut power to the pump if water rises or falls below a certain level. Perfect if you have concerns with your skimmer overflowing (I've had this issue before). I needed to make a mounting bracket as the new controller is much larger than the one that comes with the DC or DCS pumps. I used some old acrylic sheet that I had laying around, bonded two pieces together for extra rigidity and mounted it to the stand. The float switch works perfectly, I highly recommend this upgrade to anyone looking for a little more security with their skimmer.

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As for new additions to the tank, I picked up a female mandarin to partner with my male mandarin. Both are eating frozen foods which is great and both are happy and healthy. The female came from a local reefer who is attempting to breed them in captivity. He had two many females and needed more males so I got a pretty good deal on the female already eating frozen foods. It was love at first sight (for her anyway), she is completely infatuated with the male. She follows him around all the time which he tolerates but does flare up and chase her away from time to time. He has never attached her (which was my fear) but I don't think they will be spawning any time soon.

Here are a few pics of the new girl.

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And some pics of the male.

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Coral wise, as I mentioned in my previous post I picked up some nice new frags from a local reefer and more recently picked up another few. The highlight was managing to get my hands on a piece of Forest Fire Montipora Digitata. This piece is very rare over here and commands a high price, I managed to get a great deal from a local reefer on a piece not even 10mm long. This piece has doubled in size since I got it.

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Pieces like this typically sell for $400AUD plus, the reefer I got it from was one of the first in the country to get a piece and paid well over double that for something of similar size. As with everything though, they are becoming more readily accessible as people are having success with them, prices are dropping and each generation is getting hardier. Other pieces I've picked up have been a Purple Millepora, Green Millepora, Purple Montipora Denae, Green with Blue Polyps Montipora Denae, Red Plating Montipora, what looks to be a Garf Bonsai or similar and an interesting pinkish/red with blue tip piece.
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And some random shots for you, enjoy 😊.

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Tank Update - 26th September 2018:

Its been a very long time between drinks! Since the last update I've been to Sydney for the inaugural ReefStock Australia (picking up a few nice pieces, I had a week away in Bali and the tank has just been cruising along. To be honest, very little effort has gone into the tank as everything is just running great! Only major changes over the months has been a replacement of my ATO to what is effectively an Australian licensed version of the Smart ATO. Besides that, I've made a few minor tweaks to filtration and have continued to go further down the rabbit hole with Trace Element dosing.

 

Here are some pictures from September, all images are as they were when they came off the camera, (I've been practicing 😅).

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Your tank just keeps getting more beautiful.  I love the shape of the overall scape now that the coral have grown.  Its is so attractive.  And what a nice fat mandy, I would love to have one of those!

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13 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

wow!  so much growth!!!  

Thanks buddy 😁, growth has been pretty crazy over the last 3-4 months. I'm taking frags every week or so. How are things with you?

 

12 hours ago, vlangel said:

Your tank just keeps getting more beautiful.  I love the shape of the overall scape now that the coral have grown.  Its is so attractive.  And what a nice fat mandy, I would love to have one of those!

Thank you very much! Everything is really starting to fill in, the left island is pretty much full, i'm just waiting for the right island to fill in now. I made the mistake of placing things too close together... That's the male Mandy, he is very fat and eats everything I throw at him (frozen, pellets, pods). The female is pretty fat too but mainly because the two of them attempt to spawn every other night, still haven't quite got the hang of it yet haha.

 

11 hours ago, skyscraper2290 said:

Wow! This tank is amazing! Great work and the pictures are phenomenal! 

Thank you very much. I think my photos are improving, got a long way to go through.

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Awesome, just saw the latest update.  You will now share camera settings for the off the cameras shots.  I have a Nikon and still have to edit to correct the colors.  A royal pain!   :lol:

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32 minutes ago, RollaJase said:

Thanks buddy 😁, growth has been pretty crazy over the last 3-4 months. I'm taking frags every week or so. How are things with you?

 

lost 90% of my corals and fish to dino, gha, and cyano.  may restart everything soon.  i really want a mandarin next time and yours look soooo healthy.  any tips?  i can never get a good pods population in my tank.

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3 hours ago, markalot said:

Awesome, just saw the latest update.  You will now share camera settings for the off the cameras shots.  I have a Nikon and still have to edit to correct the colors.  A royal pain!   :lol:

Haha, thanks Mark. All of these photos were taken in full manual mode. White Balance was set at 10,000k, ISO between 100 and 200, F between f3.5 and f5.6 (my lens is average) and shutter speed between 1/15 and 1/100. Depending where the coral is in my tank and the zoom settings on my lens I need to adjust ISO and shutter speed to compliment the fstop my lens forces. It takes trial and error but is pretty easy to grasp. I recommend starting with a lower ISO (100 or 200) and then fiddling with the other settings so you can see how they change the outcome of the pictures. Also block as many other light sources around the tank as you can and crank up the light. I shut my blinds, close the door and turn off room lights and switch my light to my peak/midday setting. I've just purchased a fixed f1.7 lens which will arrive this week, it will help greatly, especially with shooting fish and moving corals. These pics could still do with some touch-ups by nowhere near as much work as it would be with my previous go to settings anyway.

 

2 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

lost 90% of my corals and fish to dino, gha, and cyano.  may restart everything soon.  i really want a mandarin next time and yours look soooo healthy.  any tips?  i can never get a good pods population in my tank.

Oh no, that sucks mate, sorry to hear. It's never easy dealing with a loss, especially one of that magnitude. I've had good experiences with mandarins, never had an issue getting them to eat prepared foods. My wrasses smash my pods as they like to graze so I've always had a visually poor population during the day, at night though I can see some crawling on the glass once the wrasses go to sleep. When you are trying to get them to eat frozen foods I've found a garlic supplement helps get them to consider the food. I find killing the circulation pumps really helps as they like to scope the food out and actively hunt it in the water column. Start with frozen brine mixed with some frozen rotifers/pods/lobster eggs with a garlic agent to get them interested, it will take them a while but the longest it has taken me to get them eating is roughly 2 weeks. It really helps if the particular fish is relatively healthy when you pick it up or has been in the holding take for a while. if it has survived a few weeks to a month in a holding tank with minimal food/pods chances are it has already attempted to eat frozen. Lastly, both of mine love the Hikari seaweed extreme pellets in the small size. I feed these to my tang and my blenny, once they settle and soften up a bit both my mandarins like to pick them off the sand bed. Hope that helps! 😃.

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Great update, the tank is beautiful. It's always hard to get a good balance between too close and too far with coral placement. There may be a few that are too close but it looks nice with everything filling in. 

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On 9/27/2018 at 7:40 PM, teenyreef said:

Great update, the tank is beautiful. It's always hard to get a good balance between too close and too far with coral placement. There may be a few that are too close but it looks nice with everything filling in. 

Thank you very much 😊. I really didn't expect some of these pieces to grow as quickly as they did, I'm forever fragging bits and pieces to make more room as everything grows taller. A new, larger tank will definitely be on the cards in the not so distance future and I'll be able to break this current scape up and redistribute the colonies to better suit their growth patterns when the time comes. 

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25 minutes ago, RollaJase said:

Thank you very much 😊 A new, larger tank will definitely be on the cards in the not so distance future and I'll be able to break this current scape up and redistribute the colonies to better suit their growth patterns when the time comes. 

Now that will be something to look forward to!😊

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I read through this, and here is my take away: $400 for a DIGI?! That's crazy! Good news is it's a super hearty piece. And once it grows, it'll grow grow grow! 

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11 hours ago, vlangel said:

Now that will be something to look forward to!😊

Definitely is, I've already got a short list of tanks i'm interested in. Finding it hard to choose something though as I have pretty specific wants which most stands don't accommodate. Would like to avoid a custom system this time around.

 

4 hours ago, YHSublime said:

I read through this, and here is my take away: $400 for a DIGI?! That's crazy! Good news is it's a super hearty piece. And once it grows, it'll grow grow grow! 

Thanks for stopping by 😊. The digi is definitely hardy, have not had such a fragile SPS piece before though. By default, corals not native to Australian waters are very expensive when they eventually get here. It is illegal to import wildlife that isn't native without particular permits and permission. If something is collected in our waters though, even though it isn't native, that is another story and does happen from time to time. At the moment Forest Fire Digi and red montipora caprocornis are fetching high prices. When they hit the market they were about $400AUD a piece, pricing has dropped considerably though over the last 6 months. Florida Rics are illegal to import for example but we get yuma's locally. Colourful specimens go for $200-$600 a polyp over here as they are few and far between in the trade, most get exported.

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