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Kyl

Kyle's 60g Shallow Reef

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On 12/3/2017 at 11:50 AM, teenyreef said:

Post a picture of two of the new tank here so we can keep up!

Will do, for sure. The new tank should be wet by tomorrow, but I don't think the transfer will happen for another week or so. For pictures, the Flickr albums are some what up to date on build progress: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kyl_aquaria/.

And, still no greenbanded gobies, at least I'm not paying almost $50 each plus another 50 in shipping!

 

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No losses so far, nor any ammonia showing. Diatoms on the new rock work, and it's new sand as well. The only real change that happened was the anemone must have stressed a lot during the 10 foot travel to the new tank from the nano, and it split into three smaller clones over the course of two days.

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anemone_split by Kyl, on Flickr

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This is what I'm now having to deal with.. every day..
 

 

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hahaha oh man I'm sorry but this gave me a good laugh. He's making it rain sand everywhere haha what is he thinking :D:D

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I'm just going to keep this thread going since I just noticed there's a forum for the large reefs :) Will have to do some updating to the op..

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That blenny :lol:. There are no words.

 

The new tank looks fantastic, and I'm really glad the transfer went well. I've started thinking about upgrading the 40g to a longer/larger tank on the same built in bookshelf. It would be 48" long, like yours. The shelf is a little over 20" wide, so I could probably go with 18" or 19" deep. I don't really know how tall I want it to be, though. I love the shallow look, and I think the best view of any tank is from the top, so my first thought is to go no more than 16" to 20" deep. But I could go up to 24" without making it too hard to work in the tank, which would give more water and more room for bigger fish and corals. Plus more light variation for low-light lovers on the bottom. So I'll be paying close attention to how you like the dimensions of your tank as time goes by. Post lots of pictures! :D

 

PS: where did you get your tank built?

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Concept Aquariums out of Calgary, Alberta (Canada). They're pretty much the go-to for us in Canadaland in terms of a custom tank, unless you want to pay a lot more with Miracles. They made the tank, sump, frag tank and subbed out the stand, but it all arrived together. Some issues with the build, and a few things overlooked, but overall I'm very pleased. Some of them were my mistake, some theirs.

One thing I didn't expect is how easy it is to scratch the starphyre glass. Already a few light ones, that at least you can't see while filled, from the magnetic frag racks sliding down.

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Good to know! Not that I'm looking for a Canadian tank maker, but it's always nice to hear about how things went.

 

Frags racks on the front glass are just scratches waiting to happen, especially with Starfire. I've learned that the hard way :mellow:

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So with things winding down with the builds I’ve been giving thought to the stocking list again. The goal for the tank was to keep the fish profiles small, but have a number of them, though I’ve sort of broken that rule already with the addition of a Midas Blenny and the Blue Star Leopard Wrasse currently in QT. I had wanted more livestock movement than the nano, and so far the Midas and Social wrasse are always out and zipping around, perfect. The stocking goal is still largely the same, and I’m really not worried at all about bio load as the setup can more than handle a large one when things really kick off.

 

So that leaves these as the probable additions I’m going to settle on;

 

1x Blue Star Leopard Wrasse (purchased, in QT)

1x Yellow-Fin Flasher Wrasse

1x Royal Gramma

1x Yellowhead Jawfish

1x Yasha Ray Goby (& Candycane Pistol)

 

The only thing that is a hesitation is the Royal Gramma. I do have rockwork with decent hiding areas, and will have two additional decent sized rocks when the clams are moved into the tank. I’m hoping that would be enough to support territories and avoid fighting, as the stark contrast with the purple and yellow of the gramma has really caught the eye. The other part of this whole list is to keep things affordable, I’m very hesitant to lay out a hundred plus on a single fish that has to go through QT - given a so-so track record over the last year.

 

The frag tank stock is doing great, the clams seem to be very happy and the mantles are always almost fully extended. No hitch-hikers, or pinched mantles, success. GHA has taken off on the rock work, as expected, but I'm not at all worried as the macro in the sump has shown some growth in the little time it has been there. Some emerald crabs were added and have already cleaned quite a bit of the shorter areas up, nom nom nom. Also picked up some snap together "egg crate" panels to make frag racking out of, but still trying to figure out the best way to stand them up. The old PVC supports would probably work fine, but something a bit more elegant may be a better fit. This weekend I'll probably get the dosers on both systems running as alk has already dropped almost a full point in the frag tank, and a bit over that in the DT.

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Picked up two 24" Sunblaster T5 fixtures to add to the frag tank to better mimic what everything can expect when moving to the DT eventually, and to get better coverage than just the middle of the tank. Trying to come up with a mounting method to the black box fixture and remembered I had some spare aluminum U channel from when I did my sliding shelf door that's above the frag tank. Farting around with this made me do a double take on the Aquaticlife T5 hybrid fixture, and how I was going to mount it (suspended using some 8020 originally). A quick measurement on the fixture and it's about 1-3/8", so it would fit perfectly sliding into a 1-1/2" aluminum U channel..
 
How I overlooked that while trying to figure out how to mount the fixture above the tank / below the cabinet, such a simple solution. If it does work out and I can't stand the aesthetic, getting them re-anodized or ordering in some black U channel won't be too difficult. This would also hide the T5 & Kessil cords, though I would probably print up a type of spacer to affix on the plate sides to keep the fixture "square" and find something to cap the ends off. Ultimately it would allow easy access to remove the fixture should it be required, just the power cords would need to be disconnected. I may also mod the T5 power cords to accept an IP67 connector, making it easier than having to un-plug and snake out the wiring. The cords themselves are kind of short given one is on the far side of the fixture and the front, so it's either an extension cord or modding a connector in. 
 
The tailspot is showing improvement in QT, but I think still isn't done with meds yet. Almost a month, but his eyes aren't 100% normal so I don't want to short-change things. Getting quite a bit more active while in QT, and eating a bit more readily, so I take that as an overall good sign. The blue star leopard has begun to flash again in QT, and testing the copper level which I had neglected for a while shows it barley above 1. I guess it was leaching into the pond matrix, or the sand, so it's back up to therapeutic level and the timer needs to re-start..
 
The last of the coral in the IM 20 is now removed, the original pink "zoa", rather paly rock is in the DT and all the rest, approx 50-60 heads are in the frag tank. The Ikea cabinet stand is still mint, and the tank will probably be drained and cleaned later this week.  I have been kicking around the idea of going with a fresh water shrimp tank, but that's still up in the air - too many things still on the go. The 10 I've probably mentioned will be sold, and I'm just about to package it up with the original return pump, a spinstream, custom caddy rack and skimmer. Should make a nice starter setup for someone, though the stand has suffered a lot of water damage from salt creep in the last few months of it being home to the social wrasse. It will be nice to finely call an end to the nano era, a bit over two years since I started the hobby in with the IM fusion 10 in November of 2015.

Also might have a local line on Greenbanded Gobies, the elusive fish I've wanted since almost day1 and seeing them on Teeny's fusion 10 thread. I've asked the guy to see if they're available (Caribbean supplier), and if so, get me five of those suckers! Also sourcing a Royal Gramma, shouldn't have a problem with anything else in the tank given how much room there is now. 
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So a local coral importer just put up his first fish order for the Caribbean, and I asked for a Royal Gramma and Yellowhead Jawfish. Super deals, and darn he's quick - they're already coming in on Thursday. Also hoping to pick up some SPS acro frags, and maybe a rockflower or two as well, his stuff looks very good.
 
For now the fish will be going in the frag tank as I don't have my QT 20L's set up since the closet was fully taken over by the frag system. I already made a lid up for that tank, so there should be no worry about them getting out of it. Also made up a piece of PVC, capped off with some rock rubble glued to the front base of it, hopefully the Jawfish will dart into there and feel safe (and make it easier to transfer later).

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After fussing with things for the frag tank lighting, KISS..
 
39619969754_0cdd464273_c.jpg
frag_light1 by Kyl, on Flickr
 
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frag_light2 by Kyl, on Flickr
 
A few angle brackets and tada, perfect fit, height and looks not so bad. This is the first time I've fired up a T5 bulb, went with two Blue+. I realize a delayed-start ballast would be best for longevity, but these fixtures fit the profile of what I wanted, didn't break the bank and if I have to replace a bulb a few months earlier, no big deal. For now I'm going to run them for two hours a day, and I've turned down the blue and normal channel on the black box. I don't want to shock things too much, but already the coverage is so much better. Ideally I believe around 8 hours is a normal photo period, so I figure adding an hour a week until that point should be a good transition.
 
Also got a bit of a frag rack done, nothing special just some egg crate and acrylic square extrusion. Two-part doser is online on the frag tank now too, and I'm going to aim for around 8.3-8.5 DKH on the tank. It currently tested at 6.5 today, IO mix is testing at just under 10. Quite a lot of use so far in the life of the tank. The two fish are doing well, the gramma is swimming around a bit and eating well, but still hiding often. The jawfish is being stubborn and won't go near the pipe cave, but it's starting to pick at food floating by. Looks like both will make it, and they were far under retail prices so I consider this a nice win.
 
Still trying to come up with ideas for mounting the Aquaticlife hybrid fixture on the DT, might end up being a bit of a hack job..
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Here's what I've come up with to get the four foot Aquatic Life hybrid T5 fixture mounted over the tank.
 
Spoiler

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t5_mount_1 by Kyl, on Flickr

 

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t5_mount_2 by Kyl, on Flickr

 

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t5_mount_3 by Kyl, on Flickr

 

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t5_mount_4 by Kyl, on Flickr

 

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t5_mount_5 by Kyl, on Flickr


If everything works out, this would leave me with the ability to slide the fixture back approximately 9.5" to better service the tank, once the A160's are removed from that vacant middle area. They're super easy to disconnect too for cleaning or what not as the power barrel jack is about 6" from the Kessil fixture and they will just sit inside of the fixture brackets.

I'm fairly confident that this will work, be safe, and might actually not look half-bad. Also been checking with the electrical guy at work and he's going to source some 3 pin IP68 connectors so I can mod the power cables for the T5 sections and have them be attached like many of the Jebao / MaxSpect power heads are with the threading coupler.

Progress, hopefully.

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I really wish making videos was something easy, but either the combination of this phone, software, myself - or all three don't make it so. This is about as clear as I can get it without blue over-taking the tank, but the coral doesn't fluoresce as much as it does under heavier actinic. It does however give a sense of what I watch every day when I get home, except the Midas is being a chicken and hiding behind the green hammer mostly.
 



Funny, you can see the frag tank lighting in the reflection - the closet is right across from it :)

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Picked up some new acros today, fresh cuts so no frag plugs to cut off - why bother.
 
L to R:
Green Slimer Acropora
RR Rainbow Loom Acropora
Four Seasons Acropora
Marshall Island Sapphire Acropora
Red Diablo Acropora
 
38678233270_b7153b9c87_c.jpg
new_acros by Kyl, on Flickr
 
And a wider shot of the rack. A bunch of junk from the tear down on the nano that I didn't want in the main, including a bunch of GSP and four clumps of those pink coloured palythoa.
40445833782_b8b346cccf_c.jpg
frag_tank by Kyl, on Flickr
 
Can't seem to get the blue out versus the Kessils  with the camera on auto like worked previous in the nano tank, but that's sort of close to what it looks like, just less purple. GHA is slowly getting brittle and dying off, so I'm hoping before long the clam rocks no longer resemble some bad 80's wigs ;)
 
Got the metal cut for the light brackets, now to source the T slot nuts to attach the fixture itself. Probably going to be about two weeks before I can mill the slots, but I want to get a rough mount up with just some drill holes before then to make sure it will work out. Thought I had my wiring panel done for the DT equipment, and the Ikea shelf I had routed a slot into broke in half when everything was pushed in.. Thinking of changing plans and having the ATO resivoir, dosing vessels and the DOS unit inside a smaller cabinet, and then putting the electronics up above in one of the shelf cubbies that will keep its door. Still undecided fully, I may just make up a side box to stick all the power cords and bricks into. Want something that is hidden but also accessible without having to tear something down. There is quite a bit of space wasted with the jug I'm using for the ATO vessil, might also look into building a glass cube to replace it as it's an odd size (18 x 15 x 12).
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A bit of eye-candy this update:
26947558418_479bd946dc_c.jpg
FTS_March_2018 by Kyl, on Flickr
 
Starting things off, I won't lie - it's kind of painful considering the 360 brackets to me are completely useless...
  • 3 AL470533 AquaticLife Hybrid 16"/18" LED Bracket with 2.5" Round Opening $19.95 - $59.85
It is motivation though, as the A160 brackets for the T5 fixture will be here either Monday or Tuesday next week. There hasn't been any headway on the mounting system, still waiting on the milling machine to get operational, but this weekend it's going to be a DIY one to get the holes drilled and a non-sliding version mounted. There is still enough channel left to fabricate another two brackets to have slots, so the fixture could be used in the mean time until then. The goal is still a slotted system for a number of reasons, but it's something I can't rush since it won't be costing anything (versus $80+ in a shop).
 
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aneomones by Kyl, on Flickr
 
Livestock wise the tank is doing much better since the alkalinity was raised back up and has been stable just above 8 dKH. The monti caps were very bleached but have shown some colour recovery over the past week, still nothing near when first introduced to the upgraded tank. The orange setosa is really taking off with growth, and the pink lemonade acropora has started to form new shoots up off the original two branches that survived the nano tank. There is a bit of recession with one of the frogspawns, it might just be too much flow, but I do see the sexy shrimp hanging on them and picking at them all the time so it may just be a foregone conclusion that they'll end up dead heads. The other casualty of the tank was the forestfire digi, it just started to lose tissue rapidly last week and was completely gone by Monday.
 
The remaining good news is the Tailspot blenny is out of QT and made its introduction to the DT. There has been zero aggression between it and the Midas, something I was hoping wouldn't be an issue even though they're different blenny types. He is actively combing at the new rock work and has made residence under the arch in a small crevice between the left side of the rocks. You can see the patches of white rock where he's been scraping the algae off, and is out and about in the tank pretty frequently. The other future star, the Blue Star leopard is now in the old nano tank. It's been sitting fallow, and without any rockwork, but full of sand and some coral skeletons since the rock and livestock was moved, and seems like a perfect tank to go into for a few weeks for observation to make sure the ich was taken care of with copper. Right away it burrowed, but was out when I got home this evening and is still eating like a pig. Small grade mysis, PE pellets (1mm), spirulina brine shrimp, LRS frenzy nano and even some of the new spectrum pellets are all readily eaten by it. I really hope it doesn't end up transitioning to male, given I lost the other female, that colouring is just spectacular and I can't wait to see it shimmer in and out of the light under those Kessils.
 
Here's what I get to look at every time I glance from my desk, and some other random shots :)
39922240635_ca657a0509_c.jpg
side_shot by Kyl, on Flickr
 
 
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left_perspective by Kyl, on Flickr
 
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misc by Kyl, on Flickr
 
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toadstool by Kyl, on Flickr
 
And the BIG CHICKEN of the tank who keeps spitting sand all over everything!
26947562078_c58bf92bac_c.jpg
BIG_CHICKEN by Kyl, on Flickr
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GREEN BANDED GOBIES HAVE ARRIVED!

Sorry, but anyone who's followed this knows what that has meant to me!

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Bad early shot, but they're home and being drip acclimated (1.022 sg vs QT tank which is 1.025).

 

40997080305_545d651f90_c.jpg

greenbanded gobies by Kyl, on Flickr

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Well, I have found out that Greenbanded gobies certainly love PE Calanus!

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