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Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Old School Mullet


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039a - Jellyfish Hunter (026).jp

  • Solomon Island purple Digitata ($34)

  • Superman Montipora ($39)

  • Orange Digitata ($39)

  • Orange Setosa ($39)

  • Orange portion of a grafted Monti Cap ($59)

Corals purchased from:




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On 03/11/19, I picked up 2lbs of live rock from my favorite LFS (at $5/lb), which I've been cycling in a five gallon bucket with a Maxi-Jet powerhead.


I must have picked off several dozen vermetid snails from the rocks already.  There are also numerous asterina stars, which I haven't decided if I'm going to keep or not (I'm leaning towards not, but I'm still not sure).


Here's the rock in my 5gal bucket as of 03/26/19:

032619b.jpg  See the source image

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What could possibly go wrong? 😂😂

Will be following along to find out!


The rock I picked up the other day is the same - vermetids, asterinas, some works (not bristle)...think I may go with dry after all.



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Originally I was going to use the PAR38 bulb which I used on my cookie jar pico.  However, I wasn't that happy with the spectrum, so I searched around for another PAR38.  I even looked at Coral Compulsion's bulbs, but the price started getting closer to a fixture.


I've been considering trying a Chinese black box for awhile.  I know it's crazy overpowered for a 2.5gal, but I figured that I can dim it down and raise it up.  I chose the Lxyoug fixture because it claimed 120 degree lenses.  The fixture, however, is actually labeled ZXMEAN LED Aquarium Light.  And while it doesn't have 420nm diodes, I figured that my eyes might be better for that (plus UV degrades cheap lenses pretty quickly).


Yesterday I got it in.  It's only fitting that it's made in China (and a little janky).



My Aqua-Tech 5-15 HOB filter is definitely cheap ($8), and also slightly janky.



Proud to be a member of the


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On 3/25/2019 at 12:51 PM, This guy is extra salty said:

Waiting for that aquascape

I'm afraid that my rockscape will be little more than two rocks placed in the tank.  So in comes the aquarium decorations (more on that later).  However, for coral, I plan on keeping a few Montipora species.


I changed out all of the water in my bucket two days ago, but forgot that I had lowered the specific gravity of the water that I used.  It was probably around 1.022.  While not ideal, I don't think that I hurt the rock too badly.


However, the next day the rock had a bloom of algae (not exactly sure how that was related).  I have temporarily added four astraea snails and a hermit crab to the bucket to help control it.

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As others have pointed out, the Aqueon "Hinged" Glass Top is just a sheet of glass with a stick-on grabber.



It fits the Tetra 2.5gal loosely, but is in no danger of falling through.  I sanded the edges with some 220 grit sandpaper to make them less sharp, and I'll be making a cutout for the filter.  However, actually, I was thinking of dripping Kalkwasser at night; so I might need to encourage more evaporation (making the top unnecessary).


You can see by the title change and aquarium decorations, that this tank will be themed the Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom.


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16 minutes ago, seabass said:

I'll be making a cutout for the filter.

Since you love posting tutorials on YouTube and we all loved the last one about drilling your pico jar - how about making one of this so I known how to do it without breaking it into pieces? 

It can be like a contest tradition for you! 

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11 hours ago, SeaFurn said:

how about making one of this so I known how to do it without breaking it into pieces?

Good idea!  Although it might go horribly wrong.  If it does, we'll all be witness to it.  But then I'll definitely drip Kalk at night to make up for evaporation.

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For my modification phase of this project, I drilled and cut the top.  I'll give myself a C for it being functional.  But I'd do it a bit differently, if I had to do it again.


040219a.jpg  040219b.jpg

I cut a template, and placed it on the tank with the filter (to determine the overhang).


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I trimmed the overhang, then made a cutout for the intake tube.


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I used a diamond coated hole saw and glass cutter from Amazon.  The hole saw is slightly larger than the diameter of the the tube.


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Here's the cut after a bit of cleanup.  While not perfect, it fits pretty good.


I'll post a video of the cutting process in awhile.

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6 minutes ago, This guy is extra salty said:

I don’t think you have a big enough HOB filter 

Side mounted was a must for me.  It's only 100gph, which is 40 times turnover.  I'd prefer more.  I suspect I'll need to add a powerhead for more flow.

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I love how the package states "hinged" when it's literally a single pane of glass with a stick-on handle.


I just dug out my glass cutter so time to find an old framed picture nobody cares about to make my lid 🙂

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I dumped about a quart of phyto in the 5 gallon bucket tonight.  Why?  I was just going to pour it down the drain anyway; so I figured, why not.  I kind of want to get the rock in the tank soon.  If for no other reason, to observe the rock better.  I also have to figure how much evaporation to expect.

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This guy is extra salty
On 4/2/2019 at 2:31 PM, seabass said:

Side mounted was a must for me.  It's only 100gph, which is 40 times turnover.  I'd prefer more.  I suspect I'll need to add a powerhead for more flow.

Be careful of the surface skimmer police🚔 

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2 hours ago, This guy is extra salty said:

Be careful of the surface skimmer police🚔  

No worries, no surface skimmer will be used.  Maybe the surface film will help diffuse the 165W of scorching light. :coolguy:

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I finally uploaded the glass cutting video.  I started it off with a quick tank tour of my fish/utility room in the basement.  When drilling the lid, I should have used double sided tape to hold the template and backing material in place.  I finished drilling without a backing and I had more chip out than I wanted.  Finally, I shot some video of me just cutting up some scrap glass (with a couple of failed attempts).  I actually did this after I cut my top, but I should have practiced beforehand.


The bonus material is probably more interesting than the cutting the actual top; however, I wanted to depict what I actually did.  Anyway, here it is:


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Wow.  Just wow.  Love the video and tour of your fish room!  I've never seen anything like that.  And you have the most extensive and legit tank supply inventory I've ever seen.  :bowdown:


Now I need a fish room.

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