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Tempestas

Loungeview Pico – An Old School Cheerleader - New Stand

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Tempestas
On 9/18/2019 at 6:46 PM, seabass said:

Maybe not the right thread for me to respond; however, I feel that this may just be a temporary positive side effect.  Some people use anecdotal evidence like this to justify reduced maintenance.

 

Initially, the increase in nutrients will have a positive effect on the system.  However, if maintenance is ignored for too long, a buildup of organics may end up  leading to negative results (especially in a young tank).

 

That said (as a disclosure), my maintenance and water change routines tend not to be very strict.  However, a mature system does tend to be more resilient in these matters.

 

On 9/18/2019 at 8:11 PM, seabass said:

I didn't mean to imply anything from my response.  It was more of a random thought regarding missed water changes improving things.  We see this happen a lot; so I just thought I'd comment.

 

I totally agree with you on this. I think the saving grace in my instance is that there's a minimal bioload in that there's no fish, only 3 d-bag urchins, a starfish and some bristleworms, and that there is close to no evaporation from my system. Ordinarily I start getting jittery when more than 8 or 9 days has elapsed from the last water change.

 

The reality of my situation is that the lack of water changes just could not be prevented during this period. My friends really needed me, and I needed to make some money. And I knew not a single soul that could be trusted with water changes. Honestly I was half expecting a near dead aquarium when I got back, and that was a risk that I knew I was taking when I left it alone.

As for the corals bouncing back, I suspect it had more to do with settling back down again after the move than any increase in nutrients.


All of that being said, the parents have agreed to look after the tank whilst I'm away in October and November. Basically they're being instructed now on how to do partial water changes. The nice thing about hot weather is that I've had to eliminate the heating the saltwater step from the water change schedule. But all in all, I am expecting a murky green glass sphere when I get back.

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Tempestas

Okay, time for another overdue update.

 

The tank has been plodding along. Sadly no further additions, as the stock that I've seen in this city isn't all that amazing or seriously expensive.

 

Unfortunately water change times have become perilous, as I seem to be damaging the coral in one way or another during them. The first incident was where I snapped my green digi in two spots whilst cleaning the glass. Superglued one piece back where it was, and the second got glued at the base. Thankfully, it hasn't minded the trauma and is growing over the broken sections nicely.

 

1459285346_IMG_7587copy.thumb.jpg.0e60b8cfc836e43d7411aface26d3331.jpg

 

The second casualty has been my trachy, which I managed to suck into the water siphon tube not once but twice. It did lose a bit of tissue but I hope that it grows back.

 

On the plus side, the mystery LPS (which I am still clueless as to what is), is colouring up beautifully. What started of slightly purple and gold is now green, gold and turquoise blue with a purple mouth. However, yesterday I woke up to a partially melted mushroom, which I think the mystery LPS decided to sting during the night.

 

 

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And lastly the hammer is recovering. Yay!

 

2013802044_IMG_7590copy.thumb.jpg.16bec35c296b987b0c9a4063b9919ff8.jpg

 

 

FTS from this morning: (Yes, I know the glass needs a thorough clean)

 

1782961157_IMG_7586copy.thumb.jpg.461d6bd96ad7a1da2a0aa36caea0e0b3.jpg

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Christopher Marks

Hiya @Tempestas! Can you believe it has been 7 months already? 

 

This is a friendly reminder to post your final competition FTS and a 1 to 2 paragraph recap of your experience in the pico reef competition. Be sure to share your future plans for your pico reef as well, will it continue forward or get an upgrade? The competition ends on Sunday October 27th at midnight!

 

Thank you for being a part of our "Rule Breakers" Old School Pico Reef Competition! ❤️ 

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Tempestas

Time for the competition recap for the Old School Pico Reef Competition! I seriously cannot believe it's already been 7 months.

 

This competition has been a blast, even though I technically only entered into the "Rule Breaker' Category. Thankfully, I had been preparing this aquarium for a while before the competition started, and it gave me the impetus to take the plunge.  After visiting many parts of the South Pacific, I really wanted a small fragment of a reef to marvel at on a daily basis. After reading about the success that @natalia_la_loca, @brandon429 and Mary Arroyo had had with their reefbowls, I decided that I would imitate then in the hopes of stacking the odds in my favour. Hence the round bowl, the ABI Tuna Blue light, and the most important glass lid and seal. In retrospect, I honest feel that the last component was the most vital in that it kept the tank parameters the most stable, with no noticeable evaporation loss over nearly 3 weeks.

 

After setting up the aquarium, almost at the outset, I ran into failure because I modified my plan due to macroalgae FOMO (and mainly because I was greedy because I had so much macro lying on the beach outside my apartment). Even though I had next to no idea on how to keep macro successfully, I kept adding copious amounts of it only to watch them die over and over. Not a single collected specimen survived. On the other hand, when my LFS started getting stock of coral, I was able to keep almost all of them alive, mainly because that is what I had intended to stock the tank with from the outset. Thankfully, I have only lost two corals in this tank, with the rest of them showing signs of happiness. My two big successes has been doubling the size of my Purple Milk stylo and having my hammer develop new polyps at its base. My biggest failure was in underestimating the resilience of a cooler box during the epic 11 hour, during which I suspect the corals overheated slightly from a heat pack, and it took a while before they bounced back. But all in all, I cannot begin to describe how happy I am with this tank, and the joy it brings me (all for about an hour's work every week). As for future plans, I fully intend to keep it going for as long as I can. I'm hoping that when I get back home to it, I can find some nicer corals with which I can continue filling it up and get it looking even better.

 

Best of luck to the other contestants!

 

Final Competition FTS:

 

IMG_7625.thumb.jpg.60e20bc8f2c329c7c2451d203d0c78d8.jpg

 

And some other shots:

 

IMG_7627.thumb.jpg.fcdf026348e767115b3b11b8726efa55.jpg

 

IMG_7630.thumb.jpg.a1af8e58e5789348353e5518e14793f6.jpg

 

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IMG_7628.thumb.jpg.23b5a7c7162a91d64f562ab7db2caaf3.jpg

 

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IMG_7635.thumb.jpg.6d0195b6f913adbc5040bbd41cc3682f.jpg

 

 

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kimdawg

I am glad you entered the contest.  Even if it is a rule breaker I think you still won by creating a beautiful reef bowl.  You have a variety of corals and they are all colorful and growing.  I am happy to see other people plan on keeping the tank going.  I may not get many or even any votes but I think my tank was a win for me, because I can take care of it by myself even with my lack of real use of one arm.  Please keep posting up dates so I can follow along.

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Tempestas

Hi Kim. Thanks so much. Tank is nowhere near as colourful as yours, but it does bring me such joy. And it totally is a win for me because I always dreamed of having a reef tank and now I finally have one

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debbeach13

Congratulations! You made it to the end. You may be a rule breaker but you meet some challenges head on. Power outages and a move didn't stop you. That is a beautiful reef bowl and I hope it brings you years of joy. Great job. Good luck.

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Tempestas

It seems like the time between my updates seem to be getting longer and longer...

 

Personally I blame my job. What was meant to be a 30 day contract in central America turned into a 45 day contract there and in the Caribbean. I won't bore everyone with details but it involved 9 countries, 8 flights, 3 hotel stays and a severely enraged coral enthusiast. I only got home 2 days ago, and left 2 weeks before the competition was meant to end.

 

During this time, care of the aquarium fell unto my mother. I tried to keep everything for her as simple as possible, so I basically instructed her to so a 10% water change every 4 or so days. In case of a major emergency, I had mixed up 20 litres of salt water more that what I anticipated her using. She eventually landed up only changing the water once a week - no biggy.

 

Then I came home and found this:

 

1842362120_IMG_8207copy.thumb.jpg.93dd7a5573acb1bcd5f2db22e9e76702.jpg

 

 

Surprisingly, all the corals had survived, and some had grown a lot. So yesterday I fed the system (for the first time in nearly 2 months), and did a water change today. I'm so glad for my most recent equipment purchase, although I think IM would have at least been able to afford spell check:

 

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After scrubbing the tank walls:

 

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Most of the gunk removed during the water change. Sadly I discovered the shell of the smallest urchin and the turbo snail, and the mussel had died. RIP guys 😢

 

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And the tank about 30 mins after the water change.

 

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Some thoughts that I'm having at the moment:

 

- These tanks are remarkably resilient. Six weeks without major intervention and it just keeps going.

- The algae bloom was probably worsened by the death of the mussel and urchin - it's going to take some work to peroxide most of the worst spots on the rocks.

- The tank is also running a lot hotter than I expected - ranging between 27.5 to 29 Celcius. My mum reports that there's been hot weather like this for the past 2-3 weeks already, so I'm going to see if the tank can cope with this seasonal change. I'm also thinking of removing the heater so I can give it a good clean out.

- It seems like the coraline is finally moving to the other rocks in the tank. Most of them are covered in red dots that won't turkey baste away. I'm going to see how that develops as well.

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Tempestas

The weather keeps wrecking havoc over here...

 

So last week the heat wave continued unabated, and the temperature in the tank started going over 29 C overnight. Eventually, I had to remove the lid and had the wind evaporate some water to attempt to keep the tank cool. Thankfully, it didn't go above 29.0C.

 

Topping off manually wasn't too much trouble, but then I found out why reefbowls need to be sealed - salt creep everywhere!

 

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Again, not a major problem in the scheme of things. Maybe an extra minute more work on water change day.

 

Then on Wednesday the weather changed and its been raining constantly since. Usually, I wouldn't be concerned about cold weather (the tank has a heater after all...) but then our government gave everyone an early Christmas present:

 

LOAD SHEDDING!!

 

And now I'm back to watching the tank cool down when the power is out. From 29 to 23.5C in one week. I really don't know how the corals are going to handle this. I'm seriously considering jerry-rigging something like this into the tank with a new lid to use when the power is out.

 

https://www.instructables.com/id/72-hour-Emergency-Fish-Tank-Heater-for-1/

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Ratvan
2 hours ago, Tempestas said:

The weather keeps wrecking havoc over here...

 

So last week the heat wave continued unabated, and the temperature in the tank started going over 29 C overnight. Eventually, I had to remove the lid and had the wind evaporate some water to attempt to keep the tank cool. Thankfully, it didn't go above 29.0C.

 

Topping off manually wasn't too much trouble, but then I found out why reefbowls need to be sealed - salt creep everywhere!

 

52343006_IMG_8232copy.thumb.jpg.963494b5ac0fbd2845f17949a5b86e06.jpg

 

 

Again, not a major problem in the scheme of things. Maybe an extra minute more work on water change day.

 

Then on Wednesday the weather changed and its been raining constantly since. Usually, I wouldn't be concerned about cold weather (the tank has a heater after all...) but then our government gave everyone an early Christmas present:

 

LOAD SHEDDING!!

 

And now I'm back to watching the tank cool down when the power is out. From 29 to 23.5C in one week. I really don't know how the corals are going to handle this. I'm seriously considering jerry-rigging something like this into the tank with a new lid to use when the power is out.

 

https://www.instructables.com/id/72-hour-Emergency-Fish-Tank-Heater-for-1/

That's a pretty good idea for a temporary heater, how is the mystery LPS coming along?

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Tempestas

It's been growing and now has 3 mouths. But of course they're facing the back of the tank. And the colour is drifting more to the blue side. Only real green is on the edges.

 

Hopefully you can see the mouths in this pic. Maybe the wiser member can hazard what this is.

 

483563391_IMG_8252copy.thumb.jpg.a40ff2e69801c740116772138c460b9f.jpg

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Amphrites

Looks like a chalice to me, or less-likely an exceedingly-odd growth form of one of the closed-brains (goniastrea, that kind of thing).

Not sure though, just going by the growth-pattern on the outer rim and the fact you said it has grown quite a few new heads.

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kurnn

It looks like lobophyllia to me.

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Tempestas
On 12/11/2019 at 3:06 PM, Amphrites said:

Looks like a chalice to me, or less-likely an exceedingly-odd growth form of one of the closed-brains (goniastrea, that kind of thing).

Not sure though, just going by the growth-pattern on the outer rim and the fact you said it has grown quite a few new heads.

 

 I just hope that it isn't a chalice. But it doesn't seem to have the right growth pattern - much more soft tissue that I think chalices have

 

On 12/13/2019 at 3:06 AM, kurnn said:

It looks like lobophyllia to me.

 

Quite possibly, it could be one. My current working identity is a possible echinata. Who knows? 🤷‍♂️ I think only time will tell

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Tempestas

In other news, I went to visit the LFS last week, and had a major oopsie. And so I came home with 3 acans and a croc island scoly 😶

 

Currently the scoly is sitting at the back near the heater but I'm planning to add some putty in front of the trachy and place it there. From what I understand, these scoly's like higher flow than normal ones right?

 

FTS

 

62107818_IMG_8314copy.thumb.jpg.56bc2f7831b74e463d1263841d393e5b.jpg

 

New acans

 

248667801_IMG_8318copy.thumb.jpg.46503c7b16261b113cae47ad3a2355f4.jpg2136217925_IMG_8319copy.thumb.jpg.286ba5d21fd51de4e87b480dd642d066.jpg

 

The ridonkulously expensive scoly

 

Under blue

290297362_IMG_8321copy.thumb.jpg.caddb19c5fe9650e2e8bf658270902db.jpg

 

With filtering

1488790200_IMG_8270copy.thumb.jpg.16458aa5806447ee957c72f8740785b9.jpg

 

 

And lastly finally some encrusting on the Purple Milka

 

485755659_IMG_8315copy.thumb.jpg.8b9bcccd40690bf708dc6b2eed95e59c.jpg

 

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debbeach13

WoW really filling in nicely. The new corals look great.

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natalia_la_loca

looks awesome ❤️ nice job!

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Tempestas
20 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

WoW really filling in nicely. The new corals look great.

Thanks so much! Now if only other people in this house would notice the new corals that would be nice...

 

9 hours ago, natalia_la_loca said:

looks awesome ❤️ nice job!

 

Thank you! Your reefbowls were the main reason I attempted this in the first place. And I'm so glad that I did.

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Ratvan

Looking really good, hows the temp heater situation coming along?

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Tempestas
21 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Looking really good, hows the temp heater situation coming along?

Thanks bud.

 

So our president has promised that there won't be power outages over the festive season, and to prove a point cancelled leave for everyone at the power utility - We'll have to see how that pans out. So far, we haven't had any power outages this week, so the tank hasn't gotten too cold. And the weather seems to be holding stable, so the tank rarely pushes above 27,5C. When it has, removing the lid keeps the temp down somewhat.

 

I'm just hoping that we don't have a heat wave for Christmas.

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Tempestas

Tank upgrade time! Warning: Long post ahead...

 

I've been wanting to build a nice stand for this since moving, as the temporary one that I had was just not cutting it. The initial plan was to construct one from bamboo plywood, but when I went to the hardware store, the price was just too steep on something that was probably going to be experimental. And I didn't have a solid design pinned down.

 

During my last foray to get RO water (and subsequently more coral), I decided to pop into the local cheap pine furniture shop to see if they had any nice nightstands that I could use as a tank stand. And instead of pondering about it, I just bought one:

 

636535815_IMG_8311copy.thumb.jpg.c4081dfdd319bb501e250321fa7370fe.jpg

 

The problem is that it didn't have a door for the bottom section. Not a problem though because I knew I had a spare pine board lying around somewhere. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a door covering the entire front would look better. So that's how I cut the board. (First time using a circular saw and planer; btw - those things are terrifying)

 

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Next problem is that the top surface had somehow warped in the car, so I set up trying to fix that. Who needs clamps when you have ingenuity and a barrel of water...

 

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Then the staining. I wanted the finish to match the other furniture in the room, which has a sort of washed out oak look to it. I figured that the closest I could get would be to do a grey stain and then whitewash it.  After pondering the stains at the hardware store (and their prices), I decided to try out a homemade staining using apple cider vinegar and steel wool. This worked out decently on the test pieces, so I decided to go full attack.

 

And subsequently messed that up.

 

1228955554_IMG_8322copy.thumb.jpg.096df8e89ff6120a2b2484881a433f9f.jpg

 

The problem was that my test pieces came from scrap from the door, which stained approximately how I thought it would. But the stand took up a lot more stain and came out looking very dark. I tried to whitewash it in the hope that it could help but it didn't.

 

So I had to break out the heavy duty sander and tried to sand some of the stain away - again not a very good idea. I was left with very dark areas mixed very light areas. At this stage I was about to throw in the towel and spray everything a solid flat white but my friend convinced me not to. After whitewashing, it looked a bit better and I decided to finish it.

 

1699706143_IMG_8327copy.thumb.jpg.6909e61b5d7ce7596141be17d03bcf0b.jpg313864236_IMG_8334copy.thumb.jpg.8d27f37a8e5c6c006c335d201be0daf7.jpg

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A nice thick coat of matte varnish and some hinges later it was complete. My concern though is that the door still doesn't match, but I honestly don't think anyone is going to notice or care.

 

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And finally today during the water change I moved the tank to the new stand. I also decided to give the heater and temp probe a vinegar and peroxide bath, so they're looking cleaner too.

 

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With the light on.

 

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Final thoughts: I may still decide to spray the stand white in the future when it gets moved again. Or there is the distinct possibility that I may cough up the money for decent wood and build one from scratch. What do you guys think?

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debbeach13

I think the stand look very nice. I would probably use it as is and save my money for corals. LOL

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Ratvan

I like the stand, very similar to what I have been looking out for for mine

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Wingy

I vote leave as is too.  If your really unhappy use some vinyl removable wallpaper or the temporary counter top covering for bathrooms/kitchens.

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Tempestas
On 12/23/2019 at 4:07 PM, debbeach13 said:

I think the stand look very nice. I would probably use it as is and save my money for corals. LOL

Lol. That is so true. New SPS landing in my LFS this week

 

On 12/23/2019 at 4:13 PM, Ratvan said:

I like the stand, very similar to what I have been looking out for for mine

If you want, I can send you the dimensions so you can get one cut at your local hardware shop - some screws (or dowels), hinges and some paint later and you'll have a stand

 

On 12/23/2019 at 9:17 PM, Wingy said:

I vote leave as is too.  If your really unhappy use some vinyl removable wallpaper or the temporary counter top covering for bathrooms/kitchens.

At this stage, I feel that it is just too much effort to do anything to it for now, so it stays. Plus, literally no-one has commented on the stand at all. Like not a single word.

 


On the plus side, someone finally noticed that new corals had made their way into the tank.

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