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Tempestas

Loungeview Pico – An Old School Cheerleader

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Tempestas

Just some photos I took the other day before flying out to Australia

 

FTS:

 

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SPS: Unfortunately I broke the monti yet again during the water change.

 

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Trachy, scoly and zoas

 

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LPS island

 

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Christopher Marks
On 12/23/2019 at 6:50 AM, Tempestas said:

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:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

The new stand looks really cool, featured on a pedestal with a spotlight like a piece of art! The finish looks good to me.

 

If you've been considering a shade for your light, this one from IKEA might be able to be retrofitted with some modification: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/melodi-pendant-lamp-white-60386532/

 

Safe travels!

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Tempestas

Thanks Chris!

 

I was thinking of doing a lighting upgrade at some stage for the aesthetics. Sadly Ikea isn't available in South Africa, but I'll have to hit the hardware shops to see what we have back home. A hanging pendant is also completely out of the question currently as the house belongs to the parents.

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Ratvan

Copper tubing leg mounts?

 

The Mrs if feeling homesick seeings bit and bat's of your house, all I'm going to hear now is Zim, Zim, Zim, Zim

 

Cheers for that 😁

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Lingwendil

use electrical conduit or iron pipe, and bolt it to the rear of the stand, then you can hang whatever light you want on it 🙂

 

Cast iron black gas pipe should be perfect, an elbow, a cap, and some screw clamps. Then just drill a hole for a eye hook to attach hanging hardware 🙂 

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Tempestas

Wow, now that was an abysmal contract of note. All topped off by 30 hours of travel in a surgical mask. Oh so much of fun...

 

And the internet over the last month has been awful, hence the radio silence.

 

But at least I'm home now with my tank.

 

All-in-all, it didn't fair so badly. Sadly the mystery LPS didn't make it. My mother didn't even notice that it had disappeared until I pointed it out to her. The likely culprit was the heat wave that we had in the last week, where the tank apparently went over 30 deg Celcius on some days. I've also not spotted any of the urchins since coming back, so I'm worried that they're toast too.

 

Onto the positives, the orange zoa has taken over, and I suspect I'm going to have to do some trimming back soon. The monti is also slowly regaining some green colour. The acans have also changed colour slightly, losing a lot of the light blue and increasing the glowing orange and red colours.

 

Daylight shot:

 

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Mystery LPS nearly gone.

 

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Monti and the sps looking nice and fluffy

 

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Croc island scoly colouring up nicely

 

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Acans settling in

 

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Top down view showing the acans with their lava mouths

 

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FTS

 

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Tempestas
On 1/25/2020 at 1:42 PM, Ratvan said:

Copper tubing leg mounts?

 

The Mrs if feeling homesick seeings bit and bat's of your house, all I'm going to hear now is Zim, Zim, Zim, Zim

 

Cheers for that 😁

 

I may actually do something like that. Just need to give it some more thought. Plus I need to get some money for upgrades.

 

On that point, when you say that all I see is:

 

Zim.jpg.aa8cf45498d9a5895cad810da702ffce.jpg

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Tired

I wouldn't give up on that mystery coral yet. It still looks to have some flesh on it, so it may manage to rebound. Sometimes they can even come back from what looks like an empty skeleton- as long as there's still a little flesh somewhere.

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Ratvan
11 minutes ago, Tempestas said:

 

I may actually do something like that. Just need to give it some more thought. Plus I need to get some money for upgrades.

 

On that point, when you say that all I see is:

 

Zim.jpg.aa8cf45498d9a5895cad810da702ffce.jpg

So not joining new contest then? 

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Tempestas
2 hours ago, Ratvan said:

So not joining new contest then? 

Sadly not. Unemployment = living with the folks = hell no to a new tank.

 

Hopefully once I'm back on my feet I can get a start on the SPS nano I've been brainstorming about for the past few months.

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Tempestas

Just a quick update on the tank. One of the urchins is still around, but moving around a bit more sluggishly than normal. I'm honestly not sure what's up with it. As for the other one, I found its shell drifting below in the abyss. Farewell friend...

 

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I also seem to have a green algae growth on the frag plug of the scoly. You can really only see it when looking at specific angles in natural daylight though. I'm just tad on the apprehensive side of removing it from its plug given how much the thing cost. Anyone had any luck peroxide dipping scolys?

 

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In other news, I think I need to share two pics from the last month. These were the two places that desperately wanted to go back to because of the amazing reefs there, and the main reason I accepted the contract. Unfortunately, I got screwed over royally, and only got to see then again from afar.

 

The first is the Jinek Bay Marine Reserve in Lifou, New Caledonia. I consider this to be my own personal Promised Land, and probably one of my favourite places on this planet. After experiencing it for the first time, the universe has thwarted pretty much every attempt I have made to get back. The marine reserve is just on the other side of the hill.

 

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The second is Port Vila, capital city of Vanuatu. I dived the reef, known as the Twin Bommies, about 2 years ago, after finally being able to have a long enough lunch break and it was epic. Again, the reef is just on the other side of the little stretch of land.

 

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Honestly, considering that I've quit the job, I don't know if I'll ever be able to get back to them. But I do think some Pacific Island photos deserve a spot here.

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Tempestas

Quick update time. I finally got round to going to the LFS and picking up the corals I had bought more than two months ago. I also picked up two others along with my RO water.

 

Toxic green acro (not sure of exact name) and the JF Jack o' Lantern Lepto. The lepto sadly looks more red than golden in my lighting, but we'll see what happens. Its final mounting position is going to be under the hammer.

 

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Fireworks Acro. Still waiting for some polyps to show in this guy

 

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Chilli Pepper Monti. Need to figure out a way to get this off its plug, which seems to dwarf everything else in the tank.

 

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FTS

 

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In other news, I finally got a quote for a custom frag rack for this bowl - R2000!! (about $135). So I think I'm going to try and DIY one for myself  (unless I can find a cheaper quote)

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Tempestas

Hmmm...

 

So I mixed up a new batch of saltwater yesterday and came this morning to check on it and test the salinity. When I lifted the lid of the bucket, I got a strong bromine like smell. When I then sniffed the water, it was gone. So I left the lid off and came back a while later and the first sniff still had the bromine like smell.

 

I'm now wondering if the saltwater is safe to use?

 

Usually the water doesn't smell, and if it does, it smells like seawater. This is the same bucket of salt I've been using since September, and the same bucket. The only difference is that it is a new batch of RO water that I bought on monday. I did go and sniff the water and there's no smell.


Am I just being paranoid?

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banasophia
7 minutes ago, Tempestas said:

Hmmm...

 

So I mixed up a new batch of saltwater yesterday and came this morning to check on it and test the salinity. When I lifted the lid of the bucket, I got a strong bromine like smell. When I then sniffed the water, it was gone. So I left the lid off and came back a while later and the first sniff still had the bromine like smell.

 

I'm now wondering if the saltwater is safe to use?

 

Usually the water doesn't smell, and if it does, it smells like seawater. This is the same bucket of salt I've been using since September, and the same bucket. The only difference is that it is a new batch of RO water that I bought on monday. I did go and sniff the water and there's no smell.


Am I just being paranoid?

Well, I have to say I’m an intuitive reefer... if I sensed something was off I would take heed. Not sure what a bromine smell would indicate, so I’m not really sure what to make of that... sometimes Reef Crystals mixed with distilled would smell like cat pee to me, but I still used it. 

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debbeach13

Do you think it might be worth testing the new water?

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Tempestas
20 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Do you think it might be worth testing the new water?

Sadly not. I don't know of anywhere in the city which would test the water, and I'm sure it would be quite expensive

 

23 hours ago, banasophia said:

Well, I have to say I’m an intuitive reefer... if I sensed something was off I would take heed. Not sure what a bromine smell would indicate, so I’m not really sure what to make of that... sometimes Reef Crystals mixed with distilled would smell like cat pee to me, but I still used it. 

 

I honestly have no idea what cat pee smells like, so I'm not sure if it's the same

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Tempestas

So in the end I decided to go with my gut and turfed the saltwater down the drain. Given that the buildup of the mysterious brown gunk was quite high I felt I shouldn't risk it, even though it literally throwing $6 down the drain.

 

I took a photo of the water and you can see the brown precipitates that were already gathering.

 

The second photo is after I'd emptied the water and scrubbed the bucket down.

 

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Last night I mixed up a new batch of saltwater and this morning the smell is still there slightly, but now it has a more plasticy smell to it. I think I'm going to salinity correct it and then use it.

 

Crossing fingers...

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banasophia

Did you inspect your mixing pump? A couple months ago a guy in a Facebook group I’m in discovered that his pump had melted causing him to get shocked... he used the water anyway and sadly totally crashed his beautiful tank. Just a thought to check... 

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Tempestas

I did. It's a little rattly from calcification, but otherwise seems to be fine. I did give it the sniff test yesterday and nothing appeared out of the normal.

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debbeach13

I should have been clearer. I meant test the new water like it was your tank. I wasn't thinking paying to have it tested. If the pump and bucket were clean hopefully every thing will be ok.

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Tempestas
2 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I should have been clearer. I meant test the new water like it was your tank. I wasn't thinking paying to have it tested. If the pump and bucket were clean hopefully every thing will be ok.

 

Ah, that is clearer. I would test it, except I don't own any testing kits 🙈 And I've never tested my water 🙈🙈

 

But on a more serious note, I decided that financially, it was cheaper to do a 100% water change if I felt something was off rather than to test it and then try to correct it. Especially because this pico is my only tank.

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debbeach13

I like your thinking. WC are a tanks best friend. 

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Tempestas

So, I just realised that I forgot to mention what happened. I landed up using that second batch of saltwater and everything seemed fine. No more bromine smell since I've added it to the tank.

 

However, I suspect there's some trace element instability, as the acans aren't as open or as hungry as they were previously. I'm suspecting settling in the salt as the culprit, as I'm getting to the end of my bucket now.

 

Anyway, I landed up fiddling a bit with the tank today. The airpump started rattling when the power came back on, so I took it apart. Eventually figured out that the rubber axle had come loose and rotated, hence the noise. I tried fixing it in place with some epoxy, but I think I didn't add enough hardener to the mix, as it ripped free about 20 mins later. I then tried some duct tape, which seemed to work for a few hours, but this evening I can hear the sound again. Going to try tomorrow with the epoxy and more hardener and see what happens.

 

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On he bright side, I think I managed to get the powerstrip to finally attach the inside wall of the cabinet. Doesn't look the prettiest, but hopefully it'll hold up (crossing fingers that the expoxy doesn't give way)

 

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Tempestas

So it would seem that the second round of epoxy worked on the airpump. It's been running now for about 18hrs without any obvious noise.

 

And of course load shedding season is upon us yet again. Such joy...

 

But on the brighter side of things, I may actually have a job come beginning of next month.

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debbeach13

Getting a new job would be great. Good luck. Isn't it nice when we can save a piece of equipment. You can't beat saving some money.

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