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fissues
24 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

My pink lemonade hasn't grown much in like 6 months.  Sigh.  But I think I know what I need to change to make my SPS color up and grow better.  MOAR FLOW AND LIGHT.  

The pink lemonade I mentioned put a base out that grew over the edge of the 2" disk and then proceeded to stall for 9 to 12 months, as I recall... then it exploded in growth after that.

 

Yeah, it's pretty surprising how much flow and light SPS need to get those really light pastel colors... But don't rule feeding out. Some of the best pieces I've seen were being fed phytoplankton, liquid oyster, and cyclops several times a week.  To counter all the extra nutrients we didn't even use any skimmers... We just built a massive algae scrubber... which also is an addition I'll be making the future. 

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MrFish888

Looks awesome. I’m starting my first tank. 

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ninjamyst
29 minutes ago, fissues said:

The pink lemonade I mentioned put a base out that grew over the edge of the 2" disk and then proceeded to stall for 9 to 12 months, as I recall... then it exploded in growth after that.

 

Yeah, it's pretty surprising how much flow and light SPS need to get those really light pastel colors... But don't rule feeding out. Some of the best pieces I've seen were being fed phytoplankton, liquid oyster, and cyclops several times a week.  To counter all the extra nutrients we didn't even use any skimmers... We just built a massive algae scrubber... which also is an addition I'll be making the future. 

The guy recommended oyster feast to me too =).  I been running my kessil at 75% only and 15in above water line.  I lowered it and bumped it to 80% and will continue to ramp it up.  And I was only peaking at 75% for an hour.  Hahah.  Definitely not enough.  

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fissues
4 hours ago, MrFish888 said:

Looks awesome. I’m starting my first tank. 

Thanks man! Get a build thread up and start posting! 

 

4 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

The guy recommended oyster feast to me too =).  I been running my kessil at 75% only and 15in above water line.  I lowered it and bumped it to 80% and will continue to ramp it up.  And I was only peaking at 75% for an hour.  Hahah.  Definitely not enough.  

Have you tested PAR at all yet?  I would think at like 12" you should probably be able to get right around 100% safely. I usually just tell people to only raise intensity about 5% once every 7-14 days and just wait for the coral to show you is they like it. 

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lizzyann

Really nice start, excited to see where this goes! I love your light mount. I was hoping to do an industrial-looking pipe mount for my two AI Primes when I upgraded my tank but I ended up going with a different, much simpler, plan because the pipe+lights+extending out 2ft just seemed too heavy to be supported by drywall. You've got me thinking again about how I could possibly make it work though!

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fissues

Back from the trip... Stoked to say everything worked awesome and the tank is doing great. It was so nice to be able to check up on the Apex and verify everything was working properly. 

 

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I was also able to keep a close eye with this Foscam wifi camera... I chose it because it was the only one under $100 to have 4x optical zoom so I could get a little more detail if I needed. 

 

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You can probably see that the corals are all starting to lighten up a bit... 

 

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I saw this beginning to happen just before I left, so I lowered the lighting intensity to ~30% at max for about 5 hours (down from 40%). I also tested for nitrates and was delighted to see that they're almost not even registering on my Tropic Marin test kit. 

 

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I'm definitely not trying to keep them that low, but this means the 8x8x4 Marinepure block is actually housing some denitrifying bacteria that's helping consume nitrates. So now I can start feeding some coral food regularly and I shouldn't have to worry so much about nitrate levels (though even if I do get too much nitrate, I have a plan for that as well).

 

I think I'm gonna go pick up some calanus and Oyster Feast and LRS Reef Frenzy and start feeding switching off with a little every day or so. That's been my favorite combination for years now. 

 

I also added a couple Scarlett hermits and Trochus snails to help with the new algae growth, but my older red leg hermits have already eaten a couple snails 😑 whatever though. 

 

Next up, more fish.

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Tigahboy

Beautiful beginnings.  Love the scape and overall clean look of the set-up.  Nicely done!

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fissues
On 8/4/2019 at 12:26 AM, lizzyann said:

Really nice start, excited to see where this goes! I love your light mount. I was hoping to do an industrial-looking pipe mount for my two AI Primes when I upgraded my tank but I ended up going with a different, much simpler, plan because the pipe+lights+extending out 2ft just seemed too heavy to be supported by drywall. You've got me thinking again about how I could possibly make it work though!

Thanks! You'd be surprised with how much weight drywall can hold. I have 4 of the 8 screws from my mounts reaching all the way into the wall and none of them hit studs. I just used 4 Pop Toggles to anchor the screws. I'm not even phased by the weight on the drywall now. I'm also the guy with a stand supporting a 20 gallon that only uses 1/2 plywood. (using 2x4s on tanks under 75 gallons is an insane amount of overkill.)

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ninjamyst

My fav hermit is scarlet red.  The rest are killers.  

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fissues
15 hours ago, Tigahboy said:

Beautiful beginnings.  Love the scape and overall clean look of the set-up.  Nicely done!

Thank you! 

14 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

My fav hermit is scarlet red.  The rest are killers.  

Yeah, I've known that's usually the case. I used to only recommend Scarletts working at the shop I was with for years, but I stubbornly thought I could probably get away with a couple red legs anyway, for biodiversity's sake... Dumb idea on my part lol. 

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teenyreef

The tank is looking beautiful so far, and I love your build! How are things going? I have the same tank sitting in an the box waiting for me to figure out how to build a stand/desk for it, at which point I'm going to replace my desktop IM10. I'm still deciding on the return, though. I've been leaning towards drilling and using the Eshopps Nano overflow, but the lily pipes are such a clean look on a tank like this. Do you have to clean them often?

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fissues

Well, the end of summer hit me like a ton of bricks. I've had my hands full working on a bunch of photo/video projects, took a road trip across the country, my cover band has been getting ready for a packed season of shows, and my original band is about to start working on a new album. 

 

The tank is mostly good, aside from this... 

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Turns out I waited a few weeks too long to do a water change and encountered an ALK swing that hit this guy pretty hard. I've managed to save a branch and recovery looks promising. I'm about to clip off all the dead stuff, but I haven't had any cutters to safely do it, so I've been waiting for that package to get here. The pink lemonade and papaya acros didn't have nearly as hard a time. They basically just got a little brown with no tissue loss, and their colors are starting to bounce back already. 

 

I honestly didn't think there was any possible way my levels dipped THAT far from 3 small frags, but once I figured it out after that water change I started prepping for the next step of this setup. I got a couple dosers running with Brightwell A&B until my permanent method shows up from BRS. 

 

Here's what's goin on underneath the stand now... I figured I might as well plan my dosing out so it's as bulletproof and easy to adjust as possible. Any guesses on what I'm gonna be piping in from all these dosers? Lol 

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This view is wth the CO2 scrubber moved out of the way so you can actually see what's behind it. It's kind of amazing how perfectly this stuff all fits in. Only about a quarter of an inch to spare on either side... Almost like I planned it lol. Though it's possible I may hang the scrubber in one of the upper corners (horizontally) so I can fit even more stuff in here. 😝

 

I've had everything stabilized for a week or so with tests  a couple time each day to confirm... And when the new stuff shows up I'll be able to make sure I'm putting every last thing I need into the water. 

 

Right now I've been testing at... 

Alk: 8.3dKH

Ca: 410ppm

Mg: 1320ppm

 

So with that taken care of I decided to pull the trigger on a few more pieces from the same guy I got the original 3 from. 

 

Ended up with a few bangers... 

_DSC5340.thumb.jpg.bbcf2626b10ae0980d1be9045bd11593.jpg

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fissues
On 9/29/2019 at 3:22 PM, teenyreef said:

The tank is looking beautiful so far, and I love your build! How are things going? I have the same tank sitting in an the box waiting for me to figure out how to build a stand/desk for it, at which point I'm going to replace my desktop IM10. I'm still deciding on the return, though. I've been leaning towards drilling and using the Eshopps Nano overflow, but the lily pipes are such a clean look on a tank like this. Do you have to clean them often?

Thanks! It's going ok, just a ridiculous time of year that led me to a dumb oversight I mention above^^^. Take a look at the beginning of this thread for the stand though. I literally did a plywood box with 1/2" Baltic Birch and it's holding up great! You could up all the sides to 3/4" for a bit more peace of mind but there's no need to start with 2x4s and sheath it with super thick plywood... just the 3/4" is PLENTY overbuilt. Trust me; you could park a car on it. Just be sure to use Baltic Birch and not the garbage you get from Home Depot/Menards/Lowes. Baltic birch has more better quality plies which are each thinner. Having the extra plies also gives more layers of glue per sheet and that greatly strengthens each full sheet of plywood.

 

As for the Mame overflow, I actually haven't cleaned mine yet... Partly because I'm lazy, but mostly because I'm slightly afraid of detaching it from the sump without breaking it. My solution is to redo the plumbing in few weeks so I can remove the overflow MUCH easier to clean it. I'm going to secure a section of hard plumbing inside the stand running out the back with a 90 and a union so instead of having to remove the drain/return tubing all the way down to the sump, I'll just have to unscrew union on the back of the stand so I can take off the overflow with only a foot or so of tubing and there won't be any sort of excess pressure on any of the glass pieces. Both the return and the drain line will have that same section installed. Meanwhile it actually hasn't gotten that dirty... any of the growth is fairly soft and sometimes comes dislodged when I turn the pump off and on again. There's really no coralline it.

 

As for the overflow, I was also considering the X Aqua In/Out and the Modular Marine overflow box (which both require drilling), but I really chose the Mame for aesthetics. Once I can clean it without having to worry about breaking it quite so much, then I'll be able to enjoy the look of it better lol.

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fissues

Screenshot_20191010-233358.thumb.png.78768f97453e91089ed3c105bb674e9f.png

 

I'm actually really surprised at how much I've been able to boost my pH lately. When I started the tank I was seeing 7.8 at the highest, which is why I opted for the CO2 scrubber. I wasn't sure it would work all that well or even if I'd like it, but I figured since I'm in an apartment (in a small old building) with questionable ventilation, I should do anything to make sure the tank has some fresh air getting to it. After I first installed it (with BRS media) I would see 8.3 at the end of the day for the first week and then after the first bit of media started getting exhausted I would get no higher than 8.15-8.2 for a couple months. I saw a friend have good success with Two Little Fishies CDX media and decided to give it a try. Since switching I've been hitting 8.35-8.45 every night for weeks on end, and it seems like I'm going through it s little slower. The CDX is definitely more expensive, but I'm pretty ok with the extra cost if it gets better results. 

 

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teenyreef

Thanks for the tips! That's definitely a good idea to have external unions so you can easily disconnect the Mame for cleaning. Also, that's crazy how much Ph improvement you are seeing from the scrubber. 

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fissues

Hahaha, dammit... I knew this would happen 😑... Things got really busy in the fall and before I knew it 6 months go by... and I COMPLETELY forgot to keep up with this.

 

 

 

Well, some "shit" happened and I don't exactly have a "flourishing" reef, but it's not bad... so I'll run down a quick list of things that have challenged me over the last few months and some changes along the way (In somewhat chronological order):

 

-Back in November my clowns decided they liked their new setup too much to share it and attacked a Sunburst Anthias and a Helfrichi Firefish, killing both.

 

-I put the clowns in isolation, in the refugium, for a number of weeks to either chill out or wait to be rehomed. They've been banging like crazy and they'll do anything to protect the eggs. They actually continued in the sump like nothing ever changed lol.

 

-My Apex ATO had somewhat of a "failure". In this sump I can't fit the float switch, so I removed it. Some calcification led my optical sensors to accumulate calcium buildup and my return section ran dry on 2 occasions within a couple days of each other. I fixed this by adding a mixing pump to the skimmer section and positioning the dosing lines to make sure the solutions completely mixed before going to the return section. I also added a second apex solenoid valve, because only have 1 with no emergency float valve was sketching me out.

 

-I had an Alk fluctuation that really pissed off a number of SPS frags. Every SPS system I've had has been at least twice the size of this, and when you don't keep up on testing, don't be surprised. 

 

-Switched to Triton Core 7 (Other Methods). Not having to guess on trace elements is one of the biggest reasons why.

 

-I managed to get a small amount of copper in the tank. Im not 100% sure, but I have a couple of private aquarium maintenance clients, and one of them decided to dose with copper without telling me... and this is the only thing I though of that could get copper into my system. I was dumb enough to not practice good reefkeeping and wash my hands/rinse with RO... ALWAYS WASH/RINSE BEFORE PUTTING YOUR HANDS IN THE TANK. (This also pissed off the remaining acros). 

 

-At some point along the way, I let my Mame overflow get a little too dirty. I experienced a slight clog, which led to sump sump level issues and my ATO caused my salinity to fluctuate. It's too annoying to explain in detail. The short is, I'm a lazy idiot.

 

-Added 2 more Apex dosers, for a total of 6 and started dosing Acropower and MeCoral Nitrate. A conversation with a local led me to reconsider my nutrient levels. I'm somewhat convinced that my nutrients were far too low to help "buffer" my frags from some of the inconsistencies in water quality that they were subjected to. So now I'm trying to run my nitrates up around 10ppm (as opposed to 1-2ppm). I'm feeding quite a bit more and I added a pair of harlequin shrimp, so the dead starfish can contribute to the nutrients.

 

-Added an Trident to the apex. It was a used one that I traded for because one of my clients decided to switch his for a Reef Bot.

 

-Upgraded my light to a Radion G5 Blue, and redid my gas pipe wall mount. (I found small amounts of rust on the old one, from my wet arms making contact during cleaning)

 

-A few months back I decided that I wasn't crazy enough about the aquascape. I've really always wanted some nice Tonga branch, but nobody has the good/real stuff... BUT I found a shop that still had a small assortment of dry Jakarta rock, which looks like a cross between Fiji and Tonga. I saw a few really nice pieces so I bought about twice as much as I needed and brought it home to see if I could make a dry scape that was better than what I had. I made a cardboard cutout of my tank footprint and started messing with possibilities. This took a couple weeks on and off to find a formation I kept wanting to look at...

 

 

 

So that brings me to the apologetically dirty full tank shots. These are from a few weeks ago when the rock was still pretty fresh. I was able to do a complete swap on the same day because that giant Marinepure block in my sump can handle all of the bio load I throw at it. 

 

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I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I absolutely love the way this one turned out... significantly more than what I had before. After a while I started missing having actual caves or overhangs and it just didn't seem intricate enough to want to continue looking at every day. When I was hardscaping, I was able to find a few formations that were mostly held in place with gravity, but when I cam up with this I decided to add a ziptie in the left hand side and a little bit of 2 part putty (which I might go back and redo) to a couple other spots. 

 

As you can see, I brought the clowns back up top, transferred a few frags, and added this guy...

 

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It's an original CC Inferno Anemone. I actually had zero intention of doing nems, but my client needed to get it out of his tank for a bit and offered me a split. I've been a little bummed that I haven't been able to buckle down and get my SPS frags to take hold, but I have to say I'm enjoying having this amazing colored nem around. I also took a second small rainbow bubble tip as well, but I haven't gotten around to taking a photo yet. This one actually started to stretch out in a weird shape this week, and I think it's starting the splitting process. I'm hoping the clowns start getting more curious soon.

 

I think that covers pretty much everything, but let me know what you think of the scape. I'm gonna take some updated photos soon... I'll really try not to disappear for 6 months this time 🤣

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fissues

Afternoon Vibes. This is an original CC Inferno. It's stretched out the size of a large adult hand, and it was taken under a Radion Gen 5 Blue running the Coral Labs SPS AB+ preset during the high noon light phase.

 

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I'm still trying to dial my colors in between my camera and my computer screen. This *should* be pretty close to accurate though. Notice how the colors are significantly less saturated than almost every other Inferno nem photo online... It still looks awesome, but sellers and other hobbyists have been misrepresenting the colors of these (and most every other coral) for years in order to sell more, or just out of pure [photography] ignorance. It definitely will get even more "saturated" and brightly colored during ramp up/down when my lights transition to all blues and it begins to retract slightly. I'm gonna grab some shots at some other light phases next.

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