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Garf

Not that Garf's EVO 13.5

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Garf

So after having a JBJ 6 and 14, I had downsized to an EVO Spec V. That was a while ago, I have had the EVO Spec V for 4 years. Some green stripped and hairy mushrooms made the trip over from the JBJ's, and have taken over the tank. I got tired of cutting off the green striped mushrooms, only to have them come back a few weeks later. So I decided to upgrade to an EVO 13.5.

 

FTS 6/13/2019

fts1.thumb.jpg.3a90780d9fb7becb6fa5c102616a9571.jpg

 

Born on date 4/1/2019 

 

Equipment:

Evo 13.5

Stock lighting

Truelumen Actinic Pacific Blue x2

TrueLumen Marine Fusion 12k White/Actinic Blue Combo

Truelumen 12k White

Current USA Ramp Timer Pro x2 

Bluefish LED Controller

Bluefish Power Dimmer x2

Current USA eFlux Wave Pump Kit 132-660gph x2

Inkbird Dual Stage Temp Controller
Tunze 1073.008 return

Cobalt 50w heater

DIY Media basket w/filter pad and charcoal

DIY Algae scrubber in middle chamber

Chaeto in middle chamber

Panamire 7.5in 2.5w LED w/Bluetooth controller for lighting middle chamber

 

Rockstock:

Caribsea Aragalive - 10lbs, seeded with a few pounds from the EVO 5

Premium cured liverock from LFS, 12lbs

 

Livestock:

Two clowns

2 red hermits

3 small blue hermits

1 nerite snails

2 cerinth 

3 dwarf cerinth snails

3 nassarius snails

4 hairy mushrooms from previous tank

3 Rock Flower Anemone

Cyphastrea, meteor shower

Hammer, purple top with green band

Dark purple, blue tipped torch RIP

Couple of small acans

Duncan

Elegeance 

Zoanthid frags

Euphyllia crstata, grape coral

Green pachyseris 

Yellow polyp tubinaria 

Leptoseris 

Copper red goniapora

Green Alveapora

Green long polyp galaxea

Blastomussa merletti

 

Future Inhabitants:

Pop pom crab

Pink polyp montiporia cap (or some other fancy monti)

Birdsnest

Red/green war coral

 

I built the egg crate media basket per DIY instructions here on forums, zip tied it up and dropped it in. Removed the foam block and filter media that came with the tank and tossed it. Ordered the cheap LED from amazon, and the night before it arrived yesterday,  I hacked up some more egg crate. Filed some slots into the edges and surfaces of the grid, will see if this provides enough area for algae growth. Expirement failed, not a good surface for algae to accumulate. Adding some chaeto.

 

The light was mounted with suction cups onto the outside, back of chamber two, then covered with black duct tape (I have a thing against light bleed). I noticed that with all the slots open between chambers 1 and 2, there was not enough flow downwards, so I blocked off the lower openings with some plastic. I simply cut a rectangular piece out of a take out container lid, and the water pressure held it in place, leaving the top 2 or three slots open.

 

Front shot looking down length, this is what I designed my rockscape for. Plenty of nooks and crevices on the rocks, and gaps between pieces of LR for fish to swim though. Pics taken today, just after my first water change (20%, 2 1/2 weeks after start), I wanted things to get a bit grungy first. Just some light algae on glass and sand bed. Started the algae scrubber and running Chemipure blue and the bag of carbon that came with the tank in media basket. 

 

IMG_20190419_212754.thumb.jpg.e28da713959fcfcc13f1b229827fa469.jpg

 

Right side shot, my view from my desk chair where I work at home. 

IMG_20190419_212855.thumb.jpg.ca188322289b98d0a0e2d878dfd5c6fb.jpg

 

 

What I find cool about these peninsula tanks is the ability to design three separate sides of the tank. Hope I can find the right corals and not let it get out of hand like my smaller EVO. I really like the hairy mushrooms, and my clowns lover them. They can grow a lot, but you can keep them confined to one area. Just hope I can pull them off the rocks if they start taking over the adjacent rock. Keeping a close eye for the green stripped mushrooms, I dont want a single one of them coming over. 

 

 

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kimdawg

Great start with your tank transfer.  This size tank will give you room to have a variety of corals.  What do you plan to add to the tank with your hairy mushrooms.  I also think they are neat and would like to add some to my tank.

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WV Reefer
On 4/19/2019 at 11:32 PM, Garf said:

So after having a JBJ 6 and 14, I had downsized to an EVO 5. That was a while ago, I have had the EVO 5 for 4 years. Some green stripped and hairy mushrooms made the trip over from the JBJ's, and have taken over the tank. I got tired of cutting off the green striped mushrooms, only to have them come back a few weeks later. So I decided to upgrade to an EVO 13.5.

 

Born on date 4/1/2019 

Equipment:

Evo 13.5

Stock lighting
Tunze 1073.008 return

Cobalt 50w heater

DIY Media basket w/filter pad

DIY Algae scrubber in middle chamber

Panamire 7.5in 2.5w LED w/Bluetooth controller for lighting middle chamber

 

Caribsea Aragalive - 10lbs, seeded with a few pounds from the EVO 5

Premium cured liverock from LFS, 12lbs

 

Livestock:

Two clowns

3 red hermits

3 small blue hermits

5 nerite snails

 

I built the egg crate media basket per DIY instructions here on forums, zip tied it up and dropped it in. Ordered the cheap LED from amazon, and the night before it arrived yesterday,  I hacked up some more egg crate. Filed some slots into the edges and surfaces of the grid, will see if this provides enough area for algae growth. Removed the foam block and filter media that came with the tank and tossed it. The light was mounted with suction cups onto the back of chamber two, then covered with black duct tape (I have a thing against light bleed). I noticed that with all the slots open between chambers 1 and 2, there was not enough flow downwards, so I blocked off the lower openings with some plastic. I simply cut a rectangular piece out of a take out container lid, and the water pressure held it in place, leaving the top 2 or three slots open.

 

IMG_20190417_204259.thumb.jpg.99b9d19c19e9843519750019ab1a5fd7.jpg

 

Front shot looking down length, this is what I designed my rockscape for. Plenty of nooks and crevices on the rocks, and gaps between pieces of LR for fish to swim though. Pics taken today, just after my first water change (20%, 2 1/2 weeks after start), I wanted things to get a bit grungy first. Just some light algae on glass and sand bed. Started the algae scrubber and running Chemipure blue and the bag of carbon that came with the tank in media basket. 

 

IMG_20190419_212754.thumb.jpg.e28da713959fcfcc13f1b229827fa469.jpg

 

Right side shot, my view from my desk chair where I work at home. 

IMG_20190419_212855.thumb.jpg.ca188322289b98d0a0e2d878dfd5c6fb.jpg

 

Left side

 

IMG_20190419_221311.thumb.jpg.c45662d61379a63f6b4e18bb6c8ffe5c.jpg

 

What I find cool about these peninsula tanks is the ability to design three separate sides of the tank. Hope I can find the right corals and not let it get out of hand like my smaller EVO. I really like the hairy mushrooms, and my clowns lover them. They can grow a lot, but you can keep them confined to one area. Just hope I can pull them off the rocks if they start taking over the adjacent rock. Keeping a close eye for the green stripped mushrooms, I dont want a single one of them coming over. 

 

Looks nice. 😊

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Garf
17 hours ago, kimdawg said:

Great start with your tank transfer.  This size tank will give you room to have a variety of corals.  What do you plan to add to the tank with your hairy mushrooms.  I also think they are neat and would like to add some to my tank.

Probably going to add a trumpet coral, red/green war coral and a fancier montipora.  Unless I find a good local LFS, I will be ordering online, so it makes sense to ship a few at a time.

 

I won't be adding corals for a few months at least, want to run the tank in warm weather to see what temps settle at with AC running. I plan on supplementing the stock lighting, adding a strip in the existing hood. I want to have something I can control, so I can do sunrise, sunset and moon lights.  See how those three corals work out, then see what I can add from there. Plus, I havn't really tested params yet, all I currently have is nitrate test.  I assume Salifert test kits are still decent, plan on ordering them this week.

 

 

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kimdawg

It sounds like a good plan to go slowly at first with a new tank.  I just started a small 2.5 gal tank in the contest and had issues with the heater.  I pulled it out and the temp has been very steady since, but I live on Tybee Island and the temp is usually pretty steady in the house.  We keep it on 76 winter and summer and there is a small amount of heat from the hob filter and the light.

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Garf

Amazon delivery today, 12" Truelumen Actinic and White/Actinic LED strips, and Current Ramp Pro Timer.  I thought that I could run the stock lighting and one of the strips on a single channel of the controller, but alas, that was not to be. I have the actinic strip one line 1 so I can do moonlight, and the combo strip on the other line. The main tank light will be turned on manually until I can figure out what I want to do. 

 

It was a pretty easy install, I decided to test my Dremel cutting skills, and cut slots and mount them from on top, with the LED strips hanging below the top. I really wanted to keep as much of the hood as possible, for evap, and light bleed into the room. Traced the outlines on the hood, then decided to try the cutting wheel on the first slot. Ugh, not so pretty, rough edges and a bit wider than I would have liked. Second slot I used a cutting bit. Started out ok, but in a couple areas the bit when wild when loaded up with plastic and I wasn't careful. Learned from my first slot, and cut inside the lines a bit, and the fit was much better. 

 

 

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A bit ugly for my tastes, but nothing some black duct tape cant fix.

 

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Now to dig into the timer, and figure out the programs and modify a schedule for my use. I currently have the actinic strip at 100% and the combo strip at 20%, give my fish time and a couple of hairy shrooms time to adjust.

 

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Garf

Added equipment over the last week. Temp controller and loop wave pump kit. Here is a picture of the cabinet I hacked up. Toyed with the idea of a dosing pump, but decided that this could be done old school easily, like they did before inexpensive dosing pumps were available. Need to decide how I want to populate the reef, the left side has the combo light strip, and the right the blue. When the combo light ramps up, it illuminates the left side looking like a true sunrise. The right side is more blue, with the middle a good blend of all the lights.  The right side being more vertical, I intend to try and keep it bluer/darker so it looks like the edge of a drop off. 

 

 

IMG_20190429_134537.thumb.jpg.aa1f51e4fb64e132cb37051aed39d68d.jpg

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Garf

Hairy shrooms

 

IMG_20190430_170920.thumb.jpg.81492b095f654c507a462d2624ee9246.jpg

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Garf

I have been setting up my lighting schedule, and came up with the following. My main pain point is the inability to control the stock light, to just on or off. I have it on a timer, but if I am not around, I can't swap it to blue only. One option is to run a separate schedule, reducing the combo light to 10% or lower when I will be away. 

 

Bah! I screwed up my stock light. I will be replacing it with two TrueLumen Strip lights, one actinic blue, the other 12k white. Current USA Ramp Timer and Truelumen lights coming on Friday, should be a fast install. My schedule and PAR will now look like this:

 

321234745_Annotation2019-05-01224215.jpg.2329be1b2348e1a172e98740e2e3ad1c.jpg.

 

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Garf

Installed the new Truelumen strips, used the existing aluminum cover for the stock lights. Lights look good, the two strips of actinic blue really give it a good look. Since I now have each LED strip on its own channel, I can really dial in the look and PAR I want. Pics later, need to do a WC. 

 

Removing the stock LED from the cover heatsink was a pain, the aluminum they were mounted on was thick. The removal involved a lot sweat, channel locks, thin wood chisel, large slot screwdriver, hammer, and a 1/2" steel chisel. Basically, used the wood chisel (be prepared to ruin it) to get the a edge separated, the drove a large screwdriver down the center. Then used the steel chisel, driving it down the middle, causing the aluminum LED board to bow up in the middle. This released the board from the grooves, then the channel locks bending the aluminum a few times till it broke. Repeat from both ends until the bastard is out. The curved aluminum heatsink took this abuse like a champ, barely any scratches on it. 

 

IMG_20190501_220421.jpg.d9954372e5c1cef29037d5a758ebd665.thumb.jpg.3feac62f5107d784578b891d93055ce9.jpg

 

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Garf

 New lighting. Actinic Blue, 12k White, 12k/Blue combo, Actinic Blue from left to right. Bah, just realized that my combo strip was almost ramped down. Will grab a pic tomorrow.

IMG_20190503_192230.thumb.jpg.0a1f896a3e880ee3113b8a8ff37f61a4.jpgIMG_20190503_192255.thumb.jpg.b41c622543fb3b37e2437dace7579af9.jpg

IMG_20190503_192212.thumb.jpg.f159e0cde81e01e8f65ec7b2631dc5f4.jpg

 

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Garf

Updated my lighting controller to a Bluefish. Talk about a night and day difference. The ease of use and features on this controller are great. Also, the setup was pretty easy. Should be getting an inexpensive clip-on filter set for my phone, will be able to take quick shots without the blue dominating. Ordered some Hoya 85A filters for my DSLR macro lenses, cant wait till those get in. But I will need to get some corals so I have something to shoot.

 

New inhabitants, two rock flower nems. Of course, they picked a spot that is hard to photo. This shot is down the length of my EVO, taken with my Pixel 3 phone a couple days ago. I think it is time to start thinning out the clean up crew, remove a few snails and a hermit or two.  Not much for them to graze on.

 

IMG_20190505_173608.thumb.jpg.4b982e6621d048da8fd97d66c9e998f8.jpg

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Garf

Stocking planning. I have been thinking about what I want to do with this tank, and when I want to do it. It is tough to avoid adding all the shiny things into the tank, so I have come up with a plan. Some advice I had read here was to do small stockings, then wait a few weeks before adding more. So I am planning on earning credits for keeping to my schedule, and for keeping my parameters stable. If I do both, I will earn a frag. Frags can only be expended after three are accumulated, and can be traded up to a piece of coral for 3 (larger pieces cost more). This should keep me somewhat satisfied and safe at the same time. Since I have a trip coming up in late June, I plan on adding a birdsnest when I get back in first week of July. So as this will be mainly an LPS tank, but mixed with some SPS, I have added a rule. SPS can only be added after accumulating 6 frag credits in a 6 week period. Meaning prams have to be stable for 6 weeks after my last coral additions. This should give me time to make sure the tank is healthy, stable and I have any dosing dialed in for the SPS.  I plan on only having one birdsnest, and some monticaps. 

 

I have already moved my hairy shrooms, and I have three rock flower nems, all conveniently located on or near my RFA rock. It is hard to see, but my one rock in the middle has two large holes, roughly perpendicular to each other. I'd love to get something in there and branching out of the holes, not sure if the birdsnest is going to be good for that, regarding flow. 

 

I am having a tough time deciding what to do with my work side of the tank. It can be a bit more shaded, and has the combo white/actinic and another actinic strip over it. In the middle, near the ?? towards the back is my low flow areas, and that entire side from the hairy shrooms to the hammer area up front is free and open for development. 

 

Front view

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Work view

workside.thumb.png.913cf5494d571f7cd789aab7e1fad451.png

 

 

 

 

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Gravity

I really admire your planning and methodology for the corals.

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Garf

Anyone know if chickenpox is harmful to clowns or reef inhabitants? Oh wait, those are just marks from my male clown, defending his territory whenever I stick my hand in the tank. In my previous Fluval spec, he would peck, and it felt like little love nips. In the new tank, this dude latches on, and it hurts!

 

Rockwork is set, and three of my four frags are set. Just need to find a happy place for this hammer. 

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Salifert PO4 and NO3 test kits arrived. Tossed the API one, it didn't tell me much. I have had diatom bloom for a bit over a week. More flow helped, but I decided to test for phosphates. Was surprised by my results, tank was at .25 Pulled out my TDS meter to test my top off water. Batteries dead, had to get new ones. On the way to the store, I thought about last time I tested TDS, I know it was zero. That is why I didn't replace the RO membrane or filters in my unit. Thinking this was around January/Feb when I ordered filters. 

 

Batteries replaced, tested top off water, says 200. Huh. Pull out my RO/DI unit, see that my out put line (yellow) is on the input side, and the water supply is hooked to the out. I know I used one of the lines for a water change on 5/3. Not sure that I made water after that though. I have to assume I ran my RO/DI unit backwards for my last batch. That or I contaminated my container somehow. Replaced my membrane and filters, and I am now making more water. 

 

Looked in my mail, saw that my filter order was delivered late September last year. Huh. So it was a lot longer than I thought. Lesson learned, don't assume. Test!

 

 

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Garf

Tiny snail with three feather dusters on it.

 

IMG_20190514_181052.thumb.jpg.7250b6a1f72836132a9db0ca6b09a96a.jpg

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Christopher Marks
On 5/11/2019 at 8:06 AM, Garf said:

Some advice I had read here was to do small stockings, then wait a few weeks before adding more. So I am planning on earning credits for keeping to my schedule, and for keeping my parameters stable. If I do both, I will earn a frag. Frags can only be expended after three are accumulated, and can be traded up to a piece of coral for 3 (larger pieces cost more). This should keep me somewhat satisfied and safe at the same time. Since I have a trip coming up in late June, I plan on adding a birdsnest when I get back in first week of July. So as this will be mainly an LPS tank, but mixed with some SPS, I have added a rule. SPS can only be added after accumulating 6 frag credits in a 6 week period. Meaning prams have to be stable for 6 weeks after my last coral additions. This should give me time to make sure the tank is healthy, stable and I have any dosing dialed in for the SPS.  I plan on only having one birdsnest, and some monticaps. 

I like this 'frag credits' idea, it's a good way to pace yourself at the beginning! You're doing great so far 🙂 

 

Nice work on your lighting upgrades! How has the tank temperature been since the Truelumens went in?

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Garf

Temps have been steady, my Inkbird controller is set to 79, and it is always somewhere between 78 and 79. I have never seen it up past 79. Tomorrw it is supposed to be 80, so we will see what happens if I let me ambient temp up. I have a small fan I can hook up to my cooling channel on my controller, but I haven't figured out where I want to put it. Thinking of fixing something over the skimmer cutout on the back chamber, something I can drop in and remove, and keep the cutout in place when I dont need cooling to reduce evap.

 

Here are the lights, actinic, 12k, actinic/12k combo and actinic. The lights fit pretty well in the stock light aluminum cover. I super glued them in, but didn't trust that to hold them, so at the moment I have them zip tied in place. 

 

IMG_20190515_172801.thumb.jpg.ce2076a7eef79c35acc9e87efb6bdc26.jpg

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So I have been saying I need to see how the temp on the tank swings with a higher ambient temp. Waiting for the weather to cooperate, I decided to force the issue. Instead of waiting for a nice day, I think I am going to toss some shorts on and crank my furnace to 74-75. It has been in the mid 50s, with lows in the 40s the last two days, so a burst of heat might feel nice in my 67degree condo.

 

I have never have had temp problems. Of course, my ambient has been 70F most of that time. I let temp get to 72 on one of the nice days last week, and tank remained steady. I have my 50w heater set to 80, and my Inkbird temp controller set to 79. With the 1degree differential, my tank theoretically will stay between 78-80. In practice this spring, it has steadily been 78-79. 

 

I do not yet have a cooling fan set on the cooling channel of my controller, but plan on doing something similar with the skimmer cutout. I will try to make a removable fan solution, so I can pop the cutout back on to keep evap down.  

 

Tossing on some shorts, the family is away for a few more hours, and I am working and listening to tunes. Will update in a bit. 

 

Well, for three hours, it was a balmy 75 in our condo. The tank is right next to the wall were the furnace closet is, so it is probably the warmest area in our place. Temp didn't move up from 78.5, in fact it went down a couple tenths of a degree. I expect the heater didn't kick on, and the moving water cooled it down.

 

Next experiment is to run lights at full and see what happens. Will use a layer of window screen to shade the tank while I do this.

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Garf

I tore a bit of flesh off the edge of an acan frag, trying to remove it from it's plug, and it ended up going south. In an attempt to save it, I tried to frag a couple polyps, but I couldn't get the coral off the superglue and I ended up tossing the piece.

 

I got an ATO, hooked it up and it appears to work well. It's the xpAqua Ultimate ATO, the one with 4 sensors. Overkill probably, but I am paranoid. I purchased an Icecap 5 liter dosing container, that gives me a gallon of top off water, which should work well with this tank. It has been warm the last couple days, in the 80s, and I have had the windows open with ambient around 75 degrees. Tank is remaining steady at peak lighting times, highest I have ever seen it was 79.1 Still need to test my temp with lights at full power test, perhaps tomorrow.

 

Got a Hanna ph tester. Not sure why. Calibrated, and my tank water tests at 8.0, salifert says somewhere definitely above 8.15, near or just over 8.3. I can never accurately read those charts. 

 

Don't buy the Hanna salinity tester, not unless you want it specifically for testing freshly mixed saltwater. Apparently it won't properly read tank water salinity, as the other junk in the water messes with the electrodes. Will be selling it soon, along with a couple Current USA Ramp Timer Pros, and a hydor nano powerhead. 

 

In giving advice to someone about return pump selection for a an EVO, I decided to follow my own advice. I had said if I had it to do all over again, I would put any old return pump in the tank, with 60-75gph. Something like 5-7x turn over. Instead of attempting to use the return for tank flow, remove the Y return output, replace with a flush fitting. Install a second eFlux powerhead under the return output. The second eFlux pump is arriving tomorrow, so I will have that setup after my water change. Glad I can adjust the flow rate for the Tunze pump. 

 

Tank pics after my water change tomorrow. I have been sticking pretty good to my frag credits, that is if you dont count my three RFAs, lol. Going to replace the acan tomorrow.

 

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So peering at my tank, wearing my headband magnifier with a 2.5x lens in, I spotted a new denizen of Garf's reef. A chiton, about 1/2" long. Pretty cool looking, I was only able to see the front two thirds of it due to the angle. He was in my largest rock, doing his thing in one of the many holes and crevices on it.

 

Love the headband, my favorite viewing piece atm. I got it at the rock shop down the street, almost exactly like this one, but Grey and had four snap in lenses, including that 2.5x.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Carson-MagniVisor-Head-Worn-Magnifier-CP-60/dp/B007CDJKM2/

 

 

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Garf

Bought a couple more boxes of water for my water changes. Tested and dkh was 13.1. I knew my decision to continue using this in my new tank was a bad idea. 

 

Not dealing with this, mixing my own saltwater now. Started with a 10% water change. Will do this every few days till I get it near 9. Using Fritz's RPM, seems like good stuff. Was going to try Red Sea Coral pro, but can't find it local, and I don't  want to deal with the inevitable cracked buckets from Amazon shipping. 

 

Water is still too clean, I need more nitrates and phos. Starting to track my feeding in my journal. The clowns get pellets pretty much every night, except for the days I feed Reef Frenzy or artic pods. Mixing in some reef roids also, so feeding three times a week now. 

 

The two eFlux wave pumps work well. I have the secondary pump running opposite the primary on a three second wave pattern. Creates a nice alternating flow. Will experiment with surge mode tomorrow. Pics soon, was late evening by the time I completed the WC and the pump changes. 

 

 

 

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Garf

FTS.

 

FTS.thumb.jpg.da722d148f91f521446fabf9ac1f55d4.jpg

 

Right side

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My hammer was never happy where it was at. So I tried a new spot. Figured it would do ok here, as the RFAs stuck to the sand at base of rocks. The morning after I moved it, my RFA that barely moved from where I dropped it move over to the right and up right next to the hammer. 

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This zoa is impossible to photograph. I need to get my tripod out, and use that expensive macro lens I bought. I need to get a neutral grey card to set my white balance, surely I have one somewhere packed around in some old camera bag.

IMG_20190525_182502.thumb.jpg.d189ebed8514cc8c3e3ba13f65799299.jpg

 

FTS showing my pump placement. Having a hard time getting the flow I want. Oddly enough, I had a better pattern with the Y outlet and running the return at max. The corals didn't like all the

mucking around I did last night and today, going to leave it for several days then see what tweaks I can do.

FTS_pumps.thumb.jpg.8402d14ccf171128f97580a3492a20a7.jpg

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Garf

Wish me luck.

 

Multi colored goniapora. Kind of a coppery red color, look really cool in the tank.

 

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