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Ocean_dreamer89

Ocean_dreamer89's Red Sea Reefer 250

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Ocean_dreamer89

Little update on the QT process.  Noticed some algae growth in the tank which I thought was odd.  It only had water and a fish in it for 24 hours-ish this morning.  I only have the tank light on when I'm trying to feed.  I then remove excess food and flip off the light.  No windows in the room so I leave the room light on during the day and flip it off at night before I go to bed.  If it gets worse I'll knock out a WC.  I just hate using more water than I'm already having to with the TTM! Oh well.  (OAN: I'm working on a plan to organize my RODI and water mixing better.  I'll update when I have a more concrete plan and start on it.)

 

Anyway, I was at my local reef club meeting yesterday and while I was there I picked up a Toxic Green Hammer and won this sweet little Rhodactis Mushroom.  I think it is an Ultra Orange but I'm not totally sure.  I was working yesterday so the LFS held it for me until I could pick it up today.  While I was out and about I swung by another LFS that I had a gift card that my sweet husband got me for Valentine's day.  Saw this Rainbow Trachy and nabbed it!  The new corals have been dipped and acclimated to the Biocube for now until the RSR 250 is ready for corals.

 

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The last purchase was one that I had to do some debating about.  Yesterday while I was at the meeting, I saw this really cool Melanurus wrasse.  When I went back today, it was still there.  I really liked this fish and so did my husband (he pointed it out to me before I had even told him about it).  I discussed this with the guy at the LFS, who had been helping me out with my Coral Beauty and he said that I should be fine it I just do one more transfer for the quarantine period.  At the end of the day, this only adds two more days and one more transfer, so I decided to go for it.  When I got home, I added a bit of sand for it to sleep in a small container and acclimated it.  So far it seems to be doing well and last I checked was fast asleep in the sand.  I'm hoping that maybe a bit of competition will encourage the Coral Beauty to eat tomorrow.  I'll keep everyone updated.  The plan for the TTM remains the same with the next transfer on Tuesday morning.  This is only 40 is hours for the wrasse but will keep the timeline for the Coral Beauty.  The quarantine will continue as planned through the 12th and let transfer on the 13th completing a full four transfers for the wrasse.

 

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I know I've said it before, but I feel very comfortable where I'm at the with the new additions.  The gift card had an expiration date that I needed to use it by and I'm unable to make most of the reef club meetings due to my work schedule.  Where I'm at now will be the total of new additions to the new tank, of course in a controlled manner.  My plan for quarantine is what I believe pretty solid at this point and my only real concern is ammonia levels, which is manageable so I'll just keep it an eye on it.

 

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Ocean_dreamer89

Has anyone used those cheap-o brine shrimp hatcheries?  The thing is legit! Added some eggs last night to it and just checked on it tonight for the hell of it and saw a TON of them swimming around.  Everybody got a good snack tonight 😎

 

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Ocean_dreamer89

Quick little update on the little guys in quarantine.  This morning was tank transfer #1 for the wrasse and #2 for the coral beauty.  I had to go to work earlier than usual this morning, so I got the sanitized bucket and equipment ready last night and added in some water.  This morning when I was checking the salinity, I realized I forgot to plug in the heater for the new water! 😖 I plugged it in and gathered two extra heaters to get it up to temp faster.  

 

Today was my first attempt at the hybrid TTM, which includes a H2O2 bath on transfers 1 and 3.  I grabbed a large bowl and filled it up with 12 cups of water.  I had planned on using clean oxygenated water from the bucket, but since I had forgot the heater last night I couldn't do that.  I ended up using 4 cups of the clean water and the rest from the tank the fish were currently in.  This way it would cut down on any ammonia that was already in their tank water but still keep the temperature.  For the bath, it's a concentration of 150 ppm H2O2.  Based on Humblefish's site, this would equal out to 1.25 mL of H2O2 per one cup of water.  Once the well-oxygenated water is in the bowl, I added the H2O2 by sticking the syringe under the surface of the water.  The goal is to have very minimal surface agitation once the hydrogen peroxide is in so that it doesn't convert to just oxygen and water. I then added the fish in for 30 minutes.  Towards the end of the bath, I could tell they were starting to breath pretty rapidly.  I guessing that this is due to the water being depleted of oxygen.  Anyway, once the bath was done, I picked them up by hand and got them into the clean bucket and water.

 

After I rinsed off all the used equipment and set it up to dry, I went to work.  I just got home a little bit ago and the fish seem to be doing great!  The Coral Beauty is actually swimming around more than it has ever since it acted funny with the cloudy eye.  The bowl I had used for the bath was a light green kitchen bowl so it was difficult to see if anything came off the fish while they were in.  So I grabbed a dark red bowl and started to scoop the water out to see if I could find anything.  Definitely not my expertise, but I believe I saw 3-4 worms or flukes.  A few were reddish/pink in color and one was white and kind of flat.  Anyway, I think it was successful and as of right now, I plan on continuing this path with the baths.

 

I'll try to get some pictures of them later tonight.

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Ocean_dreamer89

Well I woke up this morning to some bad news.  My little Coral Beauty that has been struggling since I started it in copper didn't make it.  Since removing it from the copper and starting the TTM instead, I thought it had been making a slow turn around.  But, it never started to really eat again after it had gotten the cloudy eye.  I'm starting to second guess quarantining fish.  From everything I've learned, quarantining fish seems like a best practice to prevent diseases from entering the tank, but I must be doing something wrong.  The only two fish that I've had that have died, have both been while in quarantine.  It may be that it is just above my skill level.  I don't really plan on having very expensive fish so foregoing the quarantine process from here on out might be the best method, for me, to maintain the health of the fish that I keep.  Anybody have any thoughts?

 

Going forward, I will continue to finish out the TTM with my wrasse.  It seems to be handling the TTM well and is eating like a little pig.  The last transfer will be on the 13th of this month and then it'll be ready to go into the RSR 250.  My plan for this is to transfer both my clowns and the wrasse on the same day so they are all introduced to the new tank at the same time.

 

Super bummed that my actions resulted in the death of this little fish =(

 

RIP little guy

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Quick little update on the fish situation.  The wrasse finished up the TTM the day before yesterday and is doing really well!  It eats like at pig and will eat both frozen and pellets.  It's completed four transfers so this morning I decided to make its final transfer to the new tank! The transfer went well and it seems to be settling in nicely to its new home.  Very excited that the RSR 250 finally has some life in it!

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The next step is to add the clowns from the Biocube.  Even though the RSR has been ready for fish for a little over a week now, I've been planning to add all the fish at once to try to eliminate any aggression.  However, I'm not really anticipating aggression being a problem given the larger tank size and fairly peaceful fish.  Catching the clowns has been tricky so far.  I was able to catch the larger one and currently have it acclimating in the new tank, but I can't seem to catch the smaller one!  

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After the small one looked thoroughly stressed out, I decided to stop and come up with a better plan.  However, it's breaking my heart to see them separated!  They have been together since the day I brought them home.  Anyway, after browsing the internet for some other solutions, I think I'm going to wait until tonight when it's asleep and try to catch it then.  I'm leaving the net in the tank right now to try to get it used to it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  I don't currently have a fish trap and am wanting to get it moved as soon as I can.

 

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Ocean_dreamer89

My new tank finally has some life and movement to it!  The "night hunt" was a successful attempt at getting the little clown even though, of course, it didn't go exactly how I had planned.  I was hoping that after the lights went out, I would wait an hour or so and let the fish go to sleep.  Then, while it was in its sleep trance, move the net near it and catch it between the net and the glass.  This, however, did not exactly work.  That being said, doing this in the darkness gave me an advantage because I believe the fish could see as well.  When I moved the net close to it, the fish got spooked and swam to the other side of the tank.  But I was able to catch it fairly easily because it's reactions were slowed way down in compassion to the daylight and it didn't sprint away like it had been doing.  It wasn't as seamless and stress free for the fish as I had hoped, but it worked.  I'm very glad that the clowns are back together!

 

Everyone has been in the tank together for about two days now and seem to be getting along just fine.  The wrasse is still eating like a pig and follows me around wherever I go.  The clowns seem a little more timid about eating and like to stay in the far back left corner.  I have a net on top and installed the Neat Aquatics Feeding Portal on the front right corner.  Hopefully as time goes on, they'll figure it out and swim up to the feeding portal like the wrasse does.  I would like to see them eat a little more than they currently are.

 

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By the way, if you have a net on top of your tank, I highly recommend the neat aquatics feeding portal.  It was super easy to install.  It comes in two pieces and with plastic screws and nuts.  Basically all you do is find a tight spot in the net, most likely in a corner, and place the two pieces both under and atop the net and then screw them together.  Once the screws are in fairly tight, take a razor blade and cut the inside circle of netting.  It then has a cover that goes over the hole and, boom!, easy feeding portal.  If at any point you decide to get a new cover, this can easily be taken off and installed on the new cover.  Super easy!

 

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Ocean_dreamer89

So a little update on my recent project I've been working on.  I've had an RODI filter for a hot minute now, but not a very good setup.  I have a finished basement in my house and have been using the half bath in the basement for my water setup for my RODI.  It has worked so far for my nano aquarium but moving forward with this hobby I feel like there is definitely room for improvement,  Luckily my husband is supportive with this and her has been helping me improve my DYI skills.  So I knew that making water changes and more specifically making the fresh and ease of making saltwater was important.  Luckily I have married a fantastic man that understands this!! haha.  So i explained to him what I wanted to accomplish and a way that we could do that.   I took some ideas of different mixing stations and what I wanted as far as available fresh water and how I wanted to make saltwater and how often.  

 

The best solution I could come up with is was a long 20 gallon tote on top of a 44 gallon mixing gallon tote.  Previously, I have been filling up the 44 gallon with the amount of RODI I wanted and then mixing salt.   I plan on doing 10% water changes which is a total of about 6 gallons at a time, so filling up the 44 gallon with saltwater will last me a couple weeks in between having to mix more.  As much as I would love to make automatic water changes work or even run a tube up to the tank, it's just not possible for me.  Especially at my DIY skill level and not wanting to make permanent changes to my house.

 

Anyway, for that very long explanation of why my set up is the way it is, here is what I came up with.  I started with planning the frame.  I knew I wanted to get it simple but still look nice for my basement.  We went to Lowes and Home Depot and picked up some 2 x 4's, 3/4 in sanded plywood, some paint, and some plumbing for the 20 gallon tote.  The stand needs to be sturdy but not overly concerned with it since it's only supporting 20 gallons max.  I also want to be able to store the 44 gallon brute underneath the stand.  No pumps will be used and gravity will be my mode of transport for the RODI water.

 

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We went a little out of order and had to wait to paint until the next day because of daylight, but here's a picture of where the stand will be and how the RODI unit will be mounted and booster pump installed.  I'm using the AquaticLife Smart Buddie pump.  Super easy to install and automatically flushes the unit so I don't need to remember to.

 

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I learned a lesson a few weeks ago that no of us want to learn the hard way and that is to never forget to turn the RODI off! Haha.  So for this, i finally decided to install an auto shut off and some redundancy to prevent this.  Luckily when I flooded our basement bathroom, its all tile and drains into the garage, so no real damage done.  But now this is going over actual flooring so I definitely don't want that to happen again.  I installed a float valve in the 20 gallon tote and also bought the Flood Guardian optical auto shut off.  For the auto shut off valve, I installed the Aqua FX high pressure valve on the RODI unit.  They provide a Youtube video on how to install it and it was very easy.  I have the Flood Guardian set just below the float valve so that it'll shut off the unit first, with the float valve as a back up.  One cool feature with the Flood Guardian is that once it shuts off, it stays off until it's either power cycled or you push the button to start it up again.  A timer could be used to power cycle it, but right now I just press the button when I want to make water.  I like this feature because now its only making water when I home rather than just whenever.

 

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The tote plumbing is very simple.  I have all 3/4" piping and used a bulkhead for the tote walls.  On the inside of the pipe, I put a 90 degree elbow facing down so that it draws water from the bottom and creates a siphon to empty the tote completely.  On the other side, I have a union, a ball valve, an elbow, and then a barbed fitting with vinyl tubing attached.

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Once all the plumbing was done and the paint dried, I moved the stand inside and got to work rerouting all the tubes and finished hooking up the Smart Buddie pump.  Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out and think it'll make making saltwater much easier and I can always have RODI water on hand.  After using the pump, I was very surprised how much faster I can make the water.  Before, it would take about 1.5 hours to make four gallons and now that time is cut in half.  For the waste and supply water, the tubes go into bathroom and are hooked up to the sink plumbing.  I used wire management tracks to hide the tubing and then I also used that for the cords for the pump and Flood Guardian.

 

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The final step was to clean up the mess of tubes every where.  I ordered some push connect elbows, elbow mounts, and tube clips from BRS.  This was probably my favorite part of the whole project and I thought that these simple additions made a huge difference and really cleaned up the whole look of the setup.

 

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Good news! So the fish have been in the tank for a little over two weeks now so I decided to go ahead and start transferring over my corals.  I started with a small piece of my GSP.  Left in the the tank a few days to see how it adjusted, and it did very well! When I saw that, I decided to go ahead and start transferring everything else.  I moved some of the more hardy/easy to get corals and observed.  As the corals kept doing well, I moved more and more over.  Once enough of the corals were out of the Biocube, I could more easily move the rocks around and catch my little fire shrimp and moved him over as well.  So far, I'm really happy with how everything is going.  Some of the corals are a bit more difficult to remove from the rocks, so I'll knock them out later.  Another struggle with the move is moving over the anemone.  I've tried blasting a powerhead on it and holding the rock upside down, but so far have not been able to make any progress and it seems to be moving farther within a crack in the rock.  I'm definitely open to suggestions!  My last ditch effort will be to chisel off the the piece of rock that it's on, but if I can avoid that I would like to.

 

Picture time!

 

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