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It's FINALLY the 1st, so I can get this thing started. B) I'm super excited! Good luck to everyone and thanks to all the organizers and NR.C for giving me an excuse to start a new system. :P


Here's a brief description of my plan with pics coming soon:

*Barebottom NC6, stock of course.

*25W submersible heater in the back compartment.

*I bought a cheapy bar stool from Target to use as my stand. It looks pretty nice, fits the NC6 perfectly and was only $20! :bling:

*~10# Semi-cured Indo LR from Reefscience (I bought some AWESOME pieces from Chad at RS, and this stuff is incredible and the price was great. He's local, so I also got to see his operation. The guy has everything. Most of which I can't afford ;) ) I've been storing this stuff in a bucket of SW since Sunday, just itching to get it into the tank and aquascape!

*~2# LR rubble to replace everything in the back compartment. I'm going with bio filtration only (for now) and the first thing to hit the trash are the stock sponge, carbon, and ceramic rings. :D

*Since we're on the second floor, heat will be a big problem in the summer months in NC, so I'm running a reverse light cycle starting at about 8PM to keep the temp down; hoping to stay in the low 80's.

*Haven't decided on inhabitants quite yet, but they'll be cool... :teehee:



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Here's a couple pics to whet your appetite. I might need to spruce up the barstoo..., I mean, stand a little. :P


Thanks nanocustoms.com for sponsoring this event. The package arrived in perfect condition!





Here it is on the stand.



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Thanks adinsxq and darkspyda!


Well the aquascape is in, and I'm really happy with the outcome. The dust has settled enough to take a couple pics, but you can still see the haze. In order to try and jumpstart things, the rock was cured when I bought it, and I'm starting partially with water from a water change on my established 18g. I always try to aquascape so the pieces kind of fit together like a puzzle so they look "natural" and are nice and sturdy. I also try to minimize contact on the bottom, and leave lots of caves to allow good circulation around and through the structure. I also tried to utilize the flat surfaces to form shelves for future frags; a mistake I made when aquascaping my 18g. There's LOTS of coralline on this rock, and I can already see critters crawling all over. So far I've seen many pods and tiny brittle stars. There was also a blue leg hermit and a trocus grazer that came as hitchhikers... SCORE! These guys will be my canaries to make sure the nitro's aren't too toxic. So far they look good. I also got this AWESOME piece with a huge clamshell that's really unique that I decided to make the centerpiece. Part of me thinks is looks cheesy, like a pirates treasure chest, but the other part really likes it since it's real and so different. No water params yet. I'll let it sit overnight and take some tests tomorrow.


Sorry for the long entry, but you can probably expect many more... :)


Here's some pics:


Full Frontal: ;)





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The clam shell is very cool, but to tell you the truth, it king of looks hoaky in the middle there. I personally would move it off to the side so it dosen't make such a huge impact. Just giving my opinion.


It might just make such a big impact now, because no corals are in the tank.

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Thanks for the input tMoney. It will definitely get played down as I add corals I think, and I can always move it if I don't like how it's working. My hope is that it will actually function as a home for my future fish, whatever that might be, which will keep it out in the open more. We'll see how it evolves...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I started to try adding a couple zoa frags a couple days ago, and the next day they would be missing poyps. I was pretty sure it wasn't water params because the polyps looked nice and open and I'd find the decapitated zoas on the bottom under the rockwork. I checked the tank several times during the night, and found no culprits (so I ruled out nudis and snails). So, thinking it must be a crab or something, I put a frag in a glass bowl to try and catch whatever it might be and look what I found this evening after work:




Close up:



Here he is with his claw in the cookie jar:


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi all-

Well, I FINALLY have a little time to updated my thread. Thanks everyone for the comments so far. The crab went freebie to a LFS...


I've done quite a bit to the system since my last post. The nitro's hit zeros in mid June. I rearranged the rockwork a little and added added a couple corals to see how they would do in the cube. Here's some early pics:


Full tank shot:



Here's a close-up of my green polyped sarcophyton. It didn't like my other system because the flow was too high so the polyps weren't extending fully:




I also superglued some orange zoas with green skirts to the lip of the rock with the big clam shell and moved the shell to the bottom right of the tank. Hopefully it will grow out nicely over time.



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From June to now, I've made a lot of additions and changes. First, I decided I didn't like the bare bottom. The detritus was impossible to keep under control, so I added a about 1" of fine sand around the rockwork. I also added several frags.


I got this really nice frag of eagle eyes in a trade. They are already growing quite fast:




As an NC resident and in honor of the National Champs, I've added "the" Tarheel seamat zoas:



Green with purple center zoas:



A big red shroom with blue speckles. The pic doesn't really do it justice.:



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And more...


Here's a frag of some really nice teal "ice" looking zoas. They have a nice light blue burst in the center with matching skirt.:




I like this picture taken from the bottom up perspective. It also shows a small yellow featherduster I added.:



and my frag of blue caulastrea:



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Here's a full shot of all the stuff in the tank. You can see a kenya tree frag in the upper right which is pretty unremarkable and I'll probably replace it soon. The theme I'm going for is COLOR, and trying to display how much you can get out of corals that can be kept under modest lighting.:



These pics are all a couple weeks old and I've made some pretty big additions since then, but no pics yet. I also have a couple nice pieces coming from wesleyreefs dot com. I know the owner well and he's finally started selling some of his stuff online. I also bought a couple replacement 50/50 PC bulbs from him to keep the light quality high. I'll probably change the bulb every 4 months or so as it begins to dull and yellow. It's been a lot of fun putting this system together so far and trying to meet the challenge of abiding by the "stock" restraints. I'll post more pics once I've got some more updates to report. Enjoy...

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Thanks. Unfortunately, I couldn't go to the meeting because of work. Sounds like it went pretty well from the ncfrag and masotc boards.

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Thanks Chad. I really like the rock and [plug]I couldn't beat that price for fully cured LR.[/reefscience plug] It kept 100% of it's nice purple color through my brief nitro cycle and now the back wall is starting to get some coralline growth. The big red mushroom and the zoas on the clamshell rock are also from you. I hope they will multiply and really grow out...

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  • 1 month later...

Well, it's been a while since I posted and the contest section has been a little slow lately (other than oogie). I've added a lot of stuff to the tank, but I'll start slowly... These zoas were a great deal from the LFS (of all places). 3 for $25!:


Blue and white centers with yellow skirts:




Dark green with brown skirts:




White center with orange skirts. You can't tell from these pics, but the very center is a yellow dot also:


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9/10 Pics of the Day:


Several weeks ago, once I knew the tank was stable, I transferred my favorite blasto to the nc6. I feed it every day now, and it's doing very well. It's actually beginning to sprout new polyps at the base, which it did not do during the 8 months it was in my Via Aqua 18g, so I'm pretty stoked. Hopefully I'll have some new heads to show some growth by Nov. 30:




Here it is eating mysis. It is a pig and each head can take 5-10 mysis each day. Eventually I'd like to try a time lapse series of it eating.




Here it is with the flash during lights out. You can see the buds at the base of each polyps which I hope will develop into new heads.



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I'm sad, it doesn't seem like anyone's coming in to look at these pics but oh well. Continuing on:


Here's my solitary blue rhodactis mushroom. The color on this guy is very nice and I hope it will split once or twice before the contest ends, but I don't know if the growth rate on rhodactis is as fast as discoma:



Surprisingly, I got the next two pieces from my LFS again. These zoas with green centers and skirts give some great color to the tank and the size of the colony makes it a good addition:



I really like this power blue maze brain. It's about 4" across and the color is awesome. I have it on the substrate, so I hope it will get enough light to do well and keep its color:


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