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Aunt Minnie

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About Aunt Minnie

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  • Birthday 06/06/1983

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    Evanston, Illinois
  1. mpsti05's rimless reef..... Tank coming down...

    Yeah Jackson Hole will be amazing...was there over the summer when I was in high school. The Tetons are absolutely gorgeous, I'd love to go back. Anyway, I will definitely have to pay a visit to Reef Wise. It's good to know there's something similar in quality to Midwest Coral Farms still in the area. One last question: I see that you added a BRS reactor to your system and are running it from underneath your tank. Are you using the included Cobalt MJ1200 pump? If so, do you find that it provides enough power to get water from the rear chamber of your tank into the reactor and back into the tank? Also, are you having any issues diverting water from the rear chamber, into the reactor and back (water level issues or otherwise)? Any reason you didn't consider one of the several new "nano" reactors on the market which drop directly in the rear chamber? The reason I ask is because I'm contemplating the identical setup to yours (although I'd probably run dual reactor chambers for carbon and GFO), but am skeptical if it would work. What has your experience been?
  2. Cube Stand

    Thanks for the advice on the banding, I'll definitely be trying it. Sorry for all the random questions on your stand...I simply love the design! In your thread you mentioned using "euro" style hinges. Am I right to assume this is a generic term referring to hinges which allow the door to fully overlay the sides (as mounting the door doesn't require a face frame) of the stand? If this is indeed the case, specifically what manufacturer/model hinges did you purchase? I went through Blum's (manufacturer of high-quality cabinet hinges) online catalog last night and was absolutely perplexed on what to buy...they literally offer hundreds of hinge options.
  3. mpsti05's rimless reef..... Tank coming down...

    Hey man was just checking out your thread, your PicO is incredible, nice work (looks like the stand turned out pretty good too ). Also great score on the Reef Savvy...a custom plumbed tank with matching stand from those guys is my dream setup. Maybe one day when the $$$ flows a little more freely. Anyway, I was curious where in the Chicago-area you get most of your corals and fish. I'm up here in Evanston but travel to the other burbs frequently as my parents live in Geneva and brother lives in Downers Grove. You may have stated this in your thread somewhere, but did you start your tank using live rock or dry rock? I was leaning towards using BRS Reef Saver dry rock to avoid unwanted critters, but would consider live if you can recommend a reputable area source. It's really disappointing that Midwest Coral Farm up here in Highland Park closed last summer... Lastly, I just checked out your Vail video -- that powder is incredible. My wife and I were just there in the 3rd week of March; we saw NOTHING like that. There was some OK powder back in the Blue Sky Basin, but nothing like in your video. What bowl was that video shot in and what time of day was it? I know that the snow's probably best in the morning. I must admit that I'm not a morning person; it's therefore hard for me to make it onto the mountain before 10:00. The warmer temps and massive number of people (Spring Break) probably didn't help either. Not sure if I would go back to Vail unless I learn how to ski. The long catwalks suck for snowboarders.
  4. Do you have any corals/rockwork placed anywhere near the glass? Is this the same tank that's in your build thread linked to your profile (Bonnie Shallow Reef)? Very nice btw.
  5. New nano reefkeeping book.

    Hi Albert, Sorry if I missed this in your thread somewhere...I'm looking forward to purchasing your book shortly but am curious as to how long the pre-production pricing will last for ($30 + $4.75 S&H). I would like to place my order in the very near future but am waiting for payday to roll around....
  6. Great to hear! 30" x 30" tank built with 1/2" glass yields an internal footprint of 29" x 29"...if I keep corals and rockwork a mere 2.5" from the glass on each side I should be good to go! Seeing as I'm planning 2 tall rock "islands" I don't think this should be a problem...... Any skeptics?
  7. This is good to hear. How is your light spread towards the tanks edges and how high is your fixture hung?
  8. Ok good advice, thank you...just don't want to make a decision I might later regret! Any other thoughts?
  9. I am in the (long) process of planning my dream nano reef system (down to the very last detail...). For a long list of reasons, I've decided on the Ecotech Radion fixture (specifically the XR30w Pro). This fixture illuminates a footprint of 24" x 24" (a size which I've found to be relatively common amongst LED fixtures in this class). Due to financial restrictions and restrictions in overall tank size, I am limiting myself to a single Radion fixture. In order to maximize water volume, I am looking for the largest possible tank in which a single Radion can adequately illuminate. While tanks having a 24" x 24" footprint are common (60 gallon cubes come to mind), I'm not a huge fan of the "cube" look and would prefer something a bit shallower. Additionally, a tank with a 24" x 24" footprint doesn't truly have an internal footprint of 24" x 24". If 3/8" glass is used, the internal footprint is actually 23.25" x 23.25". Thus, the maximum usable footprint of the Radion is not fully utilized (hey...when you're paying $900 for a light, I figure it's best to get your money's worth!). Additionally, since I don't plan on leaning live rock/coral against the aquarium glass, I could in theory increase the footprint by even a couple more inches. However, this would involve ordering/building a custom-sized tank. In general, I aesthetically enjoy the dimensions of a "shallow cube" in which the footprint is square and the height is 2/3 the size of the L or W. In order to produce round numbers using these proportions, my candidate dimensions are either 27" x 27" x 18" or 30" x 30" x 20" (although the latter dimension is likely admittedly too big). Because I would use 1/2" low-iron glass, the internal footprint would be a full inch shorter in the L and W dimensions. My question is: is this a stupid idea? Is is dumb to design a system around a light fixture? Is there any reason why I may regret this decision later on down the road? This is my dream system, so I plan on sticking with it for a long, long time. Thoughts? Just trying to generate some brainstorming before I pull the trigger. Thanks!
  10. Cube Stand

    Wow your stand looks fantastic -- love the modern minimalist look! I'm looking to build something similar myself but unfortunately have somewhat limited woodworking skills and tools. Did you apply any sort of banding to the edges in order to cover up the inner ply layers? If so, how difficult was this and are you happy with the results? From your pics the stand looks amazing!
  11. November 2012 Featured Reef - awpong

    Hey awpong, Sweet tank man! It's absolutely gorgeous and is similar in style to what I'm looking to set up. Congrats too on getting into med school -- I'm curious as to how difficult it was to maintain a tank of that caliber and still keep up with rigorous pre-med schoolwork. I'm a resident right now and would really like to start a tank, but am hesitant due to significant limitations in free time. Where will you be going to school and do you plan on setting the tank back up?
  12. Live rock question

    d2mini's tank is awesome and he indeed gets all his stuff from TBS. His first tank is featured in all of Ecotech's marketing materials (that's his tank on their homepage -- I believe he did the photography as well as he is a photographer by trade). For his 2nd tank he flew to Florida himself and rode in the boat with the TBS team while his rock was "picked." While the rock is stunning, I am curious to know how their rock fares in terms of hitchhiking pests. Does anyone have any experience in this arena?
  13. Neto's DIY 22g ULNS Shallow Tank

    Thanks for the quick reply, that's very helpful info. I agree with your philosophy on buying tools...so far I've acquired a miter saw, drill press, palm sander and clamps...no table saw yet though. The table saw is next on the list, as I've had to rely on my less-than-trustworthy Home Depot to rip panels up until now. However, a decent table saw is unfortunately not cheap ($350+) and a great table saw is totally outside the realm of affordability ($1000+). Given the fact that I at best tackle projects like this once/year, I'm not sure if even an average table saw is worth it. Any suggestions for a good value-based (read: inexpensive) table saw which is not a total piece of crap?
  14. Neto's DIY 22g ULNS Shallow Tank

    Hey Neto, Your stand is fricking sweet! Very contemporary and "ADA-esque." I'm looking to build something similar. Couple questions: 1.) Is that baltic birch ply you used to skin the stand? 2.) What did you use to seal/prime the inside of your stand? 3.) How did you affix the outer plywood to the 2x4 inner frame? I'm afraid that using nails or screws will mar the contemporary/sleek look of the stand, but don't know how else to attach these panels. I don't see any nails or screws in your design. Any tips? 4.) Did you apply any type of finish to the outer skin? Any plans to stain or dye the wood? Thanks a bunch!