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About tokendog

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  1. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Thanks for the input. The skimmer section on my current sump holds roughly 8 inches of water. I have the Cadlights skimmer at around 7 inches. I believe that I read that somewhere as the ideal height for the TIA skimmer. It has given me dark skimmate at this height, but it was with very subtle adjustments on the dial, but if you ever change that adjustment, it's really difficult to find that sweet spot again. I've only got really dark gunky skimmate once and ever seen it's been back and forth between wet skimmate and tea. I am going to clean out the skimmer and try starting over with it. I liked it a lot when it worked, so we will see how it performs after the cleaning.
  2. Custom Look CadLights 50Long

    With all the trouble you've had with Cadlights, I was thinking it would be great to see what Tyler (Elite Aquatics) could do as far as a full size acrylic tank. It would probably be a change for him as far as size goes, but I bet he would do an amazing job on it. Just a side thought. I think I'm as anxious for you to get your tank as you probably are. I, like every one else, am looking forward to seeing it come together.
  3. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    From the reviews and feedback that I have read, they seem to be working great. It does not seem to be a known problem and it could just be mine. Plus, mine probably needs a thorough cleaning before I can accurately say that it is defective. I wouldn't worry too much at this point. This is from a Sony A55 with a 100mm Sony prime lens and a 50mm Sony prime lens. The pictures can get a lot better, but that will come with my experience increasing. As I learn the various settings for the multitude of situations such as lighting, distance, and speed of the subject. There are so many adjustments that can be made that I can now understand why it takes years upon years to become a great photographer. I do shoot in RAW and yes, it helps a lot. It allows me to easily make adjustments to the photos that are over / under exposed. I usually only have to adjust for exposure and otherwise I leave the photo alone. I am not a huge fan of tweaking the photo to something that it is not in real life. I am fortunate that I have the tank sitting next to me in my computer room so as I make adjustments, I can glance over and see the actual subject of the photo, and make sure that I do not deviate too far from how it actually looks. After editing the photo in Lightroom, I export it to jpg using max quality and size it to 750x500 for filesize / uploading to the forums. Aside from that, I leave the photos alone. If I see that I need to make a lot of adjustments, I simply will not use that photo at all. Thank you very much! Happy you like the photos. Now I just need to add more corals so I can change it up a bit.
  4. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Sorry, I somehow missed this post last time I checked the thread. On the TIA skimmers, they are very nice. They are built well and do work - and it was extremely quiet when I first got it. It was pretty hard for me to dial in, even after I got the ATO. I have had it work GREAT for about one week where it was pulling very dark skimmate and a lot of gunk out of the water. The rest of the time it has been pulling light colored tea. That's my main issue with it...it's not consistent at all. At least not for me and I've adjusted it multiple times with a resting period between adjustments to see the result...and no luck. Now it is being loud but that may be my fault. I will take it out, give it a thorough cleaning, and report back on the difference. Thanks for the input on the spacers. Thank you! They can be expensive, especially when you get in to the lenses, which really helps to improve the quality of the pictures. Though most of it is learning the various settings and lighting conditions required to get that "perfect" photo. I will honestly go through a few dozen pictures to find one that looks the best. I prefer not to have to heavily post process them so I am pretty picky on the original photo. For example, out of the 12 that I posted yesterday, I took around 200 photos. 12 made it, the rest did not. That's the beauty of SLRs though. You can snap thousands of photos and not have to pay for all of that film and processing. If you think of it like that, then DSLRs are extremely inexpensive in comparison to the old film systems.
  5. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    I've added another lens to my collection. It's far better at AFing on moving objects such as fish, which the macro lens is weak at. I'm also playing around with Lightroom 3 a little bit. I try to keep the pictures as close to the original as possible and use the tank as a comparison to make sure I do not edit them excessively. I mainly adjust exposure and white balance. My Umbrella Leather has decided to finally start to get along with the parameters in my tank and the new Ecotech light: Sorry about glare on this one: Group photo! I can't imagine how many more pieces of my tank that Urchin will be able to put on himself... He has a piece of coralline rock on him and a small polpy from one of my cloves. The clove actually opens and closes while it rides around on the Urchin. My Maxi Mini garden... Eating as always...
  6. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    I am currently looking for a new skimmer. The Cadlights skimmer pump has started to become louder and louder and is extremely difficult for me to get a consistent skim from. I have a Tunze ATO and the water remains the same, and no matter how much I adjust the skimmer, I can not get a good dark skimmate. I am currently considering the SRO-1000INT and the Warner Marine MF-161. As soon as I finish my research on which would fit my setup best, I'll order it and provide pictures plus my thoughts on the new skimmer.
  7. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Thank you. Yeah, I am waiting to check them out too. I want to see what changes were made. I wish Cadlights would get its customer service more consistent so that they would become more popular. I love my tank, and I had a very good experience, but it's hit or miss from what I've seen on other threads. I guess it is knowing what to expect going in to it. Twan, I'm so sorry I forgot to send you those invoices for them. I just remembered when I read your comment. I will do my best to e-mail them to you tonight. I'm happy to hear that they are taking care of it for you. I respect your attention to detail. As for the Wrasse, he's great. He eats the little bugs that you don't want hanging out in your tank. Downside is you have to keep him fed or he will go after your snails like a wolf. I've seen him tossing snails around the tank when I've neglected my scheduled feedings. Worth it? Absolutely. Just make sure you keep them fed if you do decide to get one.
  8. Custom Look CadLights 50Long

    Looks good. I like the clear silicone. I also like the overflow in the corner allowing a much larger viewing area. You are giving me ideas for my next build. Look forward to seeing this progress (without further issue hopefully).
  9. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Thank you. I'm trying to get better at taking photos for you guys. Thank you! The brain is by far one of my favorites, and the Wrasse is the most interesting character in my tank. He is always up to trouble and on the move. No FTS at the moment. I am working on setting up my Apex controller to automate my system like it is supposed to, and I plan on re-organizing some of my corals so it's not as cluttered. I am also thinking about adding a few new pieces. As soon as those changes are done, I'll get a FTS up. In the mean time, I will continue to add the best of the photos that I manage to get as I practice more with the new lenses.
  10. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    I am using an Ecotech Radion. I've also used 2 AI Sols over this tank.
  11. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    It is difficult to get good photos of fish with a macro lens due to the way the lens focuses. It's slow to focus, for one. The Sony 100mm is supposed to be good at portraits as well, but I will probably have to crop the photos if I want to get the fish. Almost all attempts to get a close-up of the fish results in blurred images. I will continue to practice and am getting a tripod / monopod in the next couple of days, plus another lens that should be better suited for taking pictures of quick moving fish. In the meantime, these are the 3 out of around 30 that came out decent: This came out dark and I could not increase the exposure without creating a lot of grain in the image: And my mischievous Melanurus Wrasse...He's always eating, always up to no good:
  12. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Yeah, thank you. I had read it before. They are some cool looking snails. Figures they wouldn't be recommended for most reef tanks. The real cool stuff is almost always bad for your tank in one way or the other. =P
  13. $ Pit

    Yep. Corals extend in most cases to capture sunlight, so therefore at night it's not necessary. Plus it probably helps keep them safe from predators during that time. Perfectly normal. Most of my corals look pretty pitiful during the night hours - except for the ones that prefer to feed at night, which are usually fully extended a couple hours after the lights go out.
  14. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Thanks! Thanks! The sump is great. I would design it differently after having used it for a while now, but it functions adequately enough. It's not the sump itself, but rather the design, which is entirely my fault. I already have plans for an upgraded design next time around. And yes, you are right. I'm not 100% PVC. My drain is PVC and my return is mostly flex PVC. I did add a PVC section with a ball valve in order to be able to control the return flow, but otherwise, it's not all PVC. I really don't see the need for PVC on the return side. As for my drain, I need to redo the PVC there and eliminate turns that slow the flow downward. The way my sump is designed, I want the water stirring up the drain section so that debris doesn't get a chance to build up there. I also have a few hermit crabs and snails in that section to help clean up any extra food / waste that may collect. So far it has worked well.
  15. My New 50G! Long Cadlight's Artisan!

    Fooling around with Photoshop Elements. I'm not a huge fan of edited photos so these are lightly touched up. This is pretty much how they look in the tank.