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Grundler

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About Grundler

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  • Birthday April 22

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  1. I'm so freaking excited for this contest it's really biting into my attention span! Even though I have resisted posting (I can't help but be long-winded), I've been watching this thread blow up. Depending upon the final rules, I may self-impose a species restriction lol. Aquarium keeping is my artistic outlet, and I really want to get "artsy" with this build. Pulled a lot of old equipment out of some storage boxes, I think I've got a lot of stuff that'll be conducive to a very minimalist build. The downside is that the GF saw all the spare equipment I've been hoarding and now thinks "we" should have a spring-cleaning garage sale! πŸ˜… She's a little miffed that I want to do yet another tank (we just set-up a 2.5 pico for her, ~3 days before this thread was started). But I offered to combine it with her tank once the contest is over into an upgraded 5-10 gallon system, and that got her excited (You'd just give me your corals?!). Need to get my tank still, and inquire at the LFS if they can get my "secret ingredient" in!
  2. Lot's of good ideas and discussion, but I'm noticing a key lack of consensus/focus in this thread (though it's getting better). I'd like to provoke some thoughts. Are we planning a "system" contest or an "aquascaping" contest? So many people are concerned about their system/equipment. I'm sitting here wondering: "How does buying a bunch of hardware have anything to do with skills worthy of a competition"? I understand that folks really want to hammer out the actual equipment to be used (for good reason), but I feel like many are placing too much emphasis on this aspect. I'm new to the "design phase" of a competition such as this, and I see the obvious logic in a "standardized" approach to hardware. It seems clear that a range of options will be more conducive/inclusive too. But once that's agreed upon, what's the actual "competitive element" we're seeking to pursue? I see plenty of people who don't seem to have thought about the purpose of a competition. They're very focused on the ideal system specs that they want in their homes and less on the "showcase your skills within a constraint" element. If we want to be as inclusive as possible, I think the folks who are dead-set on specific equipment (e.g. "muh rimless") need to remember that they're placing constraints on fellow competitors that probably aren't very interesting/meaningful from competitive standpoint. Is final judging going to focus on what you're able to do within a glass box (i.e. the aquascape and husbandry aspects, you know, "skill") or is it going to be focused on how pretty your setup looks from across the room (i.e. can you throw enough money at "sexy" equipment)? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a rimless AIO tank with a $300 light on it just as much as the next person, I just think that's a really boring aspect with respect to a competition. I'd much rather compete based upon what I can do inside of an "ugly" black rimmed ~2.5 gallon in the span of 6 months (after which I can "plop" the inhabitants into said rimless AIO that matches my homes' decor).
  3. OMG! TIGAHMAN!!! I first jumped over from FW planted to reefing in large part because of your surge tank (and the NR pico contest in general)! Still one of the coolest things I've seen in this hobby! Really looking forward to seeing what you do! Though my account does not bear it, I'm team 2004 in spirit! @Christopher Marks STANDARDIZE THE EQUIPMENT! 🀣 Otherwise I can't hope to compete with @Tigahboy's "franken-tank" know-how!
  4. To clarify to anyone misunderstanding my ramblings (easy enoughπŸ˜‰) :the idea of a genera restriction wasn't to force a specific genus on anyone. Contestants would be responsible for choosing whatever genera (and species) they want. However, you would be restricted to only, say, 5 genera/species total. You can toss as many individuals of a chosen species into the (seems likely) 2.5 gallon tank, but you have to make your tank look "contest ready" using only those 5 genera. If the hardware is standardized, there could be two different contest categories; one more loose with the restriction (any color variety or subspecies goes as long as you stay within 5 genera), another where the restriction is tighter (only 5 species and that includes color varieties). Example stocking lists (I think 5 genera sounds like just competitive enough, while still allowing for a lot of potential). "Loose restriction": Discosoma Blue, Red, Purple Zoanthus Rastas, Eagle Eyes, Radioactive Dragon Eyes, etc. Acropora Green slimer, Pearlberry Goniopora Nephthea Green "Tighter restriction": Discosoma "Blue" Discosoma "Red" Acropora "Green Slimer" Acropora "Pearlberry" Palythoa "Utter Chaos" The first category can be for those who want to take part and have fun trying their hand at a sampling of their favorite 5 genera in a pico. The second category is for the more competitive folks who want to test their skills with what I like to describe as "painting with biology" in a way that they've perhaps not thought of before. All coral (and maybe "set piece" inverts like anemones, feather duster worms, etc?) selections, within contest restrictions, are up to the contest participant. As had been said by others: there should be a goal to the contest. I don't know about everyone else, but I've never heard of someone achieving their goals by staying in their comfort zone. 😁 If your goal is "a stellar pico", is lack of a competition really what's stopping you? Does anyone watch or engage in competition, of any sort, that does not involve the participants struggling to show their skills under constraints? NO I SAY! 🧐 Sorry for the wall of text. I'm obviously biased, and have been giving this idea a lot of thought in the last 24 hours. I'm fully aware that I am a "recently vocal" member of this community. I'm a fan of debate; apologies if my posts come off too much as "arguing a point" (but also I wanna see this happen!). But also, I'm not the first, nor last person to appreciate this particular type of contest goal. I found the restriction/goal of the previous competition to be fascinating! It pushed people to innovate and take risks! The product of those efforts made for a memorable spectacle; creations that I'm certain will continue to inspire any future hobbyists that google "pico reef". I believe restricting the amount of coral genera/species (but not the number of frags!) would make for an equally significant and memorable inspiration-worthy fodder for both new-coming hobbyists and veterans looking to try/see something fairly unique.πŸ˜ƒ
  5. Yup! To clarify; the limits would only be on the # of species (and possibly the budget, but not sure) , not on limiting it to purely beginner varieties. I think a trend toward those types of corals would be an organic result of this restriction. It would make the contestants carefully think about what they're going to stock. Pico's practically have this restriction built into them; but specifically limiting variety places extra emphasis on the more interesting *visual* design decisions. I've read the concerns with this idea, but I'm really curious to see what people could do within the confines of this restriction! There are so many accomplished and creative hobbyists on this site! Even if contestants just created picos with several frags of their top ~5 favorite corals we'd have some very diverse results! Sort of like a "calling card" style of pico. It's only 6 months long right? I get that many people would like to start a pico...because they want to have/continue-having a pico. Anyone who is interested in continuing on with their contest entry can drop the restrictions the moment the time is up. Just spit-balling here. Thinking about the other posts I'm seeing about having a range of sizes and equipment options/categories; what if the categories were based upon your chosen amount of species (genera?)? So, tank size and equipment are irrelevant, but you're competing against everyone else in the "only 3 genera" category. This could be further varied by an optional "single 'type' of each genus (i.e. only 'green slimer' acropora frags as one of your picks)" category and a "as many varieties as you wish so long as they're 3 distinct genera (i.e. the acropora genus is one of your picks and you proceed to stock different varieties in a way that would make @teenyreef blush)" category. Though that does sound like it could dilute the categories somewhat prohibitively on further thought. Number of genera could potentially be related to some scoring metric too. For instance; the base amount is 5 genera/species and you get +X points for every type <5 that you keep (and still make it look "good"; these are voted on correct?). Vice versa you can add >5 species to your total, but it docks you -X points per addition. I'm not sure what X is equal too but then again, I'm not a doctor....and this is the first time I've thought about this. 😁 I'm down for this contest no matter what! I've long been wondering what sorts of really interesting nanos or picos one could create with a "nature aquarium" approach; I've been really wanting to experiment with visuals and constraints. Other than some of the "Japanese style" aquascapes, I haven't really seen this direction explored in the hobby recently. Emphasis has mostly been placed on fitting as much diversity as one can into a box; I'll reiterate that I want to see the many different kinds of less-is-more looks "competitive" hobbyists (beginners and veterans!)can produce when encouraged. Thank you! πŸ€—
  6. This is my first post! I've been lurking here (on a defunct account) since 2004. I really need to post my Nuvo 40. I've never been able to catch the beginning of one of these contests. I've been looking for an excuse to finally engage with this community! I'm sooooo in! I love the idea of standard 2.5 gallons and possibly limiting/standardizing budget/tech. PAR38 (otherwise I'll be too tempted to buy another Nanobox πŸ˜…) HoB or Canister is an interesting choice! I love, even more, the idea of limiting variety and color forms of corals (and possibly livestock budget). Similar to "Nature" aquariums in the planted world. To create a "natural feel" the idea is to restrict the tank to 3-5 species/varieties of coral. The focus is on the aquascape and use of space & color; restricting species forces picking a few colors/forms and using them to emphasize aspects of the scape. The minimalism of this approach to stocking/scaping prevents the "unicorn-vomit on a blacklight poster" look and creates opportunities to use multiple frags of the same variety to good effect. I feel like this has a different type of "reefing skill" to it then the usual skill needed to keep a bunch of different husbandry requirements met. Fast-growing, "cheaper", and "old standby" varieties of corals could be leveraged to fill large areas without worry/shame. A budget restriction might help, there could be interesting juxtaposition choices, for example, a high-dollar mushroom in a field of xenia or cyphastrea ($300?). Just "thinking out loud"! πŸ˜ƒ
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