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Old 11-02-2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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My first sw tank was in blue. I found the coralline showed up more on the blue background than the black so thats why I stick with the black now. lol It just irks me to see stuff on the back glass that i can't clean.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlkng1 View Post
I live just a little bit south of Baltimore (Glen Burnie)..isn't it nice to have "That Pet Place" so close? An hour and a half to the toystore

It looks like you have a really good start...as you were setting up, was your wife looking at you like, "what did I allow him to get INTO?"

I like the idea of that spray bar....
Yeah, I feel like I've been an advertisment for That Fish Place's second chance stuff since I first got my light and sump. It's probably a good thing I don't live closer or I'd be even deeper in debt.

My wife regrets letting my buy the tank and I conciously omitted the fact that the tank and stand were just the shell of the operation.

I hope the spray bar doesn't cut down too much flow. I hope to do a test run this weekend to see what's going to happen.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:07 AM   #13
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It's been a little bit since I updated. I added live rock and sand last Thursday.

I had a misadventure last Friday night as I thought I had a tank leak. The family and I were going to see a school play and I heard water dripping as we were getting ready to leave. I couldn't see it, but I definitely heard the sound of water hitting the carpet. In a panic, I slid the sump out of the way to reach the carpet on the backside of the sand and sure enough, water. I searched frantically before realizing the drip was coming from the overflow on the left side of the tank. At some point I apparently cracked it where the drain hose connects and there was a steady drip of water from where I had tested the spraybar before. I think I was able to repair it with PVC primer and cement. I figured the worst thing I could do was make it worse by melting the plastic and at best I'd fix it. I gooped the stuff on hoping it would chemically melt back together.

That crisis was averted, however when I slid the sump over, the little acrylic hangar that holds a bulkhead for the drain hoses got bound and broke. I tried to use model glue to put it back together but I don't think it's a strong enough solvent. Anyone know what to use? I can do without it by just shoving the drain hose into the filter sock if I've got to.

Another issue I had was that the way this stand is made, neither the top nor the bottom is a single piece of wood. Instead, each is two pieces butted together and held by two flat metal plates and a total of 8 round head screws. I didn't want my sumpo to sit directly on that for fear of it developing stress cracks where it would sit on the hardware. I ended up cutting down an old styrofoam shipping box figuring it would compress over the hardware wnough to provide a flat surface for the bottom of the sump. Another crisis solved through redneck engineering.

However, that created the problem that my spraybar was now sitting too high and the holes I drileld as siphon breaks would almost squirt water over the front of the tank. I ended up ripping out the majority of the PVC and replaced it with PVC braided hose.

Here she is now.


I have some life on the rock. Several feather dusters, an aiptasia (why does this stuff live through everything?), and I saw some kind of little snail tonight. I lost some orange sponge because I couldn't rehydrate the rock fast enough. I have ammonia and was going to put some in to see what happened, but thinking about it, I'm fearful that I might kill off what I have. Any suggestions on that?
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:48 AM   #14
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I have those lights, but I have the 4 bulb fixture. Really nice!
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Old 11-24-2011, 12:23 AM   #15
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Get a piece of styrofoam and put it between the screw heads and your sump. Sounds like it would work to me... dunno (shrug)
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #16
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The styrofoam seems to be working well so far. I ended up buying a new bulkhead bracket to replace the one I broke. I'm still going to keep the old one. I might find some Weld On 16 one day to fix it. I also fabricated a little stand to raise my skimmer's output above the sump water level as recommended by the manufacturer. I still haven't got his quite adjusted where it needs to be as I seem to go from dry foam to running over rather quickly. More fine tuning to come. . . The pic below is about 12 hours of skimate production with the air inlet turned all the way down.


I could have probably won the ugly tnak contest after Thanksgiving weekend, but I neglected to take a picture before I started scrubbing. The tank went from looking pretty pristine Wednesday afternoon to having a thick coating of diatoms Sunday night.

I fabbed up some covers from light diffuser grating since the glass covers that came with the tank aren't going to allow me to feed the critters with the light fixture on them. I haven't installed them yet because I need to get a replacement slipcover for the lights.

I've got plenty of bristle worms and feather dusters. A couple of psuedocorynactis anemones (I think) and a couple of aiptasia (how does that stuff live through EVERYTHING?) and some playthoa (again, I think) and I think some pretty bleached zoanthids.





I have to travel a lot for work, and my wife is honestly not very good at topping up for evaporation for me. She is good about complaining when the pumps run dry and make a racket. I've just had her turn them off since there's not much in the tank, but I think I'm goin to have to invest in an auto top off. I'm going to measure the space inside my stand to see if I can find a Rubbermaid container or some such to fit beside the sump. it seems like I have a siphon break on the left overflow whenever the water runs low on top of things.

I haven't tried adding any ammonia to see if the tank has cycled fo fear of killing stuff off. I'd really appreciate any input you guys have on that. I don't want to torture any chromis with a fish-in cycle if I don't have to.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:17 PM   #17
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The palythoas have greened up and look much nicer. What I thought were zoanthids also now have opened up and I believe they are actually palys as well.

On the down side, the tank is growing hair algae like crazy. I am getting a clean up crew soon, so hopefully that will help.

I acquired a 5 stage RODI from purewaterclub.com. Unfortunately I had a dickens of a time with getting it hooked up. The cartridges were laid out reverse from how I wanted them (they were staged correctly, but flowed right to left, I wanted left to right). I disassembeled the unit and set it up as I wanted, and had to go online to figure out how to install the shutoff valve. The under sink adaptor they sent was junk (meaning it didn't fit and / or I cross-threaded the thing), and I ended up fabbing something from Lowes. (Up to this point I was using an Aquarium Pharmacueticals Tap Water Filter.)

Last night (or actually early this morning) I built and installed a DIY auto top off kit I bought from Bulk Reef Supply. It seems to be working well so far. No pics as I was up to 1:30 this morning finishing the installation. The in-laws are coming Thursday and my wife had a good honey-do list for me before I could start on the aquarium stuff. of course, she also wanted the aquarium stuff out of her living room as well.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:35 AM   #18
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I added a few coral frags last night and will update with pics later today. I got some eagle eye zoas (awesome), a green birdsnest, and some kind of red and grey acan.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:56 PM   #19
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Well, it wasn't later today, but here are the corals I picked up from Atlantic Sea Farms.

Eagle Eye Zoas:


An Acan frag:


ORA green birdsnest:
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:16 PM   #20
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I got a few things from saltwaterfish.com as a Christmas present from my mother in law last Friday.

Yellow polyps:


Ochre-striped cardinals sold as blue eye cardinals. Two of the trio didn't make it:


Ocellaris clowns:


Carpenter's flasher wrasse:


Watermelon umbrella mushroom:


I think these are snake zoas. There are some brown zoas at the base and the tube like structures fluoresce green. This was an "adopted mystery coral" closeout:


I also got an emerald crab which was DOA, three peppermint shrimp which I can't get a good pic of (they always hide), a foxface which lasted about two days (he was emaciated when I got him and hid until he croaked), and several snails and blue legged hermit crabs.

These are growing out of my live rock. I'm not sure if they are featherdusters or some kind of coral. The tubes are very small and have white tentacles or polyps which fluoresce green under the actinics:
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