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ronreefman

Downsizing For The First Time!

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Dificult to say in my case, because I got mine running opposite schedules since day 1. Usually my pH swings from 8.20 (peak daytime) to 8.0 (peak night time). I do have to say my Ca & KH dosing pumps run at night when the display lights are off.

 

Now if this was my project, I will also paint black the left side of the refugium tank. Just to make sure there's no light spill to the display.

 

Edited by Reef_Fan09

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Everything is looking better and I hope over the next month it continues to improve. I have corals to move into the DT. For the display refugium I'm getting some decorative macro algae from Gulf Coast Ecosystems when they come to our local club's Reef Conference in 8 days. I may even visit TBS and get some very live rock.

 

But for now, getting the system to run right and look good outside in the issue. I had bulkhead leakage issues with the DR (Display Refugium) which was a pain to fix. Then I found the cabinet/stand wasn't strong enough so I massively upgraded that. Then I bumped the pipe glued into a bulkhead when I was setting the tank back on the stand and created a new leak at the bulkhead to pvc pipe. So I coated the joint with JB Weld and it stopped the leak. So I coated it again. Then I took self amalgamating silicon tape and wrapped the join and finally added a hose clamp on top of the silicone tape. That's one joint I'll never get apart again!

 

So the leak and stand fixed, I water tested and everything seems OK. First here is a shot inside the DR stand and you can see 2 beams, both are made with 2x6's that are glued and screwed together. I also doubled up the side thickness of the stand from 3/4" to 1 1/2". Here is a view into the stand.

 

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Here you can see the 2 beams that run from side to side under the new 3/4" plywood top.

 

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Just for fun I put a couple of leather corals, a few mangrove propagules and 2 clumps of red Gracilaria. Nothing is permanent at this point. I also added 2 Jebao wavemaker powerheads that I've had for years to add more water movement. I also raised the skimmer up 4" in the sump.

 

P9300009_zpseisciino.jpg

 

There is still a lot to do. The DT stand will get the hinges replaced with slow close hinges and small round white door handles (like on the DR stand) will get added. A white pvc board will get added as a toe kick under the DR stand. The old EverGrow led fixture will be gone tomorrow and a new Reef Breeders Photon V2 16" fixture will get added.

 

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Slowly but surely this project is moving forward. Water parameters are still good. The diatom bloom is still an issue but I'm going to try and let it run it's course. The new macro algae in the DR should help reduce issues in the DT. It just really feels good to have it looking halfway decent and running with no serious issues.

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Looks good Ron..! In those pics with nothing up against that wall it looks weird, I'm used to seeing nothing but a huge fish tank on that wall haha.. Good luck with ur new setup..!

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Looks good Ron..! In those pics with nothing up against that wall it looks weird, I'm used to seeing nothing but a huge fish tank on that wall haha.. Good luck with ur new setup..!

 

It's not often somebody in this hobby downsizes rather than getting out altogether. The new tank is working out well and I love the display refugium. I think between Gulf Coast Ecosystems at the Reef Conference and a Sanibel beach walk after Matthew blows by, I'll have the refugium filled.

 

 

Ron, are you selling the evergrows?

 

Good question Fred. Do you know which ones you are interested in?

They still work 100% but the cases and screws are a bit worse off for hanging over saltwater for 4 years. I was going to take them apart and do rust removal, repaint and new stainless screws. I have a use for one of the 32" fixtures but it's to replace a 32" ReefRadiance fixture that is the same as the EverGrow but with a different controller that is giving me issues. I could try to replace the ReefRadiance controller with an Evergrow and if it works, keep it and sell both EverGrow 32" if that's what you want. There is an EverGrow 16" as well.

I was moving some stuff around and found this in my 65g shallow reef!

PA030004%20R1_zpsyo0zagih.jpg

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Are you going to the conference on saturday? We could talk there.

 

Sent from Oak Haven with a tincan on a string

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I had a good day at the Reef Conference. Bought some corals from Ed Williams and a vendor from Miami. I also won 4 corals in the live auction. I bought 3 types of macro algae and a cool gorgonian (thick creamy white stalk and brown polyps) from Russ at Gulf Coast Ecosystems. Between all that, doubling my money in the raffle and seeing old friends, it was a great Saturday!

 

Sunday I did a few small jobs on the new tanks. I got my new Reef Breeders Photon V2 lighting up the display refugium now. I added a temporary frag rack to the refugium for new frags that will find their way into the DT and I added the macro algae and gorgonian. Here are pics of each tank.

 

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The new algae from Gulf Coast Ecosystems are the far back left, the far back right and the small clump up front. The 'stringy' red algae just in front of the one I got from GCE is different and I got it at Lover's Key last week. The 2 red/purple Gracilaria clumps I've had for several years. I'm thinking of keeping my leathers and maybe even my mushroom corals in the refugium as well.

 

232%20r1_zpsloypno5i.jpg

 

 

After I get the doors on the tank stand I'll get a shot of the entire system.

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I was moving some stuff around and found this in my 65g shallow reef!

 

PA030004%20R1_zpsyo0zagih.jpg

 

as he clamps down on your finger.. looks like a good fuge critter.

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OK, so I finally got the doors installed. It took a bit of work with a chisel to set 2 of the hinges about 1/10th of an inch into the vertical bar. It's my fault for going beyond the designers basic design. I added metal threaded anchors in the stand so I could remove and reinstall the vertical braces if I needed to and not worry about wooden threads getting stripped or worn out. Anyway, it's done now.

 

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Now I'll start work on getting the Apex set up, getting longer cords to run from 2 or 3 of the controllers to the pumps at the left end of the tank, add a small white bookshelf between the refugium stand and the wall, get dosing pumps and ATO set up... does it ever end?

 

Between the Reef Conference vendors (Ed Williams & yandy corals), the live raffle, Eric Noa and Anthony Peacock, I have a lot of coral frags to add. And I'm getting a mated pair of clownfish for the tank. BTW, I'm going to be selling some/all of my bigger fish if anybody is interested. I'll start a new 'For Sale' thread.

Edited by ronreefman

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And now, to go along with the new white stands, our white kitchen cabinets and our white and orange flame point Siamese cat, here are a new couple I picked up yesterday from Nick at Fishy Business Aquatics in Ft Myers.

 

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Looks good Ron! I haven't been on here in a while, and I was shocked to see you downsized! You made an amazing "instant reef" though without having to wait months for things to fill in. Nice new look!

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Looks good Ron! I haven't been on here in a while, and I was shocked to see you downsized! You made an amazing "instant reef" though without having to wait months for things to fill in. Nice new look!

 

Thanks Prashant. I appreciate your opinions. I was really very concerned about setting up a new system and putting corals, cuc and fish in with out letting it cycle. Especially when the new system wasn't even finished. The chiller wasn't hooked up, the skimmer wasn't broken in and there was no refugium. It took a few weeks to get past a diatom bloom, but things appear to be going the right direction now. BTW, where have you been and do you still have a tank?

Here is the latest update:

 

I've wanted to run the reef leds with a different custom setting than the refugium leds, but the remote control would change both not just one. They have a way to set up separate ID numbers so you can make them different But I couldn't make it work. Even with 'special' instructions from Logan, the owner of Reef Breeders, it didn't work.

 

Logan called me yesterday and we discussed the issue of changing the 'address ID' on the new fixtures. It's obvious to us we don't understand the proper way to make that work. I'm the first Photon V2 owner to run 2 fixtures next to each other and want to run 2 different custom programs. Hopefully the people who created the programming will be able to give us way to change the 'address ID' which will make modifying the custom program easier.

 

But Logan came up with a temporary solution (at least I really hope it just temporary). So now I can run 2 fixtures next to each other and have different custom programs. The sps & lps reef gets a blue and white look for coral growth while the display refugium gets a red, green and white look for algae growth. I'm glad to be able to run different custom programs and I really appreciate Logan's help with this! It makes for an interesting look, don't you think?

 

 

Here is what it looks like in the late afternoon when both fixtures are running at midday power levels. I may tone down the refugium some as it is running with red, green and white leds at 100% and the blues and violet at 30%. It was basically just a starter program to see if the 'fix' Logan came up with would work. Certainly not my finished product... at least I don't think it is???

 

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This is that it looked like at 6AM when the lights came on in the dark with the room lights turned off.

 

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This is what it looks like at 6AM with lights on in the room. The reef has just some blue leds lit up and the Refugium has just the red leds lit up.

 

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I suppose now it would be a good idea to take the frag rack full of corals out of the refugium and move it to the reef tank! I'd move them to the 65g shallow reef or the frag tank in the reef room, but those tanks are also undergoing some serious renovation and clean up. They were seriously over stocked with corals and fish for the month between the failure of the 180g tank and the start up of the new 125g tank. The 65g shallow reef is a fish only tank for now until I sell off a few of the bigger fish. Anybody want a nice sailfin tang, yellow tang, coral beauty dwarf angel or a half black dwarf angel? The frag tank has 5 or 6 lps & sps colonies that won't go in the new tank. One is a massive blue ridge colony that is the size 9" to 12" big any way you want to measure it!

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Two small improvements to my aquarium system.

 

First I added an overflow collection for skimmer fluids. My skimmer is really touchy about the depth of water and it has overflowed into the sump. So I took a container and added a hose. The CadLight skimmer already had a drain with a plug in the skimmer collection cup.

 

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Second,the CadLight tank came with 4 glass panels that make up a cover for the tank. I won’t use them so Elaine made up a storage bag for them. Of course the fabric is a fishy reef and she even made individual padded slots for each piece of glass.

 

 

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It's been awhile since I've done an update. The new tanks haven't changed much other than the loss of both Dwarf Angelfish. One to unknown causes, maybe old age, and the second due to a new predator in the tank. I do have a new resident in the display refugium (pic below). I also moved the last 2 pajama cardinals and the 4 yellow chromis into the new reef tank so it's pretty full now. I could see a pair of clowns in my future, but not just yet.

 

The 65g shallow reef in the back room has changed. I pulled all the fish and corals out along with all the LR (moved it to the sump). Then I bought 25lbs of LR from TBS. It's very alive with lots of sponges. A small (3" long) Gulf Toadfish made the trip from Tampa Bay into my tank as well. But it hides under the rocks all the time so I almost never see it anymore. The coral banded shrimp that Rick O collected for me on the SWFMAS Key trip is still in the shallow reef as well. It's my intention to add just stuff we collect at the beach or when snorkeling in the Keys. Maybe some harder to find (scuba rather than snorkel) stuff from Gulf Coast Ecosystems (Bradenton) or KP Aquatics (Florida Keys) or even TBS.

 

OK, so the new member of the family that has taken up residence in the display refugium is a 3" to 4" Red Reef Lobster from Hawaii. I got it from Nick (now the sole owner) at Fishy Business Aquatics on Cleveland Ave. I like Nick as he seems to be a good person and he can order up almost anything at very fair prices. But I also like Fishy Business because right around the corner in the same mall (2 storefronts away) is Bury Me Brewing Co, a very cool little micro brewery. Anyway, Nick sold this little guy and had to take him back. Although online sites say 'reef safe' or 'reef safe with caution' this one is a cannibal and if he can't find enough food, he'll go after soft corals. So Nick, Anthony and I agreed that Hannibal was a good name and after he ate a fish in our tank, Elaine agreed.ohmy.gif But he's so cute! And now he'll have the display refugium pretty much all to himself unless we find some other crazy critter to add.

 

PC050028%20R1_zpsljnedzdm.jpg

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I’m about to start a major redo of my rockscape on Tuesday I hope. I like the look of the current rockscape, but IMHO, having a tall rock island in the middle of the tank means that the space behind the rock is kind of wasted as far as being used for coral placement.

 

On top of that, I’ve never been happy gluing stuff to rocks in the tank. But what do you do with small frags on plugs? It’s especially a pain if there aren’t any good holes in the rock to hold the frag plug? So I’m taking LR that I plan to use and pre-drilling 3/8th inch holes in rocks that I know will be exposed and used to place corals. I found setting a frag plug in a drilled 3/8ths inch hole (the diameter of the stems on my frag plugs) to feel very firm and solid. I think I’ll be very happy with the finished product.

 

I also took LR that has lots of holes and tried setting a frag plug in the holes.All in all it was far from satisfying. So I took my 3/8ths inch drill and‘worked over’ the existing holes in the rock. Now frag plugs fit in much better and feel far more secure.

 

Here are a few ‘before’ photos so you can see what I’m tearing apart. A typical FTS:

 

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And for fun a photo merge panorama shot:

 

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Looking in from the left end you can see how much room is used for the backside of the island.

 

left%20end%20of%20tank_zpspjyh4mma.jpg

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Is that a PJ cardinal? That thing is huge....

 

There are 2 in the tank. One is the typical colors and the other is the less common B&W only version. I've had them both for 6 or 7 years and I got them from an old club member who got out of the hobby to move up to Pennsylvania. Like most fish in my tank, they have done well and are pretty happy.rolleyes.gif.

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Thanks for asking Eric. I wish I had had the chance to do it. But unfortunately our clothes dryer snapped the drive belt and I spent all yesterday morning tearing it apart (easy once you know the tricks... not so easy to learn the tricks in the first place). And then finding the part locally. I want to start the rockscape work first thing in the morning as I figure it will be an all day affair. So I decided not to start yesterday afternoon and today is buy the dryer drive belt and put the dryer back together day. BTW, I'm shooting for getting it back together with no 'spare' parts left over!!! laugh.gif

 

I'm optimistic that I will get the rockscape started on Thursday. The display refugium too if I have the time.

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I got my clothes dryer belt installed yesterday and prepped for today’s redo of my DT rockscape. From the front it looks similar to the way it looked before, as far as the rocks go. The corals have all been moved around. The good news is that all the old corals are in the tank except for a big rock of palys and 10 frags form my ‘waiting to get into the DT’ frag rack also have been placed. As I stated earlier, I drilled 3/8th inch holes in a lot of the rocks so frag plugs just slip right into place. It worked very well for the coral I had that were on plugs and I have about 50 holes left to fill! Well, I can’t fill all of them as some are too close together where 2 rocks are up against one and other.

 

So here is the day in pictures:

 

It took more than an hour to move all the corals to holding tanks and the LR to a Brute. But then the tank was almost empty except for the fish and cuc and the racks that much of the rock sits on.

 

Empty%20tank_zpssgbbi6vp.jpg

 

 

Here is a close up of the racks with the pvc pipe legs pushed down in the sand. There is about 1.5" to 2" of space between the top of the sand and the bottom of the eggcrate.

 

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Here the first rocks are going into the rockscape. I wanted as much ‘flat’ area as I could with some taller rock wall just in the middle of the back covering most of the overflow. The Tonga branch doesn't stay at the front, I just didn't have any more room in the coral holding tank and there are a few zoas on it. So I didn't want to put it in the Brute with all the other LR.

 

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Here is a close up of one of the flat rocks that I drilled lots of holes in for frag plugs. I was very surprised how they almost disappear once the rockscape was done. When my wife got home from work… yes, she still works while I’m retired, she didn’t even notice the holes until I pointed them out to her.

 

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More rocks added in.

 

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And more rocks. Now I'm taking some of the rocks that were in the old tank and drilling holes in them before I add them to this rockscape. It's kind of time consuming, but I don't think I would do another rockscape without drilling holes in the rocks. It makes adding corals on frag plugs so easy!

 

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This is the new look and it isn't that much different from the old look the front view. But now there is no back side to the island that slopes down and is a crappy place to mount coral, basically out of site. As I said above, all the old corals are in except for one and 10 frags from my frag tank have also been added and there are still 50 drilled holes for frag plugs. This is just a lot better way to display the coral.

 

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This is the tank as it looked before. I still like this look, but there just were enough places for corals as the front was pretty step and the back side was wasted space.

 

full%20tank%20shot%20R1_zpslmzziylk.jpg

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