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Old 10/21/2016, 08:35 AM   #1
McPuff
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McPuff's new 300 (transfer from 120)

HI everyone! I'm finally making a post for the tank transfer I've been mentioning for the past 3 months +. Well, it has finally happened. I have had a 120 in-wall for the past 3.5 years and it was doing quite well. Had it pretty well packed with SPS colonies but had the opportunity to move into a 300DD which is quite literally the biggest tank I could possibly fit down my basement stairs.

The whole preparation took about 3 months from start to finish and here's what had to be done:

-Sold off the majority of my SPS colonies to help finance the new build
-5 hour round trip drive to pick up the tank and equipment
-2 weeks out of country for work almost right after this... slowed the whole process!
-Had to clean and prep all the equipment
-Hired a moving company to help me get the 520# tank into the basement... that was not an easy move on a hot day!
-Re-built the stand as it had to be cut in half upon purchase... no way to get it out of the existing house... and no other way to get it into my basement.
-Bleach and acid bath old live rock
-Build new rock scape with aforementioned rock using e-Marco 400... Had to envision how to incorporate my existing live rock into the structure at the same time. This was not an easy task!
-Cleaned the tank, painted the background
-leveled the stand, shimmed the tank
-fill test with tap water
-fill tank with RO/DI water; took 3 days ( ~200 gal) and added 1 box of RC salt
-Made a sand rinsing tool, rinsed 120# of special grade sand; added to the tank using a special "sand-addition tool" (i.e., PVC pipe with a funnel) to minimize the dust storm... still happened but I know it was not as bad as it could have been.
-Turned on circulation pumps (PP-20 x 2), added titanium 800W heater and linked to Apex (tank NOT yet connected to sump)
-siphoned a few gallons of nasty water and a few # of sand from the 120 and dumped into the 300 to establish the bacterial community. Added a couple small live rocks with mushrooms. Also took the marine pure block (8x8x4) out of existing sump and placed into 300 gal. Left the tank like this for a week.
-plumbed the tank through a wall to utilize the existing sump and equipment already in use for the 120; used 1.5" for the twin drains, running as Herbie. Built a 1.5" manifold (4 ports) and have 1" return line going back through wall to the far side of the tank.

At this point I created a video to explain what needed to be done and where I was in that progress... I also used it as an Intro to my new YouTube channel, "McPuff's Laboratory." :0)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFtxKUgLg4k

The actual tank transfer:
-Tested the water in each tank (salinity, alk, ca, mg) to ensure the parameters were equal (or close enough) the day before transfer. Didn't actually have to tweak any parameters!
-pumped about 70 gal of water from the 120 directly into the 300 to fill it remaining amount
-Moved live rock out of 120 and into 300, trying to remember where I had envisioned them. A bit nerve-racking but kind of fun. Brought out the scape I had in my mind which was nice to actually see in reality. Corals were placed wherever they could go and not yet mounted (unless they were already attached to rocks).
-Captured the fish as I was unable... of course, the solar wrasse hitch-hiked in a rock and ended up flopping around on a rubbermaid lid a bit before I could throw it into the 300. It is totally fine!
-Captured and transferred the remaining fish with very little stress. All fish made the transition very well. I gave them lights-out for about 36 hours and they were all out and about before I even added the daylights again... I did, however, have moon lights ON for day 2.

In this video I explain more about the transfer process and how it went... also show you how the new system looks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwB2HKd-nvg

The aftermath of the livestock transfer:
The transfer of livestock was the easy part in this whole process. At this point I'm only about 2 hours in and everybody is settling in to their new home. Now I needed to do the following:
-completely empty the 120 of water and sand
-Remove the bulkheads and plumbing... yes, this was a total pain!
-Get a buddy to help me remove the 120 from the stand and out of the fish/utility room
-Complete the plumbing for the return line (drains were pretty much done already) and manifold; this took a lot longer than I had anticipated!
-hang the Onyx fixtures in the canopy frame on the 300
-Remove macro-algae from the sump and place into remove fuge, which now sits where the 120 sat (40 gal "Tuff Stuff" tub)
-Plumb the new fuge and hang the grow light
-Plumb the calcium reactor (DIY - repurposed a GFO reactor and a Knop C reactor)
-plumb the GFO reactor (not shown in video)
-FIX THE HOLE IN THE DRYWALL... I mention this in the video... it is NOW complete but not shown as such. This was an adventure that I am not totally happy with... I'll have to do some touch-ups.
-re-mount a few corals and rocks... Not yet posted to video but I will do another update when I feel it is "complete." Will be soon.

This final video shows the support system for the 300 and provides a bit of explanation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVVa8jyn5Y8

So that's my big update for now. I'll try to post regular updates on the system progress. One of my biggest motivators for going with a larger tank is that I can now get some tangs and angels which I have missed for a few years. My current fish stock list came entirely from the 120 and is as follows:

-foxface lo
-scopas tang
-pink spot watchman goby (about 10-12 years old)
-pink spot Caribbean hawkfish
-pajama cardinal x2
-solarensis wrasse
-rudy head wrasse (aka blue-side wrasse)
-female Carpenter wrasse
-chromis (just 1!)
-Talbott's damsel
-melanurus wrasse

That's a pretty light fish list for a 300 though they do all seem quite happy to have the added space! :0) That said, I plan to add the following fish:

-small school of silver mollies (great for algae control and provide a live food source, which the wrasses and hawkfish will love)
-Achilles tang
-chocolate/mimic tang (A. pyroferus)
-blonde naso tang
-Lieutenant tang -----The tangs (~3" each) will be quarantined together and added at the same time. Hoping I don't have to use acclimation box to minimize any aggression I would see from the scopas (it is not very big)...

After a few months I would also like to add:

-Blueface angel
-Annularis angel
-fireball or flameback angel ----- the angels will be small juveniles, allowing them to grow into their habitat and I'll just hope for the best with respect to the corals. As you can see in the videos, my goal is to have few colonies that get huge. They should therefore be able to handle some picking here and there.

Eventually I may also add a humu trigger (R. aculeatus) as this is probably my all-time favorite fish. It will live in the fuge at first and will likely be the final addition to the display.

Ok, that is officially the longest post I have ever made... and probably ever will. If you got through it all, congratulations!! :0)


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Old 10/21/2016, 08:46 AM   #2
CrayolaViolence
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Congrats sounds wonderful. I've seen people talk about adding angels to their tanks with coral. i thought angels were a no-no that they picked on corals. I figured mushrooms and leathers were probably safe, is that all you have? Would love to know if there was ever any chance of my emperor going into my main display. It's a mixed tank and really full of colonies, he'd be the only fish aside from 2 mandarins.


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Old 10/21/2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CrayolaViolence View Post
Congrats sounds wonderful. I've seen people talk about adding angels to their tanks with coral. i thought angels were a no-no that they picked on corals. I figured mushrooms and leathers were probably safe, is that all you have? Would love to know if there was ever any chance of my emperor going into my main display. It's a mixed tank and really full of colonies, he'd be the only fish aside from 2 mandarins.
There are a number of people on this site with multiple large angels in their SPS reefs. Mine is a mixed reef with about an even LPS/SPS split at this point... maybe skewed a bit more towards SPS. I'll probably also add a softy or two, an anemone, and gorgonian.


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Old 10/21/2016, 09:50 AM   #4
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Very nice tank and great move process. In a few weeks, I'll be doing the same. Getting a moving company to move a 360gallon down the basement. Run it. I have new rocks for it and new equipment for it and wait for it to cycle. Transfer the stock and break down the 200gallon.


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Old 10/21/2016, 10:28 AM   #5
McPuff
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Originally Posted by this is me View Post
Very nice tank and great move process. In a few weeks, I'll be doing the same. Getting a moving company to move a 360gallon down the basement. Run it. I have new rocks for it and new equipment for it and wait for it to cycle. Transfer the stock and break down the 200gallon.
Awesome! For my transfer, it took about 9-10 hours of pretty solid work. That was last Saturday. I have been working on it each day since for about an hour or so. There is still a bit to go but I'm finally getting to the point where I can relax and just stare at the tank. My point is to be ready for a lot of stress... but it will be worth it!!


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Old 10/21/2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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Reason for the moonlighting being on so long?

posted using alternating currents.....


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Old 10/21/2016, 06:27 PM   #7
CrayolaViolence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
There are a number of people on this site with multiple large angels in their SPS reefs. Mine is a mixed reef with about an even LPS/SPS split at this point... maybe skewed a bit more towards SPS. I'll probably also add a softy or two, an anemone, and gorgonian.
So is there a chance that my emperor would do okay in a mixed reef display tank? This would be great if it were possible.


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Old 10/23/2016, 07:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CrayolaViolence View Post
So is there a chance that my emperor would do okay in a mixed reef display tank? This would be great if it were possible.
MY Emperor Angel is fine in a mixed reef except for zoa. I have him since a juvy


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Old 10/23/2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
Awesome! For my transfer, it took about 9-10 hours of pretty solid work. That was last Saturday. I have been working on it each day since for about an hour or so. There is still a bit to go but I'm finally getting to the point where I can relax and just stare at the tank. My point is to be ready for a lot of stress... but it will be worth it!!
I feel you, early this year I have to brake down the 180 and set it back up in a temporary place while I tiled our floor and then set up the 375 and transfer. A lot of work but now I can sit back and look at the tank


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Old 10/23/2016, 07:07 PM   #10
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Angels - keep them well feed and all is good from what I have heard....

posted using alternating currents.....


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Old 10/24/2016, 08:08 AM   #11
McPuff
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Originally Posted by Psirex View Post
Reason for the moonlighting being on so long?

posted using alternating currents.....
Mostly I just like to be able to see into the tank in the morning. And I figure it can't really hurt anything as it's just 4 x 350mA diodes creating minimal light. At night, it gives the fish an opportunity find a nice place for the night.


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Old 10/25/2016, 06:27 PM   #12
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Love it! Awesome tank! Great videos too. Can you post some stills? Also I salute your bravery in freely showing your unmanaged wires! Mine are a mess too. But hey if its hidden in the cabinet, who cares! Of course there are some beautifully wired setups out there too.


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our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 10/25/2016, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
HI everyone! I'm finally making a post for the tank transfer I've been mentioning for the past 3 months +. Well, it has finally happened. I have had a 120 in-wall for the past 3.5 years and it was doing quite well. Had it pretty well packed with SPS colonies but had the opportunity to move into a 300DD which is quite literally the biggest tank I could possibly fit down my basement stairs.

The whole preparation took about 3 months from start to finish and here's what had to be done:

-Sold off the majority of my SPS colonies to help finance the new build
-5 hour round trip drive to pick up the tank and equipment
-2 weeks out of country for work almost right after this... slowed the whole process!
-Had to clean and prep all the equipment
-Hired a moving company to help me get the 520# tank into the basement... that was not an easy move on a hot day!
-Re-built the stand as it had to be cut in half upon purchase... no way to get it out of the existing house... and no other way to get it into my basement.
-Bleach and acid bath old live rock
-Build new rock scape with aforementioned rock using e-Marco 400... Had to envision how to incorporate my existing live rock into the structure at the same time. This was not an easy task!
-Cleaned the tank, painted the background
-leveled the stand, shimmed the tank
-fill test with tap water
-fill tank with RO/DI water; took 3 days ( ~200 gal) and added 1 box of RC salt
-Made a sand rinsing tool, rinsed 120# of special grade sand; added to the tank using a special "sand-addition tool" (i.e., PVC pipe with a funnel) to minimize the dust storm... still happened but I know it was not as bad as it could have been.
-Turned on circulation pumps (PP-20 x 2), added titanium 800W heater and linked to Apex (tank NOT yet connected to sump)
-siphoned a few gallons of nasty water and a few # of sand from the 120 and dumped into the 300 to establish the bacterial community. Added a couple small live rocks with mushrooms. Also took the marine pure block (8x8x4) out of existing sump and placed into 300 gal. Left the tank like this for a week.
-plumbed the tank through a wall to utilize the existing sump and equipment already in use for the 120; used 1.5" for the twin drains, running as Herbie. Built a 1.5" manifold (4 ports) and have 1" return line going back through wall to the far side of the tank.

At this point I created a video to explain what needed to be done and where I was in that progress... I also used it as an Intro to my new YouTube channel, "McPuff's Laboratory." :0)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFtxKUgLg4k

The actual tank transfer:
-Tested the water in each tank (salinity, alk, ca, mg) to ensure the parameters were equal (or close enough) the day before transfer. Didn't actually have to tweak any parameters!
-pumped about 70 gal of water from the 120 directly into the 300 to fill it remaining amount
-Moved live rock out of 120 and into 300, trying to remember where I had envisioned them. A bit nerve-racking but kind of fun. Brought out the scape I had in my mind which was nice to actually see in reality. Corals were placed wherever they could go and not yet mounted (unless they were already attached to rocks).
-Captured the fish as I was unable... of course, the solar wrasse hitch-hiked in a rock and ended up flopping around on a rubbermaid lid a bit before I could throw it into the 300. It is totally fine!
-Captured and transferred the remaining fish with very little stress. All fish made the transition very well. I gave them lights-out for about 36 hours and they were all out and about before I even added the daylights again... I did, however, have moon lights ON for day 2.

In this video I explain more about the transfer process and how it went... also show you how the new system looks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwB2HKd-nvg

The aftermath of the livestock transfer:
The transfer of livestock was the easy part in this whole process. At this point I'm only about 2 hours in and everybody is settling in to their new home. Now I needed to do the following:
-completely empty the 120 of water and sand
-Remove the bulkheads and plumbing... yes, this was a total pain!
-Get a buddy to help me remove the 120 from the stand and out of the fish/utility room
-Complete the plumbing for the return line (drains were pretty much done already) and manifold; this took a lot longer than I had anticipated!
-hang the Onyx fixtures in the canopy frame on the 300
-Remove macro-algae from the sump and place into remove fuge, which now sits where the 120 sat (40 gal "Tuff Stuff" tub)
-Plumb the new fuge and hang the grow light
-Plumb the calcium reactor (DIY - repurposed a GFO reactor and a Knop C reactor)
-plumb the GFO reactor (not shown in video)
-FIX THE HOLE IN THE DRYWALL... I mention this in the video... it is NOW complete but not shown as such. This was an adventure that I am not totally happy with... I'll have to do some touch-ups.
-re-mount a few corals and rocks... Not yet posted to video but I will do another update when I feel it is "complete." Will be soon.

This final video shows the support system for the 300 and provides a bit of explanation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVVa8jyn5Y8

So that's my big update for now. I'll try to post regular updates on the system progress. One of my biggest motivators for going with a larger tank is that I can now get some tangs and angels which I have missed for a few years. My current fish stock list came entirely from the 120 and is as follows:

-foxface lo
-scopas tang
-pink spot watchman goby (about 10-12 years old)
-pink spot Caribbean hawkfish
-pajama cardinal x2
-solarensis wrasse
-rudy head wrasse (aka blue-side wrasse)
-female Carpenter wrasse
-chromis (just 1!)
-Talbott's damsel
-melanurus wrasse

That's a pretty light fish list for a 300 though they do all seem quite happy to have the added space! :0) That said, I plan to add the following fish:

-small school of silver mollies (great for algae control and provide a live food source, which the wrasses and hawkfish will love)
-Achilles tang
-chocolate/mimic tang (A. pyroferus)
-blonde naso tang
-Lieutenant tang -----The tangs (~3" each) will be quarantined together and added at the same time. Hoping I don't have to use acclimation box to minimize any aggression I would see from the scopas (it is not very big)...

After a few months I would also like to add:

-Blueface angel
-Annularis angel
-fireball or flameback angel ----- the angels will be small juveniles, allowing them to grow into their habitat and I'll just hope for the best with respect to the corals. As you can see in the videos, my goal is to have few colonies that get huge. They should therefore be able to handle some picking here and there.

Eventually I may also add a humu trigger (R. aculeatus) as this is probably my all-time favorite fish. It will live in the fuge at first and will likely be the final addition to the display.

Ok, that is officially the longest post I have ever made... and probably ever will. If you got through it all, congratulations!! :0)


Congrats on the upgrade!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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Old 10/25/2016, 07:12 PM   #14
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Looking good. I like the manifold.


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Old 10/26/2016, 07:13 AM   #15
McPuff
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Love it! Awesome tank! Great videos too. Can you post some stills? Also I salute your bravery in freely showing your unmanaged wires! Mine are a mess too. But hey if its hidden in the cabinet, who cares! Of course there are some beautifully wired setups out there too.
Oh the wires! Just glad that most of that mess is contained behind a wall. I bought some slotted wire channels and now I'm waiting for a chance to install those and clean up as much of that wire mess as possible. There's still a lot of minor clean up to do such as hiding the drain and return pipes that go through the wall. The hole from the 120 is now patched and painted though I do want to touch it up a bit more and improve it. The last step will be creating a cabinet skin for the stand and canopy... that is a winter project for sure.


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Old 10/27/2016, 09:39 AM   #16
McPuff
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I'll try to post some pics soon... but I really don't want to create an account just so I can post photos. I wish it were easier to simply add photos in RC...


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Old 10/27/2016, 11:50 AM   #17
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Tapatalk dude.. It has it's pains, but for adding photos on rc, it's great...

From note 5.. rip note 7


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Old 10/27/2016, 05:36 PM   #18
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Just click on the "My RC" button at the top of the page.

Then click on albums and photos, then click on upload photos. Upload your pics. (RC prefers pics 600 pixels wide @ 72 dpi, but I often go 800 wide)

Open a new window and get to the last page of your thread and start a new reply.

In the other window click on the pic you want to place in your thread. It will enlarge and you will see two lines of code below it. Copy the bottom code, then paste it into your reply on your thread.

That's it. No external account needed.


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/09/2016, 11:19 AM   #19
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Hi all. Made an update to highlight a few changes that I finally got the time to make. Not shown is the slotted wire channel I used to hide a bunch of cables behind the wall. Really cleans things up a lot. Anyway, check it out. I'll try to start posting some pics as well but I think the video is a nice medium as I can explain as I go. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bbio2nZBSJU


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Old 11/09/2016, 11:51 AM   #20
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Very cool scape!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 11/09/2016, 02:48 PM   #21
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Now THATS awesome...your fish look so content. Nice job man. Gonna do some reading on your thread tonight. You're obviously doing it right.


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Old 11/10/2016, 08:01 AM   #22
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Now THATS awesome...your fish look so content. Nice job man. Gonna do some reading on your thread tonight. You're obviously doing it right.
Thanks! I appreciate it. Still a bit more tweaking to do on the scape but then I think I'll be pretty happy with it for the time. I'll almost certainly add another coral or two in the coming months. And I've got some fish on the way which I'm really excited to get. They won't see the tank for a few weeks of course. I'll provide more updates as those changes come to fruition.


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Old 11/29/2016, 04:23 AM   #23
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Thanks! I appreciate it. Still a bit more tweaking to do on the scape but then I think I'll be pretty happy with it for the time. I'll almost certainly add another coral or two in the coming months. And I've got some fish on the way which I'm really excited to get. They won't see the tank for a few weeks of course. I'll provide more updates as those changes come to fruition.
what a cool setup, i like your scape! what kind of fishies are on the way to the tank??

cheers

Joel


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Old 11/30/2016, 09:47 AM   #24
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what a cool setup, i like your scape! what kind of fishies are on the way to the tank??

cheers

Joel
Thanks! I've made a few more changes to the scape and I'll document them when I have also made the "final" movements of corals.

As for fish, I am currently QT-ing a blonde naso and a lieutenant tang. Both are doing very well and putting on weight. Waiting for the pyroferus tang to arrive. Eventually, I'd like to add the Achilles tang. And in several months I'll also go with annularis and blueface angels (small juveniles), an arothron puffer of some variety, and a humu trigger. Still not sure if the last two will ever see the display or just the refugium pond.


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Old 01/11/2017, 08:52 AM   #25
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It's been a while since my last update. Everything has been going along pretty well...

I have just added the naso and lieutenant tang to the display but they are acclimating to the other fish for a week. I simply built a wall out of egg crate (light diffuser) and blocked off the right side of the tank (the "bommie" section). The two seem very happy already and do not leave each other's side! I don't anticipate any problems once I remove the divider, thankfully.

Discovered a leak in my CO2 regulator (for ca reactor) and there was no way to fix it (at the needle valve). So I ordered one from CO2art.com. It is supposed to arrive today. Has terrific reviews and the price is very nice, even with express shipping. Have been manually dosing for over a month so I'm eager to get the ca reactor back online. Still need to get the feed dialed in though. I didn't put a valve after the manifold so it's a bit harder to create adequate pressure for the ca rx... I may try to use a valve which is closer to the return pump, hoping that the pressure will be greater. Makes sense to me anyway.

I moved the ca reactor into my sump to create more space next to the pond/tub. At some point I may use that area for a QT/TTM tank which would make things easier. It could even give me an opportunity to add a small tank that is hooked into the main system (for tiny critters).

Ordered a bunch of mangroves at the beginning of Dec when it was still warm here in SE Michigan... they were delayed and didn't arrive until Saturday. By then the weather had turned and they all arrived frozen. It appears that they are all dead as the ends are getting squishy. Oh well. Maybe I'll try again in the spring.

The pond (tub) is a blast to have. It has been highly useful as a refugium for chaeto and dragon's breath. It also catches a lot of sediment which is then easily removed. Fish acclimation becomes super easy and the fish get used to having a human look down at them. I really like having fish in there and need to get some more now that those tangs are in the display. Still planning for a pyroferus tang but also have plans for the following:

-cherub angel (have always wanted one!) --- is a trio best??
-blue spot toby puffer
-humu trigger (R. aculeatus), almost certain to remain in pond
-dogface puffer (not sure which morph just yet - maybe even a mappa), also likely to remain in pond
-juv annularis angel
-juv blueface angel
-small fish: blennies, maybe another hawk?,

Planning to add some more corals such as:

-war coral; I think the red will look great and really stand out. Thinking of putting this on a separate rock. Over time it will cover the whole thing, like a brain.
-pink stylo - super bright
-maybe a forest fire digi??
-any suggestions?
As I've stated before, I don't want many colonies, just "a few" that will get big and look nice, bright, and provide new colors. Some of my current corals will take another year or two to get there but I have patience (I think) and have a vision for the "steady state."

Other than the above, I'm considering another small change to a couple of rocks. I'll get another few videos posted soon to go over some changes and experience. I also want to review the CO2art regulator.

Thanks everyone!


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