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Old 04/30/2012, 10:15 PM   #101
CalmSeasQuest
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The best laid plans of mice and men...

I had planned on installing the two final pieces along with the remaining corals today however, the final installation didn't survive transport (I pushed beyond the stress tolerance of 1/16" acrylic rod.) I will rebuilt the last piece and install it on Wednesday. The contest in which this tank was entered required that all livestock be placed in the tank no later than today. As a result, many Monti and Zoa frags are "hanging out" on the substrate until I have time complete the last installation and get them mounted.

Here's a few quick photos including what will be the Zoa build. You can also see a bunch of Frags temporarily sitting on the substrate...




While it appears rather drab and boring in this photo, this Pectinia is quite beautiful once it gets colored back up. It takes on a very deep translucent quality.


This will hold a series of Zoanthids. The base will not be visible as it is hidden beneath the substrate.

The Tetra Luft air pump came in today, amazingly it has changed little since the last one I had 35 years ago providing the air for a couple tanks of Oscars and Jack Dempseys. I'll be adding it and another airstone to the skimmer. Although it's working well at present, I think 7 PSI coupled with the new bubble plate will improve it's performance. I've also been playing around with a tiny Hydor Pico Evolution pump to increase the flow through the skimmer. Once I see how the additional air works, I should be able to make a determination on the value of increased water flow.

Have I mentioned how easy it is to spend a lot of time tinkering with skimmers?


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/02/2012, 08:26 PM   #102
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More Air = Good

I replaced the whisper air pump with the Luft and wow - what a huge improvement. While it's a bit louder than I had hoped, the airstone now cranks out so many fine bubbles that it has allowed me to raise the entire skimmer a few inches, improving the water flow. The Luft is powering a single airstone and is running at ~80% - Any higher output and it would overpower the skimmer, forcing wet froth down the drain line.

Before with the whisper (note the position of the top magnet compared to the after photo)


Now with the Luft running at ~80%


The next version of the bubble plate will include a lengthened airstone chamber which should allow the Luft to be run at 100%. I'm anxious to see what a difference it makes in skimmate production. It "appears" to be running so well, that I might not even bother adding a feed pump...Mames got nothing on this powerhouse of a Pico Foam Fractionation System

I installed the Zoa and Monti pieces today and mounted the corals. All that left is to get the Capricornis off the substrate and onto their new home which is nearly done and will be installed on Friday. Sorry for the cell cam photos - Hopefully all the Zoas will be open by then and ready for better photos and maybe a short video showing the Skimmer doing it's thing.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/02/2012, 09:06 PM   #103
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Wow great build... Either ur going to impress the judges for this contest and win hands down, or blow their minds with ur unconventional approach they throw your tank out lol.

For the Ric River, one of the pictures looks like there are white particles inside, do u tweeze out each one as part of ur maintenance as to keep the pure black? Also with the square river you have a very geometric design going on, and it's nice.. But if ur down for the challenge I think an actual "river" with a bend or two would look amazing and not so "stiff"

GL at the contest! We are all routing for u


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Old 05/02/2012, 09:12 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by cjk76 View Post
Nice. You must have a rare species of Goby Clown. haha. Actually, it might be normal for clowns to do this when there is an absence of rock to hide behind. I hypothesize that they will stop when the corals get more substantial and they can hide behind them.

Let's all hope that the sand stays white with occational stirring. When you figure out your pellet conservation/poo clean up/white sand situation, let me know your secrets. Don't worry, I'll keep them
Dunno mine do this and they have plenty to hide behind.


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Old 05/02/2012, 09:45 PM   #105
CalmSeasQuest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyO View Post
Wow great build... Either ur going to impress the judges for this contest and win hands down, or blow their minds with ur unconventional approach they throw your tank out lol.

For the Ric River, one of the pictures looks like there are white particles inside, do u tweeze out each one as part of ur maintenance as to keep the pure black? Also with the square river you have a very geometric design going on, and it's nice.. But if ur down for the challenge I think an actual "river" with a bend or two would look amazing and not so "stiff"

GL at the contest! We are all routing for u
Thanks MattyO - I think you're right as impressions of this build have been...varied The specks visible are aragonite that found it's way into the black substrate areas (darn clowns.) They are slowly working there way to the bottom, the rest...tweezers and a LOT of patience. I actually considered a curved Ric River, but the space is so short, that coupled with the width, it wouldn't allow for much of a curve.
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Originally Posted by agruetz View Post
Dunno mine do this and they have plenty to hide behind.
I'm convinced my two are doing just to be spiteful. - They seem to enjoy watching me break out the tweezers


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/05/2012, 09:49 AM   #106
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I added the final piece, which I think may end up being my favorite (floating Capricornis.) The updates to the skimmer (Luft air pump and addition of a Hydor Evolution Mini pump) are working very well. The additional air and lift provided by the Luft allowed me to raise the skimmer ~3". I think I'm about done tweaking the skimmer and now have room to replace the Mangroves...

I re-installed the MP-10, it will take a bit of tweaking. With all the motion I've designed into this build, I think this tank will look great with a small standing wave. Alk is being maintained at present with just the Kalk being added to the ATO, so I haven't started using the BRS dosing pumps. As demand increases, I'll add the 2-part. Here are a few photos and a quick HD video to show the current status. I'll take more Macro shots as everything colors-up and recovers from the shock of Fragging, transport and install.
















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-Tom


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change

Last edited by CalmSeasQuest; 05/05/2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 05/08/2012, 03:12 PM   #107
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Truly amazing...if you were to put together a kit that had the tank, coral "stands", and your skimmer... I would buy it. If that never happens I will be left trying to figure out how to make all that myself. Wow!


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Old 05/08/2012, 09:09 PM   #108
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Your tank looks absolutely amazing. I've never seen anything quite like it. Well done! What is the name of that music in your vid if you don't mind me asking?


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Old 05/08/2012, 09:24 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by blazzent View Post
Truly amazing...if you were to put together a kit that had the tank, coral "stands", and your skimmer... I would buy it. If that never happens I will be left trying to figure out how to make all that myself. Wow!
Thank you blazzent. I'd be embarrassed to disclose how many hours were spent creating (and in many cases recreating) the acrylic pieces. Not because they were all that difficult, rather because I had no experience working with acrylic and everything was subject to the "learning curve". I'm very pleased with how well the skimmer is performing. The higher output Luft air pump coupled with the Pico water pump have turned out to be a great combination. Initially I was worried about the bioload of 2 clowns (especially when full grown) in a 12 gallon tank. The filtration plan comprised of a 1 gallon per week water change, the skimmer, MarinePure ceramic spheres, mechanical filter pad (changed weekly) GAC and Purigen thus far, seem to be working perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyskulhero View Post
Your tank looks absolutely amazing. I've never seen anything quite like it. Well done! What is the name of that music in your vid if you don't mind me asking?
Thank you very much Hyskulhero - The music is Handel's Water Music Suite #1. It premiered in July of 1717 for King George I at a concert on the River Thames. Not exactly a current tune, but I thought it was fitting.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change

Last edited by CalmSeasQuest; 05/08/2012 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 05/09/2012, 12:06 AM   #110
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This is the most unique and artistic approach ive ever seen in a reef build.Congrats as its truly a work of art..


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Old 05/09/2012, 02:33 AM   #111
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I can't wait to see how everything looks once it has grown in!!


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Old 05/09/2012, 07:33 AM   #112
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Very nice setup. I'll be following for maturity.


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Old 05/11/2012, 07:46 PM   #113
CalmSeasQuest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rehype View Post
This is the most unique and artistic approach ive ever seen in a reef build.Congrats as its truly a work of art..
Thanks very much rehype
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Originally Posted by jmacc702 View Post
I can't wait to see how everything looks once it has grown in!!
Thanks jmacc - Me too!
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Very nice setup. I'll be following for maturity.
Thanks for tagging along yardboy

Friday update...

I like the natural light the tank gets in the late afternoons...





The Acans are loving life - now over 40+ heads


Coralline is beginning to form on the bridge stones and acrylic edges


Technically this is a lousy photo, but I like the coral silhouettes created by the setting sun.

Everything is doing well, starting to see corals growing onto the acrylic and the clowns act like they own the place.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/11/2012, 08:35 PM   #114
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Now do not touch anything thinking you will make it better because you won't.


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Old 05/11/2012, 09:58 PM   #115
CalmSeasQuest
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Now do not touch anything thinking you will make it better because you won't.
Wow - That's quite a coincedence...

This afternoon I was gazing into this tank making mental notes of all the updates and improvements I need to make (there are MANY.) I will concede that I won't be changing much as the contest prohibits any livestock changes from now to it's conclusion (6/25) - Thereafter all bets are off

In the process of designing this, I made many pieces that ended up not being used in this build, some were a bit too large like this one...



Others just did't fit in style-wise. After now having seen all the pieces of the puzzle together, I've got some great ideas for this tank (modularity is another big advantage) or the inevitable next build.

As long as you respect the basic husbandry requirements, Coral doesn't care if it's attached to rock - live or otherwise. Replacing the lost bio-filtration from the absence of live rock or a DSB was my primary concern, Thus far the DIY skimmer coupled with mechanical (filter pad), biological (MarinePure trickle tower - still zero measurable nitrates!) and chemical (GAC/GFO) have worked very well rendering the "CSQ" concept viable.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/11/2012, 10:46 PM   #116
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Clean and simple. Very out of the box thinking and design of a reef tank. Well, I don't know if I would even call it a reef tank, as much is it a display or specimen tank. Reminds me of micro mounts of gems and rocks.


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Old 05/12/2012, 12:54 AM   #117
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Very well done. Love the use of shapes as stands for the coral.


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Old 05/12/2012, 09:10 AM   #118
CalmSeasQuest
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Clean and simple. Very out of the box thinking and design of a reef tank. Well, I don't know if I would even call it a reef tank, as much is it a display or specimen tank. Reminds me of micro mounts of gems and rocks.
Thanks drouner - I think I still consider this a reef as it includes every component (and challenge) of a traditional reef except for natural live rock. From some aspects, this is even a greater challenge - Even beyond replacing the bio-filtration. I was a rock-hound in my early days, and while I loved some of the collections of rocks and gems, I never had any that over time fully enveloped the micro-mount or that swayed gently back and forth in the fluid column.

Thanks again for tagging along!

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Very well done. Love the use of shapes as stands for the coral.
Thanks Poltermagda,

I now understand why reefs look random and relatively unstructured - It's because maintaining symmetry, right-angles and artistic balance is HARD, especially when one possess no skill in those areas.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change
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Old 05/12/2012, 10:37 AM   #119
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wow, this tank and your office are beautiful, thanks for sharing...


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Old 05/12/2012, 02:28 PM   #120
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Amazing build Tom,truly out of the box.
For me it looks like a cake with candies on top.Really top notch.


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Old 05/12/2012, 03:43 PM   #121
CalmSeasQuest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic Reefer4u View Post
wow, this tank and your office are beautiful, thanks for sharing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haksar View Post
Amazing build Tom,truly out of the box.
For me it looks like a cake with candies on top.Really top notch.
Thank you very much

This tank has really been an adventure and a series of pleasant surprises. I say surprises because I had no idea what to expect having had no experience working with acrylic, or much of any DIY background. What I found is that if you allow your self to "screw up" enough times without quitting, odds are that in the end, you'll come up with something good . Here are my observations thus far...

Foam Fractionation
The skimmer turned out to be a real surprise - I hadn't initially planned on including a skimmer on this build, especially when I realized I would only have about 2" available in the overflow area. A quick look at all the commercially available nano-sized skimmers returned little of interest. I had seen very small skimmers made by Mame and a very talented DIY'r named Glazier, but decided they didn't fit the needs of this tank so... I ordered acrylic - lots of different sizes and shapes to start testing with. I'll be the first to admit that I'm surprised at how well this little skimmer performs. I think the key was using the largest possible diameter drain line thereby minimizing back pressure, allowing it to "breath" properly.

Bio-Filtration
As I thought about this build, the greatest initial challenge was how to handle bio-filtration without any live rock. The location where this tank resides doesn't allow for a sump, and I wanted the display area to be free of traditional aquascaping....hence the problem. I had used bio balls and other variants years ago during the inescapable plenum and wet/dry days and swore never to return, yet I had to find a way to make this work in a very tiny overflow area. As I researched bio-media, I came across the MarinePure ceramic spheres and was impressed by the porosity and surface area claims. I reasoned that if I could create an area that pre-filtered water passed through extremely slowly (I'm banning the word trickle), I could create an aerobic environment for processing Nitrites, and just perhaps an adjacent anaerobic area (center of the spheres) that might provide some level of denitrification. So I built a vertical tower using acrylic that holds staggered columns of MarinePure ceramics that is constantly fed a very small volume of skimmed and filtered water. It's still far too early to draw any conclusions, but so far so good. The filtration plan appears to be working with no measurable Nitrates or nuisance algaes.

Acylics
I used to think I spent a lot of time when aquascaping a tank, spending hours on end arranging and re-arranging rocks. That time sink pales in comparison to how much time can be spent working with acrylic. Between the various skimmer and bubble plate designs to the 20+ coral mounting pieces that were created (not including those that ended up being destroyed by dropping, being stepped on, sat on, melted or exploding under a saw, drill bit or Dremel.) And then there were those that failed stress tests, or succumbed to my OJT flame polishing methods....the do-overs were plentiful. Out of sheer embarrassment, I will never admit how many hours I spent on this project.

With all that said, I've had a blast with this built. I love the fact that I can tinker endlessly with it (although I've found it a major distraction at work.) Because each coral build is modular, it's easy to move things around, replace entire pieces or swap out individual corals with ease. While I'll never give up my "traditional" tanks, from a reefing perspective, It's forced me to think in the most non-traditional, "Abbynormal" terms. What I discovered was - It can be fun coloring outside the lines.

Thank you to everyone that has spent their time tagging along and for all the kind comments.


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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw

Current Tank Info: 96X30" 270Gal, Kessil 360WEs, BK250 Double Cone, 400 gal ASW station with continuous water change

Last edited by CalmSeasQuest; 05/12/2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05/12/2012, 03:45 PM   #122
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Excellent tank.....jealous


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Old 05/12/2012, 05:37 PM   #123
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subscribing...


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Old 05/12/2012, 09:05 PM   #124
Woodchuck12
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Love this build!!!


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Old 05/15/2012, 04:15 PM   #125
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I hope you continue wtih posting updates on this tank, I would love to see it as it matures. You have given me encouragement to keep growing in this hobby and to think about "coloring outside the lines" once in awhile.


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