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Old 06/16/2015, 09:36 AM   #101
Chasmodes
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Thanks for your interest. I'm sorry that this build has been incredibly slow.

My project stalled for a bit, been busy with other things and no free time...but...went to the beach a couple weeks ago and picked up a bunch of good oyster shells. I'm drying them out now outside (they still stink a bit). Once they're tolerable enough to bring inside, then I'll finish the aquascaping. I have enough oysters that I may make the entire third base out of oysters rather than DIY rock simply because I have enough, and it will make for a ton of cool hiding places.

I have a buddy that wants to help with my stand. We are going to hook up and finish that as soon as he can shake free for a weekend. His daughter plays travel softball, so free time is limited. He's really good at cabinetry, so I'm going to let him take over. I messed up cutting the laminate and only have one more sheet left and don't want to waste with with my lack of skills. I could do it, I think, but, lack confidence. I'd rather get it right along with everything else and not waste money that I can put into the equipment.

My goal is still to have this tank up and cycled before the end of the summer so I can still collect and have fish in it by then.

I also have been distracted by something else aquarium related...a FW native stream tank and have been putting time into that. I'm building a DIY foam fake rock river ledge (combined with some real rock). This is going to be a true biotope tank from a stream near me. Fantail and rainbow darters and satinfin shiners will be the featured fish, but just about anything that won't prey on the others will be in there that I can catch.

I bet y'all aren't surprised at my interest in darters, given that I'm a blenny fanatic!


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/16/2015, 02:11 PM   #102
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Nothing to be sorry about, Kevin! This is a hobby, man - enjoy it!

Ray


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Old 06/27/2016, 09:51 AM   #103
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I promised some pictures, and although this isn't much of an update, and I'm really dejected by how slow this project is going, I am making headway at least on the aquascaping part. Here are a few pictures:

The first 2 pictures show the oysters (fully matched and glued) that are ready for me to glue to the reef. I will make several smaller cultches to eliminate gaps in the reef between the cultches. I will also allow for some caves and tunnels between the cultches. I've eliminated the cement blocks. My thinking is that there will be enough surface area for biological filtration in the tank, and if I use "live rock", it will be in the sump. Matching the oysters and then gluing them was a very long process that started late last summer.



The next few pictures show the reef as it is today. You an see that I've already created a few smaller cultches that bridge the larger ones together. The measuring tape shows the height of the tank at 18", and the plywood base that the oyster reef is sitting on has the 36"Lx 36"W dimensions (it is actually the side of the tank stand that I'm using as a work platform). The tank is about 101 gallons or so.

This first picture is from the front view of the reef:


This is a closer view of the right side of the reef, the main reef. I plan to add oysters to make this about 6" taller toward the back of the tank when done.


The same view, but showing the left side too for perspective.


I still wish to have this tank set up and running this summer, that is the goal. It all depends on financing (how much money we have left after our family vacation for equipment that I need).


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/27/2016, 09:55 AM   #104
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If I can glue 10 oysters a day, I should be done with the aquascaping in a few weeks. I probably have at least 100-150 oysters that are ready to add to the reef. After the oysters, I will add some muscles and clams to the reef too that I've been gathering.

Each oyster once glued takes about 2 hours for the glue to set, and about five more before it is really sturdy. The hard part is positioning them the way that you want while also having a realistic fit to the reef. So it takes a fail amount of time. I'm not just slapping them together. My dream is to have this as realistic as possible once done.

Will the fish really care? Probably not. But, they'll feel right at home when I'm done. Where it really matters is when I look into this tank, I see my cut of the Chesapeake Bay.


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/27/2016, 03:44 PM   #105
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I put live oysters in my fuge before. The pods cleaned the shells white as can be. They lived for a month or so in my tank. Did nothing special for them. We eat oyster often in season, so I always find barnacles and small oysters to add to my fuge.


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Old 06/30/2016, 08:27 AM   #106
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Thanks Grayhead for the input. Once my tank is well established, I may try to keep some inverts, maybe a bit sooner in the fuge (shrimp). Whatever I do with regard to adding invertebrates will be slow and down the road. Ultimately, I would like this tank to be as realistic as possible.


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/30/2016, 09:05 AM   #107
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Cool thread! I live in Pensacola, FL on the Gulf of Mexico and I like to keep local blennys in my reef. I currently have a Parablennius marmoreus that just devours aiptasia and hydroids. He eats on my mini maxi too but never enough to cause enough damage to matter.

Had a Chasmodes saburrae for about 6 months but a crab got her. That was a cool fish too.


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Old 06/30/2016, 10:48 AM   #108
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That is a beautiful and unique aquascape. Well done so far.


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Old 06/30/2016, 10:58 AM   #109
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Following along. Looking forward to seeing this underwater.


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Old 06/30/2016, 11:05 AM   #110
Chasmodes
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Thanks Zack.

I checked out your tank thread, beautiful tank! I couldn't find your blenny in there, but I didn't have a lot of time to check closely. Do you have any pics of your seaweed blenny?

Sorry to hear about your Florida blenny, bummer. I saw your pics of it, cool fish. They are very closely related to the striped blenny (C. bosquianus).

Question about those blennies, did you catch them in total salt water or brackish environments?


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/30/2016, 11:07 AM   #111
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Thanks Chris and Josh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljosh View Post
Following along. Looking forward to seeing this underwater.
You and me both! I had a talk with my wife last night, and she is on board with my goal of getting this done soon. It all depends on $


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Blennies Rock!

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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 06/30/2016, 12:52 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasmodes View Post
Thanks Zack.

I checked out your tank thread, beautiful tank! I couldn't find your blenny in there, but I didn't have a lot of time to check closely. Do you have any pics of your seaweed blenny?

Sorry to hear about your Florida blenny, bummer. I saw your pics of it, cool fish. They are very closely related to the striped blenny (C. bosquianus).

Question about those blennies, did you catch them in total salt water or brackish environments?
My wife actually cried when Jane died. I will try and get pics of Charlie the seaweed blenny. He is one of those that poses and then right when you are about to snap the pic he darts off. He is pretty much all black but will display a tan pattern at times. I also have a frillfin goby (Bathygobius soporator) that came from the same area. I named him hulk. He was smaller than my pinky when I caught him and now is about 4" long. Last time I added a peppermint shrimp he ate it within seconds.

An interesting observation about these local fish is they have started using the skunk cleaner shrimp's services. There are no cleaner shrimp species that I know of around here and I go collecting a lot. Both fish let the cleaner absolutely go to town on them. Mouth, gills, underside, etc.

I have not tested the SG at the collection site but I would imagine it is fairly close to NSW. I collect near the bridge that connects Gulf Breeze with Pensacola Beach on the attached map. The inlet from the gulf is close by and the freshwater source is over 20 miles away.



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Old 06/30/2016, 04:11 PM   #113
Chasmodes
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Very cool stuff Zack! How much have you kept that you've collected?


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/03/2016, 06:10 AM   #114
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Coming Along...




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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/04/2016, 06:36 AM   #115
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Looking good!


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Old 07/20/2016, 04:34 PM   #116
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I've made some more progress, adding about 50 more oysters and nearing the max height (the tape behind the right side reef is the tank height). I still have some gaps, plus working on the base area around the rear of the left reef, and about 100 more oysters to place and glue. Tedious!

I think I want to move the left reef more toward the foreground in the actual tank than these pics.

From the front/side looking to the reef:


If you sit in front of the tank (using imagination, of course):


I'm getting really excited about this. As soon as I'm doing creating this aquascape, I'll finish the stand. All I need now is money for the equipment...


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Blennies Rock!

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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump

Last edited by Chasmodes; 07/20/2016 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 07/21/2016, 12:51 PM   #117
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Tank is coming along nicely! I added a Molly Miller that I caught a few days ago. She is finally done with the hiding phase.



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Old 07/21/2016, 01:14 PM   #118
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Thanks Zack.

I had a molly miller years ago and really loved that fish. Tons of personality. Did you catch it yourself? I'm jealous


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/23/2016, 10:54 PM   #119
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Following along, very creative. Coming along great too by the way


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Old 07/25/2016, 12:33 PM   #120
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Got a Hypsoblennius invemar this weekend! So stoked! Been wanting one forever. I gave a guy some free frags and by chance he is a diver and I mentioned that they are out there and that if he ever finds them, I would love one. He actually found them and got me one and he took one. It has been hiding behind my overflow for a couple of days but I saw it out on the rocks last night so hopefully it comes out soon for good.


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Old 07/25/2016, 04:05 PM   #121
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Thanks E.Litvin! More updates to come. I'm down to 78 oysters left to glue, will be done sooner than I had hoped, I think. I would have glued more the past couple days but I ran out of Gorilla Glue. Got more yesterday, so hope to get on track again. More pics to come after I finish the section that I'm working on. I am so fired up about this tank again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhourhero View Post
Got a Hypsoblennius invemar this weekend! So stoked! Been wanting one forever. I gave a guy some free frags and by chance he is a diver and I mentioned that they are out there and that if he ever finds them, I would love one. He actually found them and got me one and he took one. It has been hiding behind my overflow for a couple of days but I saw it out on the rocks last night so hopefully it comes out soon for good.
Wow, those are so beautiful! Now I'm really jealous How is he getting along with the molly miller?


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/25/2016, 04:58 PM   #122
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Quote:
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Wow, those are so beautiful! Now I'm really jealous How is he getting along with the molly miller?

Cant say as last night was the first time id seen it anywhere besides behind the overflow box. The molly and the seaweed tolerate eachother so i cam hoping it will be the same for this one...


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Old 07/25/2016, 09:27 PM   #123
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Really cool idea! Those oyster shells look so neat.


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Old 07/26/2016, 09:35 AM   #124
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Thanks OrQids!

Update: in the pic below, the oysters laying flat on the table are the ones left to glue. I'm down to 52, I think, at last count. In the first picture, the gap between the back part of the left reef and front reef will be connected (actually, there are 3 separate cultches (or modules, if you will). I bought a new bottle of glue and did a lot of work last night. I'm really happy with how it's turning out.!

Left side (sorry, pic a little blurry, I must have moved)


Front, from above:


From the front:


I really like the half arch coming out from the right side. More work to be done tonight.


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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/27/2016, 07:30 AM   #125
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For comparison, a pic from earlier in the thread, a picture that really inspired me:



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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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