A Pale Blue Dot – My SPS Dominated Reef

Steven Garland

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Very solid scape,tons and tons of room for coral placement. I know you probably can't answer this question,but do you know how much comes in a 5lb box ? I'm sure you probably ordered 20+ boxes.
 
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chrishet

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Very solid scape,tons and tons of room for coral placement. I know you probably can't answer this question,but do you know how much comes in a 5lb box ? I'm sure you probably ordered 20+ boxes.
Thx! I ordered one 40 lb box and one 20 lb box. I probably only used 1 or 2 pieces from the 20 lb box and had a lot of rubble left over...I would say 45 lbs of rock in total. I really like this stuff because at the end of the day you won’t see much rock anyway, and to your point, lots of room to mount frags. My only complaint is they don’t pack it well and there was a lot of broken pieces...but you can easily cement these together and it would work just as good.
 
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chrishet

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One other note. My first scapes I had a lot of open spaces and the rock was unstable. After working with it a while I realized that I wanted a wider base that was more stable. I also noticed that the thickness of the cuts were not consistent so I had to be sure I was using similar thicknesses on each layer. In the end I have a nice scape that is somewhat pyramid shaped with a very stable base.
 
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chrishet

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There has been a lot of interest in 3D printing in the aquarium community. I bought my first printer specifically for this project, although I enjoy doing lots of other projects with it as well. Here is a stand I made for my new Kalk Stirrer. I got an Avast Marine K1 for Christmas and it was not quite tall enough to go over my sump walls so I printed a stand for it. Here is a pic of the design in Fusion, a pic on my Ender 3 printer, and the final product in my stand. It took 16 hours to print. I haven't started dosing Kalk yet but am looking forward to it.





 
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chrishet

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I added a few snails today...moving up the food chain! T+64 days.

I've got a bit of green hair algae still in my fuge area. I have the Kessil H180 light on 4 hours per day. I don't see any in the display (the fuge is a better place for it!) but the rock is starting to turn brown in spots. All good.

I used BRS 2 Part to raise my Ca, Mg, and dKH to correct levels. I'll start testing now and keep these numbers stable as best I can. pH went up as well but has dropped back to 7.97.

I'm also dosing some Purple Up. I seeded some coralline algae with the snails, plus I ordered some Purple Helix...we shall see if this stuff really works. I am not expecting much but I would like to see some coralline growing before I add corals...as the WWC folks do.

 
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chrishet

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And in the theme of my build thread, here is another astro-photo. It reminds me of the purple coralline introduced today. This is The Witch Head Nebula, aka IC2118. Its located near The Great Orion Nebula and is only 900 light years from us. This is a reflection nebula, meaning the light we are seeing is reflected light from a nearby star. I took this image using a 500mm focal length scope, basically just a large camera lens. This is visually a very large object in the sky! Enjoy!

 
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chrishet

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Update time! Everything is progressing along nicely. I have coralline starting to pop up in spots. I have been dosing Purple Up to help, I know this is just trace elements but it can't hurt!

I've set up 2 QT tanks, one for fish and one for coral. I'll take some pics soon.

The fish QT is a 20Long from Petco $ per gallon sale. I've painted it black on the back, sides and bottom. I've got a stand, a Fluval HOB filter, a simple heater, a cheap digital thermometer, a glass top, some PVC, an air pump and some meds. I've been reading up on methods for QT'ing fish. Right now I'm thinking I'll start with Copper Power as a preventative measure. Once I get my process down I will share it. No fish yet but I am probably going to start with a few Clowns, a Midas or Tailspot Blenny, a few Chromis, maybe an Anthias. I'll need to keep the numbers low in this 20g.

The coral QT is a 10 Gallon Waterbox AIO. It has a AI Prime, a Cobalt Neo Therm heater, an old power head, and a custom frag rack of my own design - 3D printed of course. My plan is to keep this tank setup for the next year or so next to the DT. Any new corals will get a dip and stay in this QT till I'm confident there are no issues. Speaking of corals, it's First Frag time. A club member here in Atlanta sold me a nice frag of an acro colony - STARRY NIGHT - I HAD to have one!

I hope everyone, who could, enjoyed last nights Lunar Eclipse. I don't get all caught up in the names people give these, as I told a friend, seen one Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse you've seen them all! Anyway, this year I took a little bit different angle at shooting it. This is a time lapse, 1150 images, 8 seconds each, using an 8-15mm Fisheye. Cheers!

 
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chrishet

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Its time for a monthly update.

Everything is coming along nicely...I have a few frags coming next week and hope to pick up a fish or two later this week.

Here is a pic of my new coral QT tank. I am not sure I like it this close to my DT so I may move it at some point. This is a 10G Waterbox Cube Plus, included an AI Prime HD light. I upgraded the return pump to a MJ606 pump - the one that came with it was very noisy. I also have in this a 50W Neo-Therm header and an old Koralia powerhead that I had laying around. I filled one of the AIO chambers with some Marinepure cubes that I had in my sump. Its running great. I am building an DIY ATO using some cheap 12v peristaltic dosing pumps I got off Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0791YL351/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and a 12V PS - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HCRUGPW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I am printing a case and a few float switch brackets for it now. I plan on doing water changes from the main tank but haven't quite figured out how to do that with my AWCS.



The frag rack is one I build myself. I printed the parts on my Ender 3. Its a cool design if I do say so myself! The rack is printed with 100 percent infill so it would not float and for some additional buoyancy control I added a weight to the bottom of it, filled with eMarco cement. There is lots of room for flow. I have to clean it up a bit but it look like it will work great! Can't wait to see it with some frags!

 
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Diamond1

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You tank looks great. Can't wait to see it full of life.
I love the astro pics. Astrophotography is also my second expensive hobby besides reef tanks.
I have a 6" Celestron SE SCT and a 80 mm Celestron Refractor on a motorized Celestron EQ mount. I use a Canon T1i and Neximage.

My pics aren't as nice as yours but not bad considering I don't have an auto tracker and guide scope.
Hope you don't mind me sharing these here.

Dumbell Nebula
Dumbell nebula.PNG


Ring Nebula
Ring nebula.PNG
 
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chrishet

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You tank looks great. Can't wait to see it full of life.
I love the astro pics. Astrophotography is also my second expensive hobby besides reef tanks.
I have a 6" Celestron SE SCT and a 80 mm Celestron Refractor on a motorized Celestron EQ mount. I use a Canon T1i and Neximage.

My pics aren't as nice as yours but not bad considering I don't have an auto tracker and guide scope.
Hope you don't mind me sharing these here.

Thx! Good stuff D! Nice round stars, no simple task.
 
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chrishet

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Time for another monthly update. So far I am very pleased as to the progress of the DT. Not much to report on it yet, no corals or fish in it yet. I did start dosing. I found myself adding supplemental elements every week to keep the params up. There isn't much in the tank at the moment, besides some CUC, but I thought it good practice to keep up with the parameters. Last weekend I got my DOS dosing pumps all connected and started dosing 2 part to keep up with the SW changes occurring daily...again, probably overkill but starting a good routine now will help later. I am not dosing much, like 25ml per day. I also picked up a second Gyre 230 pump...this should be fun getting them alternating across the tank.

Both QT systems are up and running. I have 2 Black Ice Clowns in the fish QT and plan on getting a few more fish this week before I start with the copper. These fish are awesome! Here is the female - Khaleesi (some will understand where I am going with this....). The male will be called Tyrion (I didn't really want a Lanaster in the mix but...) Its tough to get a good pic of these guys together....they are bonded but move around a lot.


The Coral QT is also running great. I doing water changes using the DT's water to get them aclimated to the params. Right now I have 4 Zoa frags but am picking up some SPS frags this week. I dipped these in Bayer and CoralRx before putting them in the QT. I'll monitor my corals for 30 days or so before anything goes in the QT. I'm still working on my photo skills around the tank and haven't gotten around to setting up a tripod yet. These were all shot using a Canon 5D MIII and 100mmL macro lens.

Rasta's


Bam Bams


Utter Chaos


Miami Vice
 
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chrishet

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Here is a shot of my QT system...I got a few more fish the other day and have started Copper Power with API General Cure/Focus/Food. I am monitoring the copper level with a Hanna meter. I am following Hotrocks QT process over in the Fish Disease Treatment forum, https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/my-current-qt-process.483371/ . He has a great video on Youtube as well. I won't keep this system up and running all the time, just when needed. For now I have 4 Blue/Green Chromis, 1 small Yellow Tang, 2 Black Ice Clowns, a Tomini Tang, and a Tailspot Blenny. That's it for now. They all seem very healthy but the Tomini Tang got a little beat up by the Yellow during the drip acclimation - I was told to acclimate them together, I must have miss understood. He'll be fine. I would love to have a Blue Mandarin at some point but want to wait till my tank is more established.

 
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Also update on the ARC Purple Helix product. I dosed this product the first week in January. After dosing the product I turned the pumps off for 2 days. I kept the skimmer and carbon reactor off for 4 weeks, as well as my UV sterilizer. I also dosed Purple Up daily till the bottle was empty. I kept all my parameters in check. I ran my Radions in Blue only for the first 4 weeks and then flipped to AB+ mode. In full disclosure I also added a few flakes of coralline from my LFS and my snails had some coralline on them. I can't be completely sure it was just the Purple Helix but I have coralline algae popping up all over the place! I have to believe it was the product as it is so wide spread. I certainly would do this combination again if I did another build.
 
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chrishet

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I've been busy on the 3D printer. Here is a make I just posted over on the 3D printing thread...MJ1200 Vacuum Nozzles.
Over on Thingiverse there is a customizable vacuum nozzle tool.. I used it to make a few nozzles for a MJ1200 pump for cleaning my barebottom tank....I posted the STL's on Thingiverse if anyone is interested....or just download the tool and make your own. My first Thingi! https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3421806.
 
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As I wait a few more weeks I thought I should step up my photography skills in this space...here is my very first focus stacked image. This was a focus stacked image using Helicon. It really does a nice job don't you think? Now on to getting shots of all my new corals. Let the fun begin....

 
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