Blaxsun's Abyss: Red Sea 750XXL

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blaxsun

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I really like the open ledges you created with your rock scape for your coral additions
Thanks. I have three large 25-30lb pieces of Marco shelf rock that were some of the most interesting shapes I'd ever seen - so I had to have them, naturally (fortunately they fit as I bought them without measuring first!) There's an assortment of smaller Marco base and shelf rock that I've used to create three main arches (left, right and far right) and then I have an assortment of rock "islands" that are slowly but surely turning into either zoa/paly or rock flower colonies.
 
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Thanks. I have three large 25-30lb pieces of Marco shelf rock that were some of the most interesting shapes I'd ever seen - so I had to have them, naturally (fortunately they fit as I bought them without measuring first!) There's an assortment of smaller Marco base and shelf rock that I've used to create three main arches (left, right and far right) and then I have an assortment of rock "islands" that are slowly but surely turning into either zoa/paly or rock flower colonies.
They blend in for a very natural look too
 
Koral King: Rare Corals for Sale

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May 19. Lazy Thursday
Here are some assorted fish shots just quickly taken with my iPhone 8 (I'll dig out the new camera this weekend). I just took these with the tank lights - no white adjustment in Adobe Lightroom.

0D4381A8-B4C4-497E-A067-65F37293C900.jpg
In this photo is my sailfin "Finn", one of the Marcia's anthias, "EMP" the juv. emperor angel, one of the three fat blue devil damsels ("Huey", "Louie" or "Dewie" - I can't tell which), "Roy" the royal gramma trying to blend in against a black background and part of "Sway" my Lamarck's angel.

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Same anthias and one of the "Jailbirds" - the banggai cardinal twins.

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Bit of a tank panoramic with the last 3 images so you can get a bit better view of the corals.

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Close-up of the same anthias with my fat tentacle plate and "Finn" photo-bombing (of course).

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Good shot of two anthias and a chromis in formation.

F984A92B-534D-4C68-92BF-D6F13D8EC785.jpg
"Rivel IV", my fat and very content lawnmower blenny. I have not had great success with lawnmower blennies in smaller tanks, hence the "IV". Named after Rigel in Farscape for any sci-fi fans out there.

FDB910D1-3EB6-4ED6-B1F8-9D3B41DB8E99.jpg
One of the banggai cardinals and the emperor hiding in the main 'bat cave'.

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A not to bad shot of "Sway" - my female Lamarck's angel.

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And last but not least - "Turdeau", one of five black sea cucumbers. If you're Canadian you'll get the inference... :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
Incredible
 
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May 24. L O S T
So just when I'd decided to write my new wild caught mandarin dragonet off (having not seen any trace of it in over a week), I'm direct feeding my betta grouper in the main "batcave" and out of the blue this dark little fish darts out, steals some of the frozen food and immediately darts back into the rock work. So a few small flashlights later and we're able to locate our mandarin dragonet - who apparently found a rich vein of copepods in the maze of tunnels and crevices. Happy fish! On the plus side - he's eating frozen. The only downside is that he prefers living in the caves and tunnels, so visitors won't get to see his gorgeous coloration on display very often.

Picked up a new Grand Master Krak zoanthid today (LFS is just fragging me a new one), so hopefully this will end up as a nice colony in time (and not desert). Will post some updated coral images one of these days. And a corky gorgonian that I picked up a few weeks back (and basically written off) finally came out this morning after I apparently found a spot to its liking.

IMG_1296.jpg
New addition to the tank. Meet "Gordon" - a lightfoot crab. :grinning-squinting-face:
 
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May 26. Under the Hood
Because I've occasionally been asked for my lighting schedule, I thought I'd post both my EcoTech Radion G5 Blue lighting schedule as well as those for my ReefWave45s.

Lights...
I currently have three (3) EcoTech Radion G5 Blue lights - (2) XR30s on either end of the tank and a single (1) XR15 in the center. I run a variant of the EcoTech "Radiance" template which I've tweaked to extend out to a 12-hour schedule from the default as well as the addition of a moonlight schedule (which the "Radiance" template indicates is present but actually doesn't work). With a bit of LED transference (ie: Cool White » Warm White, Lime » Green, etc.) this should work pretty well for a Pro configuration as well.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.30.29 PM.png


Camera...
For my own edification, I setup a spreadsheet that compared the approximate intensity values between the default "Radiance" template and my custom variant. This factors in the exact number of LEDs for each color channel based on the intervals and intensity. As you can see from the following chart, the "Radiance" template is a bit shorter with a slightly different curve, and peaks out at about 37.5% of total output compared to just over 50% with my version. This is due (in-part) because the "Radiance" template runs individual LED channels at a higher intensity with a lower schedule intensity whereas I run individual LED channels at lower intensities with a higher schedule intensity.

With the standard RMS mounting height of ~8-9", light at the water surface (about 1" from the top of the glass) directly under the Radions is around 450-475 PAR. About halfway down (12") this ranges between 200-250 PAR), about a third of the way down (18") it ranges between 125-175 PAR and along the sand bed (22") it's somewhere around 50-75 PAR. I really only have xenia, polyps and zoanthids/palythoas in the lowest range, all my LPS corals are in the 100-150 PAR range and my SPS are all in the 125-200 PAR range. With the low profile of my aquascape there's virtually nothing above 200 PAR (even SPS). And surprisingly enough, the SPS are all thriving.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.41.04 PM.png


Action...
I run two pairs of wavemakers. One set of Red Sea ReefWave45s are positioned on either side of the tank facing inwards 3.5" from the top of the glass and the second set of Maxspect XF330s are positioned on either side of the overflow facing towards the front, ~4-5" down from the top of the glass. The Maxspect gyres run at a set 20% forward 24/7 and are on battery backup for emergency flow (when the battery kicks in, the speed is automatically dialed down to 10% on both gyres). The Red Sea gyes run a random/stepped wave pattern that ranges from 20-50% during the day, in both directions.

I've enclosed my schedule below which lists the time, wave type icon and direction (I've setup alternate as 8 minutes forward and 2 minutes in reverse). Under the wave type I've also included the name of the wave for easy reference and the forward/reverse speed. For instance, "Night 20/10" indicates a fixed wave of 20% forward (8min)/10% reverse (2min) whereas "Step 40/20" indicates a stepped wave of 40% forward (8min)/20% reverse (2min). The ReefWave schedule roughly corresponds to peak lighting during the day - although there's a constant return flow and minimal flow from the Maxspect gyres all the time as well.

As there's no IOTA support for Red Sea or Maxspect, I'm not able to control the actual speed of the gyres through my Apex beyond turning the outlets on/off. If you have an older Vortech or Neptune WAV you can program your wavemakers through the Apex as well as throttle them up or down via various feed modes (something I can do with my Sicce return pumps as they do support IOTA).

I've tried probably a dozen or more variations on this schedule, including swapping the numbers and times for forward and reverse (ie: "Random 40(8min)/20(2min) » Random 20(2min)/40(8min), but I can't say the corals necessarily took to it and probably found it more confusing. So I just stuck with a ramp up/ramp down/night schedule that is runs primarily forward with a slight reduced rate in reverse.

49B4C257-338D-4228-BAAF-E791CC389EBE.JPG 1C501242-A457-4FB7-BF70-013061538A2E.JPG
 
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blaxsun

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May 28. Raving for Radions
Like many of you, I've been following the various EcoTech G6 Radion threads that have sprung up in the past few weeks. I've watched various "first look", "hand's on" and "comparison" videos on YouTube in an effort to gleam anything useful. I don't think I've really come away very enlightened, other than to observe the typical Radion vs. every other LED battle and be educated on how metal hydrides still rule them all. :grinning-squinting-face:

A lot of complaints around the Radions (at least the blues) were over the "Windex" color scheme. Personally, I never found this to be an issue - and as I don't run then with AB+ it never really applied anyway (I actually like some of the cyans and lime LEDs in my setup, although I'm probably in the minority). The G6 Radions have a lot more spread, which for me at least is a two-edged sword. Yes, I'd get more spread with potentially fewer lights - but I have a low-profile aquascape which means less overall PAR. So that means ramping up the schedule intensity to compensate.

IMG_1303.jpg


So with the limited time 15% off Radion G5 sale I opted to snag another G5 Radion XR15 Blue and shuffle my lights around a bit. The final positioning is in-flux (the XR30s are on either side of the overflow with the XR15s down about 1' on either side). Thus I've got a slight (and by "slight", I mean barely imperceptible) light difference right in the center of the tank. It hasn't affected overall PAR levels as the SPS are primarily to the left and right side of the overflow. You can see the chip's acro colony on the left side of the overflow, a small tri color bonsai, lithophyllon and a few monticaps as you scroll to the left. In the center I have a pumpkin psammacora, meteror cyphastrea (hiding) space invader, two cyphastreas (both hiding behind the condy anemone), a bubblegum chalice and a green hydnophora and monticap hiding just behind mushroom alley.

The three anemones already seem to be benefiting from the change, with the rose bubbletip on the right finally moving the *** over a bit.

My rockscape slopes down to either side from the main structure, so the extra Radions punch up the PAR a bit where it's most needed towards the extreme lower left/right. Please ignore the gyre on the right - some pellets got caught up around it during feeding and "Beaker" the parrotfish decided he absolutely had to have them.

Right now there's no way to move the XR30s close to the center (obvious choice) as it means hacking and slashing my overflow cover so that the RMS mounts can go inside the overflow. So I'm going to pull some data over the next week with respect to PAR numbers, look for any changes with any of the corals and see if things improve slightly or not. I could place another XR15 in the center (as I originally had with my setup) - but most of the corals in that area just don't need much light - so I think it would end up being an unnecessary expenditure.
 

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May 28. Raving for Radions
Like many of you, I've been following the various EcoTech G6 Radion threads that have sprung up in the past few weeks. I've watched various "first look", "hand's on" and "comparison" videos on YouTube in an effort to gleam anything useful. I don't think I've really come away very enlightened, other than to observe the typical Radion vs. every other LED battle and be educated on how metal hydrides still rule them all. :grinning-squinting-face:

A lot of complaints around the Radions (at least the blues) were over the "Windex" color scheme. Personally, I never found this to be an issue - and as I don't run then with AB+ it never really applied anyway (I actually like some of the cyans and lime LEDs in my setup, although I'm probably in the minority). The G6 Radions have a lot more spread, which for me at least is a two-edged sword. Yes, I'd get more spread with potentially fewer lights - but I have a low-profile aquascape which means less overall PAR. So that means ramping up the schedule intensity to compensate.

IMG_1303.jpg


So with the limited time 15% off Radion G5 sale I opted to snag another G5 Radion XR15 Blue and shuffle my lights around a bit. The final positioning is in-flux (the XR30s are on either side of the overflow with the XR15s down about 1' on either side). Thus I've got a slight (and by "slight", I mean barely imperceptible) light difference right in the center of the tank. It hasn't affected overall PAR levels as the SPS are primarily to the left and right side of the overflow. You can see the chip's acro colony on the left side of the overflow, a small tri color bonsai, lithophyllon and a few monticaps as you scroll to the left. In the center I have a pumpkin psammacora, meteror cyphastrea (hiding) space invader, two cyphastreas (both hiding behind the condy anemone), a bubblegum chalice and a green hydnophora and monticap hiding just behind mushroom alley.

The three anemones already seem to be benefiting from the change, with the rose bubbletip on the right finally moving the *** over a bit.

My rockscape slopes down to either side from the main structure, so the extra Radions punch up the PAR a bit where it's most needed towards the extreme lower left/right. Please ignore the gyre on the right - some pellets got caught up around it during feeding and "Beaker" the parrotfish decided he absolutely had to have them.

Right now there's no way to move the XR30s close to the center (obvious choice) as it means hacking and slashing my overflow cover so that the RMS mounts can go inside the overflow. So I'm going to pull some data over the next week with respect to PAR numbers, look for any changes with any of the corals and see if things improve slightly or not. I could place another XR15 in the center (as I originally had with my setup) - but most of the corals in that area just don't need much light - so I think it would end up being an unnecessary expenditure.
Scored a new radion and it looks noooiice! Good update
 
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Wow. I have seen you pop in to a few threads but didn't realize you had such a nice DT. I like the size and rock layout.
Thanks. The rockscaping consists of three large ~25lb slabs of Marco shelf rock, and then I've added on a bunch of base and shelf rock on top to create umpteen hiding spots. Believe it or not, when the lights go out you only see a handful of fish floating around.
 
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May 29. Plundering for PAR
Back in 2020 when I first setup my IM Nuvo Fusion Lagoons, I picked up a pair of XR30 Radion G5 Blues (one for each tank). Knowing absolutely nothing about PAR at the time and assuming the default templates in Mobius would suffice, I proceeded to set them up. A few weeks go by and as you can guess, some of the corals are looking fairly bleached. So I inquire with my LFS and the subject of PAR comes up and they suggest renting one of their PAR meters for a few days to get some values to further troubleshoot.

So I do some reading, map out my tank and start taking various PAR readings. Armed with this newfound data I return to my LFS and proudly announce the results. Suffice it to say, I didn't expect quite the reaction - which consisted of a chorus of laughter (and one or two bowling over laughing). Apparently (unbeknownst to me) 500-750 PAR can be a bit hard on your LPS corals. Oops... :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

I still live this down to some extent to this very day (and yes, I did correct my PAR levels in short order)... When I made the decision to upgrade to the Red Sea 750 I also decided I wanted something for PAR monitoring. The whole "wand" thing never really had a lot of appeal, so when I added my Neptune system this little gem came to my attention.

neptune.jpg

Behold - the Neptune PMK (Par Monitor Kit). It includes an ASM (advanced sensor module) which connects to the PAR probe and has an extra port for a second temperature probe (which I run in my display as a backup). It even comes with a coralline-colored rock to hold the probe in place (which is an absolutely brilliant idea!) It's powered through Aquabus so no additional power supply is needed.

The PMK charts PAR data in real-time, so I can move the sensor around anywhere to get an instant reading. I currently have it placed in a midrange PAR area (75-125) where most of my corals are.

Screen Shot 2022-05-28 at 5.35.29 PM.png

The vertical spikes are the inevitable crab or snail crawling over the sensor (like moths to a flame I suppose) - but otherwise you can see fairly consistent daily curves of my PAR. On the most recent curve you'll see a slight increase - this is due to the addition/repositioning of the Radions. About every 2 months I need to remove the probe and soak it in EzeClean for a few hours to get all the coralline algae off the white sensor cap (I then scrub gently with a soft nylone toothbrush). The PAR probe is currently in the "coralline hot tub" as we speak - which is why the PAR readings for the last week are down about 25-35 PAR from where they normally are.

While the PMK isn't a stand-alone system and does require an Apex controller, for the price ($399 CAD) it was fairly reasonable (the high-end "wand" PAR probes were all easily double this). And if you have an Apex system, it's a great investment for fine-tuning all those expensive LEDs we all like.
 
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May 31. Kill Count
This post is an ode to my clownfish pair (I believe they're one of the mocha variants) which we've affectionately named Bonnie and Clyde. Supposedly one is a percula and the other an ocellaris, but they've never sat still long enough for me to take a decent picture and count dorsal spines (so yes, potentially an odd paring).

They almost never leave their new anemone and spent several days chasing a bicolor chromis that made the poor decision to take up residence in a hammer within spitting distance of their host. It was actually quite funny watching the chromis play hide and seek with them - as he was able to constantly outsmart both of them and remain hidden (I don't have a video of it, so you'll just have to take me at face value that it was hilarious).

When I got this clownfish pair, they'd already killed 23 other clownfish. Think A L I E N ... Stalking their prey one by one until they're the only ones that remain. Incidentally, they've shown zero aggression towards me. They've never bit or attacked me - even when I'm looking through the anemone to find the latest coral frag some snail has knocked off into it. Which is kind of strange but at the same time pleasing that they recognize their dark overlord (me).

B15822CF-DB4B-470F-9202-57B982BCFA96.JPG
Bonnie (upper right) with her lackey Cylde (lower left) not too far behind.

Since adding to my tank they've killed an additional two fish: an ocellaris clownfish who'd initially become part of a threesome (which I think switched sexes, leading to his expulsion and demise) and an ill-fated bicolor chromis (a different one) that ventured too close to the anemone and was attacked and subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

Official Kill Count: 25
 
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