How did that happen.......there is a 260 gallon aquarium in our walkout basement family room now......”the dipper”

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Jeto2004

Jeto2004

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Got the face frame done. Including the side panel, with a cut out to put a temperature controlled fan to manage humidity and heat buildup from tank and lights. Don’t know why but wasn’t happy until I had the sixth coats of shellac on it.

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Jeto2004

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Took my girl to Chicago this weekend. Saturday was sightseeing day to let her get to see a “real” big city. However we also spend 3 1/2 hours at Shedd aquarium. Including a “behind the scene” tour. Quite interesting to the a operation on that scale. Some nice Reef and Saltwater tanks too. But notice that quite a few tanks have aiptasia problems.

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One of the tanks at the Sheed aquarium


Sunday we went to Aquashella, it was fun and extremely educational to me. However, it was also completely overwhelming. I knew I would not buy any corals, but walking out I was feeling disoriented by the array of corals and no idea what I would like or want to put in my tank. Will need to think about a strategy how to approach that.

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However, picked up some Copepods and live phytoplankton from @AlgaeBarn to seed the tank for a good price.
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Seeded the tank and added the first dose of phytoplankton.
Does it mean now I have to turn on the lights or can I continue to keep them off?
 
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Afterwards we went to a close by fish store that gave out 20% entire store coupons to Aquashella visitors. Well we had to look and come home with a box and a few other goodies.
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Picked up a Zeitlight E100 Alage Light to see if this one would work as an refugium light and little airpump with internal and additional external power bank as an emergency back of the the QT tank.
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After making quickly a drip acclimator and dinner I checked the salinity of the QT tank once again. With 1.025 SG I started to float the bags in the QT for 20min. Emptied the bags into a bucket and started the one hour drip acclimation.
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After the one hour drip acclimation, I netted the fish into the QT. Now we have 2 Ocellaris and 3 purple fire fish (Nemateleotris decorain I believe) in the QT. My wife and daughter are happy and excited that we have fish. Since they are now 45min in the QT and seem content I can go to bed with a light heart and will feed them first thing in the morning.

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Just a quick update - the crew survived the first night and all of them perked up at there first feeding time in QT. All fish got a piece. Well the clown fish chased down the food. The fire fish were a little more timid and waited for a passing piece.
 
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Thank you for the compliment. Still tons to do and already thinking about how I could make it better... guess the devil is in the details, you can only learn so much from reading and watching, but once you get your hands dirty the “real” learning starts......
 

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Took my girl to Chicago this weekend. Saturday was sightseeing day to let her get to see a “real” big city. However we also spend 3 1/2 hours at Shedd aquarium. Including a “behind the scene” tour. Quite interesting to the a operation on that scale. Some nice Reef and Saltwater tanks too. But notice that quite a few tanks have aiptasia problems.

DF65DCC9-925A-4F67-957A-C591A4949FB6.jpeg

One of the tanks at the Sheed aquarium


Sunday we went to Aquashella, it was fun and extremely educational to me. However, it was also completely overwhelming. I knew I would not buy any corals, but walking out I was feeling disoriented by the array of corals and no idea what I would like or want to put in my tank. Will need to think about a strategy how to approach that.

12136214-E08D-4073-ADFA-8C3EE475BD91.jpeg



However, picked up some Copepods and live phytoplankton from @AlgaeBarn to seed the tank for a good price.
8CBAC281-878B-41DE-B66B-F93DA1D5FC3E.jpeg
1774E8F1-2F50-40BF-9106-CE924B84036C.jpeg


Seeded the tank and added the first dose of phytoplankton.
Does it mean now I have to turn on the lights or can I continue to keep them off?
Sounds like a good time!
 
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Jeto2004

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Let’s talk skimmer. So this was is a real dilemma for me. The stand I build is 32 inches high, well I thought I will have a freshwater aquarium on it not a saltwater one......no this stand design is an obstacle. With the larger crossbeams that leaves only a 24inch door opening. The sump has a height of 16 inches that leaves me only with 8 inches opening. Don’t think their would be a change to get an internal skimmer into the sump, not alone trying to get out the skimmer cup for cleaning easily. All this pointed to an external skimmer! What which type model maker and how to plumb it into the system.....

I have to admit while the basic science behind its workings is understandable to me all of the different options are so confusing to me and terribly confusing. It seems almost like an art to pick the right one.....and probably there are as many opinions out there as skimmer models....
 
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So after lots of reading and looking around I decided to go old school with an Venturi skimmer and got this bad boy
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LifeReef VS3-36 External skimmer. I know that the rating is for a 400-600 Gallon system, but a 30 to 36 was only a small upgrade fee and will future proof me a little to maybe expand the system. Really interested to see how it will perform. Currently plan to run it with a cor-15.
 
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Already made a whole in the wall to our utility room so that I can run pipes through it. Still have to figure out how I would want to plumb it into my system. Ideally I would like to put the pump into the utility room, put worried that I would have to prime it after each time I shut it off. Probably the pump will end up in the sump! Will see any suggestions how I could get the pump into the utility room without me have to reprime the pump? The whole in the wall is above the waterline of the sump. Maybe I have to make a second whole much lower.....
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Had to order more plumbing items - elbow connections, pipe and unions. Must of been to tired while ordering and ordered slip threat unions instead of slip slip - argh hate to return stuff.....
 

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One thing I learned about myself is that I should make things as easy as possible on me in the long run for “simple” maintenance tasks. So that means tank automation for me as much as possible. My wishlist after watching
/reading ) a lot about tank automation (Thank you Mr. Saltwater Tank - for the awesome tank automation series):
  • Having a aquarium controller (I’m a confessing gear junky)
  • Auto top off
  • Water storage to have RO/DI for emergency water changes at hand
  • Saltwater mixing station to support automated water change
First thing was building a saltwater mixing station. Looked at saltwater mixing station designs and probably copied the most used design in my garage. Also run RO/DI tubing for ATO, ATW from tank location and storage tanks, as well as from the RO/DI unit to the storage tanks. And as you can see although run an aquabus extension to a power bar and FMM module mounted over the storage tanks to control the pump and being able to add water level sensors to the storage tanks. So far I have installed to sensors high low for the RO/DI storage tank. Maybe in the future I will build a stand for it, but we have to wash out our garage after the winter with all the salt we bring in with the car, so probably shouldn’t be out of wood an aluminum stand would be great.

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Nice. Where did you get the storage tanks?
 
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Nice. Where did you get the storage tanks?
Thank you! These are norwesco 65 gallon water vertical storage tanks. You can find a distributor close to you on norwesco home page (https://www.norwesco.com). Shipping on these thinks is equal to what you pay for them. I was lucky that the distributor I ordered from had a glitsch on the website that said shipping was free for the tanks. Got a bill doubling the price of the tanks in the mail called them up and they honored that the website said shipping was free at check out. However, maybe you lucky to find a farm supply store close to you that carry these. Tractor supply is one of them.
 
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Got the fan installed, will need a second temp probe for the Apex and ideally an PM1 module to control the fan. I’m sure that at one point I will have a calcium reactor probably and thus an second pH probe would be great. Looked in the sells forum. PM1 modules sell like hot cakes. Let me know if you have one that you are willing to sell.
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Found an home for the skimmer. Made a little shelf and with holding brackets to give it enough height to gravity feed back to the sump. Also assembled most of the skimmer. The kit included teflon tape. I think these little gestures of thoughtfulness to set up you up for an easy install of a product is just awesome! Very nice touch!!
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Had my first lesson in why a QT is a good thing to have and why to do it!!!!

Since the LFS looked clean and all the fish looked healthy I decided to do an observational QT to start with and not starting out with a Freshwater Dip or medication (Maybe hesitation of a newbie?)

Did my evening feeding of the QT and noticed that one firefish didn’t come out to eat and was listless and skinny. This may have going on for a few days. However one of them was always a little mit more timid than the other two and was the last to get a few bites. I didn’t but to much into it as I read that these fish can have different personalities from shy to extravert. Looking more closely at him I noticed opaque spots on his sides and decided to do a FD. Sure enough within the first couple of minutes white sesame seed large things feel off - FLUKES!!!!!! The poor little guy had at least ten of them on him... After 5 min he was back in the tank. Not moving much laying on his side breathing and moving his pictorial fins! Don’t have much hope for him, will see if he makes the night.

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For sure one of the other fire fish had although these opaque spots. Tried to net him for a FD, but luckily he is still doing pretty well an no chance to get him....

Did a 20% water change and started the tank on ProziPro.

Anything else I should do?
 
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