I received a box of rocks today.

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I received the copepods and phytoplankton today from algaebarn as expected. The packing was excellent. I added the pods to the bucket after floating for 15 minutes. I am not a big fan of dumping unknown water into my tanks, but in this case there was little choice. Also, it is only live rock in a bucket. I had good microfauna in there already but as I get closer to filling my aquarium I wanted to give it a boost. I also am curious how the phyto dosing may impact the water parameters in addition to feeding the pods.

I have probably said this before somewhere in this thread, but I love the tiny life in the reef. Maybe more than fish and corals. It is one of the reasons live rock is a must for me. I have always been fascinated by invertebrates and every fresh or marine tank I ever had included some.

This weekend I may get the microscope out and take a look at the phyto and some of the bucket water just for fun. I will try to get some crude “iPhone through the eyepiece” pictures if I do.
 

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IME some phyto is okay and since you plan on removing the rocks from the water itself, nutrients shouldn't be a big ordeal. Though, high phosphates can get absorbed. I would just limit the phyto seeing is there isn't a light to help sustain their photosynthetic needs.
 
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IME some phyto is okay and since you plan on removing the rocks from the water itself, nutrients shouldn't be a big ordeal. Though, high phosphates can get absorbed. I would just limit the phyto seeing is there isn't a light to help sustain their photosynthetic needs.
Good point. Thanks!
 
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Microscope Fun
Since I am spending my reef time tending to rock, I thought it was time to pull out the microscope and search for some action. Before you get too excited it is just a kids microscope that maxes out at 40x. It does have a bottom light and a top light. Despite the limitations, it was fairly easy to see a lot of activity. The kids also had a blast.

Below I added some images. Shooting through the eyepiece with an iPhone is not going to win me any awards, but I am still posting for fun. Tried to get some video, but I could not keep the iPhone still enough.


We looked at three samples:
  • water from the cycled rock bucket
  • OceanMagic Phytoplankton (from algaebarn.com)
  • more bucket water with some Phytoplankton added (to get the critters excited)

We saw lots of worms, pods, and other unidentified critters. I also clearly spied a sponge spicule, but was unable to get a good photo of it. I did notice there were some very tiny pods or something moving around in the Phytoplankton straight from the bottle. Not exactly sure what they were at this magnification.

Here are some images. These were all taken at 10x magnification which worked better with the phone camera than 40x.

Worms using top light
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Phytoplankton top light
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Phytoplankton bottom light
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Bunch of critters top light
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Bunch of critters bottom light
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My First Pest!
Since adding copepods to the rocks last week, I have been dosing 1.5 ml of Phytoplankton every 36 hours. I turn off the circulation pump for 5 minutes, dose, then leave it off for another 10 minutes so the pods can get out of the rocks and eat.


Well today, about 5 minutes after dosing, I spotted what looked like tentacles poking out of a rock.

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Yep, Aiptasia. It was very tiny, so it was hard to tell. It was also buried a bit in the rock in a way I could not see more than the very top. As a test I gave it a tap with a turkey baster to see what it would do. It retracted like an anemone. As you see he is pretty bleached and not the brown you usually see. The rocks are in the basement with no light (although they get a tiny bit of ambient light during the day), so that makes sense. I ordered some syringes today, so his days are numbered.


I have to say it made me pretty excited. Sure it is a bad hitchhiker and I will eradicate him, but I really love finding new life in the rocks. Each new critter, good or bad, is an indication of biodiversity. I am also glad he is popping up now in the bucket. Much easier to get him there than in a stocked display tank. Lastly, I am most excited because it has been many years since I had to do this. I need the practice. I feel like a real reefer again.

For the record my plan is to remove the rock from the bucket on my weekly water change. Put the rock alone in the old water. Inject him with vinegar as I used to do. Then, something new I read, after the vinegar starts melting him, inject him again with H2O2 and finish the job. Hope it works.
 

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For the record my plan is to remove the rock from the bucket on my weekly water change. Put the rock alone in the old water. Inject him with vinegar as I used to do. Then, something new I read, after the vinegar starts melting him, inject him again with H2O2 and finish the job. Hope it works.
Since you dont have any coral, I would boil rodi water and spot treat it. The boiling hot water cooks the tissue and makes sure it cant poop a baby.
 
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Since you dont have any coral, I would boil rodi water and spot treat it. The boiling hot water cooks the tissue and makes sure it cant poop a baby.
Very good point. I figured putting it in the old water bucket for a bit would help with that, but no babies would survive the boiling water. Thanks.
 
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TIME IN: 7 Months
TIME WET: 4.5 Months


The Long Wait is Over
After exactly four months the replacement aquarium arrived today. It came late in the day and I had to go to work, but a quick inspection revealed no major issues.

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First impression is it does not feel that much bigger than the JBJ 30. That is a good thing because the 30 seemed perfect for the room and space we have for it. I knew the dimensions of both, of course, but feel it will work well finally seeing it in person. I am hoping to confirm some tank measurements tonight and then get right to the stand this weekend. Very excited.
 
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Nice!!! Christmas came early.. or late..however you want to look at it. :D
What is funny is it was Christmas when the warranty claim was approved. I asked JBJ to NOT send the replacement during the holidays, the busiest shopping time of the year, so I certainly contributed to the delay.

Just happy to have it. Now I can worry about the leak test as opposed to the delivery.
 

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What is funny is it was Christmas when the warranty claim was approved. I asked JBJ to NOT send the replacement during the holidays, the busiest shopping time of the year, so I certainly contributed to the delay.

Just happy to have it. Now I can worry about the leak test as opposed to the delivery.
Crossing fingers!
 
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Following! Looks like it takes patience to start one. Glad I started my research before ordering anything. Looking forward to this build, I might mirror yours a little. :);)
Welcome and thanks! I am generally fairly impatient, but when it comes to this tank I am moving at a Cerith snail’s pace. Honestly, I find this hobby quite relaxing and practically therapeutic.

 
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Aiptasia Eradication
On Tuesday (post 67) I mentioned I found a single Aiptasia in my maturing rock. I was going to get him this weekend on my water change. Then Wednesday, I looked for him and he was not there. I was bummed. I considered my inspection of him may have freaked him out leading him to flee that spot. Perhaps I had missed my chance to get him early. Today though, there he was poking right from the same little hole. I figured time to get him right then while I could.


I took @reeferfoxx ‘s advice with a twist. First I got everything set. Empty bucket, baster, extra room temperature RO/DI, syringe and vinegar. Then I put on my gloves and boiled RO/DI water in a mug in the microwave. When done I clicked on my spelunking light and quickly went to the bucket.

I carefully lifted the rock with the Aiptasia out of the water cupping water in and around his hole and lucky for me, he stayed extended. Holding him over the empty bucket I hit him with about six blasts of boiling water, 15-20 ml each. The rock was then scorching hot in the spot where he was so I syringed about 4 ml of vinegar down in the hole for good measure. I always used vinegar in the past with success, so maybe it was just habit to include it.

I rinsed the whole area with the fresh RO/DI after and what remained of his shriveled carcass easily slid right out. Success!

I will note, due to the small volume in my maturing bucket, I did not want to blast him with hot water in there. It seemed crucial to treat the rock separately. In this case it was very easy to do since the rock was free and fairly bare.

I will be on the lookout for more and I am ready for them. Thanks @reeferfoxx !
 

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I will be on the lookout for more and I am ready for them.
Hopefully he was the only one. Boiling water never failed me in the past. I always considered other methods but with risk of over carbon dosing in my nano, hot water seemed more logical for me. Sometimes if the water is hot enough, you can actually hear it sizzle. *evil laugh*:D Good job BTW!
 
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JBJ 45 Rimless Dimensions
In post 28 I detailed the dimensions of the JBJ 30. I felt it was hard to find this info while searching for aquariums. I also found the JBJ 30 dimensions had changed over time and speculated the changes were to make a better fit for specific equipment.

Since I did it before, I guess I have to do it again. Information on the JBJ 45 dimensions were even harder to find. I found one post on N-R that had good basic info and that was it. Here I am posting a top down and back view diagram. I hope someone will find this useful in future searches.

In all cases the measurements are glass to glass or baffle and does not include any glass or baffle. In other words, the dimensions are all made for actual water volume. Te return holes are 4” apart and 1” in diameter. The waterline in the display and first chambers (16 7/8") is based on the dual overflow grates. The Chamber 2 and 3 return level will be about 15 7/8". Total volume is 37.5 gallons.

JBJ 45_TOP.JPG

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#JBJ

DISCLAIMER
THESE MEASUREMENTS ARE MY BEST APPROXIMATION. I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL "MEASURER." I NOTE THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL AQUARIUM MAY BE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AS WELL. MY ONLY INTENTION IS TO HELP THOSE INTERESTED IN THIS AQUARIUM BY OFFERING MY EXPERIENCE.
 
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Things are rolling along. Built the stand this weekend.

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Next is the power supply in the stand and the starboard in the tank. By next weekend I will finish all of that. My wife and I went through the house tonight and finalized the spot for the aquarium. We considered the room and the support in the basement below and I think we found the perfect placement. It is great to see her getting excited.

EDIT: The images show the stand in the basement where I assembled it. Not its final spot in the house.
 
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Yep. This is the new, replacement tank delivered last week. I was going to silicone the Starboard down and when I removed the attached glass cover, I found some scratches and a bad crack, again on the bottom pane. I mentioned it in my original cracked tank thread (here) about it earlier, but wanted to post an update here.

I was super excited to get this build finally rolling and this is a further delay. It is disappointing, but after thinking about it for a while, I realize the only real loss is time.

I have a new respect for @._Z_. as I now know how he felt (in post 25). I am hoping the third time is the charm.
 
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