Kyle's 60g Shallow Reef - The finishing touch

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by Kyl, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Excellence Award SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Coming along nicely, man! Those clowns look happy with their new nems!
     

  2. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! The clowns haven't been in an anemone this much since before they were removed for the ich fallow period months ago. They seem much happier now, especially the female. Two of the clones have moved towards the front so far, but all three of them are nice and puffy since the split.

    Diatoms are starting to form on the new rock work as expected, but the life support is fully online and the skimmer is starting to pull some dark nasty funk out of the tank. I've hung the H150 via 40lb force magnets temporarily, but will be re-using one of the Kessil arms when the T5 fixture is mounted as previously mentioned. Still trying to work out a mount solution, but it looks like I can affix them to the shelving above and it will have an 8” clearance from the top of the tank. That seems the ideal height, though the body of the A160’s will block shelving doors so I may just take them off and leave it open for food / misc supplies. Hoping that square channel nuts can fit in place of the hanging kit channel bolt things, either way I need to get some form of nut that works.

    The tailspot is still having a rough time, its eyes have cleared up from the clouding but they are still bulged. Becoming more active in QT though and light sensitive, so hopefully there is no lasting damage and the worst is over. The remaining blue star leopard is also doing great in QT, almost two weeks at therapeutic copper levels, so I'm debating to keep it in copper for another two, or transfer it to a clean QT. I may just keep it in copper the additional two since it’s doing great, though I’m wondering how long before the biofilter can’t handle the ammonia with a month of no water change.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  3. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So the missing K2-50 parts for the frag tank skimmer arrived, just in time for the weekend.
    [​IMG]
    frag_sump
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    GHA is starting to grow on the clam rocks, and while the red dragon macro (I'm guessing it is) has been growing, the small piece of cheato hasn't really. I'm going to add another larger piece from the 65 gallon this weekend, see if it starts to go too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  4. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So my Midas has been a cute addition to the tank, then it started to do this every day..



    I'm really, really hoping it decides to move into another little spot. Every evening I get home and the red monti is covered in sand!
     
  5. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So with things winding down with the builds I’ve been giving thought to the stocking list again. The goal for the tank was to keep the fish profiles small, but have a number of them, though I’ve sort of broken that rule already with the addition of a Midas Blenny and the Blue Star Leopard Wrasse currently in QT. I had wanted more livestock movement than the nano, and so far the Midas and Social wrasse are always out and zipping around, perfect. The stocking goal is still largely the same, and I’m really not worried at all about bio load as the setup can more than handle a large one when things really kick off.

    So that leaves these as the probable additions I’m going to settle on;

    1x Blue Star Leopard Wrasse (purchased, in QT)

    1x Yellow-Fin Flasher Wrasse
    1x Royal Gramma
    1x Yellowhead Jawfish
    1x Yasha Ray Goby (& Candycane Pistol)

    The only thing that is a hesitation is the Royal Gramma. I do have rockwork with decent hiding areas, and will have two additional decent sized rocks when the clams are moved into the tank. I’m hoping that would be enough to support territories and avoid fighting, as the stark contrast with the purple and yellow of the gramma has really caught the eye. The other part of this whole list is to keep things affordable, I’m very hesitant to lay out a hundred plus on a single fish that has to go through QT - given a so-so track record over the last year.

    The frag tank stock is doing great, the clams seem to be very happy and the mantles are always almost fully extended. No hitch-hikers, or pinched mantles, success. GHA has taken off on the rock work, as expected, but I'm not at all worried as the macro in the sump has shown some growth in the little time it has been there. Some emerald crabs were added and have already cleaned quite a bit of the shorter areas up, nom nom nom. Also picked up some snap together "egg crate" panels to make frag racking out of, but still trying to figure out the best way to stand them up. The old PVC supports would probably work fine, but something a bit more elegant may be a better fit. This weekend I'll probably get the dosers on both systems running as alk has already dropped almost a full point in the frag tank, and a bit over that in the DT.
     
  6. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Picked up two 24" Sunblaster T5 fixtures to add to the frag tank to better mimic what everything can expect when moving to the DT eventually, and to get better coverage than just the middle of the tank. Trying to come up with a mounting method to the black box fixture and remembered I had some spare aluminum U channel from when I did my sliding shelf door that's above the frag tank. Farting around with this made me do a double take on the Aquaticlife T5 hybrid fixture, and how I was going to mount it (suspended using some 8020 originally). A quick measurement on the fixture and it's about 1-3/8", so it would fit perfectly sliding into a 1-1/2" aluminum U channel..

    How I overlooked that while trying to figure out how to mount the fixture above the tank / below the cabinet, such a simple solution. If it does work out and I can't stand the aesthetic, getting them re-anodized or ordering in some black U channel won't be too difficult. This would also hide the T5 & Kessil cords, though I would probably print up a type of spacer to affix on the plate sides to keep the fixture "square" and find something to cap the ends off. Ultimately it would allow easy access to remove the fixture should it be required, just the power cords would need to be disconnected. I may also mod the T5 power cords to accept an IP67 connector, making it easier than having to un-plug and snake out the wiring. The cords themselves are kind of short given one is on the far side of the fixture and the front, so it's either an extension cord or modding a connector in.

    The tailspot is showing improvement in QT, but I think still isn't done with meds yet. Almost a month, but his eyes aren't 100% normal so I don't want to short-change things. Getting quite a bit more active while in QT, and eating a bit more readily, so I take that as an overall good sign. The blue star leopard has begun to flash again in QT, and testing the copper level which I had neglected for a while shows it barley above 1. I guess it was leaching into the pond matrix, or the sand, so it's back up to therapeutic level and the timer needs to re-start..

    The last of the coral in the IM 20 is now removed, the original pink "zoa", rather paly rock is in the DT and all the rest, approx 50-60 heads are in the frag tank. The Ikea cabinet stand is still mint, and the tank will probably be drained and cleaned tomorrow. I have been kicking around the idea of going with a fresh water shrimp tank, but that's still up in the air. The 10 I've probably mentioned will be sold, and I'm just about to package it up with the original return pump, a spinstream, custom caddy rack and skimmer. Should make a nice starter setup for someone, though the stand has suffered a lot of water damage from salt creep in the last few months of it being home to the social wrasse. It will be nice to finely call an end to the nano era, a bit over two years since I started the hobby in with the IM fusion 10 in November of 2015.
     
  7. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So a local coral importer just put up his first fish order for the Caribbean, and I asked for a Royal Gramma and Yellowhead Jawfish. Super deals, and darn he's quick - they're already coming in on Thursday. Also hoping to pick up some SPS acro frags, and maybe a rockflower or two on Thursday, his stuff looks very good.

    For now the fish will be going in the frag tank as I don't have my QT 20L's set up since the closet was fully taken over by the frag system. I already made a lid up for that tank, so there should be no worry about them getting out of it. Also made up a piece of PVC, capped off with some rock ruble glued to the front base of it, hopefully the Jawfish will dart into there and feel safe (and make it easier to transfer later). Since I now needed to find a new spot for the full time QT system for fish, since closet #1 worked so well, why not go with #2. It's smaller than the first, but equally useful and neither of them were used for clothes anyway.

    [​IMG]
    qtstand2
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    This will fit both 20L tanks; one will run copper and the top as the "final" observation tank like they were before things got changed around. I'm about done with TTM as a go-to option, livestock seems to not handle it very well the past 6 months or so, and they're all coming in with at least ich at this point. The good thing about this is it's easy to build and will take a few hours on the weekend. I'm also debating drilling a low bulkhead into the tanks to make for easy water changes since there are spare 3/4 bulkheads and the bits to drill them on hand already. It was always a pain juggling different siphons for the systems as to not mix them together, this would be much easier. Still something to think about, or that could always be done later.

    Ticked off a lot of my laundry list of things this past weekend, but still some to get a handle on when better time permits.

    DT
    • Pickup 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" aluminum C channel for the T5 hybrid mount and get it mocked up
    • Mount some of the frags
    • Disperse a bit more of the coarser sand over the fiji pink
    • Source a 120mm 24v fan (powered via Apex 24vdc port)
    • Mount the exhaust plate to the left side cabinet panel and re-seal it
    • Fully mount the controllers in the control cupboard
    Frag System
    • Frag racking setup
    • Mount the 24" Sunblasters
    • Setup doser on frag tank
    • Fully mount the controllers / power bricks
    The fish in the DT are all doing great, and the Midas has taken residence in the far left rocks between the red plating monti and the green hammer. I didn't come home to a bunch of sand spit all over the place, so hopefully it sticks there! I can't wait to see how things will look in a few months time when the full lighting is on, the clams are in, the Blue Star Leopard and other new fish are also in.
     
  8. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    So I got to the metal shop and when the guy pointed out the 1-1/2" stock, duh, for some reason I was thinking 1-1/2" ID, not OD.. So as good as that idea was, unless I can source something that is 1-3/4" it's not going to happen. Picked up the fish last evening, direct from the flight. Jaw fish seems to be doing fine, other than the fact it completely ignored the nice little pipe cave I created for it. The gramma was looking not so good last night, but a quick look this morning and it was no longer listing but upright, still hiding in the corner though. Going to leave the lights off for today while at work, and will give it another look this afternoon when I get home.

    Also trying to line up some one locally for 5-6 hearty acropora frags so I can get that arch going in a few months once they clear QT..
     
  9. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    After fussing with things, KISS..

    [​IMG]
    frag_light1
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    frag_light2
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    A few angle brackets and tada, perfect fit, height and looks not so bad. This is the first time I've fired up a T5 bulb, went with two Blue+. I realize a delayed-start ballast would be best for longevity, but these fixtures fit the profile of what I wanted, didn't break the bank and if I have to replace a bulb a few months earlier, no big deal. For now I'm going to run them for two hours a day, and I've turned down the blue and normal channel on the black box. I don't want to shock things too much, but already the coverage is so much better. Ideally I believe around 8 hours is a normal photo period, so I figure adding an hour a week until that point should be a good transition.

    Also got a bit of a frag rack done, nothing special just some egg crate and acrylic square extrusion. Two-part doser is online on the frag tank now too, and I'm going to aim for around 8.3-8.5 DKH on the tank. It currently tested at 6.5 today, IO mix is testing at just under 10. Quite a lot of use so far in the life of the tank. The two fish are doing well, the gramma is swimming around a bit and eating well, but still hiding often. The jawfish is being stubborn and won't go near the pipe cave, but it's starting to pick at food floating by. Looks like both will make it, and they were far under retail prices so I consider this a nice win.

    Still trying to come up with ideas for mounting the Aquaticlife hybrid fixture, might end up being a bit of a hack job..
     
  10. Kyl

    Kyl Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I've posted this in the AquaticLife thread about the hybrid fixture as well, but here's what I've come up with to get it mounted over the tank.

    [​IMG]
    t5_mount_1
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    t5_mount_2
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    t5_mount_3
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    t5_mount_4
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    t5_mount_5
    by Kyl, on Flickr

    If everything works out, this would leave me with the ability to slide the fixture back approximately 9.5" to better service the tank, once the A160's are removed from that vacant middle area. They're super easy to disconnect too for cleaning or what not as the power barrel jack is about 6" from the Kessil fixture and they will just sit inside of the fixture brackets.

    I'm fairly confident that this will work, and be safe, and might actually not look half-bad. Also been checking with the electrical guy at work and he's going to source some 3 pin IP68 connectors so I can mod the power cables for the T5 sections and have them be attached like many of the Jebao / MaxSpect power heads are with the threading coupler.

    Progress, hopefully.
     
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