Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by Kyl, Jun 30, 2017.
Coming along nicely, man! Those clowns look happy with their new nems!
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.
So the missing K2-50 parts for the frag tank skimmer arrived, just in time for the weekend.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Spoiler: New QT Stand
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.
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 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.
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..
After fussing with things, KISS..
frag_light1 by Kyl, on Flickr
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..
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.
Spoiler: Mounting system
t5_mount_1 by Kyl, on Flickr
t5_mount_2 by Kyl, on Flickr
t5_mount_3 by Kyl, on Flickr
t5_mount_4 by Kyl, on Flickr
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.
I really wish making videos was something easy, but either the combination of this phone, software, myself - or all three don't make it so. This is about as clear as I can get it without blue over-taking the tank, but the coral doesn't fluoresce as much as it does under heavier actinic. It does however give a sense of what I watch every day when I get home, except the Midas is being a chicken and hiding behind the green hammer mostly.
Funny, you can see the frag tank lighting in the reflection - the closet is right across from it
Sometimes things seem to just work out. After hitting a few places over the past couple of days I lucked out and found some mint pieces of angle aluminum extrusions yesterday in the correct sizing. The even better news is it turns out a family member owns a milling machine, so I'm set for being able to fabricate the slots correctly. Now if I could just source these darn greenbanded gobies, life would be good.
Right On! Good read and detail buttons clean it up nice, I found myself anticipating what will i find behind Door #3! How you liking the Gyres?
They're too powerful, even at 10% my sand in the middle is gone in 2-3 days (it's a special grade and fiji pink mix). I don't like the larger stuff, and honestly the advanced gyre controller to me at least is confusing to set up. I could fix that, but outlaying $400+ on new gyre modules plus a VDM isn't going to happen. Right now I have the outlet set to come on between 4pm - 8pm, and at it runs at 10% alternating. Part of that is due to me getting frustrated, especially after seeing how badly the sand blows at 10%. I have a G1 XF150 in a 65 gallon tank that's shorter (36"), but deeper (24"), with a lot more rock work. I turn that thing up to 60-70% and the sand doesn't even move.
Might try just running one of them, but I'm hoping that the ICV6 <> Apex support is eventually rolled out and I can fine tune better. Also debating to remove a prop from each side and run it like that since they ship with the side cap included now.
Picked up some new acros today, fresh cuts so no frag plugs to cut off - why bother.
L to R:
Green Slimer Acropora
RR Rainbow Loom Acropora
Four Seasons Acropora
Marshall Island Sapphire Acropora
Red Diablo Acropora
new_acros by Kyl, on Flickr
And a wider shot of the rack. A bunch of junk from the tear down on the nano that I didn't want in the main, including a bunch of GSP and four clumps of those pink coloured palythoa.
frag_tank by Kyl, on Flickr
Can't seem to get the blue out versus the Kessils with the camera on auto like worked previous in the nano tank, but that's sort of close to what it looks like, just less purple. GHA is slowly getting brittle and dying off, so I'm hoping before long the clam rocks no longer resemble some bad 80's wigs
Got the metal cut for the light brackets, now to source the T slot nuts to attach the fixture itself. Probably going to be about two weeks before I can mill the slots, but I want to get a rough mount up with just some drill holes before then to make sure it will work out. Thought I had my wiring panel done for the DT equipment, and the Ikea shelf I had routed a slot into broke in half when everything was pushed in.. Thinking of changing plans and having the ATO resivoir, dosing vessels and the DOS unit inside a smaller cabinet, and then putting the electronics up above in one of the shelf cubbies that will keep its door. Still undecided fully, I may just make up a side box to stick all the power cords and bricks into. Want something that is hidden but also accessible without having to tear something down. There is quite a bit of space wasted with the jug I'm using for the ATO vessil, might also look into building a glass cube to replace it as it's an odd size (18 x 15 x 12).
So I think the gyre situation is a bit better now. I guess having them both on at the same time was creating way too much push in the middle on the sand, I've since made them alternate on 10% every two hours. Going to try and copy some of the other tanks out there and see if I can tune it better as I'm getting more comfortable with the controller.
Alk is up to 7.3 now, calcium 420 and magnesium at about 1320. Going to push it to about 8.4 DKH and then start tracking actual usage once things are happy and stable. Acro frags haven't died yet in the frag tank, nor seem to be suffering any tissue loss, so I'm hoping things are good. Fish are also eating, the leopard wrasse has about one more week of copper and the tailspot is still being medicated. It's looking like the clams etc won't be in the DT till late May at this point.
Very nice! I love shallow tanks!!
Finally got the tank to where I want it;
Still trying to decide how best to mount all the electronics after a bit of a set back with a shelf in the larger cabinet I initially used for the ATO. There is a lot of bulk with the power bricks on this system, so much so that the weight and density of them squished behind a shelf acting as a panel actually broke the recesses of the shelf below it. I'd like to keep the probe lines separate from all the power, so relocating the head unit away from the EB832 is also on the table.
I did stumble upon some of the wiring mods going on with the AquaticLife T5 hybrid fixture this morning, and since they look relatively easy I spent a bit of time tonight disassembling the fixture and figuring out the game plan for getting this modded. @Behnken & @crabs_mcjones have both posted examples to slim the unit down to a single power wire for all the T5's, and having it routed out a single outlet. I've needed to pick up a step drill bit for a while now, and this is as good an excuse for one as any to get the holes done for strain relief fittings. Also going to pick up a couple of plugs just to seal the original double d hole up all nice. The bracket front is still stalled on the milling machine, but the A160 plates are still not available in Canada yet so there's no real loss.
The exhaust fan I'm going to be using did arrive today though, an IP67 rated, 24v industrial fan from Noctua.
Spoiler: Exhaust guard & fan
exhaust_cover by Kyl, on Flickr
exhaust_fan by Kyl, on Flickr
Although pricey at $20, they make quality, and most importantly quiet fans. All the spar varnish was used on the panels already, so a small can will need to be picked up and I can get the panel hole routed out, sealed and the fan mount plate and grill installed. While the plate face is anodized black aluminum, the grate is painted steel so I'm tempted to give it a few coats of something clear to seal it up and avoid any rusting over time. To connect the fan to the 24v DC port on the EB832, and not pay $30 for a Neptune cable, $3 for five sets of the micro-molex connection at the electronics store next week will have it running. For easier removal of the panel for maintenance an automotive waterproof fitting will be used as I've used them on outdoor items and never had a problem, and very easy to disconnect.
Spoiler: Waterproof Connector
I have been thinking about cooling for the summer, as the tanks do creep up in temperature, and T5's will no doubt be adding extra heat to the tank. In the past I've used a Honeywell black round fan mounted above the tank to blow down on it, but given there may be space with the AquaticLife fixture, mounting a couple of the same Noctua fans blowing downward may also work out very well. I'll have to see as the space may be quite packed with the three A160's, two LSM moonlights and then a couple of fans. If that doesn't fit, mounting them in the sump to just blow down over the refugium / return might also work.
And as for the coral, there has been some SPS bleaching of the plating montis which I'll attribute to the low ALK for a few weeks while I was getting other things in line. It did dip down to around 5.6 DKH at the lowest, but they seem to be slightly recovering some colour already since rising it up over the last week and weekend. The SPS frags all seem to be holding steady, no apparent tissue loss though there does seem to be some colour loss on some of the polyp bases on a couple pieces. I am unsure if this is the growth pattern and what the mother colonies looked like, but the polyps are still exposed for feeding. The two fish in there are doing well, the Royal Gramma is very recluse and hides under a clam rock most of the time, and the Jawfish is nestled in among the base of the paly clusters below the frag rack.
All in all, things are going well, but the planning never ends
Spent too much time this evening modding the T5 fixture, and pain in the butt merretts aside, it's done. At first I thought something had gone wrong, as when powered on the actinic bulbs were very dim and not fully lit along the bulb. Having never seen them up close like that, I didn't realize that they need time to warm up initially, and that they're supposed to be very dim to our naked eye.
Spoiler: T5 Hybrid fixture power mod
t5_joined by Kyl, on Flickr
t5_1cord by Kyl, on Flickr
t5_alive by Kyl, on Flickr
So, a worthwhile little mod to save a power cord. Thanks again to @crabs_mcjones and @Behnken for the posted examples to go by, it looks great.
Livestock wise, picked up a turquoise trumpet frag with about 9 heads and another octospawn yesterday, already both looking very happy in the frag tank. The LFS just got some more flasher wrasses in and later today I'm hoping to pick up a Blue, and Yellow-fin flasher. They would about finish off the stock list, the last of which has been reserved for tank movement. Hoping to make some progress on the T5 brackets, at least getting the mount holes drilled if not the side ones too. Thankfully a mount solution has been found, I can re-use the hanging kit bolts as they're a M5 thread, so simple nylocks will be used to attach the fixture.
A bit of eye-candy this update:
FTS_March_2018 by Kyl, on Flickr
Starting things off, I won't lie - it's kind of painful !
3 AL470533 AquaticLife Hybrid 16"/18" LED Bracket with 2.5" Round Opening $19.95 - $59.85
It is motivation though, as the A160 brackets for the T5 fixture will be here either Monday or Tuesday next week. There hasn't been any headway on the mounting system, still waiting on the milling machine to get operational, but this weekend it's going to be a DIY one to get the holes drilled and a non-sliding version mounted. There is still enough channel left to fabricate another two brackets to have slots, so the fixture could be used in the mean time until then. The goal is still a slotted system for a number of reasons, but it's something I can't rush since it won't be costing anything (versus $80+ in a shop).
aneomones by Kyl, on Flickr
Livestock wise the tank is doing much better since the alkalinity was raised back up and has been stable just above 8 dKH. The monti caps were very bleached but have shown some colour recovery over the past week, still nothing near when first introduced to the upgraded tank. The orange setosa is really taking off with growth, and the pink lemonade acropora has started to form new shoots up off the original two branches that survived the nano tank. There is a bit of recession with one of the frogspawns, it might just be too much flow, but I do see the sexy shrimp hanging on them and picking at them all the time so it may just be a foregone conclusion that they'll end up dead heads. The other casualty of the tank was the forestfire digi, it just started to lose tissue rapidly last week and was completely gone by Monday.
The remaining good news is the Tailspot blenny is out of QT and made its introduction to the DT. There has been zero aggression between it and the Midas, something I was hoping wouldn't be an issue even though they're different blenny types. He is actively combing at the new rock work and has made residence under the arch in a small crevice between the left side of the rocks. You can see the patches of white rock where he's been scraping the algae off, and is out and about in the tank pretty frequently. The other future star, the Blue Star leopard is now in the old nano tank. It's been sitting fallow, and without any rockwork, but full of sand and some coral skeletons since the rock and livestock was moved, and seems like a perfect tank to go into for a few weeks for observation to make sure the ich was taken care of with copper. Right away it burrowed, but was out when I got home this evening and is still eating like a pig. Small grade mysis, PE pellets (1mm), spirulina brine shrimp, LRS frenzy nano and even some of the new spectrum pellets are all readily eaten by it. I really hope it doesn't end up transitioning to male, given I lost the other female, that colouring is just spectacular and I can't wait to see it shimmer in and out of the light under those Kessils.
Here's what I get to look at every time I glance from my desk, and some other random shots
side_shot by Kyl, on Flickr
left_perspective by Kyl, on Flickr
misc by Kyl, on Flickr
toadstool by Kyl, on Flickr
And the BIG CHICKEN of the tank who keeps spitting sand all over everything!
BIG_CHICKEN by Kyl, on Flickr
Separate names with a comma.