The Garden -- Rakies shallow SPS cube

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by Rakie, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    This build has been living since October, tank is stocked and has SPS and blah blah. Might as well start the story from the beginning though..

    _______________________________________________________

    Finally got all the equipment gathered and am starting to build the tank [​IMG]

    The tank is a modest little setup. It's a 45g cube, which is 2" shorter than a 50g cube (which is what I was told it was). I actually like the shallow look, and just being 2" shorter is very noticeable to me.


    [​IMG]


    Gear List:
    - Apex
    - ATI 6x24 T5
    - 2 Sicce Voyager 3's w/Sicce Wave Surfer
    - Sicce Syncra 4.0 Return
    - eShopps Ghost Overflow
    - Vertex Omega 130i skimmer
    - The usual stuff (ATO, Heater, Matrix, etc etc)

    Tomorrow the tank is going to be drilled for the Overflow by @thegrun, after that I'll be painting the back black and get a coat of flat white on the inside of the stand.

    Gotta have a shout out to one of the best clubs in the world, the Vertex was won in a raffle at an SCMAS meeting. I couldn't be more happy with this amazing skimmer, it's exactly what I needed and the quality was out of my price range (gotta love that student 'budget'). So thanks to SCMAS and Vertex!

    Things to do:
    - Drill for Ghost overflow
    - Feel dumb for not drilling returns 6-7 months from now
    - Clean up the Sump / Augment Sump to accommodate skimmer
    - Paint Tank / Inside of Stand
    - Setup my BRS 1.1 doser
    - Setup Cable Management
    - Build light tree for T5

    Some good progress was made today!

    - Drilled

    [​IMG]


    - Painted Back & Bottom (bottom in case I decide to try BB in the future)

    [​IMG]


    - Painted Inside of Stand

    [​IMG]


    - Got all the Conduit to make a mounting arm for my ATI.


    Once the paint is fully dried and cured I'll put my ghost overflow on it. As for the plumbing im torn -- hard line PVC, or cheap nylon reinforced hose.

    ___________________________________

    The eShopps ghost overflow looks perfect with gloss black background. It's almost invisible! almost..

    [​IMG]



    Here's the backside of it!

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    Plumbing -- I'm going to add unions on the other PVC tubes to make it easier to disassemble. (mock setup, not glued yet)

    [​IMG]



    Plumbing inside -- I'm going to make the bottom of the pipes equal lengths (Still not glued)

    [​IMG]



    Next I'm going to clean up the sump, and probably do a few small modifications while I'm at it. I'm going to move one wall over a smidge to make room for the skimmer. I'm also going to try and use a strip of Acrylic to make chamber 1 (overflow) flow directly into Chamber 2 (skimmer) instead of chamber 2 & 3.

    ___________________________________

    For those wondering -- PVC is hard [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Next up, making this thing have a rock solid dedicated sump chamber so that my Vertex is always happy (note the giant *** Sicce Syncra 4 return pump... What was I thinking, 975gph gives no contact time for the skimmer!!)

    [​IMG]

    Okay, quite a few more steps completed!!

    ___________________________________

    --------- Oct 7th ---------

    1) Lets change up this sump to fit a Vertex 130i skimmer

    [​IMG]


    2) Now it fits!!!

    [​IMG]


    3) Now to build more than 1 chamber...

    [​IMG]


    4) Gate valve installed (forgot to move drain over before pic)

    [​IMG]


    5) Custom sock holder from the most patient DIY guru I know!

    [​IMG]


    6) SPARKS!! Bad ATI!

    [​IMG]


    6.5) New reflectors, and ballast for freshly re-wired ATI Powermodule [Pre-LED -- This was a pain]

    [​IMG]



    To do:
    - Silicone Sock Mount in Sump
    - Silicone dosing tube/ATO tube holder in Sump
    - Run a second round of leak testing
    - Get it inside
    - Attach the Light Tree
    - Scape it
    - Get it wet!
     
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  2. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    ___________________________________

    Some things happened today !!!

    Firstly, I want anyone reading this to know I seriously lack DIY skills. So today ended up being pretty awesome as far as I'm concerned!


    1) Got the light tree bent, cut to size, drilled, and painted!

    [​IMG]

    2) The filter sock mount didn't quite fit.. While taking a hacksaw to Acrylic a piece snapped off. Because my Sump chamber is going to have HEAVY volume (12/13" filled) the sock would have sat at water level. That got my eye twitching, so I mounted it on the rim -- This means any overflow went right on the floor, so I needed a classy and elegant solution to keep water off my floor and in my sump.

    [​IMG]

    Didn't turn out classy or elegant. The good news is sumps are cryptic and spend 99% of their time hiding under a stand, so, meh, it'll work!

    3) Tree's attached to the stand!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    4) Lights hung!

    [​IMG]

    All and all it was a fairly productive day. The tank is now in my room and the sump is being cryptic and hiding just like I wanted.


    Next steps are!!!
    - Get some basic wiring sorted
    - Make an electronics board for my goodies
    - Find a place to mount said board
    - Run Wet / Mix in tank
    - Partial drain / Scape
    - Fill and stare at
    - Win everything at RAP
    - Move my fish & Corals over

    Okay! So I did a few things a lil **** backwards, but it's all gravy!

    Leak tested tank to make sure all was well, drained some, then scaped. Because of this I had to add the sand after there was water in it, which made for a cloud of dust. Knowing this would happen, I got pics of the scape before adding sand.

    The scape is a little unusual in some regards, but I designed it so I could specifically get the best vantage from where I'll be viewing it 90% of the time (my desk, on the right side of the tank). I probably should have just bought rock, but I pick the weirdest stuff to be cheap on so I used some freebie rocks I had. Every single piece is structurally integral, I wanted a little more negative space but I just couldn't get what I wanted with what I had. Thankfully, the upside is lots of little nooks and crannies to make fish feel comfy.



    Front Shot

    [​IMG]
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    Right Side (reflections from other tank!)

    [​IMG]



    Left Side

    [​IMG]



    With my Vertex 130i skimmer, I would be lying If I said I'm not going to stock the absolute crap out of this tank..

    ___________________________________

    All pictures are 6x24 T5 -- 3 Blue+, 2 Coral+, 1 Actinic. Corals not in their final placement. This was my first 2-ish hour break in 3-4 days from this terrible psych paper, so don't mind the crazy



    The valley of Flubber

    [​IMG]



    Zoa Bridge over Flubber Valley

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    Accidental Artsy shot of Zoa Bridge from Flubber Point

    [​IMG]



    Wild Acro at Flubber Point, dubbed "Snozberry"

    [​IMG]



    Snozberry keeping it's PE flowy

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Rainbow Millie at Vista de Acro

    [​IMG]



    Millie Trio; Coppertone Millie, Orange tipped Millie, Rainbow Millie (work in progress)

    [​IMG]



    Full seating at 4 Tables, Vista de Acro

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    ________________12/5/18___________________

    The Garden, thus far.

    [​IMG]



    The Engine Room

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    _________________12/14/16__________________

    A lil dark (All lights were on)

    [​IMG]



    "Go towards the light"

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    Acro Point

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    The body will turn blue and new growth will turn yellow, it's a table

    [​IMG]



    Impossible to shoot from where it is

    [​IMG]



    New pickups (Couldn't resist) The blue one is a baby blue body, blue growth tips, and dark blue rim around the polyps with an inner ring of purple. From here, you can tell it's bluish + blurry

    [​IMG]



    Somehow washed out FTS

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    _________________12/22/16__________________

    Pictures!! Trying to keep quality + get better at photographing corals

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]


    Notice how orange the little mille in the back is getting?
    [​IMG]


    FTS
    [​IMG]

    ________________1/9/17___________________

    Low Light Shot

    [​IMG]



    Looking Closer

    [​IMG]



    Closer Still

    [​IMG]



    Left Garf <-----> Right PC Superman Table

    [​IMG]

    _________________1/18/17__________________


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]



    As you can also see, my rock picked up a very light green algae. It's tough as all hell, doesn't grow anything physically from it, and I've been told it could be green coraline -- But it's starting to speckle purple all over so I'm guessing it's going to be largely purple. I'd rather the rock be rock colored but there's not a dang thing I can do about it -_-

    Couple more pictures


    I can never get this ridge in focus completely. Or partially sometimes!

    [​IMG]

    On the Rack

    [​IMG]

    Pink table with Red polyps

    [​IMG]

    Another red table with mille like PE

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Garf Bonsai

    [​IMG]

    Pro Corals Superman Table

    [​IMG]

    My broken Wrasse, finally still for just long enough.. She's recovering still and improving. She may end up being 100% after all.

    [​IMG]

    ________________2/8/17___________________

    All is well, things are humming along, soon I'll have a Gyre in there. Lots of encrusting / growth goin' on. Colors are holding alright, but not as mind blowing as I've had 'em before.

    Quick and dirty shots.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    _________________2/11/17__________________

    Some pics. I try to keep it as neutral and true to life as possible. No actinic only lies here, full 6x24 ATI fixture, Blue pop OFF.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Some top down pictures -- All lights on, blue pop off, as close to natural as possible. 6x24 T5

    Frag Rack -- Diabolic Pacman, Red Planet, Green Slimer, Tricolor, miami orchid, Joe the Coral
    [​IMG]

    Closer
    [​IMG]

    Sunset Mille
    [​IMG]

    PC Superman Table
    [​IMG]

    PC Rainbow, JF Fox Flame, ORA Green birdnest
    [​IMG]

    GARF Bonsai / PC Superman (hoping they contrast well)
    [​IMG]

    "The Ridge -- Left"
    [​IMG]

    "The Ridge -- Center" -- ASD Rainbow Mlle, and Aussie pieces
    [​IMG]

    "The Ridge -- Right"
    [​IMG]

    Aussie Mille #1 (Peaches and Green)
    [​IMG]


    Aussie Mille #2 (Peach Lighthouse) -- Developing yellow tips
    [​IMG]

    Aussie Mille #3
    [​IMG]

    Aussie Baby Blue
    [​IMG]

    "Table Point" -- (Front Left) Aussie tabling "Pink Floyd" / Hulkster, Rainbow table, WWC Red Shortcake (See the Zoa's in the sand? They pop a lot in my pictures.. I can't take pictures of them without it looking that outlandish, I don't know why. Maybe they're just in the right spot for my single Actinic bulb -_-)
    [​IMG]

    Nasty Zoas: Rainbow incinerator, Jokers, Sunn-D
    [​IMG]

    Nasty Acans
    [​IMG]

    My typical POV (Don't mind the QT Tank that's sort of in the way)
    [​IMG]

    ________________2/19/17___________________

    Whelp, I was hoping to get pics of them in their native habitat (PVC tubes) but since they wont sit still for the camera I've gotta put up pictures from Google (BOOOO!)

    First up, the star of the show -- My Centerpiece Fish.

    Crescent Tail Fairy Wrasse -- (Cirrhilabrus Lunatus -- Juvi)
    [​IMG]

    Juvei
    [​IMG]

    Adult Flashing
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    Royal Flasher Wrasse -- (Paracheilinus angulatus)
    [​IMG]

    Blue Flasher Wrasse -- (Paracheilinus cyaneus)
    [​IMG]

    3x Waitei Anthias
    [​IMG]

    Tangaroa Goby
    [​IMG]

    So I've officially got a full house. Now I just gotta get these guys a little healthier weight and put 'em in a social acclimation sanctuary.


    ________________2/22/17___________________


    New Maricultured Corals (@mdbannister is getting half of these)

    Light purple with Deep Blue Polyps
    [​IMG]

    Nice Deepwater-Ish -- Flouro body that grows ice blue near the tip of the arms and deep blue/purple tips
    [​IMG]

    Golden/Orange Mille. Hope it holds it's color!
    [​IMG]


    And two nasty cheaty actinic only shots


    Gold / Orange mille
    [​IMG]

    Deep-ish water acro
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Max447

    Max447 Well-Known Member

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    Nice build
     
  6. 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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    Awesome build! Lots of pics and info in such a few posts. :D:cool: Keep up the good work (especially keeping those acros happy...they'll come join the fun in my tank someday).;)
     
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  7. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yep, I was going to say it was a slow and steady process... But putting dates on the segments showed me it was definitely not slow. Although thankfully, it was steady :D

    Tank had water in it a few days before RAP in so cal. Rock was cycling / curing for 2 months in the closet. It was hiding in my secret closet Brute. The family, well... if they saw it they'd be ******.

    PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
    - INSTALL THAT dang GYRE LOITERING AROUND MY ROOM...
    - Top secret closet mixing station
    - Top secret closet shelving setup for fishy things
    - Rebuild equipment mounting board
    - Extend the stand to house a larger sump (Tricky)
    - Build a custom sump (Trickier)
    - Build a 24x10x10 frag tank, and plumb it into system (Trickiest)
    - Get moar fish ---> Neon Goby Pair, Yasha Hase goby, maybe 2 more Waitei anthias to keep mine company...
     
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  8. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Some pics of feesh, new structure, etc etc.

    New rock ledge!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The most photogenic creature in my tank
    [​IMG]

    C. Lunate tail
    [​IMG]

    C. Lunate (Right before new ledge addition)
    [​IMG]

    Buzzing around breakfast time
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    What's your current stocking list on fish?
     
  10. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    1) Paralyzed Melanurus
    2) C. Lunate (Crescent tail fairy wrasse)
    3) Angulatus Flasher Wrasse
    4) Blue Flasher Wrasse
    5) Firefish
    6) Bangaii Cardinal
    7) Tanganora Goby
    8/9) Waitei Anthias (eating but hiding 99% of the time...)

    I still plan to get a pair of Neon Gobies and possibly a hectors goby.

    I have an extremely powerful skimmer (Vertex 130i).
     
  11. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Looking great!
     
  12. 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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    I like the new ledge. Looks good!
     
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  13. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! My original rock choice ended up being a little large and these little ones filled the bill when glued together. I broke off a piece of my Superman Table. Way tiny, it was lost in the sand immediately -_-
     
  14. Fishgeek88

    Fishgeek88 Well-Known Member

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    Looks good! Im just starting up a new 45 build.
     
  15. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    no3 spike due to tripling bio-load overnight. Doh!

    no3 hit 50 -- After a few Water Changes and adding more Vodka/MB7/Bacteria its slowly gone down to 25. I'll continue to dose until I'm down to around 5-10.

    The sudden spike of no3 caused browning. No issues with the coral other than looking nasty.

    Lastly I added a Geisemann 6500k Tropic bulb. I'm convinced of the corals benefitting from this spectrum, although It's insanely yellow/white, so I took out one of the Coral+ bulbs which helps... I have a Geisemann Super Actinic landing today so that will replace the other Coral+... Not 100% set on taking out both Coral+ yet.. But that 6500k is so overpowering I need to. I may add in a cheapy 2x24 fixture I have for blue+ and counter balance that heavy white.

    I may also replace my single ATI Actinic with an additional Geisemann depending on how this one Geisemann Super Actinic looks.
     
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  16. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    New skimmer, new bulbs, new problems!

    Nitrate went from 50 -> 10/20, so it's better. Corals are still a little brown unfortunately. I went from having to dose nitrates every 2-3 days to keep from being undetectable to a spike.

    I put a small DIY biopellet reactor online too. It won't be working for a little while longer still, but it will certainly help while my Siporax becomes populated.

    Oh yeah, Added Siporax! 3L of Pond Size.
     
  17. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    All pictures taken with ATI 6x24 Fixture on -- 3 Blue+, 1 Coral+, 1 Purple+, 1 ABS.

    The corals look pretty terrible right now, the influx of fish caused a huge no3 spike. I went from dosing no3, struggling to keep it at 5ppm, to 50ppm in a week.

    Lunate buzzing around the reef
    [​IMG]

    Purple Mille Closeup
    [​IMG]

    Pink Table Closeup
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    Rainbow Monti Closeup
    [​IMG]

    Aussie Floyd Table -- Dirty cheater actinic shot
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So a little while ago I replaced my Vertex 130i (will be selling soon, overpowered for my tank) and took a big chance on an unknown off-brand DC skimmer, a 'Your Choice Aquatics DC13' (I think it's a sub-contracted Sea Side Aquatics brand).

    Whelp. It kicks ****. Seriously surprised me. At lower settings, the foam is so dense it can lift the lid off of my collection cup. It's very obviously made out of the cheapest stuff, utilizing the cheapest design features possible.. But it's engineered fairly well (or stolen designs, hard to say).

    Here it is with 36 hours of collection with the pump set low, to about 40%
    [​IMG]

    The picture makes that tea look MUCH lighter than it is. In person, it's just shy of Coffee color. And if I turn it down, the foam lifts the lid off (see the skimmate around the bottom red ledge of the collection cup?)

    My ReefBrite XHO showed up (Dented !) Sent in a message to BRS to make sure if something starts going awry right after the return window I'm covered -- As we all know, the moment the warranty expires or the return window closes, that's when it starts acting up... So here's a pic of the dented RB XHO

    [​IMG]

    It's pushed in at the pivot where the bracket gets screwed in -- It may inhibit it's ability to stay at the proper angle once installed. I'm not sure, as I have to drill holes into my ATI fixture now. FYI, I'm totally thrilled about that, because there's no chance I could do anything wrong here /s

    The Sick C. Lunate is still sick, but getting better. He's too smart to fall for the "look at this delicious food in the trap" ploy, but he's not too smart to eat medicated food... So he and the whole tank are getting a nice dose of meds *just* in case he thinks of spreading his illness Typhoid Mary style.

    Won a Flame Shrimp, named him Gary after a Vault in Fallout 3 -- Esoteric, I know. But he hides 99.99% of the time, and that .01% is when his whiskers poke out of a crevice. Surprisingly my wrasse don't think he looks delicious, so I'm contemplating picking up a skunk cleaner too... Not primarily to clean, but if he does I'd be happy.

    Thinking of adding in the following -- Let me know what you think
    - Cleaner Shrimp
    - Neon Goby
    - Acro Crabs (When Acros grow a little more)


    EDIT: I did a thing -- 'Twas scary
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  19. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Time for a long overdue update!

    I have dinos. But, they're starting to lose the war. slowly but surely.

    New Additions: I won a Midnight Clown (first clown ever), and a Cleaner shrimp. My Fire shrimp is okay with him as long as he stays off the fire's turf.

    Cleaner tries to clean fish, but they aren't too interested. When the Fire shrimp tries to clean them the fish bolt. First time the little blue flasher saw him I could imagine he screamed 'sea monster!'.

    So, some diamonds in the rough shots, because why not.

    FIRST: Before the Dinos :(
    [​IMG]

    It hasn't looked this nice in almost a month
    [​IMG]

    Diabolic PacMan
    [​IMG]

    JF Fox Flame (lost the tips color-wise)
    [​IMG]

    Pink Floyd'ish (imposter with slightly sexier blue base)
    [​IMG]

    Purple H. -- table
    [​IMG]

    Added a baby 'fuge, lit opposite DT (doubled size in like 4 days)
    [​IMG]

    DC Skimmers are awesome -- I can make pudding to coors light with this lil beast.
    [​IMG]


    So all and all things are coming along. The list of stuff I'm doing to beat dinos is convoluted as dang (@mdbannister)

    - Feed nutrients
    - Dose bacterias
    - Added Fuge
    - Overfeeding
    - CARBON (completely stalls my Sp. of dinos growth, allowing other stuff to out compete it)
    - Reduced main lights from 8 hours to 4 hours, increased ReefBrite hours to make up for it.
    - Turn off all flow -- Blow off Rocks/Corals 2-4x daily -- scoop out dinos by net
    - Quick and constant replacement of polyfilter / socks
    - Stopped adding coral to the DT (nod @mdbannister & @CoralNerd, the keepers of my new frags)
     
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  20. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter SCMAS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Small update -- Dino's receding, chaeto exploding, colors still a bit faded or brown.

    Diabolic Pacman (compared to yesterday)
    [​IMG]

    Pinkish Red Table thing
    [​IMG]

    Schnozzberry
    [​IMG]
     
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