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Old 07/12/2018, 08:35 PM   #201
nightOwl
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So I am back from vacation and things are coming along slowly but surely. I went to Jamaica for week to get some much needed rest and relaxation and also managed to get some snorkeling in. I pretty much snorkeled everyday and the great thing about the place we stayed was that the fish come to you. They are so use to tourist having bread its their first reaction which show how strong hunger can override instincts. Before leaving I tried to set my self up for success by automating my feeding process. All fish were alive when I got back so things went well. I am not thinking about my next fish selection. I think I am going to go with my favorite Blue Eye/Threadfin Cardinals (Apogon leptacanthus).

06/14/2018 -Dip and Fish Food Order
In order to have a great variety of food for my fish I wanted to try a few different foods. Before leaving QT I made sure to my fish would eat all different types of food. When I placed my food order I added a few Blue Life USA - Safety Stop dips as well.

Variety of Food
IMG_3130 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

06/18/2018 - Put QT Fish in Main Display
Before vacation I moved the fish from their QT into the main display. While in QT the yellow and purple tang were right beside each other divided by acrylic separator while the bristletooth was in the bottom tank. I used the two part dip and the fish had no adverse reactions. Once I put them in the main display they found each other and seemed to be happy. I monitored then a few days and there was no aggression.

06/20/2018 - Small Reef Cleaners Order

Since things are not fully automated and settled in like I would like it to be I wanted to make the time I was away as stress-free as possible. I set up an automatic feeder on both tanks once a day on the frag tank and twice a day on the main display. After a few test runs I figured out what the portions would be and monitored a few days before I left for vacation. Since I figured I would be feeding heavy to keep aggression down I also added a small clean up crew as well to help with the potential algae that would ensue. I also added a small UV unit and skimmer. On the next QT run I will try them out.

Small Order
IMG_3128 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
06/26/2018 - 07/03/2018 - Vacation

Things were moving along pretty slowly before vacation as I was sorta in limbo with not wanting to make to many changes before leaving town and the first vacation with a new tank and no tank sitter. We went away for a week to Jamaica and I literally snorkeled everyday! The resort we stayed at had a lovely beach area where you could snorkel in pretty shallow water. I should have purchased a newer camera before leaving but waited too late to buy one. I was able to get some decent pictures with my old Olympus TG-2. Below are a few pictures...this reignited the passion of wanting things to be in the tank that move with flow...lol.

Snorkeling in Jamaica
P6280477 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

P6280208 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

P6280624 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

P6280666 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
07/04/2018 - Old Tank Down

I was sick on the 4th (Summer cold suck) and tired from vacation but I wanted to stay on the schedule I had created for myself while relaxing on the beach. I promised myself I would break down the old set up while on the beach one day. After a few hours of work all water, rock, and tanks were empty. It felt good to finally close that chapter of tank journey.

Tank Breakdown
IMG_3131 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
07/08/2018 - Installed Kalk Stirrer
I finally got around to added the kalk stirrer to the main display. I have not set up the dosing schedule but everything is installed and working correctly. I am using a AquaLifter pump to feed the stirrer and rigid tubing for all the runs. Next week I will see how much alk the tank looses starting on Monday for about 3 days. I figured the tank is evaporating about a gallon a day. I will tweak the dosing until it holds the alk steady for about a week then cross fingers and hope for the best...lol.

07/09/2018 - Marine Depot Order

Daily testing of the levels is becoming taxing on my test kits so I ordered some new kits. Also the Simplicity skimmer while doing a pretty decent job has been frustrating me for a while now. I have replaced two propellers, one pump, and the collection cup nipple issue has been annoying. Simplicity has been great throughout the whole process. I like you can deal with a real person with minor effort. They even sent the silicone fitting for the nipple but I never got around to trying it out. I ordered a new skimmer and plan on seeing if the results are any better. In preparation for future fish that may disturb the sand bed I ordered some more epoxy as well.

New Skimmer
Mag Test
Reef Welder Epoxy Glue
Hannah Low Range Phosphorous Test
Hannah Alk Test Reagents

Skimmer
IMG_3126 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 07/15/2018, 09:56 PM   #202
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Forgot to post the results from the water tests the other day. For some reason tin was really high. Other elements for the most part were good to go. I will start doing some tweaking this week to to try to get the Alk, Mag, and Cal to be more stable. The main display is maturing and I am seeing tons of sponges in the overflow and in the refugium area. Once I see some corraline algae I will add a frag or two.

Screenshot-2018-7-9 Triton Applied Reef Bioscience are the world leaders in professional sea water analysis by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Screenshot-2018-7-9-1 Triton Applied Reef Bioscience are the world leaders in professional sea water analysis by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Screenshot-2018-7-9-2 Triton Applied Reef Bioscience are the world leaders in professional sea water analysis by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Screenshot-2018-7-9-3 Triton Applied Reef Bioscience are the world leaders in professional sea water analysis by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/25/2018, 07:11 AM   #203
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Overdue Update
Its been a while...I am still slowly plugging along but the main display is starting to show its first signs of coralline algae in the last few weeks so I know for sure corals will grow in the display. Keeping them alive will be the challenge. I have made a few minor updates with the tank but still have some things to do. Since my last update I have done the following:
    • Started dosing kalk in main display
    • Had mini kalk overdose in main display (no corals no problem )
    • Dropped Apex display in tank - it died
    • Fixed the water logged Apex Display after two weeks of tinkering
    • Purchase Three new fish and keep them alive in QT for 21 days
    • Found one of the new fish partially dead the next morning after putting in main display (day 22)
    • Killed 4 more corals in frag tank
    • Brought two used MP60s - these things are impressive!
    • Ordered crazy expensive under cabinet fridge/freezer with 7lb ice making ability for bar
    • Installed waterproof vinyl flooring in bar area
    • Installed a backsplash for bar
    • Finished plumbing of my walk-up bar sink
    • Finished my walk-up bar!
    • Acquired some new corals
    • Acquired a new fish (Sailfin/Algae Blenny (Salarias fasciatus))
    • Turned fish QT into new coral QT
    • Finally moved some corals into the main display
I managed to kill two Apex Displays (dropped one in tank while adjusting the kalk, other one froze up). I purchased a brand new and a used Apex combo (came with display, two leak detectors, EB8, WXM module, cables and three probes). I bricked one display and somehow managed to bring the one that fell in the tank back to life. It has battle scars though...it now has lines on the display. It is readable so that's all that matters. So I am down one display but it may be fixable by Neptune because if I let is set for a few days it will come on just not do anything.

The three fish I ordered were two ORA Wyoming White Ocellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris) and one Orange Spotted Blenny (Benniella chrysospilos). The blenny I found the next morning starting to dry out on the stepping board of the tank. Even in death he had a funny expression like 'Oh s&** I have messed up now!"


I will post some pictures later but wanted to at least update the thread since it has been so long.



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Old 10/25/2018, 03:44 PM   #204
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Great update, but we don't believe you b/c we don't see any photos

You don't even need a display anymore with Neptune, get her online and use an ipad/phone!

We have to work on the killing of fish, they may all start to fear you!


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Old 10/25/2018, 08:16 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serenity View Post
Great update, but we don't believe you b/c we don't see any photos

You don't even need a display anymore with Neptune, get her online and use an ipad/phone!

We have to work on the killing of fish, they may all start to fear you!
serenity - Photos are here! I am old school I like to have the display. It's handy when I am in the basement and just need to do a quick feed mode without logging into my computer or phone.

That fish decided to end his own life...the crazy thing was that night I said I should put a cover over the tank soon as I was thinking about getting some wrasses soon. Due to the jumper I have my cover almost done now...lol.

Here are some random pictures

Random Pictures
Orange Spotted Blenny (Benniella chrysospilos)
IMG_3461 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


ORA Wyoming White Ocellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris)
IMG_3400 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Hermit Crab Working
IMG_3486 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Coralline Algae Spots
IMG_3273 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3304 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Kole Tang - (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
IMG_3352 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr




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Old 10/25/2018, 08:18 PM   #206
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Random Pictures - Continued
Bar Items
IMG_3378 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Backsplash
20180824_102130~2 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Before
IMG_3233 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

After
IMG_3580 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Blueberry and Strawberry Mojitos - Open Bar!
20180914_203801 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flick



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Old 10/25/2018, 08:35 PM   #207
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Every now and then we need to look back at what we have done in the past to be inspired about what the future holds. With that said here are a few of my old pictures that help me stay focused. Each time I kill a coral I tell myself you can grow corals you really can! Then I go and look at some old pictures when things were simple before all the fancy silly names when you could go to your LFS and get reasonably priced frags for a decent price.


Some of My Inspiration

IMG_0407 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0398 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0350 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0342 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0590 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_1029 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_5035 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_4702 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3033 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_2943 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/25/2018, 08:38 PM   #208
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Some of My Inspiration - Continued
IMG_2914 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_2904 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_2683 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr






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Old 10/26/2018, 08:23 AM   #209
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Pretty sure I see an aiptasia in one of those pictures.... :0) Ha ha! Giving you a hard time.

The tank and bar look terrific!! How were the mojitos? I can't find a good one outside of South Beach unless I make it myself. :0)


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Old 10/26/2018, 10:57 AM   #210
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Pretty sure I see an aiptasia in one of those pictures.... :0) Ha ha! Giving you a hard time.

The tank and bar look terrific!! How were the mojitos? I can't find a good one outside of South Beach unless I make it myself. :0)
McPuff - That aiptasia is a reminder too...LOL. I wanted live rock that had "stuff on it". Back in the day the more the better...lol. Later I learned that is is not a "softie" coral, anemone, or any type of LPS. I had to get about 4 peppermint shrimp to keep that stuff at bay and I feed heavy. I could watch some eat pellets they were so big. After a certain size the dumb shrimp left them alone...lol. So then it was all kinds of creative ways to kill it. As a result tanks start with dry rock .

I was pretty excited and about how the bar turned out as well. The mojitos were amazing. I have my recipe down pretty good and my homemade simply syrup works well. I think the key is fresh ingredients! We grow some fresh herbs during the summer and I have experiments with various types of mint to give it a unique flavor. Wifey loves them and we have a flavored mule I like to make as well. It's like a fully stocked bar so I even have a garnish tray, fresh juice containers, exact measure pours for bottles, etc. I am going to really enjoy it on Thanksgiving when the family is over and we are watching the game on big TV in basement.


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Old 10/26/2018, 11:17 AM   #211
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McPuff - That aiptasia is a reminder too...LOL. I wanted live rock that had "stuff on it". Back in the day the more the better...lol. Later I learned that is is not a "softie" coral, anemone, or any type of LPS. I had to get about 4 peppermint shrimp to keep that stuff at bay and I feed heavy. I could watch some eat pellets they were so big. After a certain size the dumb shrimp left them alone...lol. So then it was all kinds of creative ways to kill it. As a result tanks start with dry rock .

I was pretty excited and about how the bar turned out as well. The mojitos were amazing. I have my recipe down pretty good and my homemade simply syrup works well. I think the key is fresh ingredients! We grow some fresh herbs during the summer and I have experiments with various types of mint to give it a unique flavor. Wifey loves them and we have a flavored mule I like to make as well. It's like a fully stocked bar so I even have a garnish tray, fresh juice containers, exact measure pours for bottles, etc. I am going to really enjoy it on Thanksgiving when the family is over and we are watching the game on big TV in basement.
That does sound pretty awesome!


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Old 10/26/2018, 06:50 PM   #212
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Yea I can't wait. Our thanksgiving is huge too. I think we are expecting 25-30 people this year. I will try to post some pictures of the corals in the main display in the next few days or so. I am still reading some articles on how to take pictures under the LEDs. So far everything has been bad .


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Old 10/30/2018, 03:28 PM   #213
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General Updates

10/27/2018 - Wrasse Keeper 1000, a New Fish, and a New Shrimp
I finally got around to finishing my wrasse lid for the QT system with integrated LED lighting. I initially started this project back in Aug and its been painted for some time now but I did not get around to finishing it until recently when I started looking at wrasses daily. I call it the Wrasse Keeper 1000...lol. It's basically a box I can put over the tank with venting, some LED lighting, and a feed hole. So far it looks promising. I used screen door mesh and cut vertical slits in it so it could fit around the pumps and such. My QT tank now has two accessory lids. One for when corals and one for fish. I forgot to mention in my last post I acquired some more LED lighting. One of the light fixtures is pictured in my Coral set up (I have two). All of the corals in the QT were acquired from my buddy Jesse.


20180829_181338 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3679 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


IMG_3680 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Coral set up...
20181005_102701 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Also picked up a new fish and shrimp from a LFS. A Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus). A bit on the small side but eats myisis and is very active and seems to be very curious when I come near the tank. I will try to convert over to pellets but not sure it will work. The wife named her Ellie. I picked up a small Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis). So far it has been staying hidden in the tank but I suspect as it gets bigger it will be out and about more.

Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus)
IMG_3611 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3689 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
IMG_3654 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3608 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/30/2018, 03:49 PM   #214
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General Updates - Continued
Few Current Coral Shots
I am still trying to find the right time and color spectrum to take pictures under with so bear with me will I find the right look. I tried to take two of each. One regular and one macro of some of the corals.

IMG_3698 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3673 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


IMG_3666 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3647 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3665 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3649 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3664 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3636 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3663 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3635 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr




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Old 10/30/2018, 03:59 PM   #215
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General Updates - Continued
IMG_3638 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3616 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3603 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3632 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_3668 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Finally got a decent one of the Lawnmower Blenny
IMG_3702 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


I moved some more corals into the display so I will take some pictures in a few days. This way I can track the growth of some of these since I keep killing them in the frag I am going to move all to the main then figure out the lighting situation.



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