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Old 01/04/2018, 10:34 PM   #3101
Michael Hoaster
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My new bulb finally shipped. Tracking says Saturday.

UV and photoperiod reduction, plus the blackout and all the other stuff seem to be helping with the dinos. I dosed a little to encourage macro, seagrass and sponge growth. Still hunting slugs and nems. Good times!

It sounds like I may be getting some new Manatee grass shortly - Yay! I also ordered some new fish, but don't tell the wife…


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Old 01/04/2018, 10:44 PM   #3102
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Finally! What fishies did you get!?!?!?!?

Looking forward to the extra grasses too.


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Old 01/04/2018, 11:14 PM   #3103
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Finally indeed! And two of the most bullet proof fish in the hobby. It's funny I've gone to beginner fish, thirty years in!

I ordered some Royal Grammas and Chalk Bass. Since these fish are very similar, I figured I need to add them at the same time, so I've got two QTs up and running for them. I'm super stoked to get a harem of grammas again. And also excited to try the chalks, which I've never kept before. I have a feeling they'll be prettier than their photos, once they settle in and color up. In nature, these two fish are known to hang out near each other, but the grammas stay on the vertical walls and the chalks over the sand. If all goes well, it should be a great pairing in my tank!

I'm very excited to get manatee grass again! The shoal grass is doing great, but they just don't have the height to fill my thirty inch deep tank. The only problem is the shoal grass has filled in so well, there's not much room for more. But I'll make room! At last, my vision of these two grasses together in my tank is going to be a reality.

Who knows, maybe I'll feel like taking pics again…


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Old 01/04/2018, 11:25 PM   #3104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Who knows, maybe I'll feel like taking pics again…


^^^This! Lol
Enough of the Michael jibber jabber and time for pictures again. Haha

Sounds like a good plan!
What’s the timeline from baggie to QT to ‘tope?


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Old 01/05/2018, 07:54 AM   #3105
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That's awesome Michael. I can't wait to see the tank a month from now. How many of each fish did you order?


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Old 01/05/2018, 10:28 AM   #3106
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McPuff, I guess we'll just have to agree to agree!

Hey, I mentioned your rockscape on "DIY 600+" for aquascaping. He's looking for ideas. I pointed him towards your vid on post #82. If you had a good still of your rock work, I bet he'd be thrilled to see it.
I did see that. :0)

Should probably post a more recent pic with nicer color anyway.


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Old 01/05/2018, 11:07 AM   #3107
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I just wanted to stop for a second and let you know that I find your tank fascinating. I am just getting started on my first tank ever, initially FOWLR... And while I have been looking at corals, today it occurred to me that there must also be saltwater "plants" too, so I went on the hunt.

I read a ton of this thread and found myself smiling... This is wonderful inspiration as I go forward. I would much rather take a natural approach to filtration and a hierarchy of life in the environment that I am building instead of just "buy pretty things and use mechanical things to keep them alive".

I think I learned that about myself already, at only a couple months in, when we decided NOT to install the shiny new skimmer we bought for the tank, and instead put a grow light and chaeto in the biggest part of the sump.

Thinking about your tank makes me wonder what I can do to increase the "live" sand feature to something more beneficial than just "hey... This is where bacteria can grow"

Thank you for such a great insight... I will be lurking!

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Old 01/05/2018, 06:49 PM   #3108
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Thanks Sam. I think it will take about six weeks to get them into the display. So, around February 21st.

Thanks Kevin. I ordered six grammas and five chalk bass(es?).

McPuff, I hope he checks out your thread! He's got a sweet build going, but I think he would benefit immensely from seeing your masterpiece.


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Old 01/05/2018, 07:07 PM   #3109
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SereneAquatic, welcome and thank you so much for the kind words! Your post truly made my day. I'm thrilled you like the tank, and the methodology. I've often thought a FOWLR/Planted combo would be amazing! Plants are the missing piece of the puzzle.

As for the sand bed, this is where detritus is processed, so detrivores are the priority. Pods, worms, snails, serpent stars, and later, a sea cucumber and a fighting conch, once there is enough on the sand bed for them to eat. A lot of these creatures can be had in quality live sand. Live-plantsdotcom and Floridapetsdotcom are the two best sources I've found. Also, your live rock will supply a lot of these creatures. I'd start with live sand and rock, and then see what's missing and add them separately.

I look forward to following your build. Good luck and have fun!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Old 01/05/2018, 09:33 PM   #3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
SereneAquatic, welcome and thank you so much for the kind words! Your post truly made my day. I'm thrilled you like the tank, and the methodology. I've often thought a FOWLR/Planted combo would be amazing! Plants are the missing piece of the puzzle.

As for the sand bed, this is where detritus is processed, so detrivores are the priority. Pods, worms, snails, serpent stars, and later, a sea cucumber and a fighting conch, once there is enough on the sand bed for them to eat. A lot of these creatures can be had in quality live sand. Live-plantsdotcom and Floridapetsdotcom are the two best sources I've found. Also, your live rock will supply a lot of these creatures. I'd start with live sand and rock, and then see what's missing and add them separately.

I look forward to following your build. Good luck and have fun!
Thank you I may already be too far down the road to do many of the things you have done, but I might be able to apply the concepts of balancing out the food chain in a way that works.

So far there is a pair of clown fish in the tank, and a CUC and Flame Angel in QT. The CUC consists of a fire shrimp, emerald crab, 1 turbo snail and 6 astrea snails.

Do you have any recommendations on what I should start with after those are happily installed in the DT? Perhaps there are some plants that the fish won't immediately eat, or some worms and such that might like the sand bed.

I'm hoping that the crab and shrimp won't be a prohibitive hurdle to growing the sand bed creatures, or that the angel wont eat all the plants hehe.


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Old 01/05/2018, 11:40 PM   #3111
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Hey SereneAquatic!

It would very difficult for me to make quality suggestions without knowing more. My above suggestions still stand though.

When I was shopping for my first salt water aquarium, the best advice I got was to buy a book before buying anything. I did. I would make a similar suggestion to you. Of course now we have the internet, but books still work. I have accumulated many over the years, and I am still re-reading them everyday. And there are tons of great articles on the web. Have a question? Type that question into google. I'm sure you've done a lot of research already. Keep it up. There's so much to learn, including what kind of aquarist you want to be. Enjoy the journey! I'd suggest you start a build thread, so you could share what you're doing in more detail and get great advice from fellow hobbyists. I have learned so much from so many others here on RC! It adds a whole other facet to the experience.

You're going to make mistakes - a lot of them. But they'll teach you a lot too. This hobby will test your limits!

I watched your vids. Awesome! Getting into this hobby with your whole family is going to make for some great memories! I can't wait to see how your experience goes!


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Old 01/06/2018, 06:15 AM   #3112
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Hey SereneAquatic!

It would very difficult for me to make quality suggestions without knowing more. My above suggestions still stand though.

When I was shopping for my first salt water aquarium, the best advice I got was to buy a book before buying anything. I did. I would make a similar suggestion to you. Of course now we have the internet, but books still work. I have accumulated many over the years, and I am still re-reading them everyday. And there are tons of great articles on the web. Have a question? Type that question into google. I'm sure you've done a lot of research already. Keep it up. There's so much to learn, including what kind of aquarist you want to be. Enjoy the journey! I'd suggest you start a build thread, so you could share what you're doing in more detail and get great advice from fellow hobbyists. I have learned so much from so many others here on RC! It adds a whole other facet to the experience.

You're going to make mistakes - a lot of them. But they'll teach you a lot too. This hobby will test your limits!

I watched your vids. Awesome! Getting into this hobby with your whole family is going to make for some great memories! I can't wait to see how your experience goes!
Thank you for the encouragement! I can't wait to see more pics of your tank soon

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Old 01/07/2018, 09:29 AM   #3113
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My new 7500K bulb finally came, on Friday. I waited until Saturday to fire it up. It didn't work. I have an electronic ballast. On the (bulb) box it read "Use high pressure sodium ballasts only." That info would have been helpful on the website! With the shipping costs and low cost of the bulb, it's hardly worth going to the trouble to send it back.

So it was back the the web, to shop around. Also I looked around, trying to learn more about lumens and PAR, to better understand what I was looking for. Pretty complicated stuff, and there appears to be no standard of info required for lighting-lovely! I just knew that I needed something in the daylight temp range, with enough 'umph' to penetrate thirty inches of unfiltered salt water.

I stumbled onto a hydroponics (uh huh) site that had a nice, high output 6500K bulb that looked promising. They also had brick and mortar shops, and sure enough they had one in Denver, about 45 minutes away. So I took a little drive and picked one up. The guys there were helpful (and chatty) and fascinated with what I was doing. The indoor growing biz has a fair amount of overlap with our hobby. Often with better prices. I bought my e-ballast through an online hydroponics shop, a few years back. They too are in the middle of an LED transition phase.

Anyway, I got the bulb home, and it looks great! Nice, bright light, without all the yellow. So my lighting odyssey is finally over. I've been looking into LEDs as well, so I'm getting some knowledge base there, for the future.

The triple-whammy of pests continues to keep me occupied. The slugs, snot and nems are all decreasing nicely. I was at my LFS, picking up ANOTHER bottle of aiptasia-x, and struck up a conversation with two of the guys working there. Turns out a-x is basically kalkwasser, so I got some of that instead for less money, and a longer-lasting supply. Cool! We got to talking about forums and I mentioned mine. One of them told me he'd read it and said it was a huge inspiration for him. Made my day!


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Old 01/07/2018, 01:21 PM   #3114
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In terms of lighting, if you just want a standard 6500k LED setup I may have something that interests you. For my sump lighting I used LED floodlights, they come with dimmable or non dimmable drivers and are fairly inexpensive. I opened them up and took the guts out to decrease all of the wasted space. As they are sold they take up roughly 7 inches or so of vertical space, but if you take them apart and hard wire them it’s down to about 3inches. I really like them as an inexpensive way to light my mangroves, and bet they might look good over an aquarium (never tried before). You could also alternate between different kelvin ratings, 4 in the 6500 and 2 a little warmer in the 5000 to 4000k range. Not really sure if this would interest you but it’s inexpensive and could be fun if you wanted to make a housing for them ( I just mounted mine on a board since it’s in the stand).


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Old 01/07/2018, 02:24 PM   #3115
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Thanks MGP!

I've been keeping an eye on those kind of lights. I agree they'd be great for shallow refugiums, QTs and such. I like the mods you did too. Pretty cool! I love low cost alternatives like that. But I need much brighter light than a "standard 6500K setup".

I need light that's quite bright, even by aquarium standards, for my thirty inch deep, unfiltered display. Seagrass often occurs in water only a meter deep. I've been researching LEDs a lot lately. I have concluded that only a handful of even the high end fixtures are powerful enough for my tank (and seagrass). I've noticed that along with the prevalence of LED lighting, shallower tanks are more prevalent as well.

The advantages of LEDs are obvious and well documented. But for my current tank situation, and given I already have MH, I don't see LEDs replacing what's already working quite well for me. The next tank however…


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Old 01/07/2018, 03:49 PM   #3116
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I feel like I read an article about a year or two ago of one of the big public aquariums switching over all its metal halides for LEDs in the huge bajillion gallon tank. It saved them a ton on the electric bill. So I feel like there must be something strong enough for 30”. Granted I’m sure there weren’t coral or grass at the bottom, but a 30’ deep tank lit well enough for displaying the animals must be pretty strong.

I’ll see if I can find it.


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Old 01/07/2018, 03:51 PM   #3117
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Yep, the seagrass in Florida range from as shallow as they can get without being exposed from low tides down to over 20 meters in some places. Deep Halophila beds can be found in the Apalachee Bay area. I agree with you that 30 inches for artificial light is certainly challenging. I have some of the par 38 flood lights mentioned previously about 10 inches above the water level on a 10 gallon tank at work. We are growing out Thalassia seedlings we collected in Florida Bay this summer. They seem to be doing pretty well with the lights in this shallow of a tank, I can observe good oxygen formation on the leaves. I make sure to limit nutrient input so epiphytes do not grow and block available light to the leaves. I am also considering running purigen to soak up any CDOM released from the grass to keep light attenuation down. Seems like you have a good system with the MH. Good luck going forward, interested to see how your aquarium evolves

Edit: realizing now that I said in my previous post I never used the Par38 floods on an aquarium, then remembering that I use them on the aquarium at work. Technically the same lights but the ones at work are much warmer (in the 3000k rating) so they are quite yellow unlike a 6700k daylight LEDs



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Old 01/07/2018, 04:10 PM   #3118
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Caribbean Biotope Seagrass Tank

This might’ve been it:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/orphek....hased-out/amp/

New Orphek Amazonas 80:
https://************.com/2017/11/29/...w-amazonas-80/
Don’t think they’re available for sale yet..

Orphek makes really nice (expensive) lights that pack a lot of PAR.

Edit: Stupid RC.. replace the stars with Reef Builders


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Old 01/07/2018, 10:29 PM   #3119
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Thanks MGP. I too look forward to my tank's evolution. It's been through some ups and downs in its' three years. Right now I'd say it's on the upswing from a down, which isn't too bad a place to be. I'm very excited really! I know I've talked about all my pests lately, but it's really doing pretty well. I never would have thought to reinstate my UV, if not for your suggestion. It won't be long before everything looks great again, and I'll be posting a lot pics!

That's cool you're growing thalassia seedlings. I started with some of those too, at this tank's beginning. There are some pics of them waaaay back in this thread. They were comically small! Eventually, they almost took over.

That's awesome you're getting oxygen bubbles on them. A word of caution: I observed 'pearling' too with my shoal grass, or so I thought. It turned out to be dinoflagellates.

Yes, the metal halide is working well for me, with this tank. Your LED bulb suggestion has me thinking about getting some for my QTs. I have ulva in them, and it's not doing well. I'm pretty sure it needs more light.

Good luck to you as well! I'm stoked to hear of someone else doing seagrass. Do you have a thread? I'd love to follow!


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Old 01/07/2018, 11:28 PM   #3120
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Thanks for the links Sam! Those Orpheks are sweet! Some of them are insanely powerful. Definitely enough for my tank. You know when they don't post the prices they're pricey! I need to incorporate buying lottery tickets into my weekly routine…

For now, the new MH bulb is rockin' it. It's quite bright and like midday sunshine.

Despite all my griping, the tank's doing quite well. If I didn't have this pesky job to deal with, I'd have the time to give it proper attention. But overall, I'm happy with how things are going. It's kinda slow though…


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Old 01/08/2018, 07:33 AM   #3121
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If I had my choice of lighting, it would probably be Orphek. They look amazing, the colors are terrific, the controllability seems to be great. But they are wicked expensive. I do like the smaller pendants they have. 3 of those would light my small reef nicely. :0)


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Old 01/08/2018, 07:55 AM   #3122
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Congrats on getting your lighting situation on track. I look forward to the results and pics too


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Old 01/08/2018, 09:29 AM   #3123
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Michael. I've been looking up options for lighting the 'next tank' with led. In case you decide to tinker again, here are my thoughts.

I'm more than likely to continue using marsaquas or reef breeders on my next tank.
But, I've personally been interested in the Aquaticlife Halo pendant led for lighting as an alternative to the kessil caliber lighting. I also might try the 21ledusa 10,000K 50w flood lamps. Might be worth looking it as they are cheap, returnable, and more similar to less-blue MH color temperatures.

MGP, I like your little hack there. I've been using 6500K 60w (actual not equivalent) flood lamps for my mangrove and macroalgae in the sump. I find I prefer the spread of rectangular flood lamps over par38 flood-style bulbs (even when sold with the same degree lens).


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Old 01/08/2018, 11:50 PM   #3124
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Right on, McPuff. I checked out their whole line on their website - very impressive stuff.

Thanks Kevin! I'm lovin' the new bulb. The tank's looking good except for the UV rig I have going. Maybe I could swallow my pride and post a pic or two. We'll see.

Thanks for your thoughts, JZ. I'll check those out. It's been fun shopping LED lights, even if I'm not ready to buy. I think it's a good idea to get familiar with what's available.


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Old 01/09/2018, 07:27 AM   #3125
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I also might try the 21ledusa 10,000K 50w flood lamps. Might be worth looking it as they are cheap, returnable, and more similar to less-blue MH color temperatures.
Just checked these out. Look pretty cool and very small footprint. I could easily do 6 of these for my 300 for just about $350. I have sent an inquiry to the company, but it seems like a good option potentially. I may just buy one for my lagoon to test it out. The warranty is pretty great, just not sure if they are dimmable at all. These are the kind of reef lighting solutions I'd like to see more of. In my opinion a reef light does not need to cost three arms and 5 legs to be effective. Black box LEDs have shown this. More industrial solutions may not look as elegant but if they get the job done then I'm happy (my lights are/will be hidden anyway). :0)


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