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Old 10/16/2018, 06:31 PM   #276
Michael Hoaster
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I'm still in pre-beautiful stage. As soon as the snow melts, I might try and slip out to do some sanding.

Thanks for elaborating Dawn! The smaller the tank, the easier the fake wall! I really love mine. For the wood decoration, you can use real wood. If you have a creek or river nearby you can collect whatever looks good. Throw it in a trash can of water to waterlog it. That's what I did in my fresh water planted tank. I've seen some pretty fancy wood for sale at my LFS lately too.

Adding new macro species sounds like fun. So jealous! I think jaw fish (two!) would work well with ponies. They're quite shy. I haven't tried them in my tank because I keep faster-moving fish. From past experience, I consider jawfish better in a sea horse tank, rather than a fast community tank. If you don't have one already, a top is recommended to keep them from jumping. They'll be so cool in your tank!


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Old 10/16/2018, 08:00 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
I'm still in pre-beautiful stage. As soon as the snow melts, I might try and slip out to do some sanding.

Thanks for elaborating Dawn! The smaller the tank, the easier the fake wall! I really love mine. For the wood decoration, you can use real wood. If you have a creek or river nearby you can collect whatever looks good. Throw it in a trash can of water to waterlog it. That's what I did in my fresh water planted tank. I've seen some pretty fancy wood for sale at my LFS lately too.

Adding new macro species sounds like fun. So jealous! I think jaw fish (two!) would work well with ponies. They're quite shy. I haven't tried them in my tank because I keep faster-moving fish. From past experience, I consider jawfish better in a sea horse tank, rather than a fast community tank. If you don't have one already, a top is recommended to keep them from jumping. They'll be so cool in your tank!
I already have a screened top. I know blennies can be jumpers too so I am good that way.

I'd like to add a shaving brush and a mermaids fan. I know they go through a die off period so I maybe should not do those while keeping ponies. I might need to look into that more.

I did not know that wood could go in a marine tank. That is definitely interesting. Do you know of any threads of an aquarist doing it in a saltwater tank?


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Old 10/16/2018, 08:56 PM   #278
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I've yet to build my new screen top - another system project to do. I built one for my QT, so I at least I have practice.

I have seen a few salt water planted tanks with wood, but not many. Google. I think wood preserves well in salt water. Tannins leeching out could color the water, but charcoal, etc. would take care of that.

What are the characteristics of a sea horse-friendly macro? I'd imagine if die off is bad, then caulerpa going sexual would be bad as well. But you have caulerpa. Has it caused you any problems? Sargassum might be a good horsey haven. They could blend in with it! But I've heard that one's hard to keep. A seagrass might work in your clean setup. Seagrasses can thrive in low nutrient conditions that macros cannot.

Good luck with whatever you decide!


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Old 10/17/2018, 08:06 AM   #279
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A jawfish would be very cool in your tank... I agree with that. I've seen a few anecdotes that show a jawfish (or group of them) doing just fine in a "community" tank with all sorts of fast fish. They will simply dart in and out of their burrow to get food. I have considered getting 1-3 for my 300DD and it was the same fear that kept me back. Still thinking about whether or not I'll add it/them.

Blennies!! I am about a week away from putting the tail spot into my display. Michael, you gave me a great idea to use some barnacles. I glued 3 of them in a cluster and he loves them! Darts in and out constantly. My hope is that I can simply take out the cluster, drop it in the display and he'll be happy as ever. :0)


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Old 10/17/2018, 08:47 AM   #280
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Right on McPuff. I've seen jawfish do well in community tanks as well. In my own experience, I've watched them slowly starve to death over time. They were just too shy to compete at feeding time. They would eat, but not enough. Maybe if they are introduced as the first fish they would do better. I've found the barnacle blennies to be bolder and tougher. But I introduced them first.

Barnacle clusters are awesome. Your strategy should work perfectly!


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Old 10/17/2018, 05:21 PM   #281
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Wow, waiting for the snow to melt... I'm shivering at the thought! We're chilly out East, but not that snowy stuff yet!


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Old 10/17/2018, 09:08 PM   #282
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We often get a little snow in October. It was 70 degrees the day before it snowed. It'll be in the 60s by the end of the week. We live in the foothills above Boulder, so we get more snow. All in all, our weather is awesome - over 300 sunny days a year!


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Old 10/18/2018, 06:58 AM   #283
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We often get a little snow in October. It was 70 degrees the day before it snowed. It'll be in the 60s by the end of the week. We live in the foothills above Boulder, so we get more snow. All in all, our weather is awesome - over 300 sunny days a year!
I love it out there. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to get back. I spent three summers out there with family and played baseball during my college years. I lived in Westminster during that time, and for the rare moments that I had time to get away from either work or baseball, I'd spend them fly fishing for trout in Boulder Creek in the canyon. The summers were beautiful, hot and dry. It was much more enjoyable than the humidity that we have out East. I have family out there still, and I'd like to visit them before too long...maybe next summer if my wife and daughter can sync their schedules with mine.


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Old 10/19/2018, 01:06 PM   #284
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Let me know if you ever get out this way, Kevin. I'll have you up for the full geek out session!

I gave fly fishing a try. It did not go well. I spent most of the time trying to untangle my line from the bushes behind me. I do love the scenery though. My brother is an excellent fisherman, and tears it up on Boulder Creek. Fly fishing, like golf, is a little too rich for my blood. Keeping my mountain bike and aquarium up and running is expensive enough! These days I get my fishing fix once a year with my dad and brother. We go bass fishing in Deland, Florida, using ridiculously large, live shiner minnows for bait.

My goal for this weekend is to get the fake wall project DONE. If that actually happens, I think I'll do a wet test of the pumps and plumbing. My wife came up with a cool idea. She suggested I set up some plant stand-ins to see how well the wave pump works. It could be helpful for making any adjustments that may be needed. Wish me luck!


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Old 10/19/2018, 08:34 PM   #285
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Let me know if you ever get out this way, Kevin. I'll have you up for the full geek out session!

I gave fly fishing a try. It did not go well. I spent most of the time trying to untangle my line from the bushes behind me. I do love the scenery though. My brother is an excellent fisherman, and tears it up on Boulder Creek. Fly fishing, like golf, is a little too rich for my blood. Keeping my mountain bike and aquarium up and running is expensive enough! These days I get my fishing fix once a year with my dad and brother. We go bass fishing in Deland, Florida, using ridiculously large, live shiner minnows for bait.

My goal for this weekend is to get the fake wall project DONE. If that actually happens, I think I'll do a wet test of the pumps and plumbing. My wife came up with a cool idea. She suggested I set up some plant stand-ins to see how well the wave pump works. It could be helpful for making any adjustments that may be needed. Wish me luck!
Good luck Michael!


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Old 10/20/2018, 02:28 PM   #286
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Here's a couple of pics, with sanding in progress.


It's coming along, but the foam is pretty thick! It seems crazy to sand two thirds of it away, but that's my process.



From a different angle. So far so good! I think it's going to work. It looks like it's going to be low-profile enough to not be too intrusive. If I can get it to blend well with the back wall I will be happy/relieved!


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Old 10/20/2018, 03:24 PM   #287
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A quick fit test. I need to trim down the right edge, to fit against the back, fake wall better. Looks pretty good so far!




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Old 10/20/2018, 11:46 PM   #288
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Can you sand the right edge, or foam the seam after fully installed, in a way that the transition from new wall to old wall looks more natural than a straight line? That way they blend a little better.


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Old 10/21/2018, 01:52 AM   #289
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That's the plan. No straight lines. I've got to get a good tight fit first. Then I'll add the transition to the back wall. This will be an additional foam piece. I'm hoping to blend that with the new foam added for some overhang on the back wall too. If I get it right, some of the back wall will be in shadow. I'm still deciding whether I'll need to incorporate any more egg crate. Maybe a little to provide support, and help minimize foam thickness.

I'm happy with it so far. I'll be on it again tomorrow. It would be so nice to get it done!


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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 10/21/2018, 07:20 AM   #290
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Wow, you are making excellant progress and its looking great! That is so cool that you will have a natural enviroment with no equipment showing. I love it! Keep up the good work!!!


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Old 10/21/2018, 01:43 PM   #291
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Thanks Dawn!


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Old 10/21/2018, 11:51 PM   #292
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Didn't finish. Some progress made. I fashioned an egg crate structure for the transition-to-overhang. Bought foam and laminating sheets. Thought I had epoxy but I didn't, so I wasn't able to affix the end wall into place. I need to get that done before I can add the transition piece. I just need to get all the little details figured out, to get it done. PITA! Something always pops up that I hadn't thought of. This adds another step, so it feels like I never make progress.

Next step is to get the end wall placed and secured. Then it looks like I'll be foaming the transition piece, in place. So the structure will be placed first, then foam it, then sand it, right in the tank. It'll be messy but the tank's already a mess, so whatever.

I sure hope this turns out to be worth it. I've just got to believe in the vision and keep working towards it.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
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Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Lagoon in the works
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Old 10/22/2018, 03:47 PM   #293
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Sorry, haven't been here in a few days...family health issues kept me away from the net...and I went fishing again the other day.

Quote:
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Let me know if you ever get out this way, Kevin. I'll have you up for the full geek out session!
Will do!

The new wall looks great. Sanding the foam gives it a much different texture than other foam walls...it looks really cool.

Are you making this piece removable? If it's permanent, would it be possible to just fill the intersection with spray foam and then sand it down to blend it in while directly in the tank after the new wall is installed? That might add to the support.


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Old 10/22/2018, 04:01 PM   #294
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Sorry to hear that Kevin. I hope they're OK.

I'm calling it semi-permanent. Removable if absolutely necessary. Yes, I plan to add the transition right in the tank and sand it in place. I walk a tight rope between making it look good and making it too buoyant. So it will probably end up a little less cool looking to keep it from floating. I'm OK with that. It will look better/more natural as it gets coated with life. I keep reminding myself that it's just background and not extremely important in the grand scheme of things.


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Old 10/22/2018, 04:25 PM   #295
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A quick pic of the transition structure. The top will be flush with the overflow. The tallest piece on the left is for the transition. The rest is for the back wall overhang. Doesn't look like much, but it helps me avoid any thick foam areas. I'll post another pic when it's in place.


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Old 10/23/2018, 12:02 AM   #296
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I worked on getting the wall to fit better. Once I get it dialed, I can get it glued in place. It's a tricky process, but it's coming along. I'm going to work on it a little everyday until it's done.


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Old 10/24/2018, 06:58 AM   #297
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I worked on getting the wall to fit better. Once I get it dialed, I can get it glued in place. It's a tricky process, but it's coming along. I'm going to work on it a little everyday until it's done.
I can't wait to see it!


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Old 10/24/2018, 12:59 PM   #298
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I can't wait to see it!
Me too!

Yes, life growing in the tank will definitely help on the transition piece, so no need to be exact. And, you're right, it's a background. The flora and fauna are the centerpieces of any tank. Sometimes I forget that with my builds.


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Old 10/26/2018, 03:47 PM   #299
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Thanks you two!

I am currently wrestling with getting the new wall placed and well-secured. Because of the added complexity associated with the overall thickness of it, I'm finding this a surprisingly tricky stage. Like I did with the back wall, I am (trying to) zip-tie it to the thin light diffuser that rests on the tank bottom. This will be buried under seven or so inches of sand, which helps prevent the wall from floating. So I need to get the zip-ties loosely looped through the wall, before I can adhere it to the tank wall. Once I get it epoxied in place, I can tighten down the zip-ties. Doing all this at the bottom of a thirty inch deep tank is challenging!


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Old 10/26/2018, 08:15 PM   #300
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30" deep tank has got to be tough. I have trouble working in my tanks and they are only 24" deep. I have no doubt that you will resoucefully figure it out though.


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