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  1. #11
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    The bulkheads are a perfect fit. Got to love the reflectiveness of polished acrylic!

    - Ben

  2. #12
    Senior Member Danieldv6's Avatar
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    Interesting tank mod..following..I have a jbj24 sitting on bsmnt rightnow

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  4. #13
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    Brief update...

    I'm officially a college grad, so now I'm back and working on the tank again. A tank crash killed my first pair of flame angels while I was away, so the tank has been running on standby in the dark for about three months. I got home last week and brought a pair of flame angels from my favorite fish supplier. The small one is already in the tank with a diamond goby and a new CUC. Hopefully it establishes the nano as its own quickly so I can add the second, much larger, flame soon. I'm hoping that they pair up quickly; we'll see how that works.

    I still have to get my actual lights up and running before I add corals; right now, I just have a super old/cheap LED blackbox running over the hole for the feeding lid. It works for now, but I want to finish my Frankenstein build...

    More to come.


    Brief FTS:


    Larger Flame Angel (super misbarred; my favorite). He's hanging in my coral holding tank in the basement for now.
    - Ben

  5. #14
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    Another update:

    The CUC has done a fantastic job cleaning up diatoms and the first hints of algae, so the tank is currently spotless. Test corals have been in the tank for a week or two, depending on the species, and I think that the tank is ready for me to move in the last of my abused SPS. All of the softies and LPS have been doing great, and I've been getting good PE on the two SPS frags I've been playing with.

    The diamond goby jumped, but one of my blue star wrasses suddenly appeared after two weeks and is eating like a pig. There still might be one more wrasse (blue star or radiant) hiding in the sand, but I can't be sure. The small flame angel is eating a bit better and has finally stopped losing weight, but it only eats the first few pieces of food whenever it's added. To cope, I've been feeding the tank 2-4 times per day, but that leaves a lot of extra food floating around; I'm hoping to get more small fish to take care of the extra this week.

    I still want to get my custom lights finished so I can reassemble the hood, but it's not my top priority.

    Pictures:

    Small flame (You can see that it's still underweight along its back. Hopefully I can fatten it up in a few weeks so I can add the larger flame.):


    Blue star wrasse:


    Orange branching hammer (still getting its color back)


    Blue Maxima (before the CUC took care of the algae. I'm going to kill the aiptasia once I have time later this week.):


    Red leg hermit crab (surprisingly putting in work) and OG Mummy Eye Chalice (courtesy of @maidia):


    A very cluttered FTS:
    - Ben

  6. #15
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    A quick and belated update:

    I got a spoiled batch of Hikari brine, and all of my fish died. From happy and eating to dead in about two hours. I'm still rethinking stocking, but I'm probably going to end up going with some Australian fish.

    In the mean time, I broke down my severely neglected coral holding tank and moved everything into the nano. Only one piece hasn't done well, and it had more to do with placement/shading than anything else. I moved it to another tank and it's doing fine. These pictures are two weeks old, and it's already surprising how much many of these corals have colored up and grown, especially because I only got my dosing pumps running a week ago. More to come...















    - Ben

  7. #16
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    First, a few things about this tank.

    It's acrylic with a bowed front, so it's impossible to get clear pictures of all of the corals due to the distortion, which is beyond frustrating.

    With no fish in the nano, I've been able to open the return pump to full throttle. I have crazy flow, but that means that the tank is getting 35-40 times turnover and the sump is getting close to 90 times turnover per hour. That means microbubbles, which I'm fine with.

    I still haven't been able to get my custom lights working (I haven't tried since January), so I'm still dealing with some pretty harsh shading from the front to back. I'm currently using a $50 blackbox LED unit without lenses, so the light that I do have is diffused but even. That said, most of my corals (which have been severely neglected for anywhere between 6 months and two years) are coloring up well and starting to grow again. I can't wait to see what they do if I ever get my custom lights running again.

    Anyways, here are two full tank shots. The first is from the front, the second is at an angle to highlight the shading that I have to deal with.






    This has to be the brightest green I've seen on an acro.




    I'm really liking this piece and how fast it's growing/healing/encrusting. Again, for having the dosing pump up for about a week, this thing is on fire.






    This is a hairy possibly-millie that had a ton of potential when I first bought it six months ago. It's finally starting to get some color back.




    Here's an encrusting nub of an acro that has refused to die. I really like the coralite structure, and I'm hopeful for the color to keep developing.




    These three frags were salvaged from a colony that underwent everything from bleaching to RTN to AEFW over the course of a year. They're finally perking up.




    This was a cool piece, once. It's finally giving me some polyp extension, so hopefully color and growth come next.




    I picked up a browned out frag of pink millie from a local shop last week, and it's greening out on me. Hopefully it'll pink up again once I get my real lights on the tank.




    This is probably just going to turn out to be a bonsai acro, but I haven't seen an acro this purple in a half-decade. I have high hopes for how I might be able to tweak the color with higher light...




    This came off of a frag of a super bright maricultured Acropora suharsoni that had supposedly been growing in captivity for around a year. I bought it completely bleached, but the color is already coming back. I've been wanting a healthy piece of this species for years.




    This should be an interesting piece to watch. It has good PE and base coloration, so it'll be fun to see it shake off the brown.




    Tubbs Montipora stellata is getting closer and closer to what it should be.




    Encrusting monti section of the tank:






    This mushroom has a special place in my heart; I'm not much of a softy person, but this strain of mushroom was in one of the tanks at Eckerd College, where I just finished up my degree in Political Science. I was originally going to major in Marine Biology, but I didn't like the focus of the program and graduated with a minor. The department resource manager and I never really got along (he killed a few thousand dollars worth of my coral, I left an 8'x4' fiberglass sump under his building), so when my friend told me that the school's display tanks were being broken down and that he could take anything we wanted, I got one of these mushrooms. We bagged it up at midnight the night I moved out, so it's definitely a sentimental piece. It doesn't hurt that it's bright green. Anyways:




    My hand-collected Hawaiian zoas and palys are still going strong:




    My SPS geek coral is the only coral that isn't doing too well for some reason. It's a Turbinaria bifrons, it's getting good flow and moderate light, and it refuses to extend its polyps and started receding a day ago. I'm going to keep an eye on it and move it to a tank with a heavier bioload if it keeps getting worse.




    My other Turbinaria is doing fantastically:




    I've been cyclically killing and saving this cyphastrea (I think?) for about two years. One of these days, I might even let it color up.




    That's all for now. I have my dosing pump set to maintain my calcium and alkalinity at 450 ppm and 10 dkh, respectively, throughout the week while also matching consumption of the corals. As I get more data points every week on growth and consumption, the excel program that I wrote should get more accurate projecting weekly consumption so that I can better maintain these levels.

    Now I just have to sit back and wait for growth and for someone to get some of the fish I want in stock.
    Last edited by Funlad3; 07-02-2018 at 11:11 PM.
    - Ben

  8. #17
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    Some pickups that I made today at a local place's Fourth of July sale. At $30 a piece, these weren't the cheapest frags, but having commercially grown and sold acros for years myself, I have no problem paying for the work that goes into producing frags this healthy and happy. Polyps out within five minutes of being glued.


    Group shot:




    Pretty unsure of what this will turn into. It almost looks like a red planet, but it's off of a wild colony and this piece is way too massive in shape to my eye. It's in high flow in front of my return, so if I'm lucky, I'll get a table out of it.




    I'm always a sucker for stags, and this one came from a wild colony that was a bright metallic blue. Hopefully this piece will grow faster than the other thick branching staghorns I've worked with.




    This piece shows how much of a sucker I am for polyps. Especially when they're in such contrast with the rest of a piece...




    I have a few other pieces that I should get within the next week or so. I really want to drive my overall calcium and alkalinity consumption up in this tank to see if I can boost growth...
    - Ben

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  10. #18
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    This needs to stop.

    Luckily, I'm out of space in the tank until I get my actual light built and get my shadowing problem resolved.

    - Ben

  11. #19
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    Just a quick teaser...

    - Ben

  12. #20
    Senior Member Funlad3's Avatar
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    I couldn't even wait a week to add new pieces... Oh well. Indo gold torch and Aussie acro are in the tank.

    - Ben

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