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Monday, September 30, 2002

My daughter Ally would run to the tank, and say, "Fish hiding!" since the Kole Tang would hide behind the rock in the tank. Unfortunately, last Wednesday, Ally and I went to take a look at the tang, and it was dead on its side. I had to tell Ally, "Fish sleeping". Yesterday, I purchased a small damselfish that will hopefully last a lot longer than the tang. The damselfish is a Chrysiptera parasema, and I think it will be a lot less aggressive and less of a digger than the Blue Devil that I used to have. I ordered the 9 for $99 from IPSF which arrived last Friday:

6 Baby Bristle Worms
6 SandBed Clams
Tang Heaven Red
Tang Heaven Green
Reef Amphipods
6 Baby Hawaiian Turbo Grazers
Live Sand Activator
6 Strombus Grazers

I think the only casualty from the whole shipment was one SandBed Clam. I put three in the 150G and three in the 10G refugium. I received more like 20 bristle worms. They've all dug themselves into the substrate. There were some very large amphipods in the shipment. I'm growing Tang Heaven Red (Gracilaria parvispora) and Tang Heaven Green (Ulva sp.) in the refugium because when I grow macroalgae with holdfasts, whenever I pull the macroalgae out of the substrate, I create a small dust storm. With the way I've set up the water flow in the refugium, both types of macroalgae will receive water flow, but they won't get sucked into the output.

I added a Tonga purple mushroom rock and a green and brown star polyp rock to the 150G on Saturday, and both corals appear to be doing fine.

I added one of the Reeftec PE-1s to the tank, and it does a great job of circulating the water. One nice thing is that when the main pump is turned off, air isn't sucked into the PE-1 although the water level of the tank drops a little bit. In addition to the awesome water flow of the PE-1s, I think the other nice thing is that the intakes will be easy to keep clear compared to a powerhead's. What's interesting is sometimes the PE-1 will pick up some substrate from the bottom of the tank due to the random water currents created, but never enough to create a major dust storm. I'm going to add to other PE-1 later on this week and see how the circulation works.

I finally put the 3x96 PC and 2x175 MH up on top of the tank, and I love the brightness, color and ripple lines. I have the Coralife fans on all the time in order to dispel any moisture from the inside of the hood. Since they run at a low rotational speed until the lights come on, they don't cause a lot of evaporation and cooling of the water. Once the lights come one, the temperature sensors on the fans increase the fans' rotation speeds.

posted 9:55 AM

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Modified output and input for refugium. I have the input coming out like a fountain, and I put a sponge on top to minimize salt spray. With the output, I cut a 4" length of 1" pvc and cut it lengthwise 1/3 from the top. This allows a wide output that skims from the surface of the tank. Kole tang is still doing fine and macroalgae is growing in the refugium. I'm still debating whether I should use the electrical conduit PVC spacers. I'm thinking I might just put the reflector right against the top of the canopy. I'll drill two holes on the top for the MH electrical cords. Aesthetically, it won't be as nice looking with two electrical cords sticking out of the top, but I think most people will be more focused on the tank and its inhabitants. The extra height will also keep the MH heat farther away from the water, and salt spray will be less likely to hit the lights.

Wow, just received an e-mail notification that my calcium reactor from myreefcreations.com just shipped out. I should probably have it by early next week. Better get a compact hood ready for the refugium.

posted 12:41 PM

Monday, September 23, 2002

Purchased a Kole Tang yesterday as the first fish for my 150g. My hope is that it also takes care of the bushy macroalgae in the 50g. Removed the bag of frozen fish food and it smelled like hydrogen sulfide. I have to modify the output for the 10g refugium so that it skims from the surface of the water a lot better. I took the acrylic covers off the two cutouts on the top of the tank since the temperature has been in the low 80s. Purchased some 1.5 inch long electrical conduit PVC spacers from Orchard Supply today. I think I'll drill 9 holes in order to hold the retrofit reflector in place.
posted 6:20 PM

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Added fans to canopy. Now I just have to add the light fixtures. I'll need some longers screws and spacers for the screws since there has to be a gap between the light reflector and the canopy for the MH electrical cables. I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit another 96 watt under the canopy without really squeezing it in.
posted 9:43 PM

Friday, September 20, 2002

Saw an amphipod crawling around the bag full of frozen food I'm using to cycle the tank. I want an amphipod population explosion!
posted 8:51 AM

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Water has really cleared up in the 150g. Euro-Reef CS6-2 is starting to pull out some stuff. I added a sponge to the refugium input so that bursting bubbles don't cause water spray. Macroalgae looks like it's doing okay. I don't see any spaghetti worms on the surface of the sand. I guess I should give the tank a few weeks to really so a critter population burst.
posted 11:35 PM

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Tank was still a little bit cloudy this morning. Tonight, I'm going to add macroalgae to the refugium and put lights above it. I want to get the macroalgae growing as soon as possible.
posted 8:09 AM

Monday, September 16, 2002

Finished filling the tank over the weekend with four hundred pounds of aragonite and mixed saltwater. I was pleasantly surprised that the tank wasn't very cloudy. In order to encourage a bacterial biofilm growth on the aragonite substrate, I put a mesh bag with gel frozen food and brine shrimp in the tank. I also took sand from the 29g refugium at the old house to seed the tank. Tank is pretty quiet. The only sound I don't like right now is the low hum caused by the pump for the Euro-Reef 6-2. I'll have to find a way to quiet that low frequency hum. SG of tank is around 1.24 at the moment. I'll probably just increase the salinity by allowing evaporation without adding makeup water - especially since the level of the tank will go up with all the live rock I'll be adding. I'm going to add the large Cercona blocks in the sump at work to the sump at home tonight.
posted 9:13 AM

Friday, September 13, 2002

Purchased two 1.25" couplings yesterday to link to the 1.25" to 1" slip reducers. Moved 50-gallon barrel and RO/DI system from old house to new house. Man, I don't believe the amount of support materials I've purchased for my aquarium. Started making RO/DI water today. Will mix water and salt in 29-gallon acrylic tank and then pump it to the 150g.
posted 9:19 AM

Thursday, September 12, 2002

I spent Monday and Tuesday playing around with the Stockman modification to the Durso standpipe until I had a quiet flow. Two key items that worked with my setup were a 1.25" standpipe and multiple 3/8" holes drilled into the 1.25" standpipe. I originally used a 1" standpipe as Stockman did in his modification, but Durso was correct in noting that one should use a 1.25" or 1.5" standpipe if you have a 1" bulkhead. Using a 1" standpipe creates a very loud noise, but the 1.25" makes a huge difference in quieting the air and water that rushes down the standpipe. Originally, I had a 1" and even two 1" holes drilled in the intake of the standpipe, but I eventually just drilled twelve 3/8" intake holes in the 1.25" standpipe and this seems to be quieter than just one big hole. There is more risk of clogging, but it should be easy to periodically check the holes for gunk. Since I followed Stockman's dimensions for the slip reducer (1" to 2") and coupling (2"), I purchased 1" to 1.25" slip reducers, but now that I've decided on a 1.25" standpipe, I hope to find a 1.25" to 2" or slightly larger dimension slip reducer. Because of this, I'll also have to get a larger 1.25" end cap. Right now, I just have the slip reducer/coupling/end cap assembly sitting on top of the 1.25" standpipe since I had a 1" to 2" slip reducer. The weight of the assembly keeps the whole thing down. I also tried using a sliding fitting when I was working with the 1" standpipe, but weight of the top assembly kept pushing the whole thing down. Four 1/16" holes also worked best for me for air intakes in the endcap. I may use the adjustable air hole modification for the Durso Standpipe if I decided to go with the 1.25" slip reducer. Ah, the fun of plumbing a large aquarium!
posted 3:43 PM

Monday, September 09, 2002

Finished all the cementing with the plumbing setup for the tank, and it works without any leaks! I'm happy since I'll be able to incorporate an under the tank 10-gallon refugium while still allowing enough room for a 30-gallon Rubbermaid sump, external pump, and a calcium reactor. Now I have to work on attaching the lighting on to the canopy. Ally has found out how to run behind the tank and come out the other side! I have to block that kid off somehow. One thing I definitely have to make is a silencer for the overflow. The 2 foot fall for the water in the overflow right now is very loud. I'm just so happy the plumbing is done. I think this will be the toughest part of setting up the 150-gallon since there's so many options in what I could have done. I also have never worked with PVC or an external pump for an aquarium's plumbing. One great thing about the pvc is that there won't be any algae buildup inside the pipes.
posted 10:16 AM

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