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Plumbing 101

Posted 05/23/2015 at 10:38 AM by Sk8r

1. be very clear when talking pipe or hose whether you are talking about inside diameter or outside diameter. They use both measures.
2. don't sweat leaks in any join that's meant to be underwater.
3. use teflon plumbers tape on any screwon joint. Wrap the tape in the same direction as you screw on.
4. pipe connects to pipe with a slip on or a screw on type connector. Slip-ons are NOT fastened if always underwater. This includes your downflow. If slip-ons are used outside of...
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Heat: how early to set it, how to manage it.

Posted 02/07/2015 at 11:14 PM by Sk8r

Setting your 'heat budget,' ie heat range in tank...
IMHO, of all the things you can do to REALLY hasten cycling, this is one. Get your tank to a steady 79 degrees, with a rise and fall of as little as you can---1 degree would be good.

To do this in a way that will be useful in future, set it with everything running as it will run when there are fish/corals. This means your lights on timer, 12 hours of blues/actinics/moonlights, 8 hours of daylight---in my tank, this means...
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How are a qt and a hospital tank different---or are they?

Posted 01/15/2015 at 02:52 PM by Sk8r

Difference between a qt and a hospital tank...
There need not be. What describes a hospital tank can be a qt, IF you're willing to do very frequent filter changes, and you can do it as one tank. Follow with me. Understand the trade-offs.

A 'cycled' qt relies on bacteria. You can go as far as sand, rock, etc...or just sponges with bacteria. You put the fish in, you watch fish for four weeks. If you have to treat, you then move the fish to a hospital tank. And if it's a sand-rock...
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Things many people don't realize...

Posted 12/29/2014 at 02:39 PM by Sk8r

A few things many people don't realize...
1. bacterial colonization (cycling) goes on for some time after your initial 'ammonia' reaction, in the sense that life goes on colonizing your rock all the way to the core of it. This is why old live rock is tougher than nails---and why just-cycled rock is very fragile. This process (depending on how holey and porous your rock is) can continue for many months. This is one reason why we say go slow at first. Your rock won't be finished colonizing...
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Showpiece fish in your tank---good idea? or not?

Posted 10/25/2014 at 11:35 AM by Sk8r

Serial killer fish in your tank...what triggers them?
I kind of wince when I hear the phrase 'showpiece fish'. Most tend to be of a pushy species, and if you don't give them enough room...your other fish start disappearing. They don't even have to be that huge a fish---if your tank size makes them feel cramped, they just start adjusting the aquarium population until they feel calmer in the traffic flow. Your other fish, in a healthy tank, just start not reporting for feeding. Sometimes you'll...
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