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Old 07/01/2018, 11:30 PM   #76
Michael Hoaster
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Kevin, I wanted to lower the water level and I wanted to lower the overflow to match, so water could flow in and out. It works well as an in tank refugium, as well as a good place to put high light loving macros.

I'm rooting for your success with plants! I'm sold on CO2 for sure. Plants are challenging. They need a lot of Carbon. 550-30-1.


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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 Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/02/2018, 05:16 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by lapin View Post
Let us know how that turns out.
I had asked "Mr Tyree" if I needed to supplement my sponges.

"Once the cryptic zone is established, some additions may be necessary. We are still experimenting with the best ways to supplement sponges."

So down the road I will need to add some stuff and any info you get about the water test would be cataloged for the future. I'm on rain water, but if we dont get any rain soon its gonna mean I have to buy well water. It goes straight into tank.

Cheers
Don’t buy just any well water! I will give you some of my well water with TDS > 1000 ppm.


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Old 07/07/2018, 09:17 PM   #78
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Update. I got a little bit done today. I got the overflow/refugium and the fake wall covering it, cut down, to go with the lowered water level in the tank. But it came loose again. I decided that since it's not functioning as an overflow, I don't need it. I just installed the fake wall cover. Without it in there, there's more room for plants, etc.

Next, I reworked the mounting setup for the fake mangrove root/powerhead. I needed to lower it too, to accommodate the lower water level. I also attempted to repair the cracked root. We'll see how it looks tomorrow. The fake root is showing its age. I think I can keep it together but it'll be close. If it doesn't fall apart I'm going to repaint it to look more wood-like.

It's good to get some of the system fixes done. Not as sexy as the living elements but important. Sorry this is going so slowly. I'll keep plugging along, doing the dull stuff, until I get to the fun stuff.

Looking ahead, I wonder how the new version will differ from the original. Before, I was walking into an unknown situation. Now I have those four years of experience to build on. It will be interesting to see how it affects my choices.


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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 Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/11/2018, 06:02 AM   #79
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Great art takes time to complete, and those that appreciate great art are patiently looking forward to the unveiling


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Old 07/11/2018, 06:44 AM   #80
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I am glad that behind the scenes stuff is progressing. Its easy to get stalled on those chores but like you said, it needs done to move on to the good stuff.


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Old 07/11/2018, 07:28 AM   #81
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Thanks Kevin and Dawn! It's challenging to make time, this time of year, for some reason. But things are progressing.

In the meantime it's interesting to discuss methods, philosophies, etc.

There's still not a lot of good info on marine planted tanks. They do require a shift in thinking, compared to reef tanks, or even fish only tanks. Dispensing with artificial filtration flies in the face of accepted conventions. But when your main subject matter does the filtration for you, why bother? The trick is to understand how much Nature can do in our man-made systems, and what we have to do, to assist. For example, I've found that despite populating the tank with numerous detrivores and filter feeders, detritus still accumulates. This happens in our closed systems, and also in seagrass meadows. Since it is a display, some tidying up is called for, so I occasionally remove some detritus.

The goal for me is to let Nature do most of the work, so I can stretch out on the couch and watch.


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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 Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/11/2018, 06:41 PM   #82
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Hey! Thanks to everyone reading! Any Lurky Lous? I'd love to hear from you. Got a comment? A question? I really appreciate my regulars' posts, but it would also be nice to hear from less regular posters. There's so much to talk about!

This ecosystem-in-a-box thing is pretty cool, right? Or do you think I'm doomed to fail? Who puts dirt in their aquarium!? Talk to me…


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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 Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/11/2018, 07:54 PM   #83
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Following along. No dirt in my aquarium. Maybe some potting soil fragments from the white worms I feed my fish. Im finding the macro in the tank is pretty kewl. Im learning how the different types spread. Both my brushes and fans have sprouted new stalks from the sand bed. Also I noticed the new sprouts are more resistant to the cyano wanting to cover them. Maybe a chemical thing? The cyano is on its last legs as of late. It only seems to be on the fragile red grape macro now.
Keep us posted, we all want to know how to make our chunks of ocean more of a natural eco-system.


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Old 07/11/2018, 10:37 PM   #84
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Thanks lapin! I've been following your (excellent) build as well. Congrats to coming out of cyano city. I like the way brushes and fans spread like that. I bet it looks cool! I've struggled with red grapes. I've still got a little plant, so I'm hoping to figure it out.

I of course will continue to prattle on. I want to learn how to combine natural processes to encourage a functioning ecosystem to form, in an aquarium. The better it functions, the less work for me.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/12/2018, 06:05 AM   #85
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Looking forward to seeing some photos or virtual renditions of the plan. :0)


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Old 07/12/2018, 08:43 AM   #86
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Hmm…not much to show of the plan. Maybe you are referring to showing my progress on the system changes/fixes? Not much to show there, either. What I have done isn't particularly pretty or interesting, in my opinion. I admit I don't get very excited about the system stuff. To me it's just the hurdles I have to clear to get to the fun stuff.

I can list what I've done and what I plan to do.

Done:
Relocated metal halide light fixture higher up in the cabinet
Lowered overflow/refugium
Fashioned bracket to lower fake mangrove root/powerhead

To Do:
Level floor under the tank. I have put a floor jack under the house, and in the process of gradually raising the low spot in the floor.
Repair and repaint fake root.
Install wave box.
Re-foam fake wall at the top to create some overhang.
Install fake wall on left end to hide wave box and flow-through wall.
Polish acrylic front and right end panel of aquarium. This should help with photos.
Replace inferior canister filter with Fluval 306 model. I picked this up on sale months ago.
Plumb in UV sterilizer. Like my strategy with activated carbon, I will only run it when needed. It seemed to be the best thing I did to get rid of dinoflagellates.
Assemble and install mesh top to prevent jumpers.

That's about it. McPuff, I will photograph things that are interesting as I progress.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/13/2018, 08:32 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Hmm…not much to show of the plan. Maybe you are referring to showing my progress on the system changes/fixes? Not much to show there, either. What I have done isn't particularly pretty or interesting, in my opinion. I admit I don't get very excited about the system stuff. To me it's just the hurdles I have to clear to get to the fun stuff.

I can list what I've done and what I plan to do.

Done:
Relocated metal halide light fixture higher up in the cabinet
Lowered overflow/refugium
Fashioned bracket to lower fake mangrove root/powerhead

To Do:
Level floor under the tank. I have put a floor jack under the house, and in the process of gradually raising the low spot in the floor.
Repair and repaint fake root.
Install wave box.
Re-foam fake wall at the top to create some overhang.
Install fake wall on left end to hide wave box and flow-through wall.
Polish acrylic front and right end panel of aquarium. This should help with photos.
Replace inferior canister filter with Fluval 306 model. I picked this up on sale months ago.
Plumb in UV sterilizer. Like my strategy with activated carbon, I will only run it when needed. It seemed to be the best thing I did to get rid of dinoflagellates.
Assemble and install mesh top to prevent jumpers.

That's about it. McPuff, I will photograph things that are interesting as I progress.
Ha ha! No worries. Looking forward to more updates. :0)


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Old 07/13/2018, 09:12 PM   #88
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Michael, that is quite a to do list, but it sounds like the end result will be awesome especially with the added current. Your macros and grasses will flow gracefully.

I stopped using cartridges in my filter and have since added a sponge to filter out some of the detritus. About once a month, I remove it and clean out the filter, and wash out the sponge under fresh water. I figure that my tank has plenty of bacteria to make up for it. My tank is so "dirty" that it always looks like it's snowing in there LOL. But, my barnacles, tunicates and live mussels seem to love it.


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Old 07/15/2018, 09:03 PM   #89
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Thanks McPuff! Me too!

Thanks Kevin! I'm pretty excited about the wave box. Can't wait to see it working!

I like your marine snow. It looks very natural.


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/18/2018, 12:25 PM   #90
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What is the brand and model of your wave box again?

I feel the same way with my Maxspect Gyre...can't wait to see what it will do in my big tank. I'm actually making progress in my other build that is holding up my big tank build. Check out my faux slate rock wall, painted with Drylok (first coat). Next step, paint with colors to resemble local cliffs along my river, and then install the three sections into my 75g tank. This is the middle section:



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Current Tank Info: 101g 3'X3'X18" Cubish Oyster Reef Blenny tank, 36"X17"X18" sump
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Old 07/18/2018, 01:57 PM   #91
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What is the brand and model of your wave box again?

I feel the same way with my Maxspect Gyre...can't wait to see what it will do in my big tank. I'm actually making progress in my other build that is holding up my big tank build. Check out my faux slate rock wall, painted with Drylok (first coat). Next step, paint with colors to resemble local cliffs along my river, and then install the three sections into my 75g tank. This is the middle section:
Wow, that looks like the real deal! Kudos to you for getting such an authentic look.


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Old 07/18/2018, 02:47 PM   #92
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I got the smaller wave box by Tunze, the 6208 Comline Wavebox. I've had really good luck with Tunze. Their stuff just runs and runs, for years.

I've seen those gyre pumps and they're very impressive! Tons of flow.

Your fake rock is some of the best I've seen! Superb! I remember we talked about keeping it from floating. You resolved that issue, didn't you? Buoyancy is a very strong force to contend with, especially with that much foam. I was surprised how much! I can't wait to see the finished product!

I worked on my fake root yesterday. I'm getting it sanded down to paint. One of the roots has several cracks in it. My repairs didn't work, so I'll try something else. I had to shorten all the roots to accommodate the lower placement. Hopefully they won't look too stubby!

Oh, here's a virtual rendition of my fake root bracket mod. The piece at the top right allows me to move the C-clamp up, lowering the fake root/powerhead mount. The super sophisticated software makes it look I drew it with a pencil…




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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/18/2018, 03:35 PM   #93
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Thank you Dawn and Michael. Yeah, the flotation issue worries me a tiny bit, but, the entire thing fits tightly in the tank especially when all three sections are in there. I'm going to use a ton of silicone to hold it in place. Inside each section, there are a bunch of river stones to help weigh it down.

Michael, I checked out your wave box on BRS, looks nice, and looks like the reviews are good too. It should really give your tank that nice shoreline look.

I like your bracket idea. I hope you can get the look of your root the way you want. That is a really cool feature in your tank. Are you using epoxy to fix seal up the cracks of the root? What type of repair did you try that didn't work?

I have an alternative reason for asking, LOL. I had an overhang section on my oyster reef fall last night...so I'll either try and use glue that works underwater to fix it or maybe I'll pull it out and fix it. I'd rather not do the latter because I don't want to kill the life that has grown on them the past year (tunicates, etc.). Have you tried gluing stuff underwater? Folks on here recommend super glue or a super glue/epoxy/superglue sandwich for gluing rock work underwater.

I guess that you don't need to worry about that since you can pull your root out. Also, I have an interest in how it works out because of my plan to build roots for my 75g FW tank.


Quote:
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The super sophisticated software makes it look I drew it with a pencil…
Crackin' me up man!


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Old 07/18/2018, 05:09 PM   #94
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Sounds good, Kevin!

I'm hoping the wave box gives me a good to and fro wave action. With a bunch of plants in there, it should look pretty cool!

I used the epoxy/putty stuff they sell at fish stores. It held until I was sanding it down/handling it. For my next attempt, I'm going with superglue. Then I'll seal it with silicone cement, after I paint it. The epoxy putty might work for your oyster reef repair.

Good to hear you're doing some fake roots too. That should look great! I've seen a ton of cool roots and stuff on Pinterest. Very inspiring.

I do design work everyday on my computer. I'm like the carpenter that never works on his own house!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Macro Algae Lagoon
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Old 07/19/2018, 06:25 AM   #95
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I have an alternative reason for asking, LOL. I had an overhang section on my oyster reef fall last night...so I'll either try and use glue that works underwater to fix it or maybe I'll pull it out and fix it. I'd rather not do the latter because I don't want to kill the life that has grown on them the past year (tunicates, etc.). Have you tried gluing stuff underwater? Folks on here recommend super glue or a super glue/epoxy/superglue sandwich for gluing rock work underwater.
Kevin, the glue/epoxy/glue sandwich works VERY well and I'd highly suggest you try this method. If you do it right (i.e., spread the epoxy into crevices, etc.) then the superglue will provide the temporary fix and the cured epoxy will create a very strong bond. The combo can be quite difficult to remove. There is a chunk of epoxy on my overflow box that I am too scared to remove for fear of cracking the acrylic. Maybe I didn't think that one through enough... :0)

The absolute strongest method you can use is concrete (e-Marco 400) but this is really only an option if you're including real rock. I have found that it's extremely difficult to separate rocks bound with e-Marco. In fact, the rock will break before the bond itself.


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Old 07/19/2018, 07:35 AM   #96
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I do design work everyday on my computer. I'm like the carpenter that never works on his own house!
Ha! I'm the same way. I'm in the finance field, so the last thing that I want to do every day after work is to come home and balance my bank account on the computer!

Thank you McPuff!


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Old Yesterday, 10:08 PM   #97
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Hey! Thanks to everyone reading! Any Lurky Lous? I'd love to hear from you. Got a comment? A question? I really appreciate my regulars' posts, but it would also be nice to hear from less regular posters. There's so much to talk about!

This ecosystem-in-a-box thing is pretty cool, right? Or do you think I'm doomed to fail? Who puts dirt in their aquarium!? Talk to me…
I'm still here following along. I ditched my florida pets mud and replaced with the live plants sand. My burrowing bristle stars are not nearly as happy as they can't really burrow under it very well, and my cyano problems have LESSENED but not totally.

I also replaced the ulva with calupera. Its growing great.

I really loved the mud but people were defintely right about it being for very specific use cases. I think a deeeeeep bed of it with slow flow is best. Mine had bits of black rotting tree and all sorts of stinky goo in it. Sadly my system was too small and not designed to benefit properly and the nitrates it brought it were insane.

I can't wait to see your completely finished system! Make sure you get all sorts of detailed up close shots of mud critters for me.


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