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Old 07/31/2018, 08:47 AM   #151
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I love the side view of my tank, I'm glad that I had the foresight to create the rock work in a way to allow a clear view of the tank from the side. That 8' depth really makes for a great view!!!
Yeah, I wish I had the 8' depth as well. That would be my idea tank actually. 8x3' footprint and about 30" tall. I think that's somewhere just above 400 gal. But that's not happening for a long while. I can't fit a tank that big down my stairs so I'd have to build a plywood tank in place. That would likely take some big modifications. Heck, even now I should have a humidity fan/vent. Instead, I rely on a mobile dehumidified though that may work better anyway, especially in the summer. Besides that, I'd need to get approval from my wife and that would be the hardest task of all. :0)

Forgot to mention that on day 10 of TTM I lost the gramma. Not sure how it happened or why. One moment it looked fine and then about two hours later it was dead and the trigger had eaten its tail. I'm sure the trigger didn't kill it but took advantage of an easy meal. No signs of illness or distress. It was strange. Bummer too as I thought it was doing quite well, eating well, didn't seem stressed. To my knowledge the trigger left it alone. Would still like to get one but will have to wait a while now until the trigger is out of QT. Perhaps I can take the opportunity to also get a blenny or two.


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Old 07/31/2018, 06:43 PM   #152
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Tanks looking great! Love the angel fish!


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Old 08/06/2018, 09:42 AM   #153
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Tanks looking great! Love the angel fish!


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Thanks! And welcome back.

After 3 months, I finally removed the acclimation box... but I had to make another one of sorts. Still just too nervous to let the blueface into the display. Hoping he'll eat well and then I can let him loose next week.

lg_acclimation.jpg

This pic doesn't show the colors very well but he's transitioning nicely to adult pattern. Lots of yellow coming through.

blueface_5aug2018.jpg


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Old 08/06/2018, 09:43 PM   #154
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Pretty clever... I just lost a lot of fish in QT and i'm really frustrated.. I can understand that a crown jewel like that needs extra precaution.


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Old 08/07/2018, 09:10 AM   #155
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Pretty clever... I just lost a lot of fish in QT and i'm really frustrated.. I can understand that a crown jewel like that needs extra precaution.
Argh, that must be frustrating. You certainly understand my fear of putting him into the display with no barriers. I've been babying this fish for about 5+ months. I thought the new enclosure would do two things, 1) allow the blueface to be more out in the open and get used to being in a large space, 2) allow the other fish to see him even better and determine what aggression might be forthcoming. Well, it looks like the annularis still wants to play tag. I'll see what happens over the week and determine what to do from there. Still hoping to release the blueface this coming weekend. At that point, I may have to consider catching the annularis for a time. That would be another challenge altogether.


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Old 08/07/2018, 11:58 AM   #156
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Good to be back :-) my buddy got a blue face and he looks amazing. I really want one. Enjoy watching his colors change


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Old 08/08/2018, 07:26 AM   #157
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Good to be back :-) my buddy got a blue face and he looks amazing. I really want one. Enjoy watching his colors change


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I fully agree, it has been fun to watch this fish. I think it's my 3rd one and the second that will transition from juvenile to adult.

Last night I got a bit of confidence when the annularis was trying to intimidate the blueface. The blueface stood his ground (so to speak) and was actually attempting to tail swat the annularis! I'm hoping he'll be a little scrapper once I let him loose. Definitely happy with my decision to create this larger acclimation "pen" to bring out some of this behavior!


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Old 09/06/2018, 07:42 AM   #158
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Brief update:

I did some basic cleaning on the reef... maybe it's a semi annual to quartery-type cleaning.

-The Tunze 6105s were filthy and now they are terrific again.

-Siphoned detritus out of the sump (this is about monthly). Only ended up as a 20 gal water change but I pulled the nastiest water which makes a huge difference obviously. I'll likely do another water change in a week and vacuum some of the sand in the DT.

-Rinsed out the 2 marine pure blocks - long overdue! They were pretty dirty.

-Rinsed out the basket of rubble rock - also very dirty!!! Long overdue

-Replaced GFO

-Harvested just over 2 gallons of chaeto from my reactor! This thing really works well and it's amazing how dense this stuff grows. I have much more success with the reactor than I ever did in a refugium setting. I highly recommend a chaeto reactor to anyone considering it. And all I use is a large media reactor wrapped with LEDs ($23). So if you have an extra reactor give it a try!!

All in all, it was a productive hour spent cleaning. Always amazing how much better the system functions with just a little time spent targeting specific areas. In the end, I find these types of activities are so effective toward keeping a clean and healthy system.


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Old 09/10/2018, 12:14 PM   #159
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Well, I'm not sure yet if this is completely crazy but I went ahead and did it anyway. I bought 3 more AI Sol blue fixtures. Yesterday I added those to my DT and removed a single Onyx fixture. The result is 9 fixtures in 3 rows of 3. Thankfully, they fit quite nicely and only required minimal "refurbishment" of my original lighting strategy. Good news is that each light is now fixed in place to the canopy frame itself and they are a bit higher off the water. This should allow me to reach a bit more to the back of the tank but also means no more hanging frame.

I set the AI Sols to "coral acclimation" mode for the next 7 days as a precaution. There should really be NO shadowing after this (I noticed it was becoming a small problem on my large green slimer colony). Anyway, this shows how they are hung. Despite the number of power supplies and cords required, it actually is pretty clean and should work out well.

lighting_upgrade.jpg

Next step is to FINALLY create a set of doors for the canopy. Like I keep saying, it's a winter project. :0)

Also bought a few extra fish that I've wanted to add for a while now. Royal gramma, tail spot blenny, and arc eye hawkfish. They are in TTM for another 10 days and will then spend another 30 in QT. Those will be good additions.


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Old 09/10/2018, 01:04 PM   #160
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Like I keep saying, it's a winter project. :0)
Funny how perspective changes meaning. You're winter projects are my summer projects.


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Old 09/11/2018, 07:12 AM   #161
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Funny how perspective changes meaning. You're winter projects are my summer projects.
Very true. Here in SE Michigan winter isn't very pleasant. :0)


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Old 09/11/2018, 07:38 AM   #162
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It's been just over a month since the last angel update... I like to see these progressions so I hope you do too.

The annularis is now the second largest fish in the tank, only behind the lieutenant tang. I've had him for 10 months and he's grown from 1.5" to about 7" long (close to 1" wide) in that time. Pattern is nearly 100% adult now. Pic is not great but this guy doesn't stop moving! :0)

annularis_29Aug2018.jpg

The blueface has been in the DT for over a month and is definitely gaining confidence. He's been relegated to this corner by the annularis but he doesn't get his butt kicked anymore. Starting to venture a little further away from the safety spot, especially at meal time. Juvenile stripes are still quite evident but the background is changing to adult. Face and fin color (yellow) is really starting to come in. Past experience tells me that it will take about a year to change completely.

blueface_29Aug2018.jpg

The size difference between the angels is not optimal. This isn't what I had planned but they were available at separate times and the annularis grew WAY faster than I thought it would. So far it's working ok but I'm always watching the big guy.

angel_comparison.jpg

Wondering out loud if buying a coral beauty (want one anyway) would help to ease some aggression on the blueface...


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Old 09/18/2018, 12:48 AM   #163
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Really nice plan!


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Old 10/18/2018, 09:37 AM   #164
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Small updates for those still following...

FISH
I actually bought 3 fish about a month ago: royal gramma, tailspot blenny, arc eye hawkfish. Both went through 12 day TTM, and are still in QT at least until the weekend. I've put them through Prazipro and am finishing up the metro/kanaplex food treatments today and Saturday. After that I'll be fully confident in placing them into the DT.

The blenny is awesome. I've always loved those things... tailspot, bi-color, etc. I made a cluster of barnacles and he is ALWAYS in there, popping in and out all the time. It's terrific. I may be able to simply pick up the whole thing and move him into the DT.

I'm a little worried about the hawkfish since I already have a caribbean spotted in the DT. But in such a large tank with so many nooks and crannies I do think it'll be fine. The gramma should also really like the structure. Even in QT, they seem to really do well with the rocks present. Still, it's always amazing when the fish go into DT and you see their real personalities come out. Maybe that means the DT is a pleasant place to live?? :0)

The humu trigger is doing really well in the lagoon. Growing pretty fast (for a trigger) and the color is really nice! Always thought the humus looked like they were painted... probably why they are called "Picasso" triggers. Has been my favorite fish since I first saw one around age 13. It's really fun to have one in a top-down system as well. He comes out whenever I go to the lagoon. Very cool fish.

As you may have seen, I made the difficult decision to sell the Annularis. He is just so much bigger than the blueface and aggression has picked up in the last coupe weeks. It is sad because I've had him since 1.5" juvenile. He is definitely King of the tank now. Such a fast progression! Found a great new home for him... just a matter of catching him at this point. Won't be fun. The new question becomes, what angel will I get to "replace" the annularis? Haven't really given it much thought. French are one of my favorites but they simply get too big, even for a 300. Ideally, it would be a non-Pomacanthus due to intra-genera aggression. I'm open to suggestions. Will almost certainly get a pygmy (not cherub!) angel... likely a coral beauty. We shall see.

NUTRIENTS
I bought some "sponge excel" to see if silica dosing would help limit Algae growth. Dosed for about two weeks and definitely saw an increase in diatoms, particularly on the glass. It does seem to have reduced some other forms of Algae. Has been about a week since I ceased silica dosing and I can already see the reduction in diatoms, though in the lagoon it's a bit delayed. May also try vodka dosing to see how well that works. Makes me a little more nervous though and I have to ensure that my skimmer is really working well. If you have experience with vodka dosing, please do share how effective it was/is.

May also try to add another cucumber (have 2) and/or sand sifting star (have 1.5). Have manually stirred the sand before but it's something you really have to be careful doing. Last year I ended up with a plague of calothrix which took a couple months of rock scrubbing and water changes to remidy. Also had a small outbreak of bryopsis which I treated using fluconazole (which is expensive). Granted, travel and lack of cleaning my pumps was another factor in those outbreaks... but it's still something that needs to be done carefully.

Enough rambling, hope that my experiences can help someone else.


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Old 10/18/2018, 09:59 AM   #165
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I'm still following!

Congrats on the new fish. Bummer you have to sell your Annularis, but kudos to you for seeing it and taking action. As I read, I was thinking maybe a pygmy angel would work. Coral Beauty is a great choice. Also take a look at the Bicolor and Eibli. There is also a mimic eibli tang that is gorgeous. Having both would be pretty cool!

My experience with carbon dosing didn't go well. Cyanobacteria! Without a skimmer, I was hoping to feed filter feeders instead. I don't think I had enough, and I don't think my tank was mature enough. It hadn't reached the one year mark. I wish you better luck.

Now, how about a nice, full tank shot!


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Old 10/18/2018, 12:46 PM   #166
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I'm still following!

Congrats on the new fish. Bummer you have to sell your Annularis, but kudos to you for seeing it and taking action. As I read, I was thinking maybe a pygmy angel would work. Coral Beauty is a great choice. Also take a look at the Bicolor and Eibli. There is also a mimic eibli tang that is gorgeous. Having both would be pretty cool!

My experience with carbon dosing didn't go well. Cyanobacteria! Without a skimmer, I was hoping to feed filter feeders instead. I don't think I had enough, and I don't think my tank was mature enough. It hadn't reached the one year mark. I wish you better luck.

Now, how about a nice, full tank shot!
Thanks Michael! I'll get that FTS ASAP. :0)

You point out a very big reason why I'm hesitant to dose vodka. But I may do it anyway. I'm not afraid of Chemi clean. :0)

As for the pygmy angel... it's going to happen. I've had the Eibli before and it was awesome. It's definitely on my list of potentials. Bi-color are cool. I've had one in the past and now have a weird feeling about them. There have been a couple coral beauties at my LFS which were amazing in color. They came from A & M aquatic which is actually not far away from me in Michigan. Anyway, it was very purple and had incredible color even in the tail. That got me thinking about getting one. A golden (C. aurantia) would be pretty amazing but I don't want to spend that kind of money.

Yeah, it's a bummer about the annularis as he's kind of been my little buddy for 11 months. Now I feel that way about the blueface. He's so much smaller and still needs some TLC. And the blueface has always been my favorite angel since I first saw them in a book from the Shedd Aquarium. Once I realized that people had those in their tanks, I knew I had to have one some day. This guy is my 6th I believe (unfortunately, 4 of them died in QT or tank crash; argh!). Here's a list of angels that come to mind as potential (juvenile) replacements:

Navarchus/blue girdled - never had; probably too close to blueface
French - Had one, LOVED IT... but these really do get TOO BIG even for a 300 (I'm more leavel-headed about this now!)
Emperor - Had one. These are always so eye catching; could be a winner
Passer/king - Never had; Intrigued
Asfur - never had; love the colors; supposed to have nice personality
Maculosis - same as above but slightly less hardy?? I remember a thread about them here on RC.

Anyway, I could probably trim this down to Asfur, Emperor, or Passer. Anyone have any anecdotes about their fish that will help me here? I know the emperor are bulletproof and believe the same is true about the Passer. Haven't seen many Asfur available, nor in other aquarists tanks. Would love to hear more about these.


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Old 10/18/2018, 01:15 PM   #167
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Ha ha! I don't know if you remember my three month battle with cyano, but I finally gave up and got some chemi-clean. For carbon dosing I used vinegar. It's waaaaaaay cheaper than vodka. There are pros and cons to both, I think. I guess if you already have some vodka around the house, you could share a drink with your tank…

I haven't kept the Bicolor, but was considering it as a Rocky Beauty stand-in. Why do you feel weird about them? I've seen some of the purpler/bluer Coral Beauties and they are stunning. What can you tell me about Eiblis? Did they get along well in a community? Any problem behaviors?

So, you are determined to have more than one full-sized Angel in the same tank? Sounds risky, but if it can be done, you'll pull it off. Personally, I'd be happy to have one plus a pygmy. Getting two that are as different in size, shape, color and diet, and then introducing at the same time, is the best I can come up with. I have no experience with large angels.

I look forward to hearing what you end up doing!


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Old 10/19/2018, 12:13 PM   #168
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Just caught the annularis a few minutes ago... it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be... thankfully!

I'll certainly keep you posted on which angel(s) I decide to buy.

Michael, the eibli was very good in terms of community... until I tried to add a second (flame) pygmy angel. It went nuts on that thing. Otherwise, it was a really happy, gentle little fish. :0)

The bicolor I had never touched any food. Granted, this was over 20 years ago and I was not as adept at fish keeping. So I'm sure it would be fine. Most people say that are very hardy and they certainly do look good!


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Old 10/19/2018, 12:27 PM   #169
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I love it when catching a fish goes easily. It's such a relief!

Thanks for sharing your experience with the eibli and bicolor. I'd love to get a pygmy angel in my tank eventually. It would need to not devour my macros, though some trimming would be nice. The eibli sounds like a good community member.


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Old 10/23/2018, 08:20 AM   #170
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Within an hour of the annularis removal, the blueface was out and about through the tank. Such a good thing to see since he was basically trapped in a corner for a couple months. He is still a bit shy but I'm sure he's still waiting for the big annularis to come around a corner and bite him!

If I'm going to get another large angel it will need to happen pretty soon so this guy doesn't get too comfortable in there. :0) Although... small/juvenile blueface aren't very aggressive in my experience. The adults certainly can be, but they don't grow nearly as fast as the annularis. Time to see what my LFS can get in the next few weeks.

QT tank is going to be available soon as well... I can put the tailspot, arceye, and gramma into the DT whenever I have the time... hopefully tonight!


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Old 10/29/2018, 12:46 PM   #171
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Added the royal gramma, tailspot blenny, and arc eye hawkfish on Saturday. All are doing very well.

I was slightly worried that the caribbean spotted hawkfish may be aggressive toward the arc eye (slightly smaller). They came face to face at one point while I was watching... not even the slightest bad vibe. More like, "hey, what's up bud?" And then they swam about. :0)

The gramma hid for the first day but was out and about the second... eating food.

Tailspot blenny stayed in his barnacle the first few hours. I have no idea where he went after that. Probably won't see him very often. Assuming he's doing fine in the DT though. Was fat and happy upon entry.

Have already inquired about new angel at the LFS. Likely deciding between passer, asfur, and maculosis. Will also add a coral beauty or perhaps another pygmy species. Looking forward to it!


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Old 12/06/2018, 11:59 AM   #172
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It's been a month since my last update! Hmm... a few things:

- The new fish are all doing really well. The tailspot blenny comes out mostly at feeding time. I love to see that fish. May have to get more blennies!

- I chopped out almost the entire colony of sour apple birdsnest. It was HUGE... just barely fit in a 5 gallon bucket. There is still a small colony left over. I must have fragged the colony 20 times in 2 years and it still got massive. Such a cool coral though so I couldn't get rid of it entirely. I've actually sold the colony several times and always kept a small frag. I just love how it looks but it was crowding and shading other corals way too much. Was able to put a few corals in the massive space opened up - good size colony of tricolor validia, frag of 20k lokani, and I also moved my pink stylo into this spot. Showing close-up of this area below. Updated FTS also below. Next change will be removing the red/orange cap so I have more real estate for branching corals (1-2 more).

sour_apple_hole.jpg

- Tunze sent me a flow rectifier for my 6150 stream 3. This is pretty awesome! It's just a vortex that takes the rotating current and makes the flow laminar. Really increases the flowthrough in a VERY noticeable way. Holy cow! If you have a stream 3 and a 6' (+) tank, you need to get the flow rectifier. I'm considering getting a second and only powering the tank with those 2 pumps. That's how good they are. Before upgrading the pump I was getting a protein slick on the far end of the tank despite having 2 x 6105s and the stream 3 moving water. Now, the slick is completely gone. I expect my skimmer to pull more gunk now. Water clarity should also improve once the fine sediment is removed from the water column. The corals should also respond quite nicely.

- Flooded my basement! Ok, that's a bit dramatic. Here's the full story... I added the flow rectifier to the 6150 last night, awesome. This morning I was coming downstairs at 4:30 am to work out. On my way past the basement stairs I hear a noise that just isn't right. Listen more... way too much water noise! ***?! I head down and don't see anything wrong with my tank. Look at the sump and it's got about 1/3 the water it should. Unplug the return pump. Look in the display again. The stream 3 is now pointing up at a 45 deg angle and sloshing water all over, and obviously some of it going out of the tank! Figure about 8-10 gallons of saltwater spilled on the carpet. Argh!! So I didn't end up working out but spent 2 hours cleaning up saltwater instead. :0) Thankfully there were only a couple small spots that were saturated. It was hard to get much with the shop vac so mostly I used towels to soak it up. Now there are fans all around. Good thing is that it's dry winter here in Michigan instead of humid summer. That'll help quite a bit. The water was never "piling up" so the walls are fine. Really gonna need to make sure the inside of the stand dries out fully though as it's almost entirely closed and somewhat inaccessible.

Aftermath - reduced the power on the stream 3 to pulse between 75% (instead of 100%) and about 40%. It still moves a LOT of water but hopefully not enough to move itself again. I may move it to the overflow so it stays put even with stronger flow (1/4" acrylic vs 1/2" glass). If I get a second, it'll definitely go on the overflow (opposite sides) and that should result in some pretty wicked flow.

FTS_Nov30.jpg


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Old 12/06/2018, 06:24 PM   #173
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Wow, your corals are really filling in! Looks great, McPuff. Nice work.

I'm glad to hear your incident wasn't too bad. So, the cleanup becomes the workout! 4:30, that's impressive! Also that rectifier sounds impressive.


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Old 12/07/2018, 09:46 AM   #174
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Wow, your corals are really filling in! Looks great, McPuff. Nice work.

I'm glad to hear your incident wasn't too bad. So, the cleanup becomes the workout! 4:30, that's impressive! Also that rectifier sounds impressive.
Thanks Michael. A few fans have the carpet quite dry now, just a day later. Still have to check under the stand and makes sure it's all good. I'll leave the fans for another day just to make sure.

The stream 3 would have been a good choice for your tank... there is even a "rock" to hide it. But the way you have your wavebox is pretty awesome and that will also work really well.

I had no idea the rectifier would make such a drastic difference. Really impressed with it. Will likely buy another one and operate on just two pumps. Now if I could only find a good option to reduce the number of light fixtures (have 9 currently!)...


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Old 12/07/2018, 11:01 AM   #175
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Good to hear it's mostly all cleaned up! I've had a few horror stories over the years!

I've seen those Tunze rocks for powerheads. Pretty cool.

I'm still piddling around with my wave box. One limitation with my setup is that I can't raise or lower it's height in the tank. So I have to manipulate the tank water height instead. I may need to shave down the top of the fake wall in front of it to get better flow into the top, without introducing air into it.

That's a lot of lights! That may be LED's biggest limitation - it's cost per square foot of lighted area. The colors and operating costs are nice though!


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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 Lagoon in the works
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