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Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by sfsuphysics, Apr 5, 2019.
If it's the same height as that grey one it won't fit either.
Careful with that Red Sea phosphate kit. I have one as well, and while I do like it I discovered mine stops getting darker somewhere between 0.1 and 0.12. Even at 0.2 it won't read the darkest color. I needed to do the higher range test to determine if it really was 0.1 vs. something much higher.
The tl;dr version - lighting, complaining about money, and water flow/pumps.
My weekends seem to be getting busier now, which is a major PITA for doing tank stuff (what do you mean I need to pay attention to our child!? ) I'll post some pictures later hopefully, it's not pretty by any stretch, but documenting ugly I think can be a helpful thing too especially for others who might be saying "Hey that's happening to my tank too!" The main lack of pictures though is that my phones USB port is wonky as all crap, doesn't want to take a charge for shit, and getting a computer to recognize it is next to impossible, not sure why but I think it's a "needs to be repaired/replaced" thing, however I can wireless charge just fine it's just that in order to get pictures onto the computer I have to email themselves to me one a time (pictures are nearly 4MB each so email might choke if I put too many in one email).
Got the PAR meter (#1), and a couple quick checks where my few corals are roughly 125-140 with acros which are higher, and 100 or so with montis, 90 on the sand bed. Which I'm surprised my lights were this powerful, but don't feel like it's quite enough. Of course this was with my blue channels being at 80% power and 30% on the white channel, did a test where I cranked white up to 60% and blue to 90% and then I got 200 at the acros and 150 with the montis, about 125 or so on the sand and these numbers are much more on line with what I would like to have, thes values are at the rock level where the base of the frags are the light will only get stronger as they get taller.
Now the effect of this is that the overall look is much more of a crisp white, which I actually prefer to a "ocean blue" however crisp white really makes the algae more obvious since you see the green instead of a darkish red with mostly blue lights. Obviously it also uses more power too, which one of the cables (that actually splits the hot to both fixtures, is noticeably warm/hot, so maybe my experiment of cannibalizing junky Jebao waterproof connectors might come to an end, might have to up the gauge a bit for the power cables and get some other water tight connectors, this is in case I need to take them down for any reason as I learned in the back trying to desolder wires above a tank ain't fun and then I also tried a screw in wire connector which in theory was a great idea however in the conditions above the tank, dissimilar metals, and DC current running through it, it became a perfect example of how to create galvanic corrosion really easily. Regardless before I upgrade the wiring and what not I really should finalize how I want my lights.
200 gallon tank
So currently I have 2 of my homemade jobbers on there that I made some time ago. This was a LONG time ago too, although I never did use them that much. Well the idea was to make multiple clusters of lights (I'll take a photo later if anyone is really curious), but 4 white/royal blue "pucks" (not really pucks) but think something like the Hydra 52 (with less LEDs in a puck) and a lines of blue (longer wavelength than Royal Blue) and violet on each side of the "pucks" to spread out the "mood lighting", so each fixture was 12 Neutral white (I think) cree (forget the model), 12 Royal blue, so 6 lights per "puck", then the strips I think I mixed up royal blue and blue (12 total) and 12 violet. Total power was somewhere in the range of 135-140 watts if everything was maxed at full power (I think). I built this as a mixture of Radion (Gen 1 at the time), and I believe the AI Hydra (not HD version, I said this was old). Now the largest difference (other than diodes) in these fixtures is that they are absolutely huge compared to the Radion or Hydra which are 11-12" long, mine are 24" long, so the light definitely gets spread out, and I don't use lenses either so no disco balling, I just wanted everything nice and uniform (although there can be some color banding in shadows of rocks).
Ok so 2 of these are on the tank, one of each half of the tank with the 24" direction going in the front to back (short) direction, so each light covers a 24" x 36" area and do so fairly evenly. Now in an IDEAL case I'd love to do 3 spaced across the tank except... that f'ing middle brace really puts a damper on those plans.
Option 1: Use the 3rd fixture I have and put 2 on one side, and leave one on the other. This would be a good trade off with making a good high light acro area, and a "lower" light area on the other side. Now this would be a significant increase in brightness, not going to go through the math (although I might test it later by moving both fixtures to one side just to get an idea), but if it roughly doubles the PAR (a bit of an over estimation) so we'll go to ~400 PAR, so it may look a bit of "night/day" if the other side is only half as bright (might). Option 1b: I could possibly lower the output on the side with 2 fixtures, so it doesn't go up as dramatically but still a bit brighter, but would require a separate controller.
Option 2: T5 supplements, I have ballasts and reflectors, however due to the alignment of the LEDs it means the T5s would also need to go in the 3' direction, and this bugs me a bit. Why does it bug me? Well if you look at the cost of bulbs it's like 1-2 dollars difference for an extra foot of bulb. Now I know I should just say "Shut up Mike and stop being such a cheap ass", but that's kind of telling a smoker "why don't you just stop smoking if you want to quit". And rotating the LED fixtures is not a real viable option as the skinny direction of the fixtures now have to cover 36" of tank space, and the long direction of the fixture is the same side as the 24" section of tank it's over, so it largely will be wasted light shining on the very sides of the glass (although I'm sure algae will love it!)
Option 3: Just spend money and buy some commercial fixtures. Yeah I could do this, my thought was 4 smaller fixtures, AI Hydra 26s or Radion xr15, which would hopefully minimize shadowing, but would set me back somewhere in the range of $1600 which I'm not keen on, especially when I'm unsure about how the coverage actually would be. Two larger fixtures (Hydra 52, Radion XR30, GHL Mitrax) would be the quick alternative, but as mentioned those fixtures are much smaller than mine and I would really worry about coverage and shaded sides of corals hence the idea of 4 smaller ones which is roughly the same cost as 2 larger ones. But see option 2... my inner miser has a hard time spending lots of money on something which I have that works pretty well A super ideal world I'd say 4 of the larger fixtures, 2 on each side and call it a day, but $3200 really pushes the "WTF" buttons in my brain, plus... and I'm here to argue, but I really want to minimize how many companies I support who use MAP policies, which IMO is a legalized way of price fixing.
Ok, so all that said, I'm thinking Option 1 is my most viable it just requires more work than others.
This I think I need to hop on top of much quicker than the lighting though.
Option 1: Go with a MaxSpect Gyre 350(?) pump and just blow a sheet across the water, knowing I can upgrade to a second Gyre for less than half the cost later on (Ecotech, take notes!).
Option 2: Replace all my old Vortech wetsides, put like 5 of them along the back wall. Need to test out my controllers & drysides to make sure they still work though. While this idea definitely is intriguing the big problem with this is the black pvc I use for the back of the tank, I notice my MP60 definitely slips on it unless I put a spacer in that's too small, then it actually pulls the PVC sheet along. Now for the MP60 they do sell those little stick on dohickies that helps support the dryside, not sure if there's an MP40 equivalent though, probably could just make something up however I'm not a big fan of the permanency of that situation, as corals grow I might not want the pump blowing right at the side of the coral.
Option 3: Hodge podge of everything I have, currently a MP60 and a Rossmont mx4100(? the biggest one they have). So I can get another Rossmont, although I'd really like to have the controller for that but that'll ring up another $200 just for the controller (another $100+ for an additional pump), throw on a Gyre pump for funzies because having lots of flow options is a good thing. And maybe see about getting a couple Vortech pumps up and running and be content with that. Or some mixture of all of them.
I really like the idea of Option 2, but I want to say that has the most logistical issues. Option 1 & 3 are quite tempting though. I like the concept of a Gyre pump, not sure how well that'll work in my tank though being more "rectangular", and going for the Rossmont upgrade leaves me with a similar price as a Gyre. That said, this is an area where I'm not going to skimp ... too much.
Ok here's some (not-so) pretty pictures.
the flowy algae on the rocks is easily removed with a toothbrush, it's just a matter of keep doing it and hopefully corals grow to shade all the rocks eventually
Weird image side view, I thought I forgot to put the pvc backing on the back, until I realized the reflection was on the pane that is facing me (just due to where the window is with respect to the tank. Removed the pvc from the side though until I figure out how to deal with the wandering vortech pump. Stuff on the sandbed is easily siphoned out and I've been doing that periodically, siphoning to a very thin sock in the sump, then cleaning the sand, letting it dry and dumping it back in. Not sure the type of algae it is, but the tangs don't seem to have much of an appetite for it, really wish they would. And snails are kind of slow, but I do think they consume it.
These next two pictures are more so I have a time line to see if corals are growing or not.
This I call the monti rock, even though only 2 of them on the rock are montis, they're monti like. Setosa on the bottom left, digitata bottom right, purple stylo (not sure the species though), and the green one... Mike gave it to me forgot the name of it.
There's a "monti" rock behind this one, can't really get pictures of it though, I'll wait until I figure out a way to take top down photos, as it stands I'm very hesitant to use my $800 phone over the tank regardless of how water proof it claims to be.
This is a way oversaturated picture (sorry), but again used more as a growth reminder than a color reminder. On the left are three corals (in bad need of a tooth brushing around the rock), green table acro, copps cali acro, and "Thanos" acro (not sure what that is supposed to look like), directly in the center is a "I believe in you!!!!" flat puddle of Palmer's Mille, and on the far right I believe is a purple valida. Next time I'll try to get images of only one coral (or the grouping) at a time, I got stupid thinking everything in the picture would be in focus. But yeah toothbrushing needed on this whole area
Suggest PhotoSync for getting pictures from phone to computer.
No cable needed. You run the app on the phone and PC at the same time, and they connect through wifi.
One of the few that can even transfer HEIF format.
Looks like you need some more herbivores and snails.
Ahh ... flow....
Rossmont and Gyre were too noisy for me.
I am revisiting flow as well these days. No obvious new winning technology.
I have toyed with doing some DIY thing even.
So far, in all these years, the only powerhead that has not had some sort of issue was Tunze.
Two words, Sea Hare.
I'll look into Photosync, I had a similar wifi program that did it, but I wasn't terribly keen on everything going to their server, and then I had to get them from their server as opposed to from my phone to my computer, no intermediary.
My existing Rossmont isn't too loud at all, only time I really hear it would be if the cord was hanging over the edge in such a way that it makes a bit of a vibration.
And yeah herbivores herbivores, I tossed in a bunch of baby trochus (some adults too) but they can eat only so fast. I was HOPING 3 tangs would be the perfect herbivore system to deal with everything... guess not though.
The first gen gyres had noise issues but my 2nd gen are very quiet (and I’m picky) as long as I clean them regularly. I haven’t tried 3rd gen, but I would assume they aren’t worse. For DC driven pumps/power heads I always buy larger than I need and try to run them slower, results in much quieter and more energy efficient use.
Two more words: turbo snails.
As for your hot wire, no good. I've seen enough fire hazards (and talked to people who dealt first hand with the fires) from melted connectors. Remember that in continuous situations (I think that's defined as 3 hours or more, but I'm no sparky) you are only supposed to run 80% of the rated current. Even then undersized wires cost you as that heat shows up on your power bill. Extreme case, but when I ran a pair of larger gauge circuits for my fish tank instead of the one circuit they were on my current consumption (per my EB8s) went down a full amp.
As for PAR, I've seen a lot of nice looking chalices and even sticks in the 100-150 PAR range, although things like red planet will look a lot nicer at higher levels.
Before you complain too much about MAP pricing, consider that
1) It's not such a bad deal here in Cali where everything else costs more.
2) It's about the only reason that your LFS can afford to carry these products (assuming they do).
3) If you want to complain, then complain about companies that have narrow margin on low volumes (like your LFS orders), but much better margins on big orders. Obviously hard to see that from the outside though.
Ultimately I've found couple year old fixtures to be a nice price point where I get most of the benefits of the fancy nice looking fixtures, but am not wildly above the price point of buying high bin LEDs, heat sinks, drivers, etc. At the time I also didn't have a controller, so that was an added benefit. When I still ran DIY LED's just on timers I never minded not having the ability to slowly fade the colors and light intensity towards the ends of the day. I suspect the coral doesn't care, but now that I do have these things I like them. No warranty on used equipment, but the failures of couple year old things are low and I'm handy enough to replace a fan, etc. as needed. I can't speak to the GHL, but IME Kessil has better shimmer, but an ever so slightly washed out look (T5 can do the same slight washing out depending on the bulb, but also really cuts down on visual shadows). Radions have better color rendering than the Kessils. AI (also Ecotech) is the slightly less expensive but also not quite as nice Ecotech.
As for slipping Vortech pumps, remember that you are always supposed to support them, even if nobody does. With the MP60 this is the tab on the spacer (although those can break). With the rest I think it's direct to the cord. I finally mounted the cords on most of mine and have been much happier since. It prevents the slight angle they try to hang at as well, which I suspect will improve bearing life. Also, cleaning off the thin rubber pad that goes between the spacer and the glass on the MP40 really does help.
I like the flow path of Gyres, but I refuse to do maintenance any more than once a year on most of my equipment, and really prefer things I never need to touch. My Gyres have done well in this regime, but I've had a few almost out of the box failures and seen a lot get cracked power cords in the tank despite never being moved. I'm also not a fan of the noise to flow ratio they provide. I've messed a bit with the WAV pumps. Catch is they're big/bulky and have VERY direct flow. Not at all broad like the Vortech or Gyre options. I'm not familiar with Rossmont and not particularly familiar with Tunze, although almost all of my Tunze experiences have been really good.
I'm sort of curious what happened to your Vortech wet sides. I've seen a lot of trashed wet sides, but in all the years I've run used vortechs I've only ever had two wets side go bad. One developed a cracked magnet, but seeing as I was the 2nd or 3rd owner I opted not to request a replacement from Ecotech. The other came to me broken (both shaft and thrust ceramic bearing) when I got it (also very used). I put it back together with super glue and still got several more years out of it at 100% power.
Re: hot cords, yeah I'm going to deal with that. I just want to figure out what I want it to be before dealing with it.
Re: PAR, I know higher PAR can get better color but not necessarily better growth. Dana Riddle did a MACNA talk on this, I'm sure you can find the video on you tube, but if memory serves some of the key points were photosaturation, photoinhibition (i.e. actually slowing growth, I could have sworn he said fluorescence actually means unused light (although we do like the pretty), and granted he did research on I believe just one particular type of Hawaiian coral (they kind of lack acros over there) but he showed the fastest growth rates were when the PAR was about 100-150, again it was just that particular coral. But I agree, I want a bit more light for my acros.
Re: MAP, don't really want to get into an argument about this. Those who support MAP is perfectly fine, and I'm done with arguing with those people because of what they believe it accomplishes. Me personally, ultimately I like the consumer being able to influence the price either by not buying or buying elsewhere, and not the manufacturer, if something isn't selling well a store should be able to lower the price to reflect that, they can't so as a consumer I have no information about products in that sense. But seriously that's all I'll say about that.
Re: Older fixtures, used LED equipment kind of scares me, I've seen enough LED fixtures with various leds that burn out or aren't as bright to know that the lifespan of LEDs is simply a controlled test environment that have been running at levels that are not representative of what we run them at type of lie. So those are really hit or miss. Plus quite a few people it seems still want top dollar on used equipment, for me used stuff (of any significant time period) should start at 50% of retail, but the number of times I've seen "used 12 months... $750 shipped" (for something which is $840 new). Plus the used game is fine, but you really are limited to what people are trying to sell. Don't get me wrong, I'd go used if I saw something what I considered a price point that is fair I'd go for it, but the gen3 Radion is what? 4-5 years old? I'm still seeing used ones selling for >50% of MSRP which no slight towards the people selling them, is a price that is too much.
Re: Slipping Vortech, yeah I know the MP60 had a hanger clip something that I need to get. The MP40s I thought the cord clipping was primarily to keep it from falling catastrophically and not really meant to support the weight of the vortech by the cord. I know the rubber grommit that holds the cords into my MP60 has separated from the housing showing the wires inside the cable (yeah bad I know), so there's no way I'm going to use that support the weight of the pump.
Re: Wetsides, this has happened over many years, but in general various issues with the wetside include the epoxy coating on the magnets prematurely wearing down, this due to friction between the screw/shaft and the magnet, as soon as it wears down a bit then it's absolutely useless because the threads on the shaft only go down to the exact level it is supposed to be at, so if I wanted to go down further I'd need to create threads that go deeper. The plastic base sometimes gets worn over time, I've had at least 2 times where the magnet pulled the impeller through the plastic base. I've had the impeller get wobbly which makes it rattle and make unacceptable levels of sound. Ultimately I know you're thinking the spacing was wrong on the dryside, well it shouldn't have been wrong I measured the thickness of the glass with micrometer just in case my eyes were doing weird things looking at the tape measure, and I don't know if you remember the older version of MP40 where they didn't have a plastic separation disc but you pulled out rubber thing that covered the dryside and had to align it in a certain way with little rubber pins that were a pain in the ass to get in (overall horrible f'ing design which is why they went to those rubber spacer discs in the newer designs). IMO I think the newer QD wetsides where everything is one solid piece really addresses this problem instead of the prior version which had 6 separate pieces (magnet, plastic bolt/shaft, impeller base, impeller top, ceramic separation disc, and nut to hold it all together). My first Vortech was the gen 1 version that most people don't remember, it was like Tunze in that it has a potentiometer to control speed and that's it, and the magnets were very obviously metal with a thin coating that wore away and caused the magnets to bulge (I still have that gen 1 controller somewhere and some of the magnets floating around my garage somewhere).
Not saying MAP is a good system, just that it isn't all downsides. It was a sad day when I watched my LFS in Indiana stop selling an entire brand because the internet price suddenly dropped below his wholesale price when the brand abandoned MAP. Probably good for consumers long term, but I missed the availability. I agree that it's annoying not being able to hunt out deals though.
I have not seen the MACNA talk (sounds like a good one), but here is an article of Dana's on the topic of photosaturation:
He lists photosaturation points for acros varying from a low of 77 to a high of 387, there is a nice table at the end. Also worth noting for those with clams is that, at least from this article, however much light you can throw at them, they can take. I have a dream of a super narrow beam LED that I can focus a 10-12" circle from 4' away so that I can blast a clam on the sandbed with light, but not create an algae farm around it.
My MPxx's are all the older varieties. I never had one with the sheet metal control housing, but several did start with the wide pre-ecosmart plastic housings, one started as a blue controller MP20, at least one started as the taller white ecosmart controller. I've had a lot of dry sides experience bearing failures.
Agreed that the original MP40 design left a lot to be desired. I had to ream corrosion out of the holes so that the pegs would go in properly on a few occasions, and definitely had one dry side eat its bearings in short order from a crookedly mounted spacer. All of my MP40 wet sides are old type, and I agree that alignment is critical (and impossible to maintain if the dry side walks). The new design like the MP10/60 wet side is a much better design.
The cords definitely can't hold the unit up on their own long term, but without them the dry side tilts back just a bit which is hard on the bearings on both sides. I also noticed that all of my walking MPxx issues went away and I stopped having dry side bearing failures when I secured the cords. Yes, the strain relief at that intersection leaves something to be desired as well. I figure retention is 90% magnet and 10% cord.
We're pretty much in line on what we're willing to pay on used lighting. When I sold my Gen 3 Pro Radions 2 or 3 years ago I sold them for between 300 and 350, which is actually about what I paid for them not too long prior to that. I agree that paying 90% of retail on a used unit that now has no warranty doesn't really make sense. The list of equipment I'm willing to buy used has decreased over the years. When I still had a lot of planted freshwater tanks I was getting used air pumps for between $1 and $5, but the lifespan is so short it still didn't prove to be worth it in the end. Skimmers I'll buy used at the right price, but only if they're going on my tank, not a tank that I'm responsible for maintaining. Lights if the price is right. Nicer wavemakers if I can get them at 25% of retail and they're in decent shape. Basically cheap enough that I can replace a major component and still be under 50% if something happens.
See here's the thing, did the store go out of business as a result of not selling a particular brand? I'm guessing no. Like I said I get the arguments on the other side and am in no way trying to say the views of others are less valid than mine, they're simply different than mine. Sorry for the "I'm running for office" type of response, it's just I know this is one of those issues people will bicker on and I'm really ok with the "agree to disagree, but I don't hate you because you disagree" stance.
Yeah that Dana article from 2004 seems to use some of the slides he used in his 2016 tank, just searched youtube here's a link to it.
it's only 30 minutes too, I was at that MACNA so I saw it in person hence why my recollection of the specifics of it were not very. Table is a good help to use as a guideline though, one thing pops out at me and that's the Stylophora near the end that has a photosaturation point between 600-2000, which is a huge range, IIRC it maxes out at 2000? Either the Stylo are in the same category as clams in that "it can take what you throw at it" or there's some sketchy testing that was done on them. Either way, more lighting definitely seems in my future, of course that make the algae battles that much tougher, maybe I'll wait until I get my new sump (oh yeah that's coming) and set up the whole macro algae refugium bit to try and outcompete.
That was good, thank you. I remember reading the article he wrote on the topic, but hadn't seen the video.
Be a bit careful when cranking up the light.
I am not sure if true, but the theory is this:
Corals can adapt to full spectrum light fairly well, but not tight spectrum LED.
The idea is that various wavelengths and intensities trigger Cartinoids, which help it adapt.
Those wavelengths are not necessarily the main LED blue though, so the corals protection mechanism can be fooled.
Oh yeah I'd turn up the lights gradually, and what mainly is going up is the white LEDs which aren't as tight on the spectrum. Blues went up a little not not much overall compared to whites.
Sexy time incoming!
Drain & refugium area, check out that boss lid w/acrylic hinges!
Skimmer and return section.
Still need to get bulkheads for it, dude also needs to send me the grommet/"bulkheads" for the dosing. And need to figure out where heater holders and probe holders will go before I get ready to install it, so for now it sits on a table.
While down in San Jose I swung by Neptune and picked up a bunch of frags from their 9.99 bin, something to add a little to the tank. Pics after I figure out where they're going to go, yeah I am kind of running out of space since I know corals do grow but some of them I don't know what the growth patterns are.
Lighting on the 200
Existing corals seem to be doing ok with the lighting that's on there, things look bright and vibrant, not bleached out or browning out so that makes me quite happy. Still think I'm going to up the lighting, I was thinking of another LED fixture but that brace in the middle makes it very inconvenient to just put 3 unless I stagger 2 on one side and 1 on the other. I may just go with T5s, although having the run front to back instead of side to side makes more sense as far as layout, I'm just a bit miffed at cost of bulbs where a 2' bulb (which is more than fine for the 3' length since I don't need to light the first or last 6" of the tank as aggressively), cost only like $4 less than a 4' bulb, so 25% increase in cost, for 100% more light & area. So a 4' bulb (probably could get away with a 3' bulb for the same reasoning as above) means I have to rotate my LED fixtures, but I think they're actually more efficiently lighting the tank in the way they are now 20" LED fixture (yeah longer than most out there) running in the 36" direction, but side to side only needs to cover 12" on either side of center versus 20" in 24" direction but then side to side need to cover 18" (although T5s flanking both sides would help)... just that stupid brace! (and no... I'm not removing it under any circumstance).
Other than that, the tank looks great, no algae pretty much anywhere, sand or rocks, still some that grows on glass but that's inevitable I think. Which is why I got a bunch of frags.
Algae in the 40B
Different algae going on in the anemone tank, looks like a some brown afro algae, tried scrubbing it off of rocks and takes considerable effort to do so. Not sure what kind it is, I'll take a picture later if anyone is keen on identifying it. Seems to only cover the horizontal surfaces mainly (i.e. not growing so much on sides of rocks). Of course I do have a number of snails in there, turbos and turbans (forgot the name right now), might grab some of those babies that are on the glass in the 200 and dump them in this tank. Not sure if they'll eat it though.
I loved the $10 frag sections at Neptune; if you check the premium section and find a colorful but $$frag, odds are you may find a mini-frag in the lower priced tanks; all you have yo do is ask for the viewing box and search.
I have T5 end caps aplenty and some 24” reflectors in the bargain basement
That is a nice looking sump, some red would’ve been nice to go with the theme...
FTS requires glass to be cleaned... I actually have been holding off because all those little baby snails are all over the glass and I felt bad just knocking them off
I think I still have my waterproof T5 end caps from back when I ran them, just need to find them, and I got a bunch of 4 foot reflectors, real easy to turn them into 2 foot reflectors
Yeah I thought about adding a touch more color, but that cost extra Maybe when I do the plumbing I'll go with the colored plumbing, we'll see.
Ok first up some eye candy, these are not meant to be good pictures, they're simply taken with my phone, but the main purpose is to have some timeline so I can look back in 4-6 months to see if the corals did anything.
This rock is mostly for my branching non-acros. There's an orange digitata, two purple stylos of which I'm pretty sure they are actually different species, but we'll see, orange setosa (not sure if there are any other colors of this) and a green... something Mike? (@Coral reefer) Also a rare photo with all 3 of my fish in the tank ... well parts of them
Side view of the same rock
Not sure if those two nubs on the digitata are growth while in my tank... but needless to say that's the whole point of me taking these pictures, I meant to do this earlier... like as soon as I put the coral in the tank. Either way these are quite vibrant even though they're deeper in the tank.
front rock structure on the right side of the tank
This side is for acroporas, maybe some favia or acan/micromussas on the very lowest areas... I'll have to be pretty inspired for the piece for me to go there ... or put in a little bommie. Here we have a thin blue stag, a tort, and two unknowns at the bottom. One of which actually feel off from the higher portion, it's the only frag plug here without a post under it, so it's not terribly secure.
Back taller structure
Bunch of acros that are spaced way too close. I'm waiting until things encrust, I get my flow and lighting the way I want before I move them though. There's a millepora looked yellow/gold in the store, TFP(?) green table and Thanos SPS (both gotten at the MARS swap, colors not exactly digging right now, not sure if this is for too little or too much light though, they are the oldest ones in the tank though. Also there's some green slimer got a bunch of it, put it on frag plugs around the tank mostly to help me gauge good spots but also to grow some out for whenever the next frag swap is, unfortunately it looks good anywhere in the tank!. Also what I think is a red planet. Again these pictures are not meant to be good right now, just used to document growth (not color morph). Maybe I'll pull out my old point and shoot and see if I can find my underwater camera tube and take top down shots at some time in the future.
Same structure a bit closer to the glass
Blue millepora that I got as a browned out flat slab, it's actually blued up quite a bit since when I got it, and while not branching much I think it's puddled out a bit more. Red one at the top stuck in a hole in the side of the rock because why not? It had some insane polyp extension at Neptune, looked like that diamond in the rough coral (only one of them in the tank too), not sure what it is but we'll see what it does. And a couple others in the corner, largest acro I got tenius maybe? I really don't know. At this point I'm going for growth and color and I couldn't care less about the "name" it has. And of course there's some more green slimer at various places around the tank, looking super bright green everywhere
Side of the tank
Here's what the 3' window looks like so you can get some idea of the kind of depth ... well you can see where the corals are placed since I cropped out the coral pictures instead of showing the whole picture. Sand in the front corner gets blown away, every now and then I get a scraper and push it back into the corner, not going to worry too much about this until I get all the flow figured out.
Also pictured "connecting" (it's not really attached) the two structures on one side is an orange cap, not sure if I want to do a cap forest in this tank or not with them fighting each other, I know these get REALLY big, so I might stick with a single one and call it a day. There's another orange monti on the sand, the structure of the surface makes me think a different type, it also has no post on the frag plug so keeps blowing off the rock. Then the sand dollar monti (Porites?) wedged on the rock, how this thing survived in my pond that killed every other piece of SPS and LPS I'll never known, but it's as happy as can be with good color (pinkish red polyps with a bluish purple base) so it's staying. Would like to get other colors of digitata though, luckily there aren't that many, green, "purple", forest fire (or variants of it, i.e. bubble gum, superman, etc... I know lighting will determine coloration a bit more).
100th photo of the thread (that were my photos at least).
The full tank shot - Front 4' window
Seeing both this and the side views gives a different perspective IMO, this photo does look a bit flat without much depth, but you can see my "master plan" when both are viewed the same. You can definitely see where all that sand in the corner went though, again I'll push it back when I get time... and then have it eventually move back. And the ass end of my purple tang diving into the rocks, there's also a rarely seen fire shrimp in there too (rarely seen until I put food in the tank, then he happily comes out).
So what now? Well there's a laundry list of things to do, none of which have that much higher priority than the other.
Still scratching my head on how I want to do flow in the tank. Do I want to put a wall of Vortechs on the back? Still gotta test my drivers/dryside motors. Do I want to spring for another Rossmont pump and the waver controller so that I can control speed? Maybe wait for a sale on this, not sure if that brand is MAP. Also got both a sea sweep and a sea swirl, one does a 90° arc with your return line, the other does a 90° arc with a pump attached (which I'm not sure I have a working pump... plus it's very bulky in the tank which I'm not digging. Do I abandon the Gyre idea? Yeah still thinking.
Lighting I'm getting closer to a decision. definitely going to go LEDs + T5s, the top is going to be enclosed so I don't need something to look "pretty" like the Gieseman or Aquatic Life fixture, plus not having those fixtures does free up options. I need to draw a scale/mock up of the tank top to see how I want to do it, using some 2' fixtures might be inevitable, although I might just use 4' bulbs too if I can swing. Main thing here is to have a mounting system that allows me to adjust, leaning towards extruded aluminum (e.g. 8020) to do something here, but again need to draw things up.
Sexy sump... yeah this probably will get done first, it'll also coincide with a water change since I'm not going to try to save all the water that's in the existing one. Need to find bulkheads and remember how I wanted it all the plumbing to go.
Fish... yeah I want more than 3 fish in the tank, I really do. However I also want to get the proper fish too. No further big ones, I'm tanged out (that goes for rabbit fish too), I'd like smaller fish in the tank. And also would like a couple wrasses, which ones? Well that depends on what they look like, and their cost (I don't need/want a $200 fish), unfortunately when I get to the store I'm looking at the fish in the tanks and I'm like "I have no idea what that one is" are the listing the right ones? wait which wrasse is that? Why don't I get any signal in here?!?! I can't check the compatibility chart! The other side of this too is I do all my research, know which fish, and of course they don't have those fish...
In general I'd like a pink streaked wrasse, couple fairy wrasses (need to see the chart!), a midas blenny, maybe some gobies, and some other open water swim fishes nothing that requires lots of feedings though (i.e. anthias). For the 40G tank, I'm tempted just to toss in a bunch of chromis and damsels and call it a day .
Oh well, typed way too much for this post, bravo if you have the stamina to read through my ramblings, if you don't I won't hold it against you either
Can give you another piece of the palmers blue millie if the one you got isn’t coloring up. Or if you just want more.