Friday, May 30, 2008

Baffles and toys!

Baffles in and adhered into place. Should be ready for a leak test later on Friday night...if it's good, the whole works gets moved to my apartment and we start running RO pretty much day and night to fill it up, and then SALT!

Also the JBJ ATO I bought off of a RC member just came in today, it's in pretty good shape. One of the switches appears to be rusting, but I figure that should be just fine used as the "high level shut off" switch. You can see in the picture what I'm talking about, it looks like the threads on top got snapped off and water got in there and rusted some of the wires that are supposed to be sealed up. I pulled it apart and sealed up where I figured water made contact with the wiring with some super glue and glued the threads back on. I also got the plumbing glued into its final positions and all should be good as far as the tank goes. Only big project left is the canopy and lighting.
T5's should arrive today or tomorrow...we'll see.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Zim Zam Zoom!

The tank is plumbed, flow tested, and I AM IN LOVE ALREADY.
None of the plumbing has been glued yet, but even so the leaks were minimal. Tomorrow, final cuts are made for the baffles, plumbing gets glued, and I think it may be time to move it over to the apartment.

It's getting close...I can feel it!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


The construction on the frame for the stand is complete, approximately $10 in lumber later we've got a super solid 2x4 stand. My mom, being generous as she is and for some reason enjoying painting, has primed and painted the stand with white exterior paint to seal the frame against moisture. Tank should be able to go on it as-is, and I will skin it with 1/2" plywood as funding allows.

After sitting around and talking reef with Sue and her three dogs for about 4 hours yesterday (sorry for using up your entire afternoon!) I came home with her old Aqua-C EV-150 skimmer. I was pretty excited to hook it up to the Mag 7 I bought, but it didn't take long for me to realize that I neglected to purchase any tubing, so it'll have to wait. I plan to run it in a rubbermaid full of hot water/vinegar mixed for a couple of hours to clean the inside out really well, and then run it for a few hours in just hot water to rinse it. Yesterday I just soaked it in vinegar/water for a couple of minutes and went at it with a scrubby pad.

The cylinder inside the cap of the collection cup is broken off, and as far as I can tell that shouldn't affect skimming at all. I've discovered that the top of a small margarine tub fits pretty snugly around the shards that are there currently, so perhaps I can find a way to glue that on there in place of the acrylic cylinder. I don't even know what this part of the cap it necessary to "fix?"

Also, I have another dilemma - sump placement. It fits almost perfect sideways in the 20H, with what I would estimate is less than half an inch of clearance between the tank and the end of the gate valve. You can see what I mean in the this enough room for water to flow effectively out of the valve, or should I position it the other way?

Friday, May 16, 2008

I did a bad thing...

I stopped at the Aquarium Superstore today and couldn't pass this tank up. With the 40BR being busted, I was looking to buy a replacement anyways. I could have spent $70 or $80 on another 40, but then I saw this...I got it for just under $160, which I understand is only a few dollars more that the store paid for it in the first place. Turns out they have 6 or 7 more in the warehouse and they want to clear some space.

I love it, it's so perfect.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Further Updates to the Renders

Render Updates

New Tank/Sump

I made the drive up to Stoughton last night to pick up the new tank, which turned out to be a 40BR rather than a 60. Just as well, I love the dimensions of this tank, and hey, the price was right! I also picked up what I think is a 20 that I'm going to make into my sump/fuge for the system. It's got a mirrored back, which I think would be odd as any kind of main display. I've been toying with the idea of a display fuge, but I don't know. Anyways, you can see in the picture that the tank has a small black plug inserted into a hole that's been drilled in the side. As you can imagine, this could be a problem...however, I think I've come up with a satisfactory solution.

Here's a quick render I whipped up in Bryce 6 that displays what I'm thinking about doing to solve the problem. I'll drill the rest of the holes for my intake/return lines on that wall of the tank, leaving the other three panes clear for viewing. Depending on the layout of the apartment it may actually happen that the tank is used as a sort of divider, otherwise I figure I'll just get some black material to put behind the pane against the wall.

I've never done this much construction on a tank before, so it will probably take quite a while to finish everything up...I'm not really sure where to start...I guess the stand is a pretty good place to get things going. I'll be posting pics and news here as I get things roaring. Keep watching :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Just confirmed that I will be picking up a 60 gallon tank from a guy in Stoughton tonight.

I'll be working on a DIY setup for it over the coming weeks, hopefully I'll have it all but done before I start work on June 2. I can't be sure, though. I'll be building a stand from scratch (and actually doing it right this time...I am not letting my dad talk me into using gorilla glue again.)

Definitely will have pics coming once I get the tank home.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Moved the tank back to school today - all appears to be well. Will post photos once rocks have been put back into their proper places and everything is settled back in.

Water was a bit cold by the time I got everything moved back, but fish and corals seem to be doing just fine. The Hydno has even started to extend its polyps a bit in the dark (even after I had to re-glue it.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

MARS Frag Swap 4.0

Though I didn't get there until 2:30, I would say the swap was a success. Money was raised to support the MARS website's maintenance and hosting costs, and it looks like a lot of the swappers made a lot of sales. All I could think while walking around looking at things was "I wish I had a bigger tank...and a bigger budget."

While I didn't purchase anything, I did snag a few of the freebie frags from Mark's fragging demo. I learned a few things about propagation, got to talk shop, all in all it was a good trip...aside from nearly getting myself run over by a truck...INSIDE the building...

Later last night I stopped by Landon's place to pick up that Blastomussa frag (The guys at ReefCentral ID it as Merletti), and while I was there he threw in a little Pocillipora that had been getting knocked around his tank for a while. You can see that it's a little bleached from being upside down for a while, but it should make a pretty good recovery I think. The blasto was opening up very shortly after being introduce to my tank...I can't wait to see it start growing out!

Anyways, pictured in the post are the Hydno and Porites frag I snagged at the demo, as well as the Blasto and the Pocillipora I got from Landon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Potential near-future Blasto addition

A local reefer is selling a 3-polyp frag of Blasto, pictured to the right, and I am thinking about purchasing it from him. It looks like a healthy little frag and I've been looking to add some diversity to my tank. I think this would be a cool addition of color/shape. Let me know what you think about this. The mother colony is pictured below.

(pictures posted on the local reef club forum
by the owner of the coral, photo rights belong to "Landon" at

Short un-update.

Hey all, just updating after a while of silence. I've put the AC50 on the tank with the carbon and the foam filter pad, and things seem to have started to clear up a bit. The snails and crab are doing fine, and are really fun to watch bury themselves in the sand and whatnot. The hair algae and cyano continues to be pretty out of control, but once I get the tank moved back here to UWW (when the weather warms up a bit) I'll be hitting the water changes pretty hard to try to get that reigned in. I also plan to pick up a small Emerald crab, and may be getting a small Blasto frag from a local reefer before too long.

Thanks for looking, and stay tuned for a real update with pictures!