kirk_m

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Everything posted by kirk_m

  1. So, I did my first water test in a year. Alk and Ca++ are both high, so, I tuned down the dosers. Here are a few pictures. I'd like to upload more, but, having no internet really sucks for large image uploads. I have to tether my phone to my computer, and, since I only get 1-2 LTE bars out here, data transfers are excruciating. Now I remember why I don't do any updates. This is like dealing with modem dialup back in the early 90s, as these photos will probably take an hour to upload.
  2. Time for an update. The tank is coming up on 1 year old since starting it. I have a bunch of frags that I got from members on the board here that are slowly growing out. Not a lot to see. I picked up a few items I was looking for over at Fragniappe, namely the Oregon blue tort and the ORA red planet. I'm not so sure of what the direction of this tank will be, meaning, I am probably not going to pack it full of everything out there. I think I am just going to let all frags grow out to be massive colonies, with no more than 2 colonies per each rock. Coral prices are obscene now as well, so, I don't see myself buying any of this high dollar stuff that costs $300/bugger. Planning on taking some photos this weekend with a real camera, as the phone and reef tanks just don't seem to mix.
  3. Heya! I don't have any of those, but, glad to see you back...
  4. Not at all, Aaron... you're welcome any time. Sorry for the lack of progress pics. Cell phone pics suck, and, not having the option of getting any kind of internet service out here besides crappy satellite service (100 a month for 20 gigs which my teenager would burn in a day) is kind of a disincentive to break out the DSLR and upload high quality pics.
  5. Damned straight I could go some pearlberry, lol... let me know when it's all healed up and ready.
  6. I've got aiptasia spreading like wildfire too, so, machts nichts.
  7. Mike, No, I haven't found a mint pavona yet. I am also still looking for a green cap with purple rim, orange cap (especially if it's one of those WWC hybrid types with the green swirls in it), and purple cap.
  8. Glad to get back to stocking, and, glad there is still a forum to use. I really don’t like to use the BRK Facebook page, as it’s nothing more than a selling Forum.
  9. Time for an update. First, a big thank you to Aaron, Dawn & Randi, and Brandon for giving me some frags of the corals I lost over the year in the holding vat. It’ll take years for them to get that size again, but, it’s a great start. I had a few survivors, and, have added a few other corals here and there over the last few months.
  10. I have 600 small hermits in it. Don't know if they're doing much. A few snails, lazy bastards, that don't clean the glass too well. I added a few frags last weekend...we'll see how they fare.
  11. Very nice! Wish my tank was ready for acros.
  12. Not sure if he's sold it, but, Kevin at @Corals Down South was selling some frag tanks. 60 gallon lowboys (dimensions of a 120, but, half the height).
  13. Thanks for the encouragement, Will. It'll be a slow going, for sure.
  14. I used Marcorock’s dry sand. The packaging states it needs to be rinsed, which I did, but maybe I didn’t do enough. It certainly looked like a fine dust/particulates flying around in the tank. After 2 weeks of 100 and 200 micron filter sock use, I’ve gotten it nearly clear.
  15. It's a diatom covered mess. All my fish are in the tank now. I lost a few prior to the transfer, but, almost all of the 13 year old ones made it. I have a few softies that survived the holding tanks, but, they seem to be bleaching in the new tank. I also now have aiptasia that somehow made it in on the tiny bits of rock I chipped these corals off with. I am waiting on some more batteries for the laser to kill off the ones I can see, and will just toss the corals that I can't get off the rocks. The skimmer smells REALLY bad with this new tank -- my entire house smells when the cup gets about 1/2 filled. I can't figure out why it's so bad, but, it's pretty awful ... to the point I nearly retch when going to dump the skimmer cup. Also, the tank has been cloudy since day one. Even with a UV sterilizer. I have had to resort to using filter socks, which are things I truly loathe, and they clog up in about 2 days. The water clarity has improved somewhat. If I had had all this happen with my first saltwater tank 16 years ago, I would have quit and gone back to freshwater. Sorry for all the negativity, but, it's kind of had to accept all of the losses, and, the difficulties I have had with the new setup, given that I have had multiple tanks (2-400 gallons) over the years, all highly successful, and when I get to my final upgrade, I can barely even keep softies happy.
  16. By the hardest, I got he excess silicone out without having to cut the plumbing. I had my wife sit inside the stand and lift the bulkheads up as far as they could go after I unscrewed them. While she was holding them up, I was precariously standing on a ladder, with my arm barely long enough to reach the bottom of the overflow (thank God I didn’t go with a center overflow, as I would have had to drain the tank some and get into it to access that!), and my face periodically touching the water, to use the ONLY tool that would fit into the recess around the bulkheads — a Nickel! That’s right, Thomas Jefferson scraped away the silicone, by the hardest. It took a damned hour to do thanks to poor access, unsafe ladder use, and, middle aged bones/muscles aching. Happy to say now that I have no leaks on the return or the drain!
  17. So, I got the tank completely filled today, and fired up the pumps. Things looked good until I noticed I was leaking around the bulkheads. I went in and tightened them more, but the dripping from the drain and return bulkhead wouldn’t stop. Mind you, these are brand new bulkheads I bought, with new gaskets. I had to buy them, you see, because effing Planet Aquarium doesn’t seem to think that a $5000+ “Reef-ready” tank should include such trifles. Anyway, I drained the overflows and undid the bulkheads. Of course, since things are all glued now, I can’t lift the bulkheads up very much to check things, but, when I did, I found the problems. censoreding Planet Aquarium’s QC absolutely blows. Their “master builders” have silicone smears all over around the bulkhead holes! They use this BAD WORDty PVC hybrid bottom that is several different layers thick, each of different composition. Each is bonded to the other with silicone. They cut out a large recess for the flange of the bulkhead in the topmost layer so that it will sit flush against another, lower layer. The gasket sits agains this lower layer. Well, when they cut the recess out, they left silicon from the bonding of the two layers all around the hole. No chance of getting a seal, and, now, I can’t clean it off due to no room in this recess to manipulate a razor blade to clean it off. So, now I will have to cut my plumbing in order to remove the bulkheads and clean the area. censored you, Planet Aquarium.
  18. Finally got my hands on some Pukani. Damn it’s filthy. I tried some of the jumbo pieces in for size:
  19. 130 gallons made so far. Also, I put all the sand in the tank. I haven't gotten any rock yet. Pukani is still out of stock (dry) everywhere. I might just have to settle on using some dried up rock I have sitting around just to get things cycled.
  20. RODI unit...check...booster pump...check...160 gallon reservoir...check...TDS meter...check. Water making is underway!
  21. Got the ATI Sunpower mounted to the ceiling today. Unlike @Reef Tank Greg, I didn’t opt to give myself additional attic ventilation by putting my foot through the ceiling, lol I had to screw one side into a joist directly because it was right where I needed to put the right side’s mount. I didn’t want to go that route, as I really wanted to mount it to a 2x4 straddling two joists, which is what I did on the left side. I guess it will all still hold, since I used a 3.5” deck screw to affix it to the joist.
  22. Finished the plumbing manifold, now I need to go get some hose clamps
  23. Yeah, I had to soak mine in muriatic acid and water for a few HOURS the calcium was so thick. I left the cardboard on since it makes sliding the sump in and out easier (and keeps me from scratching up both the stand and the sump) while I am working down there in the stand on the plumbing. Now that it’s done, I’ll remove it.
  24. Finished up plumbing today, by building a reactor manifold. I then got my UV sterilizer all cleaned up of calcium deposits, and replaced the bulb. I mounted it to the stand near the manifold.