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Everything posted by RedStickReefer

  1. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Well, with all these epic builds happening I've been motivated to finally begin planning my dream build. It's been on my mind for the longest time, but havent been motivated to start planning with several other home improvement projects going on including construction of my outdoor kitchen next year. This will take a few years to complete, but I figured I'd go ahead and start a thread, so y'all can help me out along the different stages of planning and then building. I've decided to go with an 8x2x2 240gallon tank. Not 100% on the manufacturer at this time. I have a greenhouse/courtyard area between my master bathroom and carport shown below. I'd like to tear it down and properly enclose the space with insulation and electrical. After enclosing the space I'll have approximately 15.5'x7' to build an equipment/sump room. The tank will be in the living room where my 90g is currently, and will be plumbed directly through the wall into the fishroom behind it. Sadly, once the 240 is up and running my 120 will be broken down. The 90g will likely be moved into my fishroom to be used as a separate system for emergencies, or plumb it in with the 240...not sure yet. Thinking about using a 150 gallon Rubbermaid stock tub as my main sump. I think these industrial poly and acrylic sumps are rediculously over priced. It's my dream build, but I'm not looking to risk not being able to pay my mortgage for a nice big sump. Lol
  2. Rapid Growth of SPS using pH as a tool

    Great write up! My 30g is only about 3 months old at this point, but I have been trying to keep an eye on my pH. I don't chase pH numbers, but I definitely check it daily. I haven't noticed any major instability in my tank other than recently when I dosed too much Mg causing my Ca to go high and my alk to go too low. I have since adjusted my parameters after a water change and they've been holding steady again for the last couple of days. My pH usually fluctuates from 8.2 to 7.96. I don't have an apex to track trends on a graph, but I do keep an eye on my DA Reefkeeper readout.
  3. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Super pumped up about reefing again right now. It's crazy, but It makes me feel like I'm finally getting back to my normal self since the flood. Something had definitely been missing in my life. I received my SPS from Fraghouse Corals today! All I can say is WOW!!! Brandon has the most colored up, super healthy SPS I've ever seen. Sorry I don't have a fancy camera and my phone doesn't take the best pics, but these corals are POPPING! Pictured from left to right: WWC Yoda, Purple Bonsai, Rainbow Doom Mille, M-80 Mille, and Golden Nugget Mille 2018-03-13_05-45-50 by Jensen Esneault Here's a FTS. I just epoxied the frags in place on the rock. Dipping and inspection revealed absolutely NO pests. No AEFW, Bugs, algae, aiptasia....amphipods...nothing! Just super colored up frags on clean plugs. I know the tank looks bare at this point, but every tank starts somewhere right? 2018-03-13_05-46-29 by Jensen Esneault
  4. Bicolor Blenny

    I put a bicolor blenny in my 30g last week. Pretty cool fish with a ton of personality but.... Today I came home to the maze brain coral I bought at Fragniappe completely retracted. So much I can see the bone through the flesh. I thought WTH, this coral has been looking better and better every day since Fragniappe and now this? My first thought was great, adjusting my tank's Alkalinity must've zapped it, but IME brain corals have done better for me with a dKH of about 10. I figured I hadn't bumped up alk past 10, but I tested just to make sure. I was going to test alk today anyway. My tank's alk level is at 8.6 according to the Hanna checker, which is fine. I tested salinity too and it was fine. I sat down to watch the tank for a while and bingo! The bicolor blenny has been incessantly picking at it ALL day. I'm talking about REALLY picking at it over and over again...I've always been more of a coral person over fish, but this blenny is pretty cool, so personally I'd rather lose the coral than remove the fish. However, I am going to try to do whatever I can to save the coral. I moved it over to the side of the tank opposite of the blenny's hole and behind a rock against the back wall, which BTW, has plenty of algae on it for the blenny to eat. I'm hoping if it's out of the blenny's direct line of sight it might stop this behavior and give the coral a chance to recover. I also turned off my skimmer for the time being. I figured a phosphate level of 0.02 isn't doing the brain coral any favors either, and the SPS can withstand a slight rise in phosphate. I always thought of blennys as being completely reef safe. Even though I heard bicolor blenny's could pick at LPS corals on occasion I have never seen it, and I definitely didn't think if they did pick, it would be so incessant and enough to cause real damage.
  5. First saltwater tank

    Congrats on your first tank! Do you know what other corals you might be putting in this tank?
  6. Dream Re-build?

    Sorry to hear about your accident, but glad you're still here and reefing. Looks like a LOT of work has happened and the built looks great. My "Dream Build" with fish room and all had to get put on hold since we lost just about everything we owned in the 2016 flood, and life in general got in the way. The good news is the 30g frag system I was planning on building for my dream build has now become my home office display tank, so I'm back to reefing again and it feels great!
  7. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Thanks. I'm hoping I can pull this off and I get another tank packed with SPS too. I've only ever tried SPS in a small tank back when I had my lil 12g JBJ and that didn't work out. Mainly I think it didn't work out because I didn't automate enough to keep it stable enough for such a small tank, and I had multiple tanks going at the time. I'm hoping I've done enough with this 30g to make it happen. I'm trying my best to be on my AAA+++++ game with this system for super stability, and this time around I don't have any other tanks to distract my focus.
  8. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Yesterday was tank testing and water change day for me. I guess I shouldn't have dosed so much Mg. My calcium went up to 450, which is great, but it also pushed my alk down to 7, not great. I have shut off the Mg dosing for now (level was at 1560) and dosed some alk alone to give it a boost after the water change. Kept with my 10ml dosing of Ca and Alk overnight and just tested Alk again at noon today and it's back up to 8.0. I gave the alk another small boost and increased my overnight dosing of Ca and Alk to 20ml. My goal for Alk is 9.0, so I'll test again tomorrow and the next day to see where my levels are holding and may have to tweak dosing amounts again. I need to get this dosing right ASAP because I have some pretty expensive SPS being delivered next week...Everything in the tank is still looking good so far in spite of the parameter swings. In addition, I'm only using a little bit of phosguard and carbon in the sump, so my phosphate levels were surprisingly low at 0.02 according to the Hanna phosphorus ULR checker. I bought some Aquavitro Fuel and started dosing yesterday.
  9. Glass cleaner

    I used the Kent scraper for years. Glad you posted this...reminded me that I need to buy another one. My old one got thrown away with the rest of the contents of my house after the flood.
  10. Mistakes in Reefing

    Yep, I think this one got us both!
  11. Mistakes in Reefing

    We've all made some mistakes along our reefing journey, I know I have and I'm not afraid to admit it. I was just curious, what are some of your biggest mistakes? I have to say my biggest mistake ever ever was housing a coral for another reefer after a meet without dipping. They forgot their coral at my house after the meet and I didn't have any dip. This was before I knew I could run to Home Depot and pick up some Bayer...and of course the local reef shops were closed. I was faced with putting the coral in my tank without dipping, or letting the coral die because it was going to be days before they could come back and pick up their coral. Well, I figured it was one frag and what are the odds I'd get something. Well, I apparently beat the odds and my old tank never seemed to recover and move forward after that. My second worst mistake I think i made was accidentally dosing a whole gallon of alk in less than 24 hours. At the time I didn't have any dosing pumps and tried to DIY a slow drip alk solution as I could NOT get my alk above 7dkh for whatever reason. That didn't work out and inevitably my tank and EVERYTHING was completely coated in precipitate. I'll see if I can find an old pic of that... Surprisingly, and luckily, I don't think I lost any corals and I even had some SPS in my tank at the time. What's your story?
  12. Aquascape thoughts

    I tend to go VERY minimalistic, but it's becauseI know how much healthy SPS can fill in a tank very quickly. If you're going with SPS, beginner or not, I would suggest more of a "stadium" type rock scape or an arch like the pic above. The steep drop offs on your original scape will limit the amount of SPS you can add high up, and the ones you add later potentially lower down will have their light blocked by the more established corals above.
  13. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I'm definitely used to seeing the growth in my old 120, where it seemed like everything grew like weeds...Almost a week in and I don't see the frags I bought from fragniappe encrusting yet, but I'm just happy they're still alive at this point. Definitely something I'll have to get used to in the 30g with no Ca reactor. I have to keep reminding myself..."NEW SYSTEM". The Miami orchid is juuuust starting to show signs of new coralite growth at the base and that's about it other than the polyps in both frags slowly coming out more and putting in work at night. We'll see how this initial dosing of a small amount of Ca, kH and Mg goes. I haven't even tested yet....probably need to do that, but I tested before fragniappe and I figured I'd let them settle in before I tested again...pH is looking good at 8.2 though. Higher than I've ever been able to keep any of my tanks on a regular basis since I've been in the hobby. Can't explain why.
  14. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Well, no coral whispering going on, but how many of you set an alarm to wake before your dosing pump goes off to feed your corals? Just woke to make sure the jebao is topping off Ca and Alk properly....natural lighting/flashlight is a must to see coral reaction or lack there of, and check for any pests. I'm happy to report I've seen nothing alarming to date in the 30g. Those of you that are stickheads, you should see your lead growth polyps extended and happy at his hour IMO. DP-4 went off right on time, but seemed like a short duration for 10mL of 2part IMO. I'm going to let it roll for a few more days though and see how the corals react to it.
  15. Emergency Free snow flake clown

    Ouch, sorry to hear that. Do you have some extra saltwater mixed up to put her in a temporary bowl with a bubbler or something. You don't need a reef tank to just keep the single fish alive.
  16. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I wish I had the answer for you brother, but you know how this goes. Corals will do what they do and sometimes no matter how much science we stack behind it, it just is what it is. All we can do is provide the best environment possible and hope for the best. I believe you are doing that and hopefully you'll come out all right in the end.
  17. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Good luck to you sir! I really do hope it ends well for you. You added established colonies to a new environment which can get ugly, or in my case when I moved and replaced the sandbed it worked out for the best. It can be a toss up....but in my case I'm adding small frags to a new environment. Not sure it there's much of a difference other than demand for elements, but you definitely have a higher mountain to climb IMO.
  18. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    They're coming in next week. I can't wait! I saw his corals last year at fragniappe and was completely blown away. I don't know if there's a better SPS vendor in the game right now from what I saw, but right now I'm just rooting for this strawberry shortcake I bought from Harry to keep chugging along. It is settling in nicely (lead growth polyps are starting to go to work at night), but I hope I'm not getting my hopes up. This is one coral that has eluded me over the years that I've never been able to keep. Surprisingly, this is the smallest frag of it I've ever bought, but is showing the MOST promise so far. I think I've bought at least 4 or 5 "shortcake" frags in the past. All I can do is enjoy the ride while it lasts, and hopefully it lasts. Dosing pump is primed and ready and if I recall I have a small Ca reactor in the attic that I didn't toss after the flood if sh!t gets real...
  19. Green Elkshorn and Bird of Paradise coral

    They're going to ask you to list a price per the forum rules.
  20. Fragniappe Haul

    Wow! Awesome...
  21. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Thanks, will do Michael! Well, ready or not, here they come!! The SPS frags I bought at Fragniappe are looking better and better everyday. Since they haven't RTN'd on me yet, and Fraghouse Corals wasn't at Fragniappe, I kinda went nuts and ordered some really nice pieces from Fraghouse Corals online. I got my dosing pump calibrated and mixed up some BRS 2part. I knew when I ordered the jebao dosing pump what I was getting, but I didn't expect to get a bad pump head right out of the box...oh well, you get what you pay for I guess and I only need 3 pump heads at this point anyway. The DP-4 came with an extra, but I can't find it at the moment. It's buried in my closet somewhere...Anyway, enough about that boring crap. Let's show you guys what I ordered. 2018-03-05_12-52-22 by Jensen Esneault 2018-03-05_12-52-02 by Jensen Esneault 2018-03-05_12-51-31 by Jensen Esneault 2018-03-05_12-51-00 by Jensen Esneault
  22. Fragniappe Haul

    What are some of the names of those acros and milli's?
  23. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Thanks Eric! Nice seeing you at the event. Here's some, only slightly better, pics of my haul. 2018-03-04_12-31-10 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2018-03-04_12-30-53 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2018-03-04_12-30-37 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2018-03-04_12-30-13 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2018-03-04_12-29-53 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr
  24. RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Hmmm, nobody on here knows what those mussels are? I guess I might need to take a better pic and/or take it to one of the national forums for an answer. Here's a couple bad pics of some nice corals I picked up at Fragniappe yesterday. Ill try to get some better pics at a later date. Zoanthids/palys from left to right: Sunny Ds, candy apple reds, nightmare, rastas, and emeralds on fire with one bam bam polyp as a bonus. Well, it won't let me delete the second image above from my phone, so moving on... I took care of the duplicate for ya - Eric Strawberry shortcake acro Miami orchid. I know the tip looks dead in the pic, but it's just a bad pic. Tip is light blue. Pink maze brain (platygyra) The guy I bought this from at the NaCl booth didn't know what this was called other than it was a favia. He said it had been called many things over the years and thought it might be a grape ape something or other...after some research online it's what i know as a Raptors Peace Favia.
  25. Fragniappe Haul

    I have some horrible pics of a Miami orchid acro, strawberry shortcake acro, a pink maze brain, favia and some ZOA's...interesting to see how they do in my tank over the next few days. Didnt walk away with a horde, but there were definitely some pieces there I could've spent my life's savings on.