RedStickReefer

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Everything posted by RedStickReefer

  1. RedStickReefer

    And it continues... 300DD In-wall Build

    Of course the freebie would croak on you...dang it. looks like you've got a good collection of corals going. Nice! I'm planning on hitting up Fragniappe and hopefully adding a few nice pieces of SPS to my collection in the 30g. Hopefully they'll be settled in and growing well by the time my 180g is ready.
  2. RedStickReefer

    Icecap 48xl

    I have a smaller one for my 30g. Works great.
  3. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Minor progress made on the stand yesterday afternoon and this morning. Got the top put on the stand, caulked and used up a quart of kilz to seal/cover the top and inside of the stand. I cut the top of the stand to give a 10" ledge all the way around the tank. I added a ledge for my 30g tank and I'll never have another tank without a ledge. It has come in super handy for testing and whatever else I might need it for. I wanted to add the crown moulding yesterday too, but of course Home Depot didn't have any cove mould in stock... 2019-02-10_12-29-16 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2019-02-10_12-29-57 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr
  4. RedStickReefer

    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
  5. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but there hasn't been anything to update. Now that I got my two part dosing correct the 30g has just been chugging along. The SPS are still just SLOWLY encrusting and look like they're doing fine. I've been dosing the prodibio bio kit reef pack for a month now and havent really noticed any major changes to speak of. Sadly, the 180g build is in a holding pattern for the next few months until I can pay my taxes for 2018. I was a 1099 employee for the last two years so I just pay taxes at the end of the year. Things you have to deal with when you're working for a brand new company I guess... We started payroll this year so next year should work out great for me. I do plan on doing some easy/inexpensive work on the stand and such in the meantime, maybe this weekend. I'll report back with some updated pics of the stand when I can get around to working on it. I am looking forward very much to Fragniappe this year. I'd like to pick up a few SPS frags to hold in the 30g for the 180g when it's ready.
  6. RedStickReefer

    And it continues... 300DD In-wall Build

    Just wondering how those replacement frags did for you? How's the tank doing?
  7. RedStickReefer

    And it continues... 300DD In-wall Build

    Nice frag haul! Sucks most of them didn't survive shipping. I noticed my alkalinity drops when I let a fresh batch of water sit too. I did a water change today with water that has been circulating for a week. I'm out of Hanna checker alk reagent because BRS has been out of it for a while, so I had no way to test. I decided to take a chance and do the water change anyway. Anybody else buy multiple bottles of Hanna alk reagent at a time? I've been blowing through mine between testing my tank and my water change water.
  8. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I made some minor progress on the 180g today. The "company" bought a router and flush cut bit today...😉 So I cut out the opening for the stand. Pretty nice clean-cut opening but I had one lil screw up where I started with the router. I had the bit set too deep and it took out a small notch. The door panel will hide it when it's on, so nothing major. Next I'm going to put the new piece of plywood on top, add the crown molding, and make the magnetic door panel. I plan on reusing the original cabinet doors to give it a three panel look across the front, but it'll only be a single panel. Still haven't decided on the depth of my ledge around the tank. I'd like to do 8"-10", but it depends on how much room we have between the ledge and the backs of our couches/recliners in the Livingroom.
  9. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    The dosing is going well so far. It seems 30ml of Calcium Chloride and 50ml of Sodium Bicarbonate is keeping things pretty stable. Another Jebao powerhead crapped out on me. The propeller seized up on me and when I went to pull the PH out of the tank I got an electrical shock when I grabbed it. I'll never buy another Jebao product again...The ceramic ring piece and the shaft of the propeller were basically fused together. I soaked the propeller for 48hrs in vinegar and used channel locks to try and twist them apart. I didn't work, so I threw away the PH. I didn't really want to put it back in my tank if it was discharging electricity anyway. I've got quite the collection of Jebao PH magnets on my fridge now. LOL. Going to save up for a few weeks and just buy an Ecotech MP10. Still no additional progress on my 180g. I need a router and bit to cut out the front of the stand for the magnetic door panel. The overflow I'm going to use is the overflow that came with the tank. It is an Eshopps Eclipse L, which is a ghost style overflow. http://www.eshopps.com/products/overflowboxes/eclipse-l/
  10. RedStickReefer

    MockandRoll Reefer 170 (40g)

    LOL, #nemdaddy
  11. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I debated starting a new thread to discuss this, but I figured I'd reward anyone else having trouble and following this thread if what I've just discovered thanks to BRS is correct. So I've been having parameter issues with the 30g and didn't know why until BRS released a recent dosing video on YouTube. In the past Ive used Soda Ash to dose in equal parts with Calcium Chloride into my reef with no issues. Well, I bought Sodium Bicarbonate from BRS for this reef this go round. Go figure....I knew S. Bicarbonate was a little weaker than Soda Ash, but what I didn't realize was Soda Ash was almost TWICE as strong as S. bicarbonate....This TOTALLY explains why Ive had the issues I've had with dosing. Completely explains why my calcium skyrockets while alk steadily drops. It has taken 3 weeks, dosing over a gallon of just S. bicarbonate and three 50% water changes last week to finally get my parameters back to somewhat normal. My Ca is at 410 and Alk is at 7.4. I dosed 10mL of Ca and 20ml of s. bicarbonate and I'll test again tomorrow to see where I'm at. Thank god I got some healthy SPS from reputable dealers because they've weathered this storm like champs with the exception of the PC Rainbow. Everything is encrusting and looking happy with the exception of the PC Rainbow. It is faded and some polyps are retracted, but it is still encrusting like a mofo, so I think it'll be alright. No more progress at this time with the stand for the 120g. I need to go ahead and buy a router with the correct bit, but i'm waiting until after Christmas to pick that up. I thought I could borrow a friend's router and bit, but his house is under renovation and finding his router right now is like finding a needle in a haystack...I did order some polyp booster and the prodibio bio kit recently, so I'll be starting that on the 30th. I'll keep y'all posted on how that goes.
  12. RedStickReefer

    MockandRoll Reefer 170 (40g)

    Looks like you're officially a rock nem farmer!
  13. RedStickReefer

    Gauging Interest in Mr. Pacman frags

    Nice! GLWTS dude. BTW, I blame you for my SPS addiction...I think your tank was the first one I ever saw with mature SPS colonies and I was smitten. lol
  14. RedStickReefer

    MockandRoll Reefer 170 (40g)

    Holy crap! That's crazy!
  15. RedStickReefer

    New Member First Time Reef Keeper

    Sweet! I haven't used actual live rock since my very first saltwater tank back in 2010. I typically buy the dry reef savor rock or pukani rock from bulk reef supply. I like the rock, but cycling a tank with it sucks. That live rock should help you with your tank cycle.
  16. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I HATE the build process, but thanks Greg! I just want to get past all this crap and start growing some sticks. I made slightly more progress today. Will stopped by after work and helped me take the tank off the stand and put the stand on the platform. Then I nailed in all the strong ties to tie the platform to the stand. 2018-12-12_06-08-52 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr I made not one, but TWO rookie mistakes while cutting the skin for the stand. I didn't want to waste any of Will's time, so in a rush to cut the skin (I needed Wills help to hold the thin plywood skin while I cut) I used the original measurements I took of the stand and didn't account for the height of the newly added platform. ALSO, I didn't keep the grain of the wood going in the same horizontal direction when I cut the side panels....DOUBLE It is frustrating, but truthfully it doesn't really matter in the end. The base trim and crown moulding I'll be adding will cover the gaps. I'm also painting the stand, and the skin is so smooth I highly doubt you'll be able to see any grain through the paint when I'm done. Every time I look over at the stand now I can't help but to shake my head and laugh. 2018-12-12_06-09-26 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr That's all the progress on the 180g for now. Next, I plan on borrowing a router (mine got ruined in the flood) and cutting out the opening for the stand, adding the 3/4" plywood to the top to add the ledge, and trimming out the rest of the stand. Oh, I also plan on adding a cabinet to the left of the stand to keep all of the Apex equipment and controllers in, with a gimble mounted touch pad on top to show me all of my parameters in real time and to use as the main controller for the tank. Should look pretty sweet when I'm done! Hopefully... Quick update on the 30g...I've done a 50% water change two days in a row. My Ca has finally dropped to 479, but my Alk is still hovering around 6.0. I gave the tank an alk boost of 60mL today and I'll test to see if it had any effect tomorrow. I mixed up some more saltwater today and plan on doing a third 50% water change this week. Hopefully the 30g parameters will be good to go afterward. Corals are still looking good with the exception of the PC Rainbow. It's just looking a little faded.
  17. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I made some progress on the stand for the 180g today. I built a platform to raise the stand 4" to a total height of almost 38". Should be plenty high enough for me. 2018-12-11_04-41-34 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr I also got the cabinet doors off and removed the front vertical "bracing" between the panels to completely open up the stand. I say "bracing" because the 2x6s behind the 1x6 skin had 1/4" gaps at the top and bottom, so the horizontal 2x4 bracing was not actually resting on the 2x6s. The 2x6s were screwed into the 2x4s at the top and bottom, but it was pretty pointless. The 1x6 skin and 7 screws were the only things supporting the horizontal span of the 2x4s across the front of the tank. It was pretty easy to remove the vertical bracing in the front. Once I removed the screws, a few light taps with a hammer was all it took and they just fell out onto the floor. The stand does have 3/4" plywood on top, which I'm sure helped spread the load throughout the stand. I will be adding additional skin and an additional 3/4" piece of plywood on top, so I don't have any doubt the 2x4s will support the weight of the tank across the front without the vertical support once I'm done. 2018-12-11_04-42-08 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr 2018-12-11_04-42-36 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr The plan for tomorrow if I can get some help is to remove the tank from the stand, put the stand on the new platform, use strong ties to strap the platform to the stand, put the new skin on, and router out the opening to the inside of the stand.
  18. RedStickReefer

    New Member First Time Reef Keeper

    Welcome to BRK! Looking forward to seeing the new setup. I wish someone would have told me that some of the people I've met would become great friends for life. I would've started reefing sooner. Haha, but really one thing I wish I would have been told was to do more research on fish and livestock before putting them in my tank. Don't rely on the local fish store owner or worker to tell you everything you need to know.
  19. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Quick update on the 30g. After a solid week of dosing anywhere from 100 to 150mL of alk per day and a 50% water change my Ca is at 579 and Alk is at 6.2. Water change water was at 465/9.5. I'm just going to continue this routine for another week and see what happens. Once my parameters are back in check I'm going to get the CaRx online. I'm definitely going to take it slow with the reactor, so I don't spike alk and nuke everything (famous last words...lol). Surprisingly, all my corals still look fine and the SPS I recently glued in place on the rock work are beginning to encrust...
  20. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Yes, it was Chad's tank. I'm definitely looking forward to putting some livestock back in it.
  21. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    I debated starting a new thread, but since the 180g I picked up today will replace the original 240g I had in mind for my dream build, this is where I felt it should go. The 30g reef in my office will become the quarantine/grow out tank for any corals going into the 180g reef. The tank is 6'x2'x2', not too far off from the original 8'x2'x2' dimensions I wanted. I'm super pumped to get this build going! I'm not a fan of the stand that came with the tank, so I plan on modifying it to better suit my needs. I plan on removing the cabinet doors and cutting the two center braces on the front to completely open it up; elevating it at least 6" with a platform; skinning it with some luan plywood; adding a ledge; trimming it out with base trim and crown moulding (similar to my 30g); and adding a magnetic door panel for easy on/off access to the sump area. The tank is not perfect. It has a couple chips in the glass and scratches galore, but I think if I keep the glass clean you won't even really notice they're there. Especially once I pack this tank with SPS! 😀 This is going to be a long build process, so please stick with me guys! The tank will be set up as a normal reef tank with a sump until I can afford to enclose the courtyard area adjacent to my master bathroom and make it a fish room, and it'll be FOWLR for a while until I can save up enough for all of the associated equipment. I will be using 3 Radions over this reef and I would like to add the apex monitoring system. Other than that, I'm still deciding on the equipment list. Anyway, with all that said above here's the new reef tank! 2018-12-02_05-59-59 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr
  22. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Thanks for your input Joe. I'm only going to do the large water change as a last resort. I've done it once already and it didn't help, so I'm going with dosing at least throughout the rest of this week. Come Sunday though, if I'm not seeing any significant rise in alk after all this dosing, I'm going to try it again. At least I saw a bit of an increase today for the first time, so I'm hoping it will continue to rise from here.
  23. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Okay, we might finally be getting somewhere. I just tested my tank and alk was back up to 5.8. I added 110 ml of alk per BRS calculator, so we'll see where we are tomorrow. I mixed up about 25 gallons of saltwater yesterday that I'm going to test tomorrow. 25 gallons is about all my brute can hold. My total tank volume is about 45 gallons, so it's looking like I'll be doing about a 50% water change this weekend if I cant get my levels lined out by the end of the week. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
  24. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    No offense taken Ken. I might actually try that next. I forgot to mention I did a 50% water change a while back thinking it might help, but it didn't. I tested at lunch again today. My alk was at 4.9 dkh. I dosed 160ml of alk per BRS calculator for a goal of 7.5dkh. Crazy, I'm on day 3 of only dosing alkalinity and my level just keeps dropping the more I dose. LOL! Something's going to give here soon...haha. Maybe my alk has to hit zero and start counting backward before it gets right. 😂
  25. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer's Dream Build

    Ken, see post above. My dosing pumps have been off since Saturday. Initially when I started dosing I had five or six 1" frags of SPS, a 3"x3" frag of maze brain, a booger frag of favia, some zoanthids, and a small Acan colony. My parameters were dropping so I started dosing 5ml of 2 part daily. My parameters were not increasing and my mg was low, so I dosed Mg, but I dosed too much Mg...My Mg level shot up above 1600 and my calcium also went up to around 480 or so and my alk dropped. I've gave alk a boost to get it around 8.5 dkh and my levels were pretty solid for a couple months with dosing around 20 ml of equal parts of 2 part. Well, my SPS started fading and receding at the base, and my zoanthids were staying closed. I tested and my alk had dropped to around 6.5 dkh. Ever since then I've been steadily increasing my 2 part dosing by 10ml or so increments and still couldnt get my alk up until recently, but only after dosing what I knew was an insane amount of 2 part. I think I got up to 300 ml in a 24 hour period before I got my alk up to 8.1 and started seeing precipitation on the glass. So, all that said above brings us to today. I've added some new SPS. My levels for CA/Mg/Alk were 600/1600/8.1, but I was seeing precipitation on the glass. I shut the dosing pump off Saturday morning. I tested alk at noon on Sunday and it dropped to 5.9. I used the BRS calculator and dosed 100ml of alk with a goal dkh of 7.5. I tested again yesterday at noon and my alk dropped to 5.2. I dosed 148ml of alk per BRS calculator for a goal of 7.5 dkh and will test again total at noon. We'll see what happens. Right now the SPS are still looking okay, but I don't know how much longer they'll ride this seesaw....Hoping to start seeing a rise in alk soon. BRS recommends continuing this alk dosing and testing routine for at least a week. Hopefully my SPS will survive the process. I have a new shipment of SPS from Fraghouse Corals arriving on Friday. As a side note, my skimz cm122 calcium reactor arrived yesterday. I put it all together last night, but I'm not putting it online until my parameters are where they need to be. I'm pretty happy with the construction and look of the reactor. Definitely and upgrade from the reef octopus reactors I've used in the past. Hopefully it performs as nice as it looks.