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Everything posted by kirk_m

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Finally got my hands on some Pukani. Damn it’s filthy. I tried some of the jumbo pieces in for size:
  4. 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.
  5. RODI unit...check...booster pump...check...160 gallon reservoir...check...TDS meter...check. Water making is underway!
  6. 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.
  7. Finished the plumbing manifold, now I need to go get some hose clamps
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. After mine cleared out the aiptasia, they started eating my rock flower anemones. I added my flame hawk to the tank, and he tore the shrimp to shreds in a few days time, ending that problem
  11. Not buying it either...I remember something like this due to someone boiling his live rock in his kitchen, which was covered with zoanthids and palythoa. Xenia doesn't release PALYotoxin, as far as I's from PALYthoa.
  12. Thanks, Mike. I’ll do that!
  13. Yes I was going to use the clear primer, as I have in the past, but, I didn’t have any on hand and have a ton of the purple stuff, so, no need to waste more money. Im just being extra careful to not get runs of the stuff on the white fittings. I’m going to cut back on the tape as suggested.
  14. A minor update. I started plumbing the tank, my most unfavorite part of a build, today. The back portion will be for a manifold that I have yet to build (go figure, I ran out of fittings) that will feed my UV, Ozone reactor, calcium reactor, sulfur denitrator, and a media reactor. I might add a Cheatomorpha reactor in the future. My sand from Marcorocks arrived today...the mail lady here must hate me — 140lbs she had to lug to the door in 4 packages . I am going with a shallow sand bed. Initially, I wasn’t going to do one at all, but, the black PVC bottom doesn’t look too natural. I added a 1” seaswirl to the return and a Maggie muffler on the drain. I had to use screw in couplers on the seaswirl and return line, and it makes me wish they made Teflon tape in black to match the PVC As an aside, I found a place online that has inexpensive plumbing fittings. In the past, I have ordered from Savko or BRS, or bought fittings from the big box or local hardware stores. Valves, especially true union valves, and unions are hideously expensive at all the aforementioned places. I found true union valves and unions for half the price of any other place, with only $5 UPS ground shipping for all the valves and unions I needed at, if anyone else is looking for the same.
  15. I have had my apex system for probably 6 years now, and, I don't plan on adding any other components to it. I am reusing much of the equipment I've had from various other thanks, ranging from 2 gallons to 400 gallons, on this one . If you were to enter my garage, you'd think you were in an aquarium equipment warehouse, lol. I am hoping to keep the costs limited to just the tank, rock, sand, and the light.
  16. Can anyone do a simple CAD dawing for me that I can send to a CNC/Laser cutter for a plexiglass baffle I am looking to have made? Thanks! Today, I picked up some sand, just enough for a 1" sand bed. I really was debating on whether not I wanted to do another sandbed, and was really leaning towards none, but, the black PVC bottom they put on this tank swayed me towards adding some sand. Ran into a snag with getting some dry rock ordered, though. I can't recycle the stuff I have already since I don't want to transfer all the aiptasia and nuisance algae and palys into this new setup. It seems that the Pukani rock I wanted to get is sold out everywhere. Evidently, the exporting nation banned rock exports, unbeknownst to me. After contacting BRS, I was told that the ban has just recently been lifted, and this type of rock is on the way, via boat, but, will take at least 2 months to get here. So, that REALLY screws things up for me, as that is the style rock I wanted to use.
  17. I agree, they are definitely overpriced. I could have likely bought a Reef Savvy for the same price and have it take just as long to get it done. I ordered it in October and with them having to build it three times because they can’t follow simple drawings, it took six months Instead of the three weeks they quoted me on.
  18. Snorkel and mask, no shirt.
  19. Well, after three attempts to get a tank built to my specs, Planet Aquarium finally delivered my 350-ish gallon tank. The dimensions are 72x36x31. Now, I can get on to building my sump with a 75 gallon aquarium. Equipment on hand: ATI 8 x 80 W Sunpower T5 fixture Apex Aquacontroller Vertex Alpha 250 Waveline 12000 DC return pump with Seaswirl oscillating return. Tunze osmolator EcoTech MP-60 Vortechs GEO 818 calcium reactor with Carbon Doser regulator. LiterMeter III for supplemental dosing Have to buy: Sand, rock (since all my existing stuff is covered in aiptasia and sh1t-brown palythoas). Unfortunately, all my SPS colonies have died over the course of the year they have spent in Rubbermaid tubs in my mother-in-law’s garage. Most of my fish are still alive, but I lost my beloved pair of “naked” clown fish.
  20. Well, things didn't work out. Planet Aquarium messed up the tank design, and put two overflows. The stand was built correctly with one overflow cutout, on the left, as specified, but, the right side of the stand was designed to be a dry compartment, so, no overflow was to be used there. Tank arrived with overflows on both sides. What little look I got at the tank itself, the silicone work looked shoddy. They also left the back of the stand open, where I specified I wanted it closed. Back on the truck to Texas, for another six weeks for another tank to be built. Sigh. I'm also appalled by the lightweight build of the stand. My 120 gallon's stand probably weighs 3 times as much, is made of double laminated 3/4" oak plywood (so 1.5" thick on all sides), has five double laminated 3/4" (1.5" total thickness each) joists running from side to side (on both the bottom and the top of the stand), and is ROCK SOLID LEVEL and no twisting occurs when lateral pressure is put on it. This stand, which is supporting a tank that is twice the size is only made of 3/4" ply with three to four 2x4 braces put in there randomly to give support. It's not level and rocks on the floor (the floor is 100% level as checked with a six foot level by me yesterday before delivery) requiring the use of shims, and, if I stand on top if it, and sway back and forth, the stand sways along with me. I can only imagine the same would occur if a wave is being generated inside the tank via Vortechs. I am sure this is because they did NOT close the back of the stand (combined with what I think is really substandard material thickness and bracing).
  21. Tried many of a nano/pico, etc. Never had any luck with systems that small.
  22. Recently, bad. This might wind up being a fish only system shortly
  23. Got word the other day that delivery will be next Thursday, the 28th, at some time in the early afternoon.
  24. Yes, they are. Some have recovered, some have died, but, overall, things are doing alright...and unfortunately, the aiptasia has gone into overdrive, as well!
  25. House is built...been living in it a month now... Original plans had a fish room, but, it added too much square footage to the house == a LOT more money since contractors charge by the square foot.