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Old 09/08/2020, 06:10 PM   #251
halmus
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Sorry so slow in responding here. Lifeís been crazy. Spent some time looking for commercial spaces in Denver with no luck. Also spent some time looking at homes with large enough shop space for my business. Unfortunately, real estate has exploded even more in the region. Iím willing to move into the middle of nowhere but the wife isnít.

So, good news is that I donít have to tear down the tank! That would be an insane waste after all Iíve put into it.

Bad news is Iím still trying to build huge cabinets in a shoebox.

Good news is that I finally invested in a CNC.

Bad news is that it only has a 2í x 4í bed for now and as small as it is, it takes up more workspace in my shoebox.

Good news is that itís an Avid CNC which is easy to scale up in size when I have space. Ordered it with long cabling and oversized steppers to handle the scaling and the workload I eventually want to use it for. Itís mostly assembled now but still need the VFD spindle and buy a dedicated laptop to drive it.


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Old 09/08/2020, 06:12 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Hey Neighbor! I love your setup. Very inspiring, even for a low-tech nature boy like me. I'd love to hear more about it, so I'll keep following. I'm especially impressed that you share all your ups and downs so freely. I think I can learn a lot from you and your experiences. Thanks for sharing!

Hey Michael. Where are located? Thanks for checking out the build.

I promise Iíll update with pictures soon. Been so long since I checked in, Iím not sure where I left off.

As a ďlow-tech nature guyĒ youíll appreciate the direction my refugium has taken.


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Old 09/08/2020, 06:14 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by BZOFIQ View Post
Came back to revisit what is probably my all time favorite built. This is a build that rivals what public aquaria do and leaps them by a mile. Back end is simply phenomenal.

Appreciate you sharing the details, learned few tricks too; always loved your setup. Keep going.

Thanks for the compliments! Iíve come up with a few tricks on my own but owe a lot to people Iíve followed in the past. Glad we can help each other out with our successes and failures.


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Old 09/08/2020, 06:40 PM   #254
Michael Hoaster
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I'm just up the road in Boulder. Ooh yeah, I look forward to checking out your refugium's direction!


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our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/09/2020, 09:39 AM   #255
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Had to re-learn the Flickr account and posting pics. Long time since I've posted pictures. I need to clean my display glass and take some updated pics there.

For now, I re-worked the refugium with help of a friend. Removed the old substrate and put in a deep sand bed. I added all of the recommended critters to keep the deep sand bed healthy. I lowered the water level to about 12" so that I could free up some space for mangroves at the bottom and still allow them to stick out of the water. Planted about 30 mangrove pods. Most made it. I also ordered some sea-grass. That has taken a long time (3-6 months?) to really settle in and start putting out new nodes. It's finally growing in.

I clean away the junk algae once in a while but for the most part, I'm just letting things be. I think the mangroves have been rooting out for about 6 months now. I want them to get well rooted, then I can come back and start trying to keep the roots free of junk algae.

I'm not really using this tank as a refugium anymore. At least not the "textbook" definition of a fuge. It does propagate a lot of pods and snails. I actually had too much nutrient export in the system which I think was starving my SPS. Maybe? I don't know. Just systematically trying to change one thing at a time to get my SPS to color up more. So far so good.

This is going to be more of a secondary display. I want to put in pipe fish and ruby red dragonettes in the future. I think they'd look great hanging out in the mangrove forest.


IMG_4962


IMG_4959

IMG_4960

IMG_4961


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Old 09/09/2020, 10:46 AM   #256
Michael Hoaster
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Nice. I see you've got some manatee grass in there. I've kept that, shoal grass and turtle grass. Manatee is my favorite. Your sand bed looks a little shallow for them, but they look to be doing very well. The shallow water will keep their growth shorter, but they should be fine. I have blades easily 3 feet long in my 30 inch tall tank.

You could throw a molly or two in there to go after that algae. Just don't feed them, and they will take care of it.

Great tank!


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As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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Old 09/24/2020, 11:42 AM   #257
Sisterlimonpot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halmus View Post
Sorry so slow in responding here. Lifeís been crazy. Spent some time looking for commercial spaces in Denver with no luck. Also spent some time looking at homes with large enough shop space for my business. Unfortunately, real estate has exploded even more in the region. Iím willing to move into the middle of nowhere but the wife isnít.

So, good news is that I donít have to tear down the tank! That would be an insane waste after all Iíve put into it.

Bad news is Iím still trying to build huge cabinets in a shoebox.

Good news is that I finally invested in a CNC.

Bad news is that it only has a 2í x 4í bed for now and as small as it is, it takes up more workspace in my shoebox.

Good news is that itís an Avid CNC which is easy to scale up in size when I have space. Ordered it with long cabling and oversized steppers to handle the scaling and the workload I eventually want to use it for. Itís mostly assembled now but still need the VFD spindle and buy a dedicated laptop to drive it.
ooooh! how exciting!


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Current Tank Info: 300 in progress
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Old 10/02/2020, 08:07 AM   #258
JMetaxas
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Just found this thread. Remarkable build.


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Old 10/06/2020, 06:03 PM   #259
halmus
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Originally Posted by Sisterlimonpot View Post
ooooh! how exciting!

Thanks. Canít wait to bring the beast online! Will be able to order the spindle after I complete the next job. Then bring it to life! Well....then learn how to use the thing.


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Old 10/06/2020, 06:11 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by JMetaxas View Post
Just found this thread. Remarkable build.

Thanks.

Itís always up and down with this tank. Over the last month Iíve lost a few colonies. As of today, the ďblueĒ coral Iíve always struggled with in the past is looking better than ever. Others that were indestructible are looking worse.

So, must be something that Iím missing. All parameters are within reason after testing. Bulbs are replaced every 6 months.

I had to switch Ca/Rx media to ARM. Ran out of Sprungís material and not sure when Iíll be able to get more.

Iím keeping up general maintenance on the system but otherwise taking a hands-off approach. Some coral looks great others not so much. So, Iím just letting the system determine its own direction for now.

Still owe everyone pictures. Sorry about the delay. Iíll get some up sometime. Warts and all.


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Old 10/06/2020, 07:50 PM   #261
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Have you done ICP tests? IMO, when all your standard parameters are solid but the tank just isn't quite "right", I recommend an ICP test.


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Old 10/06/2020, 07:57 PM   #262
halmus
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Originally Posted by JMetaxas View Post
Have you done ICP tests? IMO, when all your standard parameters are solid but the tank just isn't quite "right", I recommend an ICP test.

Thatís a good suggestion!

Unfortunately, I have some personal opposition to ICP testing. Thereís ICP testing right in my back yard here in Denver.

Steve, who used to run a local aquarium shop here started the ICP testing locally. Iím not sure how many testing locations there are here in the states but he still runs that for this region as far as I know. He stole multiple hundreds of dollars from me when he shut down his storefront. So, while itís a worthy testing procedure, Iím hesitant to give him another dollar.

Petty, but thatís where Iím at and I can admit my own pettiness.


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Old 10/06/2020, 08:00 PM   #263
JMetaxas
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I've used Triton's ICP test before. The kit is about $49 via BRS. Takes about 2 weeks, but it's well worth it when you consider the overall investment you have in that tank.

Once my SPS dominant 200 gallon is fully up and running, I plan on doing the test at least 4x per year.

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/icp-o...it-triton.html


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Old 10/06/2020, 08:03 PM   #264
halmus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMetaxas View Post
I've used Triton's ICP test before. The kit is about $49 via BRS. Takes about 2 weeks, but it's well worth it when you consider the overall investment you have in that tank.

Once my SPS dominant 200 gallon is fully up and running, I plan on doing the test at least 4x per year.

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/icp-o...it-triton.html

Thanks! I should look into that.


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Old 10/15/2020, 08:23 PM   #265
Sisterlimonpot
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And I use ATI. But the sample ends up going to germany for testing which adds time to the turn around. The main reason for going ATI is that it also tests your RODI water as well as provide a prepaid shipping label which makes it that much easier to ship out.


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Dishes are done man!

Current Tank Info: 300 in progress
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