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showmebutterfly
03-08-2015, 04:38 PM
Some of you already know that I am planning a small SW setup and / or that I have a brackish tank up and running already. We're redoing the dining room and one corner has been claimed by me for my salty setups - which is why I chose the title I did. The plan is to have both the SW tank and the brackish tank in the designated corner. When that is accomplished I'll be posting updates (pics!) for both tanks here. In the meantime this will mostly be to document the (probably very slow moving) progress of the SW tank.

Some of you also know that my dad passed away on Valentine's Day and that my love for this hobby is thanks to him. He had recently gotten back into the hobby with a FW tank and was hoping to have a small SW tank with an anemone and clownfish down the road. He'd picked out a nano tank that he really liked and we'd gone to his LFS in Hot Springs together over Thanksgiving weekend to look at fish and tanks (and get away from all the family at their house for a bit). Before my dad died, the hubs and I had been planning a trip to my parents' for our anniversary (Feb. 28th). Dad and I were looking forward to discussing tanks and fish and making another trip together to his LFS. I'm pretty sure he was going to take the plunge and get that nano tank he'd had his eye on for months. The hubs and I still went to Hot Springs for our anniversary and had a good visit with my mom. But, as you can imagine, it was bittersweet without dad there. So that's the sad part... now on to the happier part...

I bought a 20 gallon tank (with hood, light and filter) on March 5th (which would have been my dad's 72nd birthday) using a gift card that was given to me by my coworkers (with their condolences and in lieu of flowers). I am getting to the happier part - I swear!

Today I set up the tank - sort of. It's not in it's permanent spot yet or on it's permanent stand. I put some dry rock and coral in the tank and filled it with water. I went ahead and put in the filter that came with the tank for some water flow and to help collect some of the dust and debris from the rocks and corals while they're soaking.

40012

All the rock and corals you see (with the exception of the Florida lace rock - which is mostly hidden in the pic) are from SW reef tanks that my dad had many, many years ago. The little Nemo is my mascot for this build. He'll hang out in the tank as it progresses until it's stable enough for a live clownfish.

This will be a very slow build. The salty tanks won't be situated in their corner for quite some time as the dining room redo is coming along very slowly - mostly because I'm doing the work and am not known for being overly energetic even on my good days. I don't think I'll be able to do much more on the SW tank, other than purchasing components, until it gets moved to it's designated spot. FYI - I didn't do it and I'm begging y'all to never do it - DO NOT glue carpet (or anything else for that matter) to hardwood floors! OMG. Such a pain to deal with.

Cliff
03-08-2015, 04:49 PM
Looking forward to seeing this setup come together

Slaphppy7
03-08-2015, 05:03 PM
I'm looking forward to it, too!...looking good already!...and I think it's really neat that you will be using rocks that were once your Dad's

Maybe you'll be an inspiration for some of us to try the "salty side" one day

showmebutterfly
03-08-2015, 05:19 PM
Thank you, Cliff and Matt. I'm happy to have at least made a start on it. I've already been asking Cliff questions and still doing research.
This will be a FOWLR tank to start. I hope to add macro algaes and a few easy to keep softies once the tank is able to sustain them. There will be at least one clownfish.
I plan on using my 10 gallon tank with a heater and powerhead for keeping premixed saltwater for pwc handy.

Cliff
03-08-2015, 05:45 PM
Once cycled, I would start with the macro algae. That will help with the nitrate spike after cycling and the extra nutrients will help the algae get established.

That will also help to establish the tank quicker for your first additions

showmebutterfly
03-08-2015, 06:44 PM
Thank you, Cliff! I'll be checking with my local lfs, once the tank is properly set up and cycled, to see if they can order some different varieties for me. They don't ever seem to have any in stock when I go by there. I may end up having to order online, which is ok. I like the way a lot of the macro algae looks and like that it can help keep the tank stable too.

showmebutterfly
03-10-2015, 03:56 AM
I've spent the last 2 days attempting to research lighting needs and options for macro algae and mushroom corals. All I've come up with is that lighting of 4500-6500K is recommended for macro algae and mushroom corals prefer low to medium lighting. The hubs has been trying to explain light terminology to me. It's not sinking in or computing or something. I've been looking at lights for marine and reef tanks online all evening. Nothing jumping out at me as being perfect for the simple setup I want to achieve. I'm thinking of maybe using a single 15 Watt 18 inch 50/50 Fluorescent T8 Bulb, since I already have a light fixture for that size bulb. If that will work. I'm also looking at dual bulb and quad bulb fixtures, but those seem like an awful lot of light for a small tank. Meh. My brain hurts.

showmebutterfly
03-11-2015, 04:44 PM
I want to have macro algae (probably the red varieties - red hair algae and a few Gracilaria sp.) and possibly a few softies (probably a few mushroom corals). My idea is to keep things simple - with it being a small tank, I don't think I'll want a lot of different stuff going on competing for attention.
For what I want to have in the tank, the information I'm finding suggest low to moderate lighting and low to moderate flow. As far as I can discover, 6500-8000K is considered moderate lighting. The marine / reef lights I've found have bulbs that are rated 10000K. I'm concerned about having too much light in the tank with those bulbs - I don't want all the macro algae and softies kept at the bottom of the tank - I'd like to have them growing up and over and on top of the rocks.
Am I looking at the wrong lighting? Am I worrying too much about not having perfect lighting conditions? Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be?

On to flow - specifically, low to moderate flow - how many powerheads and what gph does that entail? Is there any kind of formula to calculate what is moderate flow - like gph should be 15x tank size or something along those lines? I will likely be purchasing Hydor Koralia Nano powerheads - options being 240 gph and 425 gph. Do I need 2? Do I need 3? Do I need just the 240 gph sizes or do I need one or more of the 425 gph sizes?

(The tank is a 20g high - 24" x 12" x 16" and rock formations will likely not be overly tall as I won't want any of the rock exposed to air during PWC - if any of that information helps.)

Cliff
03-11-2015, 09:55 PM
That can be a tough thing to properly plan at times. Mushrooms and the maco algae that you are going for really do like moderate to low flow. The only problem that so does all other forms of algae you do not want.

I would suggest starting off with three powers around 750gph each. Place one near the back corner of the tank point down towards the center so it will be moving water around the back of the tank. Have the other two at each of the top two corners. Has about place about 4 to 6 inches from the top and angled up towards the center so the flow made be each powerhead will meet head on. When that happens, you will be creating a lot of lower to moderate flow being randomly pushed down ward, not to mention creating a lot of surface agitation helping the water remain oxygenated.

Try that and see how it goes. If that turns out to be too low, you can always add another powerhead

You can also try adding all of your macro algae at once the help out-complete the other forms of algae.

showmebutterfly
03-11-2015, 10:31 PM
That can be a tough thing to properly plan at times. Mushrooms and the maco algae that you are going for really do like moderate to low flow. The only problem that so does all other forms of algae you do not want.

I would suggest starting off with three powers around 750gph each. Place one near the back corner of the tank point down towards the center so it will be moving water around the back of the tank. Have the other two at each of the top two corners. Has about place about 4 to 6 inches from the top and angled up towards the center so the flow made be each powerhead will meet head on. When that happens, you will be creating a lot of lower to moderate flow being randomly pushed down ward, not to mention creating a lot of surface agitation helping the water remain oxygenated.

Try that and see how it goes. If that turns out to be too low, you can always add another powerhead

You can also try adding all of your macro algae at once the help out-complete the other forms of algae.

Mistype? I value your advice, but double checking, just in case - 750gph x 3 for a little 20 gallon tank? I'm picturing underwater hurricanes...
Also, any advice on the lighting?

Cliff
03-11-2015, 10:33 PM
LOL, sorry, I meant 250 GPH

Darn phone !!!

showmebutterfly
03-11-2015, 10:36 PM
LOL, sorry, I meant 250 GPH

Darn phone !!!

Thank you for the clarification! lol

Cliff
03-11-2015, 10:38 PM
As for lighting, if all you want is macro algae and mushrooms, then go with something around 5000 to 6000K. Fresh water lighting work great in a set-up like this. Just keep in mind, before turning the lights on, you want to first add a lot (and I mean a lot) of macro algae first. This type of lighting is like steroids for all types of marine algae, even the ones you do not want. You mushrooms will also do well on this type of lighting

showmebutterfly
03-11-2015, 10:43 PM
As for lighting, if all you want is macro algae and mushrooms, then go with something around 5000 to 6000K. Fresh water lighting work great in a set-up like this. Just keep in mind, before turning the lights on, you want to first add a lot (and I mean a lot) of macro algae first. This type of lighting is like steroids for all types of marine algae, even the ones you do not want. You mushrooms will also do well on this type of lighting

Thank you again! I'm making up a shopping list and checking it twice. :)

Slaphppy7
03-11-2015, 11:20 PM
Although I know nothing about SW, or have the desire to do it (yet), this has been an intersting learning experience.

But I have to admit, every time I read the title of the thread, I think we're about to have margaritas.

showmebutterfly
03-11-2015, 11:33 PM
Although I know nothing about SW, or have the desire to do it (yet), this has been an intersting learning experience.

But I have to admit, every time I read the title of the thread, I think we're about to have margaritas.
Margaritas are always a possibility! I wonder if I could use my unmixed marine salt to rim the glasses... lol

Slaphppy7
03-12-2015, 12:09 AM
I'll try anything once...

showmebutterfly
03-12-2015, 03:11 PM
The hubs just informed me that he subscribed to Amazon Prime so that I'd know to use it if / when I need to place any orders. That is good information to have since I'll be ordering some things for the tank from there. :)

Slaphppy7
03-12-2015, 03:14 PM
I love Amazon....I have to stay away, I could spend so much money there

showmebutterfly
03-12-2015, 03:21 PM
I could too - if I had it to spend! lol After the winter we've had, filling the propane tanks back up is gonna hurt. But not having a working stove or hot water would probably not be fun.
I'm trying to make a list of what I need so I can space out the spending without breaking the bank or getting credit card crazy. But I want it all and I want it now! Darn reality is always a buzzkill. lol

Slaphppy7
03-12-2015, 03:24 PM
Darn reality is always a buzzkill. lol

That's why I avoid it, whenever possible....

showmebutterfly
03-13-2015, 01:48 PM
We finally got the hubs' old desk moved out of the dining room yesterday - everything cleared off the top, out of the drawers and all 3 shelves above the desk emptied and taken down. This has been a long, drawn out process which began in June of 2014. Seriously. Too much other stuff going on in the meantime and not enough energy to do it all, so this project kept getting pushed to the side.
The corner where the salty tanks will sit is now empty. I hope to paint the walls and work on the floors in that corner this weekend. However, I still won't be able to set up the tanks once that's done. Space is limited in our small farmhouse and we are having to move stuff around as space becomes available and work on one section of the room at a time. Once this section is done we'll have to move our large buffet / credenza to that corner so that I can work on the area where it currently sits. Moving that huge, heavy piece (twice) is not something we're looking forward to doing. But progress is progress is progress.
I am very lucky to have an understanding husband and that he is not only willing to be supportive of me setting up a saltwater tank, even though he thinks I have enough tanks already, but also willing to help me achieve that goal.

cm12setx
03-14-2015, 04:47 AM
Margaritas are always a possibility! I wonder if I could use my unmixed marine salt to rim the glasses... lol

I switched from kosher salt to sea salt, so you should be fine. Lol

Cliff
03-14-2015, 10:53 AM
Glad to read that you and husband can really share in this set-up

showmebutterfly
03-14-2015, 06:59 PM
I went by our little LFS today and got to talk to one of the employees (who may actually be the new owner). He said they could order macro algae for me when my tank is ready. That was good to find out.

They had a tank with several clownfish. They all appeared healthy and active and cute.

40109

40110

They also had some nice looking base rock for $3.50/lb. I picked out 3 pieces that I liked - total weight a smidge over 5 lbs.

40111

I'm going to move the rocks around in the tank today or tomorrow- take out one of the large pieces of coral that has pretty sharp edges and remove the Florida lace rocks in favor of adding the more porous base rock I bought today. I'll also go ahead and check Nitrates to see if the rocks and corals that are soaking are leaching any of those. And probably do a PWC either way to make it easier to move stuff around with a lower water level.

showmebutterfly
03-15-2015, 01:33 PM
Yesterday afternoon I removed 2 out of the 3 pieces of dad's dry rock from my brackish tank. I left the biggest rock in the tank since it is apparently hollow in the middle. My knight gobies like to hide in that rock and play peek-a-boo out of the holes. The brackish tank will be getting a little remodel, but for now just removed the 2 rocks and tried not to upset the fish too much!

The rocks soaking in the 20g future SW tank tested at 5-10 ppm for Nitrates. I did a 25% PWC, removed the dried coral with the sharp edges and the denser Florida lace rock, and added dad's 2 rocks from the brackish tank plus the 3 new porous base rocks I bought yesterday.
One of the dried corals wants to float and has to be weighed down - the squiggly looking piece under the dried barnacles in the pic. I'm not sure about leaving it in the tank, but it's one of the pieces that the hubs likes, so I'm going to try to work with it. But it is very annoying to try to arrange things when one of the things keeps floating away! There is no rhyme or reason to the stacks just yet. Just soaking out the nitrates.

40122

MCHRKiller
03-15-2015, 01:46 PM
You could Epoxy the piece to a small piece of dense rock to keep it from floating.

Also from my journal I think you would seek benefit from at least adding some LR to the tank(more so than just rubble used for coral attachment). Reason for this is it would seed your tank with coraline, beneficial bacteria, and other forms of life which do add a lot to the system. A mere 5-10lbs of live would make a big difference.

showmebutterfly
03-15-2015, 02:27 PM
Thank you for the epoxy idea! What type of epoxy should I use? Or could I use aquarium silicone?

I may end up adding some LR. I am bad about moving stuff around a lot before settling on a configuration I'm happy with, so I have concerns about killing stuff that's on the LR. But knowing how beneficial LR can be, I'll probably get some in the end and hope I won't be too rough moving it around.

Slaphppy7
03-15-2015, 04:15 PM
I know ZERO about SW setups, but I do know that aquarium silicone has to dry for 48 hours before getting wet...

MCHRKiller
03-15-2015, 05:16 PM
The bond between silicon and rock is also not terribly good...you can get aquarium safe epoxy at Petsmart in the SW section.

In all honestly I would suggest you pick a stack and leave it alone it is very dangerous to be moving stuff around in the tank because most of your inverts and even fish live in and around the rock. It is easy to kill or injure them by moving it around. I think you would also get more visual interest from your tank by getting some live...as it would seed your present rock. Tanks which are not heavily coral dominated and do not have live rock are just kind of barren white/tan scapes.

showmebutterfly
03-15-2015, 05:28 PM
I will look for the epoxy. I won't be adding fish or inverts until the tank is cycled so I won't need to worry about hurting them. I plan on using several varieties of red macro algae for visual interest. Not sure what color mushrooms I'll end up with, but those should brighten things up too. I hope. :)

MCHRKiller
03-15-2015, 05:45 PM
Are you cycling the tank using ammonia or what other means?

showmebutterfly
03-15-2015, 05:52 PM
I'll use ammonia to cycle. It will probably be a few months before I'm ready to start that.
I was going to work on the dining room this weekend, but getting sick and feel pretty sore and cruddy. :(

showmebutterfly
03-25-2015, 10:30 PM
I've been horribly sick fighting a bronchial infection. Still fighting and hoping to start winning soon, but for over a week now I haven't made any progress with anything. So my slow progress has come to a complete standstill until my lungs heal and I can breathe properly again. I'm on my 2nd round of antibiotics and first ever round of steroids and an inhaler has become my new best friend. :fever:

I will be getting a little bit of a tax refund so there's some good news. I hope to use it to buy a few things for the tank. Just trying to decide where to spend the money. I still need a stand, glass top, lighting, circulation pumps, refractometer, saltwater or reef test kit and considering adding a skimmer to the shopping list.
The circulation pumps (hydor koralia nano) I can get at Petco. The hubs has already gotten me a $20 Petco gift card with his My Coke reward points and can probably get me a few more down the road as the points add back up.
The lighting I'm considering is the Marineland Double Bright (6000K) LED light.
Protein skimmers I'm considering are the CPR Bak-Pak 2, AquaC Nano Remora (it comes with maxi-jet 900 pump - rated for tanks up to 20g), Hydor USA Slim-Skim - one is rated for 25-35 gallons and the other is rated for 48-65 gallons. I am leaning toward purchasing the Hydor USA Slim-Skim Internal Skimmer that's rated for 25-35 gallon tanks. I am confused about what size / type of pumps are needed to use with the skimmers and what would be best for my setup.
The salinity refractometer I'm looking at is made by Agriculture Solutions.
With my setup being macros and mushrooms, will I need the reef master test kit? Or simpler saltwater test kit?
Opinions? Suggestions? Advice?

Cliff
03-26-2015, 03:27 AM
Pick a skimmer with 5X the GPH water flow and 5X the LPH (air flow) as compaired to the size of your tank. That would put the Aqua C as the better skimmer

For lighting you do not want fresh water lighting. The lower color temps will result in more nasty algae than you will know what to do. Instead, look for something in the 12,000 to 18,000K range. That should be a better balance to help avoid nasty algaes and help with you macro algae

You should be testing for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates while cycling. Once cycled and stable, you will want to test for nitrates, alkalinity, pH and calcium. I would suggest salifert test kits. They cost a little more than API, but they are a lot more accurate than API. I really don't like API's saltwater test kits as I have found them to be highly inaccurate.

showmebutterfly
03-26-2015, 02:12 PM
Ok, Cliff, you've confused me on the lighting!


As for lighting, if all you want is macro algae and mushrooms, then go with something around 5000 to 6000K. Fresh water lighting work great in a set-up like this. Just keep in mind, before turning the lights on, you want to first add a lot (and I mean a lot) of macro algae first. This type of lighting is like steroids for all types of marine algae, even the ones you do not want. You mushrooms will also do well on this type of lighting


For lighting you do not want fresh water lighting. The lower color temps will result in more nasty algae than you will know what to do. Instead, look for something in the 12,000 to 18,000K range. That should be a better balance to help avoid nasty algaes and help with you macro algae

I liked the Marineland light because it's rated for both freshwater and saltwater. So many of the lights I'm finding seem to be rated for freshwater only.

showmebutterfly
03-26-2015, 02:16 PM
Pick a skimmer with 5X the GPH water flow and 5X the LPH (air flow) as compaired to the size of your tank. That would put the Aqua C as the better skimmer

Would the maxi-jet 900 pump that comes with the Aqua C I'm looking at be enough flow (I am not technically minded at all - sorry!) or should I look for one that comes with a bigger pump (what size)?

Slaphppy7
03-26-2015, 02:22 PM
The SW stuff is all Greek to me, but I'm hoping you get well soon!

showmebutterfly
03-26-2015, 02:35 PM
The SW stuff is all Greek to me, but I'm hoping you get well soon!

It's partially Greek to me too - especially the technical stuff. There's no way I could ever run a tank with a sump and figure out all the plumping connections and rates and flows and and and! Thank you for the well wishes! I'm slowly getting better. After barely being able to eat, sleep or breathe for over a week it's nice to have my appetite coming back, starting to get some rest and being able to take a deep breath! I am feeling almost human today. (zfish)

Cliff
03-26-2015, 05:43 PM
Would the maxi-jet 900 pump that comes with the Aqua C I'm looking at be enough flow (I am not technically minded at all - sorry!) or should I look for one that comes with a bigger pump (what size)?

Yes, As I had stated above, you want at least 5X flow. The Aqua C skimmer that comes with the maxijet 900 will have 230 ghp which gives you almost 12X flow. 230 (GPH of the pump) divided by 20 (the size of your tank) gives you that rating. That will work fine for you.


I liked the Marineland light because it's rated for both freshwater and saltwater. So many of the lights I'm finding seem to be rated for freshwater only.


I would strongly recommend you do not get that fixture. If you look on the Marineland web site, you will also find they recommend to change your biological filter media each month, and we all know the quality of that statement. Saying a light fixture with only 6000K lighting is good for a marine aquarium is an even bigger misconception than that statement. Look for lighting that is within the color temp I posted above. I would not pay too much attention to manufacture’s statements, they are made with the intent to help sell their products and will add to the confusion you are currently going through.

Boundava
03-26-2015, 08:18 PM
I am glad to ear you are felling better. I don't have any experience in SW either, but like your set up so far. Can't help with the lights either, sorry-but am glad you are getting over the bronchitis. Had that once, not at all fun. Keep on the road to thumbs2:recovery

showmebutterfly
03-26-2015, 08:22 PM
Thank you for the input, Cliff. We'd discussed that with enough macro algae in the tank I could possibly forgo having a skimmer and save some money. With all I've been reading about protein skimmers and how beneficial they are to SW tanks, I figure getting one should be money well spent. Just in case I don't have good luck with the macro algaes. I'll blame my inability to calculate flow today on my cold meds. lol

When I mentioned that the light was rated for both freshwater and saltwater, I should have said that the packaging says it's for use with either. One of my concerns with finding proper lighting is possible corrosion issues. I've found a T5 dual fixture that I like the look of, but the packaging says it's for freshwater use only. Which is a bummer. An LED fixture would be nice, but two T5 dual fixtures would give me quad lighting and more options. Which is probably overkill for my little tank, especially with me wanting to keep it simple and low tech.

showmebutterfly
03-26-2015, 08:34 PM
I am glad to ear you are felling better. I don't have any experience in SW either, but like your set up so far. Can't help with the lights either, sorry-but am glad you are getting over the bronchitis. Had that once, not at all fun. Keep on the road to thumbs2:recovery

Thank you, Boundava! I'm glad I'm feeling better so that I can try to get caught up on here. I feel like I'm way behind on everything.

Cliff
03-26-2015, 11:20 PM
When I mentioned that the light was rated for both freshwater and saltwater, I should have said that the packaging says it's for use with either. One of my concerns with finding proper lighting is possible corrosion issues. I've found a T5 dual fixture that I like the look of, but the packaging says it's for freshwater use only. Which is a bummer. An LED fixture would be nice, but two T5 dual fixtures would give me quad lighting and more options. Which is probably overkill for my little tank, especially with me wanting to keep it simple and low tech.

Whether or not a light fixture is suitable for marine or fresh water is based on the color temp of the light produced. On a LED fixture, that is based on the color temp of the diodes use when the fixture was manufactured. You can not change that. On a T5 fixture, the color temp produced is based on the color temp of the bulbs used. You can change T5 bulbs to what ever you want

Just amke sure it is a T5HO fixture so you will have a lot of choices in bulbs. That way, all you have to do is replace the bulbs with ones suited for a marine set-up. Nothing wrong with T5HO lighting !!!

showmebutterfly
03-27-2015, 01:59 AM
T5 HO lighting it will be likely be then. :thumbsup:

I was planning on getting a glass top for the tank, but I've noticed in a lot of the pics of reef tanks I've seen that they're uncovered or have something like eggcrate for cover. Is this for better oxygen circulation? Cooler water temps? I'm wondering about evaporation and stable salinity issues with an open top.

Cliff
03-27-2015, 02:21 AM
Glass tops can hold in heat, if you are using lighting that produces a lot of heat. With T5HO or LED lighting, I would not be too worried about it.

I have glass tops on all of my tanks, even my 180 reef tank. I like to be able to limit the amount of evaporation. If you are using a skimmer, you will get all the oxygenation in the tank that you need, with or without glass tops on the tank

Many people with reef tanks don't like glass tops as they feel it effects the quality of the light getting to the corals. I have never shared that opinion. You just have to keep the glass clean

showmebutterfly
03-30-2015, 12:35 AM
Two weeks ago I added 3 new dry rocks from my LFS and a couple from my brackish tank to soak with the other dry rock and corals in my future SW tank. Then I got sick. Meh.

Tonight I tested the water and found that nitrates are 40-80 ppm. And probably good and soaked into all the rocks and corals at this point. Oh well. I'm not even close to having the dining room situated to where I can start properly setting up the tank so that will give me plenty of time to do water changes.

Meanwhile I'm thinking about my stand options. I'll need something for the 29g brackish tank, something for the 20g SW tank and a shelf under one of them to hold the 10g for heated / prepared SW for PWC. I'd like to have some hidden storage too. Debating about whether to have 2 separate stands or one large stand. Also debating on whether I want to buy something pre-built, try to build something myself with the hubs or have something custom made. Or use the metal stand that I already have for the 29g and buy a cabinet with storage for the 20g. Or use the cabinet with storage that I already have for the 29g and buy a metal stand for the 20g. Or.... Ugh. I wish I was better at visualizing.

Cliff
03-30-2015, 01:24 AM
Yup, there are a lot of options. You just have to try and figure out which one will be the best for you and your other half long term

Edit:

And by corals you mean calcified coral skeletons and not real live corals, correct ?

showmebutterfly
03-30-2015, 01:47 AM
Yup, there are a lot of options. You just have to try and figure out which one will be the best for you and your other half long term

Edit:

And by corals you mean calcified coral skeletons and not real live corals, correct ?
Correct. Dead corals that perished in my dad's attempts at having a reef tank back in the late 80s / early 90s. Yikes. Skeletal remains. I think I prefer 'dried corals'. lol

showmebutterfly
04-01-2015, 01:18 AM
Ideas and inspirations -
I like the look of this - two 20 gallon aquariums, side by side on a 55 gallon tank stand.
40328

Reminds me of gronlaura's dual 29 gallon build. :)

I love the look of this - saltwater and freshwater tanks side by side. Of course mine would be brackish and saltwater.
40329

Cliff
04-01-2015, 01:21 AM
I really like the looks of the second one better. Now I'm getting ideas........

showmebutterfly
04-01-2015, 01:31 AM
I really like the looks of the second one better. Now I'm getting ideas........

That second one is super awesome. It has me thinking how neat a setup with 3 tanks side by side would be, if I had the room. Freshwater + brackish + saltwater

Slaphppy7
04-01-2015, 02:13 AM
Freshwater + brackish + saltwater

What an awesome concept...

showmebutterfly
04-01-2015, 03:17 AM
I don't think the hubs would be willing to move out the TV (aka eating center) in order for me to have enough wall space to implement the concept. I wouldn't want to go smaller than 20g tanks and even that small I'd need 6' of wall.
I thought of possibly an L-shaped configuration in the corner of the dining room where my salty setups will be, but not quite enough room. And I have promised the hubs that the SW tank will be the last one. He's being supportive of my having it since it's for my dad. I'm very sure that 'because it would look really cool' won't fly as an excuse to add another tank. But it would look really cool. lol

showmebutterfly
04-02-2015, 01:20 AM
It looks like the hubs and I are going to build the stand for the tank(s). I think the lighting and glass hood can wait until the tank is cycled or close to it. That leaves refractometer, protein skimmer, circulation pumps and test kits.

Refractometer. I'm hoping to keep the cost around $50, or less, if that's reasonable for a good product. I found one on Amazon for $35.99 that's made by Agriculture Solutions. I'm not sure if that's a reliable brand or if there are others that would be recommended?

Protein skimmer - AquaC Remora Protein Skimmer with Maxi-jet 900 pump

Circulation pumps - Hydor Koralia Nano Water Circulation Pump (240 gph x 2 and / or 425 gph for extra flow)

Test kits - Salifert brand recommended - pH, calcium, KH and Alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Wondering if magnesium and phosphate are needed as well? I'm thinking not since I'm planning on having macro algae and mushroom corals, but figure I might as well ask, just in case.

Cliff
04-02-2015, 11:21 PM
Look for refactormeters that are made for salt water aquariums. Brands like Vertex would be best. You can get a Vertex for around $55

If you are using a good quality salt and completing good weekly waterchanges, I would hold off on the Mag and phosphate test kits for now. You may not need them, but time will tell for sure

showmebutterfly
04-04-2015, 09:12 PM
I stopped by our little LFS today. I purchased a hydor koralia nano 240 circulation pump - only one since their price was a bit higher than what I've seen them go for other places - I want to support local business but I don't want to go broke doing it. :)

They had a few Salifert test kits - but none of the ones I need. The owner said they are phasing out that brand and switching to Red Sea Test Kits. I'll need to do some research on that brand to see what's what with it.

The only nano skimmer they stock is an Eshopps brand. I was planning on going with the AquaC Remora, but if the Eshopps Nano Skimmer is comparable, then I'm okay with going that route so I can purchase locally. So that's been added to my research list as well.

I probably should have spent my free time getting some more paint on the dining room walls, but going to the lfs and a few other pet stores was less strenuous and more relaxing. I needed that break in between packing and preparing for another road trip to Arkansas. We're driving down after the hubs gets off work tonight so we can spend Easter Sunday with my mom. First family holiday since dad passed. Muddling through, but it really, really sucks.

Cliff
04-04-2015, 09:44 PM
I have read good things about that brand of skimmer. It should work good for your set-up. That pump that comes with their skimmers are amount the best out there.

I would not recommend the red sea test kits. But I am a little less than objective when it comes to anything made by that company. Never had a good experience with any of their products as well as a few others I know here in town. IMO they are cheap for a reason.

I really do like supporting local business as well, so good to hear there are others out there taking the same approach.

showmebutterfly
04-04-2015, 09:56 PM
I have read good things about that brand of skimmer. It should work good for your set-up. That pump that comes with their skimmers are amount the best out there.

I would not recommend the red sea test kits. But I am a little less than objective when it comes to anything made by that company. Never had a good experience with any of their products as well as a few others I know here in town. IMO they are cheap for a reason.

I really do like supporting local business as well, so good to hear there are others out there taking the same approach.
Thank you for the input. I thought I had read on another forum that Eshopps was a good brand, but appreciate it having your stamp of approval. :)

I was pretty happy when I first saw they had the Salifert. It stinks that they're changing to a less reputable brand and that I won't be able to conveniently buy my test kits there.

Boundava
04-05-2015, 03:20 AM
Oh I love the side by side idea for your stand, that would be a nice contrast. Hope you have a good Easter Sunday with your family. :bunny:

showmebutterfly
04-05-2015, 04:35 AM
Thank you! Happy Easter to you and your family. :)

Boundava
04-06-2015, 02:06 PM
Thank you.

showmebutterfly
04-07-2015, 02:29 PM
HOB - modified AquaClear 50, 70 or 110 - for rubble, deep sand or mud bed, chaeto, extra flow, pH and oxygen balance, whatever - pros? cons? lighting?

Since my tank is only 20g and I'd like to try to keep the parameters as stable as possible, I am looking at all options for making that happen - short of adding a sump and plumbing and electronic timing devices. A protein skimmer and refugium were on my list as optional. The protein skimmer has already been added to the shopping list (and will hopefully be purchased this week). I am now considering the addition of a refugium. I'd like to have lots of macro algae and have some concerns about the oxygen / carbon dioxide cycle and have read that a refugium can be used to help deal with this potential problem by having macroalgae in the refugium as well as the tank and implementing reverse lighting schedule between tank and refugium. I should note here that I have a rather heavily planted FW tank and don't worry about the oxygen / carbon dioxide cycle with it at all - maybe I should - but I don't. Why I am obsessed and overly concerned with it regarding this SW setup? I do not know. I've got nothing but time to plan for now and research and worry and second guess. Fun times. :think:

Slaphppy7
04-07-2015, 03:01 PM
No answers here, SW confuses me, lol...I'm sure Cliff will chime in

showmebutterfly
04-07-2015, 03:15 PM
It confuses me too, Matt. lol The internet is both good and bad for research since you often get what seems like conflicting advice. I am very grateful for this forum and experienced people that are willing to offer guidance from their experience. My dad didn't have such good resources back when he attempted his SW tanks - just a few books and a (possibly / probably unscrupulous) salesperson who led him down an expensive path.
I introduced him to this forum and he enjoyed reading threads and learning from it. We even set up an account for him over Thanksgiving. He never posted, but lurked and learned. :)

Slaphppy7
04-07-2015, 03:17 PM
Glad he was with us here, though briefly....the internet has changed the world, I'm telling you

Boundava
04-07-2015, 03:41 PM
I agree with Matt, I don't know anything about SW setups or refugium/skimmers. But it is fun to read and learn with you.

showmebutterfly
04-07-2015, 03:56 PM
Hopefully it will be a good learning experience for all! :) I have been looking on this forum and others and searching for 20 gallon setups so I can see what others have done and how they set up their tanks. It never seems to fail though that whenever they get it started, either right before or right after they add fish, they just disappear and there's no more updates and you're left wondering what happened with the tank. Was it a good setup? Did it crash? Who knows! So frustrating. My goal is to not be one of those people!

Cliff
04-07-2015, 04:05 PM
You will be just fine.

You also have to keep in mind, many people love to overcomplicate things and think the saltwater side of the hobby is more difficult, when it really is not. It's just different, not difficult

When it comes to oxygen levels, you have to think about fresh water and salt water differently. Freshwater has much lower levels of TDS (due to no salt) and therefor has the capacity to hold a lot more oxygen. Saltwater mixed to the correct salinity has a very high level of TDS reducing the amount of oxygen it can hold. This is why you should be a little more concerned about oxygen levels in salt water aquariums. If you have ever visited a coral reef, you will see there is a lot of water flow around them which naturally helps to maintain higher oxygen levels needed to keep the corals and critters healthy and happy. In an aquarium, the water flow combined with a skimmer will allow you to have these higher oxygen levels with ease.

I would suggest getting a AC110 and converting it into a HOB refugium. I would only have marco algae in there, cheato would work best in a HOB refugium like that. I would avoid using a BSD or rock in a HOB as that will only trap crud and require more work to maintain, were as you can easily remove cheato and rinse it off in old tank water (like you would when cleaning a sponge or other filter media). Get yourself a light for it that has a low color tempo, somewhere around 5,000K would work best and very high level lighting. Marine algae just loves lower color temps of lighting. If you have the refugium on a reverse light schedule from your main tank to help get all the benefits of a refugium. There are a lot of videos on youtube on how to convert a HOB filter into a refugium

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=601201&highlight=how+to+DIY+an

Boundava
04-07-2015, 04:05 PM
I know I have see threads like that too, but you have staying power-so I know I will see finished tank. thumbs2:

showmebutterfly
04-07-2015, 04:27 PM
I super love to overcomplicate things! It's a curse. One that makes the hubs sigh a lot.

With Cliff's explanation about TDS and oxygen levels I feel a little less crazy for worrying about that now. Thank you, Cliff! :)

I think a 110 with macroalgae should be a simple enough for me to handle. I'm pretty sure the hardest part will be finding a little light that will clip on and shine where I want it to shine and not flop over in the wrong direction or get knocked off by the cat. But once again, I think I can handle that. :)

And what did we ever do before youtube? It is so awesome for instructional videos and product reviews and fish videos. I've been utilizing it a lot since I got back in the fishkeeping hobby.

showmebutterfly
04-08-2015, 06:40 PM
I absolutely love the look of this tank -
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photo credit: dputt88's 30 gal macro algae cube captivereefs.com

I am not sure what species of macros were used and they weren't listed in this person's journal that I saw, but I would really like to have some of them in my tank.

Boundava
04-08-2015, 06:43 PM
oh-wow, I do too. How colorful and I can't see one fish...

showmebutterfly
04-08-2015, 06:46 PM
Gah! Who needs fish with a tank that pretty? I think the person added some pipefish and more macro algae later, but I was struck by this picture as being pretty close to perfection. If I could accomplish something even half that pretty, I'd be a happy camper. But I'd still add a clownfish. :)

showmebutterfly
04-08-2015, 07:29 PM
A little more research and I was able to find a list of some of the macro used:

dragon's breath halymenia
cymopolia barbata
red bush gracilaria
cactus caulerpa
rose petal algae
botryocladia
halimeda (branching)
acetabularia (mermaid's wine glass)
caulerpa prolifera

Now I have a starting point for research and potential order list for my LFS. :)

showmebutterfly
04-09-2015, 04:52 PM
The hubs and I bought a 'project piece' cabinet off craigslist for $20. The dimensions are 49"w x 19"d x 28"h. The young man we bought it from said he'd used it for a 100g aquarium. It needs some sprucing up and a new interior floor. We'll probably add extra bracing just for our own peace of mind. I'll definitely want to add bracing in the center since I'll be using the stand for 2 smaller side by side tanks rather than one big tank. I'll post pics of the progress. :)
Now off to purchase a protein skimmer.

Slaphppy7
04-09-2015, 04:53 PM
Nice find!....

showmebutterfly
04-09-2015, 04:58 PM
Nice find!....
I'm pretty excited about it. The size of the cabinet gives me a good excuse to replace the used, scratched up 29g with a new 20g for the brackish tank. I'll get to have two 20g tanks side by side!

Slaphppy7
04-09-2015, 05:02 PM
That'll be sweet....

Boundava
04-09-2015, 05:40 PM
Oh great job finding that cabinet! I love repurposing furniture, and can't wait to see the before and after pics (when you are finished of course). I also can't wait to see the side by side tanks up and running.

showmebutterfly
04-09-2015, 06:16 PM
It ain't too pretty right now, but reasonably solid. It's constructed out of 3/4" plywood, except the doors are made out of thick particle board and the floor is a thin sheet of particle board. The doors and floor will be removed. I don't think we'll replace the doors, just leave the openings. I'd like to build up the floor a bit when we add additional framing support and put down solid plywood in place of the particle board. I'd also like to add shelving on at least one side of the cabinet. The other side may house my 10g for premixed SW. The hubs thinks I should sand it all down, stain and seal the wood. I'm leaning toward wanting to either paint it black or paint it a fun color. We'll see how it ends up. I'll work on it a little at a time, in between working on the dining room and buying equipment for the SW setup. I guess I need to put another 20g on my shopping list too. :) I did not get to buy the protein skimmer today. Apparently the box they had was for display (wth?) and they had to order one for me. It should be here next week.

40462

40463

Boundava
04-09-2015, 06:39 PM
Looks good, I vote for painting too.

Slaphppy7
04-09-2015, 06:46 PM
Paint it black


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-7TRVsArgI

Boundava
04-09-2015, 08:30 PM
they are touring again?!?!

Slaphppy7
04-09-2015, 08:38 PM
That's what I hear....

Boundava
04-09-2015, 08:55 PM
walkers ho!

Anders247
04-09-2015, 09:07 PM
I'm following this thread.... good luck!

showmebutterfly
04-09-2015, 09:16 PM
Thank you! I'll need it. :)

showmebutterfly
04-11-2015, 06:40 PM
Water test today shows nitrates are down to 5 ppm. That may have more to do with the massive water change I did on Thursday than the rocks not leaching as much nitrates back out, but I'll keep checking to see what the readings show. Just a small water change today.

I put the 240 gph Hydor Koralia Nano Circulation Pump in the tank. The flow is more gentle than what I was expecting. I guess because the flow from the Marineland maxi-jet that I have in my brackish tank is not so gentle, even though it's rated at 230 gph, because it's using a powerhead instead of the propeller cage. I think I'll be getting one of the 425 gph Hydor Koralia Nano Circulation Pumps to see how much flow it produces. I'll also have a protein skimmer and a HOB refugium that will produce some flow in the tank, in addition to the circulation pumps. My goal is to achieve moderate flow (whatever that means!) throughout the tank.

SomethingIsFishy
04-11-2015, 06:50 PM
I had 2 240's and 1 425 in my 29, corals and fish all seemed happy until the tank popped a seam...

showmebutterfly
04-11-2015, 07:01 PM
I was going to go with 1-2 of the 240s and 1-2 of the 425s - depending on which configuration worked best - for a total of 3 in my 20g. But with my decision to add the skimmer and the refugium, I may just do 2 circulation pumps. I'll still need a 3rd for the premixed SW, but may use the maxi-jet for that and get a hydor koralia for my brackish tank. I'm sure those fish would enjoy a more gentle flow in their tank. Although it is a bit entertaining for me when one of them accidentally swims in front of the jet.

Cliff
04-12-2015, 03:25 PM
LOL, when it comes to what high flow, moderate flow, and low flow is, there are a lot of calculations, formulas, and rules of thumb out there that you can use. I used to get caught up in all of that until I realized it can be a lot easier if you think about it this way:

Low flow would barely cause your corals to move (not much movement at all), medium flow is just enough for corals or polyps to sway back and forth gently, and high flow would make your corals look like plants outside on a very windy day

showmebutterfly
04-12-2015, 04:43 PM
Gentle swaying will be my goal. Thank you for that analogy, Cliff!

showmebutterfly
04-15-2015, 02:45 AM
Nitrates were still at 5 ppm when I checked tonight. I completed a 50% PWC and will test again in a couple days. I got a little more work done on the dining room over the weekend and hope to be able to start working on the beat up tank stand next Thursday. This Thursday we have to work on the yard. :(

I ordered a few plants for the brackish tank today. I figure if I'm going to have the 2 tanks side by side and have pretty macro algae in the SW tank then I should at least try to have some nice plants in the brackish tank. I also got the 425 circulation pump ordered for the SW tank yesterday. :)

Boundava
04-15-2015, 01:16 PM
Sounds like you are rolling with the double tanks, did you get the new stand fortified and painted? I think this is such a neat idea. :19:

showmebutterfly
04-15-2015, 01:48 PM
We haven't started work on the stand yet. The hubs works weekends. I work 4 10 hour days thru the week so that we can have Thursdays off together. Projects that we want to work on together (like the stand) often get pushed to the back burner by stuff that has to get done around the farm (like working on the yard) or family obligations or just us being old, out of shape and tired. But we did just get the stand last Thursday, although it sure seems like it has been sitting in the hay barn taunting me for a lot longer than that! I've been trying to work on the dining room on the weekends in between running errands and other chores. Too much to do and not enough energy (because I probably do have the time somewhere). I've started taking vitamins. Hoping they'll kick in any day now... lol

darkmerlin21
04-15-2015, 01:56 PM
This thread has eluded me until now.. Lol.. but love the concept your going for here! Subscribed!

Slaphppy7
04-15-2015, 01:57 PM
It would be cool to live on a farm....

Boundava
04-15-2015, 02:09 PM
Yup, know the feeling-life just seems to get in the way of our plans. I just did the same thing, got some of those Alive vitamins, going to see how that works after a week.

showmebutterfly
04-15-2015, 02:29 PM
It would be cool to live on a farm....

I used to think that too! lol We only have 10 acres, 3 calves and a small, very old farmhouse, but they keep us busy. We did have the hubs' invalid mother living with us, until it got to the point where living in an old house out in the country wasn't the safest option for her anymore. She moved in with the hubs' sister in town the end of May and she's as happy as a clam in her new digs. It's nice for us too, since we're basically newlyweds, and it's allowed us to do some much needed work on the house without worry of upsetting her or disturbing her routine. We're just glad she's liking it so well there. She getting more visitors now and a handicap accessible van that will come pick her up to take her to doctor appointments (they wouldn't come out when she lived with us since we're just outside the city limits). So there are drawbacks to farm life. But it is pretty peaceful when there's time to relax. Which may be why we relax way more than we should!

Slaphppy7
04-15-2015, 02:53 PM
"Only" ten acres, lol...I would love it...peace and quiet, fresh air, all that good stuff

Boundava
04-15-2015, 03:16 PM
I agree, always wanted to be on a farm, even if its only 10 acres.

showmebutterfly
04-15-2015, 03:16 PM
It's all good until it's time to do yard work! lol I'm not an outdoorsy type person. Except for camping in the fall. I do love that. Only these days - in a camper, with a real mattress and indoor plumbing. lol

showmebutterfly
04-19-2015, 06:21 PM
And after saying I'm not an outdoorsy type person - I've been outside playing in the dirt! I was supposed to be cleaning house and getting some more work done on the dining room.

A trip to Lowe's + a lot of $$ spent

40606

My first ever attempt at flower baskets!

40607

I am trying not to think of all the fish stuff I could have bought with the money I spent just to put together 2 deck planters! But I'm still pretty darn proud of myself for making them. Now just keeping my fingers crossed that the plants live!

Slaphppy7
04-19-2015, 07:20 PM
They look very nice!....wish I had a deck...

showmebutterfly
04-23-2015, 09:20 PM
Happy, happy! The protein skimmer the LFS ordered for me came in today!

40657

40658

showmebutterfly
04-25-2015, 04:46 PM
We didn't get to work on the stand Thursday. The hubs got called over to his sister's house to do some handyman work for her and their mom. I've asked him to put helping me with the stand on his calender for next Thursday!

This weekend I'm working on the dining room floor where the large antique buffet piece used to sit. I think we've decided we're going to put the salty setups in that corner instead of the corner where the desk used to sit. If we'd decided this sooner I possibly could have gone with two 29 gallon tanks instead of two 20 gallon tanks. But it's all good. I'll have room for a small storage piece beside the stand and more storage is always a good thing in our small house!

Slaphppy7
04-25-2015, 04:50 PM
Sounds like a good plan...kudos to hubby for helping sister out

Going to have Mexican food with the family today, might have a "salty setup" or two to drink

showmebutterfly
04-25-2015, 04:51 PM
Sounds like a good plan...kudos to hubby for helping sister out

Going to have Mexican food with the family today, might have a "salty setup" or two to drink

Sounds good! Enjoy one for me, please!

Slaphppy7
04-25-2015, 04:54 PM
I sure will.....

SomethingIsFishy
04-25-2015, 07:21 PM
I like the flowers! I always have a few pots going on my little patio... Just keep them watered and they should do well!

Can't wait to see the tanks come together...

showmebutterfly
04-26-2015, 03:09 PM
Just posting this because I thought it was awesome and funny. It made me laugh today. :)

40685

Slaphppy7
04-26-2015, 03:29 PM
Reminds me of a Chia pet, LOL

showmebutterfly
04-26-2015, 03:44 PM
Reminds me of a Chia pet, LOL

Me too! I think I may need a SW chia pet. Although I bet it would be a bit difficult to keep whatever is growing on top from engulfing the entire statue. But whoever did this has a great sense of humor. :)

Slaphppy7
04-26-2015, 03:54 PM
Yeah, I bet this guy didn't have a perfect afro like that for long...I could see how it would take over the whole statue before long

showmebutterfly
04-30-2015, 10:18 PM
Hooray! We got to get some work done on the fixer upper aquarium stand! I took off the particle board doors and ripped out the warped and thin particle board flooring.

40745

40746

showmebutterfly
04-30-2015, 10:22 PM
We added 2x4's to the bottom of the stand for more stability and to make the stand a little taller.

40747

The hubs! :) <3

40748

showmebutterfly
04-30-2015, 10:26 PM
The hubs put in 3/4" laminated boards for the new flooring and installed a shelf on one side of the cabinet, per my request.

40749

40750

I'm hoping this weekend I can go over everything with a sander and get to painting. I want to have doors on the stand to keep the cats out, but the hubs doesn't like the doors that were on it. We'll be hunting for or making new doors. I did find some cute starfish cabinet knobs to put on whatever doors end up on the stand. :)

gronlaura
04-30-2015, 10:30 PM
Hi, Hubs!!! Stand is looking great.

Boundava
04-30-2015, 10:33 PM
Looking really good. Say "Hi" to Hubs for me.

showmebutterfly
04-30-2015, 10:54 PM
The hubs says hi everyone. :waveyellow:

darkmerlin21
04-30-2015, 11:32 PM
Looks like good progress is being made on the stand. I'm sure you're just as anxious for it to be done as we all are. Thanks for the pics that allow us to follow the progress and tell hubs he's doing a great job!

Slaphppy7
05-01-2015, 01:01 AM
Tell hubs I'll sit and have a beer while I watch him work....:cheers:

showmebutterfly
05-03-2015, 05:48 PM
After testing the water, Nitrates are at at 5 ppm. I completed a 75% water change to try to get those down. I haven't added salt to the water yet. I'll do that once I soak out all the nitrates from my dead rock and calcified corals and get the tank moved to its proper location.

It's not looking like I'll get much, if anything, done with the stand or the dining room floors this weekend. Yesterday I was running errands and losing track of time all day. Today I'm working on PWC for all 5 tanks (cichlid tank, jungle tank, brackish tank, tank with plants acclimating from FW to brackish water and this tank) and need to make a grocery run at some point to get items on my new list that I forgot to get while running errands yesterday. :(

I think I have decided on a plan for the stand though. Whether or not I can make it look like the image in my mind is another matter! I wanted to paint the stand and the hubs wanted me to refinish and stain it. The compromise is that I will sand and stain the body of the stand, but will paint the top and around the bottom. The doors are the part that may or may not turn out like I'm hoping since I'm hardly ever as artsy as I would wish to be.

I bought some pine wood to use for making the doors

40799

and a couple of pretty starfish knobs (picture uploaded from google search)

40800

I would like to use a technique called reverse stenciling on the doors. Here is an example (also uploaded from google search)

40801

Basically the stencil / pattern in the center would be stained wood and the space around the stencil would be painted. I haven't chosen a pattern yet. I'm not sure if I want to go with something beachy like a coral outline or if I want to go with something more generic or if I want to go with some kind of quote, letter or monogram on the doors. So many options. Too many ideas. Pinterest is the spawn of the devil....

Slaphppy7
05-03-2015, 05:54 PM
Well, you did make some progress...you got the wood home!

This will be a fun stand build to watch...you've got some great ideas.

showmebutterfly
05-06-2015, 01:23 PM
Update - I got to mark another item off my shopping list! PetSmart had their AquaClear filters on sale and I ended up getting an AC70 for this tank. I was going to get the 110, but after getting the skimmer (in tank not HOB), looking at the space available and knowing I still have to get a heater in there and move around the circulation pumps to get the flow right, plus the considerable price gap between the 70 and the 110, I decided to go with the 70. I've got it on the tank and running. The flow output is considerable. More than I imagined it would be, but that's partially because there's nothing in the filter except the sponge. Once it's modified and full of chaeto, that will slow the flow down a bit. It seems to be a bit noisy - motor / impeller hum? It's not the lid rattling. Anyone have any suggestions for that?

And as excited as I was about getting AC70 for this build, I didn't get anything posted here last night because of the goings on in another tank - I came home to find a swarm of chromide cichlid fry in my brackish tank! I've posted a pic and a short video under my thread in the brackish forum if anyone is interested in checking that out. :goldfish:

Boundava
05-06-2015, 01:38 PM
I am glad you got such a great deal on the filter. I was looking at the 110 too-it is really big. I just say the plans for the stand design/paint; love what you are going to do with it, and the door knobs are too cute!

showmebutterfly
05-06-2015, 01:51 PM
Thank you! I looked up measurements of the filters online and then was measuring the back of my tank and the opening widths in the current hood - all the while the hubs watching me like I'd lost my mind, but not asking any questions. lol
I could have possibly squeezed a 110 into the available space on the back, but I just couldn't see paying almost $70 (sale price) for something that I was going to modify. Even if it is mostly just the basket part that will be affected. And since adding this as a small refugium wasn't / isn't totally necessary for this setup, it's mostly for my peace of mind - I was okay with paying $40 (sale price) for the 70.
After having spent around $130 for a protein skimmer (which actually wasn't too bad a price for one of those) that also wasn't totally necessary for this setup, but more for my peace of mind, I am trying to reel in the spending some. I've got to save up money for the eventual tank inhabitants! And the saltwater and the refractometer and the test kits and and and... I need to go buy a lottery ticket!

Boundava
05-06-2015, 02:11 PM
I was just looking and it seems Amazon is matching pet(notso)smart's prices for every AC except the 110.

Boundava
05-06-2015, 02:13 PM
Thank you! I looked up measurements of the filters online and then was measuring the back of my tank and the opening widths in the current hood - all the while the hubs watching me like I'd lost my mind, but not asking any questions. lol
I could have possibly squeezed a 110 into the available space on the back, but I just couldn't see paying almost $70 (sale price) for something that I was going to modify. Even if it is mostly just the basket part that will be affected. And since adding this as a small refugium wasn't / isn't totally necessary for this setup, it's mostly for my peace of mind - I was okay with paying $40 (sale price) for the 70.
After having spent around $130 for a protein skimmer (which actually wasn't too bad a price for one of those) that also wasn't totally necessary for this setup, but more for my peace of mind, I am trying to reel in the spending some. I've got to save up money for the eventual tank inhabitants! And the saltwater and the refractometer and the test kits and and and... I need to go buy a lottery ticket!

Lol, I know it adds up. I just put the 10 and 20 together and got a pay cut at work as my reward for MTS spending.

showmebutterfly
05-06-2015, 02:51 PM
I was just looking and it seems Amazon is matching pet(notso)smart's prices for every AC except the 110.

I did overhear one of the fish people telling a lady who was buying a clown loach that it would get pretty big and that she'd need to make arrangements to have a bigger tank for it as it grows. I was sort of impressed by that since it's not often you hear accurate advice being given. Although it probably would have been better to have steered the customer to a more suitable option for their tank size to begin with....
Maybe Amazon will come down on the 110 prices eventually. It's good they have the others on sale at comparable prices. Sale price is so much better than full price!


Lol, I know it adds up. I just put the 10 and 20 together and got a pay cut at work as my reward for MTS spending.

That really stinks that you got a pay cut. Doesn't it seem like there's always something that keeps you from having fun?! Plus it's hard enough these days to try to make paychecks cover the necessities. Just remember that some days buying a little something for your hobby or yourself counts as a necessity. I call it retail therapy. Too bad there's not many inexpensive little somethings to buy in this hobby (except for fish - but who wants to buy just one?) Well, I meant to be supportive, but I think that may make it worse? :(

I'm just lucky I had a gift card to use for the filters. Otherwise they would've had to wait for a while. I got a pretty big medical bill in the mail from when I was so sick in March and that pretty much wiped out what I'd been planning to use for the filters and a couple other items. I am grateful these days that the hubs hates shopping and is willing to get me gift cards for special occasions! I've got a little $$ left on the gift card and I know I'll be hanging on to it for dear life - looking for a bargain and trying to figure out what I HAVE to have as opposed to what I want to have.

Slaphppy7
05-06-2015, 03:15 PM
I noticed that BOTH of my AC70's were a bit noisy at first...but gradually, they quieted down

Did you lube the impeller shaft before setting it up on the tank?

showmebutterfly
05-06-2015, 03:27 PM
I noticed that BOTH of my AC70's were a bit noisy at first...but gradually, they quieted down

Did you lube the impeller shaft before setting it up on the tank?

No lube, but I can do that when I get home tonight. I wondered about that when it started making noise.. The tank doesn't really need to have the filter running right now since it's just rocks and plain water, but I had to take my new toy out of its box and 'play' with it. I actually did sit there and watch it running for quite a while. That's kind of sad when you think about it too much. lol
I didn't feel like I should put the other new filter on the brackish tank because of the babies. I was going to put it on the end where they are, but I don't want them getting sucked up into the filter. It looks like I'll be ordering some mesh prefilters for that tank!

Slaphppy7
05-06-2015, 03:32 PM
The mesh prefilters are the way to go...posted on your brackish thread a few tips for the AC70

showmebutterfly
05-06-2015, 03:53 PM
The mesh prefilters are the way to go...posted on your brackish thread a few tips for the AC70
Saw that - thank you!

Slaphppy7
05-06-2015, 03:56 PM
Anytime.....

showmebutterfly
05-08-2015, 09:06 PM
The hubs and I were discussing the stand over lunch. Specifically the doors and hinges. He suggested that large black hinges like ones that are typically used on gates might look cool. I agreed. After a trip to Lowe's to pick out the hinges, we've made more work for him since we'll need to cut the down the doors to flush mount the hinges. He said he's okay with that. I'm happy that he's offering advice and suggestions and is taking an interest in this build. I probably won't be trying the reverse stencil technique on the doors now because I think the hinges we picked out are really nice and I don't want to detract from them. :)

40897

showmebutterfly
05-08-2015, 09:43 PM
Watching 'Tanked' with the hubs and they show some clownfish -

Me: I'm getting one of those for my tank

The hubs: A nemo?

Me: Yes. A clownfish.

The hubs: You know.... you could get a black one and call it Emo

Me: :doh:

cm12setx
05-09-2015, 02:12 PM
:rollingyellow: funny funny. Do we need to call Dr. Phil for a consultant of the emo clown fish?

showmebutterfly
05-09-2015, 02:36 PM
Ugh! No Dr. Phil. I can not stand him! We'd have to find someone else to consult. :)

I like the black and white clownfish, but I think my dad probably had the Nemo type in mind. Back in the day, when he had his big reef tank, he had a clown and anemone. That was before all the 'designer' clownfish became a thing. Of course it was also before calling clownfish Nemo became a thing too. lol

I am starting to get antsy about getting this show on the road and getting these tanks setup! Hopefully by the end of this month I'll have the stand finished, the tanks in place and cycling started on the SW tank. :fingerscrossed:

Slaphppy7
05-09-2015, 04:06 PM
Nice progress, those hinges are cool

And I'm with you, can't stand "Dr." Phil....he makes me ill

showmebutterfly
05-09-2015, 04:26 PM
Thank you! Me too. *gag*

I think the hinges we bought are about 8". We looked at some bigger (longer) ones, but those suckers are pretty pricey! We also discussed making faux hinges using either thin wood or aluminum or even making steel braces for the doors. In the end we decided it would be easier to just cut down the wood I'd already bought for the doors since the hinges have to be flush mounted. The hubs is good about thinking outside the box and throwing out ideas. I'm good about being indecisive. Luckily, I'm also lazy and went with the least labor intensive option. lol

Slaphppy7
05-09-2015, 04:31 PM
They'll be cool looking on the stand...just try not to get them too wet, too often

showmebutterfly
05-11-2015, 04:24 PM
Yesterday, instead of enjoying Mother's Day, all I could think about was how much I'm dreading Father's Day coming next month. Today I looked at my calendar and realized that holiday is less than 6 weeks away. Now I am thinking how nice it would be if I were able to have this tank ready for a clownfish for my dad by then. I don't even know if that's a realistic possibility. The stand isn't finished. The tank hasn't been properly set up. And I haven't even begun cycling. It's probably not a possibility. But it's nice to think about and a goal to work toward. I just wished I'd thought of it sooner!

Slaphppy7
05-11-2015, 04:49 PM
Understood....no worries, Dad will see the tank and the clownfish when it happens, I'm sure of it

showmebutterfly
05-11-2015, 05:00 PM
Thank you, Matt. I'm sure of it too. :)

cm12setx
05-12-2015, 01:47 AM
Could you use the tank with the plants accumulating to cycle your media for this salt water tank?

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 02:20 AM
I don't think I could. The tank with the plants isn't cycled. I just have the filter in there for some circulation. Also the salinity of the tank with the plants will only be 1.005. The salinity in the SW tank will be around 1.025.
I do appreciate you asking the question though.
The rocks in the SW tank will act as the media and the powerheads will filter the water thru the rocks. I am considering going ahead and adding the SW and dosing with ammonia to start cycling the tank. It may mess up the cycle when I move everything. But then again, it might not. I'm still debating.

Could you use the tank with the plants accumulating to cycle your media for this salt water tank?

cm12setx
05-12-2015, 03:23 AM
Can the bacteria accumulate from a lower salinity to a higher one?

Found this.
http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

if rocks are media. Lost train of thought.

Found this interesting read.
http://successfulreefkeeping.com/learn/curing-live-rock/

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 02:38 PM
That first article made my brain hurt a bit. lol I've been having to break stuff down into really simple terms for myself. Trying to figure out how everything works in relation to what I'm used to and can comprehend. Some stuff has taken a while. SW filtration has taken me quite a while. Protein skimmers confused me. Sumps? Forget about it. I need simple, simple, simple. :dunce:

After having freshwater tanks and filters filled with media it is been difficult for me to wrap my head around how SW filtration works. I think I have finally figured out terms that my brain can handle. The tank is the filter housing, the porous rocks are the media and the power heads circulate the water thru the filter and media. Water changes are still used to remove bad stuff and replenish good stuff (don't ask me to explain good stuff and bad stuff - just go with it). That covers basic filtration necessities. I think.

Extra goodies can be added. With FW it's stuff like a co2 injector or a UV sterilizer. With SW it's stuff like a protein skimmer or a phosphate reactor. I'm going with a protein skimmer and a refugium. I have no idea what a phosphate reactor is and right now I have no desire to know! There are other goodies, of course, but since my brain can only handle so much, I've drawn the line here. For now. :seeingstars:

The protein skimmer is supposed to remove proteins from the water and produces a stinky brown sludge as evidence that it is working and ensuring that the yuck that makes up the sludge isn't in your tank harming your critters. Like I've said previously somewhere in this thread - not totally necessary for my setup, but it will give me peace of mind.

I'll be using a refugium for extra water flow and a place to put chaeto algae to help improve water quality. The chaeto will help remove phosphates and nitrates from the water. Again.. said previously.. not totally necessary... peace of mind is not overrated.

That's my easy peasy way of looking at my setup - in terms that I can understand. Probably too simple. It barely covers the basics. But it works for my brain. If it helps anyone else who's struggling with all the BIG WORDS and new concepts, it's worth the ramble. Hopefully. thumbs2:

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 02:42 PM
Yeah....OK....I'll take your word for it....it's all Greek to me....

I do love Cheetos though, my favorite is the puffy ones....they're delicious

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 02:42 PM
Can the bacteria accumulate from a lower salinity to a higher one?

Found this.
http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html

if rocks are media. Lost train of thought.

Found this interesting read.
http://successfulreefkeeping.com/learn/curing-live-rock/

Chris - you made me have to use my brain this morning - not nice! :14:

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 02:46 PM
Yeah....OK....I'll take your word for it....it's all Greek to me....

I do love Cheetos though, my favorite is the puffy ones....they're delicious

The crunchy ones are my favorite! Uhm.... Cheetos.... dang it. Now I want some. They're breakfast food... right?

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 02:58 PM
Sure!...anytime's a good time for Cheetos!

Have you tried the jalapeno cheddar?....they're awesome

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 03:02 PM
Sure!...anytime's a good time for Cheetos!

Have you tried the jalapeno cheddar?....they're awesome

I can't do hot/spicy. If it has the words hot or spicy or anything related to hot and / or spicy - jalapeno is a close relative, I'm sure! - I stay far away from it. I would not make a good Texan. :(

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 03:08 PM
That's too bad....they go really good with cold beers

Boundava
05-12-2015, 03:24 PM
Yeah....OK....I'll take your word for it....it's all Greek to me....

I do love Cheetos though, my favorite is the puffy ones....they're delicious

:yeahthat: My favorite as a kid was the canisters of the planters cheese balls. Those were yummy, even if I have orange finger nails for the rest of the day.
Someone gave me this tip to avoid orange hands (other than not eating the junk-lol) is to use chopsticks. Haven't had any cheese puffs or Cheetos in many years so I can't say if it works. You are making me crave some though...:scry:

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 03:26 PM
That's too bad....they go really good with cold beers
I can't drink beer either. I'm a sweet white wine or mixed drink gal. Sweet and fruity. lol

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 03:41 PM
:yeahthat: My favorite as a kid was the canisters of the planters cheese balls. Those were yummy, even if I have orange finger nails for the rest of the day.
Someone gave me this tip to avoid orange hands (other than not eating the junk-lol) is to use chopsticks. Haven't had any cheese puffs or Cheetos in many years so I can't say if it works. You are making me crave some though...:scry:

Oh, we used to LOVE those as kids....


I can't drink beer either. I'm a sweet white wine or mixed drink gal. Sweet and fruity. lol

Ugh...hurl material, LOL

Boundava
05-12-2015, 03:50 PM
I can't drink beer either. I'm a sweet white wine or mixed drink gal. Sweet and fruity. lol

I can't stand most all beers either, I can only cook with it-or bake with it.

showmebutterfly
05-12-2015, 04:05 PM
I can't stand most all beers either, I can only cook with it-or bake with it.
Beer bread is a good thing! Beer battered fried stuff is great. But just beer to drink? Nope. lol

Boundava
05-12-2015, 04:15 PM
I don't discriminate-I cook and bake with wine and hard liquor too. I only will drink wine and champagne on special occasions, and hard liquor only at funerals. The only beer I liked was an apple beer and pumpkin ale from Trader Joes.

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 04:20 PM
I only drink beer on days that end in "y".

Boundava
05-12-2015, 04:39 PM
lol...that's a lot of beer. :cheers:

Slaphppy7
05-12-2015, 04:40 PM
And it's quite delicious.

cm12setx
05-13-2015, 12:09 AM
Food for thought, protein skimmer removes organic waste in a brown foam. In nature at the beach some times you will see foam wash a shore. It is the same process just in a larger scale.

Smb are you planning to grow stuff in the refugeuim? With small light and mud?

showmebutterfly
05-13-2015, 12:14 AM
Food for thought, protein skimmer removes organic waste in a brown foam. In nature at the beach some times you will see foam wash a shore. It is the same process just in a larger scale.

Smb are you planning to grow stuff in the refugeuim? With small light and mud?

I only plan on having chaeto algae in the fuge. That reminds me... I do need to put a small light for that on my shopping list!
Cliff said the chaeto will help keep the nitrates down. I wonder how he's doing... seems like Cliff hasn't been online in a while and I know he'd mentioned he was having some health issues.

cm12setx
05-13-2015, 12:23 AM
I hope he is well also.
Found this for you to read and curse me later.
https://www.reefcleaners.org/stocking-the-sump-refugium
Also look at these lights? I think one might work.
http://www.aquavibrant.com/lighting.html?cat=15

cm12setx
05-13-2015, 12:49 AM
And one more read for not fun but information. It's neat.
http://www.chucksaddiction.com/algae.html

showmebutterfly
05-13-2015, 01:01 AM
I hope he is well also.
Found this for you to read and curse me later.
https://www.reefcleaners.org/stocking-the-sump-refugium
Also look at these lights? I think one might work.
http://www.aquavibrant.com/lighting.html?cat=15

lol No cursing you. I've read that first link before. It's a good one.

I like some of those lights - of course the ones I like are out of stock.

I'm reading up on how to modify an AquaClear HOB filter into a fuge. There are several DIY instructions online and some YouTube videos. I'll probably post some pics myself once I get mine done. :)

cm12setx
05-13-2015, 01:03 AM
Cool can't wait to see it.

showmebutterfly
05-13-2015, 01:10 AM
Since I've heard (several times) that nothing good happens fast in this hobby, I've decided to wait on starting to cycle this tank until I've got it set up in its proper location and not try to rush things. In the meantime I'm reading up on cycling a SW tank using a mix of dry and live rock. I've printed out several articles - one of them written by our very own Cliff! - so I can go over them and have them handy for reference when I do start cycling. I'm working on my patience and practicing my study skills. :)

showmebutterfly
05-13-2015, 02:04 AM
And one more read for not fun but information. It's neat.
http://www.chucksaddiction.com/algae.html

Looks like a good article. I scrolled thru and looked at the pretty pictures. lol I did read that red macroalgae, which is what I'd like to have in my tank, is recommended for the home aquarium. :)

cm12setx
05-13-2015, 02:13 AM
Salt water or fresh water. You find out all the information you can to make your decisions. We ask questions for info and advice. That way we makes better choices for our tanks.

It is very cool to see how you have done you different tanks. We learn from each other. I hope this will be very cool tank.

Slaphppy7
05-13-2015, 02:59 AM
Agreed, this lady isn't afraid to experiment for variety in fishkeeping, that's for certain thumbs2:

Plus, she gets to live on a FARM, clean fresh air, other animals besides fish...peace and quiet

Maybe one day she'll have so many different tanks that she needs help with maintenance, and you and me can move out there and help out with WC's, and live the farm life, too

All we ask for in return is more fish to keep and take care of...she has a barn, you know :hmm3grin2orange:

showmebutterfly
05-13-2015, 12:54 PM
Salt water or fresh water. You find out all the information you can to make your decisions. We ask questions for info and advice. That way we makes better choices for our tanks.

It is very cool to see how you have done you different tanks. We learn from each other. I hope this will be very cool tank.


Agreed, this lady isn't afraid to experiment for variety in fishkeeping, that's for certain thumbs2:

Plus, she gets to live on a FARM, clean fresh air, other animals besides fish...peace and quiet

Maybe one day she'll have so many different tanks that she needs help with maintenance, and you and me can move out there and help out with WC's, and live the farm life, too

All we ask for in return is more fish to keep and take care of...she has a barn, you know :hmm3grin2orange:

Thank you, guys! I've learned a lot from y'all too and love seeing pics of your tanks (and videos) on your threads. :)

I've heard variety is the spice of life! I think I've reached my limit on fish tanks though. I'm really hoping I don't read about any other really cool setups - although some of those vivarium setups sure look great! I have researched those too. lol MTS. It's real and it's out there....

I don't know about peace and quiet - cows mooing at me as I walked out the back door and a barn cat meowing for food all the way from the back door to the garage / barn. Birds chirping. Horses neighing (not on our property and not ours - the hubs said I can't have a pony *sad face*).

Y'all can help with maintenance any time. Or come for a bonfire party in the back pasture - just watch out for those cow pies!

We actually don't have a barn in the typical sense - not one of those cool big red barns. We have a couple wooden structures (one that needs to be torn down and rebuilt - hey! y'all can come help do that!) that the cows can get into for shelter if they're not up under the cypress trees (the cypress helps keep bugs away). Our big building is the hubs' garage / shop. Our little hay barn is a lean-to attachment next to the shop. The hubs and I got married in the hay barn - just us, the officiant and 2 witnesses. In case you ever need to know this - twinkle lights can make almost anything pretty. :)

Slaphppy7
05-13-2015, 01:18 PM
Sounds awesome to me...lemme win the lotto real quick, and I'll see you out at Green Acres soon.

showmebutterfly
05-14-2015, 09:26 PM
It's been a spendy day. I bought a new heater. And a digital food scale that I am telling myself that I need to assist with dieting. The reality is that I wanted it for weighing the rocks from my dad to make sure I have a good lbs of rock per gallon of water ratio. And I bought a shell charm for my bracelet because it jumped off the display and told me I needed it. (I hate when jewelry does that!)
I did not buy a rock for the tank. I really wanted it. It was really pretty. And around $40. I wish I'd bought it. But it was a rock. And I didn't buy it. So I bought a heater. And a scale. And a shell charm. But I did not buy the rock. *sigh*

Slaphppy7
05-14-2015, 09:33 PM
I woulda skipped the charm, and gotten the rock......:14:

Probably since I don't have a charm bracelet....that I'll admit, anyway

Boundava
05-14-2015, 09:34 PM
Good job with the willpower vs. the rock. Glad you won. :ezpi_wink1:

Boundava
05-14-2015, 09:59 PM
I woulda skipped the charm, and gotten the rock......:14:

Probably since I don't have a charm bracelet....that I'll admit, anyway

Yup, like the purse, we had to force that out of you...:rolling:

showmebutterfly
05-14-2015, 10:00 PM
I'm not so sure it counts as a win... since if I'd bought the rock I wouldn't have bought the digital scale or the shell charm or the bottle of wine or the bag of double stuff oreos (well... maybe I would have still gotten those - they were on sale).
Word to the wise - don't not buy something you really want and then go wander around a large discount store! I'm going to blame this on the hubs - I went there to get a few things for him and stuff for supper (not that I don't eat and not that we're not cooking one of my favorite meals tonight - spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread - but that's beside the point).

showmebutterfly
05-14-2015, 10:18 PM
In less disgruntled news - our LFS had the heater I wanted for a dollar or two less than the big box pet stores so I did pick that up there. They are in the process of redoing their SW section. They had one large tank with nothing but SW snails - turbo, margarita and astraea. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a few of the margarita snails. Because, well - margarita! How can I not, really? They had another large tank set up for shrimp, but didn't have it stocked yet. I did see a few peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp and bright red fire shrimp in some of the smaller SW tanks. I'm excited about the snails and shrimp displays because sooner or later I'll need some of those and I'm happy that I'll be able to buy them locally.

Boundava
05-14-2015, 10:25 PM
Oh , and I an happily waiting for pics of your tank with all of those in there, lol

cm12setx
05-14-2015, 10:51 PM
Are you sure you want to mix margaritas and fire on the same night sounds dangerous. Err well fun.

showmebutterfly
05-14-2015, 10:55 PM
Me too! The hubs is stuck working mandatory overtime this week and isn't getting his usual Thursday and Friday off and still has to work over the weekend. :( I'm hoping that next Thursday we'll get to do some more work on the stand. Actually, I'm hoping we'll get the stand done and moved into the house next Thursday, but we'll see how that works out. I'm going to try to get my act together and be productive this weekend!

showmebutterfly
05-14-2015, 10:57 PM
Are you sure you want to mix margaritas and fire on the same night sounds dangerous. Err well fun.

I'm living on the edge! Or something. lol

showmebutterfly
05-16-2015, 04:08 PM
Stand progress! Our goal is get the stand moved into the house on Thursday. We are planning to cut the wood for the inset doors tonight, if the hubs doesn't get off work too late. I've finished sanding the stand so I can paint and stain it and stain the doors tomorrow.

After first sanding:
41007

After second (and probably final) sanding:
41008

It's getting closer to being done! I'd like to do a picture / art / collage wall above the tanks, if I can get the layout to look nice. One of the things I'd like to use is a painting I did when I was a teenager. My dad and I took a couple of painting classes together when I was in high school. This is the painting I did in one of the classes. It's sort of a seascape...
41009

Slaphppy7
05-16-2015, 04:12 PM
Stand is looking awesome, and the painting is "picture perfect" to hang above the tank....

showmebutterfly
05-16-2015, 04:22 PM
Thank you, Matt. I've never really displayed the painting, because I didn't think it was 'good enough'. Now I look at it and think how great it was to have that time with my dad taking those classes. My brother and sister were more athletic and he'd coach their summer baseball and softball teams. I am not athletic. Dad always said I throw like a girl. (Seriously?!) I didn't think much of it then, but him taking the time for us to take those classes together really means a lot to me in hindsight. Funny the things you think about and how your perspective changes.

Slaphppy7
05-16-2015, 04:33 PM
All the more reason to hang the painting...I think it looks awesome, and it has those special memories, too

showmebutterfly
05-16-2015, 09:41 PM
I've spent a good portion of the afternoon playing with rocks. Never a dull moment here.... (blush)

I took all of the rocks that I've had soaking out of the future SW tank and took the big rock that I'd had in the brackish tank out of there (the fish were not happy about that). After they'd drained and dried on a towel for a while, all the rocks got weighed on my handy dandy new digital food scale. Anything that weighed less than 1 lb. got put in a bucket and set to the side. Some of those may go into the brackish tank when I move and remodel it. We'll see. I ended up with 6 nice sized rocks (right around 16 1/2 lbs. total weight) that I'd like to use in the SW build.

The 3 rocks in the front and the barnacle in the middle are from my dad's SW tank(s). This isn't the final layout by any means. I just felt like taking a picture to share. I am happy that it looks less cluttered and crowded. :ssmile:

41013

RiversGirl
05-16-2015, 09:43 PM
Agree! I really like your painting too. I'm a big believer in displaying things that make you smile. It is your house, so if it makes your heart smile, than put it somewhere where you will see it daily.

Besides, I really do like this painting and think you did a great job.

showmebutterfly
05-16-2015, 09:46 PM
Thank you, RG! I'm happy I've decided to finally display it and will enjoy the good memories it brings whenever I look at it. :)

RiversGirl
05-16-2015, 09:58 PM
I'm really happy you will display this too!!

Also, an afternoon spent playing with lovely rocks such as those sounds really fun.

showmebutterfly
05-16-2015, 10:04 PM
I am so ready to get the stand finished and in the house so that I can get this tank properly set up and start cycling it! I'm also looking forward to reworking the brackish tank and having the 2 tanks side by side. It's going to be a PITA, but I'm still looking forward to getting the move done.

showmebutterfly
05-17-2015, 12:05 AM
More pictures! I don't know that my deal is today... maybe just picture crazy....

The hubs and I got the doors cut out for the stand
41014

And he brought home supper
41015

Or maybe I just want to brag about how awesome my husband is!

showmebutterfly
05-17-2015, 09:38 PM
Ugh. Rain and humidity have literally put a damper on my progress with the stand. It doesn't look like we'll be moving it in on Thursday. :scry:
I'm too aggravated to mess with it any more today and with working 10 hour days I'm pretty sure I won't feel like messing with it after work either.

Good news #1 - We had some carriage bolts that will work with the hinges we bought. The hubs said we have washers so I only had to buy some nuts to fit the bolts. I am happy that the bolts are already dark colored and I won't need to paint them.
41023

Good news # 2 - I managed to get the material that we're using to help waterproof the bottom of the stand fitted and installed. I don't know what the material is called, but it comes in sheets and is often used in showers, tub surrounds, etc., and it's something we already had since it was leftover from a bathroom project. The hubs cut it to size for me last night when he cut the cabinet doors. I used tin snips to make cut outs to fit around the 2x4 bracings. That took longer than I anticipated, but it's done! We just need to caulk around the edges and it should be as waterproof as we'll need it to be.

Good news #3 - I didn't have to buy or try to fit a 4' x 8' piece of foam board insulation into my CR-V because the hubs has some left over from when he had the garage built. So glad I called him to ask about that before I went to Lowe's! I'll just add here that the hubs is a bit of a hoarder, but it has saved us quite a bit of money on this build!

Bad news - I rushed trying to put on the 2nd coat of stain and made more work for myself by being impatient. This is where the rain and humidity (and my impatience) caused problems. I'll need to re-sand and re-stain the blotchy parts where I got in a hurry and then put on the 2nd coat properly once the 1st coat has completely dried. Trying to put on the 2nd coat before the 1st coat dried did not work out so well! But I think I'm really going to like it once the stained part gets evened out and isn't all blotchy.
41024

It's progress, so I'll try not to be too grumpy about not getting it all finished.

gronlaura
05-18-2015, 07:15 PM
Stand progress is great - it's gonna look super! And I agree, hanging your painting above the tank is a good idea. Nice job on the seascape.

showmebutterfly
05-18-2015, 07:52 PM
Thank you, Laura. :) It's all starting to come together! :19:

wgoldfarb
05-19-2015, 02:29 AM
Looking great...Can't wait to see the finished stand! I envy your wood working skills!

Boundava
05-19-2015, 12:43 PM
I agree with everyone. The stand is really coming together very nicely. Love the color you are staining it, and the hinges are going to look so nice. I also think you did a great job on that painting, and it will look very nice hanging above the tanks and stand. I have rushed paint jobs by not letting the prior coat dry 100%, and have regretted it. Why is patience so hard? :oldtimer:

showmebutterfly
05-19-2015, 12:43 PM
Thank you, Goldie. We didn't build the stand - just reinforced and refinishing it. The reinforcing is mostly thanks to the hubs. I am terrified of the table saw and circular saw. I do love the cordless drill / screwdriver though. :)

showmebutterfly
05-19-2015, 12:49 PM
Thank you, Boundava! I am excited about the hinges. I've been worrying that my little starfish knobs might look funny with the large hinges. But I can't find anything else I like better. The hubs mentioned maybe using gate latches, but the ones I've found are too bulky. I really like the little starfish knobs so they'll be used in some capacity. :)

Boundava
05-19-2015, 01:35 PM
I like the knobs too. You might want to dry brush the hinges with a metallic bronze or dark tan/brown, might blend them in more?

I am also terrified of the circular saw or band saws, no problem with cordless drills or the jigsaws.

showmebutterfly
05-19-2015, 02:02 PM
I was thinking I might dry brush the knobs with black - smaller surface area to cover and less expensive if I mess them up.
I love my jigsaw. The only 2 power tools I ever had were a corded drill and the jigsaw. They served me well thru my years as a single mom. I once put up a room dividing wall and a door using those tools and sheer determination. :)

Boundava
05-19-2015, 02:16 PM
Are the knobs ceramic?

Way to go with your power tools, and :19: for being a single Mom. Mom's don't get enough credit. One lousy day should be a Mother's Month!

showmebutterfly
05-19-2015, 02:42 PM
Are the knobs ceramic?

Way to go with your power tools, and :19: for being a single Mom. Mom's don't get enough credit. One lousy day should be a Mother's Month!

I agree with that! I guess I needed to go thru the whole single mom thing to make me stronger, because I didn't end up getting remarried until after my kids were grown - and I believe that everything happens for a reason. Sappy sappy sap sap.... lol

I think the knobs are metal. I'm not 100% sure on that though. They've got that antique brass type finish. I've seen pics of them on Pinterest where they've been painted different colors - or maybe they come in different colors?

showmebutterfly
05-19-2015, 03:20 PM
Refractometer and Seachem Marine Test Kit ordered from Amazon today and they might be here as early as Thursday! I love getting to mark items off of my shopping list!

Anders247
05-20-2015, 01:09 AM
Congrats! What exactly is a refractometer used for? Excuse my newbieness to salty setups, lol.

showmebutterfly
05-20-2015, 01:41 AM
Congrats! What exactly is a refractometer used for? Excuse my newbieness to salty setups, lol.

It's used to measure salinity and / or specific gravity of the water to make sure you don't have too much or not enough salt in the mix. It's supposed to me more accurate than a hydrometer.

Refractometer:
41059

Hydrometer:
41060

I had no idea what either of them were until I started researching brackish and saltwater tanks. :)

Anders247
05-20-2015, 01:48 AM
Oh..... yeah I knew what a hydrometer was but not that.... thanks for the explanation!

RiversGirl
05-20-2015, 03:36 PM
I've been worrying that my little starfish knobs might look funny with the large hinges. (...) I really like the little starfish knobs so they'll be used in some capacity. :)

I love these hinges you've found! Can you please point me to what post # has a photo of your starfish knobs? (I have to look up photos via my phone as my home computer screen is about done for -- thank you for your patience, particularly when I overlook obvious photos)

I say you should use what you like. Your mind lights up when you look at certain things. We may not know the reasons behind our reactions, but follow your mind's lights anyhow.

showmebutterfly
05-20-2015, 03:43 PM
I love these hinges you've found! Can you please point me to what post # has a photo of your starfish knobs? (I have to look up photos via my phone as my home computer screen is about done for -- thank you for your patience, particularly when I overlook obvious photos)

I say you should use what you like. Your mind lights up when you look at certain things. We may not know the reasons behind our reactions, but follow your mind's lights anyhow.
Thank you, RG. No problem looking up the posts - the pic of the starfish knobs is at 124 and full pic of one of the hinges is at 137. [emoji2]

Slaphppy7
05-20-2015, 03:44 PM
Rivers, see post #124

My sister went ALL OUT when she rebuilt her beach cabin, and she has all kinds of stuff like that...

showmebutterfly
05-20-2015, 03:45 PM
Almost ninja'd! lol

RiversGirl
05-20-2015, 05:29 PM
and a couple of pretty starfish knobs (picture uploaded from google search)

40800

.

Ooooo, these are AWESOME. So cute. I am thinking they will look just fine with your (also very cool) hinges.

If you don't mind reminding me: What is your specific hesitation about using both, please?

I think you could easily get 'too themed' if you were to use too many sea-inspired embellishments (which is a fine look, if that is what you are aiming for. "Overly themed" is a look all its own and there is nothing wrong with the fun that direction can bring either.)

However, I wasn't under the impression that you were aiming for that effect. These cute pulls would serve as an excellent subtle detail that can stand alone. (All just mho, of course!). Thanks for showing us your cool finds.

showmebutterfly
05-20-2015, 06:25 PM
Ooooo, these are AWESOME. So cute. I am thinking they will look just fine with your (also very cool) hinges.

If you don't mind reminding me: What is your specific hesitation about using both, please?

I think you could easily get 'too themed' if you were to use too many sea-inspired embellishments (which is a fine look, if that is what you are aiming for. "Overly themed" is a look all its own and there is nothing wrong with the fun that direction can bring either.)

However, I wasn't under the impression that you were aiming for that effect. These cute pulls would serve as an excellent subtle detail that can stand alone. (All just mho, of course!). Thanks for showing us your cool finds.

Thank you, again! My hesitation was mainly because the hinges are rather large for the size of the cabinet doors and the knobs are tiny (well, about the size of a quarter to half dollar) in comparison. Just my OCD acting up! I may paint the knobs black to match the hinges, or I may not. It's likely going to boil down to what kind of mood I'm in whenever we get around to adding the hinges and the knobs. Knowing myself, the mood is likely to be impatient. lol

RiversGirl
05-20-2015, 06:31 PM
My sister went ALL OUT when she rebuilt her beach cabin, and she has all kinds of stuff like that...

My folks did this 'all out' style on their guest bedroom/bath suite. It turned out neat and they had a lot of fun with it. I hope your sister loves the effect for her beach cabin.

showmebutterfly
05-20-2015, 06:41 PM
My folks did this 'all out' style on their guest bedroom/bath suite. It turned out neat and they had a lot of fun with it. I hope your sister loves the effect for her beach cabin.

I spend almost as much time on Pinterest as I do on this forum (= a lot!) and have been searching beach theme, beach décor, nautical décor, etc. There's a bunch of really neat stuff out there! I can see where it would be a lot of fun to take that theme and run with it.

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 07:21 PM
FYI (in case anybody has been wondering) - watching stain dry is ALMOST as exciting as watching paint dry. At least it's sunny today with a nice breeze. And my refractometer and test kits arrived today. :)

Slaphppy7
05-21-2015, 07:28 PM
LOL...at least you've got good weather...flooding here again

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 07:31 PM
We had rain most of yesterday. It was supposed to rain today too, but so happy it's not. Sorry that y'all are getting the crappy weather!

Slaphppy7
05-21-2015, 07:36 PM
Thanks....and it looks just "lovely" for my 4 day holiday weekend, too


41092

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 07:40 PM
Yikes! That will interfere with your grilling. Hopefully the forecast will be wrong and you'll see some nice weather after all!

Slaphppy7
05-21-2015, 07:41 PM
I hope you are right....don't have a covered place to grill, but I have pulled the grill into the garage before, lol....set up fans so I don't choke to death on the smoke

Anders247
05-21-2015, 07:42 PM
Eek... nice weather, eh.....but thankfully the weatherman isn't always right....

Slaphppy7
05-21-2015, 07:43 PM
but thankfully the weatherman isn't always right....

This is true...I guess we shall see...grass is gonna be up to my knees before I'll be able to mow again, lol

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 09:01 PM
Done. Except for caulking on the inside, adding the hinges and knobs to the door and getting the doors put on the cabinet. The 2nd coat of stain isn't completely dry in the pic. It should look more even after drying.

41093

One of the barn cats keeping me company.

41094

Blue sky for Matt. Hopefully you'll be seeing some where you live soon!

41095

Marty.h
05-21-2015, 09:28 PM
On your cabinet make sure all joints inside have been silicone sealed salt is a killer and will soon get into the wood if it's not sealed.

Slaphppy7
05-21-2015, 09:42 PM
Stand look great!...and thanks for the sky pic, didn't know it was that color

RiversGirl
05-21-2015, 10:04 PM
Your stand is turning out well. Don't ya love it when the cats hang with you?

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 10:05 PM
On your cabinet make sure all joints inside have been silicone sealed salt is a killer and will soon get into the wood if it's not sealed.
Thank you for the advice. We're trying to waterproof it as much as possible. We'll be sure to take extra care around the joints and corners! :)

Stand look great!...and thanks for the sky pic, didn't know it was that color
Thank you and you're welcome! [emoji2]

showmebutterfly
05-21-2015, 10:07 PM
Your stand is turning out well. Don't ya love it when the cats hang with you?
Thank you, RG. It's fun to watch them checking everything out. Luckily they weren't jumping on and in the cabinet today. That could've been a furry mess. lol

JudiJetson
05-21-2015, 10:22 PM
Stand looks great, I like the two tone, kitty is a sweetie!

gronlaura
05-21-2015, 10:31 PM
Cute barn purrrson!!! When I was building my dual 29 stands, my cat Otis decided he needed to be the construction supervisor and quality control purrrson. He is always involved in everything. He is doing so well on his meds and daily fluids that I tell him everyday that maybe he will make 20 yrs of age in 2 years (he will be 18 in July). He wasn't expected to live into this year.

Stand looks great - can't wait to see it with the tank on top!

Boundava
05-21-2015, 11:00 PM
Thats too funny, hoping he makes it to 20 too. Cookie would have been 18 in August. She was a very spoiled kitty. Lol.

showmebutterfly
05-22-2015, 02:34 AM
Thank you, ladies! We have the 3 barn cats (all orange tabby) and 2 house cats (Bonnie and Betty). The momma of the barn cats and Betty has gone to live elsewhere, but still shows up here every now and then. We'd like to catch her so that we can get her spayed, but she's apparently smarter than us, so far. Betty was the runt and only black kitten of the litter. She got promoted to house cat and she's spoiled rotten. She's a little brat sometimes - she likes to aggravate out older cat.

Bonnie
41102

Betty
41103

gronlaura
05-22-2015, 08:17 PM
Good looking girls!

Slaphppy7
05-22-2015, 08:45 PM
I agree!...Betty has great balance, too :14:

darkmerlin21
05-22-2015, 09:09 PM
The stand is looking great! You've really made a lot of progress since I've checked in on this thread. Can't wait to see it finished with those awesome starfish knobs!

showmebutterfly
05-22-2015, 09:38 PM
Good looking girls!
Thank you, Laura. We think they're very purrty! [emoji2]

I agree!...Betty has great balance, too :14:
Well she is a pretty agile kitten! lol

The stand is looking great! You've really made a lot of progress since I've checked in on this thread. Can't wait to see it finished with those awesome starfish knobs!
Thank you, DM. Hopefully it won't be too much longer. I'm anxious to see it finished and in the house. I'm looking forward to getting the tanks set up!

RiversGirl
05-22-2015, 09:46 PM
Will this one make tank # 4 for you?

showmebutterfly
05-22-2015, 09:55 PM
Yes, this makes 4. The hubs was sweet enough to let me have just one more tank. I think that my planning to have the 2 smallish tanks together on one stand probably helped too.

RiversGirl
05-22-2015, 10:01 PM
What terrific fun!

showmebutterfly
05-26-2015, 12:23 AM
Parts is parts

41156

Basket cut apart

41157

I cut off the tab at the top of one of the sides and used silicone to attach it to the interior side with the pump. This will act as a baffle and keep debris out of the pump area.

41158

I took the bottom of the basket and used silicone to attach it in front of the overflow area. This will help keep the chaeto algae in the filter compartment and out of the main tank.

41159

showmebutterfly
05-26-2015, 12:31 AM
Front view of overflow with screen in place.

41160

Interior view of modifications.

41161

Tab cut off remaining side piece with a bit of backing in order to have surface area for mounting to exterior side of filter.

41162

Tab mounted to filter for attaching a small clip on light (if I use one of those).

41163

Slaphppy7
05-26-2015, 12:49 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos2MnVxe-c

SeaLady
05-26-2015, 02:40 AM
There! All caught up on your journal. What a great start on this setup you have!!! I subscribed, and will be keeping an eye on ya!

Love the kitties...

showmebutterfly
05-26-2015, 03:12 AM
Thank you! Hopefully I'll have everything set up in the next week ot two. :)