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Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

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  • Offline darrellw
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Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« posted: 4 years ago »
I've already posted a few times, but thought I should do a formal introduction.

Seahorses have always been my favorite fish.

I've had aquariums basically my entire life, everything from goldfish to angelfish to guppies to koi to oscars.  I've been maintaining a nano reef for the last five years, and have dabbled in seahorses a couple of times, the first when I was about 10 in the mid-70s, which was some dwarves from the back of a magazine.  I also tried dwarves again about 10 years ago, and had better luck at keeping them alive.

Then last December my wife and I were on the Big Island, and took the Ocean Rider tour.  I know they seem to have a bad reputation on some of the forums, but seeing them trying to jump out of the tanks to be fed had be convinced that it was time to get some.

I have a 30 gallon extra-high with a 10 gallon sump cycling right now.  I'm still working on aquascaping and such, and hope to incorporate some macros.  It will be a seahorse only tank, other than whatever cleanup crew I end up with.

Anyway, glad to be part of the group!
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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #1 posted: 4 years ago »
Here are some pictures of my new setup.  I had a major setback, I had planned to use a 30 extra-high tank, and was into my third day of cycling when the back panel cracked.  I couldn't find any reason for it (I did drill it), but in doing some research on glass thickness, the 1/4" glass that Aqueon used is borderline for a tank that size (24" deep).  So perhaps drilling weakened it past the breaking point.  Fortunately I was home when it happened, and managed to get it emptied before more than a couple of gallons leaked on the carpet.

Since I was already set with something about that size from my cabinet and other equipment, and since I couldn't find any standard tank that I wasn't worried would have the same problem, I built my own (this is the second tank I've built now, third if you count the sump on my other tank that I did as a practice build).  I decided this one wasn't going to break, so I used 1/2" glass, Starphire on the front and sides.  The new tank is a little larger, 30" long, 22" high and 14" deep, making it about 35 gallon capacity (the calculators call it 40, but measuring the inside dimensions, and allowing 1" around the rim it is 35).

I have a 10 gallon tank as the sump, with a CADLights PLS-100 skimmer.

The system is undergoing an extend leak test in the garage for a few days, then I'll move it into the house.

« Last Edit: 4 years ago by darrellw »

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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #2 posted: 4 years ago »
So after a few days in the garage, I decided it wasn't going to leak, so moved it inside.

Ran the RO/DI overtime to get it all filled, this is the biggest tank I've ever owned!

It has been cycling for about a week and a half, and is well on its way.  I'm using Dr. Tim's One and Only, and Ammonium Chloride drops.  I have now moved  few rocks  and macros from the refugium on my other tank to help seed.

I plan to add a few snails and hermits next week.

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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #3 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrellw,

Sorry to hear you had a leak on your tank,more to the point it was in your livingroom,it must have made a mess.

Your new tank is looking good,its much nicer when you have somethink in there to look at even if it is cuc.Looking foreward in seeing the tank when you get your sh in,what sh are you haveing??
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  • Offline darrellw
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #4 posted: 4 years ago »
Sorry to hear you had a leak on your tank,more to the point it was in your livingroom,it must have made a mess.

Fortunately I was home and heard when it broke, so only a few gallons spilled on the carpet (which was enough of a mess!).

Your new tank is looking good,its much nicer when you have somethink in there to look at even if it is cuc.Looking foreward in seeing the tank when you get your sh in,what sh are you haveing??

Thanks!  I'm looking at getting some Sunburst from Ocean Rider.
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #5 posted: 4 years ago »
I've now added the beginnings of the cleanup crew to the tank, mostly snails but a few hermits as well, and some more macros.  I'll probably need to feed the cleanup crew a bit, since there isn't much to clean up at this point.  I also have a few aiptasia that came with the rocks from my other tank.  I was planning on adding a few peppermint shrimp anyway, so I've left them alone for now.

While I was at the LFS picking up a box of salt, I saw that they had some cute tiger tails that had just arrived.  Took all of my willpower not to bring them home with me!

I've also setup a 2.5 gallon tank to try to raise some Opae Ula  (the little red Hawaiian shrimp).  I know they reproduce much to slowly to be a main diet (without setting up a huge system, at least), but I was thinking I could use them if I had to be gone for a day or so, since they should survive in the tank (until eaten).  Or just as a supplemental feed.

I've also swapped out the CADLights PLS-100 skimmer that you can see in the sump.  It was just too loud, nothing I could do seemed to quiet it down.  I was originally going to use a CADLights PLS-50, but while I was setting this system up I put it in my other system just to see how it works, then I decided I had room for the PLS-100.  Right now I have the Tunze Nano DOC that used to be in my other system on this tank, I'll see how that works.  There really isn't anything much to skim out at the moment, though.

« Last Edit: 4 years ago by darrellw »

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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #6 posted: 4 years ago »

Here is the latest FTS, with the new macros that I added yesterday.  I'm still working on arranging them, but I think the aquascaping is coming together.

The purple sea rod in the center is real, and really there.  It sure photographed funny, looks like I tried to draw it in with Photoshop!
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #7 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrellw,

Tank is coming along,it's looking lovely how soon before you get your sh?
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #8 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrellw,

Tank is coming along,it's looking lovely how soon before you get your sh?

Thanks!

Probably another 4-6 weeks.  It will be a difficult wait, however!
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #9 posted: 4 years ago »
Belated Welcome to FusedJaw Darrell! 

Sorry to hear about your first tank, but the new one looks great! ;D

The waiting is the tough part, but you will be happy you did.
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #10 posted: 4 years ago »
Quick update, the system continues to mature.  I added some peppermint shrimp last Friday to deal with some aiptasia that I inherited from my other system, which they quickly dealt with.  The macros are getting settled and starting to grow out a bit.  The orange sea rod is doing well, I can see some new growth at the tips.  The purple ribbon really hasn't opened more than a few polyps, hopefully it will perk up.

I've been feeding the tank a bit, just to make sure the clean up crew is fed, and to keep a bioload going.  The minor diatom bloom I had early last week is about over, and there are a few traces of green algae now.  And lots of pods!

I'm sorting out a problem with my ATO, Tunze thinks it is the pump and is sending a replacement.  I've yet to pull any real skimmate out of the tank.  I had to abandon the CADLights PLS-100 because it was too noisy, so I'm using my old Tunze Nano DOC.  I may swap it back to my other system and move the CADLights PLS-50 over (it was originally destined for the seahorse system until I decided to go bigger).

I also discovered that my local Petco carries both PE and SFBay mysis, and it looked really fresh.  Nice to know I have another option in case the local reef store runs out.

« Last Edit: 4 years ago by darrellw »

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  • Offline Lanie
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #11 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrell,

The tank is looking great!  If you don't mind me asking, what type of lights are you using?  I currently have a Phoenix Viper (250w metal halide) running on my 60 cube.  I love the shimmer that I get with the metal halide, but I just don't think the colors of zoas, cloves and other softies look as good as they do with T-5's.  I'm tempted to go with LED, but they are awfully expensive to find out I don't like them.

Can't wait to see you seahorses in there! :)

~ Lanie
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #12 posted: 4 years ago »

Hi Lanie,

I have the Current Orbit Marine:

http://current-usa.com/aquarium-led-lights/orbit-marine/

I'm pretty happy with it.  I thought it was much too blue at first, and dialed back the blue channel, but now I have both at 100% and it looks fine.  It may have just been a matter of getting something other than white rocks in the tank!

The programming isn't as fancy as some lights, and the special effects are a bit cheesy (I doubt the fish would appreciate a lightening storm), but it is dead silent, which I love.  And you can hardly notice the fixture.

-Darrell
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #13 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrellw,
Had a look at the lights you were showing Lanie,I bet you wish it was your tank,I know I would love a tank that looked like that.
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Re: Hello from Vancouver, WA, USA

« Reply #14 posted: 4 years ago »
Hi Darrell,

Thanks!  I have actually looked at those lights a couple of times - so it is nice to see them in action.  They look great in my opinion, and I'll now include them as an option. :)

~ Lanie