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spaceman spiff
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Couple new additions today... on a whim. A new LFS openned near me, and I was suckered. This could be trouble, as I know the owner well enough, and he'll entice me way too often. A couple quick pictures for now, but I'll try to get some better ones in the coming days. First, a walled euphyllia species. I find these to be less common than the braching type, probably because I've no idea how to frag these dudes. This one has both pink and green, and while it's not as brilliant as the branchers I have right now, I have hope that it will color up a little. Probably 5-6" wide, but I need to turn it around. Most of the business end is on the other side...



And then, I had no intent of getting another clam, but the price on this tiny crocea made it unavoidable. The pattern on the mantle is really neat, but it's not openned all the way right now. It's also completely green from the top, but you can see it's blue from the side. I'll try to snap some top-down shots when it opens up more, and it's probably less than 2" right now. Hopefully it will do well, but I understand they're a bit more fragile at this size.

 

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Beautiful photos of beautiful corals!
 

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spaceman spiff
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Thanks Louise!!

I got up early and did a water change this morning, and then got a few things added to the tank this afternoon. I tried to snap a few pictures of the clam again, but it's only openned a little more this morning than yesterday. Looks good so far, though.



I also spun the hammer around. A better approximation is around 5" from end to end, but you can see there's a little more going on this side.



I also found an asterina star today, which I've seen before, but never bothered to take a picture of. Here's the feller I caught in the act this morning.



And then today I added just a few inverts from bluezooaquatics. My buddy was doing a shipment and, as mentioned, I wanted a few peppermint shrimp (I got three), and I also got 5 turbo snails, a queen conch (I have two now, they're fun), and a procelain anemone crab. I like the crab a lot, and I put him right down by the bubble tip. This way, if the fish never take up residence, at least something's keeping it occupied!! Hopefully he knows to stay right there.

 

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spaceman spiff
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First I wanted to stick this picture in the thread, as I really liked it.



But I feel the fish must feel left out, I never get good pictures of them. I tried today, and really only two caught my eye, and neither of them are really that sharp. The colors are good, though.





I also got this enchida a few weeks back, and you can see the new growth. It's a little washed out in this picture, but the white is all fresh growth in the last two weeks.



And finally, another shot of the new clam. I wanted to show a little more of the mantle pattern, which I quite like. The picture's not real sharp, though. Oh well!!

 

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spaceman spiff
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Discussion Starter · #591 ·
Hey I have a question... why is it you decided to go bb? What do you like about it - what do you feel some of the harder issues are.
Well, after having my last tank setup for a while with a sandbed (probably 3 years), and after having the sandbed and rocks team up to become a serious source of nutrients in the tank, I had to do something drastic. Granted, this was well before my days of TRT, the local club, or any other forum, so I really didnt know what I was doing. I had spent those years with little or no skimmer, infrequent water changes, over feeding, terrible lighting and flow, among other things. It was either tear it down or get much smarter, as about the only thing that I could grow was hair algae.

So the sandbed came out, I purged the rocks, upgraded the lights, built a sump, got a new skimmer, increased the flow, cut back the feeding. Basically started to pay attention to things. That was about 2.5 years ago, and I ran the 58 gallon that way until I upgraded to this tank.

What do I like about it? Mostly it eliminates a big variable and the demand on my tank chemistry is greatly reduced. I can get away with much less photoperiod (which is fine, as we're usually only home in the evenings), I don't have huge fluctuations in water parameters (which I did towards the end of the DSB), and I've been able to increase the flow in the tank without the risk of sand storms. I find that the tank has become much more predictable.

I don't think it's particularly harder, though. You don't have the buffer of a sandbed, which in some cases can protect the tank (think about when you first start out and you feed way too much... a DSB can help compensate for that for a fixed amount of time), but ultimately the tank is easier to maintain. Which I like. What I don't care for is that there are some animals that I have chosen not to keep, various sand-sifters that I would like, some of the burrowing fish that I'd like; mostly because I'm not sure how they'd respond outside of their natural conditions.

Aesthetically speaking... let's just say I got used to it ;). I would consider putting sand in a tank in the future, it's just been nice to learn how to keep a tank without it. I would never depart from the high-flow/aggressive skimming/open-scaped methodology, however, so any sand in my future would probably be strictly a comsetic feature that would be shallow and often siphoned/replaced.

Does that scratch your itch? Any specific questions?
 

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Mommy Mod
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I think it makes the itch greater LOL!

I got to reading in the archives and thinking about my stocking "issues" that I like the fish & the corals, and wondered if there were a way to keep lots of both....

Seems that I read Spanky saying a lot of light vs fish poo is the way to balance a BB tank.... as I am considering this 95 build I am wondering if this might be a good way to go for me. I like the look of the sand bed, but with all the shedding that is going on in the 55 right now, I might be ready for a change. I like the idea of being able to suck out piles of junk that can be seen easily. I also know I like to feed and keep fish so I am wondering if I might be better off going bb? feel free to move this to a pm if you dont' want your thread vering off topic ;)
 

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spaceman spiff
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Discussion Starter · #593 ·
I'll finish this thought, and then shoot you a pm...

For the combination of many fish and stony corals, I imagine a barebottom system is probably the best way to go. Sand, in general, is not a bad thing, but unfortunately it gets in the way of maintenance. If you want it in that type of system, you'll probably have limited success unless you treat it as a consumable. Siphon and replace portions of it every month. I'm pretty sure that's what Steve Weast did on his large display. But that bad news of that is that sand isnt real cheap. I imagine you could recover some of it with good rinsing, but to me that just wouldnt be worth the overhead of doing so. I like to keep things simple, which may be why I've not yet chosen to stick sand in this tank.
 

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spaceman spiff
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thanks for explaining your reasons Chris, I find that very helpful!
A pleasure, as always!

I've been going at it all day today. I think the pictures are explanation enough. I've got the return fired back up, but all the equipment (calcium and kalkwasser reactors, carbon, ATO, etc) is still sitting in the other room. Hopefully it will all be back up and running by tomorrow, though I hope to get some carbon online soon, as I've got new plumbing with new glue and new plastic sump that may "offgas" into the water. Also the temp fell a little with the heater out for a number of hours, but I think everything will be ok. Finally, I'm still worried a bit about the bulkheads, as they like to leak when fiddled with. Wish me luck!

Old sump coming out...



New sump going in...
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Looks good:D Can't wait for the pics with water and equipment running in it;)
 

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spaceman spiff
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I like clean!
Comparing the two pictures, I've got to admit that I do too! Maybe I'll just have to build a new sump every six months... although this work to get it in place is pretty rotten.

Looks good:D Can't wait for the pics with water and equipment running in it;)
Your wish is my command.



Everything is fired up except the kalkwasser reactor, and while I've plumbed everything for the phosban reactors (for carbon) they're not online yet (I've got that bag full of carbon for now). I also may spin the skimmer around so that the plumbing isnt stuck right in my face, and you can see the candle lid on top of skimmer outlet to quiet it down. As it settles in I'm sure I'll be able to pull it off.

So plumbing went pretty well, I had one leak but it wasnt at the bulkhead/tank interface... just at the hose barb/bulkhead interface. I had another hose barb so instead of troubleshooting, I just replaced it. Here's hoping that's all the leaks!
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Wow. Looks good. Kind of intimidating to look at:funny:
 
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