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MichaelAB

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Everything posted by MichaelAB

  1. MichaelAB

    Store Visit 6/4/16

    Alas, sorry I didn't think to ask him, and he had no name badge.
  2. MichaelAB

    Store Visit 6/4/16

    I had a very nice experience AquaWorkz this afternoon (7-10-18). Good customer service, what I felt was a fair price, and a warm reception as a NV reefer (plus the 10% discount was great!) when I flashed my card . The staffer who assisted me was knowledgeable, friendly, and spontaneously provided me exact parameters for the water in their tanks in order to enable me to know how close I would be to facilitate acclimation. He didn't talk down to me, and made me feel like a "real reefer." Yay! I purchased an approximate 3" diameter RBTA (all tips were nicely "bubbled") with pale green speckles, one of several beautiful specimens in a display tank, and a very healthy green torch with 3 large heads. All for $170.00, less the 10%, so $153.00. Compared to what I've paid for online for a small 2-headed Aussie frogspawn, a small 2-headed green frogspawn, and a nearly microscopic RBTA, I thought it a bargain. Being a relative newbie at all this with my tank a few months shy of 2 years, I could be mistaken on the size and quality to cost ratio, or whether I could have done better, but I'm pleased! And, given the mixed reviews of LFS hereabouts, I had pretty low expectations. But at least for me on this occasion, I was pleasantly surprised. Five stars today from me!
  3. MichaelAB

    RBTA

    Argh! My new pretty little RBT anemone is nowhere to be found. A picture of him is in my tank build log here. It’s been days. Since arrival about 2-3 weeks ago, it moved only an inch or so, and stayed put. Overnight one night it disappeared and it’s been several days now. No change in water parameters, so maybe it is too small to change them if it has died. I’ve searched with flashlight, but haven’t wanted to go in and mess around and move rocks all around. I’m sure he couldn’t have gone far in my RSM 650 in such a short time. I removed the WAV powerheads when i put him in, and there isn’t anywhere else he could have gotten tangled. My critters are all peaceful. Very upsetting. I guess I’ll be looking for another. This guy was small — maybe 2” —so maybe a bigger one would be better? Any advice on a good place to find one locally?
  4. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Yay, spring is here! Renewed my cuc with more snails, and added five peppermint shrimp as an army to battle the exploding aiptasia. All my efforts using AiptasiaX were to no avail. They just keep popping up more and more. Now small ones are multiplying. I ordered a laser that was highlighted on melevsreef on youtube. That should help with the bigger ones that the shrimp will avoid. Even if it doesn't, it will give a great deal of satisfaction to do some target practice on the buggers. Also added a sand-sifting starfish who scoots around so fast! That is, when it's not buried in the sand. Added a neon green fungia, and a glowing orange tipped glove polyp. But the most exciting is that I finally felt the tank was mature enough to add a small rose bubble tip anemone. So brilliantly colored, and has kept his bubble tips so far in the first few days. He decided to move, of course, from the perfect spot, and has stayed down low where a rock and the sand meet. Way too small and "hidden" for the clowns to take much interest at present. Curiously, the cyano problem resolved and has not reappeared, but now green hair algae has taken off. It seems to be slowly backing off. I think sometimes that I am starving the poor fish, sometimes not feeding a day or two at all, just because of not wanting to add nutrients. I also noticed that the lights seemed a bit brighter and that some of the struggling corals looked like they weren't happy about it. I keep the lights already on the blue side using AI hydras. I checked the settings and found that the lights had mysteriously reset themselves off the acclimation schedule and accelerated to a much higher intensity percentage! How they did that on their own is a complete mystery. Maybe during a power outage? I intend to keep a closer eye on that, since the changes in intensity can be hard to tell with the naked eye. The corals - and maybe the hair algae -let me know, though. Still, it was very odd and concerning. One of the cardinal fish had not grown like the other three, and was showing signs of being picked on. I think something was wrong with it, or maybe it was being bullied for some reason. In any case, he's now disappeared. His remains, wherever they might be, may be adding to the nitrates? All the other critters are looking good. No fish diseases (yet?), crossed fingers. What an exciting but slow learning curve for me. Getting this all to work is like being on a teetertotter that keeps changing the fulcrum on you.
  5. I began with curing Pukani dry rock May 15, 2016 and began acquiring various equipment items. By the end of May, I set up my QT and began cycling it. Wow, initial expenses really add up! I waited for a Labor Day sale, then ordered the RSM S 650 with LEDs. Since I knew it would take me about 90 days to get it delivered, set up, and cycled, I adopted my first three fish friends to begin their quarantine. When ORA-raised Nick and Nora (a bonded pair of sunset mocha ocellaris) and Dotty (not very original, lol, an orchid pseudochromis) arrived that first week in September, I knew I was on my way. Since I live rurally, getting the RSM tank delivered was quite the adventure. The truck could only get part of the way down to me on my gravel road, so it was dropped off there. Then I had to get the assistance of a local moving team to get it up to my porch where it could sit while I did a leak test. At the same time, I had the carpet taken out of my spare bedroom, and laminate flooring put in. After getting the subfloor joists supported with a system of deck-piers, I built the stand. I figured there would be something like 2000 pounds on that section of floor. Some acquaintances who work masonry were kind enough to put their muscle to work and lift the tank (310 pounds!) from the porch and get it on the stand. Seeing it finally in place in the room was so great. I had a number of sleepless nights wondering how I would ever get this beast delivered and up on the stand in the room. I've been using Red Sea's reef mature pro program to cycle it now for the last 16 days. Since I used dry rock rather than live, diatoms and algae didn't begin to show up exactly on schedule, but the tank is cycling well. Diatoms finally appeared, increased, and now are receding already. No sign of any green stuff yet. Ugly Tank stage in process. Today's parameters are 77 degrees F, 1.026 salinity, kH 8.2, Amm 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 25, pH 8.1. Nitrates have been steadily lowering. The CUC arrived along with copepods, chaeto, and phytoplankton today, so all have now been added to the tank. BulkReefSupply and others are having such great "Black Friday" sales that the wallet is open and hemorrhaging and UPS has me on preferred customer delivery . I knew that eventually I'd want to upgrade Red Sea's C-Skim anyway, so I went ahead and bought a new skimmer that will fit in the sump. It hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know for sure all that I'll have to do to hook it up and place it. It's a Skimz Monzter external recirculating. If it works well, I'll save the C-Skim for backup until I know all is well. The C-Skim has a locking handle system that is a bit awkward for my taste, and it's a little louder than I would like. It's been skimming well, so no complaints there. We'll see if the Skimz is any quieter in that regard - might not be - but I'm hopeful. If all goes well, parameters continue to stabilize and nitrates lower a bit more after my next water change tomorrow (yeah, I know it's Thanksgiving, but... ), Nick, Nora, and Dotty should be moving into their new digs this weekend. Pathetic, I know, but... I can't stop watching the snails and hermits! It is spectacular having a little reef now in my own home in the foothills. Michael
  6. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Tank continues to mature. I stopped putting any more corals or fish in to allow all to stabilize and for me to gain experience. The corals I have are a mixed bag in terms of growth. Very, very slow growing, if at all, for the sps ones. A couple of the montiporas are just beginning to spread. The tubipora musica (organ pipe) coral has taken off and adds a nice wave interest. Despite the warnings, and with the bareness of the tank, I decided to get a xenia frag and keep it on a separate rock as it grows out. I enjoy seeing it, and it's a nice contrast to the slower growing corals. I'll maybe regret it, but at least now in the beginning and after a little more than a year of the tank being up and running, it's pleasant having something that makes it look like something is happening. The summer months went better than I expected. I feared I'd have to get a chiller, but with judicious use of the house air conditioner and setting up a fan that blew into the sump area, the temps remained fairly steady. I did go away for a few days in July, and the very first day, the apex stopped updating because of a power outage that disconnected the wi-fi router and for some reason it didn't restore itself. Of course this would happen when I'm not there, and that added an unhappy note of anxiety to the vacation. Never happens when I am. So a mischievous reef pixie has found me and set up housekeeping :). The temp went up to a high of 82 (usually keeping it at just about 79-80) for a few hours. As time went on, the apex would not update its firmware and stopped altogether. Neptune diagnosed it as a known hardware problem they had with some units, and exchanged it for a new one. No problems now, even though it was a PITA rewriting and resetting all the programming since there is no backup for the apex! The two main problems have been cyanobacteria and aiptasia. The aiptasia came in hitchhiking on corals last January, and I thought I had caught it in time. Apparently not! I've had some success killing those I find with Aiptasia-X, but new ones continue to sprout. Kind of a whack-a-mole experience. The cyano problem just kept getting worse despite water changes, increased flow, decreased lighting, and decreased fish feeding (to the point I thought I'd be starving them). Finally I took the leap to chemicals (chemiclean) as a last resort, and that worked well. No fish or coral problems (in fact corals have perked up a bit), though getting the skimmer back to normal has taken a long time. No fish losses for a long, long time now (in terms of my tank's age), and I have been surprised at how large the pajama cardinals have grown. The others are growing so slowly I haven't noticed, I suppose, but those cardinals sure have. The orange-back wrasse and melanurus have been great additions. The guys all "know" me well, and eagerly come up to the glass to say hello - and beg for food no doubt more likely. No further equipment problems, thank goodness, and knock on wood. Hope that pixie isn't listening...
  7. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Exciting times! I got my fishes replaced, and all the replacements are doing well. QT'd the replacements and after nearly 3 weeks, most went into the DT. I am keeping the melanurus wrasse in the QT longer. I thought that I had lost him, since he stayed in the sand for 9 days straight before appearing. Now he comes out at first light and stays out most of the day. He was a bit aggressive with the QT'd flasher wrasse, so I moved the flasher to the DT a little earlier than I had planned. A set back this morning though. I got my first "real" coral frags a couple of weeks ago from WWC. I look at them closely each day and all seems well, except for a kind of fading of the color of one lithophyllon. I've been keeping it in dimmer light in the shade of a rock and it's color is slowly returning. So apparently it needs a much slower acclimation to light. However, today when looking at it closely, I noticed some small threads sticking out from the frag plug and thought they were algae strands. Got my magnifying glass out, and WHOA! I thought, can't be! Oh, no! So being a new reefer of course, I hit the panic button. Calmed down, and did some online research. I used what I had and took the coral out, injected as best I could a squirt of white vinegar into it, waited a few minutes, scraped it off, dabbed it with more vinegar and then hydrogen peroxide, then sealed the whole plug (I couldn't get the coral off without doing major damage) with gel super glue. Probably overdid it, but I sure don't want these creatures. I'm afraid that since I have one, there will be more now. I'll just have to wait and see and deal with it. And here I thought I had been being so careful in getting my first ones from a serious commercial vendor, checking them closely, and dipping them. I guess there will always be some degree of risk, unless one goes to the extreme of cutting off the frag, QTing the coral for a month or two, etc. My QT has only a small led lamp, so I'm not sure I'd like keeping corals in the dark essentially for a month or two.
  8. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Pineapple sponge, with legs? lol.
  9. MichaelAB

    Random thoughts...happenings

    Yay! Congratulations. Now comes that annoying waiting-for-it-to-arrive part. Always seems like forever! The Red Sea packing crate is amazing. It's like some super-geek engineer figured out how to put all the parts in like some giant rubik's cube.
  10. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    I found these exploding all over my sump glass and some on the DT back glass this morning. Well over a hundred of them. I didn't see any of these last night, but today, a New Year's Day surprise. I'm assuming they're harmless. I'm also assuming they were hitchhikers on some freebie corals that came with a fish order. I dipped the corals in CoralRx. The corals have been in the tank for just a week. Seems fast for these to show up in my sump in such numbers in such a short time. I'll have to do more research. Fascinating! The first one looks like a spirorbid worm (feather duster?) according to what I can find online. The second one, I'm not sure what it is, but looks like a filter feeder, too. Anyone care to give me a direction to search for it for more information?
  11. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    I had another bit of a setback. Took a chance on saltwaterfish.com and ordered a "replacement" goby, pajama cardinal, and purple firefish with their holiday sale prices. I added to that order a juvenile McCosker's wrasse and Melanarus wrasse. Overnight FedEx priority shipping. Not.... The package arrived more than a day late, water cold, after being shipped from their Los Angeles area warehouse to Oakland, then sitting there all day before being shipped to Memphis. It was turned around and sent back to Oakland, then to Stockton, and out for delivery. Pajama cardinal and McCosker's wrasse DOA. The Melanarus was clinging to life, but unfortunately expired a day later. Miraculously the purple firefish, pajama cardinal and goby have perked up and are eating and moving about fine. The company has been responsive, though not quick about it, and has at this point offered me a reshipment of the DOAs, but not the Melanarus since they have a 5-hour post-arrival cutoff for "refunds." I'll get a "store credit" for the M. wrasse. My nearest real LFS is Randy's in Stockton, about a 2.5 hour round trip (other than an all-pet store and a PetSmart in Sonora), so I thought online shipping would give best selection of what I wanted, when I wanted it, and without the drive. But if this kind of loss is expectable, then I'll have to rethink that altogether. I absolutely hate thinking of these little guys being considered so expendable. I know that shipping to a LFS is not different than shipping to me by distributors, but... Having a mini-algae outbreak. Just the kind that looks like dusting on the rocks and some dust-like patches here and there on the glass. The yellow tang seems quite disinterested in it. Easy to scrape off the glass with a magnet cleaner. Nitrate is slowly coming down with the carbon dosing, just wish I could speed the process up without starving the fish, lol. Copepods everywhere - yay! Currently I'm doing some experimenting with the various powerheads I have - Neptune WAVs, and the recirc pumps supplied stock with the RSM. Getting a wave/pulse action going is a challenge with the RSM recirc pumps blasting from the back wall (output is non-adjustable) and interfering with the side-mounted WAVs. I turned two of the four recirc pumps off, and that helps, though then the DT water level drops just a small bit, but enough to be below the grill openings in the weir. So, experimentation continues. Tank is now up and running for 51 days; clowns and orchid dottyback have been doing well in DT for 30 days.
  12. MichaelAB

    Store visit 12/17/16

    Those clowns are beautiful. Looks like they've got their formal white-tie dinner jackets on. You'll give them a happy life! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  13. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Alas, my little goby found a tiny gap between the screen and the wall and went ballistic. I didn't see it for a couple of days, but it was very shy and hiding mostly so I thought nothing of it. Finally I went in to make a serious scan for it, moved all the pvc pipes out. Nowhere to be found. Searched everywhere around the overflow, and the counter the QT is on. Nothing. Short story... found his little body by the dog's water dish a couple feet away . He joined my beloved dogs in their burial plot in the garden. Now I'll be obsessive about hermetically sealing the tank . The pistol shrimp apparently climbed the back wall of the QT, because I didn't find it anywhere either. Saw a flash of movement under the ceramic spheres in the sump area of the QT, and sure enough, it was the shrimp. So somehow it climbed the back wall, got through the grate leading to a filter sock, but managed to get around the sock and then took up residence in the rear sump area. I took all the spheres out, and made a shrimp trap. But didn't have to use it, lol. He hitched a ride on the filter sock, and out he came. He was ready for the DT, so I acclimated him and in he went. He scurried off faster than I could see where he went. I wonder if I'll ever see it again. Maybe the replacement goby will find it for me one day. Yellow tang and two pajama cardinals also have gone to the DT. The orchid dottyback is very curious about those cardinals. They are anything but reciprocally interested in it. Some dusting of green on the rocks and a little on the sand. Nitrates have continued to lower; I'll test them tomorrow. Phosphates at nearly undetectable level of .003 or something like that if I'm calculating the Hanna checker correctly (3.066 x ULR reading / 1000). I've been doing some vodka dosing. Not sure that it is better than or equivalent or what to the Red Sea NoPox I had been using as part of the earlier Red Sea Reef Mature program. Since I have a GFO reactor, I figured just doing vodka dosing should be simpler and less costly than the Red Sea. But what do I know? So far, other than some very slight milky-clouding, it seems to be going in the right direction. Now on to more, more, more! Since I love the look of wrasses, I'm thinking of the next QT inhabitants. Melanarus (though the nassarius might be toast), some kind of flasher wrasse, and a fairy wrasse? I'm also thinking about my first coral. Since ultimately I hope to go the SPS route, I'm thinking it best to avoid the beginner's stuff like xenia, leather, green star polyps, et al. based on opinions that they're things that take over and are hard to eradicate later on. I love the look of frogspawn, hammers, and torches, but those stinging tentacles concern me. Any opinions on wrasses for me at this stage, or for early corals? Too soon?
  14. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Fish update. Yellow tang, two pajama cardinals, goby, and pistol shrimp all doing well. The pistol shrimp stays in the tupperware bowl of sand, but the goby decided to stay in the PVC pipes nearby. One pajama cardinal (of the 3) has gone west across the waves . No idea why; probably just one of those things, I guess. The other two pajama cardinals are fine. The tang has discovered a taste for the nori clipped to the side of the tank. At first it was frightened by it and would go hide behind some PVC pipe. It was fun to watch it develop courage. Today is the end of their first week in the quarantine tank. Crossing fingers and toes that the rest make it. I did have some moments of trepidation when I realized - duh - that eventually I'll have to figure out a way to capture that little pistol shrimp when it's time for him to move to the DT. He's a wily, fast, and tiny bugger. All water parameters are good in both tanks. As for the DT, all is well. The orchid dottyback is a real charmer. For the months it was in the QT, it hid tightly in the PVC pipes - even flattening itself to the side when I looked too closely at it. Now it swims freely all around the DT and last night even came up right against the glass to do a little stare contest with me. The clownfish are active and enjoy seeking out and gobbling down copepods. I finally figured out my tubing and programming for the continuous water change using a Dos unit and the Apex. I put the OSW line down the drain pipe the clothes washer uses, and the NSW intake line directly in the saltwater mixing tank I use. I set it for 1.18 gallon exchange a day, figuring that will be just about 5% a week. Today I set up the neptune DDR and dosing system for calcium and alkalinity (calcium currently is 401, alk 9.1, and magnesium 1380 using RS Coral Pro salt) I'll try raising the calcium to 421, and the alk to 10. I'm a little nervous about dosing, but I'm giving it very precise and constricted parameters for one day and then turning it off until I see what it actually does to the water. Since I have no corals yet, it's overkill, but I think it's good for me to see if I can get the tank stable at the levels that eventual corals will like. That way I won't be doing the learning curve with live coral victims to worry about. I have to say, testing the parameters is quite an adventure in lab work. Takes much longer to do it all than I expected, but I'll probably get a little more efficient with it as I get more repetitive experience.
  15. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Hi, Marius. It's a "red banded" one (Randall's, candy-stripe?). I just finished doing the drip acclimation. Got them from liveaquaria.com. REALLY tiny, and the goby with it is so small as to be almost invisible. Rather concerns me that fish that small might not have much resilience to make it after all this shipping and stuff. I'll just hope for the best. Unfortunately, one of the fish was DOA. Irked me that UPS delivered after 7pm on this next-day delivery, and the driver was none-too-gentle with the boxes getting them off the truck and handing them to me. Just dropped them on the ground, picked them up, and brought them up to me. So much for "fragile," "live fish," "This Side UP!" and all the rest. Guess it's Christmas shipping now and they're overworked. Sorry... ranting a little. Guess I'm a bit overprotective when it comes to the critters, especially with one DOA and me wondering if it was roughly handled getting here from Los Angeles. I'll see in the morning how they're making out. I don't want to shine bright lights on them to get a closer look. The clowns and dottyback in the DT are monsters compared to these wee ones
  16. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    So far I really like the Skimz external skimmer. It's pulling well for a tank this early in its setup, and it's a little quieter to my ear - perhaps just a little more of a smooth tone and deeper. Could be my memory, though, since not having both the old C-skim and this new one going at the same time makes the comparison iffy. But, I certainly like the design better! My new project is getting the apex controller set up. The probes give readings quite at odds with my manual test kits, so I'll go with my manual readings for now, and over time I'll make mental adjustments so long as the probes remain consistent. It's quite the nightmare of cords and cables. I'm not sure exactly how I'll fashion an "electronics board" of some kind rather than just stuff it all inside the left hand stand compartment. All in good time, lol. One of my lights won't keep a network connection without my router being very close by. Since I like where the router is for other reasons, I did some research and ordered a wifi extender to put in the fish room. That should come today and I have some degree of hope that it will solve that issue so I can have access to the lighting via the cloud. That would be cool.
  17. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    The diatoms have all disappeared! There is no sign of any nuisance algae (yet). The water has become clearer, and the glass doesn't have so much white film (bacterial bloom?) any more. The parameters are all doing okay, I think. Amm, nitrite are 0, and nitrate has been steadily reducing - now at about 6 (using red sea pro test) though my color perception using those cards is a little dicey. Cal 504, Mag 1300, kH 9.3, pH 8.3, Sal 1.026, phos .021 ppm (hanna ulr checker). I'm using RS Coral Pro salt. I have been just a tad concerned that the CUC won't have enough to eat, so I gave them a couple of algae wafers that they seemed to appreciate. The nassarius snails go crazy when I add mysis, popping up out of the sand and racing all around with their snorkels like flags at a dune rally. The two clowns and dottyback have been in the tank for five days, and all goes well. The clowns usually cruise all around the tank together, and the dottyback has begun to make the occasional appearance although sticking close to the rock hideouts it has claimed. I can't say any of them are wild about mysis shrimp, eating only a few small bites. The clowns really like regular pellet food, and the dotty?, well, I guess it's eating enough somehow. It's tendency is to be so bashful, I don't really see it eat. New fish are coming today: a small yellow tang, pyjama cardinal, and a watchman goby and pistol shrimp pair. My QT is only 20 gallons, so I'm concerned that the tang won't like that much. I'll keep it in quarantine unless it shows clear signs of distress or won't eat or something. If that's the case, I'll risk it and put it in the DT rather than lose it. So far, I've impressed myself with keeping my clowns and dottyback alive for 3 months.
  18. MichaelAB

    Michael's RSM 650 November 2016

    Hi, Will. Yes, this is my first reef tank. I had a fish-only (without live rock) long ago. I always wanted a coral reef, though, but had to wait until I could afford this hobby and had the time to do it. Hurray! Now's the time. I just hope by going really slowly I'll manage to be successful in keeping some beautiful creatures. So far it's been a lot of fun. The planning and learning is a challenge, but I'm up for it. I really don't want to be someone who gets discouraged and drops out within the first year. I'm determined to do it right this time so I won't watch my pets perish from my ignorance, or at least as infrequently as possible.
  19. MichaelAB

    New Member - Angels Camp

    Hello, everyone. Getting back into the hobby after an absence of 30 years. I was so discouraged back then, and then a lot of other priorities took over. Wow have things changed - and for the better. Back then the poor fish were almost always considered temporary and my best source of info was the LFS. I couldn't stand losing my pets routinely. So, now I'm super hopeful. Started my learning curve in March 2016, and began acquiring equipment. I decided to go with a Red Sea Max S 650 with LED for an all-in-one system. Took me some time to get the basic setup completed. It was a challenge getting it delivered, that's for sure! Just filled it 7 days ago. A very dramatic tank considering what I had 30 years ago. I'll post a couple of pics if anyone's interested. I live on the outskirts of Angels Camp in a log cabin on 10 acres. I'm glad I have some solar panels. All the pumps and lights and other equipment use a lot of power these days Cheers!
  20. MichaelAB

    New Member - Angels Camp

    Thanks! I was just doing online looking around and wondered if there was maybe a local forum and came across NVR. Thought I'd sign up and see what's what. Back then I figured I was just too dense to keep a saltwater tank, though the LFS kept encouraging me (on the San Francisco peninsula). I don't think they had much of an idea either, in hindsight, when it came right down to it. I remember putting in my three damsel fish with the understanding that they were considered disposable - like canaries in a coal mine, and "when they die, your tank will be ready for more fish." Yikes. Water testing? What water testing? Water changes? Yeah, just mix up that tap water with this here salt, and change it out from time to time. Then if one can believe it, they said I'd do well just putting in whatever fish caught my eye. Perhaps that's because none would last long anyway? You know, like, "Here's something you'd like, a beautiful lion fish. And maybe a couple of these yellow tangs." Eeek. Can someone feel ashamed for such ignorance after so long? Well... yeah, it still feels shameful, and now that I know better, I am so sorry for what I put those poor fish through. Not that they would have had any better life, except maybe with some of the people who actually knew what they were doing. Oh, well, it's a new day and I'm excited to keep my fish and corals (corals? really??? yay!!) happy and healthy and beautiful. This time I'm going very slow, and now that I'm "early retired," I can spend the time I need, and before I do anything, I read everything I can and ask questions.
  21. MichaelAB

    New Member - Angels Camp

    Thanks, Keith! Yes, I have read the mixed-reviews on the C-Skim that comes with the tank. So far, so good, but I'll probably upgrade it down the line if it doesn't work well. I used all dry rock, cured for 6 months on my porch. My first three inhabitants have been happily living in their quarantine tank for the last two months awaiting their new home. (A bonded pair of sunset mocha ORA ocellaris, and a shy orchid dottyback.) The LEDs that come with the RSM are AI Hydra 26 HDs. Pretty cool, though they're a bit tempermental about finding and maintaining a stable wi-fi connection on my network.
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