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3x2x2 grotto by scotto

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3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 1:19 pm

Gday I am scotto and this is my grotto.

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Introduction:

For the TJ purists, sorry, there’s going to no build up time, just photographic diahrrea uh uh that I’ve accumulated over the last couple of years.
This is an exercise in quality, not speed.

I have been lurking in the depths of the forum for a while, and after some recent encouragement thought maybe give a bit back.
There are some seriously inspirational tanks and people in here, good on you guys.
To those who've helped, tanks a lot.

Highs and lows?! Ow yeah.
Initially I went down the softies path and really got into mushrooms and zoos and anything with tentacles.
I endured a rather ugly nitrate episode early on, this prompted a big re-think and re-focus on things. thought about investing in some good equipment if I was going to not kick this habit.
In light of my own special blend of 19-19 hindsight, I think I have now got the basics right.
60% of the time it works every time...

System Objectives: Stable -> healthy -> stunning. I wish I could get them all in sync!

System Type: Mixed reef.

Display System:

Strike up Date: June 2008.

Display Tank: 3x2x2 Well-hung, Wu Tan, Wang Chung... Hai-Yaaaa
Whatever the badge said that fell off, probably as soon as it left China.
It's one of those moulded corner you beauty all in one tanks. I guess all up it's around 350L.
This has been a great size to get started in, and manageable. I live in a unit.

Display Lighting:ATI Sunpower - 6 bulbs.
Current bulbs 3 Blues, 2 Purple plus and 1 AquaBlue for a soft and sexy glow.

Stand: A true testament to Chinese carpentry. Matched complete unit stand, super strong and probably monsoon proof. Lol…

Hood: Open.

Sump: 3 sections, skimmer, sand and weed, return.
2 300W heaters and pumps for fluid bed filter (carbon and RowaPhos) and chiller.
Couple of Koralia Nano's to maintain the swirl. It’s a pretty busy little cupboard!

Refugium: Bits of live rock scattered around the sump with zillions of little critters scamping around.
I have a 7” deep sand bed with 2-3” of water over it.
Grow macro in the shallow spot so the water flows through it rather than over it, it grows like a turf mat. Cool.

Refugium Lighting: El Guppo 2 x 2’ T5 unit. Lights go on overnight (off peak power, and try keep PH stable!)

Frag Tank: I wish. But when I have my own place and the space, look out. Mwuah hah hahahahahah...
I have started a bit of a seeding program which I'll try show as my little story progresses.

Support systems:

System Water: Natural. Man this sure is one thing that makes this sport tough.
Storage is 6x25L drums which I haul to and fro the LFS and upstairs in to my unit. Demanding but rewarding.

Display Water circulation: MP40, 2 Tunze 6045.

Return Pump: Eheim 3000

Skimmer: Deltec SC2060. Monster.

Evaporation Top Up: Osmolator. If you ask me, by far the handiest bit of gear for reefers, for the job it does.
I change at least 25L a week and the Osmolator fills around 20L.
I figure with my loose logic between the two it sort of works out to 10% water changes weekly, minimum.

Chemical Support:

Have been testing, mixing and pouring until a while back when I thought I should step it up, finding my little reef is starting to get a bit of an appetite.
Manual dosing was becoming as painful as manual water top up in the early days.
I set up a Buble Magus unit - bang for buck I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
Really hoping this will be a good step in keeping parameters nice and balanced. There are positive signs.
I think this is what has prompted me to start a tank journal, to help keep an eye on dosing vs growth!

I sparingly dose capfuls of stuff on a bit of a pattern for kicks, typically after water changes.
Seem to be keeping the right parameters in check, corals and fish all seem happy.

So, the story so far...

Zoos...so cool. There are some awesome little gardens out there!

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Sadly all but some of the orange frilled blues are no longer with me.
In between being eaten by crabs, and a sorry case of unexplainable melt off they just disappeared :(
About 6 months in I found myself in a bit of a crabbing frenzy.
2 boxes of fresh live rock does have it's cons I guess, I reckon I removed a dozen - not the sweet little acro crabs!

This is Munter and Munster, they survived the skewer and now live in the sump.
Munter would creep out and pick the mouths of the zoos out, Munster the hairy bugger would push rocks around and cause all sorts of trouble.

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I HATE CRABS.

So yeah had a soft spot for the softies. Love mushrooms, and as of late been starting to take a liking to Rics, but all things slowly slowly.
Have a few new colours and every once in a while I'll chop off a head to help spread them around a bit.

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What I will say about this is the ATI ProColour is a fantastic tube.

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And the Elegance smashed that beautiful Xenia..

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An interesting shot of Duncan eating a bad floater, a tip from the green torch that broke off (last shot).
You can almost taste the stinging!

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I would love someone to tell me what this little fella is?
Not a snail, not a limpit but looks somewhere in between. And sort of ancient.

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And this, probably one of my favourite shots, the Zen Snails.

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Anyhoo. Enough jibber jabber.
Thanks for looking, hope you enjoy.

scotto :thumbsup:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Byronredsea » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 1:27 pm

:bow: Nice :thumbsup:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kipper31 » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 1:28 pm

Nice tank, very clear pictures too well done. Keep the photos comeing . :thumbsup:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Deester » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 1:36 pm

Wow mate, nice mixed reef :thumbsup: nice SPS too :-x keep the pics coming :pirate:

That little guy you want an ID is a chiton, good to have and harmless :thumbsup:

Cheers,

Dee.
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby spazza7 » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 2:19 pm

Tank looks amazing, cant wait for future updates :clap:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby rnscross » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 4:30 pm

this tank is just as amazing in person
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby nick_s_h » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 5:04 pm

WOW!
Oh and that unidentified snail thing; i have some on my tank too?
They were on the side of my powerhead and on the rocks...
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby dannyb5 » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 5:07 pm

Nice tank mate, Your from melb too! Where abouts? Trading time! :devil:

:cheers:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Chris1 » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 5:08 pm

Gotta be proud of that. Very schmick and natural looking.

Top photos :thumbsup:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Onsan » Sun 30 Jan, 2011 5:50 pm

nice job lurking all this time.
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby mattgreen » Tue 01 Feb, 2011 3:21 pm

love this tank! how do you find the ati powermodule for coverage?
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby pazz » Tue 01 Feb, 2011 10:09 pm

finally get to see some pics looks awesome scott , will you be at ernie s thursday night
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby parrdog » Tue 01 Feb, 2011 10:19 pm

Such awesome colour, just love it :).

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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Shaneel » Wed 02 Feb, 2011 1:29 am

awesome stuff scotto. i see things have been going along nicely since i last dropped by
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby ryanrid » Wed 02 Feb, 2011 8:26 am

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this is a chiton, they are a primative mollusc, and harmless. i am a fan of their 8 piece armour.

BTW tank looks good.
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:52 am

Thanks for the comments guys :o the Chiton and I are loving it :cheers:

Cheers Jai, well for once I'm not working BBQ night but I have a big day at the dentist Hmm lucky 8 ball say outlook not so good :dead:

Danny I'm in South Yarra, sort of in the middle of Melbourne.
Yeah I'm keen for trading things, at a good stage now to start cutting things back a bit.
I am all for trying to pass corals around, with a theory that every little frag helps make this a sustainable hobby.
I think I need to join MASOV and get among the community!

mattgreen wrote:... how do you find the ati powermodule for coverage?


This one is a 6 bulb Sunpower. Awesome light. I'm bummed I can't hang it cause it would spread better, at the mo it sits on my top rim about 5" off the water.
I've built my rock up at the back of the tank, so the fitting sits towards the back giving me 6 inches or so of open top to access, feeding, steroiding, getting water for tests..
It creates a bit of a shelf at the front of the tank, when the Vortech's singing the Chromis play in the current over the acros then zip up to the front into the shade to chill or look for a feed.
It also means my softies at the bottom front aren't smashed with bright light, though I don't think they'd mind some more.
Completely accidental effect but I'll never admit that. :-D

I managed to delete a batch of photos during the week :wall: but did find a couple of older shots I think from one morning playing with ISO (they're a bit dark).
I've seen a number of dudes comment it's bloody hard to get a good colour balance taking photos with blue and purple in them...ahhh I know!!

Now having said all that, after a good result in the second hand market, I'll be trading up to a 8 x Powermodule and I can't wait.
A 10 x is just a little tooo big for the tank :bored:
I am really looking forward to putting a Pro Colour over the birdsnest and 'straweberry shortcake' so they call it.

Dusk & Dawn (Blue Plus and Purple Pro). My favourite shade.

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From the side. Sorry it's dark but my brain and fingers had a bit of a lapse in coordination :-D
With all tubes on direct down light just covers the plate/chalice, top left is shady.

Interesting about coverage, whether this is growing along the tube length? Or is it tabling naturally.

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7-Nov-10

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22-Jan-10

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The level the SPS are on is one big rock. Except the green monti is freestyling. My plan is to slowly seed it up with little frags.
A few tanks I've seen that I lurve (yes Dee and Ryan) shallow and rimless I really like and I might head down that path one day.
This might make a nice bit of rock to use.

An inch long bit of Dallas, just stuck in a hole, Christmas Day.
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One month later defo showing signs he can dig it. So does Lenny, Ninja Blenny.
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Yeup. Stuck in a hole.
About the same size and dates as the Dallas.

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Now back to lurking, and maybe trying to get a bit more active in here :pirate:


scotto :thumbsup:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kj52faith » Thu 03 Feb, 2011 7:04 am

Can i have some of your grotto ;D
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kj52faith » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 9:45 am

at unedentified snail thing is a linchen
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby Dan » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 9:48 am

wow - tanks looking stunning mate :bow:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kj52faith » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 9:49 am

kj52faith wrote:at unedentified snail thing is a linchen

wel other guy got the nae wright chiton :roflmao:
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby fishguy23 » Sat 12 Feb, 2011 12:42 pm

wow stunning tank. and some very nice photography skills
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Sat 19 Feb, 2011 12:50 am

I had a dead set terrible week.

I tried my hand at posting some Dallas frags and failed. Overnight postage plus 24 hours or so and they bleached completely. Very upsetting eh :dead:
Skimmer pump seems to be misbehaving, and my Vortech separated, opened it up, needs a suite of innards, $econd time in 2 years. Not impressed.
I will be changing to Tunze pumps I think.
I also missed out on buying a dream house by the piddliest of margins....this games sucks!

Anyhoo, there are much heavier things in life to worry about.
So I spent an arvo trying to take it out on the macro..

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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby mattgreen » Sat 19 Feb, 2011 1:12 am

great pics love the purple sps looks great, bumber how things happen isnt it. i feel the same thing happens to me.. goodluck with finding another dream house
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kj52faith » Sat 19 Feb, 2011 8:33 am

aw no that sucks :( feel for you bro...
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby rnscross » Sat 19 Feb, 2011 8:47 am

good luck with the house hunting, it can be a real pain especially when you see something you really want but its out of your hands whether you get it or not.
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby surfhead » Tue 22 Feb, 2011 11:22 pm

Grouse grotto scotto :thumbsup:
I mean real nice TJ,I'm a lurker too and have to post one day.
Can we see the engine room esp the skimmer.
Plenty of local frags available ;)
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Mon 28 Feb, 2011 7:16 pm

For sure.

I'm having my skimmer pump checked out atm, grrr, but it gives me a chance to get in and clean out the sump.
May I just say the service from Ben AOA and ABS (service centre for all the German gear in SA) has been outstanding :thumbsup:

Interesting to see that for a week without a skimmer some things are colouring up a little better. Over-skimming?
I tested my nitrates on Friday (4 days, no skimmer) the test did not change colour after adding just part 1.
It might be also due to ramping up my Alk a bit - currently 13 where it has been closer to 10.

I'm not that good at following instructions :pirate:
I've (sort of) followed Randy's mix, but I just use nice rounded #'s of cupfuls and pay very close attention to depletion rates in order to keep things stable. (Yup, test freak!)
I figure volumes etc are kinda relative - less concentrated, but dosing all depends on the needs of the tank.
Have been going through 2 cups of bicarb every 10 days (I do 2 cups in a 10L jerry) about 900ml of alk mix a day :nod:
Don't know if this is a lot, but there is a lot of stock and light over my tank, things are going crazy!
I do figure though more of a slightly weaker mix is ok, and I don't have to top up my straight RO as much.

Anyhoo. Will take some photos as I clean over the next coupla days..
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby kj52faith » Mon 28 Feb, 2011 7:29 pm

cool well there has to be a little bit of nitrate for those sps... and oveskimming is always an issue... maybe run the skimmer for 12 hours?
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Mon 28 Feb, 2011 10:34 pm

Yeah mate it's defo one of those old reefer's tales I'm a little unsure of. I am going to test for Nitrates again and see what it turns up.
Will have another read about over skimming, I think mine is a tad overkill, well maybe for this tank.

I'm keen to give fragging another go Surfhead, stop lurking and show us what ya got ;)
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Re: 3x2x2 grotto by scotto

Postby scotto » Wed 16 Mar, 2011 12:23 am

Well I'll start with a shot that has left me a bit confused.
Had a fairly nervous 12 days or so with no skimmer running while being serviced.
During then I changed 75L NSW plus the usual ATO and steroid juices.

Tube on the left is solution 1 + no reagent, on the right is complete test. Really has got me miffed.
I have had a bit of bryposis that flares up once in a while around my weir which bloomed, but surely not enough to warrant results like that.
My LR is healthy with lots of worms etc, plenty of bristles in the sand bed too.

This is how my nitrate test came up - I did it twice, surely something is wrong with my kit, my tank is not really lightly stocked :nut:

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Anyhoo. Skimmer was very very happily received back, didn't waste any time at all getting it back in to the sump.
Mind the bubble plate isn't quite where it should be. Neither are the cans...

Can I just pass on something I have learned this week.
The impellor was not seating properly, which is why it was playing up on start up, apparently.
It was highly recommended I give the o-ring and mating faces a decent smear when putting it back together after full cleans.
So I got a tube of silicon grease. So far so good, just thought to pass this on in case it helps anyone who comes across a similar problem, regardless of what skimmer you might run.

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Doing what they do best...munching the good stuff!
Found him hitch-hiking in the early days, was tiny.
Good I guess to keep the inlet for pumps free of coraline maybe.

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Just enough room to get it in and out.

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Left the skimmer to run a full week to see how much refreshing goodness it'd pull out after being out of action for a while.

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This has degraded since the last big clean mid Jan :wall:
Have just replaced all the innards, I tried lining everything with silicon grease.
Let's see if that helps relieve some of the pressure and reduce the scoring on the revolutionary design plastic bits.
The propellor shaft snapped somewhere in the middle and the base (phillips head end) fused to the magnetic disk.

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This is the steroid cupboard, very cheap and nasty short term solution, fine furniture all the way from Sweden.
Ugly and messy, but I'll get to sorting it out soon when I rewire the T5 ballasts so they are separate pairs. (Yep, the wiring is safe for now!)

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Say hi to Reggie and Lafonda, godparents of my little mates.
Anyone who's been to the Port Douglas markets on a Sunday morning might recognise these guys.
In the process of finding them a home on a wall near the tank.

Anyhoo enough rambling, thanks for looking!
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