Top down photos with a smartphone

I recently shipped out a Smartphone Floater to a customer that has a Samsung Note8 phone. His immediate concern was that he was going to flood the box and ruin his phone.  I've been making a type of floater box for iPhones for the past six years or more.  I'm sure in that time, someone has had an accident and got water inside the box because not everyone is perfect.  That being said, I've never had that problem. I put the phone in the box, place it on the surface of the water and hold it where I want to take a picture.

This view never gets old

Each day when I roll out of bed, the first thing to greet me is my reef. The actinics are on, and I get a nice view to start my day. As I work in my office, this is my view. Of course, I refill my coffee cup repeatedly, so I also get to check on all the anemones and clowns. And Dory of course. She's at the bottom in this picture, at 7 o'clock.

Doing All The Things

You know how you put off some tasks because they are going to take more time, or because they aren't easily accessible?  I'm not immune either.  I knew that my calcium reactor was in dire need of refilling, the carbon was used up, and the biopellets were consumed.  The skimmer needed a good cleaning too.  So I did all that, plus wiped down the inside of the sump, cleaned off the ATO sensor, and cleaned some of the flexible tubing.  

Macro growth looks good!

A few months ago, I got a Lumilite to try out over my smaller sump's refugium. I wanted to see if it would do the job adequately for my customers that buy my sumps. I placed it over the zone, plugged it into the Apex so it would turn on and off daily.

I noticed the macro algae is growing well under this daylight spectrum LED fixture, and I really do like the low profile look of the light.

Taste test

Earlier today, I refilled my top off containers from the RO/DI system in the adjacent room. I noticed while walking into the fishroom that there was a puddle on the floor, and I quickly assumed that the connection to the float valve had failed, leaking out some RODI water. This had happened in the past; the fitting on top allowed water to leak past it due to the water pressure of new water being added. I replaced the valve which resolved it, but this occurence was too soon for that to happen. Still, I went on with my day expecting that puddle to evaporate.  

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens acquired

I bought a new lens for my D90 today. I've been having a problem using any of my lenses for topdown photography, even though I've lowered the corals to the rockwork in my recent reef reset.

The camera wouldn't focus, and I couldn't even press the shutter button. It was one of those annoying things I've been putting up with for a long time, raising the camera more and more away from the subject. The minimum focal distance was the hurdle.

Resetting the reef to open up some space

After more than 3.5 years of growth, some colonies were dominating the aquarium blocking light and impeding flow. Duane helped me with this project, which involved cutting out the huge corals and planting smaller choice bits to reset the reef. It's not an easy task, and mentally it can be challenging as well. I had to give him the reigns because left to my own means, I would have saved every coral instead of sacrificing the bulk to attain new beauty.

No sucking sound?

Back in 2013, I built my return assembly for the 400g version 2.0, and when I did so I used a check valve installed backwards, which I refer to as the Reversed Check Valve. When the return pump flows, water pushes the valve shut, but as soon as the pump has been powered down (intentionally or unintentionally), the backsiphon of water sucks the check valve open.  When this happens I hear a brief sucking sounds letting me know the siphon has broken.

Pictures from above

Two days ago I took a few pictures of the corals from the side of the tank, but today I wanted to get a few images from above as well. However, the lenses I have require a minimum focal length that frustrates my process. Basically, the corals are too close to the lens for it to focus. Shooting from the side of the tank with a tripod, I can back up slightly to get that perfect distance for a good shot, but from above there isn't much room.  I'm going to try out a new lens soon and see if that works because I love shooting from above.