Today marks 3.5 years since the 400g went up for the second time. November 10th, 2013 was the day all the livestock was moved from the temporary 215g tank into the 400g and the 60g anemone cube. This would be Day 1278.
This past weekend, I seized (cough - forced myself - cough) the opportunity to do some necessary maintenance. This blog will be a tad lengthy because while it may appear like my reef is run by magic, it's actually the effort I apply that makes it look its best. Let me break it down now.
People often ask how do you plumb the Vectra pump to your tank. While I know it is easier to use flexible tubing, that's never my preference. Plus, the Vectra doesn't come with a hose barb connection. Whether you use this pump internally or externally, it's still important to get the PVC glued into the blue part correctly.
The Vectra M1 uses 3/4" PVC pipe. That's what you see in the picture above, it's the return pump for the 60g frag system.
February 2016 I set up my new frag tank. All the electrical stuff that supports the tank has been sitting to the left on top of a box of salt, primarily to avoid it getting wet if the fishroom were to get flooded. I had a piece of acrylic set aside for this project for about as long, but today I finally cut out the pieces and got it glued up. One of the reasons this went undone is because I knew I'd be running a CNC soon, and wanted to cut it out on that table instead of my normal 'craft by hand' method I've employed for the past decade.
As I go through my daily routine, I often end up recalling things I've done in my past. They seem perfectly normal to me, but often others marvel at what I was able to accomplish. I tilt my head to the side and mentally try to see what they see, since I lived it and have my own somewhat biased perspective. What makes certain people more accomplished, more skilled, more worthy of praise? What makes them stand out, basically?
A customer requested I build a fan bracket that fits her rimless sump, so I designed something different that the CNC could cut out. I also changed the order of gluing joints, and I think overall it's a nicer looking final product. This is a single fan holder, and a 120mm fan drops into that spot. I usually build double fan brackets. Small 1/4" notches were cut to fit over the vertical walls of a rimless sump.
If you follow my youtube channel, you've probably heard how I have to get my arms wet and really cull the 400g reef because the growth at the top is shadowing everything beneath, and those things beneath have little chance of living. I hate to have to rip out these big colonies, but there's no choice. Here are a bunch of pictures of the tank today. I've also included some images of the Anemone Cube.
After making myself (literally) do all my water testing today on both systems, I'm quickly reminded why I prefer to only run one reef at a time. Those people that run multiple tanks or frag systems deserve heavy praise for being able to keep so many separate systems thriving. I noticed some bits of corals turning white in my reef, but I kept blaming it on shade rather than a water quality issue. Today, I ran through all the Elos test kits, twice since I have to measure the 400g reef as well as the 60g frag system.
I tend to overthink everything, and like to work systematically toward growth both for my business as well as the youtube audience I've acquired over the past couple of years. Some videos are easy to do, others are very involved both in the filming process as well as the editing portion. My goal is to be informative and still semi-entertaining so as not to bore people. We all lead busy lives, and don't have the time to watch every last word / frame of a video, yet I actually worry about every last word and frame before I compile and upload it for the world to see.
I don't remember when the Easy Blade came to market, but it's a piece of plastic that you glue to a Magfloat magnet. Affix a nice clean new razor blade (it's a specific one for this device), and you can work your way around the tank, carving off stubborn algae, coralline, and get into those corners that normal magnets can't quite reach. I like to use it near the sandbed too, so that area is crystal clear to see invertebrates doing their thing. And around the top rim, carving off whatever clings there. It also takes off calcification on rimless tanks.