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Sierra Bravo

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Everything posted by Sierra Bravo

  1. This has been a year in the making and I have a detailed thread build on one of the larger forums, but I'd like to do a condensed version just for the sake of documentation and share my own personal journey in the hobby here as well. I plan to heavily plagiarize my other build thread because originality takes effort and time. I'll start with this: I never had an aquarium before, except a small freshwater tank in my early 20's (I'm 50 now). I terminated its run when my dog got between my feet while carrying a plate of food to the living room. While tripping I instinctively reached out and grabbed the first thing, which happened to be the tank. Its demise was spectacular. The neighbors downstairs weren't as impressed. Fast forward to our house in San Antonio. This was the original area, a wet bar that we used to stuff all the things nobody wanted to deal with in. It was useless, and the wifey wanted to close it in and make the opening a built in lighted bookshelf. I had already mentioned that I'd like a reef tank one day but was thinking about a tank and stand combo. It dawned on me that with water and a drain right there I had the ability to do a built in tank with a small fish room. My wife seemed on board with the plan. I'll never forget her sweet words: "You never do anything for yourself; don't worry about a budget just get what you want". Oh, if she only knew then what she knows now. . . Quickly, before anyone with common sense could change anyone's mind, I demolished the bejusus out of the family room side - then went to bed: The next day I stopped and figured: "It's probably be a good idea to have more of a plan". I started doing a TON of research on line and developing an idea of what would work, the equipment to use, and how to end up with what I wanted. My wife still wanted the lighted bookshelf, which was going to be a challenge. Here's what I conceptualized: Here's a quick run through on the demo and remodeling of the plumbing, electric and walls: I used FRP on the tank side of the room. Built a salt water mixing station and placed my RODI unit: Tank stand was a bit challenging: I had to fit everything I needed and somehow have room to have lighted shelves for the wifey, I came up with incorporating the shelf alcove directly into the stand itself: The sump came in about this time and I was finally able to do some plumbing. I chose a Trigger Systems 36. I had seen so many plumbing setups that looked great with colored PVC and decided to do the same: I've slacked off enough at work this morning and need to get back to it, but I'll post up more as soon as possible.
  2. 10 gallon Waterbox all-in-one.
  3. This guy is in my nano tank at the office - just got him today. G. smithii mantis:
  4. My Palmer's Blue Milli is growing pretty leggy:
  5. Sierra Bravo

    Drs. Foster and Smith + Petco

    Diver's Den/Live Aquaria was unaffected - they are still there and in operation. . .thankfully.
  6. Sierra Bravo

    Drs. Foster and Smith + Petco

    And consolidation. The Wisconsin facility where DFS operated from is being closed and those employees laid off. Fulfillment will occur from Petco.com distribution centers. It will be interesting to see how their product selection changes.
  7. Automatic feeder time. . .they know when food is about to drop. Watch the clownfish - she hogs the entire feeder. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Food hits about 1:50. . . I should have shortened the video)
  8. Thanks for letting me know - should be visible now.
  9. I had a bit of unexplained STN/RTN appear on a colony of Battlecorals Grape Juice. Here's what I did to attempt to save it (reposted from my R2R account): I happened to check my tank last night with a flashlight (who doesn't?) and noticed for the first time an area at the base of a BC Grapejuice colony that had bleached with tissue recession. I'd been away for the weekend, but think I would have noticed it last time I looked, which was Thursday. Checking my parameters this morning I did have a low alk reading at 6.8, down from last Wednesday which was 7.9 dKH. I have not had any other changes to the tank physically or the water parameters. This rock cannot be removed to dip or try to superglue. I managed to chip a small hole in the area where the original plug was glued down. This allowed me to force a screwdriver under and incredibly the entire colony came up intact! You can see the areas remaining on the colony that has tissue recession. The majority of it, however, remained behind on the rock: I capped the diseased and even the healthy tissue that remained encrusted on the rock with epoxy putty: Using a pair of scissors to fray the end of a plastic drinking straw I made a makeshift disposable super glue brush, then used it to paint over any areas on the colony with visible damage. I made sure to coat past the diseased spots about a 1/4" into healthy tissue. I placed it temporarily on the bottom of the tank to give the epoxy time to cure, and to be able to check the colony in a few days to ensure the RTN/STN had been effectively stopped. If I see more reappearing, I'll cut into chunky frags and put it on the rack. Otherwise I plan to mount it back in its original position.
  10. Sierra Bravo

    Need help with Ai hd lighting

    Something is wrong with the light. Here is mine on those exact same settings in the first pic and all channels at 100% in the second. Just a little more white is the only difference, but you get an idea of what it should look like.
  11. Sierra Bravo

    Need help with Ai hd lighting

    What channel settings are you running (or trying to run) on? The Radion AB+ mimic for SPS is: UV 118% Violet 101% Royal 82% Blue 65% Green 6% Deep Red 5% Cool White 19% That produces a very blue light. If you like light that is more towards the daylight spectrum, lower the UV and Violet and raise the cool white, and to a lesser extent, the green.
  12. Sierra Bravo

    Hope you guys dont mind me joining

    Tell you what - weโ€™ll work a deal. Iโ€™ll meet you halfway. Iโ€™ll bring you fish supplies and you bring me ribs and sauce from Mumphordโ€™s!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
  13. Sierra Bravo

    20G Waterbox Build

    I thought to myself when I saw the post that someone was going to get a heck of a deal. Congrats!
  14. Sierra Bravo

    The new tank is up!

    Looks very good!
  15. Sierra Bravo

    Lowering phosphates

    The only recommended number I remember ever seeing is .5 ppm per day. That's quite a lot considering many people consider .02-.04 ppm to be a good range to be in. For me, on a 150 I'd start with about a cup of GFO in your reactor, make sure it is slowly tumbling, and monitor. You should see some measure of a reduction in PO4 within 24-36 hours. Don't forget GFO is just a bandaid; need to ID what's pushing your PO4 levels up and make a change. ๐Ÿ™‚
  16. This is tougher and more confusing than I thought. Well, I bought it to practice, so. . .here are some first attempts at trying to get it to a realistic color and somewhat in focus. Not exactly worthy of Reefkeeper Monthly but not bad for a first try. If nothing else, at least my Vivid Rainbow Delight is starting to finally color up! ๐Ÿ™‚
  17. I bought a real camera! Nikon D5300 with the dual lense kit (18-55 and 55-300). Shutter count was under 3K and the lens/mirror are in perfect shape. Came with a bag - $350. I don't have the faintest idea what to do with it, though. . . I've only used my phone before. Here's the first picture I took with it that I even liked:
  18. Sierra Bravo

    Enzo1028โ€™s IM Nuvo Fusion 30L Build

    Welcome! Hope you didn't make room to bring your snow shovel with you. I bet you aren't missing Chicago this week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great start and it looks like it will be a nice tank. Kudos to your friend for holding your corals - I hope they make the transition well and settle in for you.
  19. She's eyeing it with suspicion. . . ๐Ÿ™‚
  20. I've had some liverock in my sump since I started the tank. I took a piece out to break for a filler and this bivalve was in one of the cavities. It's lived down there under the chaeto all this time. I have no idea what species it is. I moved it up to a dark area of my display where I can watch it and see how it does.
  21. I made a lengthy post on Reef 2 Reef documenting my visit to the new Frost Science Gulf Stream Aquarium. It was very impressive and absolutely beautiful. Rather than trying to recreate it here, I'll leave a link to the post in case anyone wants to review it. Lots of pics and a couple videos. Highly recommend visiting the facility! https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/frost-science-gulf-stream-aquarium-visit-pic-intense.536191/
  22. Sierra Bravo

    New to Texas

    Glad someone was able to help you!
  23. I'm doing a little rearranging this weekend and decided that I wanted to remove my BC "I Heart the Monster Hero" tort to open up some space for the other colonies that are growing. I fragged it into some nice-sized pieces to sell at a local LFS I've been doing some frag business with. If anyone wants one and can pick it up in San Antonio I'll be happy to offer it to you. $35 for the multi-branch/chunky and $20 for the single branched (2 pcs available).
  24. Sierra Bravo

    The Maroon Lagoon V2.0

    New lights, next generation of younger corals. . .This is Maroon Lagoon v3.0; at the least v2.9. Need to rename your threads. ๐Ÿ˜‰