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George Monnat Jr

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About George Monnat Jr

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    Elite Reefer

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  • Location
    Austin near 620 and Anderson Mill
  • Tank Size
    6' 125g
  • Gender
  • Interests
    SCUBA and saltwater aquariums (why does one expensive hobby lead to another?)

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  1. I was going to put this in the SCUBA forum, but I think it deserves a wider audience. Now that's a toothy grin! Fearless photographer gets dangerously close to great white sharks at feeding time - WITHOUT a safety cage
  2. How can they complain if you're finding a local buddy? I'm in three different SCUBA dive clubs in Central Texas, and no one has ever complained when I get cross over divers. The good shops know they are competing against snorkeling, biking, rock climbing, team sports, shooting, sky diving, etc. not each other.
  3. I'd go with you, but my wife would be jealous. We may go as a couple, though. If no ARC members can go, you should post on Scubaland's Facebook site asking for a roommate. Or I can do it for you.
  4. My wife and I finally dove Athens Scuba Park in Athens, TX a couple of months ago. It was four dives in May 2014. I was reminded by a news story I ran across. Overall, it's a great place to dive, if you don't mind a 3-4 hour drive from Austin. The local hotels have discount rates for divers there, so you can get a decent hotel room for cheap (we stayed at the Super 8 and were very pleased, especially since we could keep our dog with us). Their web site clearly shows water temperature and visibility. As of this posting, it was: Updated: 08JUL2014 Facilities: excellent; Right by the w
  5. I included a link to Scubaland in my first response. It's just www.scubaland.com
  6. Yes, it's expensive but very rewarding. With the possibility of SCUBA, vacations to Florida, California, Hawaii, Carribean, etc. or even across Texas take on a whole new dimension. You can rent until affordable deals or solid used equipment become available.
  7. Hi, I just gave a presention at the ARC meeting about it. I'm not an instructor (yet), but I have friends who are. I can answer any questions you might have and point you in the right directions. My friend and instructor will be happy to talk to you as will our shop, Scubaland, will also be happy to help you. His son started SCUBA there at age 8 and can answer questions, too. My instructor and I are biased towards Scubaland, however, we are not direct employees working on commission and will be happy to help with recommendations or opinions about others, too. Also, my wife and I dive a
  8. I appreciate the advice. If you see the chart in my original post, with pH 7.1 to 7.2 and KH of 9 dKH, my CO2 is 20-25 ppm. That's listed as the ideal CO2 level in FW aquariums. There are lots of other sites that concur:
  9. ... [saved 1st part so I don't lose it] As you can see, when I first set up the CO2 with a simple program, turn off when pH drops below 7.20, I got horrible dips in pH. That's because the pH changes and the probes register the change minutes after the CO2 is added. I needed a way to limit the time the CO2 was being added (both the cylinder regulator solenoid and the pump for the cyclonic diffuser) regardless of the instantaneous pH reading. I also needed to make sure that the outlets stayed off for a minimum amount of time and didn't just turn back on since pH hadn't dropped, yet. I sur
  10. Last Friday I finally rented a 20 pound CO2 cylinder from Round Rock Welding supply, got it all hooked up, and programmed. I'm really happy with it so far. You can see that my pH is now stable within a +/- 0.5 around 7.12 pH (with the occasional quick spike to 7.20 or 7.21). The CO2 regulator needle is still on the 1000psi line, so I bet this cylinder lasts me months at a yearly rental of $63 after taxes. I haven't refilled, yet, but I think it's really cheap. As for the programming...
  11. Just my luck, I'll get some ODC, and the hiding RCS will eat them. And then the marauding RCS will get eaten by an Elephant Nose.
  12. I haven't posted, because I was depressed. My experiment with RCS/dwarf shrimp was a failure. I'm grateful that bige gave me six RCS, so it wasn't an expensive failed experiment. I'm bummed that the RCS (apparently) didn't survive, but I think the fish are very grateful. I put the 6x RCS in the DT on May 18th. They all immediately started feeding out in the open, and nothing harrassed them. Up until the lights went out after midnight, I could quickly at any time find at least 4x of the RCS. By the next day I couldn't find a single one in the DT and never did again. Monday (19th) at lun
  13. I think that's a great plan. Yea, my wife loves the Pumpkins. I was thinking about those and Green. I found a great site that lets you pick what you want and shows compatability with cross-breeding in mind. Let me know how the OEBTs work out.
  14. KH is a measure of your pH buffering capacity. Less than about 4.5 dKH and you risk big pH swings. My pH has already been flakey with me around 4 dKH. Carbonates are also needed for building calcium structures. It's critical for SW with all the coral, but fish, snails, etc. to a much lesser degree need it, too. Snails need a GH > 7 dGH to stay healthy, too. I picked up some Seachem Acid Buffer and Seachem Alkaline Buffer at RCA today. Right on the label it says if doing water changes with DI add 2:1 Alkaline:Acid buffer to the DI for a pH of 7. I'm going to try that and see what hap
  15. Are you free tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon? I might, because RCA wants $5 each (if they have any). I don't mind supporting RCA, but these are test subjects that may get eaten.
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