- The last 2 days consisted of a second coat on the stand, 5 gallon PWC (partial water change) on the rock tank and another water change on the 29. Everybody seems fairly happy in the 29. The coral is growing pretty good too. Out of curiosity, I ran an ammonia test on the rock tank - 5!. So, I ran a nitrite test too, it's starting to show up too. The cycling has begun!
I then spent of Saturday trying to figure out how I'm going to do the doors and what I'm going to do with the sump. 30" is definitely going to be too big. I'm thinking whack about 6" off and put a new end on it and add a few baffles. I'm going to need room in stand for ATO water and a few other items.
In the meanwhile, I made a short video of the 29. I got everything over 2 different periods, but the light was too different to stitch it all together, so here's 2 and I'll make a new one tomorrow that shows it all.
- Since the last update, I've been sanding and applying polyurethane to the stand. Looks great, but the plywood managed to develop some "tears" in the surface. Weird, but I'm not re-doing it at this time. Good thing it's a dark stain. Flipped it over to put some 'thane on the bottom for wetness protection of sorts. Started on the doors last night, they're cut, the framing is glued too. Has to chisel out the hinge areas. Figuring out the how to hinge was a real pain. Doors aren't my bag.
I'm also now contemplating going with a 800 gph pump instead of 2 580s. Will use much less electric and I'm concerned the flow from the 2 smaller pumps might be too much. The small pump for the ATO has actually been working great. Worth the $30 I spent on that.
I'm leaning towards keeping the sump as is instead of messing with it. I think I'll get it under the stand with the tank, (which I hope to have on it by this time tomorrow) and test it out. As long as I have room for an ATO bucket of some sort and the fish food, I should be ok I suppose.
Next task is to double check the canopy measurements one more time and get the wood for that. I'm want to make sure the lights will fit ok, I ran into issues on the old tank.
- Pretty light duty today. We moved the tank to the stand. Par for the course - apparently the top to the stand is not flat. The tank does not sit level on it. Time to get my hands on a nice belt sander, then re-stain the top again. Scraped the rest of the silicone off the tank.
- Got a belt sander from HD and another tube of silicone (just in case). Took the sander to the stand and after bringing in the stand and loading the tank (I think it gained 30lbs each time), we're getting closer. Looks like the left rear corner didn't seat very well and I needed to remove a little more than 1/8".
In the meanwhile the sun coral seems to have stopped opening real well a couple of days ago and I notice some red slimy algae starting to appear on the sand. Took readings and I have nitrates. So, the fish had a light dinner and I'm doing about a 25% water change tomorrow anyway.
Also put the quiet one 2200 into the "rock" tank and I couldn't get it to stand up. This thing's got some umph! Water change on this tank tomorrow too. I'm also going to move the rock that's in the sump on the 29 to this tank to help seed it. Hopefully it'll cycle faster. The ammonia is through the roof, nitrites are present, but I'm not seeing any nitrates yet.
- Found some interesting articles about putting foam under the stand and the tank. This moving the tank and stand and sanding is getting old. It's about a close as I'm ever going to get it. I'll try adding some heavy duty styrofoam underneath to deal with the imperfections. Now I have to re-stain the top.
Tested the rock tank water yesterday, we have major nitrates now, so the cycle is officially started. the 29 still has about 5ppm. The fish are still on a "diet".
Actually witnessed one of the olive snails grab a hermit and take it under the sand. I was wondering where the other 10 or so went over the last 6 months. I'm thinking they may go back to the beach and I'll find something else to stir the sand. Maybe a blennie or a goby.
- Quick update - not much happening during the week. Got the doors to the point that I've mounted them, attached the trim, sanded, stained and have one coat of poly done. The top of the stand has been re-stained and poly'd too.
Nitrates are to about 100ppm on the rock tank and ammonia is down to almost nothing. Nitrites haven't started decreasing yet.
Still having an issue with the red algae in the 29 after 2 water changes 5 days apart.
- The post weekend update. Spent Saturday poly coating the doors and painting the backside. Sunday, it came time for the leak test.
I can now confirm that this tank was not professionally drilled. A normal size bulkhead will not fit in this hole. The only options are a 3/4" bulkhead or PVC. PCV obviously is not a good choice since a good seal cannot be guaranteed (without some sort of permanent solution). A 3/4" bulkhead is simply too small. I'm planning on putting way more flow than that would handle. After watching a few videos, I'm feeling empowered and decide to order a 1 1/2" bulkhead and two 3/4" bulkhead along with the bits to drill with. Wish me luck.