I finally got the new DIY rock into the tank, but I had to remove about 15lbs of rock to do it and make a mess. I am still working with one arm so it was a little job.
You can see it on the right side of the tank, it starts to the left of the large gorgonian under the back of the bottle and arcs up and to the left. It was supposed to span over the rocks freestanding but I really don't have the room. Maybe if I remove most of the rock someday but it aint going to happen now. I had to move some large cement stands to the left side of the tank and I was able to return all the rock to the tank. It is still a little cloudy and the corals are not fully open but here it is.
This is the rock I put it. It is over a foot high
Then I did some work on the other side of the tank. That acropora is too close to the glass and I can't move it back so I ether have to frag it or do more major work.
Now I will have to make a bristle worm trap because every rock I move is loaded with them. I don't mind them but there is just too many. I will build something that collects a lot of them at once.
I am happy to say that in the 5 or 6 weeks since I installed this baby brine shrimp feeding station my skinny little female mandarin fattened up nicely and is now bordering on plump.
The first picture is when I got her, you can see her sides pinched in, especially under her dorsal fin and she resembled Twiggy.
The second picture is today.
I had to re design slightly my algae trough. The LEDs I had over it just were not bright enough so I got a strip of LEDs that are about twice as bright. When I had MH lights the trough used to get the spill light but the LEDs are more directional so I had to add supplimental light to the trough because it was only growing red and brown algae. Now hopefully It will grow green hair algae. I also re designed the way the water enters the trough from the skimmer. I used to have unacceptable splashing that used to make salt creep all over the place. Now I have multiple layers of plastic screening around the skimmer outflow and now there is no splashing and no bubbling which burst and splash on the lights and rear wall.
This acropora has grown at least three times it's size in a year and I can't clean the glass in front of it any longer. Whenever I go near it I accidently break off pieces so I have frags of the thing all over the place. Now I am going to try to move it to a larger space and move the giant mushroom in that place to where the acropora is now. I wonder how many frags I am going to have because there is no room to move it so I have to lift it out of the tank to re locate it.
After moving this all over the tank, getting bit to death and breaking a few pieces off this and other corals, I realize there is no room for this acropora. I temporarilly put it on this rock but it is just about out of the water and not sitting well. When I get time I need to do a major rock move. Of course I just re-aquascaped and removed a bunch of rock, but it is time again.
LOL Paul you could always have a frag swap based on pieces of that one alone.
I'm curious on the trough do you clean that weekly like an algae scrubber or do you just take some out from time to time.
One other thing I had been meaning to ask as I know we were talking about it over on the other site is what was you source of fish back in 70's I know virtually no one was able to keep coral yet, was there anything you were able to get local and/or right out of the Atlantic there.
I do have a few frags from that piece now, but they are all tiny.
The algae trough I only clean out if the flow starts to be impeded from the algae. Usually it is good for a couple of months, then I roll up the screen and brush off some algae in the sink.
In the 70s there were very few places to buy salt water fish and there were only blue devils, dominoes and sargeant majors. That was it and I had to go to Manhattan for that. I always collected livestock from the Atlantic but that was the only tropicals, then they started with yellow tangs and angels.
Gradually when stores started to carry salt water they had a big sign in the window and they usually only had a 5 gallon tank with a few ich infested blue devils.