50 Gallon Seahorse Cube / Cadlights Artisan II WIP

Discussion in 'Show Off Your Fish Tanks!' started by Kevin Roen, Jun 11, 2015.

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  1. zesty

    zesty Sailfin Tang

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    very cool, following!
     
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  3. rayjay

    rayjay Gigas Clam

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    In addition to this build, you can start researching the needs of seahorses now.
    www.angelfire.com/ab/rayjay/seahorsekeeping.html
    Also you could sign up at seahorse.org as it's the best site on the internet for seahorse information.
     
  4. Kevin Roen

    Kevin Roen Plankton

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    Thanks Rayjay, have read your link and the links within it quite a few times, and have been corresponding with Pete and have studied his training materials too. I had seahorses about twenty years ago - a lot has changed since then, but I've basically been studying them my entire life. Love those little guys.
     
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  5. Kevin Roen

    Kevin Roen Plankton

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    Small update - I added the bulkheads and they a) leaked and b) snapped right off when I tried to tighten them. Grrrr. Since they're weird metric sizes, I had debated about drilling them out to regular dimensions, but didn't want to mess with it. Well, now I'm going to. Ordered the bits from BRS, should be here tomorrow. If anyone orders a CadLights Tank, I HIGHLY recommend just drilling it out first before you add anything to the tank, and replumbing it. Otherwise you're probably in for a world of headache at some point down the road if/when a bulkhead fails and you can't replace it easily.

    Pukani's still curing - I pulled it out and power washed it down and old dead sponges came flying out of every hole, so it is clearly working!

    Also tried the Orbit Marine LED that I'd picked up on Craigslist when the tank was partially filled for a leak test... and hated it instantly. So I caved and ordered a Kessil 360 w/ the controller, the gooseneck, and the 90 degree bracket. I'm really picky about lighting, but was hoping I could get away without spending $400. At least I got a really good deal on ebay - the light (slightly used), gooseneck, and controller for $380.

    Pics as soon as everything's drilled/filled!
     
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  6. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    Awesome! You're putting a lot of thought on this build. I'm sorry about the bulkheads issue. Hopefully, just a small bump on the road. It's been a bit over a month since u ordered the bits for the drilling. How did that go?
     
  7. Kevin Roen

    Kevin Roen Plankton

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    Hi everyone! A long-overdue update is in order:

    1) I successfully drilled out the bulkheads on the bottom of the tank to standard sizes instead of the metric holes that were there from the factory. It was much less stressful than I thought - I just bought a drill guide from Sears and ran the hose over the tank as I drilled (I did it outside). In a few minutes the holes were enlarge to the proper size - they weren't perfectly clean cuts, but the new bulkheads fit perfectly, and with the rubber gaskets, nothing leaked.

    2) I ordered a phosphate test kit but couldn't get anything to show up on the curing Pukani, so I finally just gave up and put it in the tank after a good spray down. I tried a few different methods to cycle the tank, first just throwing in some food, which never really amounted to much, then later using the pure ammonia method with a dose of BioSpira, which was much more effective. Nitrites and Ammonia dropped to 0, and Nitrates started chugging along. At that point I added the macroalgae to make sure it would grow before I ordered the seahorses.

    3) With the macro in, and the Kessil light on the tank, things started growing like crazy - both the macros and the micros that suddenly exploded all over the rock and the sand and the glass. I was trying to get the scrubber to take off, and nothing was happening, but the algae in the tank was sucking up the nitrates, so at this point I ordered two erectus females while I fine-tuned the scrubber (I was tired of just looking at weeds!).

    4) I ordered from Seahorsesource.org, and they were incredible. Two ladies showed up carefully packed; I requested they be held at the Fed Ex facility so the heat of the mid summer wouldn't cook them in the truck. I got them home, turned off all the lights, floated them for a few, and gently reached in the bag and lifted them out and set them into the tank. One took off fine - the other, frighteningly, started having some kind of seizure, flopping around on the floor of the tank, flipping over backward, and banging into the ground again and again. It was really horrible to watch. I immediately called Dan at Seahorsesource - he was very patient and helpful, walking me through what might be happening (some sort of very uncommon reaction to the salts from what he understands). He wasn't sure she would make it - he told me to keep him updated, try and move her to a rock for shelter, and see what happened. It took her about two days to come around, but finally she started swimming like normal and at long last would eat some shrimp too. It was a stressful two days though! The two ladies are gorgeous - one has extensive cirri, and the other has a pronounced crown; they both change from white to gray to green, and have beautiful saddle markings, and are very shy and secretive.

    5) After a month or so, the seahorses were both very happy, eating a lot, spending time poking around in the rocks, and sleeping, but the algae in the tank was going nuts (micro and macro) and the scrubbers weren't performing at all - so on recommendation I turned the main Kessil light off in the tank for a few days to give the scrubbers time to catch up. I kicked the Kessils on periodically for the macros, but apparently I didn't do it enough, because one day I walked in to find the tank a milky mess - apparently one had gone sexual. (I didn't have any caulerpa, but I suspect it was the red grape.) I of course freaked out... Rush-made a batch of RODI saltwater and bought about 25 gallons from the local fish store to do a complete 100% change. And then realized I had no idea how to get two shy seahorses out of a 20" deep tank. After a lot of sweating and swearing and tickling, I managed to get both of them off the rock, into a bowl, and into a bubbling bucket. I drained the tank and the sump, added all the new water back in (in the process slightly overflowing the tank and setting off the GFCI plug I had installed in the outlet behind it, knocking half of the house's power out). I tossed all the algae until I could get everything back under control, let the temp equalize, and put the very irritated horses back in the main tank (one of them bit my finger, which I did NOT know they could do lol).

    6) Finally, after a week of no strong lighting and no macros, the scrubbers took off with a vengeance, and the algae in the main tank was rapidly disappearing, and the water quality was stable, so I ordered two Brazillian Reidis (again from Seahorsesource). They arrived today and are currently zooming around the tank wrestling with each other, and are a flaming yellow orange color.

    7) Everything looks good - suddenly there are tons of pods on the glass, the sand is clearing up from the red slime that was all over it, and the rock has faded to a very pale green instead of a lush organic jungle. Only thing that worries me are these weird tiny little stars on the glass - I've read they're called hydroids. It sounds like some are highly troublesome, but maybe these aren't? If anyone has any thoughts, let me know - I'm guessing they came in on the snails or the macros. They look like tiny perfect snowflakes.

    Thanks for reading! Sorry for the long delay - will keep these guys for a few months and then probably add two to four more, and the tank will be stocked!
     

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  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    All kinds of awesome.
     
  10. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    Absolutely awesome. It's a fact. Seahorses are cool.

    Congrats on a beautiful setup. Love the huge inclined Pilar in your scape.
     
  11. April Hope

    April Hope Fire Shrimp

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    This is awesome and detailed! I'm going to follow to see the outcome.
     
  12. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    congrats! your tank looks great and I love seahorses :) glad to see an update - don't wait so long next time :)