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illumnae's SPS shallow reef


illumnae
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After struggling for 8 months with live rock that wouldn't stop leaching phosphate, I decided that enough was enough and decided to restart my tank from scratch.  Very grateful to the bros that helped me hold my corals for the past 1+ months while I redid everything.  Went with 100% dead DE Rocks this time around.

PSX_20160811_165610_zpsyerobloa.jpg

 

Sorry for the poor white balance - picture was taken with handphone camera

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8 hours ago, ReDDeviLs said:

2 black tang!!

 

9 hours ago, Darren Sim said:

Nice scape ! Is that a black tang?


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Actually 1 big black tang and 1 small black x scopes hybrid tang :)

 

32 minutes ago, quarantasei said:

Hi bro what are dead DE rocks? Are they dead liverocks sold by DE Aquatics?


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Yup that's right.  This one:  http://www.sgreefclub.com/forum/topic/137970-derocks-marine-liverock-replicas/

I bought them from Seasonal Aquarium 

 

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So people have been asking me where I got the Aqua Scapefix from.  I got it from Iwarna, and was told that it'll be available at all FM retailers this week.

Now for my feedback on the product.  The TLDR version is that I like it and yes, I'll continue to use it.  Overall, it's quite value for money at only $25 per bottle.  I'm quite a heavy user of glue/epoxy when I glue my corals, and I use about 3/4 to 1 tube of ISTA glue per SPS colony that I glue (about 1/2 tube of BSI).  So far I have glued 7-8 colonies using Aqua Scapefix and I haven't even used half a bottle yet, so I can safely say that 1 bottle of this is worth at least 10-15 tubes of BSI or 20+ tubes of ISTA.  This is my personal estimation - your mileage may vary.

I find that following the instructions and using 42 degree celcius water is not sufficient to prepare the product properly.  The individual beads that make up the product need to individually absorb enough heat before turning into the putty.  When I used just hot water (didn't measure temperature, but slightly above what my hands can bear so probably above 42 degrees), I found it hard to make the product pliable enough - I ended up not with the described transparent putty, but no matter how much I mixed it in, I could still see the individual beads not mixed properly.  Colour was transluscent.  So I tried another way instead - I poured boiling water into the bowl, and immediately the beads softened and joined into a transparent putty just as described by the bottle.  I then poured away half the boiling water and replaced it with tap water.  I did this a few times until I was left with warm water just bearable for my hands, and it remained at that ideal consistency and I could knead it and then use it.  

On to my feedback.  I'll list out the various pros and cons that I feel this product has, and my thoughts on each point, if relevant.

1. Convenient to use - It's much easier not to have to wield a tube or bottle of glue especially when navigating tight corners in the tank.  With this product, you can use it epoxy style by breaking off a piece, sticking it on the coral, then using your hands to press it against the rock.  Let your fingers do the walking to press it in to stick to the rock.

2. Remains malleable/pliable for quite some time after preparation - One of my fears before using this product is that it will cool down too fast and basically harden before I can properly position my corals on the rock.  This fear was unfounded.  What I did was to keep the putty inside the bowl of warm water I described above, and just take it out to break off pieces to use and put it back in while gluing my corals.  Using this method, the putty remained warm and pliable even after 20 minutes when I finished my first batch and had to go make my second batch.  Even inside the 25-26 degree tank, the putty took a few minutes before it hardened.  There's definitely sufficient time to work with it and position your corals properly and press the putty into the rocks to secure the hold.  By my estimation, I had to hold it slightly longer than ISTA glue and slightly less than BSI glue before it hardened sufficiently for me to let go.

3. A little bit goes a long way - Already touched on this point above.  Fauna Marin estimates that a 500ml bottle is equal to about 20 tubes of glue.  However, my estimation is more generous than that, as described above.  Maybe their glue tubes are bigger than ours.  However, that being said, the actual amount of putty I used per colony ends up looking like more in volume than what I would use for glue.  So for example if I use about 500ml of glue to hold a colony, maybe i'll need 800ml of putty instead.  Figures are for example purposes only but you get the idea.  Also, I found that with more practice, I was using less putty per colony than when I started.

4. Skimmer skims normally - unlike epoxy, my skimmer doesn't go crazy when using this product.  Fish don't seem affected either.  Fauna Marin claims you can eat this product and be fine, but I'm not so adventurous.

5. It is sticky - one of my biggest dislikes about using epoxy, other than making my skimmer go crazy, is that it isn't really very sticky.  This product sticks well and in fact, I even had some minor wastage as there were bits stuck to the bottom of my bowl that I simply could not remove.  I had to wait till it cooled and hardened then peel it off the bottom of the bowl.  I would be pissed of at this wastage, except that this product already exceeded my expectations for value, so a little bit of wastage is fine.

So far overnight the colonies that I glued have not fallen, so its sturdiness does hold up.  Only time will tell whether it holds long term as well as glue does.

As mentioned at the start, I do like this product and would definitely continue to use it.  I find it's great value for money in terms of how many corals you can stick with just one bottle.  All in all, another great product from Fauna Marin.

 

 

P.S.  This post is not sponsored.  I have to pay full price for this and all my other FM products purchased :P

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Seem like a good product to use. Thks for ur review.

Display Tank : 36" x 20" x 20" Herbie overflow box design, Sump : 36" x 21" x 17", Frag Tank : 16” x 20” x 16”, custom built by Tank Culture.

Lightings : Inled R80 x 3 with 2  x Illumagic Vitamini Super Actinic LED Striplight Bars.

Chiller : Dalkin 1hp compressor with build-in drop coil.

Skimmer : Skimz Octa SC205i Protein Skimmer.

FR : H2Ocean FMR75 Fluidised Media Reactor with Hailea HX-2500 (Feeder Pump) running Rowaphos.

CR : Skimz Monzter E Series CM122 Calcium Reactor.

Main Return Pump : SICCE Syncra ADV 9.0 & Jebao ACQ-10000 Water Pump.

Wavemaker : Jebao SOW-16M, SLW-30M & SLW-20M  Sine Wave Pump.

Water Top Up: Reef Octopus ATO.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been awhile with nothing much to post as my tank has been settling in.  I experienced a pH crash a few weeks back that took out a number of corals, but things are stabilizing now thankfully.

Here are some pictures of some of the current inhabitants in the tank.  There are some missing members as they were either hiding at the point of time I was taking photos, or had not been added to the tank yet (photos were taken 2-3 weeks back).

1. My favourite fish that I've been hunting for a long time:  Halichoeres melasmapomus (Earmuff wrasse).  This picture is of the largest one, but I have 3 currently - 2 from Philippines (more green body) 1 from Australia (more pink body).

PSX_20160914_181649_zps1o4pqggb.jpg

2. Zebrasoma scopas x rostratum (Hybrid black tang).  Sorry for the dirty water - the sand was just stirred.  Tiny little guy that's very fiesty.  Love the wormlines on his body.  I also have a large purebreed black tang that isn't pictured here.

PSX_20160914_180835_zpstz1ejlvy.jpg

3. Valenciennea bella (Bella sandsifting goby).  A much prettier sandsifter than what's usually available.   This guy keeps the sand clean without bombing the corals from above.  He built a mount of sand for himself to dig a cave with though. 

PSX_20160914_180650_zpsivgiscby.jpg

4.  Bodianus paraleucosticticus (Five striped hogfish).  Australian hogfish that started out very shy but is now one of the most outgoing fish in my tank.  Love the brilliant colours on him.

PSX_20160914_181244_zpsimazxknm.jpg

5. Holanthias fuscinnipis (Hawaiian yellow anthias).  Deepwater cousin of the crowd favourite Blotchy anthias, this guy shares a similar body shape and perching habits with the Blotchy anthias.  Also started off very shy and always hiding, but definitely comes out to play more often now.

PSX_20160914_181014_zpscyecyyon.jpg

 

I think the only other fish missing aside from the ones I already mentioned above are the trio of Macropharyngodon vivienae (Vivienne leopard wrasse) that I picked up last week.  Don't think I've added anything else.

Hopefully my tank parameters will stabilize more and my corals will continue to improve so that I can share coral pictures the next time! :)

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Very beautiful fishes. Seldom see them!


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2x1.5x1.5 tank

Lighting: AI hydra 52HD

Skimmer: Deltec SC 1455

Reactor: Minimax; rowaphos

Skimz  ; NP biopellets

Wave Maker: MP 40 WQD

Return pump: Eheim 1262

Chiller: Arctica 1/10 hp

 

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel -- Proverbs 12:10

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On 04/10/2016 at 3:30 AM, Darren Sim said:

How much is it? Can share?


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Let's not talk price here and just enjoy our hobby together :)

11 hours ago, Zoaslover said:

Nice scaping

Sent from my SM-N915G using Tapatalk
 

Thanks bro, I can't take credit for it - scaping was done for me by Steven from Seasonal Aquarium. 

5 hours ago, jyoon said:

Hi illumnae. Me GI. At last see you tank posting.


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Hi bro, sorry I don't understand.  What's "Me GI"?  Paiseh I'm not very smart one haha

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So the tank is slowly recovering from the pH crash.  Thankfully corals are responding well and kH/calcium consumption are starting to rise again.  They were 0 for a couple of weeks after the crash.  Still need to recover from the browing that occurred during the crash, so colours are not optimum.  

Managed to take some photos to share during water change yesterday.  Some things I noticed during phototaking:  1. The Red Planet frag was entirely pink when I got it, but despite being at the highest spot in the tank under the LEDs and within full blast of the T5 tubes, it's still turning green.  Does that mean I need to lower my lights?  Currently the lights are 12" above the water line.  Previously when the lights were 7" above the water line, corals were bleaching. 2.  It's damn hard to capture the glowing light blue lines of my clam - they appear dull in the photo.  Do I need a yellow filter to capture?

Ok enough talk, here are some photos!

PSX_20161010_181605_zpspwefuv72.jpg

PSX_20161010_181840_zpsd3ijwikn.jpg

PSX_20161010_181936_zpsyift47fe.jpg

PSX_20161010_182040_zpsvyswni0d.jpg

PSX_20161010_182307_zpsesei0r4v.jpg

PSX_20161011_092319_zps6leaj27a.jpg

PSX_20161011_092428_zps8cdye4qk.jpg

PSX_20161011_092526_zpsazdajuxz.jpg

Here's a lousy FTS:

PSX_20161011_092840_zpszljijfnr.jpg

 

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On 10/12/2016 at 8:08 PM, sharonleong said:

May i know you did mention the scape is done by steven. Did you do up together with him?

Nope, he did it for me

11 hours ago, ReDDeviLs said:

nice clam! 

your camera setting dont seems to do justice to your corals bro.

Haha please come down and take photos for me shifu ^_^

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