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Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

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Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sat 23 Mar, 2013 7:41 pm

Starting out as FOWLR then as I learn enough, slowly grow into some coral improving equipment as required. Will be some time before I can call it a Reef Tank

The Cade 1200 Marine tank arrived in two crates, about 4 days from Melbourne by Allied Express,one crate for the tank and one for the cabinet and sump…two person job at least to move by hand. Two fit people….but the Allied guy trolleyed it right to my front patio door making life a lot easier.
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Very pleased with the tank and cabinet on inspection, cabinet all anodised black alloy and black glass, both a very high standard of finish, and exactly the architectural quality I was wanting. The considerable cost means some more modest equipment choices to startup but that can be grown like the role of the tank. As for value..I disagree with the views of some that it is expensive for what you get. I had a respected tank builder with excellent reputation in Brisbane quote me a frameless, braceless 4 x 2 x 2 with bevelled edges all round and low iron glass one side only for nearly $2800. The Cade 1200 is low iron glass all-round, has a top quality cabinet and a sump and all plumbing for just over $2300 (plus extra freight to where I am of $260.) The tank and cabinet look awesome so I don't have any value concerns myself….one happy camper. No water in it yet…LOL

I was told the sump "needs modifying" …well it doesn't.... although... as I wrongly chose a pump which is a little small I have actually moved one panel a few inches to make room for two pumps in the last chamber. I intended to divert some return water back to the start of the sump but my pump is not big enough ...so I am putting a small pump in there to do that job standalone and it will also serve as an emergency return pump.....so I needed my final return chamber to accommodate two pumps. I don't know how well the sump works, but can't see a problem and was dead easy to move one wall. Doesn't seem to be a lot of baffling designed into it but I don't understand that anyway so time will tell I guess.

Enlarging the pump out section meant that the excellent plumbing you get no longer quite reached the entry chamber…it is metric 50mm poly pipe, not Australian 50mm which is not 50mm (in anything other than name) but is Imperial as all Australian PVC is…and so is 2" OD with any old ID depending on rating. The end of this story is that there are no fittings at plumbing suppliers or bunnings to connect to true metric PVC and I eventually got around it by Dremel sanding out a local "50mm" joiner on one side to take the Chinese pipe….and extending with normal local pipe... All good…see the white extension section in the photo just reaching over the relocated partition.
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The corner weir section has a capacity of 16 litres and the sump will comfortably hold that in a pumping or plumbing disaster.
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So can't do any more until my equipment arrives so I can trial fit it into the sump and then install the sump…then put the tank on top….at 85KG believe me the display tank is going on once only.

Tank Background
Bought some 3mm Acrylic sheet in Dark Smoke tint which is not quite solid black, looks good. From a plastics fabricator locally cut to exact size for $26. Put it on with a few small spots of Silicone.

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Partial DSB
Some posts on here about Richgro play sand available from garden places including Bunnings. Most people are saying it doesn't work, but some like it so I am going to experiment with it in my fresh water system test. I have washed it twice, and a large amount of brown scum and superfine dust came out, so at the moment it looks excellent. If I can't get water movement without making a sandstorm then it will be going on the brick paths. Only a $40 experiment at the end of the day.
If it is no good then I will check out Calgrit as some members have also suggested. I somehow think it will be a better answer, but the very attractive appearance of the Richgro sand is "requiring" a trial.

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Change of mind...not doing this sand as substrate. Am out looking for Calgrit or similar. The sand will be a pain to remove in the high probability it blows about.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Mon 25 Mar, 2013 2:49 pm

Calgrit….found some locally, two of the stockfeed stores had two bags each…20kg bag for $9.50. Have washed it well and spread to dry …and will rinse through each day for a few days. Happy with this as Tone amongst others has used Calgrit for years and his tank is awesome ….and I was more and more convinced the Ritegro playsand was going to blow all over the tank. No scum in the Calgrit, but lots of limestone powder so needed quite a lot of washing, more than the sand actually. Now I have some clean sand for the brick paths..! The agents I asked had never seen the Fine Calgrit mentioned on the bag.

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this is a real action photo (LOL)... the Calgrit drying after lots of flushing, and some baseline rainwater samples with and without substrate to see ph effect of the washed limestone over a week.....

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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby priscacara » Fri 29 Mar, 2013 12:34 pm

Great intro to the new tank! Nice size too, going to be following along to watch it develop.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Fri 29 Mar, 2013 4:50 pm

Thanks mate..not vain about making mistakes so intend to put down everything I do including the things that turn out dumb...LOL.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby TheJordans » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 8:20 pm

Great work, Mindi! Loving the read and the pics :thumbsup: We look forward to following your progress!
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 11:51 pm

TheTunze 2000 bypass and backup pump arrived .yesterday and then my main equipment arrived today from Sewatec, 14 days delivery incuding Easter so thats not too shabby. Tried the Deltec skimmer and Mini Red Dragon pump and they both work. The skimmer does not behave correctly when tested in fresh water so other than telling you the pump works it is a waste of time..Tropic Marin full test kit looks good. so does the Schego heater and controller...Am making a filter tube for activated carbon in my divert pipe from the Tunze back to start of sump. about $12 worth of Bunnings irrigation stuff and some 25mm tube. Expect it to work.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Thu 04 Apr, 2013 9:43 pm

Plumbing Day

All the other stuff arrived late yesterday from Sewatec DE (14 days including Easter ) and all well packed and so today was spent setting up the tank and plumbing, filling with freshwater to get the system running and the levels balanced.Delighted with the outcome 12 hours later after a day of much learning, bad plumbing,and trial and error.
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Used clear PVC tubing for some of my hoses and found it can be straightened easily with a minute in the microwave and then held straight under the cold tap... instant straight tube....a lot better than hot water.
Learnt how the level in the weir/drain box on the tank is varied by the degree of choking off the drain pipe with the adjustable tap, given that the pump has a constant output, the drain line is the only control. I presume all tanks are like this but never having had a sump system before I dont know.The more I open the drain the lower the water level stabilises in the drain box..., but set up like this the maximum drain into the sump on a power failure is only about 9 litres.....so the best operating level is to adjust the drain flow until the weir box level is as low as possible before the drain hole starts any vortex noise...although the lower the box level is set the more air bubbles in the drain as the weir flow travels further in air. There is no standpipe or overflow pipe in the system at all. I found the large ball valve in the drain pipe very stiff and not conducive to fine adjustment, so I installed a 1/2 inch trimming valve in parallel which enabled fine adjustment after getting it roughly right on the bigger valve. Actually I left the original valve in place in the grey Cade drain but fully open, and so out of operation. It was easier to switch to Australian plumbing after the valve...and install a new 2" and 1/2" ball valves beside each other as shown.Apologies to any plumbers for the awful cement mess.Total plumbing cost including the new valves was $43.
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This was probably not really necessary but the plumbing only took about 20 minutes and it does make setting the drain rate very easy. To be fair to the manufacturer the drain system probably did not need to be messed with and now that I understand what is supposed to happen I could probably balance it as delivered. Certainly the pressure return plumbing is excellent.The only problem of my creation is that I now cant reach the filter I made from irrigation bits for activated carbon....will have to redo that to be in front of the main drain plumbing.
The weir and drain are completely silent, and the only noise to be heard is the return water jet which I have right on the surface. The two pumps are virtually silent (Tunze Silent 2000 and a Royal Exclusiv Mini Red Dragon 3500)
So tomorrow, If it is all still in the tank and not on the floor...will dump the fresh water and start mixing up the marine salt

The substrate is ready to go, but will have to go and get some live rock before anything else I guess.
Last edited by Mindi on Sat 06 Apr, 2013 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby TheJordans » Fri 05 Apr, 2013 12:39 pm

Looking great! The sooner you get some LR in, the sooner your cycle can start! That's when ALL the fun begins :)
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Fri 05 Apr, 2013 3:53 pm

Tomorrow... cant wait. Have actually found some excellent looking WA cured rock at the local shop to my surprise and tomorrow will be startup day.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby TheJordans » Fri 05 Apr, 2013 7:50 pm

Yay!!! :clap:
Looking forward to it! :thumbsup:
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sat 06 Apr, 2013 5:25 pm

One early mistake..Aquarium silicone doesnt stick all that well to acrylic so when I tried to stick the dark acrylic on the outside back of the tank it fell off twice...then someone (clever Son) told me it should be inside. Suddenly it wasnt a problem with a little silicone and 300KG of water sitting against it.
But so far so good...started early and drained the freshwater out the front door onto the verandah without any being pumped onto the living room floor... good strategy that..!. Put the two filter materials (normal fine filterwool on top, Polyfilter pad second level) and the Marine Pure blocks in place in what would otherwise be a refugium, and the Calgrit (3 bags) really well washed in the display tank. Then down to the local LFS in Noosaville where I had reserved a box of WA live rock with a lot of red coralline algae on it, back to the tank and start building what passes for reef with a budget for 1 box..LOL.Then mixing salt, and carrying 24 litre cans inside to pump into sump and tank.... 15 in all....all pumped in with my small inline 12V Whale pump.
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I finally sussed out how to actually start up one of these closed systems...not being able to read it anywhere that I could find. I got the system levels stable with freshwater and the best heights in tank (set by weir) and the sump (variable)... and got the system running After a few minutes the level in the weir overflow box stabilised at 30cm or half full...totally quiet at that level. Then I turned the power off and let the emergency/power failure drain situation happen until both levels were at their unpowered static state...obviously the display is fixed by the weir and it drains to just below the weir wall but the sump takes the 30cm from the drain box....so this reassured me that a power failure did not cause a flood and also told me how full to make the sump for startup. Filled to this mark the sump took 83 litres. The with the substrate and rock in place I filled the display tank to the weir and that took 275 litres....so the total system with rock and substrate, filter material and skimmer and ceramic blocks all in the water is 358 litres....during operation 285 litres would be in the top tank and 72 in the sump.
The LFS who sold me the rock strongly recommended a startup bottle of Stability Tank Stabilising system... startup dose then follow up half dose daily for 6 days. I just had to take the advice because I simply dont know...but he has excellent tanks, coral and fish so thats good enough for me.
The Calgrit looks terrific, (thanks Tone) it is not blowing dust up at all but is sculpting interesting gutters and shapes courtesy of the two Voyager 4 stream pumps (6000lph each) and the effect is really good, although I wouldnt use these in a bigger tank. 12000 lph total seems just barely enough in this size..You can see the difference between midday and 3pm in these two shots here where the water movement had changed the Calgrit around. I am pretty happy with how well it is clearing up after only a few hours. Looking better all the time.
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Need a couple more rocks..not looking for a reef wall yet, but need one or two more.
Last edited by Mindi on Sun 07 Apr, 2013 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sat 06 Apr, 2013 10:06 pm

Finally got my filter media to stop floating off the egg crate grill when the pump stops by folding a piece of stiff plastic gutter guard over it to hold it down...ditto the Polyflter pad below it in the lower level. Schego 300w heater fits nicely beside the ceramic blocks and takes about an hour to lift the 360 litres 1 degree.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:26 am

Started the Deltec skimmer this morning, now lots of foam and the book does say it will overfoam on raw salt mix, but it does seem a lot of water pouring up and flooding out the top. Would be good to hear from someone who has a Deltec SC1455..?..never having used a skimmer before. I dont have any organic load so maybe thats a factor..? Looking on Google this seems to be a problem with new water and recommendation is to just leave the skimmer off until some organic load builds up. Sounds logical..anyone have experience with this..?...pic out of focus Im afraid
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The water is not looking at all bad after less than a day and a fair bit of readjusting rocks etc...
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby TheJordans » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:54 am

Look good, mate :thumbsup:
I'm afraid that I can't answer your skimmer Q. If you find that you don't get an answer in here, you could always post a specific thread about it in the equipment section ;)
Good luck!
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby ssbk23 » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 11:42 am

Interesting design with the filter media in the sump. Any reason why you decided to do it like that?
It will be essential to clean it at least every other day other wise it will build up detritus.

Skimmer looks like its closed off too much causing the water to rise. Try winding it all the way open and then adjust from there. Looks very deep in water too, is it in the recommended water depth range?
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 12:15 pm

will try that..yeah is at exactly the recommended best depth of 230mm...but i can also put something under it ..will try that thanks. Well the sump came like that..? sure will have to change but very easy to see and to change media...but only in the flow, not a power filter.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby bluecromis » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 12:13 am

Hi Mindi, :)

Firstly, thanks for the info on the Cade 1200 tanks the other week, will check them out next time I go interstate.

Your tank is comming along really nice and looks great.

Now as for the Deltec skimmer, the SC1455 should have a water level set somewhere between 140 - 240mm and if it is as efficient as the SC2060 that I have been running since starting up my 680lt DT, then you will be impressed when it gets settled. I found the same thing regarding foaming, so I just kept slowly turning down the adjustment over a few hours until it stablised with fine bubbles, about half way up the clear neck, then slowly reopened the unit after the water aged for about 4 - 5 days or so, as there was no real proteins in the system to speek of that needed to be removed. Another little tip, run a small amount of pretrolium jelly arount the skimmer cup "O" ring, this helps seating and sealing it better and also makes and removal for cleaning nice and easy, I redo this about once every couple of months or so with mine.

Good luck and well done.

Regards Bluecromis :clap:
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 7:12 am

thanks Bluecromis...I have had to turn it off as it just floods water and foam right over the top of the cup at full speed and fills the cup with water much faster than it can drain....the water level adjuster has no effect on the level of the water....but i think the problem is no dissolved organics and new water ...only day three...? Will just leave it for a week until the cycling process is more advanced. Will keep in touch if you dont mind as you have a Deltec and this is my last piece of the equipment to get working. Thanks for the encouragement, appreciate it. Still very happy with the product, cant remember if I mentioned when all running, volume is 360 litres.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby ssbk23 » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 8:40 am

There is still something up with the skimmer which you will have to work out, I don't have any more suggestions on how to fix it I'm sorry.

It's not a case of having no dissolved organics, if this was the case you would get no foam buildup. Skimmers will produce skimmate with having live rock alone.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 11:12 am

Well i have done the vaseline thing and raised the unit so now only 170 deep...was 230...manual says 140-240 but to go deep rather than shallow end of range. It is still just pushing huge volumes of water straight out the top full of fine bubbles ...too much to keep the lid on... but these steps haver tamed it a little. Unless someone has some actual experience with the SC1455 to advise on setting up....I think I just need to give it a week. Currently 4 day old salt mix, dosing with Stability Starter and Tropic marin triple buffer (PH 8.1, Alk 6)... So I think giving it time to catch up with the changes in water would be the next step...might even be better to turn it off for a few weeks and be patient....LOL... Loved the aphorism I saw on someone's signature.."only bad things happen fast in a marine tank".
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby ssbk23 » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 11:18 am

Don't be too worried if you find it works better outside the recommended ranges. I would keep raising it up and see if it improves further.
My vertex skimmer works much better a couple of inches lower than the recommended ranges and I found out this info from Reef Central.

I wouldn't turn off the skimmer as you will get a buildup of nutrients without it, even in the early stages.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 12:15 pm

Gotcha...thanks for that
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby angel101 » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 3:45 pm

Just noticed that you were adding Tropic Marin buffer. These alk buffers do tend to make skimmers go nuts. I would suggest you back off on this and I believe the skimmer will settle down.


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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Tue 09 Apr, 2013 3:51 pm

yeah I really need to get the alkalinity up from 6 dKH so I think I will just rest the skimmer for a while until i get that stable then worry about it... patience seems to be the first requirement of this hobby...LOL
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Wed 10 Apr, 2013 5:08 pm

Been running now for four days and the numbers are all a bit too early to mean much... pH 8.1, Alkalinity 7dKH, SG 1.021 @ 25 C, NO2 0.15, NO3 5.0, NH3 0.4 Using Tropic Marin test set, and Tropic Marin triple buffer to bring up the alkalinity. Adding salt mix daily working up to 1.025 @ 25....Happy with what is happening so far. Bought another light while I could get another the same... more than enough for my FOWLR aspirations, in fact probably one would cover that.. but the two should allow some modest anemone or coral. The clam looks a bit unsubtle but needed for sentimental reasons as I found it when snorkelling inside Ningaloo Reef in 1976 ..yeah..that old.
Could someone please advise whether the red/purple algae I have on the rocks is good or bad..? and what exactly it is...apart from red coralline algae..? Thanks for the ongoing advice....greatly appreciate it. Hope the algae is good... as it looks really good. I am doing my cycling phase with reduced light as advised to discourage too much algae....correct..?...having looked up a book I am now thinking this is Hydrolithon boergesenii and that it is a good thing...???

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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Thu 11 Apr, 2013 8:34 pm

Thought my numbers were looking OK so went down to the river mouth and caught a couple of Trumpeter Whiting about 6-7 cm to put in the tank to get some ammonia load happening. They spent the first hour or two a bit shocked by the move I think and lay in a sheltered corner...now after 3-4 hours they are all over the tank and smashed a spoonful of fine chopped green prawn...hope they are still right way up in the morning. Nice fish... sifting through the Calgrit and finding bits of prawn they missed

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I think my next actions are to do nothing and let everything evolve.
Last edited by Mindi on Fri 12 Apr, 2013 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby priscacara » Fri 12 Apr, 2013 2:15 pm

Looking good Mindi! The whiting look like they are right at home there.
Oh, how I wish for soothing rain. Oh how I wish to dream again. Once and for all and all for once, Nemo my name forevermore.

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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Fri 12 Apr, 2013 2:37 pm

Thanks...a bit nervous about killing them unnecessarily (which is funny as have been a fisho all my life) but after 24 hours I have to say they just look totally relaxed...and hope they are producing Ammonia as tasked.I am feeding them peeled and minced green prawn very small amounts often and they eat all of it...any bits that get past get vacuumed up in the following minute. They seem to be happy with the frequent very small feeds. We have become quite attached to them LOL... but any naming nonsense and they go on a 4/0 suicide on the runout tide down at Tewantin.
Duncans,Briarerum,Sarcphytons,Red Lobo, Elegance,Pectinia,Scolymia,Ctenactis,Barrier Reef Clowns,Blue,Yellow,and Gold Shouldered Tangs,Coral Beauty,Banggai,Coris, Leopard and Striped Wrasse
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby bluecromis » Sat 13 Apr, 2013 10:41 am

Hey Mindi,

Looking realy good and some nice pics, happy to offer advice on the Deltec, just upgraded my sump last weekend to 140lt total and all good, skimmer has not missed a beat. Will post some details one day on here when I get enough time.
Yeh a fisho for sure, mmmmm, fresh fish and chips, used to fish for Mulloway/Butterfish, using tripple gang 3o's with live Chow on a running rig, bring back the good old days.

Keep up the good work and remember, small sound changes with time for the system to adjust, allways work best.

Bluecromis :cheers:
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Re: Cade 1200 Marine ...from the start

Postby Mindi » Sat 13 Apr, 2013 3:26 pm

Got that "go steady" message and listening to it. Have lots of SA friends...we need to talk about this Mulloway/Jewfish/Butterfish /Kingfish naming thing....LOL...but what a grand fish...bit off topic..
Duncans,Briarerum,Sarcphytons,Red Lobo, Elegance,Pectinia,Scolymia,Ctenactis,Barrier Reef Clowns,Blue,Yellow,and Gold Shouldered Tangs,Coral Beauty,Banggai,Coris, Leopard and Striped Wrasse
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