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John's 28g Deep Sea Adventure


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#1
john1014

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John's 28g Deep Sea Adventure
My Journey into Nano Reefing


Wow, it's been awhile, NR....Since we last spoke, I have moved the tank (twice), let my father keep the specific gravity at 1.020 for a month, sold my camera, and bought a new camera......but now, the tank is finally back to where it should be and I'm ready to post some cool new pictures. I have a couple of BIG changes coming in the next couple of weeks ;) but for now it's finally ready to photograph. Looking back on how everything has changed and grown since I have started this hobby has been really amazing for me. Anyhow, here it is! If you have any questions on the tank, please feel free to ask!


First FTS (3/2011)
Posted Image

Current FTS (3/2012)
Posted Image


The Tank
  • JBJ 28g HQI
Lighting
  • JBJ Stock HQI System HQI System with 14K Phoenix Bulb and Nanotuners 2.18 Upgrade
Filtration
  • 35 lbs live rock, 2" sand bed
  • Upgraded to Urbanek's Media Rack with Floss, Chemi Pure Elite, and Purigen
  • CPR Aqua Fuge Medium Size w/ 10K light and Chaeto (smallest Rio pump used to provide flow from sump)
  • Tunze 9002 Skimmer
Flow
  • (2) Maxi Jet 1200 Returns
  • Vortech MP10 in back
Control
  • Reefkeeper Lite
  • Aquaeuro 1/13 HP Chiller
  • JBJ Auto Top Off
  • Heater
Livestock (will get pics soon)

Fish and Inverts
  • (2) Ocellaris Clown Pair
  • Neon Tailspot Wrasse
  • Purple Firefish
  • Orange Spot Shrimp Goby
  • Yellow Pistol Shrimp
  • Cleaner Shrimp
  • Blue Leg Hermits
  • Snails (Nerite, Nassarious, Turbo, Florida Cerith, Dwarf Cerith)
  • Sixline Wrasse
Corals

LPS
  • Red Scoly
  • Melissa Plate
  • Misc. Plate
  • Misc. Frogspawn
  • Violet Tipped Frogspawn
  • Red and Silver Blasto
  • Green and Pink Hydnophora
  • Acan Lord
  • Tyree Pink Watermelon Chalice
  • Green and Purple Favia
  • Green Candy Cane Coral
  • Green Bubble Coral
  • Jason Fox Electric Brain

SPS
  • ORA Pearlberry Acropora
  • Cali Tort
  • ORA Tricolor
  • Purple Bonsai
  • ORA Red Planet Acropora
  • Green Millipora
  • Electric Green Tort
  • Miyagi Tort
  • Sunset Montipora
  • Rainbow Montipora
  • Tyree Purple Haze Montipora
  • Superman Montipora
  • Hawkins Echinata
  • ORA Green Birdsnest
  • ORA Bird of Paradise
  • Red Cap
  • Purple Cap

Mushrooms Leathers Palys and Zoas
  • Purple Mushrooms
  • Ricordea Florida
  • Green and Red Finger Leather
  • Hollywood Starlet
  • Fire and Ice
  • Tyree Armageddon II
  • Cornbred Punkrocker
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Armor of God
  • Purple Death
  • Long Lash Green

Maintenance
  • Daily: Feed one cube mysis or cyclops, add a few drops of oysterfeast, blow off rocks, dose two part calcium/alk, make sure everything is alive
  • Every other Day: Clean glass, replace floss, dose fuel, empty skimmer
  • Every week: 5g water change, fill top off reservoir
  • Every month: Change carbon/purigen, check RO/DI filters, trim chaeto


Various Dry Goods
  • 5 Stage RO/DI from Spectrapure
  • Eshopps Frag Rack <Until I get my Frag Tank set up
    [*}Aquascape Putty and Glue
  • Seachem Fusion 2 Part
  • Seachem Reefbuilder
  • Salifert Test Kits
  • Refractometer
  • Reef Crystals Salt

Edited by john1014, 12 March 2012 - 02:08 PM.


#2
theheaddon910

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Those moonlights look really bright. Is it the flash or something? Here is my moonlights.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMAG0187.jpg


#3
john1014

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On a quick note, for those of you newbies who look on craigslist for live rock (like myself), do yourself a HUGE favor and go over the rock with a fine-toothed comb before purchase, or bring an experienced reefer with you to purchase your live rock.......or better yet, buy dry rock and seed with a single piece of rock that you know is pest-free. Like an idiot, I purchased some LR from Craigslist which was guaranteed aiptasia free and within several days I saw that several pieces were covered in the stuff. In addition, I found some other nasty little pests including an asterina starfish and some predatory worms. Hopefully the combination of freshwater boiling and my handy dandy lighter eliminated all noteworthy pests., but we will soon find out.

Anyhow, the tank has been cycling for just over a week and I am starting to see what looks like a diatom bloom. Alot of my rock is turning brown and on some, I can see the fuzzy brown "hairs" that appear to show that the diatoms have arrived. Here is a pic.

DSC_0007.jpg

Also, it seems like my tank is really slow to cycle. The rock was mostly dry when I got it, so the ammonia source is quite small. I might try to go the shrimp method to get my initial ammonia spike and get the bacteria to colonize. more quickly. These params have not changed for over a week:
Temp: 80
Salinity: 1.025
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrites: 0.00ppm
Nitrates: 3ppm

#4
theheaddon910

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Very nice looking tank btw, what fish you got in there?

#5
john1014

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Those moonlights look really bright. Is it the flash or something? Here is my moonlights.



Yeah, I used the flash. They are not nearly that bright, but I agree with other posters that the JBJ HQI has slightly bright moonlights. I have been reef-snorkling before and it is not NEARLY that bright! They do illuminate things extremely well though...

Very nice looking tank btw, what fish you got in there?



No fish yet. Waiting for a good healthy cycle. I am currently planning on the following:

1 clown
1 peppermint shrimp
5 astrea
1 six-line wrasse (waiting until tank is well-established)


The tank will be more about coral, but because I am moving in several months, I do not want to buy coral and stress them out by the moving process. That will all be taken care of at a later date.

#6
theheaddon910

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Im planning on adding a clownfish to my tank as well, in the next week or 2. Currently I have 4 cerith snails, 4 nassarius snails, 3 astrea snails, 1 peppermint shrimp, and newly added black clown goby.

P.s. the astrea snails are ok, my best snail is the nassarius, they go all over.

Edited by theheaddon910, 25 February 2011 - 11:02 PM.


#7
Cesar

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I'm on the same boat. I have been doing regular tanks ever since I have been in the hobby since like 2001. But just recently bit the bullet and dismantled my 40g tank and started a 28g nano cube too. Just like yours. Mine has been up for about 7 weeks now. There is brown diatom all over the place so I think it's ready for a clean up crew.

qo66hj.jpg
Click on banner for my 20g
 


#8
john1014

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Im planning on adding a clownfish to my tank as well, in the next week or 2. Currently I have 4 cerith snails, 4 nassarius snails, 3 astrea snails, 1 peppermint shrimp, and newly added black clown goby.

P.s. the astrea snails are ok, my best snail is the nassarius, they go all over.



I have some nassarius in my tank (they hitchhiked in on the LR and have survived the cycle so far), but they do not eat algae, so the astreas will be helpful in algae control. Also, I love the black clown goby. It might be a good addition to my tank at one point. I'm also considering a mandarin, but I won't have a stable enough pod population to support it for a year-ish, and I am not about to try to train one, so that is going on the back burner.

I'm on the same boat. I have been doing regular tanks ever since I have been in the hobby since like 2001. But just recently bit the bullet and dismantled my 40g tank and started a 28g nano cube too. Just like yours. Mine has been up for about 7 weeks now. There is brown diatom all over the place so I think it's ready for a clean up crew.



I know the feeling. I did freshwater/planted tanks for awhile, but decided that the nano would be a fun little excursion and would move (somewhat) more easily with me than a large 55g tank. The strange part is that I think I have spent about the same amount of money as I would have spent on a 55g on my 28g HQI....have other people had this experience?

Also, is your tank fully cycled? Have you tried Bio-Spira or Seachem Stability? I am thinking about getting a bottle of stability to get a jump on the cycle and feeding with a cocktail shrimp. If I do, I will be sure to post my results for you. I know nitrogen has little bearing on diatoms, but it can't hurt to get that 0.25ppm ammonia down to 0 and it's only like...$10.

Edited by john1014, 25 February 2011 - 11:15 PM.


#9
Cesar

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I know the feeling. I did freshwater/planted tanks for awhile, but decided that the nano would be a fun little excursion and would move (somewhat) more easily with me than a large 55g tank. The strange part is that I think I have spent about the same amount of money as I would have spent on a 55g on my 28g HQI....have other people had this experience?

Also, is your tank fully cycled? Have you tried Bio-Spira or Seachem Stability? I am thinking about getting a bottle of stability to get a jump on the cycle and feeding with a cocktail shrimp. If I do, I will be sure to post my results for you. I know nitrogen has little bearing on diatoms, but it can't hurt to get that 0.25ppm ammonia down to 0 and it's only like...$10.



<_< I'm not 100% sure, lol. I have an test kit but I'm not sure if it's still any good. I haven't done a water check in years. I guess my previous tank was on cruise control for years so I didn't feel I needed to be checking up. I'm going to take some water to LFS so they can test it for me. Hopefully it is done with the cycle.

qo66hj.jpg
Click on banner for my 20g
 


#10
john1014

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That stinks. Hopefully you're ready to get some livestock in there. I love the pictures of your 20g from before it decided to spring a leak. Hopefully you can get some great pictures of the new setup soon enough.

#11
Cesar

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That stinks. Hopefully you're ready to get some livestock in there. I love the pictures of your 20g from before it decided to spring a leak. Hopefully you can get some great pictures of the new setup soon enough.



Thanks. That's the idea. My 40g tank was never close to looking like that 20. I think I had better luck with smaller tanks. Hopefully this tank can come close to what I use to have before.

qo66hj.jpg
Click on banner for my 20g
 


#12
justinT

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I think its a great tank! Lots of possibililties!

#13
john1014

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Thanks Justin!

I picked up some seachem stability to help my cycle along. Sometime this week, I'm going to get my peppermint shrimp and a few astreas/turbos to clean up these diatoms and my aiptasia, then I'm going to start adding fish/coral over time.

On that note, does anybody have a good recommendation for a starter coral/invert that can tolerate less than perfect water parameters and will not turn into a pest in the tank? I was thinking torch coral/frogspawn or zoas because both are attractive and the frogspawn/torch coral can make nice with a clown when I get one. I would also enjoy a ricordea at some point. Any opinions on this? I'd love to hear them!

#14
urbaneks

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John - The tank is looking good. You are off to a great start. Best of luck as you progress.

#15
john1014

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John - The tank is looking good. You are off to a great start. Best of luck as you progress.



Thanks Brad! I am excited to get some livestock in there. I am still open to suggestions as to what will be happiest as a first fish/coral/invert if anyone has some insight.

#16
john1014

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After spending last night hunting for aiptasia and capturing a bristle worm, I think the crusade to kill off the pests might finally be over. I still plan on getting a peppermint shrimp just in case the aiptasia rears its ugly head again, but aside from the baby I saw last night, I haven't seen any. It also seems like the stability is starting to establish a biofilter, but it's still too early to tell. Ammonia is still present on the tests at a constant 0.25ppm, but I have been ghost feeding and the tank is now producing some nitrites.

I took a few big steps toward getting the tank livestock-ready today. I finished my "mod" to the tunze by cutting the magnet off and reattaching to the other side using DAP silicone aquarium sealant from home depot. Once that dries, I will be adding the fuge and getting some chaeto. I also ordered my new media basket from urbaneks because I would estimate that 2/3 of the water was going over my basket instead of through it with these new MJ1200 pumps. Lastly, I I arranged my aquascape to something more appealing and functional. Let me know what you think!


From the front
Posted Image
And the side
Posted Image


Edited by john1014, 28 February 2011 - 11:52 PM.


#17
john1014

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Skimmer and Fuge installed! I just had a little problem getting the CPR light to fit, so the tank will have to get moved a couple more inches away from the wall before I can install that. I left the tunze running and will check when I wake up to see how the skimmate looks. Overall, today's process was surprisingly pain-free, so I am pleased.

I also found out that I've been reading my ammonia levels incorrectly. They are actually not at 0.25, but very close to 0. Nitrites are zero and nitrates are 5-10 ppm. Now I am just waiting on my new media basket and the snails/chaeto I ordered from reefcleaners.org. If I recall, the next step is LIVESTOCK!

#18
ColaAddict

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Good luck, nice aquascape. I'm about to start my 28 gal nano myself. I did'nt think that a medium aquafuge will fit on a JBJ, I was gonna buy the small one. I do have a question to the experienced Nano keepers out there:
for all the JBJ nano keepers out there. has anybody been able to keep a reef set-up without using a Protein Skimmer? Can you share your filter media set up. I'm getting ready to set up my 28gal JBJ nano and want to put the tank in my room and really hate the skimmer noise. I'm thinking of using Live Rock-Deep Sand Bed-filter floss-Purigen-Chemipure-Refugium to be my filter set up. Will that set-up be enough and not use a Skimmer? I'm also contemplating using Right Now Bacteria (if anyones familiar with it). Any good advise will be appreciated.

#19
Atomic081

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Nice setup. Ive almost got the same setup. I went with a refugium in the media chamber and a HOB skimmer. Ill be keeping up with this thread!!

#20
john1014

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@ Cola Addict: Many people actually do go skimmerless, but if you decide to do it, I think everyone on here would agree that you need to upgrade your media basket. The filter basket that comes with the JBJ cubes just does not cut it, especially when you upgrade your return pumps (which you should do if you would like to keep many different critters).

I just got my new basket from Brad (urbaneks). He also runs skimmerless and many would agree when I say he has one of the best looking tanks on nano-reefs. He sells the upgraded baskets for $30+shipping, or you could follow his DIY thread and do it for $15. Anyhow, the basket is much larger than the stock one and has almost no flow restriction between the racks. I have only had it installed for a few hours, but I love it. StevieT also makes a media basket that people seem to love. You can google "intank" and it will pop right up. It's about the same size and is enclosed on four sides, but you pay a pretty penny for it. Coupled with a good HOB fuge or sump, I'd imagine that an upgraded basket would do enough for sure. The fuge also adds pods to your tank, which are necessary to feed certain critters. However, I am going to run the skimmer as well because I am a big fan of overkill.

As far as using bacteria go, I am using Seachem Stability bacteria. It's a nice product because it does not need to be refrigerated and is working well as far as I can tell. I am still giving the tank 3 weeks before I stock with fish/coral/inverts though, just to be safe.


@Atomic: Did you go with the WM or AquaC Remora or the Eshopps HOB? I was an inch away from pulling the trigger on the Eshopps, but it looks kind of ugly on the back of the tank and my desire to get a mandarin someday made me decide to get the tunze with a fuge. It is working well thus far, but modding it to move the magnet was a bit of a pain. It's also worth mentioning that you have one gorgeous aquascape. It looks like one awesomely shaped giant rock. Also, the black sand is a nice touch. I wish I had gone that route. Once you get some livestock in there, it will really be terrific. I'll be sure to keep up on yours myself!

#21
john1014

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My CUC and chaeto came today from reefcleaners.org. Not all of the ceriths have emerged quite yet, but it seems like there were WAY more than I had originally ordered. I think that I timed it perfectly with the algal bloom, because film algae has just now started to pop up on the glass and rocks.

#22
urbaneks

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John, Looks like things are progressing nicely. Great changes over the last month or so. Keep up the good work. Brad

#23
john1014

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Thanks Brad! The new basket is working infinitely better than the stock one thus far. Livestock is going in at the end of this week and I already have everything picked out. It's a really exciting process.

#24
john1014

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So, for the past week, nitrates have been at a steady 5ppm, nitrites at 0, and ammonia at 0, so I have went ahead and ordered my livestock. In a few days, I will be posting pictures of the following.

Ocellaris Clownfish Pair
Peppermint shrimp
Jason Fox Bright Green/Purple Maze Brain
Violet-Tip Frogspawn
Red/White Acan Lord
True Blue Mushroom
Ricordea Florida
Hollywood Starlet Zoas
Metallic Green Hydnophora
Finger Leather

I know it may sound like a large amount of bioload to put into the tank all at once, but most items were very small frags and I am running a ridiculous amount of filtration, so I should be okay. I also avoided SPS and other species that are intolerant to nutrients in the water column. They will be ordered in the next round in a few months.

#25
Leftyfish

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Looks great! I bought my bc29 off craig's list, everything included, three weeks ago. All but the female clown, now in a hospital tank, died of ich/velvet. Tons of bristle worms, but I've been told they are not too bad? I now have a cuc in there and am waiting 8 weeks to put the clown back in. I will be watching the progress of your tank!