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GR's 12g Long Macro Reef


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#1
grmoore

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Current Full Tank Shot

May 15, 2013

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November 11, 2011

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October 12, 2011

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September 1, 2011

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August 16, 2011

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August 4, 2011

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Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here. I'm building a macro reef in a Mr Aqua 12 gallon long tank and would like to bring you all along for the ride! This thread is going to be pretty picture intensive, so I hope you all like images. The first batch of posts are a time lapse of the first 6 - 8 weeks of the tank.

I look forward to your comments - both good and bad!

Equipment:
 
  • Mr Aqua 12g Long with custom glass top
  • Aqua Euro 1/13 HP Chiller (not in use)
  • MJ404 Pump driving the Chiller (closed loop)
  • Finnex 100W Titanium Heater
  • Dual Ecotech MP10es in various modes throughout the day controlled by Apex WXM
  • Tunze Osmolator ATO
  • Neptune Apex Controller
  • PinPoint Salinity Meter
Lighting:
 
  • 36" Coralife Aqualight Dual T5 HO 'Frankenlight' Fixture with following additions:
  • Two 24" Current TrueLumen 453nm Actinic LED Fixtures
  • 24" Current TrueLumen 12K LED Fixture (one hour each day at noon)
  • Apex LSM with 5 Moonlight LEDs
Filtration:
 
  • Aquaclear 110 HOB
  • Tunze 9002 Skimmer with DIY Intake Muffler
  • Innovative Marine MiniMax Reactor running Warner Marine ekoBAK BioPellets
  • Innovative Marine MiniMax Reactor running Seachem SeaGel
Clean Up Crew:
 
The bulk of the clean up crew comes from Reef Cleaners. A few came as hitchhikers via live rock and algae.
  • Dwarf Ceriths
  • Florida Ceriths
  • Large Nerites
  • Small to Medium Nerites
  • Stomatellas
  • Several cool but unidentified snail hitchhikers
  • Copepods (bajillions of them)
Livestock:
 
All livestock comes from Drs. Foster & Smith.
  • 3 - Blue/Green Reef Chromis (Chromis viridis)
  • 1 - Pom Pom Crab (Lybia edmondsoni)
  • 1 - Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni)
Corals:
 
The bulk of my corals come from Drs. Foster & Smith. A few come as hitchhikers via live rock.
  • Green Toadstool (Fiji)
  • White Pom Pom Xenia
  • Florida Ricordea
  • Kenya Tree (hitchhiker)
  • Various Actinodiscus Mushrooms (hitchhikers)
  • Green Rhodactis (hitchhikers)
Macro Algaes:
 
The bulk of my Algae comes from LAReefs and Gulf Coast Ecosystems. A few come from friends here at Nano Reef.
  • Gelidium sesquipedale (Red Kelp)
  • Bornetella oligospora (Sear Fern)
  • Chlorodesmis sp. (Maiden's Hair)
  • Ulva sp.
  • Botryocladia botryoides (Red Grape)
  • Fauchea sp. (Fiji - irridescent)
  • Portieria hornemanni
  • Halimeda opuntia
  • Acanthophora spicifera
  • Codium lucasii
  • Galaxaura sp. (small clipping)
  • Gibessi sp. (Flamingo Feather)
  • Lobophora variegata (probably)
  • Gracilaria hayi
  • Padina sp.
  • Rhodopeltis sp. (Red Branching)
  • Halymenia sp. (Dragon's Breath)
  • Flame Algae or Spotted Rose (unidentified)
  • Several Sargassum sp.
  • Several Gracilaria sp.
  • A ton of other unidentified Macro Algaes encrusting an MP10
Dosing:
 
I have been dosing every other day to avoid any wide variance in levels. I have a couple of dosing pumps from BRS that I got for Calc/Alk dosing but have not seen a need to hook them up yet.
  • Brightwell Lugol's Iodine - One drop every other day
  • Kent Garlic XTreme - 1 drop when I feel adventurous (this stuff really STINKS!)
  • Kent Strontium & Molybdenum - 2 drops every other day
  • Brightwell Replenish Trace & Minor Elements - 5 drops every other day
  • Kent Zoe - 5 drops every other day
  • Kent Iron and Manganese - 10 drops every other day
  • Kent Tech-M Magnesium - 20 drops every other day to maintain 1340 mg/L
  • Brightwell Reef Code B - 30 drops every other day to maintain 9 dKH
  • Brightwell Reef Code A - 30 drops every week to maintain 500 ppm
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystems KNO3 or CaNO3 - as needed to try to maintain 2 - 5 ppm Nitrates
Measured Water Parameters:
 
I measure all of my parameters once a week (Temperature, Specific Gravity and pH are monitored constantly) using Salifert, API and Nutrafin test kits.
  • Temperature: 76.5 F (Apex)
  • Specific Gravity: 1.026 (PinPoint)
  • pH: (night) 8.05 - (day) 8.55 (Apex) (calibrated at 76.5 degrees)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm (API)
  • Nitrites: 0 ppm (API
  • Nitrates: 0 ppm (API)
  • Calcium: 500 ppm (Salifert)
  • Alkalinty: 9 dKH (Salifert)
  • Magnesium: 1340 mg/L (Salifert)
  • Phosphates: 0 mg/L (API)
  • Iron (free) 0 mg/L (chelated) .1 mg/L (Nutrafin)

Edited by grmoore, 03 June 2013 - 01:48 PM.


#2
drunkenmonk21

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Looking good Gr, Where did you get the Flamingo macro at? I just cant stop myself from getting new macros, lol. Cant wait to see this grow out, maybe some close ups if you get a chance?

Josh

#3
grmoore

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I've always liked the look of wide, low-profile aquariums. They also appeared to be much easier to work in - no hunching over the tank with water up to your shoulders. So, when I saw the Mr Aqua 12 gallon long on sale at Marine Depot, I thought I would give it a try. I ordered it on a Friday morning and it arrived the following Monday afternoon. It came with a really nice hooked glass thermometer which appears to be quite accurate - it matches up to my two other digital thermometers which I previously verified to be accurate.

I added a custom made 5" x 4" x 8" overflow box from Midwest Reefs, Coralife Aqualight Dual T5 HO Fixture, AquaClear 110 HOB filter, and installed the plumbing for the chiller closed loop system and did a leak test. The Mr Aqua 12g Long is a very nice tank. The glass does have a slight green tint to it, but isn't at all noticeable when filled. The tank dimensions are 35.4" L x 8.3" W x 9.4" H with 6mm glass. I picked up a set of corner brackets from Finnex that are 6mm with the intent of putting an acrylic top on the tank.

I modifed the Aquaclear 110 to allow for the AquaLife 115 protein skimmer, and shortened the intake tube so it would fit correctly within the overflow box. I also mounted the bottom of the included media tray on the front using small suction cups to act as a screen to help keep livestock out. The skimmer does produce some bubbles, so I'm using it sparingly - maybe a few hours a week. The bioload is quite low, and I don't feed much - a little Rod's Reef juices once or twice a week until I move the 3 Blue/Green Chromis in.

Here's a shot of the tank empty, with the overflow box installed, lighting and closed loop system in place.

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This is the Aquaclear 110 modified to hold an AquaLife Internal Mini Protein Skimmer 115

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I shortened the intake tube and glued the strainer on to a stub so it would all fit.

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Here is a picture of the Eheim return I'm using for the closed loop from the chiller.

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Closeups of the overflow box. Midwest Reefs did a nice job on it. I've tested it to 650 gph, so I know it will serve my purposes.

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Looking good Gr, Where did you get the Flamingo macro at? I just cant stop myself from getting new macros, lol. Cant wait to see this grow out, maybe some close ups if you get a chance?

Josh


Hi Josh. Thanks for the kind comments. I got the Flamingo from John at Reef Cleaners. When I bought it a few months ago, it was about the size of a golf ball. Now its nearly the size of a softball. A beautiful plant for sure. Here is a close up for you:

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Edited by grmoore, 04 June 2013 - 09:06 AM.


#4
grmoore

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I started laying out the rock work for the tank. I was planning on making 3 progressively smaller islands and populating them such that the focal points go from left to right. This is Florida limestone that I got from Reef Cleaners and will seed for a couple of months in another tank.

Here are some shots of the rock work before bonding them with AquaMend.

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In addition to some nice macros I had previously, I placed a new order with John at Reef Cleaners. The order was supposed to have been shipped overnight but was sent via 2-day mail and nearly everything died within two days of arrival. It was pretty disappointing, but John refunded most of the macros and the shipping. I'm sure I'll be ordering more when he gets a new batch in.

I also had a custom clear acrylic top cut for the tank by Pop Displays via Ebay. I figured a 3/8" thick piece would be fine, but even supported on all edges it ends up bowing. I'm going to have a glass top cut - what I should have done in the first place. Pop Displays also sent me a cut to size piece of black acrylic which I put on the back of the tank. It's held on by the HOB filter and the magnetic ATO mount. It really gives the tank a finished look. Once the glass top is finished I'll move the 3 Blue/Green Chromis in and the Pom Pom Crab. That will be the extent of the fish and inverts I think. I have 4 or 5 blue and red leg hermits that I may put in, but I'm considering just taking them to the LFS.

For substrate, I went with a mix of 10 lbs of Caribsea Arag-Alive Bimini Pink and 5 lbs of Fiji Pink. The Fiji Pink isn't really pink, and the Bimini Pink looks like it's just Fiji Pink with some pink stone added in. Looks nice though. The rock is now loaded with copepods and some has Ulva growing on it. I'm supplementing the biological filter with Dr. Tim's nitrite. I also found an astrea starfish that subdivided twice, so I now have 3 that I know of - 2 with 2 arms and 1 with 3 arms.

Following is a series of shots showing the shipment and the current FTS.

I believe this was Halymenia. It pretty much melted.

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Long Codium was near death, and the Gracilaria had white tips.

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Cactus Caulerpa had yellow fronds and runner.

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Ulva balls looked good until they were unwrapped, they were all browning on the inside.

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I believe this was also Halymenia. It came with a runner and shoots, but no idea if they were part of the algae or something else. Sadly no answer from John after a few tries.

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I moved the Halymenia into a fish bagger for safer keeping. It had a nice gentle flow going into it.

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Here's a shot of the runner that was in the Halymenia bag. It's floating under the Ulva for the moment.

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Two Laurencia plants. They looked really good for a day, then deteriorated rapidly. They were in a tight ball which seemed odd at the time.

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Oar grass planted. Very nice.

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Acanthophora spicifera. Most of it died off the next day. I managed to save a tiny frag of it that is behind a rock and looking good. The bulk of the dark color was a thick cake of detritis.

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Full tank shot that afternoon, along with some closeups.

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#5
grmoore

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I had previously ordered 13 various Zoa and Paly frags from Mr. Coral, along with a free Maxi Mini anemonies. If anyone knows the real name to any of these, please do let me know and I'll update the captions. I have moved all but the Maxi Mini into this tank so far, and all are doing quite well. Most of them have already spawned several new heads, and several of the frags have tunicates, micro-dusters and unidentified algaes on them.

Maxi Mini Anemone

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Armor of the Gods Palys

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Red Zoas

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Superman Zoas

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Paly Mix

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Independence Day Palys

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Radioactive Dragon Eyes

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Everlasting Gobstopper

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Watermelon Zoas

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Blue Demon

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Japanese Red People Eaters

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Joker Palys

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Magician Palys

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Shortcake Zoas

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#6
grmoore

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Here are a couple shots of tunicates that have colonized on my Flame Algae. They don't appear to be causing the algae any stress.

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I found this little guy on my Halimeda after having it in another tank for months. It's a green sea slug, Elysiella pusilla, and as you can see, very good at camoflage.

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I did a little YouTube video of him if you would like to watch.

Elysiella pusilla Video:

#7
RESONANCE

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Welcome to the Macro Club! :welcome:

Very nice collection of macros and zoas! Love the flamingo algae.

...trolling Atlantis and I still have my hands on the wheel...


#8
grmoore

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Welcome to the Macro Club! :welcome:

Very nice collection of macros and zoas! Love the flamingo algae.


Thanks! :)

#9
grmoore

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Here is a series of shots of the livestock and the current FTS.

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I have new Pencil Cap shoots popping out of the substrate daily. Eight new shoots in the last week.

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This corner of the tank is a mish-mash of loose algae and sargassum.

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The current FTS. I've started mounting my ulva to the back wall using suction cups and fishing line.

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#10
grmoore

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Here's an algae I've not been able to ID. I noticed it sprouting a couple weeks ago, but now it has actually started to take shape. It's a very delicate and hair thin green branching algae that is growing between 1/4 and 1/2 inch a day. If anyone might know what it is, please do let me know. It appears to be thriving and has grown off a branch of Flame Algae.

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Here's another algae I've not been able to ID - at least I think it's an algae. This was in a bag of Halymenia that had basically melted. I don't know if it was simply picked up by accident and put in the bag, or if it is actually a runner from the algae that was in the bag. If anyone might know what it is, please do let me know. It appears to be growing, as the stems remain green. I have it laced along some rockwork as I didn't want to bury any of it in the substrate without knowing if that was the right thing to do.

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A close up view of one of the fronds.. just behind the Zoa frag

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Here's a good one of the green shoots coming off it. This is before threading it through some rockwork to keep it secure.

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#11
grmoore

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I found this algae tonight attached to the same Flame Algae that is covered in tunicates. Anyone happen to know what it is? I didn't notice it there before, but it has grown quite a bit since the previous photo was taken.

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#12
SbCaes

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I found this algae tonight attached to the same Flame Algae that is covered in tunicates. Anyone happen to know what it is? I didn't notice it there before, but it has grown quite a bit since the previous photo was taken.

Posted Image

Posted Image

looks like grac. sp.
and where are you located?

#13
grmoore

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looks like grac. sp.
and where are you located?


Thanks for the tip - I'll search around to see if I can find out specifically what species. It obviously likes the conditions where its at as it's growing like crazy.

I'm located in NE Ohio.

#14
drunkenmonk21

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Its looking really good grmoore, How are you keeping that ulva in place and not getting it sucked into the overflow?

#15
BoricuaNY

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Nice Tank, Love the Zoa's and all the pics! :D

#16
ferissp

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Beautiful tank. I know now what flame algae is. I had a bunch of it growing on my LR. Too bad my turbo snails obliterated it. What do you keep in your tank to keep nuisance algae down?

#17
bdolnik

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Tank looks awesome! I'll definitely be following along as I'll be ordering my 12g on Monday. I'm working on a home made MAME overflow for it. Mine will be sitting on a sofa table behind the couch so pretty much has to be viewable from all sides. It's great to be able to watch as someone else sets one of these up, thanks!

#18
grmoore

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Its looking really good grmoore, How are you keeping that ulva in place and not getting it sucked into the overflow?


I put a small hole in the center of the Ulva leaves and thread fishing line through them. Then I tie that to small suction cups and put it on the back wall. Just a few leaves per suction cup to ensure they all get light. I put these near the surface for the most light and flow. When the Ulva gets long, I trim it and start a new bunch. This method keeps them out of the way in the display, and gives the copepods something to munch on instead of the pretty macros.

Nice Tank, Love the Zoa's and all the pics! :D


Thank you for the kind words BoricuaNY!

Beautiful tank. I know now what flame algae is. I had a bunch of it growing on my LR. Too bad my turbo snails obliterated it. What do you keep in your tank to keep nuisance algae down?


I really like the Flame Algae - it's very easy to keep, and always seems to have some interesting hitchhikers. In two small batches I've gotten a couple of other macros and some really nice looking tunicates.

To be honest, I've not really had any nuisance algae issues in this or my previous tank. My other tank has ulva growing everywhere - rock, glass, filter outlets. I do have a small cleanup crew that I detail in my first post in this thread. Just some basic snails and a bazillion copepods.

#19
grmoore

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Tank looks awesome! I'll definitely be following along as I'll be ordering my 12g on Monday. I'm working on a home made MAME overflow for it. Mine will be sitting on a sofa table behind the couch so pretty much has to be viewable from all sides. It's great to be able to watch as someone else sets one of these up, thanks!


Thank you for the kind words bdolnik! You'll love the tank. This is by far my favorite - it's big enough to actually work in, but not so large that it breaks my back spending any amount of time doing things. Plus it is sitting right beside my computers so i get to look at it all day.

Will you be putting a lid on yours or will it be open?

#20
bdolnik

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Will you be putting a lid on yours or will it be open?


Well the 'plan' is to keep it open with just a pair of clowns in there.

#21
grmoore

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Well the 'plan' is to keep it open with just a pair of clowns in there.


My biggest concern was contaminents getting into the tank - perfumes, air freshioner, cat hairs (I have a cat and he is a perpetual shed machine), so I opted for a glass cover sitting on 1/8" standoffs to allow the tank to breathe. My secondary concern is evaporation. Even with the top on mine, I'm seeing at least a cup of water per day evaporation. I could only imagine what it would be if it was open. The topless tanks sure do look nice however.

#22
drunkenmonk21

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In my 55g I seem to lose 1 gallon a day to evaporation, but my lights are 3 inches off the tank.

#23
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In my 55g I seem to lose 1 gallon a day to evaporation, but my lights are 3 inches off the tank.


Ouch. I'll stick with a top! :)

#24
grmoore

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I have a large Nerite snail that I moved from my other tank into this one. I've never had a good angle to photograph it at until now. He appears to have been around the block a few times and is covered in barnacles and worms - some are even burrowed under the shell surface.

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The glass shop finally finished custom cutting the top for the tank. It's made out of 3/8" glass, looks great, and certainly won't ever bow!

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Now I can finally move the Blue Green Chromis, Pom Pom and Maxi Mini into the tank.

#25
drunkenmonk21

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Nice! does it have an oopening or lid, or do you have to take the whole thing off everytime you get into the tank? Ive been thinking about a lid, but I like having mine open. Even though I have to fill a gallon a day lol