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OceanFlyer's 20G Cube


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#1
OceanFlyer

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Hello,

I've been encouraged by a couple of members to share, through this forum, my progress with this project. My initial reaction was who cares what I do plus they're scores of these threads.

I was told that because I wanted to try a nano with natural filtration other members may benefit reading about successes and/or failures and the main reason this site exists is for learning and sharing.
Several years ago I had a large reef tank with all the bells and whistles. It was a lot of work and a disappointment. I gave it up and moved on. The failures were mostly my fault. To fast and to much bio-load. But the wonder of it never left. After reading what Christopher Marks wrote several years ago and the results of parishilton got me going.

I then found brandon429's thread where he has a wonderful 1.5G nano in a Wal-Mart vase. That pushed me over the edge.

Full disclosure here. Even though I once had a tank means nothing. It was long ago. So anyone reading this needs to know I'm not any kind of expert or know it all. I've read a lot and have asked many questions through DM's and will proceed with a "lets see what happens" attitude.

I'll share what I do. Be honest about what works and what doesn't and welcome help and constructive criticism.

I'm still learning about how to manage photos on the site and will have some up in the next post. If anyone wants to see anything specific let me know and I'll do my best.

Tank Specs


Display: Green Leaf Rimless 46-C
Circulation: Vortech MP 10 ES
Lighting: Dave Fason Nanobox 12-24 LED
LED Fixture: DIY
Auto Top Off: Tunze Osmolator
Heater: Via Aqua 100W
Filtration Aqua Clear 50 & inTank Media Basket
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i

Edited by OceanFlyer, 18 November 2011 - 05:03 PM.


#2
DaveFason

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Just to help you out.
No Rock
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With Rock
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#3
OceanFlyer

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Thanks Dave,

The photo with rocks has the blue's at full high and the whites a little more than half. I suspect I could tinker with them endlessly but I like this look and we'll see how the corals respond once I have some.

Edited by OceanFlyer, 17 September 2011 - 03:27 PM.


#4
Rehype

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Nice...how the heck do all of you guys have daves fixtures so fast?

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#5
OceanFlyer

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RH,

I wouldn't say the fixture came fast. I got in line and wasn't in a rush. By the time the rock cycled and I had other components in place Dave had the lights done. He has a small business and does much of the work himself so it's not mass produced which makes it worth the wait.

#6
OceanFlyer

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First Coral with Pic

The new GLR 46 cube has cycled although I still have some diatoms forming but not to bad. Water tests in line so added a Candy Cane. It got a little dull looking at rocks and sand plus I liked the bright color. I'm really not at all interested in moving to fast. Other corals will be added but slowly. I also want to be sure equipment and landscape placement is correct before getting to far along.

One other thing I wanted to share is the ESV Bionic Salt does make fast, clear, and clean water. I bought a digital scale on Amazon in order to measure the 4 parts to the exact gram. It comes out right on the money at 1.025 every time and no residue in the bottom of the mixing bucket.
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#7
DaveFason

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Looking great John. The ESV salt is hands down one of the best out there.

-Dave

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#8
OceanFlyer

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Since my last post I've made a couple of additions and changes I wanted to share. First, the Tunze Osmolator for topping off. It's only a few days old so it's too new to rate but it's working and comes highly recommended.

I also turned the whites in the LED fixture up just a bit. That took a little of the blue out and it's brighter as you can see from the new FTS.

Also added a small Frog Spawn and Rhodacdis to the family. They were deeply discounted at the LFS and not very big but healthy looking and seem OK for now.

I also took a photo of the Zoanthid, which has several long narrow whisps of growth. Would be interested in knowing what that is. In the FTS you can also see them at the very top of the rock.

One more thing. I put my camera on the equipment list. It seems to be a common question to ask so I included it. Until now I've just put it on auto. After reading this excellent link on the forum I've discovered there is more to reef keeping than just the tank. One must also learn the art of photography and how to use Photobucket. :) For example, these photos are really big. They've been cropped but not sure what the ideal size is to make them for future postings. Any advice would be welcome.

All in all I think things are going pretty well. No disasters to date and regular 20% H20 changes seem to be working. I'm sure, however, that something is lurking out there so I'm not getting smug.

FTS
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Rhodactis
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Frog Spawn
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Edited by OceanFlyer, 09 November 2011 - 04:05 PM.


#9
Zer0

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Hey man, those zoas look great, as do the rest of your stuff and your tank!

Just a word of advice though, I'm assuming you dipped your coral, but regardless, whatever that stuff is growing on your zoas could start to spread if the conditions are just right. It may look cute now, but it could get pretty unsightly if it starts to over run your entire tank, and makes you want to end your own life.

When you get the chance, I would try and remove those zoas off the frag plug and just glue it down to your rocks and just throw away the frag plug or rubble with all that stuff on it.


srsly, there's lots of guys named jesus alive today and no one cares about them unless they can hit a baseball


#10
OceanFlyer

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ZerO,

Thanks for the advice. It would be interesting to know what it was but you're correct about not wanting a tank full of it. Also have been reading a thread about the use of H202 for the assassination of unwanted algae.

Hey man, those zoas look great, as do the rest of your stuff and your tank!

Just a word of advice though, I'm assuming you dipped your coral, but regardless, whatever that stuff is growing on your zoas could start to spread if the conditions are just right. It may look cute now, but it could get pretty unsightly if it starts to over run your entire tank, and makes you want to end your own life.

When you get the chance, I would try and remove those zoas off the frag plug and just glue it down to your rocks and just throw away the frag plug or rubble with all that stuff on it.



#11
Zer0

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ZerO,

Thanks for the advice. It would be interesting to know what it was but you're correct about not wanting a tank full of it. Also have been reading a thread about the use of H202 for the assassination of unwanted algae.


Nice, glad you at least have considered removing it before. Just means you are prepared. :P


srsly, there's lots of guys named jesus alive today and no one cares about them unless they can hit a baseball


#12
OceanFlyer

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It's been a while since an update so I thought I would share some things and include a pic or two.

I want to mention the LED lighting. Dave Fasion 12-24 has been an interesting experience. My last tank of many years ago had PC's to start and T-5 at the end. Having been out of the hobby for many years I've never used halides but I know they are bright and hot. I liked the bright but didn't want to worry about heating and bulb replacement hence the LEDs.

The Nanobox is small, well built, and looks good but figuring out the best settings has been the challenge. I was running them at 100% blues and 50% whites. A week ago I went 100% on all to see what would happen. They are really bright. So much so that the Zoe's closed up and staying that way. One of the two SPS I have, a Rainbow Stylaphora, seems very happy.

Dave suggested I move the fixture up 4 inches so I did that yesterday. We'll see how that works out. I'm sure, however, there is a setting that both softies and SPS will be comfortable with. Anyone that has these LED's or others I would like to hear from you.

One of the goals was using only the natural filtering of rock, sand, good circulation and H2O changes. That seemed to work, tests we always good, but the water just wasn't clear and I was getting small outbreaks of hair algae. Hoping to still keep things simple I added an AC50 with a StevieT media basket.

Floss, a sock with GFO & Carbon combined, and Purigen took care of the clarity issue. The thing sparkles and the algae is not increasing. Each water change I hit a small area of algae with a tiny bit of H202 to kill a bit off.

The downside is that the flow out of the AC is causing lots of bubbles as it hits the surface. I have it adjusted as slow as it will go. I don't think it should be doing that but I'm not sure. Could someone that has or had an AC let me know if this is normal and if not are there any solutions.

In the FTS the green Tupperware container you see has small Ricoridia frags attaching themselves to rubble rock. Kinda ugly but part of the process that comes with a new set up.

Thanks for looking and your comments and observations are welcomed.

FTS with bubbles on top and the Zoe's in bottom right that have their eyes closed.
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The Stylaphora. To the right is the type of algae that I've been working on.

Posted Image

Edited by OceanFlyer, 16 November 2011 - 01:15 PM.


#13
OceanFlyer

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Bump

#14
boxboy

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looks great so far

#15
JoelRHale

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Cool tank B)

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#16
OceanFlyer

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Joel & boxboy,

Thank you, do you have any thoughts about all the bubbles coming from the AC50?

#17
JoelRHale

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I'd raise the water level. That should do the trick.

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#18
OceanFlyer

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Joel,

Humm, living in earthquake land I left a little room for some swaying of the water if a small one hits. A big one and it's all over. So I could move the water level up an inch. Other than not liking the look of the bubbles do they cause a problem?

#19
JoelRHale

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I had problems with my 110 and the only way I fixed bubbles was by raising the water level. You might be able to mod the outlet.

I don't think bubbles are harmful, just terrible to look at :lol:

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#20
OceanFlyer

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I'll take the level up in the morning and see what happens. Thanks again for the suggestion.

#21
cameraman_2

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Looks like a great start. I love the rock you have.

#22
OceanFlyer

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C_2.

Appreciate your comments. They were the dry eco rock that came from BRS. Took a while to cycle them but the price was right and no unwanted hitch hikers.

#23
OceanFlyer

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I'll take the level up in the morning and see what happens. Thanks again for the suggestion.


Joel,

Wish other things in life were so simple. Took the H20 level up an inch and "ta da" no bubbles and quieter too. Feel a little foolish not thinking that one through but it's all part of the learning process.

#24
OceanFlyer

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It's been about 3 weeks since the last post and things are progressing pretty well. It's turned colder and I was seeing a 3 to 4 temp swing at night with our home heater turned off. Turning the tank heater up a degree and closing all the doors to the room where the tank is located before turning in took care of that.

Green hair algae still tries to sneak in here and there. I've been carefully treating it with H202 and that does work but as the tank matures it's going to be harder to do once the corals are encrusted on the rocks. Now I can work around them because the frags are small.

Reading other postings with similar algae issues I've taken to giving the AC 50 a much more serious cleaning each week along with the water changes. I'm rinsing the carbon/GFO sock in water being taken out during the change, replacing the floss, and cleaning the entire AC including putting a brush through the intake tube which seems to collect some green near the bottom.

The LED lights are really working out with the electric bill. I'm having a very small increase with them running 7.5 hours a day. I think that plus the life of the bulbs reduces the long term cost of these lights. I still haven't run them at 100%. They're at around 50% now. I tried it higher for a short time but the Zoe's all closed up tight. Once I reduced the brightness they looked around and decided it was OK to come out again. I'm going to start a slow increase soon to see what happens. Everything else adjusted to the increase just fine. Perhaps I needed to give the Zoe's more time to adapt to a brighter sun.

There are a couple of new SPS's residing near the top and here is a shot of them. I've been reading a lot about photography and reef tanks and it is challenging. The purple on the rocks isn't as pronounced as it is in the photo but I am still experimenting with f stops, ISO, apertures, etc. ; things I had no idea about when this all started.

Any of you top notch picture takers out there please share some tips.
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Edited by OceanFlyer, 07 December 2011 - 01:47 PM.


#25
OceanFlyer

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I have several new occupants in my tank. A couple of them are Zoa's and I'm amazed at the colors available. To many of you this is not any revelation but for a new nano reefer like me it is.
With a new Macro lens, as an early Christmas gift, I was anxious to share the first photo taken with it. It isn't perfect but it's better than anything I've been able able to do before.

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