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BruinHD's 11.4g Paradisio


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#1
bruinhd

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Latest photo as of 2/21/2012:

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I have been doing freshwater for a while, but I had a strong desire to get into nano-reefing simply because of the livestock (coral + fish).

I had this Fluval Chi with some grass in it that never really came out the way i wanted it to I moved it all into a 10g tank and then outfitted the Chi to be reef. One of the biggest things that scared me while doing 1+ month of research on this forum was the salinity swings leading to tank crashes. Coral is expensive, I am trying to keep this as parameter steady as possible.

I set the tank up over a week ago, got saltwater and live rock from the LFS to start. I expected it to take several weeks before ammonia levels bottomed out but alas it happened in days which was very surprising. I talked to the guys at the LFS and they said go ahead and try out some hardy soft corals. So I picked up a clownfish, a goby and some frogspawn. Added on Day 7.

Before you guys go nuts on me about having a goby in such a small tank, I must tell you the goby wasn't my idea at first. The LFS guys talked me into it. As I did more research last night I realized that Gobies need a large sandbed to get adequate nutrition, everyone does them in a 60gallon+. Well they refuse to take him back and until I find him a home, I've noticed that he's been able to eat the extra roe that the clown doesn't eat as it hits the sand. So freakishly, this may actually work out. I've been told that I can just use tongs to bury some roe or krill under the sand as well and he won't starve.

Do you guys think I should attempt to keep going with this method or is the goby going to get stressed out? I am capping my fish stock at these two since it is only 5 gallon. I intend to get a cleaner shrimp at some point but that is it for inverts. All of the research I have read says that diamond goby's need 55g simply so that they don't starve to death. I am not sure about the stress situation.

As much input as possible would be very much appreciated. I try to do things like this the right way as much as possible. I am very science oriented and try to wrap my head around whatever the tank communities suggest.

Tank Specifics

Display: Fluval Chi Mr Aqua 11.4 gallon rimless tank
Circulation: Hydor Korralia 240gph
Lighting: Fluval 13W CFL fixture w/ Currently 13W 10K
Coralife Mini T5 11" 10k + Actinic + Truelumen Lunar LED
AquastyleOnline 16 LED dimmable, 2 channel (7 blue, 7 10K white, 2 pink)
Heater: Hydor Elite 25watt submersible Hydor Elite 50w submersible
Filtration: Live rock only

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Edited by bruinhd, 21 February 2012 - 08:58 PM.

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#2
iball1804

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:welcome: Looks nice!

You'll like it here homedizzle

#3
KissMyDSM

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No one is going to flame for having a gobie in a smaller tank. (At least I would hope!) Especially if it burrows they don't seem to move a lot. Getting a small pistol shrimp for it, (Assuming it is a shrimp/prawn gobie) would add to its habitat. Either way it should be fine.

Welcome to club :D

#4
bruinhd

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No one is going to flame for having a gobie in a smaller tank. (At least I would hope!) Especially if it burrows they don't seem to move a lot. Getting a small pistol shrimp for it, (Assuming it is a shrimp/prawn gobie) would add to its habitat. Either way it should be fine.

Welcome to club :D


Oh I didn't mean one of those little yellow gobies that pairs with the pistol shrimp. It's actually a Diamond Watchman Goby. I wish I had a better photo but he's been burrowed throughout the day:

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Edited by bruinhd, 07 January 2012 - 04:13 PM.

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#5
Evanski9

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Take it out those suckers get 5"+. Get a neon goby it would love it in their. Craigslist or turn it in for credit in another lfs
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#6
KissMyDSM

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Those do get big. It will be fine till you find it another home however. No worries

#7
Spirofucci

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Great start! Tank looks nice.....and welcome.

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#8
bruinhd

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Take it out those suckers get 5"+. Get a neon goby it would love it in their. Craigslist or turn it in for credit in another lfs


There's only two LFS in my area. I can try calling the other but I think you're right. This goby thing most likely will not be good for him long term at all.

Update: The other LFS says no also. Is anyone close to Peoria that would do a trade? I'll consider any offers. I'll drive to Bloomington, IL or whatever. I'm in Central Illinois.

Edited by bruinhd, 07 January 2012 - 04:56 PM.

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#9
bruinhd

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More shots:

Here's what homeboy does most of the day
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Here's what he does at night:
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Sir Stripy, Duke of Orange:
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I also have a 10 gallon freshwater in development:
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My latest creation:
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#10
bruinhd

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I was freaking out last night after I did an ammonia assay and found my levels to be at 0.2ppm! I did a 20% water change and rechecked an hour later and it was still the same. Ran out after my shift this morning to petsmart and got some Amquel. Rechecked the ammonia today and it is already zeroed out and I had bought the amquel for nothing. I guess the addition of 3 pieces of brand new livestock in one day started a mini-cycle that i HOPE *fingers crossed* is over...

i'm looking at my clownfish right now and he's hanging out in the part of the aquarium closest to me as if to be saying, "dude, i told you to just chill out. you're having a cow just cuz i took a #### in here and spiked the levels..."

Edited by bruinhd, 08 January 2012 - 12:02 PM.

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#11
naughty

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do you have test kits for nitrate/nitrite?

if you have these you can monitor the whole cycle aka:
peaks of ammonia -> peaks of nitrites -> peaks of nitrates.
once your tank cycles all of these should be at zero with slight fluctuations in nitrates.

nitrates are the most important thing to watch for in a tank, yours will probably be high at first but make sure they don't go over like 10 ppm for healthy fish. for any corals to like it in there they have to be <1ppm, i have a salifert test kit, works well and has the accuracy you need :)

#12
bruinhd

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do you have test kits for nitrate/nitrite?

if you have these you can monitor the whole cycle aka:
peaks of ammonia -> peaks of nitrites -> peaks of nitrates.
once your tank cycles all of these should be at zero with slight fluctuations in nitrates.

nitrates are the most important thing to watch for in a tank, yours will probably be high at first but make sure they don't go over like 10 ppm for healthy fish. for any corals to like it in there they have to be <1ppm, i have a salifert test kit, works well and has the accuracy you need :)


Thanks for the tip. I've been using some NO2/NO3 strips to monitor nitrates. So far those have been well under control. I'm gonna check nitrates bi-weekly I think, and continue checking ammonia daily. Ammonia has settled out so far, so I'm hoping my little mini-cycle from adding stock is on the decline.
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#13
bruinhd

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Here's some update videos of my tank....please enjoy!

Frogspawn video - BruinHD

My tank with lights on
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#14
Deckoz2302

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This reminds me of my 6.6 chi when I started out :D nice tank dude/ette

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#15
bruinhd

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***UPDATE!!!***

  • I was able to trade out that goby for a cleaner shrimp. I drip acclimated him for a good 6+ hours while I had people over to keep me from staring at him. He seems to be really happy in the tank so far but he is trying to avoid the clown, who's trying to play with him.
  • I think I'm done stocking with only one fish. Just when looking at the tank from afar and seeing how the clown moves around a lot in it, I can tell two fish would be stressful. I don't know how you other 5 gallon nanoers get away with stocking 2 fish!
  • I got a cleanup crew: 2 snails and 3 hermit crabs. They have been industriously working all day.
  • I ordered a refractometer because I don't trust this Coralife Hydrometer I've been using. I've been keeping salinity at 1.024.
  • Frogspawn is doing well but doesn't not open as big as it did in the tank it came from. I think it's because my Koralia 240gph is pumping too hard for the coral to stand.

But enough of the updates, now to the pictures!

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WORD TO THE WISE: I picked up some distilled Glacier Water from the local supermarket, then I tested it to double check it before using. The nitrate levels in it were 10-20 as you can see. Which is not dangerous or anything, but you might as well buy RO water from the LFS and avoid unecessary nitrates altogether! So for the time being, that's the plan I'm sticking to.
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Edited by bruinhd, 15 January 2012 - 01:29 AM.

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#16
bruinhd

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UPDATE!!!!

1. Sold two sets of 6500K lights and LEDs on the planted forum and bought myself a Coralife T5 11" Mini Aqualight. For all the haters who say it's not enough light, I'd say it's pretty much perfect for a 5 gallon nano! Check out the pics if you don't believe me!

2. Picked up a bunch more LPS and zoanthids from Woo and had a great time gluing those for real instead of just jenga stacking. I should have listened to all the lock-tite gel advocates earlier. it makes a world of difference in terms of look and stability of all the corals.

3. Traded away my diamond goby and got a cleaner shrimp!!! he is already loving the tank and he cleans my clownfish constantly. They're like best buds instantly. Also, the fish and the shrimp are much more active since I got the Coralife T5 10K + Actinic. My corals open up much wider as well. So everyone without proper lighting take note! I am slowly learning, I know.

Next up:

I have ordered a bunch of DIY blue LED's that I am going to install inside of the Coralife rig, then have that run on a separate timer 1 hr before and after my regular lights so that I can get some bio-luminescence action going. I also have a refractometer coming in the mail. I keeps it at 1.024 specific gravity right now cuz apparently it's a sweet spot for soft coral. Correct me on this if I'm wrong. I also think I need to get some nassarius snails to do a better job with my deep sand.

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Please throw your suggestions my way! And your criticism or praise as well. THANKS FOR LOOKING/CONTRIBUTING!
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#17
HVani

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Tank is looking really nice!

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#18
gena

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+1

That looks beautiful!!!!!

#19
bruinhd

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Tank is looking really nice!


+1

That looks beautiful!!!!!


Thanks guys!!! I just checked out your blogs. Love em!

Edited by bruinhd, 20 January 2012 - 11:03 PM.

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#20
bruinhd

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DAY 26 UPDATE!

Tank is going well. I took my biggest live rock outside and quickly smashed it into smaller pieces (after taking off all critters, etc). Just so I could better rearrange the tank. Also some Truelumen lunar LED's so that I can do 2 hrs of just blue LED from midnight to 2am. All of my corals have been opening up like crazy with the new lights and stable parameters! Specific gravity is at 1.025-1.026 these days.

I mounted the Truelumens underneath the glass of the Coralife T5 set:
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The cord comes out the back pretty seamlessly as well. Not a big deal but I thought I'd show people just to help them with their own ideas:
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My cleaner shrimp shed a layer and now his new feelers are all wavy. ha!
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Hammer and Torch Euphyllia are doing really well and touch without any problems.
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Here's a shot with just the Truelumen lunars on ($10 + $16). The zoas are all closed cuz my cleaner shrimp just walked all over them before the shot. He does that a lot. Very annoying but I'll get over it.
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Question: with the ocellaris clown in there already, would it be overload to put a firefish goby in as well? i don't intend to add any additional liverock or coral at this point. only mushrooms. so my actual water volume will sit at above 3.5 gallons. i have never had any trace of ammonia after a week right before my water change either. i've been checking parameters almost every other day out of curiosity.

if not a firefish, what would be an interesting alternative for me to look into that wouldn't be stressed by a 5 gallon tank with one additional vertebrate occupant?

Thanks

Edited by bruinhd, 26 January 2012 - 08:48 PM.

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#21
bruinhd

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Hey guys,

I think my reefer madness has taken a leap. I was talking to my mother over the phone and telling her about my tank, and she asked me if I wanted a bigger tank for my birthday coming up....so I thought about it, and was like...well, my koralia is 240gph so technically it is suited for a 10-15 gallon. I have a 50w heater which would work in a 10 gallon also....so yeah, I'm upgrading this nano to an 11.4 gallon mr aqua this week.

I also ordered a 14-LED dimmable DIY from Aquastyleonline and returned the Coralia T5's. I'm gonna set up the 5 gallon fluval chi as a frag tank with just an internal filter going and no powerhead.

I'm worried about the sand transfer giving off a bacterial bloom.

What do you guys think?
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#22
bruinhd

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My 5 gallon cube is now an 11.4 Mr Aqua tank. So in the past several weeks I have upgraded my system with the following (I know it's been less than 2 months, thank you!):

- Mr Aqua 11.4 gallon rimless tank
- Swapped out Coralife T5's for Aquastyleonline 16 LED dimmable w/ 2 channels
- Added a new watermelon wellso...it is beautiful but you cannot properly capture its colors w/ photo
- Gave all my hermit crabs away because they are a-holes and kept attacking my turbo and nassarius snails
- Done with stocking fish. Everyone is healthy and doing well *crosses fingers*

Current stock list:

1 x Ocellaris Clownfish
1 x Firefish
1 x Green Goby
1 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Turbo Snails
2 x Margarita Snails
1 x Nassarius Snail

Check out photos I took along the way:

Building the LED array. This took hours!
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Success!!!
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Finished project box enclosing 2 x Meanwell dimmable drivers:
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My finished work. The lid is a $5 custom cut glass from Lowe's with a plastic border I fashioned, lid clips from ebay, and the fixture is suspended from repainted hanging plant hooks. Thank you to Ray @ Aquastyle for putting together a beautiful LED kit product.
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This Green Goby loves hosting corals. He was a great addition.
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Watermelon Wellso
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Wide shot:
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Edited by bruinhd, 15 February 2012 - 10:32 PM.

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#23
bruinhd

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I got a slimer acropora frag for $6. I think that's a deal, right? ;-)
We'll see how quick this thing grows.

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Green flower pot, at least 8" wide

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Watermelon Wellso

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Edited by bruinhd, 19 February 2012 - 11:24 PM.

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#24
JR!

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so nice looking

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#25
neuro

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what is your filtration if any? water changes?

great looking tank so far!