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Matt's 20L College Reef (Retired)


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#26
matt20

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So I couldn't resist the temptation... I went ahead and bought an MP10. I'm tired of trying to find the right positions for the two koralias. Plus the cords in the tank take away from the sexiness. The MP10 should be here by Monday.

#27
Paigee

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Siiiick! And I hear ya on the online thing... It's even harder in Canada to find selection AND someone who is reliable! Luckily I have some pretty decent LFS's with pretty good selection between them all.

#28
matt20

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4/1/12 update:

I just placed a big order of coral with Cultivated Reef today which I've scheduled to arrive Friday--my last two online orders resulted in tossed out frags and pests, so I'm hoping these guys come through for me. I've ordered frags of:
  • tri color aussie acan
  • blue and red aussie acan
  • blue and neon green aussie acan
  • purple tip frogspawn purple tip hammer coral
  • lord of the rings zoanthids
  • lunar eclipse palythoa
  • blue actinodiscus mushroom
  • orange montipora cap
  • cali blue acropora tort

I set up a cheap 5.5g quarantine tank for the corals coming in. I'll post some pictures once they are in there. After dipping them, I'll throw them in quarantine for no less than 2 weeks. Of course once the quarantine period is up, I'm not going to want to throw all of these in the display tank at once. I plan on adding no more than 2-3 frags a week to the display, although I won't add any new frags to the display until the ones I previously put in there are happy and healthy. I'll start with the sps since the light fixture over my q-tank won't support them (2 bulb ho t5). After the sps, I'll slowly start adding the lps, followed by the zoanthids, and finally the mushroom. So this whole process should take 7-9 weeks--but of course if I find pests, the timer starts all over again. Around week 5-6 once the more delicate corals have been removed, I plan on adding a very small green chromis. He'll sit in there for 4-5 weeks before adding him to the display.


In other news, my candy cane coral is doing SO much better (pics below). I fed it last night, and nearly every head had sweeper tentacles extending out. There is still some algae on it, but the heads are puffing up so much now (almost coming together), I think they may starve the remaining algae of light.

I also moved some corals around a bit to make room for the new acquisitions. The GSP were spreading so quickly, I had to pluck them off the rock at the front and stick them up on their own rock in the corner. I don't mind if they grow like a weed up there. I'm also going to need to move the candy cane again to make room for the frogspawn. I haven't decided 100% where it's going yet.

I've been fighting off a small diatom bloom for the last week or two, and it's almost all gone now. I added ~20 dwarf ceriths to eat it all up, and 2 red mangroves and Purigen to soak up excess nutrients to keep it from coming back.

And lastly, I'm getting an MP10 in the mail tomorrow! Really excited about that. Those koralias are great, but I just wasn't happy with trying to position them for optimal flow. I'll throw the 240 in the q-tank I mentioned earlier, and maybe use the 425 to mix salt from now on. They will be put to use!

Pics:

Candy cane looking better
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Compare that to
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Moved the gsp to their own rock to make room for acans on the middle rock below
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FTS. I didn't edit this one. The lighting looks pretty bad. I wish I had a nice camera :(
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Edited by matt20, 04 April 2012 - 07:18 PM.


#29
Paigee

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Good plan! :) Can't wait to see everything

#30
matt20

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Well my diatoms are under control, but it seems like they have now been replaced by a few patches of GHA. I posted a thread about it here. If anyone would like to follow that link and throw in their 2 cents, I'd appreciate it. :)

Also, it looks like my MP10 is going to be a day late. :tears:

#31
matt20

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Ahh the MP10 has arrived! I love it. I'm sure it'll take a few days to find the right setting for my corals, but they don't seem to mind the 50% reef crest I have it set to right now. I also ordered a ball of chaeto from reefcleaners. I'm going to add that to the display--somewhere in a corner that isn't too visible.

Next update will probably come Friday when I'm expecting my order from Cultivated Reef to come in. Can't wait for that! I'll upload plenty of pictures.

#32
matt20

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4/6/12 Update:

I got my order in from Cultivated Reef. All the corals looked great when they arrived until I dipped them in Revive. I'll post some pictures when they start fully opening up. All in all, I'm very pleased with these guys. The corals look nice, and the customer service was excellent. I look forward to ordering from them again!

I've decided to add the SPS to the display tank right away. I'll put them in this evening when the daylights go out. I really wanted them in quarantine, but the 2 bulb t5ho fixture over my q-tank just won't keep them happy while they're in there.

Yesterday I removed my mangroves. I'm pretty bummed because I think they look so cool. I'm pretty sure they weren't doing so hot, and I've come to the conclusion that they've been leaching nutrients into my water, fueling this little algae bloom I'm going through. This morning I've already noticed an improvement, so hopefully the algae will disappear completely within the next week or two. I'm still going to add a ball of chaeto (should get here this afternoon) just to see how it does.

I love the MP10! And so far most of my corals seem to love it too. Unfortunately, my torch has only opened up about 75% since I've put it in. I'm hoping it's just adjusting to the new flow, because I really don't want to have to move it from its current spot. I'll give it a few more days, and I'll try to play around with the settings a bit more before I consider moving it. I have it on reef crest at about 40% right now. I seem to be getting good flow throughout the tank.

Edit: Added pictures below! Nothing looks great under this light fixture. I can't wait until everything is in the display under LEDs

Blue mushroom
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Blue Acropora Tort
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Orange Monti Cap
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Hammer, Acans, and zoanthids
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Decent picture I snapped of my clowns... they've just started exploring this cave in the last few days
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Edited by matt20, 06 April 2012 - 02:53 PM.


#33
th64

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You have some pretty good growth! Good stuff... will be tagging along

#34
YankeePete

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I would caution you about adding Chaeto to the display if you have hermits. They will love to eat it instead of the algae!

#35
miniwhinny

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Love how you flipped the media rack in the AC20 upside down to hold the mangroves...what a great idea! Looking forward to seeing everything in place and growing :)

#36
matt20

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You have some pretty good growth! Good stuff... will be tagging along


Thanks! Your tank looks great too--isn't 20L such a great tank size? How is that Coral Beauty behaving with all those corals?

Love how you flipped the media rack in the AC20 upside down to hold the mangroves...what a great idea! Looking forward to seeing everything in place and growing :)


Thanks! Unfortunately I had to remove the mangroves. I'm pretty bummed about it but I don't think they were doing very well. I'm pretty sure they were dying and leaching nutrients into the water, which was fueling a small algae bloom I've been battling. Since I removed them 2 days ago, I've noticed the algae receding a ton. I may try mangroves again in a couple months, since I just love how they look.

I would caution you about adding Chaeto to the display if you have hermits. They will love to eat it instead of the algae!


I'll keep an eye on that for sure. I like the simplicity of keeping chaeto in the display instead of setting up a separate refugium or anything like that where it will be safe from hungry hermits. If I notice them munching away at it, I'll obviously have to change up my strategy.

Edited by matt20, 07 April 2012 - 12:39 PM.


#37
matt20

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Today hasn't been a great day! The acro I received last night does not look happy. Since I'm pretty new to SPS, I have no idea if it will pull through or not. If you have any input, please check out this thread.

Also, it turns out my torch coral hates the new MP10. The other corals seem to love it, but I woke up this morning to a fully deflated torch. I'm really bummed, because that's my favorite coral so far. There was no setting on the MP10 gentle enough for it, so I'm not sure what to do. I moved it to my quarantine tank where I can hopefully nurse it back to health.

If there was one good thing, I've noticed my algae problem has improved quite noticeably in the two days since I removed the mangroves. I am almost positive they were the culprits, leaching nutrients into the tank and fueling nuisance algae growth.

#38
matt20

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Well sadly, my torch coral, my favorite piece, didn't make it. I'm really bummed. I thought by keeping it isolated in a low-flow tank would allow it to heal up, but the MP10 caused too much damage. Oh well, disappointment is to be expected in this hobby.

A bit of good news though! I thought I was stuck with a not-so-great LFS down the road from me, but it turns out I didn't Google search hard enough for another option. I looked again and found a store about 30 minutes away. I went to check it out and it is so much better! I finally have a good LFS. They have a bunch of fish, from the common to the rare and exotic, as well as a decent sized frag tank. I saw a nice frogspawn for sale, and knowing my torch probably wasn't going to make it, I went ahead and bought it (pics below). It has 5 heads + 1 baby--I normally wouldn't buy a coral that big but they had a great deal on it. I found a great place for it in the tank, sheltered behind a rock from the MP10 flow. Unfortunately, the hammer coral I received from Cultivated Reef the other day has the same coloration, so I'm hoping I can trade it in for another torch.

Posted Image

I'm hoping these guys take up residence soon!
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Edited by matt20, 09 April 2012 - 03:44 PM.


#39
banshee

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What did you do to revive your candy canes? Mine looked like that and nothing I could do saved them. I was very sad. -_-

#40
matt20

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What did you do to revive your candy canes? Mine looked like that and nothing I could do saved them. I was very sad. -_-


Honestly, not much. I picked off as much algae/gunk as I could but the heads are really close together, so I had to use tweezers. After that, I just put it on my sand bed, away from strong current, and let it heal up on its own. Unfortunately, I recently had a tank-wide algae bloom due to dying mangroves leaching nutrients into the water--this caused a resurgence of algae all over the colony. I'll probably have to take it out and either repeat that process, or try dripping some peroxide on the affected areas.

#41
matt20

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It's been an up and down week so far, and definitely eventful. The good parts: My frogspawn is awesome, and currently my favorite coral. My new LFS is great, and a huge upgrade to my previous one. My hair algae problem = eliminated. My new acro isn't getting any worse either. I still don't think it will make it, but maybe it just needs a little time to recover...I guess it's only been a few days.

The bad parts: I lost my other favorite coral, my torch, because of the flow coming off the MP10. And now, I need to get rid of my big zoa colony rock. I haven't really mentioned this in previous posts, but it's been a PITA since I got it. It's landed me one nudi so far, which I removed, and multiple zoanthid eating spiders. I keep plucking them off, and dipping the rock in Revive, but every week I find 1-2 more. And today, I noticed some black looking bubble algae growing on this one rock. The spiders have since spread to my radioactive frags, so I finally got fed up with all of it, and just tossed everything. My tank will be zoa-less for at least a month, maybe more. I know this seems pretty extreme, but I was just tired of dealing with it. I'm going to start fresh. I'll replace the zoa rock with some base rock, and attach healthy, quarantined frags to that in the future.

Basically, this was a huge lesson in quarantining corals. I'm not discouraged, just ticked off, because I should have known better. Always always always quarantine your livestock!!

So what does a reefer do when he or she is ticked off? Buy more corals, of course. I haven't yet, but I plan on celebrating the end of the semester with another order from Cultivated Reef. Some more SPS, new zoanthids, and another acan. I'm also going to let my girlfriend pick out a coral this weekend from my LFS as a small part of her birthday present. I hope she doesn't read this before then. :P



Also, I post too much. And when I post, I write too much. -_-

Edited by matt20, 11 April 2012 - 10:56 PM.


#42
Paigee

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It's been an up and down week so far, and definitely eventful. The good parts: My frogspawn is awesome, and currently my favorite coral. My new LFS is great, and a huge upgrade to my previous one. My hair algae problem = eliminated. My new acro isn't getting any worse either. I still don't think it will make it, but maybe it just needs a little time to recover...I guess it's only been a few days.

The bad parts: I lost my other favorite coral, my torch, because of the flow coming off the MP10. And now, I need to get rid of my big zoa colony rock. I haven't really mentioned this in previous posts, but it's been a PITA since I got it. It's landed me one nudi so far, which I removed, and multiple zoanthid eating spiders. I keep plucking them off, and dipping the rock in Revive, but every week I find 1-2 more. And today, I noticed some black looking bubble algae growing on this one rock. The spiders have since spread to my radioactive frags, so I finally got fed up with all of it, and just tossed everything. My tank will be zoa-less for at least a month, maybe more. I know this seems pretty extreme, but I was just tired of dealing with it. I'm going to start fresh. I'll replace the zoa rock with some base rock, and attach healthy, quarantined frags to that in the future.

Basically, this was a huge lesson in quarantining corals. I'm not discouraged, just ticked off, because I should have known better. Always always always quarantine your livestock!!

So what does a reefer do when he or she is ticked off? Buy more corals, of course. I haven't yet, but I plan on celebrating the end of the semester with another order from Cultivated Reef. Some more SPS, new zoanthids, and another acan. I'm also going to let my girlfriend pick out a coral this weekend from my LFS as a small part of her birthday present. I hope she doesn't read this before then. :P



Also, I post too much. And when I post, I write too much. -_-


Sorry to hear about the torch and the pests! What makes you say that the MP10 killed the torch? Was it too close?

You and I have the same plan for celebrating the end of the semester too :D I'm done next Wednesday... My last paper is due at noon, and I will be stopping by my LFS on the way home! :)

#43
matt20

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Sorry to hear about the torch and the pests! What makes you say that the MP10 killed the torch? Was it too close?

You and I have the same plan for celebrating the end of the semester too :D I'm done next Wednesday... My last paper is due at noon, and I will be stopping by my LFS on the way home! :)


Yeah it was too close. I thought it would be fine because it wasn't actually getting blasted by the flow directly--it was the undertow the mp10 created that killed it. I mean that's my best guess anyway. My water quality is perfect, and it was fully extended until I added the new pump. I have since found a new place for my euphyllias, sheltered from the flow behind a rock. My new frogspawn seems to love it.

And congrats on making it through the semester! I'm done the first week of May, and cannot wait. What are you studying? How many years do you have left? And what do you plan on treating yourself to at the lfs??

#44
Paigee

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Yeah it was too close. I thought it would be fine because it wasn't actually getting blasted by the flow directly--it was the undertow the mp10 created that killed it. I mean that's my best guess anyway. My water quality is perfect, and it was fully extended until I added the new pump. I have since found a new place for my euphyllias, sheltered from the flow behind a rock. My new frogspawn seems to love it.

And congrats on making it through the semester! I'm done the first week of May, and cannot wait. What are you studying? How many years do you have left? And what do you plan on treating yourself to at the lfs??


I'm studying Criminology! I only have 3 semesters left, I go next fall spring and summer semesters :)

I would really like to get a new ric, but we'll see what they have in store! :D

#45
matt20

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I'm studying Criminology! I only have 3 semesters left, I go next fall spring and summer semesters :)

I would really like to get a new ric, but we'll see what they have in store! :D


Only 1?! Remember, you're treating yourself here! :D

Then again, I guess it's because you don't have your 20L set up yet right? How is that coming along?

#46
matt20

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I placed another order with Cultivated Reef today. As always, the prices are great and Greg is really helpful. My last order worked out really well, so I'm looking forward to getting these next Friday:
  • Limeberry Zoanthids
  • Radioactive Zoanthids
  • Whammin Watermelon Zoanthids
  • Lavender and Green Blastomusa Wellsi (my girlfriend's request as a part of her birthday present :D ).
  • Aussie Acan, blue with red centers
  • Orange Aussie Acan
  • Green Bali Slimer
  • Pink Millepora
  • Purple and Green Montipora sp.
  • Hot Spot Chalice


In other news, I'm going to be moving some things from my quarantine tank into my display tank tonight. I'm not sure yet--probably the hammer coral. Then next Friday, the acans to make room for the new acquisitions. All of my frags look healthy. I have found not one pest, and they are all fully opening during the day. The one thing I have found so far is a bit of hair algae on one of the paly frags, but that's no big deal.

Edited by matt20, 18 April 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#47
Soleil SW

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great tank so far I'm looking forward to updates!

Oh and i love the zoas by the way
Check out my blog in the works!

The Dorm Room Frag Farm

http://sneedaquatics.wordpress.com/

#48
matt20

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great tank so far I'm looking forward to updates!

Oh and i love the zoas by the way


Thanks for the compliments! Unfortunately, I just got rid of the zoanthids due to a zoanthid eating spider issue that I got tired of dealing with. My tank will be zoanthid-less for a month or more before reintroducing new, quarantined, pest-free frags. I did manage to frag off a few polyps of the tic-tacs (the brown/orange ones), so assuming those heal up, I should be reintroducing them sometime in the future.

Edited by matt20, 12 April 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#49
Paigee

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Only 1?! Remember, you're treating yourself here! :D

Then again, I guess it's because you don't have your 20L set up yet right? How is that coming along?


Haha yeah I knooow! But just like you said, I'm trying to limit buying until the new tank is up so that I don't have to transfer as much stuff.

The 20L prep is in cruise control, I spent an entire afternoon cleaning off dry rock and giving it a vinegar bath and boiling it, and it is now in a rubbermaid soaking in freshwater to see if it is leaching any phosphates. I just need to buy a phosphate test to determine that! :P Haha I have a list of stuff I need.. I'd really like an MP10. But really the essentials are a new heater, the AC110 and some more sand. Not transferring my sand, maybe only a scoop for any good stuff in it.

I placed another order with Cultivated Reef today. As always, the prices are great and Greg is really helpful. My last order worked out really well, so I'm looking forward to getting these next Friday:

  • Limeberry Zoanthids
  • Radioactive Zoanthids
  • Whammin Watermelon Zoanthids
  • Lavender and Green Blastomusa Wellsi (my girlfriend's request as a part of her birthday present :D ).
  • Aussie Acan, blue with red centers
  • Green Bali Slimer
  • Pink Millepora
  • Purple and Green Montipora sp.


In other news, I'm going to be moving some things from my quarantine tank into my display tank tonight. I'm not sure yet--probably the hammer coral. Then next Friday, the acans to make room for the new acquisitions. All of my frags look healthy. I have found not one pest, and they are all fully opening during the day. The one thing I have found so far is a bit of hair algae on one of the paly frags, but that's no big deal.


Can't wait to see all those! They sound amazing

#50
matt20

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Yes, I can't wait until they all get here! The worst part about ordering online is the waiting... Like a little kid in the few days leading up to Christmas.

Edited by matt20, 13 April 2012 - 12:07 AM.