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My little POTO- SPS heavy mixed reef


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#1
Slowtwitch

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After many years of running freshwater aquaria I've finally gotten up the nerve to venture into the saltwater arena.  I've been lurking here on the site for several weeks trying to learn as much as I can and think I've got a pretty good handle on what is going to be involved in this build.  Since this tank is most likely going to be a trial run to see if my husbandry skills are up to the challenge of a larger display tank, I am taking this slow and small.  I am re-purposing a lot of equipment that I had lying around in storage from past FW tanks with the intent that they will eventually be a part of a sump or fuge for the larger tank. The one thing I have purchased new is a light for the future corals.  It has not yet arrived from the manufacturer so I am stuck with an old fluorescent fixture until it gets here.
 
I am much more interested in a coral/invert tank than one stocked with a bunch of fish and will build accordingly. I may never put a fish in this build.
 
I started the tank several weeks ago with RO/DI water and sand.  Dosed some ammonia and bacteria and waited for the cycle to start.  Once I was seeing nitrates develop I ordered live rock from Gulf Live Rock to get the cycle kicked into high gear.  I am soft cycling the tank at this point due to the large amount of life present on the rock that arrived last week. I also added one piece of dry rock to round out the scape. Still not sure if I like this layout, but I'll wait to move stuff to see what lives and dies.
 
So far I have found several jewel box clams, a turkey wing, at least 4 types of macro algae, sponges galore, a couple small colonies of tube/cup? corals (bleached), a couple of smooth flower corals (Eusmilia fastiginia?), a couple of tiny anemones, several bristle worms, limpets, snails and a small mantis shrimp (less than an inch long) which I hope to keep until he outgrows the tank.
 
The live rock has been in the tank about a week and I can already see algal growth but I will wait until parameters are in check before adding any further stock.
 
Current equipment:
 
Tank: standard 10 gal with 1.5 inch black sand bed
10 lbs Gulf Live Rock
5 lbs dry South Seas Rock
 
Filtration: Whisper 30 HOB + 1 AC 20 PH
 
Lighting: Currently fluorescent fixture- waiting on a Nano 60 from Reef Radiance
 
Salinity at 1.025
 
pH at 8
 
Ammonia is still being generated from some of the die off on the live rock and nitrates fluctuate with the daily water changes.
 
Photos are from a phone camera until my wife teaches me how to use her fancy camera.
 
e9387839-6e51-4e45-9cd5-9c012d85aef1_zps
 
 
20150111_1321381_zps54df0193.jpg


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#2
Cove

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Awesome start and a great aquascape!


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#3
Slowtwitch

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So this little guy poked his head out yesterday.  He's the biggest of about 8 that I have seen so far and the only one that I can get a picture of due to their location.  About the size of a grain of barley. Any thoughts as to what he might be? Please don't say aiptasia.  He's obviously not that...

 

100_3576_zps4526ba16.jpg


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#4
Slowtwitch

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Got my new light today.  Can't believe how much of a difference it makes in how the tank looks.  So much more color than the fluorescent fixture that was on it. The white of the base rock glows.  B)

Still experiencing a bit of die off from the partially frozen live rock shipment so not quite ready for the CUC, but on the plus side my little mantis made an appearance for the first time in about 5 days.  I think he's hungry.  Time to get some mysis for him. :)


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#5
Matthewdvm

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That's a crazy amount of life on those live rocks!  I hear you on the corals/inverts and limiting the vertebrate life.  I have a 30 gallon FW tank that is probably overstocked in the fish department, so I'm planning on minimal fish stock on the reef.


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#6
Pinner Reef

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Think the blob might be a strawberry nem. Look them up and see if that's what you have. They're totally harmless BTW


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Words and such


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#7
Slowtwitch

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Think the blob might be a strawberry nem. Look them up and see if that's what you have. They're totally harmless BTW

Since this rock is from the Tampa Bay area and they are native to the pacific, I'm guessing that's not it. Thanks for the input though!

#8
Slowtwitch

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I have diatoms and pods on the glass this morning!
Ammonia finally down to 0.  Still some nitrates, so I will continue the big water changes for a couple of more days. Decided to put in a mini CUC to celebrate while I wait for a break in the weather to get the full crew from John at Reef Cleaners. A couple of blue leg hermits went straight to work on getting the rocks cleaned up.  While I was at the LFS getting the crabs I saw a couple of really nice mini zoa colonies so I bought them and asked them to hold them for a few more days until I get the nitrates down some more. They also had a couple of nice looking ricordea and a fairly nice rock flower nem that I considered getting but thought I better not rush it.  Two of the zoa colonies have what I suspect to be aiptasia on the plugs. I will certainly have the hot soldering iron out and ready before those go into the tank.
My little mantis was out and about quite a bit today.  Seems like a smart little fella.  I started feeding him frozen mysis from a turkey baster a couple of days ago and today as soon as the baster came out he was out of his hole and looking for the food.  He's so fast it's really hard to get a good picture of him right now. I hope he won't stay camera shy forever.


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#9
da1001

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Did somebody say mantis?  Hope he doesn't sleep in the same room as you lol  B)


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#10
Slowtwitch

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Did somebody say mantis?  Hope he doesn't sleep in the same room as you lol  B)


That was where I wanted the tank, but the wife vetoed it. :-( I think he's so cool. I hope to keep him a long time.
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#11
da1001

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As long as you are happy with a potentially loud roommate, all the better  B)



#12
Slowtwitch

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Added my first corals last night.  So far today they look happy and healthy.  Will post thumbnails until I can get some time to upload better pics.

Scored a God of War that wasn't supposed to be in the frag tank, and two others that they weren't positive of the names so ID on the green (possibly Incredible hulk?) and pink would be appreciated.


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#13
DurocShark

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Nice.

 

Where's the FTS with the new corals?


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#14
Slowtwitch

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Nice.

 

Where's the FTS with the new corals?

I'll post one once I decide where to place them.  Right now they are sitting on the sand bed.



#15
ajmckay

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So this little guy poked his head out yesterday.  He's the biggest of about 8 that I have seen so far and the only one that I can get a picture of due to their location.  About the size of a grain of barley. Any thoughts as to what he might be? Please don't say aiptasia.  He's obviously not that...

 

100_3576_zps4526ba16.jpg

 

It's a corallimorph of some sort.  Probably Corynactis - referred to as strawberry anemone, however, I'm certain there are species also native to the gulf.  Alternatively it could be Pseudocorynactis caribbaeorum

 

I had similar ones in a previous tank and when I fed them they grew to about 1".  

 

100_3576_zps4526ba16.jpg

Nice tank BTW.  Looks like lots of stuff on your rocks!  It's cool now but it looks like you've got some algae that should probably be reeled in sooner than later... 

 

Anyways, good luck with the tank and with figuring out your wife's camera!



#16
Slowtwitch

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It's a corallimorph of some sort.  Probably Corynactis - referred to as strawberry anemone, however, I'm certain there are species also native to the gulf.  Alternatively it could be Pseudocorynactis caribbaeorum

 

I had similar ones in a previous tank and when I fed them they grew to about 1".  

 

100_3576_zps4526ba16.jpg

Nice tank BTW.  Looks like lots of stuff on your rocks!  It's cool now but it looks like you've got some algae that should probably be reeled in sooner than later... 

 

Anyways, good luck with the tank and with figuring out your wife's camera!

What did you feed yours?  This doesn't seem to want anything I have offered. (that I can tell anyway)  The algae is being addressed.  I have an order from John waiting for a break in the weather and in the meantime I have added a couple of blue leg hermits.  Nitrates were high while the tank was cycling, but under control now.



#17
Mr. Microscope

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100_3576_zps4526ba16.jpg

umm. has no one noticed the receded LPS on the right? With a little care, those could turn into something cool, possibly acans.

#18
ajmckay

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I fed mine small pieces of mysis and some of my seafood concoctions.  I had the most success feeding them after lights out.

 

I need to get an order in with him as well...  My tank is still cooking, but hopefully things will taper off soon and I can add a CUC.  I'm quarantining some fish currently.

 

And +1 to also getting some additional nutrition to some of the other corals that aren't in such good shape.  Might need something a bit smaller, but I would start trying to notice if these guys are opening up at all, especially at night after lights out.



#19
Slowtwitch

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umm. has no one noticed the receded LPS on the right? With a little care, those could turn into something cool, possibly acans.


I believe those are smooth flower corals if we are looking at the same thing. They do come out after lights out and yes I am trying different things to feed them. Suggestions are welcome.

#20
Slowtwitch

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New FTS. Moved things slightly to give a more open feel.  Also gave me more places to put corals higher in the tank.  Picked up a few more frags today and will post pictures of their placements once they settle in. My frags are not quite this nice, but these are the mother colonies. :D

 

IMG_41661_zpsda38907c.jpg

 

IMG_25541_zpse9a074f5.jpg

 

IMG_18421_zps0deeb3a4.jpg

 

IMG_06061_zps1d9026d6.jpg

 

4cdbab30-1283-411f-86f2-c082805f59f6_zps


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#21
Matthewdvm

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New FTS. Moved things slightly to give a more open feel.  Also gave me more places to put corals higher in the tank.  Picked up a few more frags today and will post pictures of their placements once they settle in. My frags are not quite this nice, but these are the mother colonies. :D
 
IMG_41661_zpsda38907c.jpg
 
IMG_25541_zpse9a074f5.jpg
 
IMG_06061_zps1d9026d6.jpg
 


Nice choices. I especially like the three I quoted above (and most of all #1 and #3). Any idea of their names?
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#22
Slowtwitch

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Nice choices. I especially like the three I quoted above (and most of all #1 and #3). Any idea of their names?

#1 is Sunny D's, #2 are Rastas and #3 are Mohawks.  At least that is how they were sold to me...



#23
Matthewdvm

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The mohawks are awesome.  I'll have to keep an eye out for them.

 

Head on over to my thread - posted a picture of the Tubb's Blue there...


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#24
markalot

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The one negative to more followers is when you get one who's always demanding updates.

 

So, where is the update?  :D  

 

I had the hardest time starting most of my tanks when I was just getting into reefing.  I think purchasing quality live rock should go a long way to helping.  If you have issues you might also want to look into something like ProdBio to use until the box runs out, just to help push things along.  That is IF you run into problems, and hopefully you won't!


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#25
Slowtwitch

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The one negative to more followers is when you get one who's always demanding updates.

 

So, where is the update?   :D

 

I had the hardest time starting most of my tanks when I was just getting into reefing.  I think purchasing quality live rock should go a long way to helping.  If you have issues you might also want to look into something like ProdBio to use until the box runs out, just to help push things along.  That is IF you run into problems, and hopefully you won't!

So far no major problems.  I am starting to get a bit of cyano growing on things and I've noticed a bit more algal growth than I'd like.  My LFS is brand new and not very well stocked so I'm kind of at the mercy of the weather/USPS waiting on a shipment from John to round out me CUC. Temps in the single digits don't make for good shipping conditions.  Learned that the hard way with my live rock. I'm actually surprised that anything on it survived. I intend to get more pics tomorrow when I have some time to play with the camera.


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