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[STOCK] Apex003


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#51
Sebea

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Helfrichi....drool.....Beautiful fish.

Someday..........
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#52
apex003

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calvin- thanks very much!!! i'm really happy with how it's turned out, although the stock lights leave a lot to be desired.

sebea- if you can ever get a helfrichi (and your tank has a cover), definitely go for it! mine has the most character of any fish i've ever owned. he actually attacks the turkey baster at feeding time! i'll have to post of vid of it sometime...

#53
PaulS

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Apex003 - beautiful tank. I'm new to the forum and have an existing 40G reef tank but was thinking of setting up a 6G nano at my office. Is your's still up and running? Any problems? Any words of advice? Anything you would do differently the next time around?

Thanks!

#54
apex003

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PaulS- Thanks very much! The tanks is still set up and running fine. It's coming up on 6 months for this contest, so it's not very old, but I haven't had many problems so far. I'll shoot you a PM with some more info...

Edited by apex003, 24 November 2005 - 09:28 AM.


#55
apex003

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*****Well, I guess I'll start my official contest submissions here*****

I am very happy with how my NC6 has evolved over the past 6 months. I was very skeptical at first that the stock configuration could keep many corals happy, but I've been pleasantly surprised that I've been able to collect and successfully keep a diversity of very colorful corals that do very well under the stock 18W PC bulb. Although 6 months is a fairly short timeframe to demonstrate the creation of a well-established, healthy system, and I've had some ups and downs, I think my little nano reef has shown some considerable growth over that short time. I definitely plan to keep it running and see how it grows up. Well, enough with the chatter.... here come the pics*:

*some of these probably appear earlier in this thread, but for the sake of continuity, I'll be repeating some.

Here's the tank on 6/1/05, the first day of the contest, after the detritus had settled. I bought the tank from Chris at nanocustoms, and it came in perfect condition. 12# of beautiful, cured, Indo live rock from Chad at Reefscience, which went into the aquascape or was broken up and put into the left and middle compartments in the back. My initial plan was to do a bare bottom with the idea that I could cover the bottom with zoanthids. I've removed all the filtration (sponge, bio-balls, and ceramic rings) that came with the NC6, so this system is 100% biological filtration.

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My cycle took a little more than 3 weeks. This is from 6/29. Once I was sure all the nitros were at 0, I move over my green polyped sarcophyton, which was not doing well in the high flow of my 18g, and some small zoa frags. The sarco is one of the corals which has done extremely well in this system, as you'll see over time.

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Edited by apex003, 06 December 2005 - 06:25 PM.


#56
apex003

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Fast forward another month... This picture is on 7/29. The most notable change is the Helfrichi firefish (Pepe), and I've added several new corals. I absolutely love the firefish. He is not timid at all, is out looking for food all the time, has tons of personality, and has the coolest colors of any fish I've ever kept. The eagle eye zoas in the center have shown some of the best growth throughout the contest, which I'll show later. One bad selection I made was the featherduster. It did well for a couple months, but eventually starved, I think. You can also see the sarco is starting to come around nicely. I also decided to add some argonite sand because I didn't like the bare bottom. It was impossible to keep the detritus completely cleaned up.:





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Here's the tank on 9/2. I added a ton of new corals, as I became sure that the system was stable. All of the different mushrooms are doing very well, and my baby frag of alien eye echino has grown a LOT since I added it, just before this picture was taken. All the different LPS (echino, blasto, caulastrea, and favia) are doing extremely well in this tank. My zoanthids were a mixed bag. Some of the frags eventually died away, as you'll see in the last picture, while others have done very well. I'm not sure why that is, so if you have some feedback, please let me know. I think it correlates with those frags that I think were captive grown versus wild-caught. (another reason to buy aquacultured corals!)



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For the next month, I didn't take a lot of pics, because I was busy orchestrating the purchase and move to our new house, but here's a final full tank shot I took on 11/29. You can see, the red shroom on the bottom left has split several times, and most of the corals look very happy. The sarco has shown some especially good crown growth over the 6 months, and my blasto is very plump and growing new polyps. Most of the zoas look good, but aren't spreading as fast as I hoped, except for the eagle eyes. Those have at least doubled the number of polyps over the 6 months. I also added some really nice purple tonga mushrooms at the top, to replace some of the zoas that wasted away. The green zoas in the bottom right also died, but everything else has been very healthy.

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Edited by apex003, 06 December 2005 - 06:57 PM.


#57
Sebea

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I love your tank! Simply amazing.
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#58
apex003

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Here's a couple growth sequences I put together of the 3 corals I thought changed the most. First, the green poylp sarco. These picks are all about 2 months apart, and you can see how the crown has grown and started to take on the more characteristic wavy edge, and the polyps are much more extended in the low flow of the NC6.

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Here are my eagle eye zoas. I thought I was going to lose these guys to a zoa-eating crab that reduced my colony to about 6 polyps when I put them in. You can see him on one of the previous pages of this thread. Luckily I got the crab out, and these have probably tripled since the going into the NC6:

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One of the best growers was my alien eye echino. The first pic is actually when I received the frag, about 2 months before the contest started, but I wanted to include it to show how much these corals can color up in a healthy tank. So the acutal growth is from the second to the third pic. I think it's pretty remarkable how much this LPS has grown:

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Edited by apex003, 06 December 2005 - 07:07 PM.


#59
J86

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nice helfrichi! keep it up!! :D :D
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#60
apex003

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To keep things condensed, I put together some tiled pics of my favorite inhabitants in my NC6.

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Edited by apex003, 06 December 2005 - 07:24 PM.


#61
apex003

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Well... I think that's it for tonight, although I may add a couple more before the picture deadline. I also want to thank some of the folks:

Chris @ Nanocustoms.com for the NC6 that didn't break and the new PC bulbs. (I replaced the stock bulb with an identical bulb once during the last month of the contest)
Aaron @ WesleyReefs.com for some awesome corals!
Chad @ ReefScience.com for the LR and corals.
My beautiful fiance for putting up with my reef addiction and pretending she'd interested too.


Thanks for checking out my tank. Vote for apex... :)

#62
apex003

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I love your tank! Simply amazing.



Thanks very much Sebea!

#63
Rene

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Beautiful, just beautiful, and all that with stock lighting and flow!

#64
scarf_ace1981

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exactly the color scheme i like in a reef. great corals. i like the firefish but i think it's way overpriced. your tank is definately a piece of art.

#65
apex003

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Rene- Thank you... Yep, it's all stock lighting and flow. If I had my way, I would probably upgrade both, but for the contest that all we got... :)

scarf_ace- Thank you too. I tried really hard to find corals that would give me all the different colors to create a good color scheme. I agree with your comment on the firefish, but I have this little (read BIG) addiction to cool reef stuff that makes me inexplicably spend too much money. It's a disease... :P

#66
Fishfreak218

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lol...^^^ GREAT TANK.....i cant believe the coloring and stuff for some of this stuff w/ the stock lighting!! very cool

#67
apex003

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Thanks Fishfreak. You're right... When I started keeping reefs, low light was synonymous with ugly, drab, brown corals but the hobby has grown so much that there are so many different morphs of corals that have great color and don't require a ton of light. I also have to say that the stocker 18W PC bulb on the NC6 has a really nice blue light that brings out the color in corals. I tried an off brand replacement bulb for about 2 seconds, and the whole tank turned brown and ugly because the new bulb had so much yellow in it. That's why I had to stock up on OEM replacement bulbs from nanocustoms... Thanks Chris! It just shows how important light quality is in making your tank look good.

Edited by apex003, 07 December 2005 - 07:18 PM.


#68
Fishfreak218

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YA,,,,for a second i thought i was goin crazy...my coral looks better under the Nanocube lights...i guess thats why...lol....you solved my problem...i may need to get a retrofit kit form nanotuners for my 2.5g pico contest winner ( :P :lol: ) first i have to check the dimensions though :)

#69
frogfish

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how much do you have wrapped up in this 6 gallon wonder?

#70
71vwbug

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very nice, its put together really good....

#71
gunguy05

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HI i am planning a NC6. Any updates on your tank since the contest?

My Biocube 29 Rebuild  <--- Check it out.  I love to hear feedback -->  My other ramblings