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  • Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to community member Narzyzz_12 and his 29 gallon nano reef for being selected for our April Reef Profile. Below is the aquarium profile Narzyzz_12 has written for us sharing his experiences in the hobby and this aquarium's journey over the past three years! See what he's been up to and share your comments and questions in the comments section below. Be sure to follow his aquarium journal for additional photos, history, and information about this beautiful reef tank.

     

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    Tank Specs

    Display: Biocube 29 (22-3/8"L x 24-3/8"W x 20-5/8"H) 
    Lighting: Stock CF bulbs plus 3 TrueLumen 12" Pro Actinic LED strips (Feb 2015-May 2016) AI Hydra 52HD (May 2016 to present)
    Heater: Neotherm 100W
    Circulation: Stock return pump, Koralia Nano, Jebao PP-4
    Skimmer: Aquamaxx HOB-1
    Filtration: Filter Floss, Purigen, and Chemipure-elite housed in an inTank basket
    Top Off: Myself
    Doser: Manually Dosing (GHL 2.1 Stand Alone pump coming soon)
    Chiller: Chill Solutions CSXC-1 Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller
    Controller: None

    Established February 2015

     

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    Maintenance Routine



    Normally just after breakfast I take a quick look at the water level and compensate accordingly with RO/DI freshwater. Right after that, I take a few minutes to feed a pinch or two of New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula 1mm pellets to my fish. I also like to make it a habit to check on the life support systems, making sure the pumps are working and the temperature is between the sweet spot of 76°F - 78°F.

     

    If I get home early around the evening I like treat the fish to a combination of Hikari Mysis, Piscine Energetics Mysis, Hikari Brine Shrimp, Hikari Plankton, and Hikari Spirulina Brine Shrimp soaked in Selcon. Around this time, I take the opportunity to once again add top-off freshwater and manually dose Red Sea alkalinity and calcium supplements.

     

    The night before a weekly water change day I take my designated salt water mixing bucket fill it with RO/DI, add about 3 cups of Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, throw in a Neotherm 100w heater and a Tunze Nanostream running at full power. Right before the water change I use my trusty Salifert test kits to measure the alkanity, calcium, magnesium, nitrate and phosphate levels and take note to the weekly trends and adjust supplement dosing, feeding, and change the filter media if needed. I've also been testing the freshly mixed saltwater adding supplements to closely match the tank parameters. While siphoning the water for a change, I pick out algae that are either on the rock or frag racks.

    Fish

     

    • Clownfish
    • Yellow Watchman Goby that dwells in the third chamber
    • Starry Blenny

    Soft Coral

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    • Sunny Delights Zoanthids
    • Pulsating Xenia
    • Leather Corals
    • Pink Zippers
    • Yellow Brick Zoanthids
    • Green Ricordia

    LPS Coral

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    • A variety of Acans
    • CB Vitamin Chalice
    • Dragon Eye Favia
    • Kryptonite Canes
    • Green Pinstripe Platygra
    • CB Fuego Chalice
    • Duncan
    • WWC Jelly Bean Chalice (recently acquired)

    SPS Coral

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    • Jedi Mind Trick Montipora
    • Minty Green Blue Montipora with Blue polyps
    • Sunset Montipora
    • Mystic Sunset Montipora
    • Blue Haze Montipora
    • Rainbow Montipora 
    • Red Setosa
    • Grafted Setosa
    • CB Millipora Sp.
    • CB Phoenix Montipora

    Inverts

    • 3 Pacific Blue Leg Hermits
    • 1 Red Hermit Crabs
    • 1 Halloween Hermit
    • 1 Mexican Zebra Turbo Snail
    • 4 Astraea Snails

    History

    My passion for the hobby can be traced back to my starter 10 gallon freshwater community tank that I set up back in 2008. At this point guppies, platties and corydoras were all the rage. Flash forward a couple years to 2010 while on a trip to the Naples Fish Store with a cousin (Former Reefer). I got my first glimpse of the reefing hobby, but I held off trying it out, mostly because the funds weren’t available. In 2014 when I got my first job, after work each day I would make it a priority to visit the Barrier Reef of Naples LFS. Gluing my face on the display systems, endlessly bugging the staff (the real MVPs), I finally bit the bullet and purchased the BioCube from Drs. Foster and Smith during their Black Friday Sale. Despite the purchase, I had not yet set it up because of the lack of equipment, knowledge, and space.

     

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    Early 2016

     

    During my winter break of 2015, I finally gathered the bread and butter necessary to start my first saltwater tank! After setting up a dedicated area for my fish tank, I bought 21 pounds of live rock and 30 gallons of saltwater from the local fish store. In the months following that I would begin to fill my tank with corals, quickly bringing it to life. The following year I decided to upgrade my light to a sleek and sexy AI Prime, mainly because I wanted to add some encrusting Montipora. After mounting the light I thought to myself, "Why don't I just upgrade the the AI Hydra 52 HD and save myself some money when I upgrade to a larger tank?" but as things turned out, I kept the BioCube running and instead began adding Acropora. Since the upgrade the growth rate and coloration of every most corals have reached new peaks!

     

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    May 2016

     

    This growth would continue smoothly until late 2016, when I came across my first dilemma, and bryopsis algae began spreading in my tank. This led to me having to take action to prevent the tank from being overrun. After reading a couple threads, I decided to implement the elevated magnesium strategy. This worked initially, but it was only a temporary solution, and the bryopsis would make a comeback each time the magnesium levels dropped below 1600ppm.

     

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    Early 2017

     

    As if matters couldn’t get any worse, Hurricane Irma took a turn toward Southwest Florida in September 2017 and along with it unforetold destruction. During the first couple days the corals were exhibiting very impressive polyp extension even though the light were off, feeding was kept to a minimal and the sole source of circulation were battery operated air pump as well as the hourly manual water agitation. After pushing it for 11 days the acropora began to under go rapid tissue necrosis. At this point after going through several bags of ice, packs of batteries and water changes the situation didn’t seem to be improving anytime soon. To my surprise the next day the power came back and with it hope that the reef could recover. The following weeks as a result of the die off bryopsis along with hair green algae came back with vengeance.

     

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    Nighttime Actinic Lighting

     

    Thankfully 2017 was the year the Silver bullet that would kill bryopsis was discovered. I was a skeptical at first, but after testing it in my Nuvo 8 the results were promising. Now I’m glad to say that after a couple half dose Fluconzole treatments, bryopsis is a thing of the past while a few GHA patch arise every so often.

    Inspiration

    Some of the aquarist that have inspired me are El Fabuloso, DeMartini, PodRods, PodPimp, pj86, Razarmi, teenyreef, Polarcollison, MetroKat, PongPit, Dustyuk, MikeC120, Valentina84, ReefBum, MuchoReef, Sanjay Joshi, Michael Paletta, along with countless others.

    Future Plans

    The BioCube will continue to run for a long as possible, so instead of taking down the tank that started it all I’ll just set another system up. During the summer I will hopefully be ready to once again venture into the Acropora realm. As the next Hurricane season approaching I plan to invest in a backup air pump as well as a reliable generator, and if all else fails simply scooping up and pouring in water for a few minutes will help tremendously if disaster strikes again.

    Words of Wisdom

    An aquarium with all the bells and whistle isn’t required to maintain a thriving reef. We all love the neat gadgets, but sometimes they just aren’t necessary. Water changes may be old school, but when working with a small volume of water they can’t be overlooked. Having multiple tanks in house is better than a single system.

     

    @Narzyzz_12

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    Nice tank my friend has a 325 gal reef all automated by ipad he never doses he believes in constant water changes his tank is sick soft and hard corals

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    Congrats!  Very nice tank.  I like all the textures!

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    Congratulations on TOM. I like that you made it through the power outage. I know there must have been a few days that made you wonder if there would be any livestock left. I hope this hobby continues to be rewarding for you. The tank looks fantastic!

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    Awesome tank, sorry I missed this.  Congrats on TOTM!

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    Great inspiration. I have my biocube 29 on a re-start after an outbreak of cyano and GH and complete tank teardown. Fired up to get mine full of corals.

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    Gorgeous tank - and an inspiration to us as we restart our biocube 29.

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