lakshwadeep

The 20H Atoll

156 posts in this topic

EDIT: This tank has been taken down. You can follow my new tank here:

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...view=getnewpost

 

I guess it's time for me to start a tank thread. This would have recently been a Fiji Totoka biotope since I had all totoka rock and a shrimpgoby/pistol shrimp which can be found in Fiji. Now it's an Indo-Pacific "biotope". I call this an atoll mainly because the word atoll came from the Maldives (an Indian Ocean island chain).

 

This is my only tank for 5 years, but I've restarted it (usually after a hiatus) 3 times. Coincidentally, the 20H dimensions fits perfectly on a night stand. Since I don't change the tank, I count the dates by the times I've changed live rock (at this rate, I'll have enough dead rock for a hundred gallon!). All the dead rock ends up in the small plot near the front porch. The current rock was introduced on June 20.

 

The latest restart happened because of caulerpa overgrowing the tank during my 3-week visit to India. I had noticed some strange "hair" algae on the rocks (10 mos. old) that had thick thalli ("stems). Little did I know that the thalli soon extended to have the tell tale "cups" of a caulerpa. So, I took out the rock and replaced it with rock from a local reefer's established tank. I have to say that this rock is better than most rock I've seen online or any LFS rock for sale.

 

Besides some easy softies, I've often stuck with a FOWLR (or just "OLR" :D ) setup because I only had PCs until this year. This was also helpful when I was studying for AP tests in high school. Yes, I knew many corals could be kept under PCs, but I didn't really care for them. I find more enjoyment in observing and learning about the smaller organisms that go unnoticed in larger tanks or the ocean. The only corals that I have desired are stony corals like Acroporas and Montiporas, and I've been waiting a long time to buy the proper lighting to keep them. I guess I was lucky to have an SPS frag on the astraea.

 

Display Equipment:


  • 1 20 high glass tank (marineland)
  • 4x24W retrofit T5-HO with Icecap reflectors from reefgeek.com
  • 7/14/09> bulbs : ATI blue plus, ATI blue plus, UVL Actinic White, ATI blue plus
  • 1 Vortech mp20 pump
  • 1 Visitherm Stealth heater <Major con is the lack of an indicator light
  • 1 Hydor theo heater
  • 20lb Live rock from another established tank (multiple sources)

Current Introduced Livestock:

  • 2 Nassarius snails (I'm worried about starving them)
  • 3 Cerith Snails
  • 1 green SPS coral frag growing on the astraea's shell (Pocillopora sp. - thanks SDT!)
  • 1 small mushroom (green/yellow spots)

Hitchhikers:

  • many Small blue Mushrooms
  • 1? Chiton (nocturnal)
  • ? Micro brittle stars (from older totoka rock)
  • ? Collonista snails (also nocturnal; they're like mini turbos)
  • ? Feather dusters and Christmas tree worms (most on a specific "feather duster" rock)
  • ? Vermetid snails (I always think they're stealing food from the dusters)
  • ? Foraminiferans (one "large" branching individual, many white ones and a few small red ones)
  • ? Sponges (yellow, white, pink/red, light blue)
  • ? Coralline algae (blue, yellow, purple, some red)
  • ? Possibly some mysterious mysis-like shrimp (they stay on the underside of the overhangs)
  • ? Digitate hydroids (from some old chaeto :X )
  • many Aiptasia (now an infestation)

 

Pics:

I've tried to adjust the colors with iPhoto to reflect the actual appearance. My Canon Powershot was bad with white balance, and there is always too much/little blue with not enough reds. I'm still not completely satistfied. EDIT: These pics are from the setup. Check the latest posts for more recent pictures.

 

FTS (shadows too dark):

 

IMG_0263.jpg

 

View from lefthand pane:

 

IMG_0270.jpg

 

Two pics (unaltered) using flash of my favorite rock having blue, yellow, and purple coralline (the brownish "encrusting" algae is annoying but easily removed)

 

IMG_0242.jpg

 

IMG_0243.jpg

 

This photo is the closest to what my actual lighting looks like:

 

IMG_0240.jpg

 

Mobile frag rack:

 

IMG_0229.jpg

Edited by lakshwadeep

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looks great. kind of barren for being "5 years old" though. i would call that a new tank ;)

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It's about time! Nice rock, but put some more stuff in there. :P

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looks great. kind of barren for being "5 years old" though. i would call that a new tank ;)

 

:happy: Reading is good for you. The tank itself is five years old, but the rock has been there for only 2 months.

 

lalani: I'm waiting awhile to get some sps frags. I want the tank to just have a few corals the grow to a large size.

Edited by lakshwadeep

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Love the mobile frag rack how the hell did you do that

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Pocillo's spawn like that....I got babies all over my tank.

 

I have had crabs steal shells with frags on them too.

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Thanks seedemtails for the info. I got the snail with the rock b/c the owner was breaking down his tank. I was wondering how the snail could stay still long enough for the coral to attach! :lol: Ironically, I turned down the owner's offer of some actual corals, mostly SPS, for a low price.

 

You can see in the pic that the snail appears to have 2 shells fused together. I think the colony was larger before, shown by the skeleton and was stinging the snail's body.

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Looking good, you have some great color in there, it's beautiful.

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Finally, I have a picture of my goby and pistol shrimp:

IMG_0288.jpg

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:tears: Horrible update. Today I found my goby shriveled up on the carpet next to the stand. I was wondering why my pistol was snapping yesterday evening and today morning since it rarely does that. I also learned that the air conditioning had been turned off, and the tank temp shot up to the high 80s.

 

I guess this is the final, and worst, reason for me to start making a screen top for the tank. I think I will give away the pistol since isn't totally reef safe (attacked shaving brush algae, collonistas, sessile animals on the rock, and possibly a Rainford's goby).

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Crud, sorry about the goby, lak. :(

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Thanks. I'll focus on corals and all the filter feeders in the tank. I've already seen that the largest foraminiferans have kind of shrivelled and pulled in their feeding "hairs". I may get some masked gobies or trimmas so they can help eat excess cyclopeeze. I kept the pistol only for the goby's sake, and I don't want to have it near any small fish.

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Well, I made a semi-impulsive move after having the only the shrimp for weeks: I bought a red firefish. Recently, I also bought a peppermint shrimp after realizing that the single aiptasia had a couple of babies on various parts of the rocks. For a few days, I thought it was a useless purchase since it was always hiding during the day, and none of the aiptasia seemed to be eaten. But, today, I finally found, or can't find, two of the biggest "baby" aiptasias were gone. :)

 

Some pictures (sorry if it's blurry; I can't turn off the pumps without the firefish freaking out and starting to rush up to the surface :scarry: ):

 

I did a rescape because I have an aversion to rocks touching the sand.

IMG_0292.jpg

 

Using flash for the rock in the foreground

IMG_0305.jpg

 

neon green hydroids (they fluoresce nicely under the blues) growing through a yellow sponge

IMG_0306.jpg

 

the mobile frag rack is immobile for very long periods now; I wonder if the astraea will die...

IMG_0312.jpg

 

Feather duster rock (on left side of FTS)

IMG_0314.jpg

 

Firefish (very skittish)

IMG_0320.jpg

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Yay! You posted pics! :flower:

Those hydroids are something else, wow! I'll trade you for mine!

And congrats on the new fish, do you have eggcrate or screen covering the top?

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Sorry to hear about your goby.

 

On the upside your new scape looks cool. My GF says she is jelious of your Fire Fish. I am a meanie and I wont let her get one for my tank.

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Oh man, thats great. I love how you rock is low. I like that scaping. I also am jealous of that pair... I want one! :)

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When I got my 4x24W T5 retro kit, I didn't realize that the bulbs+reflectors+DIY "canopy" would barely fit above the tank (including the plastic bracing). So, I've been using the canopy as a simple cover with some cardstock edges for the sides where the endcaps leave more than enough space for the firefish to jump through.

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Ah, k. I wanted a firefish in the 10gal, but since it's open top for a reason, that's not going to happen. Besides, I might be adding some mini nems to it. :ninja:

 

Glad that the pep shrimp seems to be getting after those sneaky aptasia, hehe.

And I forgot if you mentioned it, but where did you get the rocks from?

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Possibly from temporary insanity, I decided to move the entire tank so I can see it from 3 sides. While i had the rock, livestock, and most of the water out, I scraped as much coralline as I could from the former back wall. There is still some spots remaining, but I morbidly know that they will die and fall off from extended exposure to air.

 

I've also altered the aquascaping, and I'll try to post pics soon.

 

New livestock:

two peppermint shrimp to replace the one that probably was killed by the pistol shrimp (which I sold to the LFS)

one small mushroom (yellow spots on blue)

one piece of flexible red algae (came with a free polyp underneath-possibly cloves)

 

Objectives:

 

destroy the new aiptasia epidemic

start dosing for upcoming SPS (I've ordered b-ionic and calcium/alkalinity tests)

find a way of attaching the now immobile frag rack up on the rocks (turbo keeps knocking it down)

Edited by lakshwadeep

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OMG....... you actually added stuff?! :o

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OMG....... you actually added stuff?! :o

 

I don't know what's gotten into me. I guess staring at the sponges underneath the rocks got boring. :happy:

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Haha, well lucky us!

And the new configuration of the tank should be interesting to see also. I know I like having three viewing panes on the 10gal tank. :)

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I like this tank. :)

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do you have a pic of your canopy. i am looking into getting the icecap retro and looking for some canopy ideas....tanks looks great btw

 

also are you overdriving the bulbs w/ the 660 ballast? i can really only afford to get the 2 bulbs if i get the 660 ballast, and then i was going to upgrade 2 bulbs later. or do you think 4 bulbs w/ smaller ballast is fine? thanks

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do you have a pic of your canopy. i am looking into getting the icecap retro and looking for some canopy ideas....tanks looks great btw

 

also are you overdriving the bulbs w/ the 660 ballast? i can really only afford to get the 2 bulbs if i get the 660 ballast, and then i was going to upgrade 2 bulbs later. or do you think 4 bulbs w/ smaller ballast is fine? thanks

 

Here's a diagram of my setup. It's not really a canopy (I don't have a hanging kit, yet):

Image3.jpg

 

I made it using a piece of ?pine? which was 36"x2.5"x0.75". I then cut it at the 12" and 24" mark to form pairs of "A" and "B" segments. The icecap stand-offs ("C") are barely under 2.5" in width, and the reflectors are 2.6" in width. I first joined the A and B segments to form the frame, and then I setup one bulb, complete with stand-offs, endcaps, and reflector to mark the distances between each stand-off.

 

I don't overdrive my T5s. The ballasts I have are Universal Accustart.

Edited by lakshwadeep

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