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AJ_Tsin

AJ_Tsin's Zeo 47g Shallow. NEW FTS

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Chris!

Tank looks great, love all the acros!!! :)

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AJ_Tsin

Looking great, but more importantly I really appreciate all the documentation on your experiences, feeding, growth over time pics, etc. Very helpful!

Thanks. Glad it goes appreciated. Generally I try to offer as much unbiased "info" and methodology as I can so the thread isn't just self promotion to some build I assume others will care about, instead I hope people ask questions or learn from the documentation and rationalization of why things are added or done.

 

Tank looks great, love all the acros!!! :)

Thankyou, I am feeling very good about this build. I am really curious to see how these frags grow out I made a conscious decision to try and avoid colonies for this build, mostly to slow things down and appreciate the growth. I plan on treating the frags themselves almost like Bonsai, fragging and trimming branches to style the growth. Especially the single branch ones, as they stretch out plan is cut cut the tips and glue them onto the base to create 3 or 4 little frags on same plug that will grow together eventually forming mini "nano" colonies.

 

Not sure if this is possible or how it will work out, but I figured the focus on this reef will be to get a lot of frags upfront and then spend next year or two styling and tending to it...

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Chris!

Thankyou, I am feeling very good about this build. I am really curious to see how these frags grow out I made a conscious decision to try and avoid colonies for this build, mostly to slow things down and appreciate the growth. I plan on treating the frags themselves almost like Bonsai, fragging and trimming branches to style the growth. Especially the single branch ones, as they stretch out plan is cut cut the tips and glue them onto the base to create 3 or 4 little frags on same plug that will grow together eventually forming mini "nano" colonies.

 

Not sure if this is possible or how it will work out, but I figured the focus on this reef will be to get a lot of frags upfront and then spend next year or two styling and tending to it...

 

Thats a good plan for sure, look forward to watching it grow out! :)

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AJ_Tsin

Thats a good plan for sure, look forward to watching it grow out! :)

Me too.

 

Couple more shots closeups of the Shortcake and Yellow Mille

DSC01781.jpg

 

DSC01790-1.jpg

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GtTap

Why dont my acros look like yours.

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Reefmaster1996
Clam has settled in and the Purple Tang has shown absolutely no interest in eating it which is good news. Again I know this isn't common but my tang is constantly trying to pick off hermit crabs and snails when they are out and about. It doesn't get them because they close up too quick however, I thought it might go after the clam mantle as a result of his interest in inverts. Not the case so far.

Not much else has changed. I am still chasing down a few more frags. Some Digitata, another Monti Plate, an Oregon Tort, a RR Wolverine, Purple Dragon, and Wicked Sunrise. I found someone who has most of this for me, but I have to wait until I have time to go to his place...

 

After I get these last few stony frags I plan on holding off on adding any SPS for a few months while things grow out and fill in on the top.

 

 

In terms of husbandry, I am lowering my ZeoStart Dose from the label recommended 0.4 ml a day, to 0.3 ml a day to attempt to fine tune the carbon dosing and eliminate some brown film and bubbling on rocks and glass late in the photo period.

I will also be trying to feed several times a day in very very small doses instead of once. I think this will have a huge impact on livestock behaviour and nutrient stability. On the reef fish and corals are opportunistic and constantly looking for things to eat, so I would rather give them a similar habitat at home with frequent small feedings. I think these small nutrient spikes throughout the day will be far more balanced for a nano as well instead of once a day. Do not confuse this with adding more food!! I do not plan on increasing amounts of food to be added just dispersing the type and times a bit more to make everything a bit more natural, as if the food is just occurring or floating by, instead of dumping a bunch of pellets at 5:30 each day for a few minutes.

 

Will be plumbing in a 20g or 30g long frag tank in the basement and adding an APEX controller to replace the RKL at some point in the coming months.

 

Once I have this all set up I hope to be able to sell some frags here and there. I have already accumulated some pretty high end pieces so hopefully I can finance a bit of the hobby with the frag tank.

 

I'm having he same issue with the film algae, and reducing zeostart helped, then I want back to normal reccomended dosage and they appeared again, thanks for confirming my assumption.

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AJ_Tsin

Why dont my acros look like yours.

 

Well I looked through your thread. Probably need to know a bit about your maintenance schedule and where you keep your trace elements... and nutrients to know for sure...

 

Without knowing anything about your particular situation really here are maybe the top 8 reasons (in order of importance) the SPS in this system are doing well. (all of this is my opinion, but I am fairly certain its accurate) This list also assumes your bioload is acceptable for your system size.

 

#1. Cooking Rock and Soaking Sand. Before putting anything into the display I took some dead rock and soaked it for weeks and weeks first in RODI and then cured it in Salt water (google cooking live rock, NOT IN AN OVEN). I made sure to draw out ALLLL the PO4 and nutrients before doing anything with it. I also rinsed the sand in a pillowcase with tap water, then with RODI and then soaked it all... this step combined with using nothing but RODI makes sure that the rock and sand and water have nothing leaching and contributing to any nutrients.

 

#2. Schedule: Weekly water changes including sand bed vacuuming. Carbon and other media changing regularly.

 

#3. Lighting: I have a massive ATI T5 fixture with a decent bulb combo.

 

#4. Basic good habits and extra effort: Blasting Rocks with Turkey baster, feeding properly (not too much rinsing frozen foods etc), cleaning glass and replacing filter floss, cleaning up messes and detritus.

 

#5. Other good equipment: Skimmer, Filter floss, Zeo Reactor etc.

 

#6. Mild OCD...

 

#7. ZeoVit system. This has a big part of the look of my corals, however I put it near the end intentionally because even before running a Zeo reef I was happy with my livestock and the look, ZeoVit allows you to take it to the next level and tweak or optimize colours, but is not needed to move away from browned out corals.

 

#8. Photography. I properly white balance and expose the shots and also add a lower contrast filter to emulate an even "eyeball" like look to the image. They aren't really flashy photos and the somewhat washed out look is not what many people look for in aquarium photography but I think it properly represents my lighting spectrum and how my tank looks with all 8 Bulbs of the ATI on.

 

If you want to let me know your parameters and what you do to keep your tank stable and clean, I would be happy to help.

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metrokat

Great coral pictures. That clam is beautiful, I love green and gold on clams.

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AJ_Tsin

Great coral pictures. That clam is beautiful, I love green and gold on clams.

Thanks! Means a lot glad to have you stop by.

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GtTap

Dkh 9.5 cal 420 mag 1360. Do water changes every 2 weeks (reef crystals) was using red sea pro, also vacuum sand. I run a skimmer rated for 65 gallons carbon and gfo.

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JR!

hey aj if you have some time would you mind taking some shot of the whole setup that you have in the basement for the sump and such <3

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AJ_Tsin

Dkh 9.5 cal 420 mag 1360. Do water changes every 2 weeks (reef crystals) was using red sea pro, also vacuum sand. I run a skimmer rated for 65 gallons carbon and gfo.

 

Hmm levels seem decent, and you said you are getting growth in your video... any coralline growing? how about nutrients? Nitrates? Phosphates? Any algae growing anywhere? Using RODI overfeeding etc etc?

 

If its not nutrients or lighting, What about temp stability and top off water? It could just be the corals have not really settled down or are being stressed by salinity swings and temp swings etc... almost any SPS tank on here has a decent ATO system in place, the smaller the system this becomes more and more important as your salinity can change drastically in a day with evap. SPS will not like this.

 

I would start by water changing weekly instead of biweekly and go from there, trying to keep everything as stable as possible.

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GtTap

I have a jbj ato and a brs rodi. temp is between 78 and 80. po4 was 0 last time i checked with hanna kit. havent tested the others in a long time. coraline growing slow and only glass film algae.

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Arkayology

Tried to layout a few more "progress type shots" This is all in the past month give or take a few days, some have only been in the system for a couple weeks... Other than the obvious colour changes I am noticing significant thickening up with a ton of polyp growth mid coral rather than just at the tips... I assume the extremely bright ATI fixture is allowing the corals to grow outward instead of upward which will likely make for some great mini colonies..

 

 

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:wub::wub::wub:

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AJ_Tsin

I have a jbj ato and a brs rodi. temp is between 78 and 80. po4 was 0 last time i checked with hanna kit. havent tested the others in a long time. coraline growing slow and only glass film algae.

Hmm you seem to have a lot covered. If all is well it doesn't make sense only thing I could think of is the bioload in the 20g could be too high. 2 clowns and a wrasse is quite a bit for a 20g. It could also be just time is needed for them to settle down and become comfortable, you said you have moved around the scape a bunch stuff like that? All of that contributes to SPS stress. Lastly it could be they aren't nice pieces of coral which is possible too. The pieces I am adding are expensive and fairly high end, but I have one blueish frag I got from a guy that has blue tips but is mostly brown and stays that way. I am giving it some time over next few months to see if it lightens up but if it doesn't I will trade it with the LFS or sell it and replace it.

 

:wub::wub::wub:

Thought people might like these...

 

hey aj if you have some time would you mind taking some shot of the whole setup that you have in the basement for the sump and such <3

I can for sure.

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GtTap

It could be the scape changing that's stressing them, I'll try to not mess with it. Also I was thinking maybe my feeding for the corals arnt right. Maybe you can help me here to figure out a good feeding schedule. So I have the zeovit nano pack and I also have aquavitro fuel. I feed corals and fish frozen food pellets and flakes.

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AJ_Tsin

This is the fish room. Its an unfinished basement in a home that just turned 101 yrs old so theres not really anything I can do to make it clean. Its a cellar more than a basement.

Posted about this back in the thread but here it is again. Fairly messy with wires right now primarily because of the Ad Hoc Quarantine tank to the right (not pictured).


Full room.
DSC01842.jpg
Tank on the right is fresh RO/DI for a gravity fed ATO. Tank on upper left is the sump. You can see greyish tubes coming down through the ceiling for the overflow. Tank on bottom left is just a mixing vessel for fresh salt water. I leave a maxi jet in here and at least 5 gallons of heated water ready at all times. If you look closely you can see black e-tape lines on this tank so I can quickly identify 5,10 and 15 gallon water levels making everything easier for salt mixing water changing etc. Water changes are easy as I just syphon out into buckets and pump fresh water from below with the maxi jet. Reef Keeper Light and powercenter as well as an array of power bars are mounted. I plan on swapping this out for an APEX and eliminating all of the power bars and cable tangles eventually.

DSC01839.jpg
I keep fresh water, additives supplies and tools all handy on these shelves. The upper right portion close to the sump will be used to hold a plumbed in frag tank soon.

DSC01835.jpg
Sump housing Vertex Omega 130 Skimmer, Vertex Zeolite Reactor, Titanium Heater, Live Rock, ATO and Return Pump. You can more clearly see the overflow and return lines in upper left. You can see the angled pipe on the vertex Zeo reactor, I couldn't fit the reactor in a separate chamber than the skimmer but I wanted to make sure the mulm and output makes it into the display to feed to corals so I angled the output line over the baffle and into the next chamber.
These steel shelves have begun to rust over time, they are not stainless, the structural integrity seems uncompromised but some day I will likely have to swap them up, I have ball valves and threaded junctions throughout the plumbing upstairs so to turn things off and swap things out will be easy.

DSC01831.jpg
Overflow line pours down through this tower, first filter floss sitting on egg crate, then a mesh bag of carbon.

DSC01827.jpg
Basic ATO reservoir. I keep a Koralia going to keep it oxygenated. You can see some airline tubing that holds a siphon. Because this is elevated above the sump I can just use a gravity fed top off, this seems a bit safer to me. The RODI line on the left is clipped onto the edge of the tank so I can just turn on the tap and refill it. (I keep ATO and water mixing water in glass tanks. I just think its the easiest to keep clean and won't leach anything.)

DSC01828.jpg
Hang on float valve for the ATO. Heater and ZeoVit reactor output can be seen in this chamber as well.

Let me know if you have any questions.

hey aj if you have some time would you mind taking some shot of the whole setup that you have in the basement for the sump and such <3




It could be the scape changing that's stressing them, I'll try to not mess with it. Also I was thinking maybe my feeding for the corals arnt right. Maybe you can help me here to figure out a good feeding schedule. So I have the zeovit nano pack and I also have aquavitro fuel. I feed corals and fish frozen food pellets and flakes.




I don't feed my corals anything at the moment, until I reach ULNS stability I don't see the point if the corals are deep coloured or brown they likely have more than enough to "eat." I feed my fish well and they feed the corals, I also soak the fish food in Selcon from time to time which likely helps. Maybe hold up on the feeding until things lighten up.

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NanoTopia

Hi Aj,

 

Following along here.

 

I have one question: Are you concerned all the rock in the sump will catch detritus over time, or are you moving it around now and then to shake it out?

 

Your growth is good, love the progression shots a few posts back. Great job so far, looking forward to watching this reef grow. :)

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AJ_Tsin

Hi Aj,

 

Following along here.

 

I have one question: Are you concerned all the rock in the sump will catch detritus over time, or are you moving it around now and then to shake it out?

 

Your growth is good, love the progression shots a few posts back. Great job so far, looking forward to watching this reef grow. :)

 

Good question. This kind of setup is probably not recommended for folks that don't really want to put a ton of effort into water changes.

 

Every couple water changes I have been blasting them with a turkey baster and syphoning out the crud. A few of the rocks come out nicely like a puzzle piece allowing me to put the base of the syphon tube at one end of the section and blast detritus down the compartment and out.

 

I was on the fence about throwing a bunch of rock in the sump but having a tang with an open concept rock work display and who knows what other fish, I thought the bacterial stability offered is worth it. By the time the water gets through the floss, skimmer, Zeo Reactor and through a bunch of baffles there is not much detritus left suspended to clog things up. Bacterial detritus from the rocks themselves however, forms every week or so.

 

Its a bit of extra effort during water changes to keep the sump clean, but minimal and worth it for an aesthetic that doesn't compromise filtration.

 

Thanks for following, glad to have you! As you know from my posting in your thread I love your setup and approach to this hobby.

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AJ_Tsin

Ever improving skimmate from the Omega 130. There are some threads out there re: the break in period on this skimmer being annoying or long, I assure you it is a bit finicky to get the correct water level and venturi nozzle settings however when you do.... B.A. foam.

 

IMG_0716.jpg

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NanoTopia

What are your thoughts on the "needle wheel skimmers" ?

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Alex B

Aj,

 

Got a couple questions for you. After your initial 14 day cycle what did you change your dosing schedule to?

I'm at day 14 now. About to add first fish and cuc tom.

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AJ_Tsin

What are your thoughts on the "needle wheel skimmers" ?

 

I have read a bit against needle wheel skimmers, but I haven't really seen a negative effect on my corals. I test for and add Potassium regularly and the water changes weekly keep things in check. I have no idea how quickly the other Zeo products are sticking around in my system or not because of skimming.

 

So far skimming a bit dry has been enough to keep things healthy. I do not turn off the skimmer after dosing, I could maybe try this and see if it has a positive impact.

 

You?

 

Edit: I also generally like to keep a few montis around to really gage this. As we know they usually are the first to start fading out when things are "too clean" So far I have a very colourful Rainbow Monti and a happy coloured Seasons Greetings Cap. I plan on adding a couple pieces of digitata in the near future as well to help keep an eye on this.

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NanoTopia

I have read a bit against needle wheel skimmers, but I haven't really seen a negative effect on my corals. I test for and add Potassium regularly and the water changes weekly keep things in check. I have no idea how quickly the other Zeo products are sticking around in my system or not because of skimming.

 

So far skimming a bit dry has been enough to keep things healthy. I do not turn off the skimmer after dosing, I could maybe try this and see if it has a positive impact.

 

You?

 

 

I'm on the fence really, my K levels don't go down, I hardly have to dose it. As for it pulling out other additives along with the proteins, I'm sure it does but I have not noticed this dramatically. I do turn off my skimmer after dosing CV, AAHC, Bak, Biomate, and CS for roughly 2 hours. I skim dry as well.

 

I am waiting to hear from Funkateer (member) who recently installed a KZ skimmer what he thinks. Beckett skimmers are another option I have considered but I won't be changing anything until I am 100% convinced I need to. I have a closet full of aquarium equipment that I don't wish to make bigger ATM. That said, the cheap pump that came with my Skimz 121 (ES 2000) is making noise, can't seem to fix it. I may replace it with a DC pump in the near future.

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evo_2679

AJ - first off well done on this build / you have some beautiful coral!! And I love my Vertex 130 skims like a beast on my 26 gallon tank. I have my venturi nozzle all the way screwed in and skimming more on the wet side now since I started adding MB 7 into my tank. Once I hit ULN I will be adding Aquavito fuel into the mix (again). My question is in order to achieve a drier / darker skim mate would it help to unscrew the venturi (white nozzle) a couple of turns (counter clock wise) ?

 

Ever improving skimmate from the Omega 130. There are some threads out there re: the break in period on this skimmer being annoying or long, I assure you it is a bit finicky to get the correct water level and venturi nozzle settings however when you do.... B.A. foam.

 

IMG_0716.jpg

 

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