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Xris

Xris's 20H - Here we go.

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Xris   

Hey guys, now that my tank is actually up and together, I figured I should make a thread, if, for no other reason, to keep track of it for my own sake :)

 

Initially setup on 2-28-2010

 

1-17-2012 - Big update coming. This tank has been moved to a new home and is completely rearranged with a lot of new corals (and some lost from a heater malfunction). New pics coming soon.

 

Newest pics: Here

 

Current FTS (3/10/2011):

Two FTS shots (Blue+, Super Blue, Blue +, 6500):

 

FTS.jpg

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm175/T...og/reef/FTS.jpg

 

FTS-IMG_0115.jpg

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm175/T...TS-IMG_0115.jpg

Edited by Xris

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Dasani   

Welcome to 20H club! Lookin good so far, what live stock you plannin on?

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Wow that milk crate stand makes me nervous :0 ! Ad a little more live rock and paint the back a solid blue or black to hide the cords to blend the powerheads and your in buisness !!!

 

Also, if you dont have access to a lot of tools or anything you can make a stand yourself very easy out of MDF. For $18 you can get a 4x8 sheet of 3/4 MDF from Home Depot and they will cut it to any sizes you need to easily build a stand. Glue, it screw it. ad a angle brace here and there and paint it !!!

 

Cheap !! Or check on craigslist for some stands, always avaliable and always cheap !!!

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Xris   

hah yeah.. milk crates are surprisingly sturdy. The nice thing about the 20H is that there's no space between the 2 stacks of crates, they're each just about 12" wide. Downstairs, my brother has a 55g on 2 stacks of crates 3 high with a piece of roofing across them. It's all good :P

 

However, I will be keeping an eye out for a legit stand as this one isn't the nicest looking.

 

Livestock, haven't decided yet. In about 2 weeks, once the levels settle down, I'll add some clean up crew. Probably 5-10 snails (variety based on what LFS has in stock. I've done way to much reading up on snails in the past 2 weeks, so I know which types to go for.) and a hermit or two. Then, based on how they seem to be doing, I'll add more if necessary.

 

The only fish I'm rather set on at the moment is a Randalli Goby and an accomplice Pistol Shrimp (again, type probably depending on availability unless I decide to order one online).

 

I'd also like to get a Cleaner shrimp or two to take care of the fish.

 

As for fish, I haven't really started looking into them too much. I've been too busy getting everything else taken care of :) I have an idea of what I'd like (wider, more like angels as opposed to the longer, narrow body shape), but no definite choices yet. I'll probably go for 3 additional fish to occupy the mid-high area of the tank. Any suggestions would be great.

 

Corals, I'll probably start with the Started Frag Pack from saltwaterfish.com simply because it's a nice bundle and I like the variety. I'm particularly of the torch, hammer and frogs stylings. Again, any suggestions are always welcome.

 

Next thing will be more LR, but I'm not sure where to get it from. The LFS I got my current batch from seemed to mostly have dense rocks without many holes and areas for hiding, filtering or sticking plugs. Saltwarerfish.com is doing free shipping on LR currently, so I may get one of the 12 LB packs of Carribean LR. Waiting to hear back on an email I sent them about the styling of and amount of life that actually will make it on the rock. Hitchhikers intrigue me :) (so far, I've noticed many tiny worms peaking out of my rock and what seams to be a very very small, transparent, shrimplike being.)

 

(oh, and as for the back, I'll probably go with black.. though.. blue could be nice too.. hmm. Maybe I'll start off with some of that stuff on a roll and see how it looks)

Edited by Xris

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Nice start! Get some more LR and you will be sitting pretty good.

 

Look around at what other people have in similar size tanks for livestock decisions as well as looking at the guides on the site.

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Xris   

Yeah I've been doing a ton of research on what fish I'm interested in over the past month or so.

 

I'm still torn on what to do for the additional LR. Most of what my LFS has is simialr to what I've got already. Large, dense pieces. Surprisingly, PetCo had some good looking rock as far as shape goes, more open and taller/stackable.

 

Finally, I've been thinking about ordering some online, but I have no idea how it would fare during shipping or if it had been overly cured before hand. Any insight there (or, frankly, anywhere else) is appreciated :)

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There are plenty of reviews of ordering LR online on this site. Many people suggest marco rocks as a good place to order from as well as SeaLifeInc. I have not ordered from these places but have heard they are good. You might want to check CL for some locals with LR.

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Xris   

Yeah, I check craigs pretty frequently for any gear I could snag up :P

 

My brother is going to Florida in 2 weeks to do some reef snorkling.. I might end up with some REALLY fresh stuff soon ;) I told him to keep an eye out for snails too...

 

I'll check out the two sites you posted and try to do some searching to find others' results.

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Xris   

Wow, that rock from SeaLifeInc is gorgeous! I think the shipping will kill me though :( once I decide to upgrade to a big tank (it'll happen eventually) I'll definitely be getting some of that!.

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Dasani   

get some piccasso clowns :)

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Xris   

Just ordered the 12 LB of rock that I linked above and the light in my first post. Also picked up a glass canopy.

 

What are your guys' thoughts on running lights while cycling the rock? Yes or no? I've heard both..

 

And yeah, those Picasso clowns are awesome

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Xris   

Updated main post.

 

Got my lights and additional live rock today and I've got to say, I'm impressed with both.

 

The lights look great (stock bulbs - 10,000k/acintic), only problem is the rubber seam/hinge on my glass canopy blocks the 10k if I sit the fixture in the middle/back of the tank. Keeping it up front works. I'll be trying to find a clear canopy that won't block the light, or, this may be a faster motivator to get the second fixture and make a 4x24.

 

The rock is pretty awesome also. There's a lot of good looking "stuff" on it which I didn't have time yet to try to I.D. (some sponge looking bits, some small red dots, etc) or get pics of. That'll be tonights project :)

 

The rock is from saltwaterfish.com and got here in 2 days after ordering (Florida -> Pennsylvania). Looks much nicer than what I got at the LFS. Not so much the liveliness of the rock, but just the shape and design (carribean from SWF vs Fiji from LFS?). When I ordered the rock, I asked for nice small-medium builder pieces and some show pieces if there was weight left. I also encouraged life/hichhikers. They seem to have done as requested!

 

Tonight I'll go and scape the rock, had no time this morning - just wanted to get it in the tank and under the lights after spending 2 days packed away in styrofoam, and get some nicer pics with a real cam.

 

Let me know what you think!

Edited by Xris

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Xris   

There's 2 new pics in the OP :D

 

When I update, I'll put the new pics at the top of the OP.. since they'll be the most interesting :P

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Xris   

Updated OP with a few new pics. Here are some more. I'm pretty happy with the layout I've come up with, and hope its sturdy enough. It looks a bit flakey, but when I try moving it around, there isn't much play.

 

The goals here were to optimize the natural formations within the rock to create shelves/canopies (for high/low light preference) and maintain space for flow and livestock movement. I also wanted to build it relatively high so the tank looks well occupied, but I'm not sure if the top right area will be too close to the powerhead. Time will tell.

 

In one picture, there are some red bits that seem to be some sort of HH sponge? Any input on that would be great.

 

2010-03-05135805.jpg

FTS

 

2010-03-05022045.jpg

The LR unboxed on the floor

 

2010-03-05135911.jpg

Closeup of the whole rock structure

 

The following three are details of the rock layout.

2010-03-05140421.jpg

2010-03-05140118.jpg

2010-03-05140105.jpg

 

2010-03-05140004.jpg

Ideas? I'm not good with IDs yet ;P

 

Like it?

Edited by Xris

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Did you epoxy it together or anything? I'd be lying awake at night waiting for the sound of shattering glass I think...

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Xris   

Nope, but it feels pretty sturdy. As long as noone shoves the tank, I don't think it will be a problem.

 

HOWEVER.. I would definitely feel a bit more secure knowing there was something solid in there holding it together. Any suggestions on what to use to lock it in place? And how tight of a bond will it form? Will I be able to rearrange it later?

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Xris   

What do you think about moving the top left rock as such (from red to green)

post-50683-1267830383_thumb.jpg

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Xris   

Updated livestock.

 

Having been reading up on other's tanks and checking out different types of livestock out there, I think I've come up with what will be the preliminary outline:

 

Fish:

-Randalli Goby paired with Randall's Pistol Shrimp

-Pair of some interesting Clowns

-Some type of small angelfish

 

Inverts:

-1x Pistol (paired with goby, mentioned above)

-2x Skunk Cleaner (keep reading to keep them in pairs)

-1x Blood Red Fire (Looks great, gets a long well)

-1x Anemone Crab (further down the line, if I can get a nem)

 

CuC (to start):

-Random assortment of up to 10 snails

-2 scarlet hermits

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Xris   

Current FTS (3/6/2010):

2010-03-06164737.jpg

Full Size: http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm175/T...03-06164737.jpg

Re-scaped again. Wasn't too confident wit the first layout... I think this one looks better :) (original layout in post 15)

 

2010-03-06164755.jpg

2010-03-06165531.jpg

Closeup on the rock layout. Lots of nice hiding spots and whatnot.

 

I'm liking this look a little better than the previous. Almost makes more sense somehow (and looks less likely to topple :P)

 

Still a good amount of openings for flow. Also, lots of nice shelves to put light hungry corals on (and shadows to hide those who may not want it).

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I really like the layout now. A lot of places to put corals.

 

As far as your livestock plans, they sounds good to me other then the angel. You could do it, but I would suggest that you don't. Violinist has his Coral Beauty but I am waiting for him to post saying it went ape #$%& and started nipping at his corals lol. They tend to pick or soft corals and SPS polyps and may even mess with clam mantles and inverts if they get hungry or are just being stupid. They are best left for larger tanks in the 30+ area imo.

 

Also, you don't need to keep cleaner shrimp in pairs. They do fine singly and it would probably be preferential to only keep one in a 20H. Trust me, if you ever get a coral that you need to target feed, you will hate those stupid cleaners to no end. I can't imagine what it would be like to keep two cleaner shrimp at bay while I feed my nems lol. It would be chaos.

Edited by SoCalDude

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Violinist has his Coral Beauty but I am waiting for him to post saying it went ape #$%& and started nipping at his corals lol. They tend to pick or soft corals and SPS polyps and may even mess with clam mantles and inverts if they get hungry or are just being stupid. They are best left for larger tanks in the 30+ area imo.

 

An extra 10 gallons of water isn't going to stop it from eating corals if that's what it's going to do.

 

Life on the edge or no life at all!!!

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An extra 10 gallons of water isn't going to stop it from eating corals if that's what it's going to do.

 

Life on the edge or no life at all!!!

 

Very true

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Xris   

Yeah, the angel isn't anything specific.. just something in that size range. I have a while until whatever that fish will be will come into play to figure it out :P

 

I probably will just stick to one cleaner then, the only reason I was thinking of two is because it was frequently recommended.

 

Hopefully I'll see a cycle happen in the next week or 2 and start getting a CuC in there.

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Xris   

First noted hitchhiker coral:

post-50683-1268087607.jpg

 

post-50683-1268087620.jpg

 

Starting to get a little bit of brown hair algae growing on some of the LR rubble bits too.

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