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XIII

XIII's Nano Cube - 28 Gallon LED

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XIII

In anticipation of the arrival of my corals and zoas tomorrow, I did a 50% water change, and tested all of my parameters. Everything looks great, and only have a slightly elevated nitrate level before the water change. So my cycle is essentially complete (just in time).

 

Day 19 Parameters:

Temp = 76.5 degrees F

pH = 7.98

Specific Gravity = 1.025 %ppt

kH = 9*dkH

NH3 = 0.00 mg/l

NO2 = ~0.0 mg/l

NO3 = ~10 mg/l

PO4 = ~0.0 mg/l

Cu = ~0.0 mg/l

Ca = ~400 mg/l

 

Also, my first batch of the clean up crew arrived today from Reef Cleaners. John provided a lot of great advice and excellent service. I highly recommend him.

~ 30 Dwarf Cerith (was shipped well over 50)

~ 12 Florida Cerith (don't seem to be moving yet, but it make take a day or two for these to acclimate)

~ 9 Nassarius Vibex (8 remain as it seems one didn't make it)

~ 5 Nerite Snails (Large)

~ 7 Nerite Snails (Small - Medium) (was shipped 10)

 

I'm also picking up a few hermits from a LFS this weekend.

 

Those are my updates for now, I will have a lot more, including new pictures, after the weekend.

Edited by XIII

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ponies999

Seems to be a good start. With the lighting im surprised you dont run the moonlights all night. When i had moonlights on my tank i never turned them off.

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dday80

Looks good. I love the scape.

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cdr5y7

i agree. i got dusk/dawn on hour before main leds then mains and dusk.dawn for 8 hours then just dusk/dawn for hour then moonlights on the rest of the night. my fish freak out when the moonlight isnt on. and its soothing to come down at 2am and have the moonlights shimmering and coral colors just popping.

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jojoe972

I really like the scape on yours..... I went simple on mine because I knew i would be moving soon and didnt want a whole bunch of small rocks. If I was permanent I would have gotten alot of small ones and put the puzzle together!!!

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XIII
Seems to be a good start. With the lighting im surprised you dont run the moonlights all night. When i had moonlights on my tank i never turned them off.

Thanks. Don't really feel the need to run them all night; saves a little on energy, and not really necessary.

 

Looks good. I love the scape.

Thank you very much.

 

So here's a quick update. The Florida ceriths didn't survive, along with one of the nassarius, so I pulled them out of the tank. John at Reef Cleaners was once again great and gave me a credit, even though I really didn't need or ask for it.

 

My first batch of corals arrived today from MrCoral. I have 16 total specimens; a mix of zoas, acans, chalices, favia, goni, acros, cloves, and an alveopora. As I only ordered 14, I have to say thank you for the two freebies from Sonny at MrCoral. Based on what I've ordered, I've been able to identify most of the items, though a couple have yet to open so we will see. Though I ordered 5 acro, only 4 were shipped, but with the other additional items, this won't be that big of an issue. As amazing as some of these look (to me anyway) at the moment, the prize out of the bunch will be the alveopora, but it hasn't opened yet.

 

Based on what I ordered, I now (should) have the following:

Acros

- True Pink Mili (broke off its frag plug during shipping, so I need to fix it)

- Green Goblin (I think this is the missing acro though)

- Blue Bottlebrush

- Pink Lemonade but without the green.

- Fireflies

Zoas

- Orange with Blue Centers

- Orange Long Lash Eagle Eyes

- Sweet Georgia Peach

- Mrcoral Blueberry Lovers

Favia

- Ice Ice Baby Favia

- Superman Favia

Chalice

- Independence Day Chalice

Acans

- Pink Candy Cane Acan

Cloves

- Mrcoral Blue Unknown Cloves (though they are suppoosed to be blue, mine are green)

Gonipora

- Hulk Goni

Alveopora

- Minty Fresh

 

~ and one of the bonus items which could either be an acan or favia (I don't know which, but it's not a zoa, chalice, or goni); it is very brightly colored yellow/green/blue.

 

I'll post pics of all of these once they all open and if I can get a good shot.

 

Warning: I now have the bug and want more...

Edited by XIII

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dday80

Sweet corals! Can't wait to see pics. You've been bitten by that infamous bug that eats your checkbook. Its a toughy to take your time and be patient. Just try to enjoy everything as you go along. Keep an eye on your parameters too. Good times.

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XIII
Sweet corals! Can't wait to see pics. You've been bitten by that infamous bug that eats your checkbook. Its a toughy to take your time and be patient. Just try to enjoy everything as you go along. Keep an eye on your parameters too. Good times.

Thanks. All of those I listed above are frags, the biggest of which is only about 1 inch, and most are 0.25 of an inch or so. The alveopora is tiny, about the size of a pencil eraser (if not smaller), and is just starting to barely open. Everything else is showing more signs of life, and starting to inflate/open. The goni is loving it and is fully open and having a grand old time, along with the cloves. I'm getting a few good pics, but it's hard with the camera I have to get some really good ones.

 

I'll be watching everything carefully and taking it bit by bit. Only other thing to get for now and for a while will be the hermits and a fish. After that I'll maybe add something new each month until fully stocked.

Edited by XIII

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XIII

So, I picked up several blue leg hermits, 2 scarlet hermits, and 2 bumblebee snails to round out the clean up crew. They are all loving the tank and are happily crawling all over the rock work.

 

My wife and I went to the highest rated, and most recommended aquarium store in our area last night, and let me just say, the place deserves all the accolades. Not only did it have the largest selection of fish, inverts, corals, clams, etc. etc. etc., I've ever seen in a pet/aquarium store, but the staff was excellent, and they are very customer driven. We spent about an hour in there just looking at all the tanks. Found many great additions that we would like to eventually make to our tank, from corals to fish, to an amazing clam, when ready. As we were looking for our first fish, it was very hard to decide, so we ended up getting a mated pair of clowns, and a gorgeous little rose bubble anemone. The sales person even threw in a few discounts on these, along with some other supplies I picked up. So if you live in the Boston/NH area, Jay's Aquatics in Salem NH is well worth the trip and highly recommended.

 

Everything is continuing to do well, and the tank is stable.

 

UPDATE (6/18/10): Thinks are really starting to come alive now. The clowns are real characters, but like to hang out in the back of the tank for the most part; though they do venture around more and more. I will proablly pick up a few more hermits to help the others out, and probably a porcelain crab as well. I started running the actinic lights for several hours, and the daylights for a couple, and everything started thriving; so my plan is to increase this by an hour each day until I'm at my target lighting cycle, and to acclimate the acros and other corals.

 

Also, out of my corals/zoas, everything seems to have now made it through and are opening, with one exception; the Blueberry Lovers zoa, only very partially opened yesterday but hasn't done anything else since (so it's not looking like this one will make it).

Edited by XIII

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XIII

So after doing my weekly parameter check, I had some very different results (as expected now that I have livestock). I have been slowly increasing my lighting schedule, and feed my fish and anemone once a day.

 

Day 22 Parameters:

Temp = 80.4 degrees F

pH = 7.84

Specific Gravity = 1.022 %ppt

kH = 8*dkH

NH3 = 0.00 mg/l

NO2 = ~0.0 mg/l

NO3 = ~10 mg/l

PO4 = ~0.5 mg/l

 

I'm not concerned about the Nitrite measurement, as that will go away, but what I am concerned about is the pH, which is still lower than it should be, and the lowest carbonate hardness reading I've ever measured (it's still within ideal range, but at the lowest end). I know that these two things are related, and that the higher the carbonate hardness, the higher the alkalinity, and the higher the pH. So advice on how to identify what may be causing this, and how to rectify it, would be appreciated.

 

I've adjusted my lighting schedule to be a little simpler, and to keep the moon lights on all night so as to hopefully maintain my pH levels overnight. It is now (or will be after acclimation) the following:

- 9:00am Dawn/Dusk lights turn on

- 9:30am Moon lights turn off

- 11:00am Day lights turn on

- 7:00pm Day lights turn off

- 8:30pm Moon lights turn on

- 9:00pm Dawn/Dusk lights turn off

Edited by XIII

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XIII

Once again, as promised, here are the new pictures of my aquarium and of the new livestock.

 

*Sorry that some of these aren't very good quality, once again, my camera isn't a DSLR, so getting really good super close up macro shots is difficult.

 

For my frags, I built two frag racks out of black egg crate and some suction cups. They work great.

4721561632_7d9aedbd0a.jpg

 

Here are a couple overhead shots of each rack with frags in them.

4721561272_aea794064c.jpg4720910195_2149419d05.jpg

 

And here is a break down of those individual shots I was able to get (some under the daylights, others under the actinics)

Acros

- True Pink Mili

4720910609_84948d4bc8.jpg

- Blue Bottlebrush (couldn't get a clear picture)

- Pink Lemonade but without the green

4720910537_b5075376b4.jpg

- Fireflies

4721561680_f90654d432.jpg

 

Zoas (clockwise from top left, Eagle Eyes, Georgia Peach, blueberry Lovers, Crazy Orange)

4720910315_b5ca1dd4d1.jpg

 

Favia

- Ice Ice Baby Favia

4721561606_0f9eb9ce4f.jpg

- Superman Favia (couldn't get a clear picture)

 

Chalice

- Independence Day Chalice

4721561594_b6ce8a0d9a.jpg

 

Acans

- Pink Candy Cane Acan (couldn't get a clear picture)

 

Cloves

- Unknown Green Cloves

4721561780_0d6ecc3755.jpg

 

Gonipora

- Hulk Goni

4720910585_7a62a28232.jpg

 

Alveopora

- Minty Fresh

4720910809_0e75c38bbe.jpg

 

~ and one unknown which cold be a zoa, but it has a hard body like a chalice; it is very brightly colored yellow/green/blue.

Can anyone help identify it? Picture is of it open and closed

4721561564_7f7e6b45d3.jpg

 

-----

 

As for the update, everything is still doing well. All of the zoas, including the blueberry lovers, fully opened and are coloring up nicely. The goni and cloves are still doing great. I can't realy tell much with the chalices, favia, and acan, but they seem to be doing well. I see them open or inflated every once in a while, so I'm assuming that is good. The only real issue is the acros. I haven't really seen too much life from them, and the fireflies one was white this morning (so it looks like that died). The others still have good color, but advice on them would be appreciated. I'm hoping to move everything to the rock work in the next day or two.

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XIII

And for update # 2:

 

Here are the mated clowns:

4720910107_2470ec106d.jpg4720910629_4fd75d21fe.jpg

The female is much more adventurous than the smaller male, though he generally follows her around. I've been feeding them once a day and they are eating very well.

 

And the rose bubbletip anenome. This has amazing color (the pics aren't doing it justice).

4721562026_79046dc91e.jpg

 

4721562050_8ba867f1aa.jpg4720910023_1fa8226f01.jpg

This was originally placed on a rock ledge in the middle of the tank. The next morning, it had moved to the very top of the rock and into a small crevice, which wasn't ideal. So I moved do to the bottom where it is now quite happy. The clowns haven't tried to bond with it yet, as they still pretty much keep to the back of the tank. I've been hand feeding it shrimp, and it puffs all up and pushes out its tentacles afterward, so it seems content.

 

Here's one of my scarlet hermits. They like to hide in the caves so it was rare to see it out so prominently.

4721561196_7f90bfa493.jpg

I'd really like to get a couple more blue legs, and a Halloween hermit though.

 

And finally, what would an massive image update be without new shots of the tank. Here is a new FTS, and some images that better show the cave structure.

4720910129_e532df2a4e.jpg

 

4721561172_4cc13723d0.jpg4720910045_bec0426496.jpg

 

That's it for now. As usual, feedback and advice is appreciated.

Edited by XIII

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jojoe972

Those are some nice corals and I like the aquascape that you have going. Good amount of caves!!!

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urbaneks

Great progress since the last time I was on your thread. Do you plan on keeping the Frag Rack long term or is it just temp?

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XIII
Great progress since the last time I was on your thread. Do you plan on keeping the Frag Rack long term or is it just temp?

 

Thanks.

 

Just temporary; in fact, I removed the large one last night and moved everything to the sand or rocks. I will eventually remove the frags from the plugs once they start exhibiting growth, and attach them directly to the rocks.

 

With the gradually increased lighting schedule, I had a small diatom bloom but the ceriths destroyed it in a matter of hours. Meanwhile, I'm still not getting pH readings that I want (it's hovering in the 7.9 range). Could really use some advice on this.

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cheryl jordan

Great job on the scape, most people only think about the view from the front. You seem to have made the scape look good from all sides, which gives the impression of a larger tank.

 

:)

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XIII
Great job on the scape, most people only think about the view from the front. You seem to have made the scape look good from all sides, which gives the impression of a larger tank.

 

:)

Thanks. My tank is kitty-cornered, so I wanted to be able to have good side views. My only "complaint" about the aquascape is that the main rock structure is pretty much dead center of the tank, and I wish I had offset it toward the back a bit to give more front room.

 

UPDATE (6/23/10): Thanks to a few other people pointing me in the right direction, I believe I have identified the unknown frag I had, it it looks to be a goniopora polyformis. Can't wait to see it fully matured.

Edited by XIII

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kjbreefer

Good job on the tank so far. Its looking good. You have definitely been doing your home work. My only criticism is also on the lighting schedule. It just seems to be a bit arduous and unnecessary. I have my actinics (dusk/dawn) lights turn on 45 mins before my daylights. I leave them on while the daylights are on. (they are your actinic lights, they should be on during the day) and I leave them on for 45 mins after the daylights switch off. My moonlights stay on all the time. As far as energy saving?...turning on and off 2- 1 watt leds and 4-3 watt leds will most likely use more power than just leaving them on. Just my opinion.

 

I also was wondering if you have a pH probe set up or are you using a test kit for the pH? Because the pH will be at its lowest just before the lights come on and at its highest just before they go out. so if you are using a test kit, you should test at both times to find your high and low points.

 

Excellent choice of tank btw ;) good luck

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XIII
Good job on the tank so far. Its looking good. You have definitely been doing your home work. My only criticism is also on the lighting schedule. It just seems to be a bit arduous and unnecessary. I have my actinics (dusk/dawn) lights turn on 45 mins before my daylights. I leave them on while the daylights are on. (they are your actinic lights, they should be on during the day) and I leave them on for 45 mins after the daylights switch off. My moonlights stay on all the time. As far as energy saving?...turning on and off 2- 1 watt leds and 4-3 watt leds will most likely use more power than just leaving them on. Just my opinion.

 

I also was wondering if you have a pH probe set up or are you using a test kit for the pH? Because the pH will be at its lowest just before the lights come on and at its highest just before they go out. so if you are using a test kit, you should test at both times to find your high and low points.

 

Excellent choice of tank btw ;) good luck

 

 

Thanks. I've actually updated my lighting schedule so that there is more consistency, and have it listed on my front page. I check the pH using my probe a few times a day to see the current measurement, and to get an average (the monitor actually does this for me, along with the daily high/low), and a test kit on occasion to compare, and they typically are the same (within +/- 0.05).

 

 

I did my weekly parameter check, and most everything seems ok. The pH and carbonate hardness, and therefore alkalinity, are still low, and I still have not identified why. I have a few supplements coming on Monday that will allow me to start dosing, to see if that helps with this issue. The pH has be at this level since I first added my rock, but the carbonate hardness has slowly decreased since then. Other than that, I have a slight nirtate spike, but no nitrite or ammonia.

 

Day 29 Parameters:

Temp = 78.9 degrees F

pH = 7.90

Specific Gravity = 1.024 %ppt

kH = 8*dkH

NH3 = 0.00 mg/l

NO2 = ~0.0 mg/l

NO3 = ~20 mg/l

 

As for the tank and inhabitants:

I haven't seen much coraline growth and I get a few algae blooms (mostly hair) every now and then, but the hermits and snails attack it instantly and it's gone within hours. I did lose my one red leg hermit crab (not a scarlet) it seems as the shell it was in one night was empty the next morning, and I didn't see a molted skin anywhere. I placed a few empty shells in the tank just in case, but nothing so far. I plan on getting some new ones first chance I get. The clowns are doing well, and are now starting to come to the top of the tank and dance around the instant the pumps turn off looking for food. I was feeding the RBTA once a day, but now only feed it once every 2 days. I swear it has grown slightly since last week. All the other corals, zoas, and what nots are still looking great and have good color. I've even seen some very minute growth on a few of them, so I'm pretty excited.

 

That's my update for this week. Starting to plan for the next additions, probably a monti, ric, or frogspawn, and another fish.

Edited by XIII

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XIII

So last night one of my zoas (the Eagle Eye) decided to detach from the plug, and the individual polyps were separating from each other. Not sure if this is a sign of impending death, but I re-glued them to the plug and this morning they were open again and looked like normal. Hopefully they survive and are able to multiply.

 

Also, my anemone has been acting a little pissy, but it looks like it is starting to get a cleft in it so it may be getting ready to divide. Anyone have advice on this process and what the signs might be, and how long it takes?

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nanew reefer

none of your tank pictures load. i wanted to see this fantastic scape for ideas!

Edited by nanew reefer

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XIII
none of your tank pictures load. i wanted to see this fantastic scape for ideas!

Not sure why you can't load them, as they are linked JPG's from Flickr and others can view them fine. Check your browser's permissions and try refreshing the page.

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cdr5y7

work fine for me.

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XIII

So, after running a few days with full lights, having really high temperatures/humidity outside, and despite having an AC (though I admit that I have not been running it during the day), my tank has been consistently between 82 and 85 degrees (and even hit a high point of 86.5). Fearing what this might do to my tank in the long run, I broke down and bought myself a chiller. Its the JBJ Mini Artica 1/15hp one, so hopefully this will allow me to better maintain the temperature of my system.

 

Does anyone have the Mini Arctica chiller and run it off of a Reef Keeper Lite? I want to know if I can run it as a controlled device in tandem/opposition to the heater, but I'm afraid that it might use too much power for the PC4's. Advice/feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

My zoa who's polyps fell off the plug and were re-glued is doing well, but now I think my alveopora is "melting;" My goni's and other zoa's have all showed signs of multiplying, and my acan has also grown a bit. The RBTA continues to develop a cleft in it, so I still think it is trying to split.

 

I need to get an updated tank shot, and will try to tonight.

 

UPDATE: So, I did my evening check of the tank, and found that the alveopora has indeed melted and died. I'm very disappointed by this.

Edited by XIII

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XIII

So my bad luck continues, as this morning I had another acro die off, this time it was my pink mili. Last night everything looked fine with it, so I'm not sure what happened. The parameters are all looking normal, and the temperature has been stable as well. This now leaves the blue bottlebrush, which is looking like it might be the next to go, and the pink lemonade, which is getting a lot of color and even has a little bit of new growth. So I'm not sure why this one is doing so much better than the others, but at least it is doing well for now. Still not sure if it was the frags themselves that was the issue, or my inexperience with them (probably both). I know that I will not be getting such small acro frags again, nor will I have them shipped.

 

My other frags are still doing well. Some of the zoas have new polyps, and the acan is getting a lot bigger and has new growth. The favia also has new growth and good coloration. The chalice is about the same, though i have noticed that its base has filled in from where it was fragged, so there is some minute growth. The goni has new heads and is still the healthiest of the bunch, and my wife's favorite.

 

My chiller arrives tomorrow, so hopefully this will help me keep things stable for the temperature. My pH has been a lot better lately as well, and now hovers between 8.02 and 8.1.

Edited by XIII

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