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Captivating_Reef

Captivating Reef's Solana 34G Build

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Captivating_Reef

Hello everyone I am fairly new to Nano-Reef and have recently started up a Solana 34G with Sunpod and Stand. It's been running for about three weeks I finally got the time to post it on here now. I wanted to put this on the all solana owners thread but tried to contact d'espresso and got nothing back so I'm putting it here hope nobody minds. I'll start with a list of everything I've got now and a pic before the build.

 

Started May 9, 2010

 

Solana 34G

Expresso Stand

Sunpod 150w HQI

Marineland 100w Stealth pro heater

Ecotech Marine ecosmart mp10

CaribSea Live Sand Oolite 40LBS

Brightwell Aquatics NeoMarine Salt (good for 150 Gallons)

Brightwell Aquatics Calcion p

Brightwell Aquatics Alkalin 8.3p

 

All the filtration equipment is stock that came with the Solana. I was thinking of upgrading the skimmer to the Sapphire skimmer that most Solana owners do but I'll see if this one is good enough. Future modifications on this is going to be a challenge but I have a real big motivation to do it. I want to put another tank or possibly even two in the stand underneath to use as a larval and growout tank for breeding. I was thinking of getting them custom made to fit inside. I definitely think it will be a big challenge but hey it will be fun! ;) Heres a pic of all the stuff.

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Captivating_Reef

So now here is how it looked after it was all built with the light on top.

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Captivating_Reef

I added about 15 LBS of live rock Rubble 1 week later. I used a 2 part epoxy putty from two little fishes company that is colored pink like coralline algae. The product was ok but later I used one from instant ocean and it was easier to apply. They both did ok but for anything in the future especially if I go bigger I'll be using acrylic rods and drilling holes to hold the aquascape together. So here's a couple pic's of the rocks being put together into the aquascape.

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Captivating_Reef

So with everything filled up with R/O water, live sand and the rock structures, I waited about a week and tested the water. I forgot to mention I got tropic marin test kits. Here's where I was at:

 

Salinity: 1.024 Sg

PH: 8.2

Alkalinity: 8 dKH

Ammonia: 0.1 ppm

Nitrite: 0.2 ppm

Nitrate: 2 ppm

 

Then about 2 weeks after setting up I did a water change (5 gallons) and just tested for Ammonia but didn't see much of a change although I'm sure it still helped.

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Captivating_Reef

Now, three weeks after the setup I have ran into a couple of problems. First one, the worst one, my mp 10 stopped working! :angry: It happened after I unplugged everything to tidy up my cords then when I plugged it back in it didn't come on. I shut it off first like you should but I figured out that the cord coming from the wall to the power supply box was faulty cause the light flickered when I moved it. I contacted Ecotech and have shipped it to them for repair. That happened on Thursday May 27 bummer but oh well it will be back soon! :happy: The second problem the heat where I live has been getting real warm and I hadn't got an air conditioner yet cause my old one got destroyed by a flood. So now I have a temperature problem. My temps with the lights on are at about 84 degrees. Lights off, at about 82 degrees. Nothing is in there yet but I need to fix this before I do. So I got a great A/C today and we will see if it helps to bring it down. Here's a couple of pics of where its at. I am really happy with how the aquascape turned out. I found the Solana to not really have much room (length or width wise) so I made a wall and cove check it out all comments are welcomed! :D

P.S. Don't mind the reflection of my cat Georgy in the first pic. He is just patiently waiting on this long Nitrogen cycle too :happy:

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Heres the Water Specs as of now:

 

Temp: 82 Lights Out 84 Lights On * I don't keep the lights on right now but did to check the temps! ;)

Salinity: 1.023 Sg

PH:8.2

Alkalinity: 9 dKH

Ammonia: 0.2 ppm

Nitrite: 0.02 ppm

Nitrate: 5 ppm

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csal1-175

Looking good .like the rock scape

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adam87

Nice tank. B)

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Captivating_Reef

Thanks for the nice comments. I have success with the air conditioner cooling down the tank. With the lights on it's about 78-80 degrees. I'm a little worried that my heater isn't powerful enough. It's a 100w and I think I should be using a 150W. Also the setting on it is at 80 and shuts off when my thermometer reads 78 so it's off by 2 degrees. This isn't a problem with the light on but at nights I dunno if that drop in temperature (to about 76) will have any effects on corals or fish. Any thoughts on this and weather or not I should get a 150W heater?

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Captivating_Reef

So after 4 weeks the cycling is at the end! :D I have got my first 2 corals in there and they look great! I got a frag of a Xenia and a Neon Green Flowerpot Coral. I was told and have read that the flowerpot is hard to keep alive for more than a year. Apparently they all of a sudden don't extend their polyps and then the tissues starts to recede. I am going to try my best with it and hopefully I'll get at least the year and maybe more. If anyone knows any thing on this please let me know thanks. I also was wondering if anyone knew about the brownish green algae that I'm getting. I've read somewhere that it happens in the beginning of a new tank and that it usually goes away but I wonder if it's my phosphates being to high. I don't have a test kit for that yet so I can't see where the levels are at. Any thoughts on that just being part of a startup would be great thanks (sorry no pic of that to hard to see). Heres a pic of the corals not much but it's a start!

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bird

Looking good so far.

Your next equipment purchase should be a temp controller of some type.

A good fan for cooling, with heater and the new air conditioner you shouldn't have any problems with that end from now on.

I use a stealth heater, a Radio Shack fan and auto top-off all operating on a Reef Keeper controller and water temperature stays within 1.5 degrees.

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XIII

Nice aquascape, good luck with the corals. I have the ReefKeeper Lite controller, it works well once you get through the setup.

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Captivating_Reef

Thanks for the comments and replies I was advised to invest in a auto top off system and it is probably the best thing to have because stability is key and to keep the parameters stable, it is important to have the water level consistent. The temps are good with the A/C so I'm not to worried about that anymore. The other thing I would like to upgrade is the skimmer. It is still new but I'm not getting much out of it and I heard a few problems about the stock skimmer as well. The air injector piece on the bottom cracks easy and can also clog and be a pain to get at. I just found out that sapphire aquatics is closed for business so that sux. One more thing to mention is that I just got a reply back about my ecotech mp 10 and the power cord was replaced and it's on it's way back now but for anybody in canada do NOT buy one online! I had to pay to ship it there then pay to have it shipped back for warranty! :angry: I only had the thing for 2 weeks, payed for shipping originally from marine depot, then this so I have more than payed the cost that I should have. So anyone in canada find a dealer and buy from them then they would deal with any warranty issues. I will update when I add my first fish! :) I know that some people might have a problem with what I put in there but hopefully I can convince them that it will work. And don't worry it's not a Tang. :happy:

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Captivating_Reef

So over the past week I have got a blood shrimp, a mexican turbo (which I am hoping is going to help with the algae problem), a porcelain crab and 2 cinnamon clowns! I was originally going to get a green Mandarin and try to ween it onto frozen food using live brine shrimp but I couldn't get any live brine and when I saw the Cinnamons I really liked them. The one cinnamon though is a little aggressive to the other one but only when it swims in his area. When I put them in he went into the flowerpot coral right away and only ventures away from it occasionally. I was hoping for them to pair up eventually so I can try my hands at breeding but like I said the one will chase the other away and attack it if it comes close to his area. Does anyone know anything about cinnamons and if there is still a chance mine will pair up? They do still live together ok just not close. I also want to mention that I got my mp10 back and everything is great and the clowns love it! :happy: Here is some pics of the clowns. The porcelain crab and the blood shrimp like to hide so I'll have to get some pics later of them to post.

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Captivating_Reef

Well its been a little while since a posted an update. I have just recently traded in the clowns and the flowerpot coral and got a frogspawn. Also earlier on I got a piece of an Acan. I also had for a very short while a sand sifting goby that I wanted to help with the algae developing on the sand but soon realized that these fish are more of a problem. Everyday the water was really cloudy from him stirring up the stuff. So he went along with the clowns. I got rid of the flowerpot because it was just to big for the solana. I have replaced my carbon bags with chemi-pure and I replaced the filter pad on the drip plate with a phosphate filter pad. I am trying to get rid of this algae but even after this everyday it is still on all the glass and the top of the sand. Does anyone know how I can get rid of this? Is this just something that will never go away and that I just have to keep cleaning it? Also I wanted to know if the Porcelain crab will molt and grow back a leg? I noticed after I bought him that he was missing one and sadly now he also has algae on him. Thanks for any answers heres a pic with the frogspawn. I forgot to mention when I tried to catch the fish my rockscape broke a bit so it's slightly different but I think it looks better.

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bird

probably a good decision in trading away the flowerpot.

Looks good.

My MP10 cord separated at the plug but I was able to tape it up in time. I guess the weight of the cord at 3-4 feet is too much for that connection. At least that is the way mine is.

 

Can you post a FTS of it now?

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Captivating_Reef

Well it's been a while but here is an update! I now have 2 Ocellaris Clowns. After getting rid of the cinnamons I wasn't going to have another pair but the Ocellaris are a lot less aggressive and when I saw these 2 I had to have them because they have different patterning on their bodies! So heres some info and some pics!

 

Temps: 78 F

Salinity: 1.023 SG

PH: 8.3

Alkalinity: 9 dKH

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0

Calcium: 416 ppm

 

Heres the FTS.....

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Now heres a closer shot of everything.....

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Captivating_Reef

Heres one of the clowns. This one has the stripe at the head not fully wrapping around so it kinda looks like a beard!

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Heres the other clown. This one's middle stripe doesn't meet in the middle!

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Heres the Porcelain Crab...

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And finally the shrimp! This guy is my girlfriends and she named him jacque!

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