Pong's 20L College Reef

355 posts in this topic

FTS November 2012

Display: 30" x 12" x 12"
Sump: Proflex Model 1 Sump
Biological Filtration: ~10lbs of live rock, 20lbs of live sand
Lighting: (1) 150 Watt 14000K Metal Halide Phoenix, (1) 24W ATI Blue Plus, and (1) 24W ATI Purple Plus
Protein Skimmer: SWC 120 Cone Skimmer
Controller: Digital Aquatics Reef Keeper Lite
Heater: 50W Tetra + 100W Tetra
Water Motion: 1x Eco-Tech Vortech MP10ES + return
ATO: Tunze Osmolator

  • 2x Ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
  • Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)
  • Crocea Clam (Tridacna crocea)
  • Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)
  • Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai)
  • Maxi Mini (Stichodactyla tapetum)
  • CUC from




  • Weekly 2.5-3g water changes.
  • Refill ATO reservoir (5 gallons) every week.
  • Daily dose of 20 ml of Tech M Magnesium.
  • Daily feedings of a mixture of Selcon enriched Frozen Mysis, Cyclopeeze, Nutramar Ova, and Rod's Food. I also throw in a few pinches of Formula One pellets every time I walk by the tank (~5 pinches spread throughout the day).
  • Daily dose of 5 ml of each part of 2 part B-Ionic
  • Clean the glass every other day.
  • Clean equipment in vinegar bath every 4-6 months.
Edited by awpong

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Tank History


November 2010



January 2011



April 2011



May 2011



July 2011



August 2011



November 2011



January 2012



March 2012



April 2012



June 2012



August 2012



September 2012



October 2012





The Beginning!


I've been on here for a while, so it's about time I made one of these threads.


I've been running a 10 gallon nano reef out of my dorm room for the past 3 months :P


So here are a few pictures:






My leather when he's happy



My favorite coral. My torch is such a bad ass!



My new coral frag that I got this weekend. To be honest, not entirely sure what it is. I don't think it's a glove polyp, so I'm gonna probably go with waving hands.



My other new frag of zoas.










I know it's not as colorful as a lot of other tanks, but I'm working on it. It doesn't help that my urchin keeps devouring my Coraline algae.


One thing you may notice is there are currently no fish in the tank :'( .

About 6 weeks ago I had a little spat with Clownfish Disease and poor Goose and Captain didn't survive.





Since I am in college, and I'll be gone during winter break, I've decided to wait until January to buy a new pair.


Anyways... The current stock consists of:


1 Cerith Snail

2 Blue Legged Hermits

1 Long Spine Sea Urchin

1 Large Featherduster and a few other tiny hitch hikers

2 Mini Bristle Stars (Hitch hikers)

~75 mysid shrimp that are able to thrive due to my lack of fish.


1 Torch Coral

1 Kenya Tree Leather?

2 Mushrooms

1 colony of zoas

1 waving hands frag?


Since the tank is so small, I do not have a refugium or sump, but do weekly water changes of ~2 gallons.

My only filtration lies within the biological one hidden in my 7-8lb of live rock and 12lb of live sand.


I do have one question for all of y'all who read this thread. My Leather has never really been the happiest

thing in my tank. His polyps are always open, but he is incredibility limp! I've increased flow to his area and it hasn't really improved anything. I've had him for a little over a month and a half, and I've only seen him truly erect once - within the first week that I purchased him. Ever since then, hes been pretty slopped over. He will retract at night and does move throughout the day, increasing/decreasing his limp, but overall, he is just LIMP! This being so, my roommate and I have named him "Limpy!"


It's gotten to the point where I'm considering treating him like a chili leather and hanging his grumpy ass upside down.


Any suggestions on how I can help Limpy?

Edited by awpong

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Get rid of the urchin if you want coraline.


Your leather may not be happy in it's current location. Have you moved it around and tried different lighting levels? Also what is your lighting setup?

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I just moved my leather the other day. He looks like he's trying to stand up, but keeps falling over and giving up. Then he'll try again, and just keeps limping over.





To be honest, the whole lighting situation bores me, and my ADD starts to take over. Therefore, I'm by no means an expert on lighting. Regardless, I currently have 2 of these things.




Zoo Med Reef Sun 50/50 Compact Fluorescent Bulb

* A 50/50 combination of 6,500K trichromatic daylight phosphor and actinic 420

* Provides high intensity full spectrum illumination

* Ideal for all marine aquariums, reef aquariums, African Cichlids and Discuss fish



Regarding the Urchin, I love him too much to sell him back. He's got too much personality :)

Edited by awpong

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I've been doing some rearranging of currents and rock placement - trying to find a happy medium between aesthetics and coral health.


Although I think my leather enjoys his spot a bit more than before, my torch has been struggling. I think he'd be happier a bit further back in between the two rocks, but he'd also be harder to see. He's my favorite so I'd kinda like for him to be the centerpiece.


Other than that, my xenia seem to be growing quite quickly, and my button polyps are surviving. However, last night I did notice my sea urchin hanging out on top of their rock, and this morning 3 of my pink zoa polyps are missing. Coincidence? I've never heard of sea urchins consuming zoas before. Any one else? Perhaps he knocked them off and their stranded behind my rock's ledge?


Anyways... PICTURES:





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New Update:


I got a new piece of live rock with some GSP and 2.2 gallon fuge from another member on this forum.


Since the rock was kinda large, I rescapped the tank. I think it looks much better now.



New tank set up




GSP starting to open up



New fuge up and running



Adding fish in February (after winter break)

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Came back from Thanksgiving Break, and thankfully all of my coral survived.






My GSP finally started to open up fully too.





Still fishless until late January... However, I have decided upon getting a pair of false percs, and a banggai cardinal. Lets hope there's no conflicts between them.

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Looks, good but you should definatly get a lighting upgrade and more corals.

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save up for some good lighting. It doesnt have to be expensive either. sells 150w lights for about $100.


Youll see a lot of growth and color come out of your corals. Either way, the tank looks good dude!

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I took your suggestions into mind and upgraded my light system. I bought the 150W MH off of another member on this site, and will soon install them on my tank. I don't really know how to acclimate the coral to the new lights. I've read about shortening the time exposure and also about using sheets of mesh, removing 1 every 3-4 days. I'll worry about that later when I install the lights. I still need to buy legs for them, so It might have to wait until after Christmas break.


Anyways, I tested the lights and here is a picture of my GSP in the actinics.




FTS 12/8/10



And since i got impatient with waiting for fish for my reef, I went ahead and set up a goldfish tank lol. I need fish in my life :P


Atleast I can trust my friends to take care of these little guys while I am out of the country for 2 weeks. No way in hell would i let my friends touch my reef lol.




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Well I'm back on campus after Christmas break, and it looks like almost everything survived. Unfortunately, the day I had to leave... rather 20 minutes before I had to leave... my float switch for my auto top off system decided to break. When I got back, about an inch and a half of water had evaporated and left my tank at a s.g. of 1.030. Luckily I didn't have too much coral in there at this point, so the only fatality I suffered was my leather - of whom I never really liked and of whom was never happy in my tank. Ironically, his fatality was a result of my urchin, not the salinity. My urchin decided he would go on a rampage throughout my tank and dislodge a few of my coral. The leather was unfortunate enough to land in the sand bed branch/polyp-side down.


However, although everything made it through this 13 day absence, the real test is when I leave on Monday for 19 days as I head off to Ecuador. *cross fingers* I hope my tank is as reliant as it was before and survives to see a new day.


[side note: my goldfish survived happily. I have an extra strong filter in his tank and an automatic feeder, so he's pretty happy and his tank is pristine. The only drawback is that he now spends 70% of his time under the auto-feeder, waiting for food to come his way. Oh well, what can you do.]

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Update: January 28, 2011


Alright, I am officially moved back in... AND EVERYTHING SURVIVED!


I've been back for a week and I've tried to nurse the very few inhabitants back to full health, and I will be going to the LFS tomorrow to pick up my Bangaii Cardinal, a blood red fire shrimp, and a $#!T ton of coral. Additionally, I finally have the legs for my 150W MH lighting, so it's gonna be a huge upgrade for my current coral... 2x 9w 50/50 screw ins to 150 w MH with 2x 14W actinics. I tested the lights to make sure everything fit and worked properly, but I need to run to lowes or something so I can purchase the screens. Until then, I'm gonna stick with the crappy lights.


Crappy Lights:



Actinics Only:



150W MH + Actinics. Its sooooooooo bright!



I'll update later with the new tank inhabitants and the new lighting system officially installed.

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Looks good glad the legs came with the sliders needed to attach them to the light.

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Alright, so I now have stuff to fill my tank!


I went to the LFS yesterday and picked up:


-2x False Percs

- 1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp

- 1 Colony of Frogspawn

- 1 Colony of Goniopora







FTS: January 30, 2011



It's a bad picture... taken with my phone's camera. I'm borrowing a friends nice camera this afternoon where I'll be able to upload decent pictures. Also, the MH are soo bright lol, its hard to get a picture without a glare

Edited by awpong

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Alright, well its really hard to take a picture without the glare, but here's a FTS for January!


I'm also trying to lure my clowns to host my frogspawn :P

Testing out the picture to the tank method. Additionally, I've placed my ipad against the other side and have been playing videos of clowns hosted in frogspawn, on replay.



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Alright update: I've added a lot of frags since my last update... and will be adding even more once my order from Mr.Coral arrives.


Since my last update, I've added:

- Zoas and Palys: Devils Armor, Kedds Red, Nuclear Green, Red PE, unknown pink one, and an unknown orange one that is on the Nuclear Green frag.

- SPS: Purple Monti Cap, 1" Birds of Paradise frag, and a 2.5-3" Pink Birdsnest

- and a colony of Anthelia


My order to Mr. Coral is:

- Whip Cream Double Shortcake Zoas





- R^232 Funky Cold Medina Acan Limit 1


- O^3 Maxi Mini Carpet Anemone LIMIT 1!!!!


- R^187 Symphyllia Wilsoni $10? Come on man!!



(there are too many so I'm not going to attach pictures of them. If you want to know what one looks like, just let me know and I'll add a picture)


I've also added a 1.5" six line wrasse to my tank. I know that it's pushing the limits on my stock, but I don't plan on him becoming a full time resident. I only need him in there for 2-3 weeks to take care of my bristle worm and amphipod issue. (...unless he grows on me and I decide to keep him full time...)

I already do weekly 20% water changes, so I believe I'm on top of my nutrient exports.


Anyways... PICTURES!


Here's a FTS that I took today. My corals aren't fully open because I had just had my hand in the tank rearranging some frags. I'll take another one once everything is open and happy.


April 2, 2011




My two birdsnest frags



some of my zoa collection



Monti cap and Anthelia



Birdseye view of front half with actinics



Picture of my SLW, Ted (My clowns are named Lily and Marshal, and I have a goldfish named Barney :P), and my other zoa frags.


More updates to come after my Mr. Coral shipment arrives.

Edited by awpong

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Got my Mr. Coral shipment today!!!!

Everything is alive for the most part.... There are a few frags I'm gonna keep a close eye on due to their exposed skeletons and flesh recession. I'm hoping they'll recover.


Pictures... with crappy phone camera under 2x 14W Actinics and 4 LED moonlights. I placed 4 screens over the tank to reduce the light stress.



FTS: Jammed full of frags... had to move some frags behind my rocks.




(left to right) Wilsoni, Back to the future






(left to right) Green hornet, Green Lantern, Jackal



Maxi Mini Anemone



Mr. Cool Favia (and other zoa frags)



(left to right) Kedds red, Superman Zoas.... which apparently are apparently kedds red lol, par 4 favia, devils armor



(left to right) Devils armor, Superbowl Paly, Dragon Soul Prism, Eye of


I'll try to borrow my roommates camera and take better pictures that actually can express the colors on these things.

Edited by awpong

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Changed bulbs from the crappy stock Odyssea to 14000K Phoenix. Huge difference!







Edited by awpong

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Updated Picture:



Also, while I have access to my roommates good camera, here are a few pictures of my coral and fish.


Fishies :)








wrasse decided to photo bomb...




Maxi Mini


part of my zoa collection


horrible picture of some of my scripps acro

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Very nice! This tank has come a long way. Nice job so far!

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Nice tank, I especially like that huge colony of frogspawn.

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Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate them!


Nice tank, I especially like that huge colony of frogspawn.


I love my frogspawn :) I've been considering getting a Hammer and/or Torch to keep it company on that side of the tank. Eventually.

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Awesome torch. It looks like todd's torch to me.

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Nice tank! It's really coming along :)

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