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d0lph1n's 40G


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I got a turkey baster 2 days ago and I'm using it to clean the rocks & sand. Very cool tool. I like it a lot.


These are the today's pics:




One of the Emerald crabs is chilling next to the Blue Xenia:


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I made few changes:

- removed some LR and rearranged the top ones.

- added more chaeto behind LR.

- replaced internal filter with external filter (seachem matrix+sponge prefilter) and modified venturi head for oxygenation purposes. The venturi head works only every 10 sec (only during maximum flow) bcz the filter is setup to switch flow from min to max every 10 sec. The total maximum water flow (including the Hydor head) is aprox. 850gph.


I'm on weekly partial water changes according to the Tropic Bio-Actif instructions. The MH lights are running 12h a day.


Salinity: 1025

Water temp: 79.2-.5 F

The ph is around 8.1-.2.

Alkalinity: 5.5 meq/L

Today - 3 days since the 2nd partial water change and aprox 1 month since I started - I tested, the first time, for calcium which is 400-450ppm.


I've been adding creatures for the past week:


1. 1 x pair of clowns (Amphiprion p.)









2. 1 x Frogspawn







3. 1 x Cleaner shrimp:







4. 2 x Sun Polyps





2-3h after acclimation



3-4h after acclimation:







5. 1 x Tonga Fighting Conch



..and few Nassarius Snails and one frag of Emerald Cyphastrea


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Last Friday, I added 2 more Tonga Fighting Conch and 1 more Cleaner shrimp.

Saturday, it took me 3-4h to do a 30% water change especially because the freshwater was very cold.


The Sun Polyps are doing fine. I've been feeding them everyday. Still looking for the perfect spot to place them.


The clowns took longer to acclimate, after 3-4 days, they started to eat. They seem happy, active and very friendly. Probably, I'll try hand-feeding them soon.


The crabs are very active too. The other day, I saw one Emerald crab devouring a piece of Chaeto stollen from the Sea Urchin. The Pom-Pom crab has been spotted almost everyday even during lights-on, especially during coral feeding.


The Cleaner shrimps are very friendly too. They climb on my hand every time I use the baster to feed the Sun polyps. Sometimes they steal food from corals.


The Frogspawn or Hammer coral is not fully open yet but it's filter feeding almost non-stop. Sometimes, it is bothered by the Emerald crab that likes to climb it, especially during nighttime.













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Your flasher wrasses are AWESOME. I had one myself but it was borrrrrriiinnnngggg... So I traded him in for a flame angel that chomped my coral and I had to completely tear apart my tank to get rid of him. Hindsight being 20/20... Wish I kept the wrasse. He was pretty for sure though but yours are magnificent.


I am really digging that tank too! Something about it makes me love it, and of course your scape is awesome as well.

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Your flasher wrasses are AWESOME. I had one myself but it was borrrrrriiinnnngggg... So I traded him in for a flame angel that chomped my coral and I had to completely tear apart my tank to get rid of him. Hindsight being 20/20... Wish I kept the wrasse. He was pretty for sure though but yours are magnificent.


I am really digging that tank too! Something about it makes me love it, and of course your scape is awesome as well.


Thank you for your comments. Regarding the flashers, I got 2 males bcz it was recommended in an article, which I can't find right now, as a method of encouraging flashing behavior, no surprise here :). Takeshi Aoki is also recommending "keeping as many specimens as possible, especially males..." In my tank, the 2nd wrasse which seems to be a juvenile and shy, was introduced 3 days ago. So far, no signs of aggression, they get along very well. They seem to enjoy the LR formation. As far as I understand, the wrasse has a very fast metabolism, so i'm feeding very small amounts of New Life Spectrum Sinking Formula 4 times a day via an Eheim feeder.


Since I've reached the self-impossed limit of 4 fish, I'll be focusing on adding more corals. So far, the Xenias, the Sun polyps and the Hammers are growing. The Emerald Cyphastrea doesn't do well so I've moved it around hoping for positive results.

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  • 5 weeks later...

It has been a month since my last post. Meantime:


- the male clown got very sick, in a critical condition, with damaged fins and ugly spots & scars but always happy, never lost its appetite. By looking at the older photos, the clown had damaged fins when i got him. It got worst and worst. So I quarantined both clowns and treated them with Seachem Paraguard. During treatment, the male has lost its tail. Now, the clowns are back in the main tank. The tail is growing back and the scars are almost gone. So far so good.


- new live stock additions: Christmas worms, Orange Ricordea, True Superman Montipora, ORA Screaming Green Birdsnest.


- Without an apparent reason, the tank got into a 2nd algae bloom - definitely nastier than the cycling bloom... very, very nasty - but only on the sides (rock and sand) that received direct light. Since all parameters seemed fine, I blamed it on the light bulb which had an unknown age. According to some people, an old MH bulb might encouraged algae bloom. So I replaced the 20000k bulb with a brand new Ushio 14000k. What a difference! I'll post photos soon.


- Since the new light is more natural, I realized the water had some yellow hue. So, I added Chempure Elite & Seachem Purigen in the canister filter. The yellow hue was removed in the forst 24-48h. I also constructed an air powered skimmer which started to pull some nasty dark brown stuff right away.


- a week later, the nasty brown algae bloom has disappeared completely, leaving behind beautiful green (macro) algae. I see some new things growing from rocks that need to be identified. I haven't changed the water since the algae bloom started, in almost 2 weeks, bcz I wasn't sure what caused the algae bloom. The birdnest has lost its green hue, probably because of the new light bulb.


- new live stock additions: Purple Haze Montipora, Blue Linckia Starfish.


- 2 days ago, the Hydor Slim Skim has arrived.


- also added a Tunze 6045 powerhead for a total of 2000GPH flow.


- during the skimmmer & powerheads installation, I dropped the Eheim autofeeder in tank, it was completely submerged. After cleaning & drying, it seems to be working fine. I hope this is the last event of my 1 month long nightmare. All fish, snails, crabs and corals are doing fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today a got an used Aqua-Medic Turboflotor 1000 (no pump) for $80. I'll buy the pump tomorrow.

Since I sent the Hydor back, I've been running without skimmer for almost a week. The tank seems fine but I'm not feeling comfortable.


I also got an used cpr refugium (4 gal) in which I moved all my chaeto. I'm also planning to build a 20Gal sump.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been battling all kinds of algae for the past 2 month., what a nightmare.


Recently, thanks to the Vivid Aquarium guys, I discovered that I was using 120 TDS water. I admit being super dumb for thinking that I could make it work with the water from aquasana drinking filter. Another major stupid idea was not to use a skimmer especially during cycling. I regret being a cheap and stubborn ass. Probably, only because of my weekly water changes I didn't lose any fish or inverts.


So, in order to fix the mess, I did the followings:


- Skimming: got an AquaC Remora w/ MaxiJet 1200 (I think). It has been pulling nasty brown stuff from my tank. Compared with Hydor Slim Skim, I prefer the AquaC , especially after doing the silencer mod.

- Ro/Di water only: finally got a SpectraPure RO/DI MAxCap 90 which produces "Zero TDS" water. Huge improvement over my 120 TDS water.

- reduced feeding

- raised the MH lights from 8-9 inch to 12 inch.

- reduced the light time cycle from 12h to 8h.

- added Seachem Matrix Carbon and PhosGuard

- added dwarf hermits

- added 2nd pump (Tunze 6045) and repositioned the pumps

- weekly filter cleaning

- one time 72h lights off

- earthing (in tank silver .999 rod wired to the plug's ground)

- added DIY cooling - 2 x Antec PC case fans glued on the sides of the skimmer (replacing 1 x 6 inch noisy fan) - still working on improving the design.


After few days, i can see improvements:

- less algae (I have hopes now)

- less surface & floating mess

- the water is cleaner, clearer and bluer (it was yellower before under the 14K bulb)

- less skimmage

- corals seem happier especially the Bi-color Hammer & Aussi Elegance Coral

- coral growth (maybe I'm dreaming)


I'm planning to:

- install a sump and refugium under the tunk. Already got the Tunze circulation pump and built the pipe overflow.

- add actinic supplements. Already ordered Rebel ES Royal Blue LEDs, lens, driver and heatsinks.

- maybe add an UV sterilizer

- maybe build a Peltier cooling device.


I'll add photos soon. Posted some videos in my picasa gallery.

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Xenia got massive :o


Love this tank.


Keep fighting the algae, your on the right track.


Thanks for your comments. The main Xenias and their frags are growing nicely.


Yesterday I did a massive cleaning and a 30% water change and repositioned the Xenia.

The water is very clear but with a lot of micro-bubbles from skimmer.


Also, I removed 2 more rocks and repositioned the pwheads, can't seem to find a perfect placement I hate this tank's shape from this point of view.


Tomorrow I'm expecting a Rose Anemone & Red Open Brain purchased from Driver'Den.

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I love the look of the de-rimmed tank... only I wouldn't dare try it even with my 20 Gallon. I thought about it, but in the end it wasn't made to be rimless and I wouldn't want to risk even 20 gallons on my floor.


I read a post in another forum of a guy who de-rimmed his tank. It ended up bowing and leaking all over after a month or so in his office. I think it was only 1-15 gallons too. Too much of a risk! I'd only de-rim if the tank was in a basement with a drain or outside.

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Yesterday I got my first order from Driver's Den, liveaquaria.com:


1 x Red Open Brain:



1x Rose Bubble-Ti Anemone


1h after acclimation, trying to speed up the mounting process by building a pipe-like support (lame):



Few hours later:



Around 2am, the anemone left the plastic crap and started moving around. This morning, she was on the front glass:



Yesterday also, the parts for my actinic supplements project arrived, so I worked on it for a few hours. Being my 1st LED project, it never crossed my mind it will be so difficult, especially the soldering job between rebel es and mcpcb star. These LEDs are very very small, check the rice seed next to it:




Still testing, still "under construction":



Impressive blue, IMO, but I've never had an actinic light before:



As soon as I can find a proper dimmer for this driver, I'll mount them on my MH fixture. I will probably order few more LEDs. The driver can handle at least 4-8 more.

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Day 3: The Rose BTA keeps moving, but for the past 24h seems to like that spot.




I'm getting worried about the Hammer.

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Day 4


The RBTA seems to like this spot. It hasn't moved much, it looks like it's trying to avoid the hammer coral.



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  • 2 weeks later...

- The nuisance algae are dying off. I've been doing weekly filter/media cleaning and 15% water change. The chaeto looks great.


- The Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse is doing great. It's not shy anymore and it gets along with the other 2 wrasses. Beautiful and peaceful fish.


- the clowns are mad. Can't decide what to host. The keep moving back and fwd between open brains and elegance coral and purple shag mushroom but they spend the nightime in the bigger open brain.


- Both Sea Hares died, first after 6 days and the 2nd one after 2 days :(. I have no idea what happened. It says, it's very hard to acclimate them.


- The yellow watchmen has disappeared. It looks like it's typical. They like to hide. I hope.


- the rose bta is hiding in a cave and is coming out at nigh, very shy, probably it's still acclimating to the new environment. Strange animal.


- I wasn't able to complete the led actinic supplements project but I've made dimmable moonlights: 4 x rebel es royal blue with lens. The corals display unreal colors. Both open brains and ricordea's are spectacular. Can't share the view with you since my nikon is not able to replicate these colors.


- talking about ricordea, added 3 new last night, the photos are provided by seller:






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  • 3 months later...


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