nevermore1701

The Arid Sea

465 posts in this topic

Still a work in progress, but things are slowly coming together.

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Stealing Gena's spec template....



NANO-CUBE 12DX

Specs

Tank
Nano-Cube 12DX

Lighting
Stock Coralife 24W 50/50 PC bulbs (2)
Marineland LED panel installed to the rear of the PCs

Filtration
Left compartment:
InTank media basket -
Top level - filter floss
Middle level - Puri-Gen
Bottom level - Chemi-Pure Elite

Middle compartment:
Chaeto
Net to keep chaeto from getting pulled into return pump
Homemade exterior light box with CFL

Heater
Hydor 100 Watt - right compartment

Flow
Maxi-Jet 900 return

Rock and Sand
~12lbs assorted live rock
~5lbs CaribSea Aragamax Aragonite white sand

Livestock

Fish
Occ. Clownfish

 

Inverts

1 Derasa Clam

1 Cleaner Shrimp

2 Pom-pom Crabs

2 Emerald Crabs
1 Red Mithrax Crab
1 Brown Short Spine Urchin
2 Nano Red Bristle Starfish
1 Nano Harlequin Starfish
1 Nano Purple Starfish


Cleanup crew

3 Scarlet Hermit Crabs
8 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs
Assorted Nassarius, Cerith, Astrea, and Nerite snails

Coral
2 Small Ricordias
5 Green Rhodactis
1 Small Metallic orange mushroom
1 Small blue/purple mushroom
1 Small metallic green mushroom
1 Large colony of dark purple Zoas
1 Large colony of small brown Zoas
1 Small colony of cinnamon Palys
1 Small Leather coral
2 Small colonies of Green Star Polyps
Lots of tiny brown cloves


Maintenance Routine
Blow off rocks with turkey baster daily
Spot clean glass daily (Two Little Fishies Nano-Mag)
Change filter floss daily
Feed Hikara Marine S pellets daily
Feed frozen mysis once weekly
4 gallon water change weekly
Replace Chemi-Pure Elite and Purigen every 3-4 months

Edited by nevermore1701
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A brief history of my fish-keeping career:

 

All my life I've been fascinated by aquatic life. My two favorite places to visit as a kid were NASA and any of the decent sized aquariums. My first attempt to actually keep fish myself ended in disaster. I had just graduated high school and moved away from home, so I thought my first apartment would be a perfect place to try setting up a fish tank. I got one of the 29 gallon kits from Petsmart, did no research whatsoever, and killed everything I tried to put in it for several weeks. Discouraged, I gave up for several years.

 

While living at my last apartment I actually started working in the fish department at Petsmart, and after a while decided I had a good grasp of the basics, and would try a small freshwater tank. It did very well, and when I moved into my house I set up a 56 gallon cichlid tank, which has been running perfectly for a few years now. I'd always heard how much harder/more expensive/time-consuming saltwater was to keep than freshwater, but when I saw the Nano-Cube for sale for under $50, I figured it was time to give it a try.

 

I did a bit of reading, put 15lbs of sand and about 10-12lbs of live rock in, mixed up some salt water (with conditioned tap water), put in a Marineland Stealth Pro heater, thermometer, a bag of Ammo-Carb, and let it sit for a month. Did a 50% water change, headed to the LFS and got a half dozen each hermit crabs and assorted snails.

 

Waited another month and 2 25% water changes, and got a Yellow-tail Blue Damsel. Aside from semi-regular water changes, that's how it's been sitting for the past 8-9 months.

 

About a month ago, after seeing a friends 14g nano, I started doing more serious research, and stumbled upon NR. I've been reading heavily, and it's given me the motivation and confidence to start working toward a reef tank.

 

I think I'll use this thread to keep track of my progress, documenting my successes and failures along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First order of business was to re-vamp the back end of the tank. I took out the sponges, bio-balls, Ammo-Carb, non-functioning heater, thermometer, and stock pump.

 

I put in an inTank media basket with filter floss (pillow stuffing from Wal-Mart, another great tip I learned here!), Purigen, and Chemi-Pure Elite in the first chamber. Removed some backing from the second chamber, rigged a home-made light box on the back (also read about it here), and put some chaeto in there. Replaced the heater and thermometer in the third chamber, and upgraded the pump to a MaxiJet 900. I also gutted a damaged Marineland LED light fixture I got in trade and modded it into the hood behind the stock PCs. Hooked the lights up to a timer, currently 10 hours with the main lights on and the 'fuge lightbox on opposite them. I may change it so the LEDs come on on hour before the PCs, and then turn off an hour after for a ghetto sunrise/sunset cycle. Worth a try.

 

After all the new hardware was in, I got a few more snails and hermit crabs to replace the ones lost over the last several months, along with a peppermint shrimp to help get my Aiptasia infestation under control (hitchhiked on the LR, didn't know better than to let them do their thing). Did a 25% water change, and when the water parameters checked out good, got a Percula Clownfish.

 

Things seemed to be going well, but yesterday the Damsel was acting extremely stressed, and eventually died. Did another water change and test, everything looked good, and the Clown was fine. I probably should have waited a bit longer, but went ahead and got another Clown this afternoon. What can I say, we were in the area, wanted to stop in and look, and couldn't resist. Watching them carefully, and so far so good.

 

 

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Edited by nevermore1701

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Clowns are doing great, adding a Yellow Watchman Goby. Camera lens is off getting fixed, so no pics right now, sadly enough. He's eating great though, so that's good!

 

Chaeto doesn't look like it's growing any, going to try longer light cycle on it.

 

Peppermint shrimp did ok for a few days, then one morning I woke up and he was being devoured by the hermit crabs. He was by one of the big aiptasias, don't know if it stung him? I've since got rid of the big ones, but now there's more little ones. Will try another peppermint to help keep the nasty little pests in line.

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Hi, nevermore! I'm so excited for you...venturing into a reef. I'll definitely be watching the progress here. Love your clowns!!!!!

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Zoas should be here any second, very excited! To pass the time, did a full range test on my system. I usually just do PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate weekly, but I've been trying to occupy myself. This is what I got today:

 

 

Temp: 78.7

SG: 1.025

pH: 8.2

Ammonia: 0ppm

Nitrites: 0ppm

Nitrates: 0pm

Phosphates: 0pm

Calcium: 520

KH: 214

 

 

I just did my weekly 25% water change about 18 hours ago, so everything had better be fine!

 

YWG is doing great so far, he found a couple of holes he seems to like, and comes out to eat very eagerly.

 

I think I'm down to one medium sized aiptasia, but he's in a place thats a pain in the ass to get to with my syringe. When he gets just a hair bigger I think I can stick him.

 

LFS has a gorgeous little single mushroom for $8 that I'm eyeing, it's a really interesting blue/green/purple iridescent color. They also have a little 3 head light lime green trumpet for $15 that I like, but I should really wait to see how my not-yet-arrived zoas do first!

 

Still mad at Cannon for not having my T1i back to me in time to document the first corals, but not much I can do about that.

Edited by nevermore1701

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woohoo....excited for you :)

 

What salt brand are you using?

 

Can't wait to see the new addition!!!!!!

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woohoo....excited for you :)

 

What salt brand are you using?

 

Can't wait to see the new addition!!!!!!

 

 

Started off with IO, now using Coralife. I honestly just use whatever I can find cheapest when I need some.

 

Heh, while waiting on the corals my Koralia Nano 240 came, I had actually forgotten I even ordered it!

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Well, they're here, and kind of strewn around everywhere. I'm sure I'll be moving them around at some point. Couple of them are already opening up after being in the tank for about 15 minutes. Did a 25-30ish minute drip acclimation, so hopefully it was good enough.

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All opened up and look pretty good. Couldn't help myself, grabbed the little mushroom from the LFS. $6, couldn't resist. Thinking maybe a GSP frag and/or the little trumpet next week, depending on how the zoas and shroom are doing.

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Looking good. BTW you don't have to drip acclimate corals. Float them for temp acclimate, dip them or treat the arrival bag with some kind of coral dip/treatment (CoralRx, Lugol's,etc) rinse and put in. Don't risk pests or disease! Plus it helps stressed corals.:)

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Zoas are generally looking good, looks like I might have lost a couple of polyps, but overall not bad. Mushroom is sitting in a shot glass on a piece of LR rubble, looks like it might be attaching. Been moving the Koralia around, think I have it in a descent spot now.

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Mushroom attached to the LR rubble, and then promptly went for a float when I took it out. Now he's quite happy in the back of the tank behind a rock, where he's barely visible. Little ass.

 

Anyway, got a little 4 head green trumpet today, gonna put him in as soon as he's acclimated.

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Mushroom is MIA. Will try again with a more firmly rooted one in a few days. After some intense aiptasia hunting I managed to get rid of all the big ones. Got another peppermint shrimp to hopefully take care of all the little bastards. Also picked up a little four headed light green trumpet coral, hope it does well.

 

Camera is finally back from getting repaired, so I can finally take more pics!

Edited by nevermore1701

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Mushrooms can be real pita's. I have had several go MIA in my tank. Hopefully they'll show up again eventually. They certainly have minds of their own :lol:

 

Looking forward to seeing some pictures!

Edited by gena

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Started taking pics about 45 seconds before the lights cut off for the night :rolleyes:

 

YWG:

 

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Pep shrimp:

 

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Thanks, I think I'll try to get some more pics this evening. Unfortunately my scape, coral placement, and gluing jobs all look like crap (still learning here!), and I'm not sure I want to share my ineptitude :P

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Caught a glimpse of the stupid mushroom today. He's all the way in the back, behind and under the rockwork. I should dig him out, there is zero light back there. Only saw him because I had a flashlight looking into corners trying to figure out where the 3" bristle worm is hanging out <_<

 

Also saw a couple of the tiny little white feather dusters, I haven't seen any in months, thought they were all gone. Hopefully they'll make a comeback, they're cool.

 

That is one awesome helper you have there!

 

 

Thanks, she thinks she must be within tail-whacking distance of me at all times. :wub:

Edited by nevermore1701

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Nice pictures of the trumpet! Looks like you have some excellent coralline growth too! Where's the FTS? Don't be shy B):P

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I'll take a FTS this afternoon when I get back from lunch. My scape looks like crap, thanks to a complete lack of creativity and the sub-par rocks that I started out with.

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