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Cultivated Reef

New 10g tank


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This is my first salt water tank. I've had tropical fish including betta's for quite a long time now and I feel like a new challenge. The tank has been set up for about 2 months and it's fully cycled, Nitrites and ammonia are 0, nitrates are 10ppm. I've been trying to get the nitrates lower but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Im planning to keep mainly LPS and some zoas. I am about to upgrade the lighting from the stock lighting to an aquastyles retrofit. There are 3 turbos in there at the moment and im gradually building up the CUC. Feel free to make any suggestions, i'm a newbie so any comments are appreciated! The tank is a converted interpet fishbox 48. Everything seems really healthy in the tank, ive got some halimeda growing and the coralline has spread like wildfire, theres lots of copepods crawling around on the glass as well. As for livestock, im taking it really slowly so I get used to keeping the water stable etc, Im thinking a black and white and orange and white ocellaris clown eventually.


Apologies for the photo and the usual iphone blue glare! The grill thing on the left is just a reflection of my blinds in the living room!



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Looking good, love the aquascape! What type of stock lighting and filtration are you running on that?

Good to hear your levels are balancing out and you have no algae spikes :)...copepods are great sign to. Looks like a promising tank!

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The lighting is the cool blue 8w power compact that comes with the interpet tank, I thought it would be useless for growth but given the halimeda and coralline, it will do until my LEDs arrive. Im going to try natural filtration with the live rock and sand, if it works, great! if not.. im thinking maybe an external filter or protein skimmer. Not too sure yet though. I have to keep the hood on the tank because I have two puppies who decided they like the taste of salt water. There was some algae about a month into the build but the turbos have cleared it up nicely. there is still some on the back wall of the tank which i don't want to clean off so the snails have something to eat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update on how the tank is coming along. I upgraded the lights from the stock PC to a rapidled Kit. It has 14 LEDS, 6RB:3CW:3NW:1TV:1CB. I really like the colours so far although I think there might be something wrong with the dimming on the blue string. It just comes straight on full power, very little dimming up or down. The whites are working fine and rigged to the same RapidLed 2 colour dimming unit. I will have a look when I get a chance and see if I can work out whats going on.


The picture is of the new colours but its nowhere near as bright as it is in person and all my zoas are really bright now.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Thought i'd update this with some new pics :)


Not much has changed, boosted my clean up crew. Now have some turbos, astreas, Nerite snails, some nassarius snails, a couple of algae hermits, a red legged hermit, a cleaner shrimp, a conch (which i might have to move to the bigger tank when he runs out of food!)


Corals, lots of different zoas, candy cane, neon green candy cane frag, pulsing xenia, an an unknown coral which im assuming is a goniopora or monti.








My halimeda:



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Any suggestions as to what goes in next?

Whoa, that's a killer scape. Don't worry too much about the excess nitrates, tanks with no filtration usually have some detectable nitrates. if it gets much over 10 though, you could start having problems. Just keep going slowly. Add a new coral you like every now and then. Do your research before you buy and limit the amount of fish to one or two small fish. Keep up with water changes. Before you know it, you will have a full tank and be cutting stuff back.


Good luck with the tank.

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Thanks! I am stuck between a torch coral or a hammer. I like ones with the purple tips! might get both and keep one either side of the pulsing xenia to stop it growing out of control.


I forgot about the nitrate problem, turns out it was from the RO water from my LFS. they were pretty much just selling tap water. Since changing suppliers the nitrates have pretty much gone, certainly below the detectable range of my API test kit anyway.

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Thanks! I am stuck between a torch coral or a hammer. I like ones with the purple tips! might get both and keep one either side of the pulsing xenia to stop it growing out of control.

Keep in mind that both of those corals will send out sweeper tentacles about 2-6" beyond their "bodies". they will sting pretty much everything. It's not a reason not to get them, just keep in in mind when placing the coral.

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