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matt20

Matt's 20L College Reef (Retired)

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matt20   

Tank Started: 1/28/12
FTS as of 6/1/12
IMG_0518.jpg


Picture directory:
(3/25/12) My first few soft corals and LPS
(4/9/12) Frogspawn!
(4/13/12) April FTS, acans, new scape
(4/20/12) SPS, acans, zoanthids/palys
(5/1/12) May FTS & a bunch of random pictures
(5/9/12) A clownfish and her host
(5/17/12) New lights!
(6/1/12) June FTS & tons of random tank photos
(6/5/12) 3rd Vivid Aquariums order
(6/24/12) New coral placement

Equipment:

 

  • Tank: 20 gallon long Clear For Life acrylic aquarium
  • Lighting: 24" Sunlight Supply Tek High-Output T5 fixture running x2 Blue+, x1 Purple+, and x1 Coral+; x1 12W Ecoxotic magenta/actinic stunner strip, all hung from DIY fixture.
  • Filtration: AquaClear 50 running Purigen and Chemipure; AquaClear 30 Refugium growing Chaetomorpha & lit by 6500k Innovative Marine Utility LED
  • Heater: 100W Aqueon
  • Flow: Vortech MP10
  • Journal to record test results, new acquisitions, interesting observations, etc


Maintenance:

 

 

  • Twice daily manual top-offs with distilled water
  • Twice daily 5.0ml dose of Brightwell Aquatics Liquid Buffer (calcium demands met with water changes).
  • Scrub algae off acrylic as needed
  • Use turkey baster to blow detritus off LR 2-3 times/week, stir sand bed 2-3 times/week
  • Twice weekly three gallon water changes (~15% each water change) using Reef Crystals salt
  • Once daily feeding for fish: pellets, flakes, sometimes mysis shrip (occasionally garlic soaked)
  • Once weekly feeding for corals: Marine Snow or Oyster feast. Mysis shrimp for LPS.
  • Check temp daily. SG every few days. Other tests weekly to bi-weekly.


Parameters:

 

 

  • SG: 1.025
  • Temp: 78F
  • NO3: 0ppm
  • PO4: 0ppm
  • Ca2+: 440ppm
  • Mg2+: 1400ppm
  • Alk: 8.0dKH


Fish:

 

 

  • Pair of Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris; 1 Misbar, 1 Wild-Type)


Invertebrates:

 

 

  • 1 Red Legged Hermit Crab (Paguristes cadenati)
  • 2 Electric Blue Hermit Crabs (Calcinus elegans)
  • 5 Nassarius Snails (Nassarius sp.)
  • 6 Nerite Snails (Nerita sp.)
  • 2 Banded Trochus Snails (Trochus sp.)
  • 5 Cerith Snails (Cerithium sp.)
  • ~25 Dwarf Cerith Snails (Cerithium sp.)
  • Pair of Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)


Corals:

 

 

  • Soft Corals

    Tic-Tac Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Lord of the Rings Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Whammin Watermelon Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Radioactive Dragon Eye Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Limeberry Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Lunar Eclipse Palythoa (Palythoa sp.)

  • LPS Corals

    Tri-Color Acans (Acanasthrea lordhowensis)
    Blue and Red Striped Acans (Acanasthrea lordhowensis)
    Blue and Neon Green Acans (Acanasthrea lordhowensis)
    Orange Acans (Acanasthrea lordhowensis)
    Blue with Red Centers Acans (Acanasthrea lordhowensis)
    Electric Green Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens)
    Purple Tip Frogspawn Coral (Euphyllia paradivisa)
    Hot Spot Chalice (Echinophyllia sp.)
    Blue Blastomussa Wellsi (Blastomussa wellsi)
    Purple, Green & Pink Maze Brain Coral (Platygyra sp.)

  • SPS Corals

    Montipora capricornis (Orange)
    Montipora capricornis (Purple)
    Acropora millepora (Pink)
    Acropora millepora (Blue)
    Acropora yongei (Bali Green Slimer)
    Acropora humilis (Purple)
    Acropora tenuis (Green with blue tips)
    Seriatopora guttatus (ORA Green Birdsnest)


Wish List:

 

 

  • Fish

    Pink Streaked Wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia)
    Maybe 1 Neon Blue Goby (Elacatinus oceanops)

  • Corals

    Either an Acropora tortuosa (Oregon Blue) or Acropora microclados (Strawberry Shortcake).
    More acans if I have room!
    Various space filler zoanthids
    Candy Cane Coral (Caulastrea furcata)
    Chalice coral


Rock/substrate:

 

 

  • ~25lbs Fiji Premium Live Rock
  • ~30lbs Fiji Pink Live Aragonite Sand

 

Edited by matt20

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Willie   

Looks wicked dude, I'm not a fan of that type of rock but you made me change my mind. Looking forward to seeing the tank progress!

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matt20   
Looks wicked dude, I'm not a fan of that type of rock but you made me change my mind. Looking forward to seeing the tank progress!

 

Thanks! The aquascape isn't perfect, but I'm happy with it. Lots of caves for fish to swim through, and lots of places to put corals.

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Criley7   

I think you should keep it. I like the aquascape a lot.

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matt20   
I think you should keep it. I like the aquascape a lot.

 

Thanks! I was going to keep it this way anyway. I'm happy enough with it.

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matt20   

Here are some more pictures. I took them with my iPhone and for some reason they're turning out better than the ones I took with a $300 camera.

 

If anyone can ID these zoanthids for me I would appreciate it.

IMG_0142.jpg

 

Radioactive zoanthids

IMG_0141.jpg

 

Stressed candy cane. The frag came with a ton of algae/junk on it, which I had to manually remove.

IMG_0140.jpg

 

Happy torch!

IMG_0137.jpg

 

green star polyps, which have already spread about 1.5cm in 3 weeks.

IMG_0136.jpg

 

the newest addition, a green hairy mushroom. it looks like it may be getting ready to split at the top.

IMG_0133.jpg

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matt20   

If anyone knows how to add links to different posts within a thread, please let me know. I want to start a directory where people can click a link and jump to a post with new pictures in it.

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Paigee   

Sorry I don't know how to add those links, but just wanted to say your tank looks great! Solid start :)

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matt20   
Sorry I don't know how to add those links, but just wanted to say your tank looks great! Solid start :)

 

Thanks! I've had a few bumps in the road already, but I've managed to avert any real disasters so far. :) The hardest part of it all is patience... I guess it's the same for most people who get into this hobby.

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Cintax   

Very nice tank. I like the rock layout, it really looks clean.

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Good looking tank Matt! If you keep your stocking that light, you should have an easy maintenance schedule.

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matt20   
Good looking tank Matt! If you keep your stocking that light, you should have an easy maintenance schedule.

 

Thanks for reading! I am still undecided on how stocked I want this tank to be. I like to keep things simple, but there are also a ton of fish I would love to have in here. We'll see how things go... I'd like to add a clown goby since they stay pretty small and would not contribute too much to the bioload relative to other fishes. If I feel like the tank can handle it, I may add either a royal gramma, green chromis, or sixline wrasse in addition to the goby. Flame angels are also tempting, but I'm not sure how a swimmer like that would do in a 20g (even though I have read this is enough space). Plus, I'm not sure I want to add a fish that may nip at LPS corals, in what I hope will be an LPS dominated tank. Decisions, decisions!

 

Very nice tank. I like the rock layout, it really looks clean.

 

Thanks! I probably changed the rock layout a dozen times while the tank cycled before I settled with the current layout. My girlfriend would always roll her eyes at me every time she saw me messing with it. :P

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matt20   

3/28/12 Update:

 

I got an order in from reefcleaners today, and in true reefcleaners fashion, I got way more than I paid for. It's good though because I didn't realize just how small dwarf ceriths were. I ordered 5 and got probably over 20. They're going to work on the small diatom bloom I've got on my sandbed right now. I also bought a couple of red mangroves for the tank to help soak up excess nutrients. I stuck them in a modified AQ20 HOB filter (see pics below). Overall thumbs up. I will order from John again.

 

In other news, I changed up some things in the tank. I moved the torch coral to the left side. On the right side, the tentacles were getting too close to the rock, so there wasn't much more room for it to grow. Plus, it was taking up too much real estate where it was. Now I can add more corals to the tank.

 

My candy cane coral is doing much better. There's still some tissue recession but the heads are puffing up a bunch more during the day. At night, some of the heads are putting out their sweeper tentacles. I don't know how long it takes for candy canes to puff up to their max after introduction to a tank--weeks? 2 months? If anyone can offer some input on that, I'd appreciate it.

 

I added a few accent pieces of dry rock to the big rock going across the middle of the tank. It was too flat, and needed some height toward the back. This area will become a zoa/paly garden in the future.

 

A whole bunch snails eggs hatched simultaneously the other night. That was so cool. The fish and my peppermint shrimp went nuts trying to eat all of them floating around.

 

I got my 3rd Par38 bulb, as well as an Ecoxotic actinic/magenta stunner strip for dawn/dusk simulation. Those are all installed and running. The stunner strip looks amazing on its own! Also looking forward to keeping some SPS under these new lights.

 

 

Here are some pics:

 

 

Here's a nice picture of my torch coral

DSCN35372.jpg

 

Here is my lighting setup. It's just 1/2 inch bent metal conduit sprayed black and attached to the back of my stand. It's not in this picture, but I hung my strip light from the conduit. It's behind the bulbs and at the same level above water.

DSCN3617.jpg

 

Here's the modded AC20 holding mangroves. I turned the media basket upside down and cut holes in it to hold them.

DSCN3621.jpg

 

Mangroves!

DSCN3622.jpg

 

FTS with the actinic/magenta combo on only.

DSCN3624.jpg

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JR!   

wow i like this great job man.

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matt20   
wow i like this great job man.

 

Thanks. I'm just trying to make what I have look as clean as possible... kind of hard to do when you have two HOB filters, a big heater, and 2 koralias in the display. Had I known a few months ago what I know now, a lot would be different. I looked in to getting an AIO but I didn't like the biocube or whatever those are. The next tank I get (probably in a year or so from now when I move) will look a lot like yours. Nothing looks better than a shallow AIO in my opinion.

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Paigee   

Have you thought about getting one bigger HOB? Like modding an AC 110 or something? Then you could fit the heater(s) in there, and not have 2 HOBs. What do you have in each?

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matt20   
Have you thought about getting one bigger HOB? Like modding an AC 110 or something? Then you could fit the heater(s) in there, and not have 2 HOBs. What do you have in each?

 

The AC50 is my actual filter. I'm running purigen in there, and will probably throw in some chemipure pretty soon. The AC20 to the left is just to house the new mangroves. But yes I have thought about it. I'm in no rush right now since what I have is working pretty well. It is an eye sore though. Getting a bigger HOB is definitely something I am considering.

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Paigee   

Yeah I think in a 110 you would have enough room to run both. I plan on modding an AC 110 either with the existing media basket or purchasing an inTank basket and running some purigen and some chaeto or something when I do my 20L set up.

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matt20   
Yeah I think in a 110 you would have enough room to run both. I plan on modding an AC 110 either with the existing media basket or purchasing an inTank basket and running some purigen and some chaeto or something when I do my 20L set up.

 

Have you thought about getting an AIO instead? I love that look the best. If I could have a do-over, I would have started out with this tank. $350 seems like a pretty good deal for such a sexy setup. There's also the 38g if the 16g is too small for your taste.

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Paigee   

I've thought about it, and perhaps in my future, but I'm going with the 20L for a few reasons. First, I have a space constraint, and the tank must go where it is currently, any wider tank dimension won't fit. Secondly, I already have a stand that fits the footprint of the 20 (from a standard 29G tank). I would love to do something like that one you linked to, but I don't have the money for it. Buying for my 20L basically consists of the tank itself, some more sand, and 2 T5HO bulbs. A lot less than $350 + shipping + stand :P

 

When I have my own place, I plan on going bigger, I'd love something shallow, possibly a cube, but I've seen some neat shallow long tanks too. Being in university and living half at my mom's and half at my boyfriend's kind of cramps my style haha :lol:

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matt20   

Yeah I understand. 20L is such a good tank size anyway. I love the footprint of mine. Good luck! I tagged along on your thread so I can keep up with updates on your progress.

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Paigee   

Thanks :) How's progress on yours going?

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matt20   
Thanks :) How's progress on yours going?

 

Slowly, but I am told that's a good thing in this hobby. :P I am having a bit of a diatom bloom on my sand at the moment, and I understand it is just a normal part of a new tank's cycle. It doesn't look too bad. I got some mangroves to help with nutrient export and hopefully out-compete the diatoms for nutrients. If I don't see signs of improvement after a week, I'll add some Purigen.

 

Once the diatom bloom fades away and everything seems nice and stable I'm going to place a big coral order. I want to get 2-3 small zoa/paly frags, another mushroom, and 1-2 acan frags. I'd also like to try keeping SPS in this tank, so I'll probably get a montipora cap. I hear they are good beginner SPS corals.

 

How's progress on your 10g? I see you're dealing with pests... no fun. I had an aiptasia scare with my first candy cane frag. I didn't even want to risk its spread by treating it so I just tossed the frag out. Are you going to be upgrading to your 20L soon or are you still in your planning stage?

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Paigee   

Within the next month, hopefully. I just have to prepare the live rock and cycle.. But I'm hoping to seed with some pest free pieces of LR. I was very tempted to get a peppermint shrimp today to try and get rid of aiptasia, but I've heard of them going wild and eating corals too... Which is scary!

 

So hopefully within about 2 months I'll be able to transfer. But who knows? Haha

 

Glad you're cycle is booming along. Where do you plan on ordering from? An LFS or online?

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matt20   
Where do you plan on ordering from? An LFS or online?

 

Kind of a sore subject for me. I have a decent LFS, but their selection of coral is pitiful. They have some plain mushrooms, not-so-colorful zoanthids, a bunch of anemones which I don't plan on keeping, very few LPS, and no SPS. So that means I've really had to order online, but so far I've had some less than satisfactory experiences. To put a long story short, I have learned that no matter how good of a reputation a particular vendor has, always always always quarantine corals. Even if that awesome dip you use kills off 95% of the hitchhikers, you still have that low risk of introducing nudis, aiptasia, etc.

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