grmoore

GR's 2.5g Mixed Photosynthetic Macro Reef

27 posts in this topic

Hi everyone. This is my entry into the My 3 and Under Pico Contest. I'm building a macro reef in an Aqueon 2.5 gallon aquarium. This will be a bare bottom tank that will instead use a floor of GSP.

 

I've created a rock wall out of rubble chips attached to the rear glass with silicon, that serves two purposes - first, since I want a sparse floor on this tank, the wall provides plenty of surface area for nitrifying bacteria, and second, it gives me an excellent location to attach macro algae. I've also siliconed an island rock to the floor that the GSP will grow around and provide a foreground location for the better display algae. I'll be adding another rock island later on the right side after the tank cycles with a speciman rock of aquacultured Pacific algae.

 

Filtration and water flow will be via an AC70, which will be home to a 50W Finnex heater, temperature probe and AquaticLife 115 skimmer - the only mechanical filter I'll be using. All other filtration will be natural, via the algae. As this tank has a near zero bioload, I don't anticipate doing any water changes, just as I've not done water changes on my other macro tank in nearly a year.

 

Lighting is via an 8W Innovative Marine Skyye Light LED panel at 14000k. The panel is mounted to the back of the AC70, making the lamp well centered over the tank.

 

Cycling was started yesterday, and I'll be using Dr. Tim's One and Only to speed the cycle. I used this for my previous two tanks, and was exceptionally happy with the results.

 

This thread is going to be pretty picture intensive, so I hope you all like images. You can click on any of the images to view a full HD version. I look forward to your comments - both good and bad!

 

Full Tank Shot

 

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Full Lighting

 

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Actinic Only

 

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Equipment:

  • Aqueon 2.5g Aquarium w/ glass canopy
  • AquaClear 70 HOB Filter
  • AquaticLife 115 Skimmer (in the HOB)
  • Innovative Marine Skyye Light 8W 14000K LED (mounted to the HOB)
  • Finnex 50W Titanium Heater (in the HOB)
  • ATO (at some point)
Intended Livestock:

 

  • Small to Medium Nerites
  • Green Star Polyps
  • Common and Rare Macro Algae
  • Fire Fern (Bryothamnion Triquetrum)
  • Flamingo Feather Algae (Heterosiphonia gibbesii)
  • Red Grape Algae (Botryocladia leptopoda)
  • Spiny Seaweed (Acanthophora spicifera)
  • Laurencia papillosa (green variant)
  • Palm Tree Algae (Cymopolia barbata)
  • Ulva (Ulva rigida)
  • Red Fern (Haliptilon roseum)
  • Iridescent Fauchea
  • Blue Ball (Ochtodes sp.)
  • Dictyota linearis
  • Sargassum sp.
Dosing:

 

 

 

  • Kent Iron and Manganese - 2 drops/2 days
  • Kent Tech-M Magnesium - 2 drops/2 days to maintain 1320 mg/L
  • Brightwell Reef Code A/B - 2 drops/2 days to maintain 440 ppm/10dKH
  • Brightwell Lugol's Iodine - One drop once per week
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystems KNO3 - 1ml/2 days to maintain ~3 ppm Nitrates
  • Seachem Reef Plus Vitamins/Amino Acids - dosage TBD
  • Kent Strontium & Molybdenum - 2 drops/2 days
  • Brightwell Replenish Trace & Minor Elements - 3 drops/2 days
Measured Water Parameters:

 

 

 

  • Temperature: 77.2 F
  • Specific Gravity: 1.024
  • pH: 8.3 (API Test Kit)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm (API Test Kit)
  • Nitrites: 0 ppm (API Test Kit)
  • Nitrates: ~3 ppm (API Test Kit)
  • Calcium: 440 ppm (API Test Kit)
  • Alkalinty: 10 dKH (API Test Kit)
  • Magnesium: 1320 mg/L (Salifert Test Kit)
  • Phosphates: 0 mg/L (API Test Kit)
  • Iron (free) 0 mg/L (chelated) .1 mg/L (Nutrafin Test Kit)
Edited by grmoore

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Welcome to the contest! I love the rock wall, very nice alternative to a painted back or clear. This contest has brought out every type of reefer, it's really a pleasure to see all these builds develop into such unique things of beauty. Looking great so far, nice start! Good Luck!

 

contest judge

Meta

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As it turns out, my lighting solution interferes with the cup placement for the Tunze 9002, so I'm simply going to switch the AqauticLife 115 skimmer on my 12g macro tank with this one. The 115 has a smaller footprint, and the collection cup is considerably smaller.

 

I'm thinking of putting cover plate over front of the HOB overflow to help even more with evaporation. I have some acrylic strips that will work well. I need to do a couple of cuts to the HOB cover today to account for the cord routing and LED mounting bracket.

 

Here are shots of the HOB with heater, light attachment and temperature probe. Once the cycle is done, I'll put the skimmer in.

 

HOB

 

2012-04-01%2009-11-19.610.jpg

 

Full Environment Shot

 

2012-04-01%2009-13-56.878.jpg

Edited by grmoore

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Here is my update for the end of April. I've added 27 species of macro algae (not all of which have been identified yet), and still have several on the way, as well as a colony of GSP that should be here this week. I'm going to be changing out the LED lighting this week as well, for a 50/50 CF lighting solution. While the LEDs look great, I don't feel they are providing the correct spectrum for the algae. Enjoy the photos (click on any to see the full HD version)!

 

Full Tank Shots

 

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Full Environment Shot

 

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Specimen Shots

 

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2012-04-29%2022-10-55.151.jpg

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Wow this tank looks great for being so young. Great idea doing the rockwall, it looks awesome :)

 

Specimen Shots

 

2012-04-29%2022-04-43.220.jpg

 

 

2012-04-29%2022-08-08.113.jpg

Could you tell me what these two are? The top one looks like some type of branching coralline and the bottom one (in the center) looks like an orange version of blue ochtodes.

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Wow this tank looks great for being so young. Great idea doing the rockwall, it looks awesome :)

 

 

Could you tell me what these two are? The top one looks like some type of branching coralline and the bottom one (in the center) looks like an orange version of blue ochtodes.

 

Thanks for the kind words! The first is indeed a branching coralline cluster, and the other is an unidentified plant from Russ at GCE. I have 15 or so plants in here I've not made a positive ID on yet.

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Wow, that is macro-licious! I'd like to get more into macro algae, but it seems more like a niche area (like mantis shrimp). I have several macros in my mantis tank, but I'd like to add some more. Now I'm going to have to do some research! I really like what you're doing with this tank!

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Wow, that is macro-licious! I'd like to get more into macro algae, but it seems more like a niche area (like mantis shrimp). I have several macros in my mantis tank, but I'd like to add some more. Now I'm going to have to do some research! I really like what you're doing with this tank!

 

Thanks! It's definately a niche - there's only a handful of us on Nano Reefs that have macro dominant systems, and that's one of the things that makes it interesting to me.

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This looks nice. The rock wall is a cool idea with the macros.

I can't wait to see how this grows!!

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This looks nice. The rock wall is a cool idea with the macros.

I can't wait to see how this grows!!

 

Thanks! I'm trying to grow the macros according to growth rates from bottom to top so I don't get much overshadowing due to competition in such a small space. The floor of the tank will primarily be a field of GSP, with the two showcase macros (coralline cluster and Gelidium sp) in the foreground.

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I love it GR, man you are great at making small tanks look huge lol. That rock wall is awesome. And Branching Coraline, (fighting my Jealousy) Did you call gce and order it specific, I know their site says 2 diff kinds.

 

If I had known you wanted some gsp I would of sent you some with the algae :P

 

Good luck with the contest!!

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I love it GR, man you are great at making small tanks look huge lol. That rock wall is awesome. And Branching Coraline, (fighting my Jealousy) Did you call gce and order it specific, I know their site says 2 diff kinds.

 

If I had known you wanted some gsp I would of sent you some with the algae :P

 

Good luck with the contest!!

 

Thanks Josh! I just asked Russ to send me a branching variety - it's a beautiful speciman. It had a little Dictyota growing on it, but I picked off most of it. The branches are very delicate in that it's easy to separate them from the base rock.

 

Louis at LAReefs started tracking down a nice colony for me a couple weeks ago that would come close to fitting the tank bottom. He was saying he would ship this Wednesday - which is good since we finally have a break in the weather with 70s-80s the next 2 weeks..

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I added the protein skimmer this evening...

 

2012-05-01%2020-57-11.304.jpg

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I was planning on changing the light to a CPR Aquafuge Light with 50/50 CF bulbs, but it seems I would be outside the rules of the contest since Marine Depot shipped the light late and it won't arrive for two more days, and a concession won't be made to allow it. Oh well, I'll make do with the LED lamp and still get a fine looking display.

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I was planning on changing the light to a CPR Aquafuge Light with 50/50 CF bulbs, but it seems I would be outside the rules of the contest since Marine Depot shipped the light late and it won't arrive for two more days, and a concession won't be made to allow it. Oh well, I'll make do with the LED lamp and still get a fine looking display.

No matter what you do, I'm sure the macros will grow and look great, for no reason other than you're a boss

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Just a couple of update photos for the June contest submission...

 

Here is the current FTS (click on the image for an HD version)

 

2012-05-31%2021-19-59.436.jpg

 

And here is a shot of the Green and White Star Polyps I got from Louis at LAReefs (again, click on the image for an HD version)

 

2012-05-31%2021-24-43.485.jpg

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Looks like we have a terminal case of AWESOME here...

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Looks great!

That GSP mat is gonna be cool...

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Looks like we have a terminal case of AWESOME here...

 

Thanks for the kind words!

 

Looks great!

That GSP mat is gonna be cool...

 

Thanks! I'm really happy with both species of polyps. LAReefs did a great job at selecting them for me.

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What ever happen to this tank GR?

 

I'm 99% sure he upgraded. It's in his sig.

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What ever happen to this tank GR?

I started it not knowing I would be moving to Kansas a couple months later. It was sold to some folks back in Ohio. We've been renting a house here and I didn't want to set anything up long term so I've been playing around with different corals in pico tanks. I have been buying some higher end equipment with the plans to a larger shallow reef tank (60 - 100 gallons) but I've yet to find a reliable tank/stand builder.

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I started it not knowing I would be moving to Kansas a couple months later. It was sold to some folks back in Ohio. We've been renting a house here and I didn't want to set anything up long term so I've been playing around with different corals in pico tanks. I have been buying some higher end equipment with the plans to a larger shallow reef tank (60 - 100 gallons) but I've yet to find a reliable tank/stand builder.

You could build them yourself. Get the glass from a glass shop cut to your dimensions. Stands are not that hard to build either.

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You could build them yourself. Get the glass from a glass shop cut to your dimensions. Stands are not that hard to build either.

I would never be happy with anything I built myself. I have a hard enough time being happy with things I buy...

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