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Jaime's Nano-Cube 24 Adventure- Broken Down


owenj

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10/11/2012 Current FTS:
10-11-12FTS.jpg

Tank Specs
JBJ 24gal DX AIO w/stock pump & Hydor FLO device, inTank media rack
Eheim Jager 75w heater
Vortech MP10 es
~16-18lbs live rock, about half of which is aqua-cultured
~8lbs live sand
Bright Aquatics PAR 38 full spectrum (2)

Tank Inhabitants
CUC from Reefcleaners (ceriths, nerites, nassarius, blue leg hermit)
2 A. ocellaris clowns, 1 regular & 1 B&W
Neon goby Elacatinus oceanops
Pearl Hammer Euphyllia parancora
Blastomussa merletti
Blastomussa wellsi
Acanthastrea lordhowensis
Acanthastrea bowerbanki
Duncanopsammia axifuga
Florida Ricordea
Acropora sp.

Macros
Halymenia- Dragon's Breath
Botryocladia- Red Grape
Red Titan
Blue Ochtodes

Retro-edit: Started off with a 16gal bowfront in early July 2012, moved to a 24gal AIO in early September 2012. Starting an index--
Pic of Hammer eating
The upgrade! 24gal AIO

Here's a FTS from early July, CUC had just been added. Had a nitrite spike, but ammonia is fine. I'm not happy with the scape or all of the aqua-cultured rock, so will be adding & exchanging a few pieces soon.
EarlyJuly2012.jpg

I've got the thermometer forwardly placed right now to monitor how the temp goes with it being summer. It's partially in front of a window, but there's a big tree right outside of it that actually keeps the room from getting too hot; so far the tank hasn't gone over 82, & it's normally kept at ~78,

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Islandoftiki

Looks like this is shaping up to be a nice tank.

 

One thing you should probably add at some point would be a tank controller like a Reefkeeper Lite or and Apex. You can use it to operate a fan or a small chiller like an Iceprobe. It's also way less likely to fail and overheat your tank like most built-in heater thermostats. And you can control your lights with it.

 

 

 

 

And then add an MP10 after that, and you're set.

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Looks like this is shaping up to be a nice tank.

 

One thing you should probably add at some point would be a tank controller like a Reefkeeper Lite or and Apex. You can use it to operate a fan or a small chiller like an Iceprobe. It's also way less likely to fail and overheat your tank like most built-in heater thermostats. And you can control your lights with it.

 

And then add an MP10 after that, and you're set.

 

Thanks. I've thought about getting a controller, & it's somewhere on the list of things for the "future." I've already got my lights on timers though, & the room doesn't get deathly hot so I don't need a chiller/fan. Not sold on the MP10, for all the praise that they do get. So far I'm pretty happy with my two powerheads, but the MP is on my radar for whenever I feel like upgrading. I may do the lights first though, bc I'm super tempted by the AI Nano.

 

& some more pics, just because the hermits may be offered up to my LFS soon since the buggers keep fighting with each other & bothering the snails. They snuck in in sheep's (snail's) clothing with my Reefcleaners snail only pack, so I'm not really all that attached.

 

Regular blue-leg.

Hermitcloseup.jpg

Nekkid hermit, squabbles over shells happen just about daily. Thing is, this guy always goes back to the same shell despite there being a few empty ones around.

NakedHermit.jpg

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More pics! Took what I thought was all of the hermits in to a LFS, but turns out I still had one small one hiding in the tank. He's really small, & without fellow hermits to squabble with I think I'll let him stay. There are several different size shells laying around from ceriths that didn't make it. I think only one of my full size ceriths made it out of my order from John @ Reefcleaners :( . But, I got what seems like 10x more of the dwarf ceriths than the order said I would get so I'm not too worried. Between them & the powerhouse nerites I think I'll be fine, provided the nerites stay in the tank!

 

8-2-2012FTS.jpg

FTS, water is still a little cloudy as I did a water change & fussed quite a bit with the rock. Took out a small-medium size piece of my aqua-cultured rock & replaced with a similar size piece of dry rock from Reefcleaners. Not 100% in love with the scape, but it'll have to do for the next 2yrs or so until we move :P

 

8-2-2012LeftSide.jpg

Left side

8-2-2012RightSide.jpg

Right side

 

I swear my lights aren't so blue, but my camera can't figure out the light even when I mess with the underwater/aquarium filter settings. I love the look of bow front tanks, but they are a total PITA to take pics with. Glare spots galore.

 

The two powerheads are a bit of an eyesore, & I'm getting tempted a bit more every day to invest in an Ecotech MP10...but still a bit wary due to the mixed reviews regarding their longevity. Also been eying the AI Nano LED light. The Boost lamps are great, but I'd like to have the option of dimming, & right now my power strips are maxed out trying to run x number of lights/pumps etc. Would only need 2 plugs instead of 5...guess we'll see (I see them being re-purposed into an 8gal in my future). The 2 Boost lamps do have good coverage for this size of tank, whereas with the AI Nano I think I'd get some pretty deep shadows at the edges.

 

Went by a newer LFS & got a pair of clowns, a B&W & a regular Ocellaris. The orange is maybe half the size of the B&W at just over an inch. I'm worried the pellet food I have is too big for him, & they only showed a passing interest in the Formula 1 frozen food I offered today.

 

StaimeJeven8-2-2012.jpg

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how do you like the ledtric moonpop? is it like moon lights or brighter like actinics? really looking to get these.

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how do you like the ledtric moonpop? is it like moon lights or brighter like actinics? really looking to get these.

I love the blue look, so I like them a lot. The pic is pretty bright, but in person they're very blue. 3 3watt 455nm Royal Blue LEDS. Fit around my Boost clamp without a problem. This is my first SW setup, so I've never run/had a pure actinic strip before, so I can't make a comparison in that sense, but the 20K light LEDtric sells is an 8/4 455/6500K combo, which I presume is "brighter" rather than bluer.

 

8-2-2012FTSMoonlights.jpg

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New FTS & first corals!

The tank has undergone a few equipment/scape changes, as I purchased the AI Nano since it was on sale, & am getting an MP10 from a fellow nano-reefer. Took out the Koralia 240 because it seemed like too much flow going on in the tank. The clowns are much more active now that it's gone.

 

FTS with just one Boost PAR30 lamp since I'm selling the second one.

8-7-2012FTS.jpg

 

New corals from Tidal Gardens!

Pearl hammer, 2 heads

PearlHammer8-7-12.jpg

Red Blasto merletti colony

RedBlastomerletti8-7-12.jpg

Pink/greenish teal Blasto merletti. Was a little worried because the frag came unglued from the plug at some point during shipping, but I glued it back on & the polyps only took a little longer than the others to open up.

PinkBlastomerletti8-7-12.jpg

Red Blasto under the moonpops

RedBlastomerletti8-7-12moonlights.jpg

Both Blastos under the moonpops

Blastomerlettisundermoonlights8-7-12.jpg

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The AI Nano arrived. Per Premium Aquatics it's the Sol Blue version; apparently the white wasn't as popular & there aren't many around anymore? The mount leaves a bit to be desired, so I'm looking into other ways to mount the light. It's on my desk & since we're renting I can't drill into the wall, so most DIY mounts/arms I've seen don't necessarily work. I may just mod a bent conduit & screw it onto some wood or some kind of base & then clamp that to my desk...

 

I really want the controller for the Nano so I can set the percentages of the lights & get them on gradual timers, but hubby has hinted pointedly that it would make a nice birthday present next month :P So for the present I just set the lights at the low end of the touch slider bar. I have to keep an eye on the Hammer to make sure it doesn't get bleached now that it's mid way up the tank, but I'm not too worried about the Blastos at the sand bed level. Until I get something to cut the stalk of the plugs off they're staying put (ugh, hate plugs. Why can't they all be disks lol).

 

My most current FTS. Running double compact fluorescent fuge lights on a reverse cycle at the moment to try & kick start my chaeto. I think it wasn't getting enough light originally as it had started to brown & slough away at the edges.

8-9-12FTSnewlight.jpg

Blasto merlettis under the new light

Blastomerlettis8-9-12.jpg

Pearl Hammer. I'm a little worried I added it too soon since the left head is always kind of droopy. When it first arrived most of the polyp/tentacle things were shrunken & I thought were going to wither/die, but they've plumped up & everything stays extended...so that's a comfort.

PearlHammer8-9-12.jpg

PearlHammermouth8-9-12.jpg

Staime & Jeven, the clowns. Eventually I'd like to add a small goby to close out the fish selection.

StaimeJeven8-9-12.jpg

 

Sorry if the water appears particularly particle filled, just did a water change prior to the pics. I'm glad I finally jumped into this whole reefing thing, but in hindsight I wish I'd gotten an AIO unit since I like the look of them so much better. I think when Chris at Pico Aquariums opens back up I'll upgrade to the DB18.

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Update! Got a used MP10 from a fellow nano-reefer (thanks Jordangil!) & have it set on lagoon mode. It's only running at 30-40% because higher than that was causing my hammer to shrink back. I may end up moving it back to the sand bed. Also working on a new mount out of PVC for my AI Nano which should be done in the next day or two.

 

In other news, my female clown, who is all of maybe 2" long from the tip of her nose to the tip of her caudal fin, bit me while I was fussing with the tank yesterday. I've read others' posts about their clowns "attacking" their arms while in the tank, but I figured it was little pecking or something. I kept fancy goldfish during undergrad which were 3x the size of this clown & they could engulf about the entire tips of my fingers when I hand fed them, no big deal. This clown bit me hard enough to leave marks! It wasn't really painful, but it was a bit startling to realize the thing causing the weird pinching at my inner elbow was a fish. Glad I didn't get a pair of maroon clowns that'd get the size of my hand because then it would probably draw blood :lol:

 

FTS 8/19/2012

8-19-2012FTS.jpg

Green FL Ric from the LFS

GreenRic8-19-2012.jpg

Red B. merletti nice & fluffed out. These guys eat like champs.

Bmerlettired8-19-2012.jpg

Blurry pic of the Pearl Hammer. Tentacles still seem droopy on the undersides, but it fluffs up everyday so I won't worry about it.

PearlHammer8-19-2012.jpg

New Purple/green swirl B. wellsi from Tidal Gardens, with the older pink/green B. merletti in the back

BwellsiBmerlettinoflash8-19-2012.jpg

Same with the camera flash on

BwellsiBmerlettiflashon8-19-2012.jpg

Here's my new red/purple B. merletti from Tidal Gardens with the flash on. Looks a lot like my pink/green from the same place, & I'm starting to wonder if I got two of the same (red/purple)?

Bmerlettisupposedredpurpleflashon8-19-2012.jpg

& the same without the flash

Bmerlettisupposedredpurple8-19-2012.jpg

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Nice tank man. All that rock is going to look great in the DB18. :P

 

Nice setup man, those blasto's are sweet!

 

Thanks guys! Although, I'm a chic reefer :P I should probably take a page outta Kat's book & make my avatar a stiletto.

 

Found an aiptasia on my pink blastos, so I tried nuking it with some boiling water from a syringe. Worried I might have killed the coral in the process as I see tissue sloughing off. :(

 

Moved my chaeto into the tank & out of the HOB fuge basket in hopes that it'll do better. Looks like it's still slowly melting away from the outside in. Got a couple red macroalgaes from keydiver- halymenia & I think botyrocladia...hopefully they'll fare better. Something must be feeding because my Nitrates have gone from testing around 10 to 0.

 

Pics this weekend when I should fingerscrossed have my AI Nano & its new mounting system back. Poor corals have been getting shuffled around a little bit to deal with my temporary lights.

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Last update until my new tank arrives. Decided not to go with the DB18 & have a JBJ Nanocube 24gal DX on its way. Still working on the AI Nano mount, which I may or may not end up using depending on how it works out with the new tank. I am planning on removing the lid & placing a piece of glass or plexi down instead.

 

Noticed an aiptasia growing on my supposedly pink B. merletti last week & attempted removal with a syringe of boiling water. I think I got rid of the pest, but also burned the coral in the process :( Pics show the polyp on the left died back & exposed the bottom parts of the skeleton (I think). The bigger polyp on the right is looking like it might pull through, so I'm keeping it in the tank & hoping for the best.

Purple-GreenBWellsiinjuredBmerletti8-27-2012.jpg

InjuredBmerlettipink8-27-2012.jpg

The B. wellsi had an aiptasia show up as well in almost the same spot, but armed with a little practice & slightly better set up, I think I got rid of the aiptasia & didn't injure the blasto in the process. Haven't seen any sign of the aiptasia since, but it's only been less than a week.

 

The red B. merletti is still going strong. Have my Boost lamp back over the tank right now while the AI Nano & its mount are being worked on. I've noticed that all the corals retract much more at night with the Boost lamp.

RedBlastomerletti8-27-2012.jpg

Pearl hammer fluffed up under the moonlight

PearlHammer28-24-2012.jpg

 

Latest FTS with my two new macros from keydiver. I got some dragon's breath & I think red grape as a freebie. Chaeto was going down fast when temporarily in the main tank, so it's been put back in the AC70 w/a submersible light on 24/7 & a compact fluorescent showing through the side on a reverse time cycle.

8-27-2012FTS.jpg

 

Not looking forward to scraping my sand out for the tank transfer :mellow: A less than 2mo old sand bed shouldn't cause a big spike, right? I think I'll keep all the livestock in a temporary rubbermaid for the first few days just in case.

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Thanks guys! Although, I'm a chic reefer :P I should probably take a page outta Kat's book & make my avatar a stiletto.

 

HOW did I miss this? I think I called you "man" again in my thread today. Sorry. The "Owen" thing might have something to do with it. :D I'll try to remember.

 

And NanoCube leak tests etc - pics or it didn't happen.

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HOW did I miss this? I think I called you "man" again in my thread today. Sorry. The "Owen" thing might have something to do with it. :D I'll try to remember.

 

And NanoCube leak tests etc - pics or it didn't happen.

Hehe no worries. I never really pointed it out, & it seems like the majority of posters here are male so...

 

I just finished draining the cube, but hopefully I'll make the transfer tomorrow. The heater in my 5.5gal holding tank doesn't seem to be working, but the tank is staying mid 70s so I might risk it anyway. The fish/corals should only be in there a day or two provided there isn't a big spike.

 

But, I did snap a pic of my supposed pearl hammer eating yesterday when I fed the tank. It usually keeps its tentacles in front of its mouths, & I've never seen them open this wide before. Also, I'm starting to think it's a mutant hammer, because it has buds of new tentacles forming on top of existing tentacles similar to what a frogspawn looks like.

PearlHammerwithmouthfull9-1-12.jpg

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I just finished draining the cube, but hopefully I'll make the transfer tomorrow. The heater in my 5.5gal holding tank doesn't seem to be working, but the tank is staying mid 70s so I might risk it anyway. The fish/corals should only be in there a day or two provided there isn't a big spike.

Yeah should be fine. I doubt you'll have a spike if you keep everything wet.

 

But, I did snap a pic of my supposed pearl hammer eating yesterday when I fed the tank. It usually keeps its tentacles in front of its mouths, & I've never seen them open this wide before. Also, I'm starting to think it's a mutant hammer, because it has buds of new tentacles forming on top of existing tentacles similar to what a frogspawn looks like.

PearlHammerwithmouthfull9-1-12.jpg

I've actually never seen a Euphyllia do that with its mouth. Does it look OK now?

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I've actually never seen a Euphyllia do that with its mouth. Does it look OK now?

Yep, was back to normal & fluffy that night. I was actually surprised to get the shot bc normally when I spot feed he covers the mouths with tentacles. Was considering stopping spot feeding bc I wasn't sure it was eating anything...now I know.

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Yep, was back to normal & fluffy that night. I was actually surprised to get the shot bc normally when I spot feed he covers the mouths with tentacles. Was considering stopping spot feeding bc I wasn't sure it was eating anything...now I know.

Well then don't change a thing. Mutant hammer FTW. :)

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Update! The 24gal AIO is set up & everyone has made the move over pretty smoothly.

 

9-4-12FTS.jpg

9-4-12CloserFTS.jpg

 

Please ignore the awful putty job on the upper rock. I removed a lot of the sand & kept about 8lbs of the original 20. No burrowing gobies for me, but I was starting to get diatoms/green algae in the sand bed. Hopefully the shallower depth will be easier for the snails to dig through.

 

Halymenia mother clump. I may need to move it bc I'm not sure it's getting enough flow in its current spot.

Halymenia9-4-12.jpg

Blastomussa Island! Pic is a bit fuzzy.

9-4-12BlastoIsland.jpg

Left side, the boiled B. merletti has recovered very well from the haphazard aiptasia treatment.

9-4-12LeftsideBIsland.jpg

Left-center side

9-4-12LeftcenterBIsland.jpg

Right-center, new purple/green B. merletti in the back

9-4-12CenterBIsland.jpg

Right side, new green B. wellsis (double limes on the left, regular limes on the right)

9-4-12RightsideBIsland.jpg

 

Most of the corals are still a bit closed up & upset about the move. Not sure if I should leave the open space on the bottom or put an open brain there. Thinking about making some nice Acan gardens on the upper rock ledges/walls. Putting some Duncans in the center, maybe a larger polyp Turbinaria if I can find one that looks nice.

 

Just need to hook up my controller to the AI Nano & play from there. Post on the modified mount next.

 

AI Nano modified mount. Most of the mods I've seen here & on other forums involved drilling into either the wall or the stand. My tank is on my desk, & we're renting our apartment so drilling isn't really an option. I'm not very DIY, so I took an idea to my dad & he made it happen.

 

PVC pipe with holes drilled for the light, popped into an elbow joint with a second, longer PVC pipe arm.

AINanomount.jpg

Longer arm goes down into a sleeve thingy that's slightly bigger than the hole cut into the block of wood. Gasket on the bottom helps hold the pipe in place (pieces are also glued). Wood is clamped onto the desk with a big C clamp thing. The arm swings freely in the block of wood so I can move the light out of the way when I need to get into the tank.

AINanomount2.jpg

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omgomgomg

 

Looks great Jaime!

 

Have you thought about a BTA? If you do ever want a nem for your clowns I would do it soon (not right away) because it will roam a bit and piss off other corals - best to do it before you're fully stocked. You have enough room now IMO. :)

 

In thinking about your feelings on Zoas, I'm guessing the answer is no, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. Would look awesome.

 

Love the light stand/mount. Thinking of doiung something similar with my Par bulbs.

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omgomgomg

 

Looks great Jaime!

 

Have you thought about a BTA? If you do ever want a nem for your clowns I would do it soon (not right away) because it will roam a bit and piss off other corals - best to do it before you're fully stocked. You have enough room now IMO. :)

 

In thinking about your feelings on Zoas, I'm guessing the answer is no, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. Would look awesome.

 

Love the light stand/mount. Thinking of doiung something similar with my Par bulbs.

Thanks Ian. I briefly looked into anemones, but I don't think I want to run the risk of one rumbling around looking for a spot & stinging the corals I plan on having.

 

Zoas/Palys...still on the fence. I think I'm leaning more towards an Acan garden than a Zoa/Paly garden for now. They do come in such awesome colors though...

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Hi, Jaime!!!! Awesome tank you have here!!!!! Love the blastos so much!!!! Is it b. merletti??? Those are the small ones? I've been meaning to pick some of those up for a over a year now and always run out of room :lol:

 

Ok...maybe I missed it, but which gobies are you getting?

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Hi, Jaime!!!! Awesome tank you have here!!!!! Love the blastos so much!!!! Is it b. merletti??? Those are the small ones? I've been meaning to pick some of those up for a over a year now and always run out of room :lol:

 

Ok...maybe I missed it, but which gobies are you getting?

Thanks! The B. merletti's are the small polyp ones, I think they max out at about an inch diameter. B. wellsi's can get a few inches across & appear to be a bit more widely available. There seems to be more color variety w/the B. wellsi's too.

 

Lol, I just posted in your thread about the gobies. Right now I'm leaning towards a neon & green banded, but that's subject to change at a moment's notice depending on what the LFS has.

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Thanks Ian. I briefly looked into anemones, but I don't think I want to run the risk of one rumbling around looking for a spot & stinging the corals I plan on having.

 

Zoas/Palys...still on the fence. I think I'm leaning more towards an Acan garden than a Zoa/Paly garden for now. They do come in such awesome colors though...

 

I forgot to check back for a reply - sorry. Work's been busy.

 

My experience with BTAs is that once they find a spot they don't generally roam much at all, and when mine did roam initially, I don't remember it outright killing anything. They can grow and extend pretty well though, and when they split you have to deal with that. Pretty worth it though. You can't really have a cooler thing in your home than a symbiotic relationship between your favorite fish and a beautiful nem. I didn't want clowns this time around, so decided to go for the shrimp/mini carpet thing instead. /advocacy :)

 

 

Did you go to the LFS?

 

Edit: typo

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Thanks! The B. merletti's are the small polyp ones, I think they max out at about an inch diameter. B. wellsi's can get a few inches across & appear to be a bit more widely available. There seems to be more color variety w/the B. wellsi's too.

 

Lol, I just posted in your thread about the gobies. Right now I'm leaning towards a neon & green banded, but that's subject to change at a moment's notice depending on what the LFS has.

I've had the wellsi but have never had the merletti. One of these days :)

 

I've never had a neon goby so can't comment on them, but the GBG is awesome. I'm sure you can't go wrong with any goby that you pick up. I'm loving my new Rusty gobies, even if I have to search for them to see them :lol:

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