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Cultivated Reef

Maniac's 10g Teen Mixed Reef (Pics, pics, pics)


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Well NR after two long years, I've finally done it!

The 10 gallon is up and running. I've learned from the mistakes of my last nano and my goals for this tank are simple: keep the parameters stable, and keep all livestock happy and growing.


FTS 1/23/13




Here is the current setup:

Marineland 20x10x12 10 Gallon Aquarium
Nova Extreme 2x24 T5HO with Giesemann Actinic+ and ATI 12000k bulbs
Jager 50w Heater
Aquaclear 50 (modded fuge)
Koralia Nano 425

10lbs of sugar-sized sand
5lbs of aragonite
10lbs of live rock
ChemiPure Elite
Filter floss
Instant Ocean Reef Crystals


x1 Bangaii Cardinalfish
x1 Yellow Watchman Goby
x1 Royal Gramma

x1 Tiger Pistol Shrimp
x1 Cleaner Shrimp

x1 Blue Pincushion Urchin

x2 Maxi Mini Anemone

Loads of hitchhiker Feather Dusters


Green Star Polyps
Green Candy Cane
Green Mushrooms
Various Zoanthids
Umbrella Leather

Plate Coral

Hammer Coral



Green Monti Cap

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Just a quick update,


End of the second full day the tank has been set up. I rearranged the aquascape to better situate corals, so ill try and get some pictures up tomorrow night. The snails and hermits are still doing fine, although I might remove them because I dont think its fair to have them in a new tank. Could they interrupt or alter the cycle? Thoughts?


I tested the water yesterday, and here is the results:


Ammonia - 0.5ppm

Nitrites - 0ppm

Nitrates - 10ppm


Does this seem normal? I used an API Freshwater Test Kit as I heard they work the same except with different colour cards. I used a saltwater card that I got off of some website.


SG is hovering around 1.024. It was at 1.025 today before I topped off the tank, and then it dropped to between 1.023 and 1.024. Im going to wait a day so that it gets back up to 1.024 and then top it off immediately tuesday morning, so that I can consistently keep it at 1.024.


No signs of algae growth, tank is looking clean and crisp :)


I hope it stays that way, ha.


Ill look for my uploading cord for my camera tomorrow, and if I cant find it ill pick one up tomorrow that tomorrow evening some pictures will finally be up :D

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Ive been hearing a clicking/popping noise coming from the tank. I think it might be a pistol shrimp. Ive hunted for it with a flashlight at night but I havent had any success. Anyone have any ideas on how to find/trap them?

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Yesterday I noticed some green hairs growing on the glass, and now they have grown and are covering more of it. I have also noticed some brown diatoms on the glass, resembling smudges. The diatoms are also growing on the rocks. I know this is part of the cycle, but should I do anything? The last thing I want is to be plagued by GHA again... -_-


Also running no filter media, just some chaeto in the fuge. When should I add floss/ChemiPure?

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The green hairs are growing thicker on the front glass, a few have grown on the sides, and none on the back. Diatoms are appearing on the glass/rocks. Should I scrape them off?


Also, when should I start running filter media?

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Ran filter media from day one with mine,small bag of pure chem and filter floss.when every thing tested fine i got a emerald crab he took care of all the algae.love the 10 gal lot of fun.Good luck

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I always run GFO in my tank. Even with low nitrates, a little bit of phosphate can become a big algae problem. Especially the dreaded bryopsis, which very few herbivores can eat. I once ordered three Elysia Clarki (lettuce nudibrach) that are known to feed on bryopsis, but it was like throwing rocks at godzilla.

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Thanks for the replies. Im picking up some of that pillow stuffing from Walmart (making sure its not fire-retardant!) to use as floss, and I'll pick up some chemipure elite tomorrow.


The algae on the glass grows in little clumps, but it isn't growing on the rocks. Diatoms are still spreading. All CUC members have been alive since Day 1. Hopefully they aren't messing up the cycle...


Water params as of two days ago:


Ammonia: 0.25ppm

Nitrites: 0ppm

Nitrates: <10ppm


Seems kindof weird, Nitrites aren't going up, and Nitrates are staying the same. Maybe I should do a water change soon?


it was like throwing rocks at godzilla.

Made me laugh :lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright, it has been a while since I've updated.


I started running Purigen, ChemiPure Elite, and floss, and the water is significantly clearer. The bryopsis on the glass is gone, and the wave of brown algae is slowly fading with water changes. I just need to figure out how to get it off the substrate!


About two weeks ago I decided to purchase a fish for the tank. The ammonia and nitrite were zero but the nitrates were still around 25ppm. I knew that fish were tolerant of high nitrates so I went ahead and bought myself a Yellow Watchman Goby. He was very shy at first, but over the course of a couple days he ventured further out from his burrow. I was lucky that he chose a spacious hole in plain view at the side of the tank! He has been eating the two kinds of flake food I give him with gusto, and I'll be picking up some pellets and mysis shrimp soon.


Today was a significant day for the tank. I tested my nitrates and they hovered just below 10ppm, so I went down to the local reef shop and picked up a small tiger pistol shrimp, some Nepthea and a frag of Green Star Polyps.


The corals opened up within twenty minutes, and they look awesome under the T5s.


The pistol shrimp found the YWG within two minutes of being in the tank. I went to work for three hours and when I came back, the goby's old burrow was collapsed and the pair had opened a new one right at the front of the tank! The goby is out way more and the shrimp is always there with him, busily digging away, getting beneath the goby, and generally being plain awesome. Probably the best purchase I have ever made in my entire fishkeeping life.


The only thing I'm worrying about is how to feed the shrimp. The flakes pass by the burrow fairly quickly, and the goby snaps them up, but I don't know how the shrimp is going to get enough food. I have seen the shrimp eat some of the goby's waste, but I don't think that fish poop alone is going to sustain him. Suggestions?

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Picked up a pair of Bangaii Cardinals today. They are plump and active, and im hoping that they will take a mix of Omega One flakes and Omega One veggie flakes tomorrow. Time will tell!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update:


Last week the smaller of the two cardinals was being picked on by the larger one, and only came out at night. I brought him back to my LFS, which they allowed me to trade for a Pom Pom Crab! I saw him the first couple of days, but he has been MIA since Wednesday. Hopefully he shows his head soon.


The one cardinal I have left is eating flakes like a champion, and goes ballistic when I add any food, dry or frozen, to the tank. I got really lucky with this one that he eats flakes so voraciously.


Today I picked up a few frags: a green mushroom, a green Candy Cane, and a nice 15 polyp+ frag of neon green Acans. They all have settled nicely and are fully open. I also picked up a Royal Gramma, a fish that I have been planning to add since before the tank was set up. (S)he is a bit shy right now, but im sure with time (s)he will come out more. Im done stocking fish, as im sure im pushing my luck with the three in it right now. Hopefully I can eventually get some pictures up...

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  • 3 months later...

Its been a while, but heres a quick update,


Finally able to upload pics, so Ive uploaded a FTS taken two days ago so everyone can see how the tank has come along. Im always surprised when I compare the tank to pictures from a while ago, and it really makes everything pay off. More pics to come.


Picked the first SPS frags to go into the tank, to see how they do. A nice orange Birdsnest with purple tips, and a green Montipora Capricornis with purple rim/polyps. Both really nice frags. Hoping for the best with them!


Also picked up an Emerald Crab. Damn, hes a good algae eater. Im hoping he behaves...


Ill try my best to upload some more pictures over the weekend, but with exams starting for me tomorrow, it might be difficult to find time between studying. Im a good procrastinator though ;)

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A bunch of pics today, incase anybody is reading this thread. The quality of my phone camera is very surprising.


Orange Plate




Yellow Watchman Goby. Pistol shrimp is being a bit shy today...




Green Acans. Always surprised at the growth of this guy.




Umbrella Leather. Absolute nano tankbuster.




Bangaii Cardinal. Eating flakes like a pig since I got him.




One of my fave zoas in the tank.




The beginnings of a zoa garden... I regret spreading them out over the tank.




More zoaassssssssss + boring old candy cane.




Gramma, Birdsnest, Hammer, Nepthea.




More pics later tonight, after I get some studying done ;)

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Looks great! I think your leather is beautiful in that tank... Would like to see a fts update please! Thanks! What are you studying? Besides your tank!

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Looks great! I think your leather is beautiful in that tank... Would like to see a fts update please! Thanks! What are you studying? Besides your tank!


Thank you! The FTS in the first post was only taken a two days ago, but i'll upload another one tomorrow, maybe from some different angles along with some of the other guys in the tank.


Im actually in highschool still, so... everything. Ha.




Lot of fishies in that little 10 gallons,

More power to ya

Good Luck, everything looks great now! :lol:


I know it is pushing it in a tank that small, but I think we are all pushing our limits when we keep nanos in the first place... I pay for it with a little extra algae but hey, it still looks good to me ;)

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Cool... For only being set up since august the tank looks awesome! I wouldn't do anything to it... Maybe add a small Mexican turbo or two if the algae keeps growing they would tear it up. Didn't see but yea it is an updated fts up top. Great job!

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Turbos never do well in this tank for some reason. The pincushion urchin and emerald crab do a great job, so along with scraping the glass algae isnt a big concern. Obviously more frags are in order until I upgrade, but Im also thinking about some Maxi Mini anemones...

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Great looking 10 gal! I hope mine looks as good eventually...



Just take things slow and do your research!


Lately I've been thinking about some Maxi Minis, anyone think that it could be done in this tank?

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