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Photo Journal of a 10g Reef [img intensive]


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Hi folks,


After getting so much inspiration from the setups here at Nano-Reef.com I'd like to give some back to some newbie lurking around out there like I have been for the past four months.


Tank stats:

10g AGA

175w 10,000K MH

2x28w PC 03 Actinic (both 5.5hrs/day)


20lbs 2mm grain size aragonite

18lbs LR

AC 500 Refugium, 9w PC 24/7

Coralife Super Skimmer 1

Salinity: 1.024

everything else, no idea. I don't test. :)



1 Royal Gramma

1 Emerald Crab

Blue leg and Zebra hermits

Cerrith, Nassarus, Margarita, and Astrea snails


Montipora capricornis

Montopora digitata

Green Star Polyps

Various Zooanthus spp.

Acropora spp.



6 drops Aragamilk and a small pinch Turbo Calcium daily with top-off.


The original intent behind the aquascape was to do something that resembled an atoll or a small bit of reef surrounded by lots of sand. Later on you'll see that the design had to change to create a better environment for the animals.


5/27/04: Setup






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5/28: Addition of 5 lbs LR




6/3: Addition of 20 lbs Live Sand


Up to this point I had the rock doing another mini cure in the tank with a powerhead and sponge to keep things moving/filtered out.







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6/14: Cletus comes home:


I added the cleaner crew consisting of Cletus the Emerald Crab and the various other un-named snails and hermits.




6/15: Building of the Refugium


The main parts from Big Al's-



5.5" tapered section of 1/4" Acrylic used as a baffle-



Finished product-



Fuge running-


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7/7: Rescaping after lots of consideration


After hours of staring at the tank thinking about what I wanted to put in there I decided that the current aquascape wasn't appropriate and decided to redesign it. I went back to the store and got 5 lbs of day old uncured rock as building blocks and went to town.


The previous design didn't give enough room for the Monti capricornis I so badly wanted. There was also a serious lack of cover/caves for the Royal Gramma and Hi-Fin goby I planned on putting in there. So....just like any good aquarist I scrapped the original Atoll theme and went with a Valley idea. Now everyone will have a place to call home without taking up too much room, overshading everything, and/or having to deal with pesky neighbors trespassing.


Lighting is now 3x36w PC 50/50 8 hrs per day and the tank is in the middle of it's start-up algae blooms.




7/21: Introduction of Corals


Two weeks before one of the guys at the shop I work at offered to sell me his MH pendant (see stats above) with the bulb for $80.00. I'd have to be a supreme bonehead to refuse, so of course I said yes and took it home.


A few weeks later I noticed a lot of coralline dots growing on the rear pane of the tank and a dramatic increase in the copepod population. With those two good signs and two months invested in the settling of the tank I went ahead and brought a few frags home from the same guy who sold me the lighting.




7/26: Addition of Green Hammer and GSP frags

The Orange Monti cap was given to a buddy of mine in exchange for the Hammer frag.


7/30: First Fish!


The store had some really good looking Royal Gramma in stock for a very good price so I took the plunge and bought myself a fish. He's still super shy but is coming out more and more often. In fact, you can see his tail under the Monti cap.


8/2: Current



Thanks for watching my little show. I hope you enjoyed the progression and get some small amount of inspiration from my work.



Phil Edwards

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Thank you! Placing the eggcrate helps diffuse the force of the rock on the glass across the whole bottom rather than a few points and greatly reduces the chance of rupturing. The grid pattern also provides many areas for the jagged rock to grip against, giving the foundation rock greater stability.




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I loved your reefscaping nice job and nice show. I am planning to convert my AC 500 to refugium as well. Did you use one baffle or two? I am gonna put one baffle right near the section where the pump sucks the water in to let the water flow above the bafle into the fuge section. It is not clear in the picture where exactly did you put the baffle or baffles?



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I put one baffle just about in the middle of the media area. It's a solid wall up to a half inch from the outlet. If you look in the pictures it's pretty clear.




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  • 1 month later...

DRZL-sauras, you beat me to it!


Here's a new picture of the tank taken a week ago.




I took the plunge this afternoon and bought the 20H for the upgrade. It's going to be replacing the 20H planted tank I have stairs in the livingroom.




The two nozzles on the right and left sides are for the SCWD I plan on hooking up. The SPS I've got are doing ok right now, but need a little something extra to thrive. Right now they're getting fairly constant flow and I think they'd like a little randomness in their lives.


The empty bulkhead on the left side is for the main return. You can probably see the two bulkheads inside the overflow. I've got it drilled so I can silicone it directly to the back of the tank so I can have the downdraft tubes out as far from the back wall as I need them to accomodate the SCWD plumbing. I decided on two intakes for a little redundancy, just in case something decides it wants to venture into the overflow box and get stuck on the intake strainer. No floods or fires from pumps running dry. :) Before all that happens though I'm going to paint the back matte black. If the plastic parts were blue I'd do it that color, but I'm anal and can't stand black parts on a blue background.


Thanks for watching,


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Thank you Cliffrouse11baseball, it's been a fun project to work on. I'm looking forward even more to getting all that stuff into the 20H in a month or so.




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WOW- your tank has morphed into a gorgeous nano! I absolutely love it! It's so colorful and I love the color and rock arrangement! Don't go for an upgrade, leave it like it is and just make a brand new tank with the 20H for a whole new adventure!

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i love it when someone goes for the valley and pulls it off, it's not easy to do! especially when our tanks are not very deep. i actually have almost the exact same idea for my tank, placing the monti caps on the edge of the valley to make ledges, i think when they grow out they'll look awesome!


definitely one of the best tanks i've seen in a while, congrats on a beautiful tank! good luck with converting to the 20H.

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Sting, Thank you very much! Trust me, I've thought about doing two tanks, but I only have the hardware resources to do one tank well so the 20g has taken precedence.


VicSkimmr, Go for it! Done properly (which mine isn't) a valley is probably the most attractive of all aquascape forms if you don't mind not being able to get at the algae close to the rock. I agree about the Montipora wholeheartedly. In fact, this guy's going to be getting it's own special outcropping in the 20g just so it can plate and whorl to it's heart's content.




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Yeayeaah...what do i win Chloro?


also ahem..


Nooooooooooooo!!!! I like that little 10G alot...if you are going to upgrade do the Valley! If not you are corny, dont be corny be cool B)

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Sorry, the new aquascape won't be a valley. I'm going with a mound style design to cover up the overflow box. :) Don't worry, if my nit-picky side has anything to do with it the new design will be better than the current one. Thanks for the enthusiasm about the 10g though!




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  • 2 months later...



No updates on the 10g yet, sorry. Nothing to terribly much has changed since the last photo was taken except there's more coralline and the capricornis has gone mad in the past month. I sure hope I don't break it when I move it, it's growing perfectly right now.


Right now I'm working on upgrading to a 20H that I'll be moving everything into in a week or so. All the lines are plumbed and the lighting is finished but I need a new sump tank. I happened to hit the tank just right this afternoon doing some of the line plumbing right after I removed the bulkead and crrrraaaacckkk, time for a new sump tank. X)


Specs for the new tank:



5.5 g sump/refugium

Mag 5 main line

Mag 9.5 on a SCWD

250w MH, upgrade from the 175 on the 10g.

2x 36 or 55w Actinic (right now they're 2x 36w 50/50)


I did a leak test tonight using a 10g as a stop-gap sump. There's so much flow in there right now I've got to have the pumps throttled way back to keep everything at a dull roar. Whoever it was that thought a 9.5 would be appropriate for a 20g, even running through a SCWD was nuts, it's WAAAY too much. A Mag 5 or 7 would have been better in conjuntion with the 5 on there already.


Thanks for asking,


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Hey Phil...you have a very very well thought out and carefully planned set-up. I applaud you for such foresight in setting up your tanks. I wish I could say the same for myself. I always think of something I forgot or missed AFTER I've already set things up, making it difficult/impossible to correct the problem effectively at that point. I look forward to more pictures of your great tanks. good job!

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