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Mikeymikemike

Mikeymikemike's Shallow Reef Iwagumi - SPS Edition: Updated July

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Mikeymikemike

Hello Everyone, this is my first reef tank and it has been an interesting journey for me.

 

Current FTS June 26 2016

 

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Week 8 Mid December

 

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Week 6 Update Late November (Night photo with gel lens filters)

New 24 Carat Gold Torch and green and gold torch added and MAME skimmer

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Week 5 Update Mid November
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Week 4 update Mid November

12K
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16K
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Week 3 Early November

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I started in the planted aquascaping side of the hobby about 2 years ago and since then I have learnt a lot thanks to the support of my friends in the hobby.

I've made a few scapes and in my time they have all taught me many lessons about proper maintenance and keeping water in check.

World rank 88.
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When it comes to the reefing side of the hobby, I wanted to start a reef tank with some inspiration from the planted side of the hobby. And so I decided to create my Iwagumi style layout.

"The term Iwagumi was originally used to refer to a Japanese gardening style in which stones were used as the bones of the garden, to provide its structure: if the stones are well placed in the garden then the rest of the garden lays itself out. Japanese gardens used stones, shrubs and sand to represent landscapes in miniature, so they could show a mountain scape by using carefully placed stones or represent the ocean or a lake with a pool of raked or unraked sand. As the popularity of gardening led to the emergence of underwater gardening, which we now know as aquascaping, the tradition of Iwagumi naturally inspired and influenced aquascapers. Iwagumi is one of the most striking and simple formations, representing a mountain scape or Buddhist triad so it is well suited to aquascaping." - The Green Machine

The main objective is to have a nice scape without the addition of corals, hard-scapes are the bones of an aquascape and so corals should compliment and bring out points of interest rather than distraction. without plants and corals, a good hardscape can still make for a aquarium.

This was the concept using seiryu stone. I liked the way it looked and started to look for stone that would match.
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My lfs had some "real reef rock" and I have been hearing a lot about this sustainable alternative.
It's a good option because it does not break down and release phosphates, it is man made, it has more detail in it than other alternatives I have seen and it means I wont get hitchhikers and pests.

This is the outcome
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Week 1 Late October
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And so this was the result after a week and I'm still waiting for this scape to evolve. My plan is to let the zoas carpet the substrate (not completely) to get a more natural appearance.

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Tank details

FIRE 3ft shallow
Filter: Sicce Eko300 with carbon, phosguard and a floss filter for polishing the water. (cleaned/swapped bi-weekly) and glass skimmer lily pipes.
Light: Nemolight

Dosing
Zeobak, stability, sponge power, coral vit, amino acids, aquavitro fuel, calc and alk. RO top offs.

Water changes 50% bi-weekly for the first month to stave off diatoms and i'll monitor water parameters over time.

I'll post more updates as they come :)

If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

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Rehype

Your freshwater tanks were beautiful and this saltwater build is just as impressive. Excellent to attention to detail and flawless technique. Cant wait to see this tank grow out...

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Mikeymikemike

Thank you :) So, this has been a real learning curve but the tank seems to be adjusting and growing well

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HarryPotter

Ive never seen a freshwater tank like that.... just wow. Excited to see what you do with this reef tank!

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JR!

You have my attention

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waytoospicy

Wow.

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hey

gorgeous tanks, following

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vlangel

I love all your tanks and will definitely be following this reef.

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Giga

oh pretty!

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PieMan2k

My jaw dropped when I saw this. I need to learn how to scape from you this is just stunning.

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Markburns43

Yes! Holy hell , all beautiful

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brad908

Amazing

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schgr.cube

Love that scape, it reminds me of one side of my old 33 gallon. Following along for this one, I have a feeling its going to be amazing.

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Rory282

How are those nemolights? You like them?

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ajmckay

Diggin' it man. I just spent like 2 hours the other day mulling over the IAPLC top 100 - sexy as hell. I'm curious as to the approximate cost to set up a world class nature aquarium as well as the average weekly time commitment. Care to divulge a little?

 

 

As for the saltwater tank - it looks great. I think you've done really well in selecting your tank dimensions and I for the scape I think you've incorporated the Iwagumi style well. It's tough to do with saltwater because the rocks are so unique each piece. Most of the time a "cave" looks forced or planned, but I think the way you have it the cave looks natural and flows easily into the rest of the scape.

 

Probably my favorite part of the aquascape is the coral placement. I really like how you have the euphyllia nestled in a valley, the mushrooms up higher, and particularly the various zoanthids around the base.

 

What are your plans for grow out? Corals obviously won't grow as much as plants, but maintaining the scape seems like it will be more difficult because you'll eventually have to frag some items which is a bit more "disruptive" to the scape compared to trimming some plants. Though it does seem you have the corals spaced apart enough that they can grow together some and there's plenty of room upward for some of the larger corals like the euphyllia.

 

Thanks for sharing - we'll expect a lot of pictures just so you know! I think you'll find nano-reef to be a pretty nice community.

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Mikeymikemike

Thank you for all the positive comments.

 

How are those nemolights? You like them?

The nemo lights are considered medium level lighting at around 55cm from the substrate. I have mounted them about 40cm from the substrate so they give off a little bit more par.

 

For zoas and LPS they work well.

 

Pros: cheap, thin, programmable, I have set mine to 10 hours daylight and 14 hours moonlight. I modded mine to add a strip of UV.

 

Cons: Not the most powerful light for it's size, mounting brackets are kind of ugly, so I hung mine from the ceiling to make it look like it is floating.

 

11220793_10154278217370110_7006538084938

 

Diggin' it man. I just spent like 2 hours the other day mulling over the IAPLC top 100 - sexy as hell. I'm curious as to the approximate cost to set up a world class nature aquarium as well as the average weekly time commitment. Care to divulge a little?

 

 

As for the saltwater tank - it looks great. I think you've done really well in selecting your tank dimensions and I for the scape I think you've incorporated the Iwagumi style well. It's tough to do with saltwater because the rocks are so unique each piece. Most of the time a "cave" looks forced or planned, but I think the way you have it the cave looks natural and flows easily into the rest of the scape.

 

Probably my favorite part of the aquascape is the coral placement. I really like how you have the euphyllia nestled in a valley, the mushrooms up higher, and particularly the various zoanthids around the base.

 

What are your plans for grow out? Corals obviously won't grow as much as plants, but maintaining the scape seems like it will be more difficult because you'll eventually have to frag some items which is a bit more "disruptive" to the scape compared to trimming some plants. Though it does seem you have the corals spaced apart enough that they can grow together some and there's plenty of room upward for some of the larger corals like the euphyllia.

 

Thanks for sharing - we'll expect a lot of pictures just so you know! I think you'll find nano-reef to be a pretty nice community

 

 

Planted tanks require just as much maintenance. But they are both equally rewarding. my ADA show tank takes about 1 hour to maintain a week now. just water changes and a trim once a month.

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ajmckay

Planted tanks require just as much maintenance. But they are both equally rewarding. my ADA show tank takes about 1 hour to maintain a week now. just water changes and a trim once a month.

 

Oh I'm aware they're not maintenance free - quite the opposite because to me it looks like some of the massive yet very detailed and precise aquascapes would require a full work week to maintain!

 

So an hour a week doesn't seem like much in comparison! I assume you make use of some tank automation. That's one area where I'm not particularly well versed as it relates to the planted tank (or the reef for that matter).

 

I actually had desires to set up a planted tank earlier this year - a 20g Long with 5 black tetras but as of now it just has 5 tetras, substrate, some rocks and a lame light. Currently I have a crazy idea... I'm hoping to find an older large arcylic tank (Something like 120-150g) and use a router to cut it down to around 12-14 inches tall. If I had my ideal size it would be 48" x 24" x 13" and accounting for wall thickness should be around 60 gallons. Eventually I want a reef of those dimensions, but I don't really have a budget for that (hoping to score a tank free or nearly free - anticipating some work to make it suitable for use) so I thought I would do a low-tech planted for now. Just sounds like a fun project.

 

Back to your reef. I'm trying to think of some constructive advice but I'm coming up short... My only comment on the scape would be that each time I look at the current FTS it takes me several moments before I even notice the smaller rock on the right side. I'm sure you experimented with it (using your Seiryu stones it looks like!) but it seems like a slightly more prominent piece would bring it together more. Alternatively a clam or another coral could be used to draw attention to it.

 

Finally, what substrate are you using?

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RollaJase

Welcome to the forums and congratulations on the gorgeous tanks. Always good to see another Australian on here ;).

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DocReef

This is super awesome

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Mikeymikemike

 

Oh I'm aware they're not maintenance free - quite the opposite because to me it looks like some of the massive yet very detailed and precise aquascapes would require a full work week to maintain!

 

So an hour a week doesn't seem like much in comparison! I assume you make use of some tank automation. That's one area where I'm not particularly well versed as it relates to the planted tank (or the reef for that matter).

 

I actually had desires to set up a planted tank earlier this year - a 20g Long with 5 black tetras but as of now it just has 5 tetras, substrate, some rocks and a lame light. Currently I have a crazy idea... I'm hoping to find an older large arcylic tank (Something like 120-150g) and use a router to cut it down to around 12-14 inches tall. If I had my ideal size it would be 48" x 24" x 13" and accounting for wall thickness should be around 60 gallons. Eventually I want a reef of those dimensions, but I don't really have a budget for that (hoping to score a tank free or nearly free - anticipating some work to make it suitable for use) so I thought I would do a low-tech planted for now. Just sounds like a fun project.

 

Back to your reef. I'm trying to think of some constructive advice but I'm coming up short... My only comment on the scape would be that each time I look at the current FTS it takes me several moments before I even notice the smaller rock on the right side. I'm sure you experimented with it (using your Seiryu stones it looks like!) but it seems like a slightly more prominent piece would bring it together more. Alternatively a clam or another coral could be used to draw attention to it.

 

Finally, what substrate are you using?

 

 

The ADA scape is not really automated at all. Rather it just runs. I dose some ferts every second day and do a weekly water change and feed every 2-3 days.

 

Everything else works like a natural habitat would. My advice is to search online for videos like the green machine aquascaping tutorials.

 

You can look at some of my journals on Aquariumlife forum. Some of the picture in the earlier posts are lost, but it gives you an idea.

 

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/57932-Mikeymikemike-s-4ft-Aqua-Garden-The-Beginnings

 

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/62557-Mikeymikemike-s-2ft-Dutch-Garden

 

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/59308-Mikeymikemike-s-2ft-Seiryu-Scape-Pride-Rock/page12

 

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For the right side, you can see I originally had a green torch, but it was too big for the scale I was hoping to achieve.

 

My tank is 90cm L x 27h x 30d. So around 16 gallons. With this scale, I can make this tank look like a 6ft or 7ft tank if i chose the right corals. It's a shame we don't have a huge selection of nano sized fish that take pellet like the freshwater side of the hobby.

 

To give you some perspective, the torch corals in the middle of the tank has a skeleton structure about the size of my thumb. I am going to either create another smaller arch or I will add in zoas or torch coral there.

 

 

The substrate I am using for this reef is fine crushed aragonite. it almost looks like sand but it is not. The advantage of aragonite is that it stabilises PH and does not have high levels of silicates that sand may have (less chances of diatoms)

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martinicu

Extremely awesome tank start. I like to ask you besides the canister what else are you running on the tank. Any protein skimmers etc.

Thanks

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Mikeymikemike

Extremely awesome tank start. I like to ask you besides the canister what else are you running on the tank. Any protein skimmers etc.

Thanks

 

I am not running any extra gear. I have a canister filter with a bag of carbon and phoguard. (i will swap to seachem seagel) or use tunze carbon and phosphate remover (whichever works out cheaper) and I will buy some purigen when I swap out my carbon.

 

After consulting my friends in the industry and other reefers, we all conclude that proper husbandry will allow for a successful tank. My friends have kept reefs with canisters before and there are many successful skimmerless reefs that give me some inspiration.

 

This tank was the one that got me thinking

http://reefbuilders.com/2011/01/04/sreef-stunning-skimmerless-reef-tank-marko-haga/

 

I also want to go low-tech for ease and enjoyment.

 

Minimal dosing, minimal maintenance.

 

how do I maintain this tank so far?

 

EASY STUFF.

1. Bi-weekly water change 50% 30 litres /10Gal, this will change to once a week after 2 months when the system stabilizes and diatoms no not appear anymore (15 minutes)

2. Clean or swap the filter floss bi-weekly (10 minutes)

3. Daily dose ( one drop each ) of KZ Zeobak, amino acids, coral vitalizer, sponge power (1 minute) / half dose of Aquavitro fuel every second night.

4. Wipe the glass every second day (10 minutes)

 

I use this glass cleaner because it is designed very well and suits our nano needs.

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ANNOYING STUFF.

1. Clean the glass lily pipes. (15 minutes once every 3 weeks.)

2. Dust off the zoas and substrate using a turkey baster (5 minutes once a week - 2 hours before cleaning out the filter floss to let the filter collect all the debris)

 

Total time, maybe 1 hour per week.

 

In the future I will just buy a second set (as I'm bound to break them one day) and just do direct swaps., that will take me all of 3 minutes.

 

CUC = 6 shrimp, 20+ turbo snails, 5 hermit crabs.

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A successful tank comes from careful and detailed cleaning habits.

Big water changes also help. I am lucky because I live 10 minutes from the beach and my LFS has a salt water exchange system, so I just come and swap two bottles. ( I usually go there weekly anyway).

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Mikeymikemike

Just a quick update with pictures

 

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smiz

Wow this tank is really amazing. I am honestly going to go home and re do my scape after seeing this!

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PieMan2k

Still beautiful

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