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Kyl

Kyle's 60g Shallow Reef

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During the reign of terror one of the porcelain crabs lost both his front claws, and four sexy shrimp in total were murdered.

 

:o

 

 

How is the tank doing now?

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Stable, thankfully. The porcelain crabs are both gone, one eventually ended up down to one leg and then he disappeared, the other I sold back to the LFS as he was too much for the small bubble tip I have. Eventually I'll probably get another pair once this anemone gets larger, they were fun to watch filter feeding.

 

Short term I'm lining up some duncans and another torch, waiting on an ORA goby order with the LFS and still trying to find what I wanted in the first place before my euphyllia collection grew so much, a standard plain old frogspawn. I have my fusion 10 still and am debating if I want to just sell it or make something like a RFA only tank..

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The mini frag racks from Oceanbox Designs have really grown on me since using them for the past few months. Surprisingly, even the 6mm magnets are enough to keep the euphyllia rack stable with the larger frogspawn pieces moving around the hole in the current. I'm still waiting a bit longer to re-position everything that's staying in this tank permanently, some frags will be moving to the 65 gallon when it's running. The BTA hasn't moved in over a month, so I think he's not going anywhere now.

 

Some new acquisitions this past week, still a bit too blue saturated..


 

 

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Emerald Rainbow Acan - A nice orange highlight on the interior that doesn't really show up from the side-shot. From the same hobbyist as my existing tri-colour which has grown 6 new heads since January, so I'm expecting even better growth from this.

 

 

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Alien-Eye Chalice - It took a while to remove this guy from the frag plug he had overgrown, but fits perfectly on a stand alone piece of rock. He'll be going under the arch in the rock-work as soon™ as things move to their final spots.

 

 

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Purple-tipped Frogspawn - For the most common Euphyllia out there (so I was told..), it took forever to find an actual frogspawn frag locally. Well thanks to the wait I got three for next to nothing, but only one of them will be staying in the 20 permanently.

 

 

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Blue Sympodium Polyp - I had never seen this until googling it from a random local sale post. It came on a frag disc that had hair algae and other nuisance garbage, so what was one larger piece became four smaller frags, two of which will be staying. I believe this encrusts like GSP, but at a far slower rate.


 

The LFS still has no ETA for the next ORA order so the green-banded goby wait continues. 5 fish will probably be the max for this tank, that leaves one spot left unless I go with two.. Videos of pairs in tanks makes it seem like they dance around together and I want more movement in the tank, but more contrasting colour would be nice as well. For corals I hope to offset a lot of the green with some brighter colours like a red plating montipora in the short term.

 

I've not finished debating what to do with the now-empty fusion 10 as it still has post-crash water circulating and is full of copepods on the glass and sand. Keeping it running as a copepod farm for now, or just get rid of it? My partner here doesn't seem to have an opinion either way..

 

 

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No photographs, please!

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The last week or so has seen some more colour added to the tank. Philippines shipment arrived at the LFS last Monday so I managed to get a nice looking firefish before just the beat up runts were left. He's taken over the cave that houses the spaghetti worm and constantly steals any food that's getting reeled in from it. I also picked up a number of beginner SPS this past Sunday to get some more non-green elements finally. Fellow hobbyists around here have been great, and you can't beat the prices.

 

Frags

 

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Firefish

 

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I've tried to mess with the exposure and whatnot on my S4 (suggestions??), but it's either the actinic is turned off and things look pretty dull, or the blues are shining and it washes out pictures. I'm finding that mounting any new additions on my own plugs and letting them hang out on the Oceanbox racks for a week or so has really helped things. These guys are on the front glass for another few days then I can start to populate the top of the barren rocks. Still no ETA for the ORA order, but I'm really leaning towards getting a pair of Green-banded gobies and that will probably be it for fish. I lost one of the sexy shrimp in the last couple of weeks, I can only guess the clowns were responsible.

 

Most of my time lately has been spent trying to finalize a 65 gallon setup and second guessing most of the plumbing decisions. I've also never dealt with a plastic braced bottom tank before (aqueon 65 reef-ready), and it really seems like I should put a piece of ABS or something down on the glass for the rockwork to sit on top of. I'm worried about pressure points on the glass since it's being braced by the edge trim, but it does have a middle brace. I'm just not sure, something with these IM tanks you don't have to give second thought to.. or maybe I'm just over-thinking this.

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I've also never dealt with a plastic braced bottom tank before (aqueon 65 reef-ready), and it really seems like I should put a piece of ABS or something down on the glass for the rockwork to sit on top of. I'm worried about pressure points on the glass since it's being braced by the edge trim, but it does have a middle brace. I'm just not sure, something with these IM tanks you don't have to give second thought to.. or maybe I'm just over-thinking this.

 

 

The plastic molding is just to hold the panels so that they don't bow and break from the weight/pressure of the water. I don't believe that placing rock in the tank will cause any problems. But, if you are really worried, cut a piece of acrylic and put it in the tank so the rock sits on that. Don't put egg crate under the sand. I did that with my first ever tank, and it was a pain in the but if sand moved. You can also put one of those foam mats outside, under the tank.

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The plastic molding is just to hold the panels so that they don't bow and break from the weight/pressure of the water. I don't believe that placing rock in the tank will cause any problems. But, if you are really worried, cut a piece of acrylic and put it in the tank so the rock sits on that. Don't put egg crate under the sand. I did that with my first ever tank, and it was a pain in the but if sand moved. You can also put one of those foam mats outside, under the tank.

 

+1 to hating egg crate. Did it on my 34 gallon with a sump and I could never 100 percent hide it

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The tank will definitely NOT have egg-crate in it. Probably just over-worrying about things, but I filed down most of the finer points into broader areas and will just go with it. Plumbing the return has been a huge hassle when going from the mock-up to actual fit, but on the bright side I've gotten really good at gluing schedule 40 PVC now. Thankfully a distributor through work has kept the costs much lower than if I had been sourcing from something like Lowes/HD, mark-up on fittings is insane..

 

Any ways, that tank should hopefully be plumbed this weekend then probably a week or so before I get it salted. It's going to have a lot of tall, wall covering rock and that part I'm excited to see actually in water. It's helped hide some of the ugly from the interior overflow and should give tons of areas for the little guys to claim / hide. My 10 is setup once again and I’ve just started to cycle it with one large piece of Marco dry and some rubble from my 20. Still mixed on what to use it for, but might as well have it ready for when I do decide.

 

And I might as well update on the 20, this past weekend most of the new frags were mounted and the extra Euphyllia (for the 65) moved back to the frag racks. I did come home on Tuesday to one of the arms of the green birds nest completely obliterated and only the skeleton left. It had fallen from the rock the night previous and was laying in the sand below, wondering if sweepers from the chalice or favia touched that portion. So far it hasn’t spread to the other fingers, but I’m watching in case it has to be fragged up completely. And in some good news my first ever frags (purple pocillopora) are starting to show some vertical growth after encrusting most of the plugs, so the tank is definitely in a recovered, happy state now from the crash + move.

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No pictures of kitty? :(

Does my lock screen count? Probably my favourite picture of him.

 

 

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It would appear that Mr. Firefish has decided to move onto the big ocean in the sky. I haven't seen him for the past two days, and the last time I did he was listing inside of his cave it and not moving much. Not really sure what happened, I've checked all water parameters this evening and nothing is abnormal since his introduction other than slightly lower alk. It's been trending down .4 over two weeks as I've been adjusting dosing levels since the new SPS/LPS frag additions.

 

SG 1.025

Alk 7.9

Ammonia 0

Nitrates 0

Phosphates 0.012

 

I did progressively see his fins become more and more torn, so I'm wondering if the hermits were going after him at night, or if he was simply not a healthy fish in the first place. It did eat like a pig on LRS frenzy, pellets and mysis, so I'm hoping it wasn't diet related. My clowns and pink streak wrasse are still doing great, and I would have thought the wrasse would be the first one to go should a water quality issue arise.

 

Ya win some, ya lose some..

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Sorry about the firefish :(

 

For some reason it just seems like nobody can keep them for very long. They seem to be suicidally inclined or something.

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I've found out the firefish was only at the LFS for less than a day, I'm going to use that as a lesson for anything wild sourced to let them stir for about a week at the store next time as it might have just all been too stressful. ORA sourced though, I really don't think a same day sale will be something to avoid since it's direct from ORA to LFS. Still waiting on the green banded gobies.. The pink streak wrasse was in their store for almost two months, no one wanted it but I saw Teeny's 10g pictures of his PSW and snapped him(her?) up!

 

Spent all day on the 65 wiring everything and it filled in about 3 hours from the RODI waste line since this is just a gunk flush / leak test. Happy to say it's running and with zero leaks! It's utilizing a durso standpipe return, but the sucker is loud as all heck so I'm going to try a few more things tomorrow. Amazed there are zero leaks considering all the PVC work, I was worried about the PVC > ABS bulkhead joints but they're solid. Going to leave it running tonight and drain it tomorrow once I get the noise corrected. Rock work to place, a RODI fill and I'm officially a three-tank addict :scarry:

 

 

* This durso was a big mistake, thankfully I can re-plumb things relatively quickly tomorrow when the plumbing store opens... Herbie it is with return over the tank, something I wanted to avoid but I'll take a near-silent siphon over the awful gurgle show the durso has been all day.

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I officially have MTS, and feel like there's going to be some kind of aquarist rehab in 6-8 months haha! Went to the LFS on Monday as they had a livestock sale, so here's a few updates..

 

20 update: New firefish and a bi-colour blenny have been added. I'm trying my luck on FF#2 (different batch than the first) as they've been in store for just over 10 days and eating fine. The blenny was an impulse buy, he was giving me the what's up look from his rock hole while snails were being pulled out of his tank. FF has made his home in the left rock work holes while the blenny has staked his claim inside of Mt. Algae. FF is eating like a pig, the blenny has been nipping at Mt. Algae a bit and goes crazy for LRS reef frenzy. Xenia had a split that's grown onto the false wall which is what I had hoped would eventually happen, rest will be going to the 65 when ready.

 

Firefish #2

 

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Bi-colour Blenny

He's really, really hard to get a clean picture of so here is the clearest one while LRS reef frenzy nano is blasting aroundalgaeking_zpsrda0nqai.jpg

 

 

10 gallon: So I've been cycling this with Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride for about five weeks and threw in a few pieces of rubble from the 20 to help. In the last 5-6 days it's been apparent that ammonia is done, nitrite holding zero with nitrates initially over 50. One large WC and nitrates under 5ppm, another one the next day and they're under 2 now. Two tiny Ocellaris clowns were picked up to replace the clowns in the 20 once the 65 is cycled. I also picked up a blood red fire shrimp to replace the scarlet skunk who's going to the 65 as well (he's gotten huge). Still not sure what I'm going to turn the 10 into eventually but for now it's the nursery tank..

 

The nursery

 

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Tiny little clowns!

 

 

65 gallon: Re-plumbed to a Herbie style drain with return over the tank and it's now dead silent almost all the time, I can't believe the difference. The siphon drain can also handle the pump at 100% if I want to go that far, durso couldn't even handle 20% without sounding like a violent toilet.. Same rock, sand as the 20, started cycling on Friday..

 

65 gallon rockscape

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The blenny has been an excellent addition to the tank, I can't believe how active he's become after getting comfortable with the scenery. There's a specific hole being frequented during the day, and at night he curls up in a mini crater behind the green birdsnest frags. The female clown went right after him when added, but he made her back off very quickly and since then she's been much more active, but a model citizen. Win

 

Firefish #2 I have seen a total of three times out in the open, and instantly darting back behind the rockwork when I come near the tank. I think these dart fish just aren't a good fit in a nano tank by themselves, too skiddish and that's probably why I lost the last one. This one comes out after feeding, so I at least know it's alive and not wasting away yet, but I'm tempted to try and get it out of the tank once my newest acquisitions are done as he just hides in a rear rock cave. I think he'd do much better in the 65 eventually with some other fish out in the open to show there are no predators.

 

The anemone is starting to walk now.. I'm not sure what has made it antsy but I'm hoping this is just a small jog and it's not deciding to walk the tank after staying put for months. The mesh went back on the MP10 tonight, I don't want to wake up / come home to a nuked tank after work. I've also moved all the frags out for the 65 into the holding 10. As soon as the next stage with the 65 livestock is done I'm moving my current clowns out for a stint in QT, and the new clowns are going in the 20. The 10 will become a coral / invert fallow holding tank

 

Misc non-20 things:

 

 

The 65 gallon is cycling very well, already having a diatom outbreak that's clearing itself up. I'm trying to progress my skills and understanding of this hobby, so I want this tank to be pristine. No rolling the dice while stocking with ich, brook, flukes or sick fish. I've got a 20g long QT station setup just waiting for water, and am currently doing a TTM regime in 10gallons for ich that's home to two small female Lyretail Anthias.

 

 

 

I think my nerves are a bit too quick to shoot for the unknown in this hobby, and my family thinks I'm officially nuts!

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Lots of happenings, and I think the picture issue will be solved soon.

 

Many of the extra corals have been moved out of the 20 and into the 10. I've done some frag runs over the past couple weeks for some plating montis (green, flowerpot, red, idaho grape), a mystic sunset monti and red planet acropora. Today a couple of green fungia plates and a small ironman mushroom were picked up and are happy already. I did have a loss today though, the recluse firefish #2 didn't survive his second jump out of my tank. The first occurred while I was sitting at my desk a few nights ago, and I should have thrown him in the 10 but it was a moment of fish flopping panic with a cat trying to get in on the action. Surprisingly today the FF was looking pristine, not shriveled up or pawed at, so he must have just jumped before I got home. This was through 1/4" mesh on the screen, I had re-done the 10 with some bridal tulle but was waiting for next weekend to do the 20..

 

On one hand I'm sad that livestock died, but it was what I would call a bioload freeloader. Never out in the open, easily spooked and would hide for days behind the rear of my rockwork. I'm done with these fish for now, in contrast the bi-colour blenny has been the star of the tank since it's gotten comfortable and he was a complete impulse buy. I think at this point I'm just stealing stock ideas off Teenyreef, green-banded gobies are due in next week too!

 

I'll keep the non-20 stuff spoilered off if anyone cares to read, but I like using this for notes till I get something offline setup.

 

 

Talking with some local guys this past weekend and the LFS around here seem to be getting less healthy stock in lately, I think that re-affirms my decision to start proper QT on all fish coming in for the tank upstairs. We debated QT of inverts as well, I'm strongly believing it should also be done considering the inverts are coming from tanks with suspect fish, so why do one and not the other. My bedroom looks like a fish tank warehouse now haha, but the extra tanks are of course "temporary" for QT.. I don't think my tanks have crypto at all right now as I've never seen signs, but the clowns from the 20 are going into TTM soon and will hit the 20long QT tank when the anthias are out.

 

The baby percs in the 10 will just move into the 20, they've shared water, frags and even some rock rubble so at this point unless I want to move everything out of the 20 and fallow it there isn't much point. The Anthias went through TTM like champs, and will start Prazi treatments for the next couple weeks. Carpenters wrasse did not, dying at 6 days in. I believe the stress of distributor > lfs > bag > ttm tank > day later ttm tank (rookie mistake) did him in. The next wrasse I try will go in QT for a few weeks to fatten up and calm down then start TTM.

 

65 is well cycled, but the whole invert QT thing has me wondering if I run my 10 fallow with a bunch of snails and hermits for the 10 weeks then toss them in, or toss them in and keep the anthias in the 20long for 10 weeks, or just give them a few good bathes and scrubs in a few different buckets and forego invert QT..

 

 

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Some of the new additions and random shots from the past couple of weeks:

 

Green Fungia Plates

 

 

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Ironman Mushroom

 

 

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Over the top

 

 

 

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Getting closer..

 

 

 

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Green-Banded Gobies are due any day now, but I'll have to get a friend to pick them up as I've been house-ridden for the better part of a week :|

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Montipora eating Nudibranchs... :tears:

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What a difference 6 weeks makes..

 

Sidelined for a few, salt brand change which I believe contributed to major water problems and a major loss of my SPS by a combination of monti eating nudibranchs and high phosphates. Brown algae issues on dying SPS, bubble algae growing randomly and finally an emerald crab that dined on one of my growing acan colonies.

 

Setbacks:

 

30194629646_057daa4ee7_o.jpgDead or dying..

  • Anemone decided to move and did a lot of damage to the birdsnest.
  • Pink Lemonade Acropora frags - lost all tissue, dead. Main colony seems to have held through everything with no tissue loss
  • Cali Tort Acropora - lost most tissue
  • Red Planet Acropora - half tissue loss
  • Pruple Valida Acropora - lost most colour, tissue loss on tips
  • Green Birdsnest - tissue loss on underside from anemone moving
  • Red Setosa Montipora - complete loss
  • Forest Fire Digitata - complete loss
  • Rainbow Encrusting Montipora - almost complete loss
  • Mystic Sunset Montipora - complete loss
  • Purple Pocillopora - colony has slight tissue loss on tips, frags have no polyp extension
  • Red Plating Montipora - complete loss
  • Idaho Grape Montipora - complete loss
  • Flower Pot Montipora - complete loss
  • Green Plating Montipora - complete loss
  • Emerald Rainbow Acan - heads progressively destroyed, emerald crab seen picking at them, one tiny head left
  • Red Flowerpot - no polyp extension, some tissue recession

 

 

 

October is slowly turning around; back to previous salt, phosphates gradually reduced to .04 with lanthanum chloride (was testing between .2 - .23) and nudibranchs seemingly eliminated. Duncan finally recovering from it's run in with the anemone months ago, newer chalice frags healing up well with some growth, mayan sun favia growing more in a month than it has the previous 9 from a location change and baby trochus snails!

 

Saved $7 a bucket by going to another salt brand that seemed to mix much cleaner initially, but there has been noticeable sludge and a musky smell in every 4 gallon batch after mixing for 2-3 hours. On the advice of a local reefer I started testing phosphate levels of the last few mixes and they were reading between .29 and .33! New mixes from the previous salt brand are measuring between .006 and .017, so I'm pretty much ruling out the rodi water as the cause. Possibly just a bad batch or it wasn't the sole problem, but enough damage has been done to the coral at this point.

 

Livestock additions before things went sideways included a neon cleaner goby, emerald crab for bubble algae that started to crop up, three different chalice frags and four variaties of plating montipora. Unfortunately monti eating nudibranchs survived the trip and dip, slowly wasted each piece and started on some of my other monti's in the midst of the other problems going on. I had thought it was initially light bleaching, then solely related to the phosphates until a local guy said to look for them. So small I didn't even see the buggers till zooming in with the phone camera on the last piece of plating monti that still had colour left. Confirmed with the source that unfortunately his main colonies had nudi's as well, thanked me for the heads up and will replace all the lost frags that came from him at least.

 

The main thing I've learned from all of this is how quickly a tank can go sideways, it all comes down to water quality. Going forward what I'll be doing differently is weekly testing of PO4, not changing salts to save 7 bucks, inspecting every single coral frag that comes in for visible eggs and regularly re-dipping them for the first few weeks. Picking up a used IM min-max desktop reactor on Tuesday for carbon/GFO as I don't want to rely on lanthanum chloride for PO4 control in this small tank. And still no green-banded gobies :|

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Sorry to hear about the problems! It's amazing how quickly things can go bad in these small tanks, I've had the same things happen more than once. I have to admit I don't check PO4 in my freshly mixed salt. I'm going to do that today just to make myself feel better.

 

Thanks for sharing about what's going on even when it's bad. It helps all of us learn!

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Hey thanks Teeny. Believe me, September was a month I'd like to forget ever existed personally and in terms of the tanks. I fear the 65 would have had it much worse had there been any coral in it, or more fish (only two anthias currently). But that's another story for another day!

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From the very start I've wanted one thing above all in this hobby, and today I finally got to witness it in my tank. All the headaches with nudibranchs, black bugs, dinoflagellates, bubble algae, phosphate problems, bacterial blooms and general livestock and coral losses over the last year suddenly don't seem all that of a downer anymore.

 

I thought I saw something earlier this morning, but dismissed it as the male clown being a jerk to my sexy shrimp. After feeding the tank and letting it run with the return off, I finally got confirmation at what I thought might be happening..

 

Hosting!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzV5QcCOj9g

 

The male's been moving in and out all evening, chasing the female sexy shrimp out, then going back to hanging with the female clown near the overflow. I'm not sure if that's a sign of something more to come or not...

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This tank has finally started to recover enough that I’ve been thinking about it’s future, along with what to do with the fusion 10, and equipment for my 65 gallon upstairs.

 

The Ecotech MP10wQD has been in the tank since the Black Friday sales last November and always felt that it was overkill for the 10 I had at the time, further not being utilized fully given the cost in this 20. The highest I comfortably run it is 35% in pulse mode, but most of the time it hovers around 20% else the tank is a cyclone. One idea is to relocate it to the 65-gallon tank and help the gyre with some better varied flow, possibly replacing it with one or two Jebao SW-2 nano wavemakers.

 

I’m really growing fond of that idea as it would re-purpose gear I have already, and allow for a very economical left/right varied flow instead of the counter-clockwise motion that’s been going on since day one of this tank. Hard to argue when they’re going for around $50 each, and can be 0-10v controlled in the future.

 

Fusion 10

 

The fusion 10 finally has a plan forward. It’s currently serving as home to two small clowns and a blue cleaner wrasse for the 65 that I’ve had to hold off on quarantining given how bad September and some of this early month went. I’ve been running out of frag space on the two Oceanbox mini racks I have in the 20, and I’d like to start propagating some of my faster growers for eventual sale / credit.

 

Once I get the QT tank running the fish are coming out, the two blue hermits will either come back in the 20 or be sent to the LFS, and the two anemones chilling in there will follow through a few water QT cycles to try and get them as clean as possible for the trip upstairs.

 

The tank is going to be cleaned out and restarted bare-bottom with some multi-layered DIY acrylic frag racks. Till I can source some non-outrageously priced acrylic, raised egg-crate will suffice. This final reboot will also let me get rid of all the awfulness stirring in that tank: dinos, black-bugs and a bunch of spaghetti worms all through the sand that stowed away on the GSP rock before I got rid of it. Flow wise given the cost, another SW-2 might be the perfect fit.

 

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do you think that you could have gotten away with using one Kesil? I was gonna get an IM 20 and was hoping to use one AI Prime HD. Opinion? (LPS, Softies)

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