A.Berry

Reef Jar Project *Move was successful!*

94 posts in this topic

Hello! First post, I've been following on here for awhile and I'm finally taking the plunge! I have been keeping freshwater tanks for years, the last 2 being planted tanks. Currently I have a natural planted tank that I feel is like the holy grail of planted tanks. 10 gallons and balanced to the point that my parameters sit consistently at 0. I love watching my platy's, danios, and shrimp roam around the plants and after 9 months of having it established my wife has finally agreed on a salt water! Gotta get that approval!

 

Anyways, the original plan was to use a 29 gallon tank I had laying around but have had trouble finding a place in the house that we like for it. I stumbled upon reefjar.com and am sold! I've done lots of research into saltwater in the past, just hadn't decided to go for it. The plan is now to build a 2 gallon cookie jar reef with a 2-4 gallon sump and refugium in a drawer below it. I'm thinking I will get it set up and cycle it a month or so before adding some soft corals and inverts and maybe a feather duster. After it's established I want to add a small goby or if I'm feeling really brave a mandarin.

 

So far I've decided to start motivating myself by buying the jar. I have it set in the place I want it in and I'm working out the plumbing. Any pointers anyone might like to share? Thanks for any advice and I look forward to sharing my progress!

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Mandarin in a reef jar?

 

You had me up till that point. I would suggest a lot more research.

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Yea I've been shying away from fish all together. I despise seeing fish crammed in a tank too small and I'm concerned about that with pretty much anything that has a spine. I haven't ever seen a mandarin off a computer screen so that's more an aspiration than anything else. Unfortunately, my last LFS closed last week so all I have for salt within an hour is petco, so I'm turning to the forum for pointers.

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There are some awesome jars on here...... just study the threads and copy what they do. :)

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That's my plan :) I'm a fan of K.I.S.S.. I'd skip the sump but I like the idea of having a higher volume as a buffer

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I'm all for more reef jars :) although I wonder why you would want to go the trouble of adding a sump and fuge to a 2-gallon system when it's so easy to do big water changes.

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Thanks they are really cool and I want to try my hand at it. I think I'm wanting the sump just to be sure there is a buffer. There are tons of successful jar reefs without a sump so I'm probably needlessly over complicating. Any thoughts on if a sump is going to be enough benefit to justify it over just a bubbler like on reefjar.com?

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Thanks they are really cool and I want to try my hand at it. I think I'm wanting the sump just to be sure there is a buffer. There are tons of successful jar reefs without a sump so I'm probably needlessly over complicating. Any thoughts on if a sump is going to be enough benefit to justify it over just a bubbler like on reefjar.com?

Forget the sump. At least that's my opinion. You are over complicating it as far as I'm concerned. Like Natalia said 100% water changes are cake.

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You shouldn't do the trouble of having a sump in your reef jar. It is stable enough given you have a decent sealing lid and an airpump.

 

You can see my Jar (Teto the 2 gal reef), Reefjar's jar and Natalia's bowl reef for more ideas and inspiration. Ive been asking Maritza, Brandon and Natalia some questions if I need to do something in my jar reef. And, all our setups run simply on bubblers, nothing more and less.

 

I suggest you go fishless, with such a small tank, you can easily grow and pack it with tiny frags and you'll find it delightful that even single polyp frags stand out. Fish, IMHO is cruel to put in such a small container, perhaps a 5 gal pico reef may suffice for the smallest one.

 

I wouldnt recommend the Mandarin because it mainly eats pods, though it can be trained to eat frozen food. Plus it can be a huge bioload in that small pico. You can try a couple of live mysid shrimps if you want. You can also try sexy shrimps and the dwarf variety of coral banded shrimp. But you need to monitor if they annoy corals or they are starving.

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Speaking from personal experience, the only reasons to put a sump on a jar reef are (1) you want to have livestock with a big bioload, or (2) you like complicated projects and don't mind introducing potential failure points. As far as buffers are concerned, I pay no attention to them and my reefbowl grows SPS quickly enough that I have to frag them to prevent their overcrowding other corals.

 

If you want to go to the trouble of having a sump, might as well have a bigger display that will give you more fish and coral options.

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So the lack of filtration is ok since everyone does 80-100% water changes weekly? I'm looking forward to a challenge but I've been a little bit spoiled with my El Natural tank. I want to post a pic of it but I don't think I've hit a minimum post number to be able to. Any ideas in central Texas of good LFS's? I know of 1 in Waco, and a handful in Austin but that's about it.

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Yup, no filtration is ok if you compensate with water changes. The simplicity of a vase/jar system allows you to focus on other challenges, like finding the most incredibly colorful corals to pack your jar with :)

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Awesome! I can't wait to get started! I was looking at your reef bowl Natalia and I'm thinking the hose around the rim is perfect so I don't have to cut any holes!

I'm going to hopefully get some live sand and dry rock this weekend so I can get started. My wife works so I may take my daughters to the lfs so they can look at some dorys haha

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Great :) looking forward to seeing how it takes shape!

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Thanks! Now I just need to figure out how to post pictures from my phone!

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Thanks! Now I just need to figure out how to post pictures from my phone!

Upload them to a photo sharing sight like photobucket and just copy and paste the image link. Or if you have an instagram account it's really easy from there too.

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Oh got it I'm going to try the instagram thing.

 

Here is my current planted tank how it sits today. Just had to do a little bit of a pruning. No heater, only thing in the HOB is the pothos, miracle grow organic soil covered with aquarium gravel, 2 pieces of mesquite drift wood I found at the lake and boiled then leeched for 3 weeks. I have red and sunburst platys, veil tailed blue danios, some glass shrimp, a yellow and black Nettie snail, and more tadpole snails than I care to think about. I test parameters every 2-3 days and have never gotten above the safe zone for nitrates on either my ammonia test kit or my all in one test strips. I top it off about once a week and haven't done a water change since 1 month in. It's about 9 months old now. I've only lost 2 fish, 1 was a dwarf gourami that wouldn't eat and the second was a danio I got for free because it had a bent back. It actually lasted about 5 months.

 

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So I have my first little update today. I picked up some substrate today and this weekend I'm going to the coast to visit my folks and after seeing some threads on other forums, im thinking it should be safe to grab a 5 gallon bucket of water straight from the sea and granite rock or 2 from the jetty. That should be enough to seed the sand and the dry rock I plan to buy next week. Anyone else use water/sand/rock from their local beach?

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So I have my first little update today. I picked up some substrate today and this weekend I'm going to the coast to visit my folks and after seeing some threads on other forums, im thinking it should be safe to grab a 5 gallon bucket of water straight from the sea and granite rock or 2 from the jetty. That should be enough to seed the sand and the dry rock I plan to buy next week. Anyone else use water/sand/rock from their local beach?

 

If you do a little digging you'll find this is not best practice. The water from shoreline will be contaminated with run off from shore as will the rock. Also you don't want granite as it is very dense and hard. Light porous rock is what you're looking for. Also avoid the sand close to shore for the same reasons.

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Hey Everyone, little delay, but got an update! Finally picked up sand and live rock (decided to listen to the voices of reason and stop being such a tight wad). Tonight I got everything set up and I'm really pleased with how it came out! The not so LFS that is an hour from me was really really helpful. I ended up with about 2.5 pounds of sand and about 2.1 pounds of live rock and a couple coral skeletons. One of the rocks had a little brittle star on it I think but we'll see if it made it. All I need now is to pick up a lamp and I'm good to go! Ifigure I'll let it cycle for a week or so then add my first resident. Any suggestions?

 

Here are a few pics from tonight. I tried playing around with editing them a little bit so please excuse if they look rediculous.

 

 

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that's skip cycle live rock you don't have to wait. all you need to do is a full water change matching the temp and salinity only, and add an easy starter coral time to get reefin

 

that live rock w have no dieoff, its as ready now as if you waited six months. the type of rock that needs to cycle is barren white dry rock, that's covered in coralline you show. coralline=ready

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1 hour ago, brandon429 said:

that's skip cycle live rock you don't have to wait. all you need to do is a full water change matching the temp and salinity only, and add an easy starter coral time to get reefin

 

that live rock w have no dieoff, its as ready now as if you waited six months. the type of rock that needs to cycle is barren white dry rock, that's covered in coralline you show. coralline=ready

 

Sweet! Any suggestions for first stock? Unfortunately we have no LFS in town anymore so I'm limited to petco or an hour+ drive. 

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I think an ideal first go is mushroom corals, nice color and really tough, zoanthids too, any of them. my ideal first starter stony coral is the candy coral, caulastrea, they'll have things along those lines. once you are sure temp and lighting and evaporation/salinity is under control its time to start, it will run very smoothly, those corals are low demand on the sytem. just feed them right before you do your water change, they can last years and years given all hardware and user error luck.

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ok I'll try to go have a look tonight and see what they have. I may have to pick up a hermit crab too

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Watching this one with great interest since I'm hoping to start a small bowl/vase/jar too. :) Lucky that you don't have to cycle!

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