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samnaz

Samnaz's 20L (upgrading to IM Nuvo Black 30L)

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samnaz

 

This build thread is long over due. I’m currently running a set up that I will refer to as my holding/temporary tank, while I complete an aquascape and purchase all the equipment needed for the IM 30L I will be upgrading to.

 

Long story not so short…

Spoiler

 

This 20L has been a fantastic experimental journey for me. I started this tank last summer (August 2016). I purchased 10 lbs of gulf live rock and some various dry rock which I planned to build an interesting sculpture with while the live rock cured. I guess I got distracted/lazy and never ended up adding dry rock to the tank. I spent months just observing the live rock, discovering all kinds of new life on it. Can I just say… WHY DIDN’T I GET INTO REEF TANKS SOONER? This is endlessly fascinating and just so so much fun, I honestly cannot get enough. 

 

Fast forward a few months. I added various snails, hermits, sexy shrimp, and eventually added a shallow sand bed. Then... I added a coral, I added some more corals and got the bug. Some corals quickly became 20-30 frags, despite having nowhere to place them permanently on the rocks. Months later, many of them sit on their original plugs, completely overgrown and spreading onto the frag racks where they wait for a permanent home. Needless to say, the tank has become established. Problem is, I just threw the live rock in and it’s aesthetically displeasing (to say the least). It’s an eyesore compared to all the reefs I’ve seen in my many endless hours and hours reading and rereading.

 

So, I want to start over. 

 

 

HOLDING TANK:

Display: 20 Gallon Long  (30x12x12)

Lighting: Current Marine Orbit PRO 24-36”

Biological Filtration: Figi Pink Substrate, 10lbs Gulf Coast Live Rock

Filtration: AquaClear 70 (Chemipure Elite, Purigen, Filter Floss)

Water Motion: Jebao PP4

Heater: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 100w

Water: tap

Protein Skimmer: Aquamaxx HOB-1

 

TANK UPGRADE (work in progress)

Display: Innovative Marine Nuvo Black 30 Gallon Long   (36"x15"x12")

Lighting: NanoBox QUAD

Biological Filtration: Caribsea Special Grade Reef Sand, Dry Rock - BRS/Marco 

Water Motion: (2x) Jebao PP4

Heater: Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 100w

Water: Spectrapure MaxCap RO/DI 90GPH 2:1 Manual Flush

ATO: Tunze Osmolator  

Protein Skimmer: Bubble Magnus Curve 5

Sump: Trigger Systems Ruby 30 (25 gallons)

 

The upgrade....

Spoiler

 

The new tank is an Innovative Marine Nuvo Black 30L (not the AIO model). I originally began planning a simple tank transfer. Who was I kidding, it's anything but simple. As time progressed I began contemplating upgrading various equipment… 

 

-Upgrading from the Current Marine Orbit 24-36 LED light fixture, I impulsively bid on a Current Marine Orbit PRO 24-36 fixture on eBay, and won. I regret not just pulling the trigger on a super nice light to begin with, but since I'm stuck with them maybe I can make them work for the time being.

- Then there’s filtration. Will my current cheap-o version of filtration, an AquaClear 110, suffice? What about a sump? Should I take a risk with HOB overflow, and figure out how to drill holes in glass? Most importantly, why didn’t I just get the AIO version? Am I upgrading to a slightly larger semi-fail? Again, my take-the-cheapest-route method has proved to be 2x more costly.

- No skimmer. Well, I have a Tunze 9002. It's crap. I tried it out in the tank once many months ago, and it wasn’t producing skimmate for one reason or another and I removed it. I’ve tried modifying the airline, ran it for a couple days outside the tank. It’s performance was poor so I didn’t put it in the tank… and that was that. I'm ditching the 9002 and getting something newer and better, that doesn't have to be fiddled with. Aquamaxx HOB-1, Reef Octopus Classic HOB 100 or 1000, AquaC Remora, or other...?

- I use tap water *gasp*. According to my city's Water Quality Report, it seemed acceptable enough to skip purchasing a RO/DI unit when I was first starting out. But now, I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive or used RO/DI system. 

 

Anyway, I’ve got thousands of pictures documenting the ups and downs of my first semi-failed reef tank experience. Since it’s after the fact, I’m less embarrassed posting them here now. Stay tuned for lots and lots of photos.

 

 

 

LIVESTOCK - INVERTEBRATES

Crustaceans: 

Thor amboinensis - Sexy/Squat Shrimp (3)

Clibanarius tri color- Blue-Leg Hermit (1)

Clibanarius vittatus - Thin Striped Hermit 

Mithraculus - Emerald Mithrax Crab 

Micro-crustaceans:

Amphipods, isopods, copepods

Mollusks:

Cypraea annulus - Gold Ringed Cowrie (1)

Planaxis sp - Dwarf Planaxis Snails (12)

Cerithium sp - Dwarf Cerith (10)

Nassarius vibex - (5)

Stomatella varia - Paper Shell Snail (tons)

Nerita fulgurans and N. tesselata -

Worms:

Bispira variegata - Variegated Pink Feather Duster

Sabellastarte sp or Bispira sp? - White and Red Feather Dusters

Sea Stars:

Asterina spp.

Sponges:

Palkortis nigra - Black Sponge

 

CORALS:

Euphyllia glabrescens - Gold Torch  - (ShelteredReef) 

Euphyllia glabrescens - Green Torch  - (LC)

Euphyllia divisa - Teal Frogspawn  - (ShelteredReef) 

Euphyllia divisa - Frogspawn Green/Pink

Duncanopsammia - Midnight Duncan - (LC)

Cyphastrea - WWC Mardi Gra

Cyphastrea - Blue/purple

Cyphastrea - Jingle Bell

Pavona sp - Tang O Rang, Gator Sparker  -  (ASD)

Turbinaria - Scroll Coral  -  (ASD)

Leptastrea - Blue-Eyed - (LC)

Montipora digitata - Green Digi  

Montipora stellata - Branching Forest  

Montipora sp - Mystic Sunset  

Montipora sp - Green Cap  - (LFS)

Montipora sp - Rainy Daydream, Zombie Juice  - (ASD)

Montipora sp - Rainbow  - (LC)

Discosoma? - Hairy Mushroom

Discosoma - Mushroom Blue spotted

Ricordea florida - Blue

Ricordea florida - Reaver Ruins  - (ASD)

Pachyclavularia sp - Teal Green Star Polyp  - (LC)

Sympodium

Galaxea fascicularis 

 

 

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yungKitten

Could you post some pictures of the old 20L for reference and to make your triumphant return even more breathtaking.

I would just purchase a new RO/DI unit so that way you know exactly what the condition of the RO membrane and DI cartridge is. I would also recommend picking up a TDS meter so you know when to replace the various stages of filtration. The TDS meter would also come in handy if you buy used so you can know whether the unit you bought will end up being a bargain or not because you have to replace all the filtration components. 

Looking forward to seeing the process!

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RotaryReef

Interested in seeing the photos as well.

 

If your looking at used RODI systems it is important to know how old the membrane is as that will probably need to get replaced. Like yungkitten mentioned you probably are just better off buying a new system that will already contain new filters, resin, and membrane. You will probably end up saving money on a new system honestly.

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samnaz

Thanks for the input, guys! I'll be putting some photos up later today. I'm going through old photos now and there are so many, it's hard to choose. I want to document my process starting from the very beginning, so I have something to look back on, as well as something that may be of help to new folks starting out.

 

As for the used RO/DI units, I'm always sure to check that the membrane is relatively new, and if any other parts need replacing. From there I calculate the total cost of the unit. I've actually found some pretty awesome deals, some on eBay and various forums. I probably wouldn't purchase one unless it was in like-new condition or a super crazy good deal. Did I mention I'm stingy about money spending? Hah. 

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samnaz

And so it began....

 

The brand new tank and various equipment, lit up for the first time. That was exciting. 

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samnaz

My very first box of livestock arrived - gulf live rock. I opened it inside and let me tell you I have never smelt something so foul, so awful words cannot explain. Promptly opened all windows and doors, and continued the unpacking outside. 

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Siderastrea radians. I have found this species to be basically impossible to kill, surely one of the hardiest corals out there.

 

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Lots of sponges, macro algae, and a large bivalve.

 

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samnaz

What's the easy/quick way to resize photos so I can fit more than two per post?!

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samnaz

More rock photos

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For part of the curing process, I threw the live rock in a tub.

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Dead, decaying bivalves. Sorry little buddies.

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Did lots of large water changes....

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Water slightly clearer

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Pretty pink coralline. 

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samnaz

Transferred rock to the tank.

 

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This little feather duster is still alive and well today (8 months later)

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Continued large water changes.

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It looked so nice and clean, only for a short while. Then the diatom bloom came on strong and quick! Ordered a CUC rated for a smaller sized tank because I didn’t want to over do it. He sent extra anyway. All of the larger sized Cerith snails were either dead or dying upon arrival, everyone else survived. 

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yungKitten

Wow! That looks like some fantastic live rock!

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samnaz
39 minutes ago, yungKitten said:

Wow! That looks like some fantastic live rock!

Fantastic, indeed!

 

It even came with one of these Hidden Cup Corals - Phyllangia americana, which I just recently discovered.

 

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samnaz

Here's a crappy photo of an anemone type creature I found living amongst my live rock. I've got quite a few of them living on the rocks now. Anyone know what species it is? Perhaps some sort of glass anemone? I don't know much about anemones but since I'm sure it's not aiptasia or that other pesky anemone majano or whatever, I've just let them be. Some of them are getting quite large. 

 

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samnaz

Shortly after adding some snails.

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They did a great job destroying the diatoms, tank was back to spotless in no time!

 

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yungKitten

Lol I love the trails they blazed through the diatomes.

Looks good. Glad to see you're making progress!

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samnaz
7 minutes ago, yungKitten said:

Lol I love the trails they blazed through the diatomes.

Looks good. Glad to see you're making progress!

Thanks! These pics are from about 8 months ago when I first began. It sure is cool to look back on older photos and see the progression! 

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samnaz

My very first coral frag. Just some plain zoanthids I purchased for $5 at the LFS.

 

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Hitchhiking worm and sea star free with purchase.

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Here they are the next day, fully open and happy. 

 

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RotaryReef

Does snails deserve a raise!

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yungKitten

Did the vermetid worm ever become a problem? (the tube worm on the zoa frag looks like one to me) I had a tank where they reached plague levels of density.  

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samnaz
33 minutes ago, yungKitten said:

Did the vermetid worm ever become a problem? (the tube worm on the zoa frag looks like one to me) I had a tank where they reached plague levels of density.  

As far as I can tell, no problems as of yet. Once in a while I see a long tentacle string waving about. Should I eradicate them just in case? I might as well, if there is little or no benefit to having them. 

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samnaz

Coral addition number two, a blue Florida Ricordia. 

 

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samnaz

Sad FTS....  

 

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(10/5/16)

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yungKitten
58 minutes ago, samnaz said:

As far as I can tell, no problems as of yet. Once in a while I see a long tentacle string waving about. Should I eradicate them just in case? I might as well, if there is little or no benefit to having them. 

From my personal experience with them I would. The tank I had issues with them in wasn't maintained all that well so it might have been a symptom of a larger problem. Also, they supposedly inhibit coral growth according to this brief article  https://reefbuilders.com/2012/07/23/vermetid-snail-stony-corals/# 

 

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yungKitten

I really like the ric! I don't think the tank looks all that bad. There's beautiful coralline algae underneath the hair. Did you ever try to combat it with a cleanup crew geared towards hair algae? (I.E Blue Leg hermits, turbos, limpets and chitons) Anyways it's cool to see the progression of a tank in fast forward. Excited to see the 30L and more pictures from the 20L.

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samnaz
On March 29, 2017 at 9:26 PM, yungKitten said:

I really like the ric! I don't think the tank looks all that bad. There's beautiful coralline algae underneath the hair. Did you ever try to combat it with a cleanup crew geared towards hair algae? (I.E Blue Leg hermits, turbos, limpets and chitons) Anyways it's cool to see the progression of a tank in fast forward. Excited to see the 30L and more pictures from the 20L.

At the time, I was happy just to see algae growing in my tank that wasn't brown slime. I never intentionally added livestock to combat it. I did have one Trochus, and one Blue Leg, but I give full credit entirely to my Thin-Striped hermit who was a crazy algae devourer/evil monster. He was always scavenging, trampling over and sparring with anything in his path. I caught him feasting on my Trochus but I couldn't save him (my fault, didn't add extra shells but still a slightly traumatizing sight to see). 

 

My tank was free of hair algae and all other filamentous green algae, for months and months. Eventually Thin-Stripe herm passed away, cause of death unknown. Sometimes I wonder if he simply had an appetite larger than my tank could provide. 

 

(My tank is now experiencing a major algae outbreak. Whether or not that has anything to do with the absence of Thin-Stripe, I don't know for sure.)

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