Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, 

 

This is something I've been meaning to do for ages but not had the confidence to do so until now. I've had a few setbacks through the years but have learned from them and am proud of how things are going. This feels like The right time to share...

 

This is my third, and largest by far, marine tank and has been up and running since October 2016. I have been keeping things as simple as possible and running on a fairly small budget. 

 

The tank is an Aqua One minireef 180, measuring 90x45x45cm, and is still mainly stock. I have not seen many other tanks like mine on the fora, maybe my experiences will be helpful and offer an alternative to the IM and Red Sea tanks favoured by many. 

 

Being UK based, I apologise in advance if any terminology or common names differ from the norm on this site!

 

Currently, the tank is running as follows:

 

Equipment: 

Aqua One minireef 180 (39 imp g, 47 US g)

Stock 40W LED lights 

Stock return pump 

Bubble Magus C3.5 skimmer 

Maxspect gyre XF150 

4" Bubble Magus filter sock 

TMC reactor (currently not in use)

 

Livestock:

Pair of small occelaris clowns

Green coral goby 

Starry blenny 

Yellow longnose butterfly 

Babi wrasse 

Black backed wrasse 

 

Porcelain crab

2x cleaner shrimp 

Nasarius, turbo, top hat & astrea snails 

 

I am currently keeping the reef as a soft coral reef, including toadstools, leathers mushrooms, ricordia, zoas etc.

 

In the future, I would love to add some euphyllia and gorgonians, however having lost some in my inexperienced past I am holding off for now. Perhaps when I have upgraded the lighting (or convinced my partner to let me!).

 

I also currently have a multibar angel reserved at the lfs as a final addition , just waiting on seeing him eating before collecting. 

 

FTS 20th August 2017

IMG-20170820-WA0086.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, Lugmos12 said:

wow that yellow fish is a beauty!

He really is! Eats like a pig too; I expected him to be far more finicky but he chases frozen food down and eats from the water column. 

 

We named him Tonto :-) 

IMG-20170820-WA0071.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's great to see another soft coral dominant reef tank! You have a really unique selection of fish in there, that yellow long nose butterfly fish is incredible! I've never seen a black backed wrasse either! You must have a nice LFS nearby :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

It's great to see another soft coral dominant reef tank! You have a really unique selection of fish in there, that yellow long nose butterfly fish is incredible! I've never seen a black backed wrasse either! You must have a nice LFS nearby :) 

We have one who has just opened up, really friendly owners too which is great. They had an open day recently with the fish manager from TMC who had brought along some beauties to help the new shop. We got there early and picked out the wrasse and reserved multibar angel, over the moon with how things are going! 

 

I love the softies, I love how they move in the flow and appreciate their resilience. I will get some lps, not in a rush though. 

 

Thank you for your compliments on fish choice :-) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Great looking tank!!  Tonto is a beaut!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting and heartbreaking couple days on the reef, makes you question why some times! 

 

Unfortunately the black backed wrasse has passed away. He wasn't a voracious eater but he did pick at both frozen food and the rockwork. We noticed what looked like a bloodshot pectoral fin which was quite red at the base and clearly uncomfortable to use on Wednesday evening. I did a water change and fed the tank whilst I tried to diagnose the issue. He was in the sand on Thursday morning before work and half buried on Thursday evening. I did another water change but didn't disturb him to look at the fin. On Friday morning has was sleeping in the sand again but had passed by the time I got home from work on Friday;  we're absolutely heartbroken. I believe it was a bacterial infection but don't think an infection on the fin would take a life so quickly? I believe that there was an underlying internal issue which affected his immune response to the infection however I guess we'll never know. 

 

In other news, I found what I think us a gorilla crab moult; please excuse the terrible phone photo. I'll be making a plastic bottle trap this evening in the area it was found, hopefully I can get him out before he causes any problems later on! It's definitely hairy and as I'd read somewhere, hairy=scary. 

IMG-20170826-WA0001.jpg

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post

I'm sorry about the fish.  Tank is lovely!  And I hope you can catch that crab! :scarry:

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

I'm sorry about the fish.  Tank is lovely!  And I hope you can catch that crab! :scarry:

We tried with a tumbler last night for the crab, no luck though. All we managed to catch were the cleaner shrimp and am army of snails. I'll try again in a couple nights, don't want to overfeed! 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Patrick17 said:

We tried with a tumbler last night for the crab, no luck though. All we managed to catch were the cleaner shrimp and am army of snails. I'll try again in a couple nights, don't want to overfeed! 

The shrimp and snails know where it's at!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Still absolutely no luck with the crab and now my better half has cooked the shrimp I was using; she did make a lovely fried rice though!

 

I've now seen the crab, he's bigger than I expected looking at his moult although I'm not rushing right now as the tank had been fallow since Monday.

 

Unfortunately, we have lost every fish apart from our green coral goby who is currently sat in qt with cupramine.

 

The tank nk was happy, healthy and fat until we added the two wrasse. They both died quickly; the black backed wrasse had a bloodshot fin and Babi wrasse appeared perfect however they passed within a day of each other. Their addition must have stressed our longnose butterfly, Tonto, as he developed ich. The first phase passed however after 7 days it returned, as expected really, and he was unable to fight it off again. I had no suitable qt so hoped that polyp lab medic and his previous good health would work along with siphoning the sand bed and daily 15% water changes. I know this was not the ideal treatment, and some would say it would never work, but there were no other real options at the time. I'm still trying to justify my actions now and not blame myself although still feel this was preventable and my fault; I've definitely learned for the future though.

 

I was able to get the tiny clowns (Will and Kate) into a qt with our tiny starry blenny (flotsam) but unfortunately it was too little too late as they passed within 24 hours of the cupramine addition.

 

My tests had shown as close to zero as possible (API!) ammonia and nitrates, 1.024 sg and 25*C or 75F; the lfs most of the fish came from double checked the results and came up with the same results. 

 

Still none-the-wiser what happened, no inverts have been lost and params have remained consistent during this whole sorry episode. 

 

Anyway reading NR keeps the motivation for caring for an empty tank up even when those around me a struggling. 

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post

In happier news though, all being well, this little beauty will be coming home with us in the next month to live alongside our other girls

IMG-20170826-WA0024.jpg

IMG-20170422-WA0002.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

To keep on nano-reefing topic though, here's a throwback to my old 60l (16US gallon) and a reminder to us all how much things can change in a short space of time

DSC_0004_1456429895114.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry to hear about the fish losses, that's terrible news. :( It sounds like you did the best you could with what was available to you.

 

Having a quarantine tank for future fish additions might be a worthwhile endeavor. It's possible introducing the new fish placed something problematic from the LFS water into your system as well, new additions come with some risk.

 

No doubt you will get back on track! At least the inverts are all well, I've found fish to be more challenging to keep than most coral.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Sorry to hear about the fish losses, that's terrible news. :( It sounds like you did the best you could with what was available to you.

 

No doubt you will get back on track! At least the inverts are all well, I've found fish to be more challenging to keep than most coral.

Thank you for the kind words. I will definitely get back on track; waiting out the ich and then it will be a fresh start. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/14/2017 at 4:21 PM, Patrick17 said:

In happier news though, all being well, this little beauty will be coming home with us in the next month to live alongside our other girls

IMG-20170826-WA0024.jpg

IMG-20170422-WA0002.jpg

The new kitten is gorgeous!  My aunt and uncle had a beautiful calico like that, adopted as a kitten when I was young and they had her for a good 17+ years.  She was always very shy of strangers and after getting her head trapped in the garage door as a baby she was never quite right lol (back before they put motion detectors on garage doors).  But she was a sweet and beautiful cat.  Your other girls are beautiful too, hope they like the new addition!

 

Sorry about the fish losses.  I've had a run of bad fishy luck this summer too. :closedeyes:

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

Sorry about the fish losses.  I've had a run of bad fishy luck this summer too. :closedeyes:

Sorry to hear of your losses :(  it's such a help to be part of a community that can empathise and understand. 

 

Our two cats, Belle and Fleur, are both rescues, and through the same charity that our new girl is with. They've got a coffee morning to raise money next Saturday; can't wait to go back and see how she's getting on. She's due her inoculations in early October but we're hoping to be able to collect on my birthday weekend when my partner and I can both be at home to supervise for a week.  So very excited!! 

 

Without much fish action in my reef there may be more photos of the rest of our growing menagerie, I hope nobody minds!

 

This is my favourite photo of Fleur.

2015-07-12 23.21.00.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Our green coral goby in quarantine is looking a little better today, he has his colour back and has moved out of the corner he has sat in for the last week. Still not eating though so I don't have much hope.  We tried some live brine shrimp today, he usually goes mad for them but no response this afternoon. 

Share this post


Link to post

Good evening everyone, I'm hoping someone here can help me out a little. I've got a couple photos but will describe the issue first in case they aren't clear enough.

 

Our little green coral goby appears to have a puncture wound on his first red stripe in front of his pectoral fin; it looks like a little hole anyway to me anyway. Over the course of a day, for the last couple days, a fleshy, red, congealed discharge has come from this hole. The one this evening was around 3/4" long and came free when he was disturbed. It looks like a fleshy red mucus, I'm guessing possibly blood clotting as it is released from him? Has anyone seen anything similar or know what this is?

 

For the record, he is in quarantine with cupramine, 8 days at full dose; 1.025sg, 25*C, 0.0ppm ammonia (ATI as close as possible) and 2ppm nitrate. He has gained his colour since being placed in quarantine however has not eaten since, as you can see his stomach is becoming sunken, and he seems weak. I don't think he will make it until Monday next week when the copper can be removed, however would like to know what this is so that I can do everything to help him pull through. He is our last remaining fish from the tank and I do not want to lose him!

 

Thank you in advance.

 

DSC00079.thumb.JPG.6996dd48f31f4868be9ee5c15c3e8b17.JPGDSC00080.thumb.JPG.9693f5f82471e153836a26f28610e924.JPG

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately little green didn't make it :(

 

If anyone reads through this thread, it would be great to hear an opinion on what it was, and whether it's likely to happen again. 

 

We've got 9 weeks, to be safe, running fallow for the ich- plenty of time to come up with a plan for what happens next 

  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post

Saw our gorilla crab last night; it's either grown really big really quick or we have more than one :wacko:

  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have been toying with the idea of making a few changes to our set up for a while now; running fallow seems to me like the perfect opportunity to do so as I can't spend any money on livestock. If anyone has any thoughts, please feel free to chime in! 

 

First, I would like to add a uv steriliser. I seem to have settled on the eheim ReeflexUV 800, I knows it is larger than recommended by the manufacturer but is bigger better like with skimmers? I was going to run 200lph (~47gph) through it for a once-per-hour turnover for sterilisation after our bout of ich. The only algae issue we've ever noticed is bubble algae. Will it's spores be killed by a uv? 

 

Bubble algae bring me nicely to my second planned change; a refugium. I have a large central section in my sump which I will half with a tank divider mesh screen to allow flow through without changing any baffles for the balance between tank volume and sump capacity. I can get a 6500k light for cheato and was going to go bare bottom in this chamber. My skimmer will go before the refugium in the empty half. I hope this will too help with the damned bubble algae. It isn't in plague proportions bit if you look, you can find plenty, toothbrushes once a week has me on top of it but something closer to eradication would cheer me up. I will also order a dc return pump I can turn down to 2000lph at some point to reduce noise a little. 

 

Finally, I would like to add some macro algae for colour and movement in between the softies. I particularly like dragon's breath which I believe is one of the easier to care for. By needing to glue it in place I assume it isn't going to spread? I am searching for some locally out of a fish-free tank to avoid restarting the fallow-tank timer but no luck so far. 

 

My partner is also thinking about moving down the tank-bred route for fish when we restock which appeals to me. I know we will pay more but ethically and for a better chance at parasite-free fish I think it is worth it. I also read that tank-bred can be more peaceful than wild-caught 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 26/09/2017 at 12:41 PM, Patrick17 said:

Saw our gorilla crab last night; it's either grown really big really quick or we have more than one :wacko:

Got the crab :D

 

Well sort of anyway... Fed the cleaner shrimp and saw movement in a smaller rock which has now been sumped. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/27/2017 at 12:23 PM, Patrick17 said:

I have been toying with the idea of making a few changes to our set up for a while now; running fallow seems to me like the perfect opportunity to do so as I can't spend any money on livestock. If anyone has any thoughts, please feel free to chime in! 

 

First, I would like to add a uv steriliser. I seem to have settled on the eheim ReeflexUV 800, I knows it is larger than recommended by the manufacturer but is bigger better like with skimmers? I was going to run 200lph (~47gph) through it for a once-per-hour turnover for sterilisation after our bout of ich. The only algae issue we've ever noticed is bubble algae. Will it's spores be killed by a uv? 

 

Bubble algae bring me nicely to my second planned change; a refugium. I have a large central section in my sump which I will half with a tank divider mesh screen to allow flow through without changing any baffles for the balance between tank volume and sump capacity. I can get a 6500k light for cheato and was going to go bare bottom in this chamber. My skimmer will go before the refugium in the empty half. I hope this will too help with the damned bubble algae. It isn't in plague proportions bit if you look, you can find plenty, toothbrushes once a week has me on top of it but something closer to eradication would cheer me up. I will also order a dc return pump I can turn down to 2000lph at some point to reduce noise a little. 

 

My partner is also thinking about moving down the tank-bred route for fish when we restock which appeals to me. I know we will pay more but ethically and for a better chance at parasite-free fish I think it is worth it. I also read that tank-bred can be more peaceful than wild-caught 

Getting a bigger UV is better, to a certain point. I don't think it does any harm, you'll just clean your system faster. But with the bigger UV, you need more flow thru it for optimal dwell time? (I think that's what it's called). If you put less flow thru it, I hear it may warm up the water a bit? Might reduce your heating bill, but then your UV bulb is sucking up more energy. Isn't there a good UV made by TMC that's made in the UK? Supposed to be one of the better ones.

 

Not sure how much access you have to tank bred fish over there! But choices are getting better at least. 

 

Btw, are you close to Cheltenham? My sis in law lives there, and she took us to a Thai restaurant in town that's got a reef tank (wasn't in the best shape) but I was chatting with the guy who took care of it, and he said there weren't any LFS close by to get salt water, so it was tough to maintain.

Share this post


Link to post

Dive in and share your thoughts!

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recommended Discussions

×