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ChristopherDido

Classroom Tank - The Hollow Cove - Affton Reef Club - Reboot 20 Gal Long

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ChristopherDido

Hi All This is a Thread Dedicated to a Middle School Reef Club tank here in St. Louis. So Please watch language ūüôā

Back Story, I setup a Saltwater tank at my house last year (3 years ago now)  and would show students pictures of my tank and they were jealous we did not have a tank at school.  So I said Why not?  There is an amazing LFS owner here in St. Louis and he got me an amazing deal on a Used IM 20 Fusion (now my personal tank at home.)  He Loves teachers and especially those that want to teach more about the Hobby, so he has helped me out quite a bit with getting things going and has an extremely flexible thing with me on the tank, because we will not be here over they summer the tank will broken down and reset back up for the new club comers each year.

 

Alright onto the Details...

 

Setup: 

IM Nuvo 20 Fusion with Stock Pumps 20 Gallon Long ($1 per Gallon Sale)

Lighting - Marineland LED Reef Light with Built-in Timer 18-24inch   (Will Switch over to two Par38s soon)

Hydor Koralia 425

Cheapo 100W Heater that was gonna be used in my Person QT tank 200W Chinese Heater that was a gift from a teacher

10 - 20 lbs of Live Sand was in tank when I got it.

16 20ish Lbs of Live Rock and probably another couple lbs of Rubble Rock in chamber and on the sand bed

 

Filtration:

Aquaclear AC70

Sponge in the Left Media Basket Will be switching to Filter Floss, may add Carbon as needed

Poli-Fil in the Right Chamber  MacroAlgae in the Display

Rubble Rock in the chamber where Skimmer would go - This was how it was setup when I got the tank day after it was broken down.

 

Fish:

1 - Ocellaris Clownfish  - Passed Away over Christmas Break when they cut off the Furnaces   Fish Ideas are being tossed around

3 - Sexy Anemone Shrimp

Want to add one or two more - was told could we have ~4 (LFS said I can get some Fish on a "Loaner" type program and bring them in for like a week or so and bring them back so the students can see more things)

2 Blue/Green Chromis

 

Corals - All Bought as Frags (Students Looked them up, because we were given a "Grab Bag" assortment)

Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral X2

Rock Flower Anemone (Decided to suck himself in between two rocks, hoping he will come out more)¬†¬†- RIP ūüėě

Candy Cap Coral - Was Pretty Bleached out when we got it¬†- RIP ūüėě

Fluorescent Mushrooms X3 (anyone know how to get them to stay put?) - Wondered off somewhere and disappeared 

Glove Polyps

Green Polyps

Brown Palys

Kenya Tree

Zoas

Hammer

Pulsing Xenia

 

CUC:

3 - Nassarius Snails (bought 2, only 1 Survived :-()

2 - Trochus Snail

2 - Turbo Snails

1 - Hermit Crab - Blue Legs

6-8 - Asteriniid Starfish (Hitchhiker)

1 - Brittle Starfish (Hitchhiker)

 

Now what you all want, Pictures!!!!!

 

Current FTS 5-15-18

IMG_20180514_125447-01_1280x720.thumb.jpeg.68e05bf0cbf48fa7765b8f2649a1b8f8.jpeg

 

FTS 1-10-18

IMG_20180110_125924_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.59a66da8e671c9025753126d2e5a1ec1.jpg

 

FTS  10-3-17

59d51dd6327e8_ARCFTS100317.thumb.jpg.16aba4e5ca85e209046fa30a28be4c97.jpg

 

 

FTS With My Classroom Desk  Right after being Setup 9-11-17

 

59d51e6355c08_ARCFTS91117wDesk.thumb.jpg.cac5febf8f492fabf21630c5680d8022.jpg

 

I'll Add a Few More Pics below, can only add 6 mbs at a time

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ChristopherDido

FTS Right after setting everything up on 9-11-17

 

59d51f0764f8d_ARCFTS91117.thumb.jpg.a57a880b13f5d94537f507a2746fcf6c.jpg

 

FTS After Reef Club Meeting and redesigning the Aquascape with them 9-14-17

 

59d51fb7522c1_ARCFTS91417NewReefscape.thumb.jpg.c7d87909571ca6370ffe526af7c2c511.jpg

 

 

 

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ChristopherDido

FTS After getting the "Grab Bag" of Corals and our Clown Fish which was purchased by the Teacher next door for our Club

59d52071ba4a8_ARCFTS92117.thumb.jpg.6882e4a7d7b06381ff5243e28db5abd6.jpg

 

 

And Just because we think they are cute, Taken today, here are two of our Sexy Anemone Shrimp hanging out on the RFA (which smooshed itself between rocks, anyone know how to get it to move?)

59d521699dcd1_ARCRFAwSexyShrimp100417.thumb.jpg.865589cc867a576123bd77ef79936066.jpg

 

 

Reef Club Meets today, so I will let the students update you on Parameters and Anything else they would like to.

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ChristopherDido

Hi one of the Affton Reef Club Students Checking in...

 

I was told to update our Parameters:

Temp: 76.5 - 80 (usually around 79)

Salinity: 1.025

pH: Averaging 7.8

NItrate: Currently around 10

Alk: 10

Phosphate: 0.10

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Calcium: 400

 

We changed the water weekly and tested it daily.  We also worked on the sign for our reef club snacks to raise money for our mini reef, and Sharkbait, our clown fish, our other shrimp, the hermit crab and snails.

 

We have sold over $25 in Candy to build up our Reef Tank so far, hopefully we will sell lots more next week so we can get more stuff.  

 

The Social Media Director  -Sydney G.

 

 

 

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hinnenkm

This is looking good, I didn't realize you had been able to get a Fusion 20 - great tanks and what I have running in my classroom too! Looking forward to seeing the progress of this one!

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ChristopherDido

Alright another week of the club coming in and getting things done on the tank.  We are up to anywhere between 9 and 13 Students attending weekly and have gotten our fundraisers up and running.  About a week ago we added a new addition to our tank, a firefish that we have named Flareon, he has been hiding out quite a bit, but becoming a little more bold the last few days.  I think our Clownfish (sharkbait) is bullying him a bit.

 

Our Tanks Parameters at the moment are:

Temp: 76.5 - 80 (Lately staying closer to 78, but we are in seasonal transitions)
Salinity: 1.025
pH: Averaging 7.8
NItrate: 20 (little High)
Alk: 9
Phosphate: 0.12 (little high)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Calcium: 440

 

All of our fish and Corals are looking very healthy and happy, the RFA closes up everyday about the last hour of the lights being on and sucks up inside of the rocks.  Even though everything seems happy, we were running a bit high on Nitrates and Phosphates, so I had my students research how we can best get those down.  They settled on us putting a small bag of Chemi-Pure Elite in one of the chambers with the Poly-fil, hopefully that will help.  

 

We have a bunch of new growth on many of our soft corals and the Leather Toadstools are probably twice the size they were when we got them.  Kenya tree is also starting to see some growth, I think we will move it down on the rock a bit and out of the flow, but we’ll see.

 

We have a pretty sweet setup going with our LFS, Seascape Studios, the owner has informed me that I can ‚Äúborrow‚ÄĚ fish/inverts to bring into the classroom and teach students about and i think we are gonna be getting a Starfish of some sort next week and keeping him in the tank for about a week or two. ¬†So question? ¬†Which one would be best for the IM Nuvo 20? ¬†I‚Äôm thinking Brittle are the easiest to care for, but not necessarily the most pretty. ¬†Hoping someone can steer me in a good direction of what type of starfish I should look at.

 

Thanks for checking in! Here’s a few pics!

IMG_20171015_104514_1920x1080.jpg

IMG_20171017_090522_1920x1080.jpg

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pappadumplingz

I would personally recommend a fuge for a tank like this. I used to have a hang on back filter as a fuge, and what I did was put some algae in the main chamber, and have some filter floss between the intake and main chamber. If you end up doing this you might want to silicon some plastic mesh on the outtake of the filter, so the algae doesn't flow out. Then I just got a 6000 Kelvin led globe from the local hardware store, and put it on a timer over the algae. The algae will absorb excess nutrient, and also help balance pH, which atm is on the lowish end of the spectrum of reef pH.

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Rene

I love that your school has a reef tank club!  This is a great way for naturalists and environmentalists to get some hands-on experience with animal care. Kudos for setting this up and congratulations to the members for taking care of the tank. 

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Lizzie1324

Hey There! Things are looking so good :) I am a high school teacher in TN and have been thinking about starting up a classroom tank here next year. I don't have a lfs close by to partner with, sounds like you have a great hookup! I'm thinking of trying the Nashville area. Anyway, just following along for tips on a classroom set-up! 

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hinnenkm

How's the tank running?

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ChristopherDido

Hey, so yeah, busy school year!  I haven't done as well as I would like with keeping this up to date.

Tank is still checking in great, lots of growth from the softies in the tank.  We had a Yuma Ric for a good month in there and then one day about a week ago it just detached and ended up upside down in the tank, pulled it and put it in a cup with some rubble rock hoping to get to reattach.  That did not work :-(  After a couple days of it not doing that we pulled it out and am trying to save it in my home display tank, it's still got color, although not as vibrant, been feeding it and hoping it will recover.  This is the second coral that that has a "foot" on it to attach itself that we have had go south on us.  Odd thing is I have Zero issues in my Display tank at my house, not sure what's different, the main thing I seem to see is Fireworms, but that could just be my imagination.  Anyway, to get ready for the New Year and for our Break we did a few things to the tank.  In the New Year, the LFS that is so great with our Classroom tank is letting us borrow a Mandarin Dragonet for a week or two, so we have been upping the pod population.  We added a bottle of Tisbe pods and have been feeding the tank Phytofeast every other day, will add another bottle of pods when we get back from break and then two weeks later will get the Mandarin, we are very excited for this addition!  And for break, we have a hard time getting into the building so we have the principal that said he will come in a few times over the break and throw in some pre-measured food to keep everyone happy.  Just before leaving, last chance I could get into the classroom before I leave for an out of town trip, I did a heavy feeding and added a bag of adult brine shrimp so between that and the principal feeding a few times everything should be good when I get back and it will only be 10 days between water changes.  Here's hoping everything goes right and there are no power outages or anything.  

Thanks for checking in! Here's a pic of the tank when I added the Brine Shrimp, looks like a snow globe in there lol.  And a link to a short video of it all blowing around.

IMG_20171222_120730.thumb.jpg.697a59159bdea8c6aa13f8d12c62b3cf.jpg

 

 

 

On 12/17/2017 at 9:46 AM, hinnenkm said:

How's the tank running?

Just updated with a post, so far decent... wish I could say better, but we have a weak light on there.  Hopefully next year I can get that fixed lol

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ChristopherDido

Hey all quick update this week from the world of Middle School Club Classroom Tank.

 

So over the break, apparently they completely had to cut the furnaces in the building.  So yeah with Negative temps over the span of the week and no heat in the building the tank did not fair as well as I would have liked.  I need to next year figure out a heater in the tank that will keep it warm enough when the temps are that low, not really sure if that is possible, it was below 50 in the room when we got back from break.  If anyone has any ideas for next year to avoid the cold tank please let me know, I was thinking maybe just a larger heater or a better one that will stay on til the tank gets to 78 and then turn off, but I'll let you more experienced people help me out there.

 

Luckily for the classroom tank, not that losing any fish is a good thing, we only lost the clownfish, due to my planning.  Everything else survived even with the tank being at 54 when I got into the room.  Well the anthelia coral did not do so well, but it's already coming back lol apparently there are a lot of corals that can really take a beating and survive.

 

Any way today while feeding with the pumps off I noticed an infestation of worms coming out of rocks and the sand, looks like fireworms could be wrong, but there is seriously like 100 of them in the tank.  Here is a pic of one up close (oh yeah and apparently as you can see from this pick I have aiptasia and bubble algae:)

IMG_20180110_122504_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.11a9e235f023f127a7dd277abd155be5.jpg

 

And our happy and fat sexy shrimp because they are cute!:

IMG_20180110_122447_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.4ee65d2f7436254700c36080883ce118.jpg

 

And here is a FTS to show you the decimation of the Anthelia coral that took place, but you can see some of it coming back already:

IMG_20180110_125924_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.2da3416ebeb0b0581f18e5554b7f8564.jpg

 

Thanks for checking in everyone and sharing in this journey with us!

 

 

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GraniteReefer

An over sized heater and an insulating form fitting sleeve for over the tank made out of that pink insulating foam would perhaps work, but school pets are rough... I remember being traumatized in first grade when our turtle tank died over winter break.  Removing sensitive livestock to a more stable and manageable area is the best option during school breaks IMO.  Sorry about the clowns

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ChristopherDido
16 minutes ago, GraniteReefer said:

An over sized heater and an insulating form fitting sleeve for over the tank made out of that pink insulating foam would perhaps work, but school pets are rough... I remember being traumatized in first grade when our turtle tank died over winter break.  Removing sensitive livestock to a more stable and manageable area is the best option during school breaks IMO.  Sorry about the clowns

I will keep that in mind, another idea that there science teacher across the hall had was to setup one of those mini space heaters to turn on and off with a timer over the break... I'll experiment with a few things while it's still cold and get an idea of what can be done.

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Droy008

Sorry to hear about Sharkbait.

Interestingly, from my experience those sexy shrimp would go before the fish. I liken them to canarys, if you have any parameter issues, they'll usually die off first.

Any chance it had an illness before the break?

 

Also, like @GraniteReefer mentioned, a lid is huge for keeping heat in a tank. However, if you do, I'd suggest using an air pump to keep the oxygen levels up.

That, and a 75w heater should keep your tank nice and cozy. :)

 

 

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Christopher Marks

Definitely one of the risks with school aquariums, that stinks :( 

 

I think you could solve the problem in the future with a higher wattage heater paired with a temperature controller like Inkbird as a safety backup to prevent overheating. Not all aquarium heaters have reliable thermostats!

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ChristopherDido
7 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Definitely one of the risks with school aquariums, that stinks :( 

 

I think you could solve the problem in the future with a higher wattage heater paired with a temperature controller like Inkbird as a safety backup to prevent overheating. Not all aquarium heaters have reliable thermostats!

This is what I was thinking, I was a little concerned with cold on exterior of glass and warm inside causing glass issues. 

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Christopher Marks

Probably not enough of a temperature difference to worry. I guess if anything you might end up with some condensation on the glass? No structural worries though.

 

I would trust that over a space heater on a timer, that's for sure! I could see building maintenance losing their mind over that :D 

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ChristopherDido

So I was thinking of Upgrading the lights.  A guy on Craigslist that lives close by just upgraded his system and is selling all his stuff from the old one.  He has Ocean Revive, these lights: Ocean Revive. I am wondering if this will be overkill on the Fusion 20?  Can anyone help me out they are over 50% off (He's Selling them $75) the price from online, they do not have dimmable feature but do have built in timers, I am thinking that these would be better than what I currently have which is the Marineland LED Reef Lights with Built-in timer.   TIA

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Christopher Marks

Hmm, without being able to dim them, that might be too much for the 20 gallon. SPS perhaps but that’s probably not ideal for the School tank. Great price though, darn!

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ChristopherDido

Hey all I know long time no update. Tank is still doing well. We are upgrading lighting to a Kessil tomorrow and me building a controller for the lights using reef-pi. I have a question though, the stand that came with the tank has the tank hanging off on the front and back by about 3/4 in. I am definitely changing it the stand for next year. My question is I have a night stand in my house that we are not using that is 1/10 inch shorter than tank's length so I would have about 1/20 inch over hang on both sides. Do you think this would be a problem? 

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teenyreef

Wow, a Kessil will be a nice upgrade!

 

A 1/20" overhand shouldn't be much of a problem although I'm the type to worry about that sort of thing. The key is to avoid stressing the joint between the side glass and the bottom glass. You could always add a sheet of plywood on top of the stand as an added support for the tank edges. That way the plywood overhangs, not the tank. Even a thin sheet would probably be good enough.

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ChristopherDido
On 4/11/2018 at 2:45 AM, teenyreef said:

Wow, a Kessil will be a nice upgrade!

 

A 1/20" overhand shouldn't be much of a problem although I'm the type to worry about that sort of thing. The key is to avoid stressing the joint between the side glass and the bottom glass. You could always add a sheet of plywood on top of the stand as an added support for the tank edges. That way the plywood overhangs, not the tank. Even a thin sheet would probably be good enough.

Yeah I may just do that, probably a thin piece.  So here's a quick pic of the classroom tank. With the Kessil! 

IMG_20180412_124955-01.thumb.jpeg.449747e1ab649c75b2d67445a78baafd.jpeg

 

And how I have it mounted. 

IMG_20180412_142334.thumb.jpg.7e5a0f624f428887ab99366f1b3a07b9.jpg

 

Need to get a pic of our new addition to the tank. Like I said before a local LFS has been great and is allowing me to borrow various fish to show the students. I haven't taken advantage of it much, but he let us borrow a Mandarin Dragonet for a few weeks! 

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ChristopherDido

Ok so as stated previously we added a Mandarin Dragonet.  I was gonna have a student write this post, but they are slacking off lol... Anyway here is our Mandarin Dragonet.

IMG_20180419_095941-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.ab4b2c278c84dbb691c05747e1a83ad3.jpeg

 

We learned a very interesting thing about Mandarins the second day that we had him in the tank.  Apparently when they get ready to go to sleep they go almost ghost white.  It freaked me out a bit, I tried to take a couple pics but it was pretty dark in the room when I saw it.  But here is two pics of ghostly looking Mandarin. Enjoy!!!

IMG_20180419_150241_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.192ea5fb06a52016145fad2758666690.jpg

IMG_20180419_150248_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.2d7b444d18ce19eeeb03023f2b08bd9b.jpg

 

 

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Christopher Marks

Haha great update @ChristopherDido! It's always startling to see pale fish at night and early in the mornings!

 

How is everything responding to the new Kessil light?

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