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bolts.mania

College Reefs: How my Clownfish are on their way to a degree

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bolts.mania
OK, well they might not be getting degrees but they are for sure helping me get mine! I am currently a Junior at a small school in Ohio and I have something no one else has, a pair of badass clownfish! I have been keeping reef tanks for about 7 years now and after all that time I finally feel like I'm avoiding rookie mistakes. I originally brought a 5 gallon tank to school my second semester of my freshman year and my whole plan was to make everything as simple (and cheap) as possible. Anyone in the hobby knows where this is going. I went too simple and too cheap right out the gate. I went bare-bottom, no mechanical filtration and even skimped on the live-rock. Long story short that tank did not survive past spring semester. I tore it all down and swore that I was done! 
 
     Fastforward a year and my obsession with the hobby had been rekindled. I spent the last summer researching how I can make this tank 1) thrive long term, 2) personally enjoyable and 3) informative to others. As the only person on my campus to have a saltwater tank I felt like this time around I had to keep the up for myself but also for the people living with me. 5 months into that journey and people still come up to me and ask "you're the one with the fish tank in your room right?"
 
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Tank Specs 
 
Display: 10 gallon glass aquarium
Lighting: 2 Par38 Rapid LED bulbs suspended using Coral Compulsion clamps
Heating: Eheim 25W heater
Circulation: Ecotech mp10 (OG model)
Rock: Reel Reef Rock (10lbs)
Filter: Aquaclear 20 w/Chemi-Pure Blue
Substrate: Carib Sea Arag-Alive Reef Sand (-12Lbs.)
 
Current Livestock
 
A pair of Ocellaris clownfish 
2x Sexy Shrimp 
2x Nassarius Snails
2x Scarlet Hermit Crabs
 
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Soft Coral
 
Green star polyps
Radioactive Zoanthids
Hulk Zoanthids
 
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Anemones
 
Red rock anemone 
 
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All my livestock, besides the female clownfish (bigger of the two), came from vividaquariums. I highly recommend them! It is the second time I have gotten shipments from them and they are world class and very professional. I ordered a pair of clownfish but one died within 12 hours and they were great about refunding me the next day!
 
If you cannot tell, I love photography so if you're looking for a thread with some cool photos, stay tuned for more. I will be trying my very hardest to post every ~2-weeks about how tanks journey. The good, the bad AND the ugly! Thank you for reading.
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Lula_Mae

10 gallons?  Biggest pico ever! :lol: Clowns are lovely and tank's looking nice. :)

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bolts.mania
9 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

10 gallons?  Biggest pico ever! :lol: Clowns are lovely and tank's looking nice. :)

:lol: ya I wasn't sure what to put the build under 

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Lula_Mae
On 12/20/2017 at 3:00 PM, bolts.mania said:

:lol: ya I wasn't sure what to put the build under 

Most 5+ gallon builds I see are usually under aquarium journals. I put my 5.5 there for more traffic lol.

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ParticipationTrophyWife

Love the clown pics!  Your tank is almost identical to one of mine.  Have fun at school- what are you doing with them over break?

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bolts.mania
14 hours ago, tashayar said:

Love the clown pics!  Your tank is almost identical to one of mine.  Have fun at school- what are you doing with them over break?

I transported the whole tank back home for winter break. Over thanksgiving break I left it at college by itself for a week, but a month long break was too long for it to be left alone.

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bolts.mania

New invertebrate alert: I just picked up a RBTA. It is actually from an anemone I had 3 years ago in my original 30 gallon tank. I donated all my livestock to a local elementary school when I left for college and often will go back and visit. This time I took a small anemone back with me :P I dont have my camera on me at the moment but pictures coming soon.

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bolts.mania

New RBTA Pictures: I have now had my RBTA for about a week and it is doing great! I originally placed the anemone in the front of the tank but as they do, it moved and unfortunately moved to the back of the tank. It has made a home for itself in the back right corner of the tank. I am actually OK with this placement because it is right where the clownfish sleep at night. My clownfish have not started hosting the RBTA yet but I know its coming. The female will rub her back against the tentacles of the anemone as she swims underneath it.

 

It barely pokes out from the back of the tank.

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bolts.mania
Moved the Tank Back to College: Well, it is the start of a new semester, which means new classes, new professors and time to move the tank back to college! I live about 6 hours away from the school I attend so the move is no small task. Luckily I do have my own car on campus so I packed up the car with two five gallon buckets containing the livestock and live rock, the tank with the sand, and a plastic tub with maintenance equipment and electrical components, and made the trek a week ago.
 
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It was very cold when I made the trip so I was a little worried about keeping the car as warm as possible so the water temperatures of the buckets didn't get too low.  I personally was sweating in my own car but I mean it's for the fish right? Well, it turned out when I set the tank back up at school the water was at 62.5 deg F.....  I was very worried but everything seemed to be fine. Since everything was disassembled I took this time to try to get my clownfish and RBTA familiar with each other in hopes of having my clownfish host it. I put them together in a small tub and floated it.
 
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While this picture looks promising, 5 days later and they still do not host the anemone <_< 
 
Here is everything as of today: 
 
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(Also very deceiving picture haha)
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bolts.mania

One issue with moving the tank is it disrupts the tanks equilibrium a little bit, so when I originally moved it home at the start of winter break the tank experienced some nuisance algae issues. A month later I am still fighting off the algae with constant water changes and very time-consuming periods of hand picking the algae. While it is not ideal, it has been reduced substantially and I am hoping that the new move does not cause the same outbreak. I have bryopsis, which is a pain in the butt to get rid of but luckily grows relatively slowly in my tank so I can target it pretty fast. I also have Cladophoropsis or Green Wirey Algae, which grew super fast and is very hard to remove. Each of the strings is very thin and break easily which makes it very hard for manual removal. The good news is that as of today the algae outbreak has been contained and I hope that the continuation of water changes and manual removal will eliminate it all. 

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