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_ST

_ST's Glass Box of Sweets

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_ST

Wassup everyone! First post & decided to start it off with a new aquarium journal and build. I previously owned a 60 gallon cube mixed reef with a 40 gallon display 'fuge a few years back, currently own an Tropheus only 100 Gallon tank and needed to dip my feet back into a reef tank lol.


Equipment:

  • IM 20 Gal. NUVO Fusion Peninsula¬†
  • AI Hydra 26 HD
  • IM Auqa Gadget MiniMax Reactor (Desktop)
    • NPX Bioplastics
  • IM Auqa Gadget Ghost Protein Skimmer (Desktop)¬†AquaMaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer
  • Cobalt Aquatics 75W Neo-Therm Heater
  • Marineland MJ1200
  • EM Vortech MP10QD (Not yet purchased)
  • Auto Aqua Smart ATO Micro (Not yet purchased, thank you¬†Indiana Reefer for the suggestion!)

 

Livestock:

  • 2 x Premium Blacker Ice Clownfish
  • 2 x Helfrichi Firefish (Undecided)¬†
  • 1 x Yellow Watchman Goby
  • 1 x Blue Spotted Watchman Goby
  • 1 x Cleaner shrimp OR Fire shrimp

 

FTS 03/21/18

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FTS 03/05/18

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FTS 02/10/18 (Startup)

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_ST

As far as filling her up, I'll try and mix water tonight if not by tomorrow. I have to pick up a new bottle of calibration fluid for my refractometer and a dedicated heater for mixing new batches of water. 

I also plan to cycle the tank with the shrimp method; dry rock, live sand & a small piece of live rock to provide a base for nitrogen fixing bacteria and a piece of shrimp in a net to jumpstart the ammonia levels. Used this process in my previous build and it worked flawlessly & by far my favorite way to cycle a tank to prevent unwanted pest.

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Indiana Reefin

Nice start!! 

For ATO, I would get a aquasmart ATO micro. I have one and it works great 

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_ST
1 hour ago, Indiana Reefin said:

Nice start!! 

For ATO, I would get a aquasmart ATO micro. I have one and it works great 

Thanks! I just checked out that ATO right now and it looks good and perfect for what my requirements (since I'm running an AIO and limited on space in the baffle sections) I'll order this ATO when I get the chance

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Indiana Reefin

I like your stocking list. 

Are you planning on getting a cover? I recommend spending the money with Octo lids it is worth it. It will make your tank look way more professional. 

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William

Instead of shrimp, you may want to check out Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride and corresponding bacteria starter. It works incredibly well, and imo better than Shrimp. 

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Ranjib

I would second that ato .

 

you plan to make it sps heavy? With dry rock only it will be tough 

Great list of gears by the way. 

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Indiana Reefin

What type of salt are you planning to use? 

Carbon dosing? 

Protein skimmer? 

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_ST
9 hours ago, Indiana Reefin said:

I like your stocking list. 

Are you planning on getting a cover? I recommend spending the money with Octo lids it is worth it. It will make your tank look way more professional. 

Thank you! I'm debating over a fire shrimp or cleaner shrimp right now as well, I know fire shrimp tend to be on the shyer side and normally hide whereas cleaner shrimp just swim all over the tank, at least within my last build that's exactly what happened lol. 

In terms of the lid, I'm planning to get the IM DIY mesh screen lid they sell on Marine Depot with lid clips but I'll admit those Octo Aquatic lids do look sexy haha.

I am also using Aquavitro Salinity for salt and biopellets for carbon dosing, both of which I've used on my last build with great success.

 

9 hours ago, William said:

Instead of shrimp, you may want to check out Dr. Tim’s ammonium chloride and corresponding bacteria starter. It works incredibly well, and imo better than Shrimp. 

Does it? I'll look into it then! I like the idea of manually adding drops of ammonia rather than wait for a piece of shrimp to decay lol. Would you recommend sticking with the single piece of liverock or would a combination of that and Dr. Tim's One & Only be more than sufficient at getting the bacterial colony started?

 

9 hours ago, Ranjib said:

I would second that ato .

 

you plan to make it sps heavy? With dry rock only it will be tough 

Great list of gears by the way. 

EXTREMELY SPS heavy, sticking as many 2-3 inch sticks as possible to these rocks LOL. I'm aiming for a very minimalistic look, no crazy aquascape. I believe this way it will eliminate many dead spots and low flow areas and make cleaning a whole lot easier.

These are prime examples of what I want to achieve, I know it may look boring to some people but looks absolutely stunning to me. Less is more in this case. I believe the first picture is from a build here on Nano-reef but I may be wrong, I just googled these images haha.

 

 2.thumb.jpeg.09427174c2c27bcefdaf781b0178d069.jpeg  5a7d7af4266e4_PhotoJun2663543PM.thumb.jpg.a47a0b77f4441b4291ee1ccd0a8cf1ff.jpg

 

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Indiana Reefin

I would recommend a skimmer and dosing vinager. 

I add vinager to my ATO reservoir along with kalk. I have had great results. No cyano and my nitrates are less than 10 and my PO4  is .02.

my tunze 9001 is skimming like crazy! 

If you want to keep SPS and use biopellets, you have to get a skimmer 

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_ST
14 minutes ago, Indiana Reefin said:

I would recommend a skimmer and dosing vinager. 

I add vinager to my ATO reservoir along with kalk. I have had great results. No cyano and my nitrates are less than 10 and my PO4  is .02.

my tunze 9001 is skimming like crazy! 

If you want to keep SPS and use biopellets, you have to get a skimmer 

Ah yes, I've read a lot of great things about dosing vinegar! I've considered this route when planning this build but ultimately went with biopellets because of the success and ease of use with them in the past. I forgot to mention that I will be running the IM Auqa Gadget Ghost Protein Skimmer in the second chamber right after the biopellet reactor.
 

Two questions for you guys:

  1. With my heater sitting in the last chamber, it is slightly leaning over and touching the return pump. Is there a cause for concern here in terms of melting the plastic? Or am I just over thinking lol.
  2. Tridacna Crocea clams, would love to get one a few months from now since they only get about six inches in total length. Will four to six months be a sufficient wait time to let the stabilize before picking one up or is that still too early?

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Indiana Reefin

1. This should be fine. The heater should never get hot enough to melt the plastic in water. I would more concerned about the vibration from the pump overtime. I am a huge advocate of replacing heaters after 1-2 years. I just don’t want to take a risk of one shattering and nuking my tank. I have never invested in one of these higher end heaters like the neotherm. I am happy with the Jaber’s.

 

I would definitely recommend a controller for your heater. The last thing you want is a heater to get stuck on. I am a big fan of he Reefkeeper lite. I have owned two now along with an apex and I went back to a Reefkeeper because it has everything a I need for $120. 

 

2. I would wait at least 6 months before buying a clam. Especially for a nano. Clams are tricky and need a stable parameters in order to thrive. 

 

 

 

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Jfannin

Our builds have a lot in common. Im liking the look so far.

I would however encourage you to flip your stand on its side instead of the way you have it for better structure support.

 

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Scorched
1 hour ago, Jfannin said:

I would however encourage you to flip your stand on its side instead of the way you have it for better structure support.

 

9524467.jpg

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xiaoxiy
1 minute ago, Scorched said:

9524467.jpg

I’m guessing the made the suggestion based on how the stand is joined together. Take a look at how the top and bottom panels of the stand are inline with the side panels instead of sitting on top of them.

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_ST
2 hours ago, Indiana Reefin said:

1. This should be fine. The heater should never get hot enough to melt the plastic in water. I would more concerned about the vibration from the pump overtime. I am a huge advocate of replacing heaters after 1-2 years. I just don’t want to take a risk of one shattering and nuking my tank. I have never invested in one of these higher end heaters like the neotherm. I am happy with the Jaber’s.

 

I would definitely recommend a controller for your heater. The last thing you want is a heater to get stuck on. I am a big fan of he Reefkeeper lite. I have owned two now along with an apex and I went back to a Reefkeeper because it has everything a I need for $120. 

 

2. I would wait at least 6 months before buying a clam. Especially for a nano. Clams are tricky and need a stable parameters in order to thrive. 

 

 

 

Thanks a lot for the input!! This is my first time purchasing a higher end heater, I went for it for the sleek & shatter proof design. The reef keeper lite is definitely on my equipment list for the near future, should be picking that up and the ATO you suggested by the beginning of next month, if not before summer rolls around.

 

1 hour ago, Jfannin said:

Our builds have a lot in common. Im liking the look so far.

I would however encourage you to flip your stand on its side instead of the way you have it for better structure support.

 

Just checked out your build, and our tanks are pretty similar... Haha, your tank stand is literally half of mine!

By the pictures, you can see that the stand is "floating." I've mounted it against the wall and have drilled four titanium support folds underneath the stand, just out of sight but properly placed to hold all the weight of the tank while giving it a floating look. I've weight tested it and everything and it's held up without budging so it'll be fine. 

 

18 minutes ago, Scorched said:

9524467.jpg

LOL.

15 minutes ago, xiaoxiy said:

I’m guessing the made the suggestion based on how the stand is joined together. Take a look at how the top and bottom panels of the stand are inline with the side panels instead of sitting on top of them.

Yes, I have considered this before mounting the stand but I'm more than confident that it'll be fine in the long run.

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_ST

Change of plans; will be mixing the first batch of salt water tomorrow but will be picking up the heater and calibration fluid later on today. In the mean time here's some more FTSs, I swapped out the larger rock on the right for a smaller one, what ya'll think?

 

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William

Looks great, I would go for an Alex jr over the Reef keeper, works better app wise and more options for expansions. And only $30 more 

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HarryPotter
19 hours ago, Ranjib said:

you plan to make it sps heavy? With dry rock only it will be tough 

 

Makes zero sense to me :) 

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Ranjib
9 minutes ago, HarryPotter said:

 

Makes zero sense to me :) 

:-) I can understand that. My statement comes from my experience with low success rate with sps + dry rock. I noticed recently  theres an youtube video from Dr. Sanjay Joshi's experience that he & mike paletta also experience sps (acropora in particular) mortality on new tanks with dry rock in particular. Certainly, none of this is a definitive conculsion. But I'll prefer not to side with odds, and go with Live Rocks if the tank is new.

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YaBoyLaj

I like where this is going! I love the little coverup on the wires for the hydra :happy: Following!

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Indiana Reefin

I really like the cable trays you put up. That was a good idea. Makes it look really sleek 

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HarryPotter
1 hour ago, Ranjib said:

:-) I can understand that. My statement comes from my experience with low success rate with sps + dry rock. I noticed recently  theres an youtube video from Dr. Sanjay Joshi's experience that he & mike paletta also experience sps (acropora in particular) mortality on new tanks with dry rock in particular. Certainly, none of this is a definitive conculsion. But I'll prefer not to side with odds, and go with Live Rocks if the tank is new.

 

Oh I completely disagree. Live rock brings pests along with the healthy bacteria, which can be terrible for acropora or any coral for that matter. 

 

I think we both agree that dry rock doesn’t not kill SPS, as in it not poisonous. We are also pretty certain that there is not a magic bacteria on live rock that has a critical symbiotic relationship with acropora? 

 

Sanjay was discussing¬†that acropora need nitrifying bacteria to keep the water clean and healthy- a¬†well established tank versus a brand new dry sterile tank in which nutrients would be all over the place. There is nothing ‚Äúspecial‚ÄĚ missing in a tank that does not have live rock. Of course if you put acros in a brand new tank they won‚Äôt do well, as there is zero stability. But a month later, you develop¬†good bacteria that can process the nutrients and maintain stability.¬†

 

Also, what is live? Rock pulled right from the ocean? Rock put in a bucket of salt water for a few months? 

 

Dry rock becomes live rock, just without all the tank-crashing pests. 

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Ranjib
11 minutes ago, HarryPotter said:

 

Oh I completely disagree. Live rock brings pests along with the healthy bacteria, which can be terrible for acropora or any coral for that matter. 

 

I think we both agree that dry rock doesn’t not kill SPS, as in it not poisonous. We are also pretty certain that there is not a magic bacteria on live rock that has a critical symbiotic relationship with acropora? 

 

Sanjay was discussing¬†that acropora need nitrifying bacteria to keep the water clean and healthy- a¬†well established tank versus a brand new dry sterile tank in which nutrients would be all over the place. There is nothing ‚Äúspecial‚ÄĚ missing in a tank that does not have live rock. Of course if you put acros in a brand new tank they won‚Äôt do well, as there is zero stability. But a month later, you develop¬†good bacteria that can process the nutrients and maintain stability.¬†

 

Also, what is live? Rock pulled right from the ocean? Rock put in a bucket of salt water for a few months? 

 

Dry rock becomes live rock, just without all the tank-crashing pests. 

I think theres lot more than that. Dry rock does not become live in one night, and the process can involve undesirable changes. What we dont have is enough data is which way the risk is less. It is true that LR can bring pest, but that risk wont go away, and most reefer may end up learning how to deal with the pests one way or other. A focus on how to deal with them effectively is better strategy than say no to LRs all together. I would say dipping and qt is a much more important aspect from that perspective than ditching LRs.

And yes, I mentioned this because this tank is new as well. 

 

The single biggest pest I would recommend to be aware of regarding acropora is aefw and redbugs. Both of them are likely to come from frags than LRs. Common LR pests like aiptasia or asterina stars shold be managable. 

 

Lets see how the build progress... time is best teacher.

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_ST

@Ranjib Those are some very good points you made, can you link us to that video? I'm curious as to what Sanjay is explaining here but what @HarryPotter mentions is viable as well. Good stuff, but time will tell on this build but my intentions are clear and the goal is to be reached. Won't be accomplished overnight though (:
 

In the mean time, thank you guys for following this build along with the tips. Everything is greatly appreciated, you can never know too much!

I got water mixing and soaking the dry rock in RODI water to get rid of the last bits of dust and particles I couldn't get off last time. Will be filling tonight once I come back from dinner! Will also be picking up a few things while I'm out.


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BTW; is it normal for pumps to heat the water up to 80+ degrees??? I thought my heater went wild so I turned it off and a few hours later the temp. had actually risen a few more degrees.. I don't recall this happening to me a few years ago as I'm using the same MJ1200 and bucket with the additional stock pump from the NUVO, should I be concerned?

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