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_ST's Glass Box of Sweets

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_ST

Well, tank is wet!

 

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I have ran into a problem though.. I purchased the Auqa Gadget Protein Skimmer off Amazon and when I plugged it in, geez was it a HUGE micro bubble mess... I read several topics online stating that this was normal but the amount I was getting was just awful.. So I decided to look at the skimmer and took it apart & was planning to run it in vinegar water only to realize that the connector for the pump has snapped off completely and is now lodged inside the skimmer itself. I bet that it snapped during shipment from all the tossing and is most likely the reason why it was releasing soooo much micro bubbles back into the display.

 

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I'm currently setting up a refund with Amazon & will be sending back this product. In the mean time while the tank cycles I may consider other skimmers as a replacement to this one but we'll see. Kind of annoying but it happens I guess lol.

 

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Ranjib
On 2/10/2018 at 4:50 PM, _ST said:

@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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Ranjib

I would echo what Mike already mentioned in the video, this is a not a full proof truth, there are far too many changes to say conclusively that its the dry rock, and there are folks who have grown sps on dry rock. But I would agree with over all conclusion (and attest my experience) that it has been harder to grow sps in purely dry rock, and if we compare that with the risk of pests introduced from LRs (aiptasia, gorilla crabs, bubble algae etc), I'll go with LRs, as I know how to deal with the known enemies.  I look forward to your build, we all learn from these experience reports

and thanks for sharing all the details

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_ST
On 2/12/2018 at 5:48 PM, Ranjib said:

I would echo what Mike already mentioned in the video, this is a not a full proof truth, there are far too many changes to say conclusively that its the dry rock, and there are folks who have grown sps on dry rock. But I would agree with over all conclusion (and attest my experience) that it has been harder to grow sps in purely dry rock, and if we compare that with the risk of pests introduced from LRs (aiptasia, gorilla crabs, bubble algae etc), I'll go with LRs, as I know how to deal with the known enemies.  I look forward to your build, we all learn from these experience reports

and thanks for sharing all the details

I agree, in this hobby people tend to lean towards what has normally worked for them. In my previous build, I was able to successfully grow SPS on purely dry rock as the foundation but also temporarily placed a piece of liverock and a cup of sand I had from another tank which I knew was void of pest and algae to aid in the cycle and build a bacterial colony on my dry rock . We seem to be on opposite ends but to each their own and whatever works out for either of us (: 

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_ST

Well in any case, here's a small update;

Tank's been filled and is cycling, along with a new skimmer being delivered by Friday. I order an Aquamaxx NF-1 Nano Protein Skimmer after seeing another fellow reefer on YT use it on his NUVO 10 Gallon and to my surprise he told me it was a snug fit! Rated for 30 gallons but perfect for my 20 gallon due to the incorporation of biopellets.

I used a piece of raw shrimp once again to jump start the ammonia last Saturday, by Sunday evening the tank spiked with ammonia around 1-2 ppm in which I then removed the raw shrimp. The same night I picked up a bottle of FrtizZyme TurboStart 900 to jumpstart my bacterial colony. I waited til after I had detectable ammonia in the system to give the nitrifying bacteria something to munch on and sure enough the next day my nitrite spiked to 4-5 ppm. I knew this stuff was gonna work but dawg I didn't expect it to work that fast!!!!

As of tonight, my nitrates are starting to emerge at about 15-20 ppm, ammonia is finally closing in on zero while nitrites are still about 4-5 ppm. I also bought a small piece of live rock to introduce more bacterial strains to the existing rock and sand. Gonna be a while until I add any type of CUC or fish and definitely a long way to go before any coral is glued down.

Otherwise, here's a video of my old set up from like three years ago. I haven't watch it in awhile and geez do I miss this tank lol.

 

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_ST

Alright... Update time!

Not much has changed since the last time I've posted. The tank has completely cycled with the biopellets finally kicking in and reducing nitrates close to zero. Otherwise the diatom bloom is in full effect and it's such an eye sore but things are coming along just fine. 

Replaced the trashy Auqa Gadget skimmer with this super dope Aquamaxx NF-1 nano skimmer, there weren't any reviews on Marine Depot so I bit the bullet and man the design and build quality of this thing is amazing! Rated for up to 30 gallons which is nice and has a super snug fit in the middle chamber. Other than that, I think I'm gonna have to purchase a ball valve for the MJ1200 to slow down the flow, with the size of this skimmer it really limits the flow of water going into the return chamber, fluctuating the water level in the main display rather than the return and prevents the water to drain properly into the first chamber as well.

I may have went a little too light on the CUC: two Trochus snails and three Nassarius snails... Will be picking up more Trochus' at the end of this week (:
Also picked up one of my favorite fish, a Blue Spotted Watchman Goby, super gorgeous when it puts on a couple more inches. I also picked up a cleaner shrimp. Might pick up a pair of Blacker Ice Clownfish as my next additions as soon as the diatoms subside

 

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sna66

Very clean and neat setup. i like that all equipment and wires are hidden. how do you like the cleaner? i like them but I hate when i  feed corals they steal the food. I'm also considering a pistol and yasha goby for mine

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_ST
8 minutes ago, sna66 said:

Very clean and neat setup. i like that all equipment and wires are hidden. how do you like the cleaner? i like them but I hate when i  feed corals they steal the food. I'm also considering a pistol and yasha goby for mine

Thanks! I've kept cleaners and blood red shrimp in the past and as many people say, they add a pop of personality to a tank as they scurry from one side of the tank to the other lol. I've never bothered with spot feeding so was never a problem for me but I have seen them steal from corals that do end up having a bit of food land on their polyps. 

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_ST

Mini update~

 

Updated the FTS on the first post for the most recent aquascape. I intend to add one or two more pieces of dry rock to the tank depending if I can find the perfect pieces but this will work for now.
 

Diatoms are gone, tank's been doing EXTREMELY well as far as cycling, parameters and overall stability. I mean I only have one fish and a shrimp and two tester corals but all is doing extremely well! Also performed the first water change last week, tank was experiencing a really bad bacterial bloom and left the water extremely cloudy. Next day after the water change things were crystal clear and doing much better.

In terms of the future of this build.. I've decided to run it as a mixed reef lol. SPS only would've been dope but I think within a future system dedicated to that, I'd have much more success. For this build however, I intend to stock it with quality pieces of Euphyllias, Zoas, Acans as well as SPS alike. 

Anddddddd I need to mention that I absolutely love this Aquamaxx skimmer... I never liked nano skimmers at all due to the difficulty of tuning them but the Aquamaxx NF1 has changed my mind.. HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking for an insump skimmer for their AIOs!

A week of build up.. Even after a water change this thing was back to pulling gunk out within a few hours. I'd like to thank the biopellets for working so well and this skimmer doing a good job at pulling the crap out.


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