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Haven't posted in awhile and have some exciting updates! Finally got my NanoBox Duo in and it is awesome, looks great and the build quality seems outstanding. Big thank you to @DaveFason

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Now that I have my light on is it time for me to add a full CUC? I still havent had any real algae outbreaks or cyano to speak of but now with the light if that is going to come it will happen sooner rather then later I would assume, I do have two astrea snails in the tank currently. Also how long should I have my lights on during this time? I currently have it set to start ramping up at 10AM and to switch to moonlight at 7PM? Thanks!

 

 

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Setup is looking great!  Gotta love the Duo, really solid light for this tank setup. 

 

How long has the tank been up and running total?  I think with the two snails you're probably set for algae eaters at this point.  Maybe a hermit... but I don't know if there will be much for it to eat unless you're tossing some fish food in there. 

 

Personally, I'd say you're light schedule is  fine especially since it's just the rock at this point.  If anything you could maybe cut it back 2-3 hours until you're satisfied that the cycle is finished and the bio-filter is established, but you probably don't really need to.

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4 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Setup is looking great!  Gotta love the Duo, really solid light for this tank setup. 

 

How long has the tank been up and running total?  I think with the two snails you're probably set for algae eaters at this point.  Maybe a hermit... but I don't know if there will be much for it to eat unless you're tossing some fish food in there. 

 

Personally, I'd say you're light schedule is  fine especially since it's just the rock at this point.  If anything you could maybe cut it back 2-3 hours until you're satisfied that the cycle is finished and the bio-filter is established, but you probably don't really need to.

Tank has been up and running for about a month (will be a month on Thursday) I used all live rock and it is processing ammonia quickly. I did a large water change because my nitrates were really high, and now they are in the 10ppm range which is still high so I may do another before adding fish. I did not start running  my light until yesterday though so I haven't seen any algae or cyano yet. If i do get a bloom I would guess it would be now that my lights are running. Is there something else I should be looking for besides ammonia processing and levels of nitrates to indicate the cycle being complete? Nitrites are also at 0

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Sounds like good news on all fronts!

 

I would consider 10ppm acceptable, but worth chasing somewhat lower. I think I added my first fish around the one month mark, although I know some people advocate for longer.  I think it's  important to keep in mind that once you add a fish, you'll likely see a nutrient spike until your biofilter readjusts to process the increased amount of nutrients available on a regular basis.

 

Maybe give the tank a week or two with a regular lighting schedule and see how your levels are looking.

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1 hour ago, Nano_Addict said:

Sounds like good news on all fronts!

 

I would consider 10ppm acceptable, but worth chasing somewhat lower. I think I added my first fish around the one month mark, although I know some people advocate for longer.  I think it's  important to keep in mind that once you add a fish, you'll likely see a nutrient spike until your biofilter readjusts to process the increased amount of nutrients available on a regular basis.

 

Maybe give the tank a week or two with a regular lighting schedule and see how your levels are looking.

Thanks for the advice! That was my plan, I will be away this weekend so I will probably adding my first fish next Saturday if I had to guess. My thought was to add a pair of clowns first but I am not sure if that is the best idea. As of right now I am thinking a pair of clowns and a goby/pistol shrimp as my stocking.

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17 hours ago, Zach W said:

Thanks for the advice! That was my plan, I will be away this weekend so I will probably adding my first fish next Saturday if I had to guess. My thought was to add a pair of clowns first but I am not sure if that is the best idea. As of right now I am thinking a pair of clowns and a goby/pistol shrimp as my stocking.

I can only speak from personal experience, but my first fish were two clowns added at the same time.  As I mentioned, you might get an algae bloom because of the increased nutrients (I didn't), but just stay on top of your filtration and water changes and I'd think you'd be fine.

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Another quick update, I finally got my stand so I have my tank off of the kitchen counter finally. This is the tank and stand as it is now, don't mind the crappy iphone picture.

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One question I do have is that it seems I am starting to have a cyano bloom (at least what I think is cyano). I currently have two astrea snails but that is it in terms of a CUC. I still dont have any fish but that will be changing on Thursday (pair of mochavinci clowns). Does anything CUC wise take care of cyano or is that just let it bloom, keep frequent water changes going, and it will go away in time? This is what it looks like, although this picture was taken several days ago so there is more now (brown spots on rocks and sand).

 

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Looks like the start of diatoms to me. Perfectly normal with a new tank and usually go away on their own. A clean up crew can help. Tank looks really nice!

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4 hours ago, Minidoll said:

Looks like the start of diatoms to me. Perfectly normal with a new tank and usually go away on their own. A clean up crew can help. Tank looks really nice!

What would you suggest? Like I said I have two astrea snails at the moment. My LFS has recommended a fighting conch to turn over the sand bed but told me to wait until I have some fish and some waste to make sure I dont starve them. Should I get any hermits or other snails or anything? 

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Hermit’s and/or snails should be fine and will help. Some do not care for any type of crab and stick with snails only. You’re going to get diatoms, it’s just part of a newly cycled tank. They will go away as the tank gets settled in. We all had to deal with them. I had a fairly light case but I was lucky but you might be too. I think it’s too soon for a conch. They’re awesome at keeping the sand clean but will starve if there isn’t enough food. Check out Reef Cleaners online,  John Maloney has great cleanup crew packages. He’s always willing to help too. 

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Hermits eat snails.  Eventually, hermits will eat your snails and wear their shells.  Hermits are opportunist and carnivores.  Best sandbed detrivores that multiply to food supply and feed tank with live larvae are: Cerith Snails, micro starfish and bristle worms.

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4 minutes ago, Subsea said:

Hermits eat snails.  Eventually, hermits will eat your snails and wear their shells.  Hermits are opportunist and carnivores.  Best sandbed detrivores that multiply to food supply and feed tank with live larvae are: Cerith Snails, micro starfish and bristle worms.

I ended up getting a package from reef cleaners, thanks for the recommendation @Minidoll! I also did a two day blackout and added a bag of chemipure elite because I had no chemical filtration at all, and to limit the phosphates in the tank. 

 

The light is back on now and I tested phosphorus at 17ppb so just a tad over 0.05 ppm phosphate. Nitrates are still at roughly 10. I will be getting two clowns tomorrow to add to the tank, hoping for the best! 

 

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Good luck! Be sure to post some pictures when you can!

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I have fish! Im super excited and finally have some fish in my tank! The tank has been running for about three months now with nothing besides the CUC. I have had pretty stable parameters for the last month or so and just haven't gotten a chance to add any livestock with work and traveling and whatnot. But yesterday I finally got some fish! I added a pair of MochaVinci clowns from sea and reef aquaculture. I posted in a separate post before about my concerns with not having a QT setup and after I spoke with my LFS they told me that they could order in a pair from sea and reef and not introduce them into their system but just float the bags for a couple hours until I could get there. This way there is not concern about contamination from the LFS water (I dont think there would have been regardless but I was just nervous). Sea and Reef aquaculture guarantee's that their fish are disease and parasite free so I dont have to worry about that which is great. And a cherry ontop is that since the LFS didnt have to worry about acclimating them or making sure they are eating they sold them to me for wholesale price! If you live in the Boston area you should definitely check out Love the Reef in Wilmington. Here are some pictures

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Does anyone have any recommendations on how to take good pictures of the tank? Every time I try to take a full front shot The tank is acting like a mirror and I cant get out of the shot and you can see everything that is in my apartment... hahah

 

Should be getting some corals on Saturday hopefully!

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Also, how long does it typically take to get fish to be interested in eating? This is the first time I have done this so I am not sure what to expect. I tried last night with some pellets and they were uninterested.  I have pellets and frozen LRS Reef Frenzy. Thanks!

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Clowns look great! One tip I've heard for photographing under LEDs is to use an orange filter on your camera to help balance out the intense blues.

 

I've never had an issue with clowns eating, but I'd say if it goes a couple days you might want to try some different food.  Whether that's frozen PE calanus or flake. The clowns could still be a little stressed from the transport or they might not have been raised on pellet food.

 

On another note, what heater are you using on your tank?  It's about time for me to replace mine and they no longer make the model I currently have.

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1 minute ago, Nano_Addict said:

Clowns look great! One tip I've heard for photographing under LEDs is to use an orange filter on your camera to help balance out the intense blues.

 

I've never had an issue with clowns eating, but I'd say if it goes a couple days you might want to try some different food.  Whether that's frozen PE calanus or flake. The clowns could still be a little stressed from the transport or they might not have been raised on pellet food.

 

On another note, what heater are you using on your tank?  It's about time for me to replace mine and they no longer make the model I currently have.

Yeah im sure they were stressed yesterday after shipping and then being acclimated to a new tank. They claim to be raised eating everything from pellets to flake to frozen. I also introduced them later in the day and the lights were off the whole time so I am not too concerned but was more just curious. Ive heard most all fish love the LRS so maybe I willtry with that later. 

 

As for a heater I use the cobalt aquatics neotherm 75W hooked up to an inkbird controller. Works great, I would definitely recommend it. You can get it for under $40 online which is a great deal. 

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BEAUTIFUL fish, congrats! I’m sure they’re a little stressed and should start eating soon. I started with 2 clowns also. In my case my smaller clown didn’t eat for 3 weeks while the other ate fine. Thought for sure I was going to lose him then the little guy finally started to eat but he was so thin. That was 3+ years ago and he is happy and healthy but he’s still really little compared to the female. She’s so mean to him but he’s spunky and holds his own. 😊 There’s a garlic solution that you can soak the food in that will help get picky fish to eat. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I think it’s called GarlicXtreme or something like that, your LFS should carry it. If all else fails, you could try that. 

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Got a couple corals this weekend that seem to be happy and enjoying the tank! I picked up an ultra yuma mushroom, a hammer, and a candy cane! Sorry for the blue overload, I haven’t gotten an orange filter yet for pictures.. 5DD3606C-0BF6-437F-8CF1-39C9864D59D3.thumb.jpeg.ba1894d8d79693426fb36cb946501e3e.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, Zach W said:

Got a couple corals this weekend that seem to be happy and enjoying the tank! I picked up an ultra yuma mushroom, a hammer, and a candy cane! Sorry for the blue overload, I haven’t gotten an orange filter yet for pictures.. 5DD3606C-0BF6-437F-8CF1-39C9864D59D3.thumb.jpeg.ba1894d8d79693426fb36cb946501e3e.jpeg

Get AquariumCam app for better pics. 

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25 minutes ago, A Little Blue said:

Get AquariumCam app for better pics. 

Thank you!FA372988-B036-4202-89B7-AEFDAAC3F098.thumb.jpeg.fc921d282f14fcbd543049cbc143f58f.jpeg

 

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Got some more corals yesterday, ended up coming home with a frogspawn, hammer, blasto, and Favia! Really liking this tank so far and I think it is coming together well! 

 

Making a small euphyllia garden

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Blasto

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Purple and green Favia 

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Current tank shot 

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Great looking corals! Your aquascape came together really nicely.  Once its packed with corals it's going to look great.

 

 Hard to tell for sure from the picture, but the favia might be a war coral.  They're pretty awesome, Ive got one in the center of my tank, but they also send out really long sweeper tentacles.  Can't tell exactly where it is in the overall scape, but you might want to make sure the placement won't harm other corals in the future!

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2 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Great looking corals! Your aquascape came together really nicely.  Once its packed with corals it's going to look great.

 

 Hard to tell for sure from the picture, but the favia might be a war coral.  They're pretty awesome, Ive got one in the center of my tank, but they also send out really long sweeper tentacles.  Can't tell exactly where it is in the overall scape, but you might want to make sure the placement won't harm other corals in the future!

Thanks! Ive been really happy so far with everything. I think I am going to let it go without any more additions for a couple weeks and make sure everything is stable and happy. The favia/potential war coral is mounted on the upper third of the left rock structure in the front. If you zoom in on the picture you can see it. 

 

If after a couple weeks if everything is looking good I want to try a birdsnest and monti cap. I also love the encrusting corals, I want the JF jack-o-lantern and then encrusting corals that are red and green to hit a bunch of colors. Ideally I want to remove the rock in the very front that has nothing on it and put a clam front and center. I think clams are awesome but know usually you should wait for them

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Sounds like you've found a good spot for it.  I'm also a big fan of the encrusting corals and the jack-o-lantern is on my wish list, I just haven't been able to find it anywhere!!  Acans and echinita are pretty cool encrusters as well... or an encrusting montipora, the options are endless haha

 

A clam would look great in that spot, but yes they're pricey and require a bit more mature of a tank... even then they can be finicky from what I understand.

 

 

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