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ChristopherDido

STL Reef Odyssey

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ChristopherDido

Ok so after lots and lots of thinking... We decided we are changing tanks from our JBJ NanoCube 28. I got tired of the bright white lights off the NanoCube and wanted more of a blue color light, like the Kessil gives off. So I setup the Nuvo 20, that was at the school, in our living room. So I will be "breaking down" the NanoCube and it will be given a rebirth in my classroom in the fall for our club. I plan on keeping all the rock that is in here live and cleaning up the tank for the new school year and putting it on a smaller stand so the kids can reach it.  Here is my Journal for the new tank.

 

Equipment:

Tank - IM Nuvo Fusion 20

Pump - MJ-1200 (Pulled the Stock)

Light - Kessil a160we (Bought from here, DIY Mounted with Spectral Controller)

Heater - Finnex HMA 100W Heater

ATO - Want to use the AutoAqua Smart ATO (Not the Micro) but it did not seem to work with the black glass on the back (Anyone else have problems with this?), so right now I have a Tunze ATO (can’t remember exact model.)

 

Filtration:

Rock - 20Lbs Dry Rock (I think BRS - Sold at Local LFS, was gonna be for a Lagoon 25 that never happened)

Substrate - Ocean’s Direct Caribbean Live Sand

IM Media Basket(want to upgrade to inTank) with their Mechanical Sponges, had good experience with them in the classroom, may switch over if I get InTank baskets

Filter Sock - Nothing in it at the moment, just there to catch debris

 

Goals for this tank:

Over the last year and 4 months I have maintained a 28 gallon NanoCube with pretty good success, there were a few things that I wish I would have known when getting into the hobby.  For one how much I hated putting my arms way down into a deep-ish tank when doing maintenance. Two how much it costs for Chemi-pure elite every 3 weeks. I also hope to keep a much more engaging Journal that folks can follow along with us.

 

So I kept both of these things in mind when setting up this setup, I made sure that maintenance of the tank will be very easy, ie. ample room to work in the tank and around the rocks to stir up the sandbed and keep that clean.  Secondly the goal for this tank will be to run very little in terms of chemical filtration. I wish when i set up my first tank that I understood more about “refugiums” and MacroAlgae, so I specifically am planning on incorporating some form of refugium in the back chambers and a couple display macros that will help with sucking up excess nutrients.  Ideally with a child on the way, this tank will take minimal maintenance time - 30-60 minutes a week not counting running an algae magnet over the glass every day or so.

 

Another thing with this tank that I am excited about is controlling exactly what goes into it, the 28gallon I bought from an LFS fully setup (I am sure now that I overpaid lol.) So with this one I am going Dry Rock with a couple rubble pieces from my Pico to help seed the tank.  I originally bought the dry rocks that I did with a scape in mind for a Nuvo 25 Lagoon tank that we thought we were getting, that didn’t happen. When I bought the rocks I immediately began “curing” them in a 10 gallon tank with saltwater and an AC70 with just a sponge in it. I did this because I had read that dry rocks tend to “leech” phosphates and from what I can tell it’s because they were not cleaned very well based on anecdotal evidence.  They have sat in there since April with water circulating and being topped off every few days, about once every week or two I would take a turkey baster and blast the rocks to get as much dust out of them as I could. Towards the middle of May I put a couple pieces of rubble Rock from my pico in there and then week before Memorial Day I put a bottle of Bio-Spira in the tank… This is where I may have made my first mistake, after dropping in the bottle on a Wednesday, my wife decided we were gonna take a last minute vacation for Memorial Day before the baby comes, so i was not able to test levels during this time.  When I came back my Ammonia was reading “Zero”, Nitrite was “Zero” and Nitrate was between 60-80. I did a 50% Water Change and dropped in some more Bio-Spira then left for almost a week to help my best friend move from Chicago to Burlington, VT. When I came back the tank was measuring 60 Nitrate and No Ammonia or Nitrite, so based on all that I have gathered about the cycle of a reef tank, my cycle was finished. This past Friday June 8th I finally got the stand together and bought the upgraded pump. On Saturday I got the sand and water and proceeded to fill the tank up. Again still no Ammonia or Nitrites showing, Nitrates were measuring in at 10-15.  After all of this I just decided to set the timer up on the Kessil and find a schedule and put some macro algae in there. After a couple of days of the Macro doing fine I added a small frag of Frogspawn to test the waters. Everything seems to be happy!


 

Planned Livestock:

Planning on Moving over our fish from the 28

2X Clownfish (Standard Occelaris and Darwin)

1X Pajama Cardinal

New Additions:

Possibly a Tailspot Blenny or Goby/Shrimp Combination

 

Planned Inverts:

Cleaner Skunk Shrimp (Already have in my 28Gallon)

Rock Flower Anemones - Planning to have a “Garden” of them off the Left Side of the Aquascape

Snails - Will have an Assortment of Trochus, Nassarius, Turbo, Fighting Conch and Astreas (Don’t think I will do Hermits this time around)

Possibly a small urchin down the line

 

Softy Corals:

Assorted Zoas - Goal is to cover the “arch” with them as they grow out.

Ricordeas - Planning to move over my Blue, Orange and Green Florida Ricordeas and maybe add a few more to create a “Ric Garden” on the Bottom Right of the rockwork (there is sorta a cavish area there)

 

LPS Corals:

Hammers - I have two currently in the 28 that I plan on Moving over, will be placing these up on the rocks above the “Ric Garden” along with….

Frogspawn - I have currently in the Nuvo as a “water-testing” coral (they should be fine next to the hammers, based on information that I have read)

Probable additions: I will most likely try my hand with Acans again, I like the looks of them but I think the lights in the JBJ NanoCube were just too much for them.  Hopefully this time I can keep them, planning to keep them on the substrate most likely under the “arch”

Candy Canes - Thinking I will move over the Candy Cane Coral that I have in the 28, but only if I can figure out how to successfully kill the vermitid snails that are coming out it is in many different places lol - Not sure where I will place them yet probably above the RFAs once they settle in.

 

SPS:

Really I’m not the biggest fan of them, plus I know our Family Lifestyle does not bode well for the demands of most SPS, but I have a Birdsnest that has done phenomenal for us in the 28gallon and I plan I keeping that as well.

 

FTS 8-21-18:

IMG_20180821_173803-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.4a36454fd6175ee45498b74f3bdbf981.jpeg

 

FTS 7-13-18:

July132018.thumb.jpeg.9bb7a5503dc148929e9084a8dc136322.jpeg

 

Picture of the Rockscape with ideas of where I plan to place corals:

DrawOnPhoto_1528906119349.thumb.png.480398883a26350fdbfa351d49882b34.png

Picture of the Rockscape without the colored circles 🙂

IMG_20180610_092932_1280x720.thumb.jpg.156449f469dc791f11369405a2d4ebe4.jpg

IMG_20180610_163901-01_1280x720.thumb.jpeg.93171a13834e7b550efb5bc0202664d9.jpeg

Here's a quick pic of the two tanks next to each other.

IMG_20180610_081120_1280x720.thumb.jpg.f7a4138a00c85758779b93e0865dc039.jpg

I have put a lot of thoughts into my fish so far in the tank and I would ideally like to add one more so I will put a couple of options down below and maybe you all can give me some opinions on adding those.  I have also put a lot of thought into the corals that I like and would want, I am thinking I may also add some Dendros down the line or if you think there is anything else I should look at adding please let me know.

 

Let me know what you think and if I am missing any key information here for being successful?  Or just your thoughts on my plans!

Thanks!

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NanoTrav

I'm currently cycling a fusion 20. Switching from a 14 penisula that has ich. Anyway, I have the same stand. Here's my set up. I found prefinished shelves with similar finish to the stand and attached to the back on the cube. Much more rigid now. Helped me since I have mine on carpet. I found those fabric storage cubes work great for hiding an ato reservoir. I have a ~1.4 gallon Rubbermaid container that fit perfectly. (not set up yet)

IMG_20180614_171545.thumb.jpg.d0f5af7e0f336906a3afcc65170f43cc.jpg

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ChristopherDido
48 minutes ago, NanoTrav said:

I'm currently cycling a fusion 20. Switching from a 14 penisula that has ich. Anyway, I have the same stand. Here's my set up. I found prefinished shelves with similar finish to the stand and attached to the back on the cube. Much more rigid now. Helped me since I have mine on carpet. I found those fabric storage cubes work great for hiding an ato reservoir. I have a ~1.4 gallon Rubbermaid container that fit perfectly. (not set up yet)

 

Looks great! Where did you find those shelves? This stand seems pretty solid... I stood on it and wiggled it around, very little give, even with tank on it. That may be because mines in hardwood floors... But still might be a good idea to look at. Thanks! Do you have a build journal? What ATO you going with?

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NanoTrav

I'm going to be taking the auto aqua micro from my 14g. Shelves where from Menards (WI Home Depot). I'll be doing a build journal eventually. Just been lazy 🙂 

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ChristopherDido

We have Menard's here! They are Midwest Home Depot is what I understand lol

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ChristopherDido

Hey Sorry for the silence, been rather busy with school starting back up and getting house ready for our baby.  Well overdue for an update here, so here we go...

 

System has been pretty solid, I even got the NanoCube broke down and it is now re-set back up in my classroom for the new school year... I'll update that one too.

 

Wife wasn't 100% happy with placement of our tank once I moved the JBJ, so I had to drain out most of the water and slide it over about a foot and now it is perfect!  That was a nerve wracking experience.  

 

Overall I am very pleased with the setup, I bought an InTank Filter floss holder and that combined with the Nuvo Sponges has been keeping everything really in check.  Here are the numbers from last test... Honestly need to get better tests, that will probably be my next buy before our local frag swap this fall.

 

Salinity:  1.025

Nitrate: 5

KH: 7 

Phosphate: 0.03

Nitrite: 0

Calcium: 480

pH: 8.0

 

I know that KH is a bit low, but honestly I am looking at it from a perspective of everything looks happy, so I don't want to chase numbers... Hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me somewhere - It has stayed stabled at that number, wondering though if maybe its because I am still using an API test kit.

 

I bought a Coral View Lens from Polyp Lab and I am really pleased with it, even if I am still figuring it out and trying to hone my photography skills with it.

 

Aside from some corals added to the system, I added a ATO jar a small refugium in a rear chamber, not sure if it will work out, keep getting a "slime" on my red Macro that I am putting back there really I did it to add to the Microfauna as this set up was done with Dry Rock.  I'm keeping my out for some brittle stars that I can add to the system, I already dropped a bottle of pods in but I am not seeing really any noticeable amount of them.  

 

One thing I admit that I miss a lot from this tank that I had with the NanoCube was the "nightlight," I miss being able to look at it under those deep blue lights, thinking of trying to rig up something with a cheap lumen LED actinic and see if that will work, thoughts?

 

Anyway here are some pics cause that's what we all come for right? 🙂  Thanks for checking in!

 

Placement of the Tank right now:

IMG_20180821_172848-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.d264e7f3ac1226f328c4289bdc084b3a.jpeg

 

FTS as of today:

IMG_20180821_173803-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.54e7c6de0cff5ed15ff94d2a4077e9cb.jpeg

 

Highlighter Candy Canes - One of the first corals I ever got, they were just 1 branch, broke during the transfer, when I got them they had 2 heads:

IMG_20180821_173849-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.907a8029c5975b0b942d686175d75fdb.jpeg

 

My Little Ric Garden!:

IMG_20180821_173925-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.b154d29e25c0da077c3bf72a05206f78.jpeg

 

My Hammers which have all grown a couple of heads just since being moved into the 20, I think they are Happy! 🙂

IMG_20180821_173916-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.b44d086b67c5e71dfd8a41b5d2512403.jpeg

 

My Newest Hammer, it has yellow tips and currently it is acclimating, got it for nearly free for trading in some Macro to an LFS:

IMG_20180821_173905-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.5a7c7d7bc44d651f3e075a82ab42613d.jpeg

 

Only Zoas that I currently have in the tank, plan to add a few more and hopefully cover the Archway:

IMG_20180821_174034-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.87fa4b544b2b871be3e01c1d63542c1e.jpeg

 

My second attempt at Acans, they did not do well in the NanoCube 28, so I put them under the arch in a cave like area, hoping I have more success:

IMG_20180821_173843_1920x1080.thumb.jpg.61e3fb8cdf0fb67bd8c032e2263f907d.jpg

 

My Favorite part of the Tank!  My RFA Garden is growing nicely!:

IMG_20180818_151737-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.c5ac729348fdccdbbca39336fb1d3c9a.jpeg

 

And another of my oldest corals, this is only about a third of it, traded in a third to the LFS for Credit another third is in my classroom tank - it was only about an inch when I got it:

IMG_20180727_203944-01_1920x1080.thumb.jpeg.82918c8fe5e010f0c53789601fe893f2.jpeg

 

FTS shots from 7-13-18:

1907376240_July132018(1).thumb.jpeg.a3e73851cad47e2678d82e8eef31cfe5.jpeg

 

July132018.thumb.jpeg.db3e66ce865cf7ea787a2431af0e04d9.jpeg

 

Leave me any feedback or ideas, thanks for checking in!

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sadley77

This looks like its gonna grow in great! I really like your aquascape

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ChristopherDido
49 minutes ago, sadley77 said:

This looks like its gonna grow in great! I really like your aquascape

Thanks!  It's a Labor of Love!  We are really enjoying it and I am hopeful that it will grow in nice.  I plan to add a few more ric morphs, some more RFAs, maybe another Acan or two if I can keep this one happy.  Probably another Candy Cane style coral... aside from that I am not sure yet, need something to fill in a few other spots.  But good start for sure.  Thanks for the Comment!

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ChristopherDido

So I haven't updated in a while. Having a newborn will do that for you 🙂

Anyway, here's a quick update and I'm looking for anyone that can help me with an issue, but before that... Here's some picks, excuse the bubble algae, I just got to emeralds to help me out with that 🙂

 

here's what I got for Black Friday sales, I think I did pretty good!

 

Two Emeralds for 2.99 each!

IMG_20181123_165542.thumb.jpg.a65fec58ee2a58b0e0c28648f74dd1f4.jpg

 

Then I got a Pistol and a Watchman Gobie for 9.99 each, you can see the pistol with the Crabs and here's the Gobie! He's my issue, but I'll get there...

IMG_20181123_165547.thumb.jpg.fc94f1166c69766b8e0931467e2b6ba8.jpg

 

And I got a Rock Flower for $30! It's got a Red Center and Frilly white skirt.

MVIMG_20181123_215303-01.thumb.jpeg.117f53b6e2593eaf83e470805f89888b.jpeg

 

Here's a pic of my hammers that are seriously growing in this tank! 

MVIMG_20181123_215308-01.thumb.jpeg.c093b96effd7e0bcf2ce40d500ea73b8.jpeg

 

And a FTS, yeah I need to clean the glass better

_20181123_220257-01.thumb.jpeg.609a7c03ca2b488005944fa4c3608554.jpeg

 

Alright now for my issue, my wonderful New addition Gobie decided he was small enough to go through the return grates and is now in the back Chambers of my Nuvo 20, anyone for any ideas on how to get him out? I was thinking pull out the pumps and stick a hose in there too sick him out, but not sure about that. Second question, how should I go about keeping this from happening again?

Thanks! Hope to hear from a few of you, I'll be updating the classroom tank thread this week.

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Tamberav

My greenbanded would go back there and I just reached in and cupped my hand around him and got him out. Basically he got scared but no where to really go and i would corner him and he would eventually go on my hand and I would close my hand around him and lift him out.

 

I would not siphon him out ..that could kill him.

 

Otherwise maybe you could shoo him into a shot glass and cover the top as you lift it out.

 

Probably need to zip tie some netting over the grate till he grows too large to fit or until he and the pistol make a cozy home. 

 

Hopefully the crabs help your bubble algae issue. I'd they don't ...I ended up beating it by just manual removal anywhere it popped up and eventually it just never popped up again. I used tweezers. 

 

I really like your choice in corals and rfas are the best!

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ChristopherDido
21 hours ago, Tamberav said:

My greenbanded would go back there and I just reached in and cupped my hand around him and got him out. Basically he got scared...

@Tamberav thanks! I'm just concerned with how small those back Chambers are, I haven't seen him all day looking back there with a flashlight, tomorrow is water change day, bought some plastic clips and plastic cover peices that people use for yarn stuff, hopefully that will keep him out of I can find him and get him out. I'll keep y'all posted... The bad party is how that bottom goes all the way across... I think I have an idea and a have plan... Fingers crossed!

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Tamberav
22 minutes ago, ChristopherDido said:

@Tamberav thanks! I'm just concerned with how small those back Chambers are, I haven't seen him all day looking back there with a flashlight, tomorrow is water change day, bought some plastic clips and plastic cover peices that people use for yarn stuff, hopefully that will keep him out of I can find him and get him out. I'll keep y'all posted... The bad party is how that bottom goes all the way across... I think I have an idea and a have plan... Fingers crossed!

When mine got into that hidden bottom part I would feed by the pump area then slowwwwly slip a plastic piece of acrylic down to block him from getting back under that part and catch him. I think I just used the part of acrylic that slips out of Intanks media basket. Greenbandeds are pigs and he could never say no to food. 

 

Goodluck!

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ChristopherDido
21 hours ago, Tamberav said:

When mine got into that hidden bottom part I would feed by the pump area then slowwwwly slip a plastic piece of acrylic down to block him from getting back under that part and catch him. I think I just used the part of acrylic that slips out of Intanks media basket. Greenbandeds are pigs and he could never say no to food. 

 

Goodluck!

@Tamberav thanks for the help. I just pulled out the pump and did a good water change, he got sucked into the pump, found his decomposing body in there 😞 I'm gonna try to beg the LFS to give me another at the same price if they still have them... Sucks but it is what is and I know what happened now. I did buy mesh covering so if I get another this doesn't happen again the mesh did raise the water level a bit so I'll have to keep an eye on that.

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Tamberav

oh that sucks 😞 Sorry you lost him, hopefully they will give you a good deal on a new one.

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ChristopherDido
23 hours ago, Tamberav said:

oh that sucks 😞 Sorry you lost him, hopefully they will give you a good deal on a new one.

Well the LFS gave me another good deal so I have another Gobie!!! At this moment he has gone to hang out on the overflow grates that have been modded... Not pretty but they work.

IMG_20181126_204649.jpg

IMG_20181126_204702.jpg

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Tamberav

Oh wow what a little butt already trying to suicide 

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