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Firefish15

Firefish's 10G rimless "The Island" - Move Completed

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Firefish15

Hey all!

 

I've been lurking and researching for a number of years, and I'm finally taking the plunge! I'm starting small and working with a Marina 10G rimless aquarium sitting on my kitchen island. I lived in Kenya for a number of years and collected my rock from there. My light is a Hipargero Aquaknight A029. For filtration, I'm running an Aquaclear 70 HOB filter. Inside the filter, I have mechanical filtration, along with a submersible LED strip that will be used to grow chaetomorpha on a reverse photoperiod. My rock has been dry for a few years, so it's still curing. As of right now, there is no sand in the tank.

 

In the future, I will be adding a magnificent firefish, an ocellaris clown, and possibly a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. For corals, I will be hunting around for cheap, easy frags, including some zoas and mushrooms. This is my first saltwater tank, so I'll be taking it slowly and cautiously.

 

And now for some pictures of the setup!

IMG_20180909_160136085.jpg

IMG_20180909_152537793.jpg

IMG_20180909_152527563.jpg

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Pjanssen

:welcome:

Looks nice so far. Slow and cautious is a great plan. Good luck and keep posting.

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banasophia

Great scape, and congrats on starting your first reef tank! Would love to hear the story behind collecting your rock in Kenya!! I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer myself, and lived/served in Zambia for 2 1/2 years, close to Lake Tanganyika.

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Firefish15
14 hours ago, banasophia said:

Great scape, and congrats on starting your first reef tank! Would love to hear the story behind collecting your rock in Kenya!! I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer myself, and lived/served in Zambia for 2 1/2 years, close to Lake Tanganyika.

I lived in Kenya for 5 years while my parents were missionaries. I got to go to the coast several times, and every time I'd pick up a piece or two of rock while snorkeling. I actually got scuba certified over there too. It's gorgeous! Did you ever explore Tanganyika? It would be cool to see all the cichlids!

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Firefish15

Also playing with some different scapes. I got some pointers on a post in the Aquascaping forum. 

IMG_20180910_125729271.jpg

IMG_20180910_123736342.jpg

IMG_20180910_123139990.jpg

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banasophia
8 hours ago, Firefish15 said:

Also playing with some different scapes. I got some pointers on a post in the Aquascaping forum. 

IMG_20180910_125729271.jpg

IMG_20180910_123736342.jpg

IMG_20180910_123139990.jpg

Wow. You have a good eye for aquascaping... they are all awesome! Have you decided on one yet?

 

10 hours ago, Firefish15 said:

I lived in Kenya for 5 years while my parents were missionaries. I got to go to the coast several times, and every time I'd pick up a piece or two of rock while snorkeling. I actually got scuba certified over there too. It's gorgeous! Did you ever explore Tanganyika? It would be cool to see all the cichlids!

What an experience than must have been! Very cool that you were able to save the rock to create a really special reef tank!! I’ve snorkeled, but never done any scuba diving... would love to do that one day.

 

I have to say that Lake Tanganyika had some great fish for eating... some of the best meals I’ve ever had. And I have a hilarious memory of eating the fish eyes there to impress my Peace Corps friends - never do that, very gross! though it didn’t seem unusual at the time since I routinely ate caterpillars and flying ants, and choked down bush rat a couple times haha. I also remember having my first fresh picked mango at the outdoor market in Mpulungu, right on the shore of the lake, so juicy and amazing... You probably have lots of good stories to tell as well. 

 

I never went in the water at Lake Tanganyika because the part of the lake I visited had huge crocodiles that actually killed some kids in the time I was living there... it was always rather terrifying to take the rickety little wooden boats to the lodge that we stayed at sometimes... we often had to bail out the water as we went. Usually we tried to avoid that by taking the dirt road instead... took longer, but seemed much, much safer. Here’s a picture I just dug up of my favorite mud hut on the road to the lake:

 

91398DFF-0615-41F0-97CE-9D2FFB83D49C.jpeg

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Firefish15

@banasophia I think I'm going to go with the top photo. I like the flow, starting at a narrow peak, and then sliding down and around to a wider base closer to the glass. Thank you for the compliment!

 

Ah yes, the flying ants. Had them both live and fried. 😂 And yes, African apple mangoes are some of the best in the world! That and the pineapple. In Lake Victoria, it was always the hippos that were the dangerous ones. That mud hut is much more ornate than the ones in Kenya. They don't do the geometric designs on the base of the walls, there, just plain mud for the most part.

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Christopher Marks

Congratulations on your first nano reef aquarium @Firefish15! I really like the different aquascape concepts you came up with, I particularly like the one you decided to go with! The third one is also pretty compelling.

 

Keep up the good work! 🙂 

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Pjanssen
On 9/10/2018 at 3:09 PM, Firefish15 said:

Also playing with some different scapes. I got some pointers on a post in the Aquascaping forum. 

IMG_20180910_125729271.jpg

IMG_20180910_123736342.jpg

IMG_20180910_123139990.jpg

I think the third one will offer more space for corals

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Firefish15
3 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

I think the third one will offer more space for corals

Yeah, you're not wrong. I don't want the tank to feel too crowded though, like my first scape. If I do well with caring for a few corals, I guess I'll just have to upgrade to a bigger tank later. 😁

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Firefish15

Getting some diatoms on my rocks, so I turned down the intensity of the light for now. The rock is still curing in-tank, ammonia is at about 2 ppm. I'm doing ~25% water changes every few days, and dosing API Quickstart Marine. I'm starting to journal with this tank and track my parameters with the Aquarium Note app. In other news, I just saw some isopods and amphipods in my fuge. Must have come in on the chaeto. It's exciting to see little living things turn up! 😁

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lifin

Looking good.

So which scape did you go with? 1st and 3 rd (from your recent post) look wonderful. But I think the 1st will give you more real estate for placing corals.

I'm doing a pico right now. But I also started with a 10 gal and later had a 40 gal. Advice for the 10 gal.. consider the room for growth of corals when selecting the amount of rocks. Looks like you've already taken that into consideration though. 🙂

 

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Minmay
On 9/9/2018 at 3:04 PM, Firefish15 said:

Hey all!

 

I've been lurking and researching for a number of years, and I'm finally taking the plunge! I'm starting small and working with a Marina 10G rimless aquarium sitting on my kitchen island. I lived in Kenya for a number of years and collected my rock from there. My light is a Hipargero Aquaknight A029. For filtration, I'm running an Aquaclear 70 HOB filter. Inside the filter, I have mechanical filtration, along with a submersible LED strip that will be used to grow chaetomorpha on a reverse photoperiod. My rock has been dry for a few years, so it's still curing. As of right now, there is no sand in the tank.

 

In the future, I will be adding a magnificent firefish, an ocellaris clown, and possibly a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. For corals, I will be hunting around for cheap, easy frags, including some zoas and mushrooms. This is my first saltwater tank, so I'll be taking it slowly and cautiously.

 

And now for some pictures of the setup!

IMG_20180909_160136085.jpg

IMG_20180909_152537793.jpg

IMG_20180909_152527563.jpg

I like 1 and 3 and welcome 😊

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Firefish15

So this is the tank right now. You can see the little green patches growing on the topsides of the rocks, pretty sure they're diatoms. I've got access to my college's biology labs, so I can take samples and look at them under a microscope if need be. I'm also getting my water from their DI faucets, which works out great for me. What's the best way to deal with diatoms? Just keep lighting low, regular WCs and let them do their thing? 

 

I've got 15 lbs of live sand coming on Thursday, so I'll add that soon. I'm also going to get some live sand from a mature system at the LFS, just to inoculate my sand bed with some little critters.

 

That rock in the bottom right is from my first aquascape, but it's not staying in the tank. I'll find another place for it. It's a nice flat shelf piece, so maybe I'll turn it into a frag rack at some point.

 

Also, thank you to everyone who's commented and given me input so far. I've done a lot of reading and book learning, but I've only just gotten my hands wet. I appreciate all the advice! I'll be sure to have questions as I go on, so it's great to have people around more experienced than I am!

IMG_20180917_134241178.jpg

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Minmay
1 hour ago, Firefish15 said:

So this is the tank right now. You can see the little green patches growing on the topsides of the rocks, pretty sure they're diatoms. I've got access to my college's biology labs, so I can take samples and look at them under a microscope if need be. I'm also getting my water from their DI faucets, which works out great for me. What's the best way to deal with diatoms? Just keep lighting low, regular WCs and let them do their thing? 

 

I've got 15 lbs of live sand coming on Thursday, so I'll add that soon. I'm also going to get some live sand from a mature system at the LFS, just to inoculate my sand bed with some little critters.

 

That rock in the bottom right is from my first aquascape, but it's not staying in the tank. I'll find another place for it. It's a nice flat shelf piece, so maybe I'll turn it into a frag rack at some point.

 

Also, thank you to everyone who's commented and given me input so far. I've done a lot of reading and book learning, but I've only just gotten my hands wet. I appreciate all the advice! I'll be sure to have questions as I go on, so it's great to have people around more experienced than I am!

IMG_20180917_134241178.jpg

Diatoms are normal. You dont have to run the light while the tank is cycling. Just have alot of flow and turn the light off. Are you having a barebottom? Or are you planning on putting sand in the future? Sorry, i missed the sand part info. I see it now lol

Edited by Minmay
Added more info
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Firefish15
13 minutes ago, Minmay said:

Diatoms are normal. You dont have to run the light while the tank is cycling. Just have alot of flow and turn the light off. Are you having a barebottom? Or are you planning on putting sand in the future? Sorry, i missed the sand part info. I see it now lol

I've got the Aqua Clear 70 running full blast (300 gph), as well as an 80gph powerhead on the other side of the tank. That should be adequate, yeah? I'm also not planning on any SPS in this tank, just softies and maybe a candy cane or duncan.

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Firefish15

Just added 15 pounds of live sand! I mixed a 5lb bag of CaribSea Ocean Direct and a 10lb bag of Nature's Ocean. I topped it off with a couple handfuls from the LFS. I can see the little copepods running around already! The pic is after a few hours had gone by. Got about 2.5 inches of sand in the back, sloping to about 1 inch in the front.

IMG_20180919_224437042.jpg

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vlangel

Nice rockscape.

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pmang6

I need to link my tank in my sig, but im basically running an identical setup. Standard 10g with the hipargero and an aquaclear. Im currently in the grungy algae phase as well. What setting are you running the hipargero at? The par tests I saw had it at over 300 par at 10" on max intensity. Everything I'm seeing lately says that 200 par is about the most you need for coral outside of the neediest acros. (and of course par is not the only factor, spectrum, diffusion etc all play a part). I think im starting to see why people pay 200$ for an AI prime, Id just like to be able to know what spectrum im delivering and put it on a ramp timer, I can tell my fish dont like the sudden, LET THERE BE LIGHT moment.

 

 I probably changed my scape 10 times before i settled on what i have now, which is essentially one big rock and a pile of small rocks... Protip: dont impulse buy a 2-liter-bottle sized chunk of live rock for a 10 gallon tank... 

 

I really like your scape though, especially the nice little section of branches to the right down low, would make an excellent spot for an rfa or ricordea garden.

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Firefish15
6 hours ago, pmang6 said:

I need to link my tank in my sig, but im basically running an identical setup. Standard 10g with the hipargero and an aquaclear. Im currently in the grungy algae phase as well. What setting are you running the hipargero at? The par tests I saw had it at over 300 par at 10" on max intensity. Everything I'm seeing lately says that 200 par is about the most you need for coral outside of the neediest acros. (and of course par is not the only factor, spectrum, diffusion etc all play a part). I think im starting to see why people pay 200$ for an AI prime, Id just like to be able to know what spectrum im delivering and put it on a ramp timer, I can tell my fish dont like the sudden, LET THERE BE LIGHT moment.

 

 I probably changed my scape 10 times before i settled on what i have now, which is essentially one big rock and a pile of small rocks... Protip: dont impulse buy a 2-liter-bottle sized chunk of live rock for a 10 gallon tank... 

 

I really like your scape though, especially the nice little section of branches to the right down low, would make an excellent spot for an rfa or ricordea garden.

Hey! I found your tank, and am following it now. Good to see someone with a similar setup. I bet we can learn from each other as we progress.

 

I don't have any livestock in the tank yet besides copepods and a few munnid isopods. That's let me play around with the lighting a bit.  I like the daylight color more than the blues, so I've found that whites on half power and blue close to the lowest setting works alright for me. I guess I'll see how corals like it though. I'm just going to go with some simple ones, like zoas, mushrooms, ricordeas. Maybe an LPS down the road like a duncan, candy cane, or blasto. Yeah, I saw that one video of the PAR readings too. Pretty happy with the results. 

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Firefish15

I've been finding little bits of life around the tank! A few munnid isopods, a few amphipods, tons of copepods, a spaghetti worm, a mini brittle star, and some little worms. One of the little crustaceans has built a tunnel against the glass which is about half an inch long and open on both ends. It looks similar to an amphipod, but I've never heard of them building tunnels. Not sure what it is yet; I'll have to peruse the ID forums. Here's a pic of it. 

 

My ammonia is starting to drop, it was at 2.5ppm before I did a 25% WC today. Nitrite had climbed to >5ppm, nitrate was at 12ppm, both before WC. Diatoms have been receding because I haven't had the light on much, just playing with the coloring. Not really any green algae yet.

 

I'm researching my CUC. When my parameters are good and I've got some green algae growth, I want to start with 1 nassarius, 1 cerith, and 1 grazing snail (probably trochus or astraea). I'll build it up from there slowly. Don't want any more than I need. Eventually, if I can find one, I want to add a money or ring cowrie.

IMG_20180923_000628222.jpg

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pmang6
7 hours ago, Firefish15 said:

I've been finding little bits of life around the tank! A few munnid isopods, a few amphipods, tons of copepods, a spaghetti worm, a mini brittle star, and some little worms. One of the little crustaceans has built a tunnel against the glass which is about half an inch long and open on both ends. It looks similar to an amphipod, but I've never heard of them building tunnels. Not sure what it is yet; I'll have to peruse the ID forums. Here's a pic of it. 

 

My ammonia is starting to drop, it was at 2.5ppm before I did a 25% WC today. Nitrite had climbed to >5ppm, nitrate was at 12ppm, both before WC. Diatoms have been receding because I haven't had the light on much, just playing with the coloring. Not really any green algae yet.

 

I'm researching my CUC. When my parameters are good and I've got some green algae growth, I want to start with 1 nassarius, 1 cerith, and 1 grazing snail (probably trochus or astraea). I'll build it up from there slowly. Don't want any more than I need. Eventually, if I can find one, I want to add a money or ring cowrie.

IMG_20180923_000628222.jpg

 

I believe that is a lettuce nudibranch but I certainly cant say for sure. I was also surprised at the amount of life i was seeing just a few days in. Pods, a variety of different algaes on the glass, pretty sure i saw a tiny little star of some kind. My cycle was a bit strange, i saw nitrate before nitrite and my ammonia never really breached 1.0.

 

Edit: Ok, just realized that the object I id as a nudi is the tunnel, not the organism itself. I have no idea what could be making that.

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Firefish15

So while I was reading about hitchhikers trying to ID my little crustacean tube dude, I found out something else. What I thought was a spaghetti worm is probably a vermetid snail. I did some reading, and it sounds like I'll have to nip this one in the bud.

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Firefish15

After pulling up the chunk of rock the little worm/snail creature was under, I found a half-inch long soft, tubular body with no calcareous skeleton. I guess that means it's not a vermetid snail. It also has about 8 distinct tentacles instead of the "mucous web" I read about vermetids having. It's also a little mobile, going quite slow though. I guess the worm stays put for now.

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Firefish15

I've been testing my parameters pretty often, and something wasn't stacking up quite right. My tests said I had about 0.3ppm of Ammonia, but zero nitrite and nitrate of 4ppm. Turns out API is notorious for turning out false positives on ammonia tests. So I took a water sample to the LFS for testing. No ammonia!

 

Turns out my refractometer was calibrated wrong though. I was reading 1.025, but it was actually 1.021. I figured I shouldn't get snails yet because of that. I boosted my salinity up quickly and then started acclimating a blue leg hermit I got for free. He's doing well so far, moving around and picking at the green hair algae that's started growing. I'll get a snail or two in the next few days once my salinity has settled down and I've gotten my refractometer calibrated properly.

IMG_20181001_210647914.jpg

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