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Arquisto

First Time Reefer - Mini Complete Tank

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Arquisto

So... after being inspired by @jbb_00 and @WV Reefer I decided that I'd turn my newly bought Mini Complete tank into my first ever reef aquarium.

I've done some research and am sticking with hardy corals such as Zoas and Mushrooms.

 

You've all been super helpful and reading your threads have just been an immense amount of information and knowledge. I know that getting into this hobby with such a small tank (the Mini Complete is less than a gallon) is a daunting task but I'm going to take it slow and make this a learning experience.

 

I've had the tank now for a week but all I've done is fill it up and check its temperature. I realized the heater that came with the tank wasn't going to do it, it never got the water temp above 70F, with @jbb_00 help i got the heater he had and for the last couple days now its been stable at 78F.

 

Next thing I did was find a really small but passionate frag store in Toronto (where I live) and was hoping they could help me out. I found FrabBox and decided to bring the tank with me... they blew all my expectations. The owner saw the tank fell in love and started making the hardscape right there and then because he was just amazed at how such a small All in one tank could exist.

 

He supplied me with live rock, live sand, and a bag of his water which was more than enough to fill it up and then do a water change. He basically said I got a transplant of his 1400 gallon system for his frag store. Anyone in Toronto should really check it out.

 

I was excited when he told me the rocks had already a couple of mushroom corals on it and i promised him I'd come back next week for some Zoas. But needless to say I've spent over a few hours just watching the small tank and I've seen so many creatures now. Hoping some of you guys can confirm my IDs or help me figure out what they are.

 

Here are some photos of the set up first, and then the creatures in question in the next post. I'll keep you guys updated as I progress but thank you so much for all of your advice and in advance for all of your help and guidance!

 

Live Rock

 

IMG_20181207_215637 (Large).jpg

 

Live Sand - store gave me from an open bag they had of Carrib Sea.

 

IMG_20181207_215646 (Large).jpg     IMG_20181207_221009 (Large).jpg

 

IMG_20181207_223041 (Large).jpg   IMG_20181207_230109 (Large).jpg

Edited by Arquisto
formatting images - putting in tags
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WV Reefer
45 minutes ago, Arquisto said:

So... after being inspired by @jbb_00 and @WV Reefer I decided that I'd turn my newly bought Mini Complete tank into my first ever reef aquarium.

I've done some research and am sticking with hardy corals such as Zoas and Mushrooms.

 

You've all been super helpful and reading your threads have just been an immense amount of information and knowledge. I know that getting into this hobby with such a small tank (the Mini Complete is less than a gallon) is a daunting task but I'm going to take it slow and make this a learning experience.

 

I've had the tank now for a week but all I've done is fill it up and check its temperature. I realized the heater that came with the tank wasn't going to do it, it never got the water temp above 70F, with @jbb_00 help i got the heater he had and for the last couple days now its been stable at 78F.

 

Next thing I did was find a really small but passionate frag store in Toronto (where I live) and was hoping they could help me out. I found FrabBox and decided to bring the tank with me... they blew all my expectations. The owner saw the tank fell in love and started making the hardscape right there and then because he was just amazed at how such a small All in one tank could exist.

 

He supplied me with live rock, live sand, and a bag of his water which was more than enough to fill it up and then do a water change. He basically said I got a transplant of his 1400 gallon system for his frag store. Anyone in Toronto should really check it out.

 

I was excited when he told me the rocks had already a couple of mushroom corals on it and i promised him I'd come back next week for some Zoas. But needless to say I've spent over a few hours just watching the small tank and I've seen so many creatures now. Hoping some of you guys can confirm my IDs or help me figure out what they are.

 

Here are some photos of the set up first, and then the creatures in question in the next post. I'll keep you guys updated as I progress but thank you so much for all of your advice and in advance for all of your help and guidance!

 

Live Rock

 

IMG_20181207_215637 (Large).jpg

 

Live Sand - store gave me from an open bag they had of Carrib Sea.

 

IMG_20181207_215646 (Large).jpg     IMG_20181207_221009 (Large).jpg

 

IMG_20181207_223041 (Large).jpg   IMG_20181207_230109 (Large).jpg

Yay!! 😄 Looks good. 

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Christopher Marks

These mini tanks are so fun! Welcome to the community @Arquisto!

 

How nice to be able to single handedly carry your aquarium into the LFS to pick out rock, an unadvertised benefit of pico tanks 😂! What a great story for the beginning, you found the perfect shop to get you up and running.

41 minutes ago, Arquisto said:

IMG_20181207_230109 (Large).jpg

The thermometer really puts the scale in perspective, I love it. Thanks for sharing!

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Arquisto

As promised here's the post with a tally of all the reef creatures that have come to life in the last 24 hours.

None of these were planned and are just hitchhikers from the live rock.

I've tried to ID some but would love any help on the others.

 

Quick list here in order that I spotted them;

-some mushroom corals, I haven't tried to ID them yet, see photos below

-a couple snails, I'm thinking Astraea Snails due to the pattern of their shells

-these weird jumping critters that wave feather arm like appendages in the water.. they're pretty active, i catch them moving to the highest points of the rocks and often jumping as well.. i think they're Crab Zoea Larvea but see photos below

-red/orange slugs which I believe are Vayssierea felis, a thread from this forum actually helped me with that one; https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/341768-red-slug-nudibranch/

-an asterina starfish, pretty sure this is the correct ID.. im just hoping its the type that won't eat my Zoas when i eventually get some next week

-some sort of bristle worm maybe? no clue as I haven't done digging on this one yet either

 

Crazy how much life came out of these 3 rocks!!

I have videos of some of these as well.. if you guys need any of them let me know.

 

Thanks again!!

 

 

Photos - Taken with my Google Pixel with a Macro lens

 

Coral Mushrooms

mushroomcoral1.thumb.jpg.a4ddd130c2eee712314e0169f1ed1458.jpg     mushroomcoral2.thumb.jpg.d157d2b1d534cbb1b23230ae7db751b9.jpg

 

Astraea Snails?

AstreaSnail.thumb.jpg.04d8e7e0c5471e1afe8ed9a5e6063bc7.jpg

 

Crab Zoea Larvae???

 

crabzoealarvae1.thumb.jpg.aac21d7ca902ea3ae2764ce82a5b0cfb.jpg   crabzoealarvae2.thumb.jpg.d4dc5a9f6b0e0edb50116ea95097c4ea.jpg   crabzoealarvaezoom.thumb.jpg.612a7041d7e78a0cf5f77b287682851e.jpg

 

 

Vayssierea Felis (orange slugs)

 

1854206123_Vayssiereafelis.thumb.jpg.d10640726325b96036eacba9bdb4f8f7.jpg

 

Bristle Worm???

bristleworm.thumb.jpg.34e7631eecc16b1587dbc8515b478907.jpg

 

 

 

 

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jbb

omgomgomg

 

 

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Nelson

lol nice read and first reef. 😎How to control salinity?

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NanoRox

awesome!  Enjoying following this one

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Arquisto

So I set up my Macro DSLR lens and have been spending again a few hours just looking around the tank.

 

@Nelson I got myself a Hydrometer last year when I set up a brackish tank for my Hawaiian shrimp so I'll make sure salinity is in check with that. The store owner at first was worried about evaporation but there an adequate enough cover to minimize that hopefully.

 

@NanoRox Thanks! I saw you in the other thread mentioning that you may be making specialized pieces for this Mini Tank soon, can't wait to see some of the products!

 

So as a continuation from yesterday's IDs, I saw that this forum has an abundance of good pinned threads so I've gone down that rabbit hole.

One thing I have to remember is that all these critters that I take photos of are on a macro-scale so they're really really small... I think most likely they're all going to be in the 'Pods family. Isopods or Amphipods of some sort... and knowing there are half a million species in each.. It may be futile.

 

Temperature is now hovering around 80F and it hit peak yesterday... I'm hoping it'll stay at that. If not i may have to fork out some money and get a controller which is funny cause itll be bigger than the tank. But I figure in such a small tank better to have it otherwise things can get ugly real fast.


Photo and ID time.

 

So the Bristle Worm I thought is definitely not a that.. its a Munid Isopod - can look these up online and they match perfectly with the photos I took.

 

More Photos of the Mushroom Coral

Thinking it's going to be some sort of Chalice - the store I got these rocks from sell Cynaria Coral and Dracula Chalice, probably one of those.

 

CynariaDraculaChalice.thumb.JPG.4caf2334b3669dfce67dbc0e09cd9f08.JPG

 

 

Mystery Amphipod?

 

Those Crab Zoea Larvaes... really unsure that that's what they are, I'm thinking a type of Amphipod they seem to be able to walk around really well and I don't believe the larvae have that ability.

Here's a really good shot of it using my DSLR set up.

 

959483897_mysteriousamphipod.thumb.jpg.b69e189f7bc730210005f2180a104239.jpg

 

 

Unidentified Corals

Saw these within a few millimeters of one of the mushroom corals, don't know that they are but I'll ID them soon enough.

 

mysterycoral2.thumb.JPG.1f811f4766c4502bbaeba93494a2943b.JPG

 

Sand collecting Isopod in Young Coral?

 

So I was staring at this weird coral.. don't know if its just a husk of a dead one or if its a young one growing and started seeing this weird critter gathering single particles of sand and putting it into the tube... I caught it on video. So again, if you guys want the videos up let me know and I'll post them.

 

sandcollector.thumb.JPG.477a2cced96ebdd520132e04858bc96f.JPG

 

 

Young Pulsing Xenia

 

Caught some what I believe are Xenia's issue is I don't know how they'll do as the side of the rock they're on gets almost no water movement. Watching them for a minute I caught the arms seemingly it was able to grab some food. I figured with all the online mentions of this thing growing like a week it's not a bad thing if it does die out. But if a weed can't do well in the tank that's not a good indication for other corals.

 

youngpulsingXenia.thumb.JPG.9c64113e29f45cc1b953f100a9507102.JPG

 

Spionid Worm

 

Saw these small tubes and when I managed to switch to my Macro DSLR set up I caught these long transparent tendrils coming out of them.. pretty sure these guys are Spionid Worms and luckily are reef safe.

SpionidWorm.thumb.JPG.8591918a8eb01528a8353bd800cf8bb6.JPG

 

That's it for now!

 

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NanoRox

camera envy!!!!!

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Wonderboy

Wow! So much diversity in such a tiny tank already! I'm glad that you have a quality LFS nearby, and that they helped out so much. I think that a video of that critter collecting sand would be interesting to see if not a hassle.

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Arquisto

@Wonderboy Here are a couple videos!

Apologies for the background music.. apparently youtube doesn't allow you to remove audio anymore. Was recording it while we had Nailed It running in the background so had to cover that.

 

Video of Mysterious Critter

 

 

 

Video of the Sand Horder

 

 

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Wonderboy

Thank you for sharing - that mystery critter is super interesting - looking forward to watching your mini reef mature - it's already got an impressive jump start!

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smiz

Just got my tank in today. Can't wait to see where it goes!

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WV Reefer
3 minutes ago, smiz said:

Just got my tank in today. Can't wait to see where it goes!

Yay!! 😁

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Arquisto
8 hours ago, smiz said:

Just got my tank in today. Can't wait to see where it goes!

Awesome! Hoping I can learn from all of you! I just did a water change today salinity in the sump was off but the main tank was fine... Which was odd. I also came back home to it being 84F and I really didn't like that. So luckily I just bought a inkbird thermometer controller from Amazon so I got that installed now too. On the plus it also means I can take out that thermometer.

 

I'll post more photos tomorrow! Good luck with yours!

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Arquisto

Went back into the frag store today and got 3 additions into the tank. Added a blastomussa merletti, bubble gum pink zoa, and a yellow brick road zoa. Been in the tank for a few hours now and they're all open and looking happy. The Inkbird themometer has been set at 78F (25.5C) and is doing a good job keeping the tank in that good range hence I felt comfortable finally bringing in some coral. As promised here are some photos.

 

 

Set up of tank with camera and Thermometer controller (it's as big as the tank almost...)

 

camerathermometersetup.thumb.jpg.8594d0c8c5187127ff2368867af5d8f1.jpg

 

Tank with the new additions - also put a dime on the front to keep it all in perspective

 

newlayoutdime.thumb.JPG.395f8b2bde7bf7e4cbbf1ff675d0ebbd.JPG

 

wholetankde12.thumb.jpg.7f1133d03ab122647187dbb124310460.jpg

 

Hydroid

 

Hydroid.thumb.JPG.956b9966a8ba182ede554c1a453cf168.JPG

 

Another weird tiny critter - next to an air bubble

 

amphipodmystery.thumb.JPG.143e76f497199ccce1995ebd3ae4ff19.JPG

 

Blastomussa Merletti

 

248541740_blastomussamerletti.thumb.JPG.57a5b54009fdcf47057f7b8d253618ec.JPG

 

 

Bubblegum Pink Zoa

 

646199215_bubblegumpinkzoa.thumb.JPG.83da78e72bf174da22a64c5b1cec68f5.JPG

 

Yellow Brick Road Zoa (i know it doesn't look that yellow.. guess i need to get camera color filters)

 

yellowbrickroadzoa.thumb.JPG.eef419d84b2dbed12e95d684025d23f4.JPG

 

 

And random shot of what I believe is algae growing on the live rock? Might be easier to ID once it gets bigger as its about 1mm in size here.

 

greenalgea.thumb.JPG.c7c21b7c4ab38e2cfeaeb1710cb2551e.JPG

 

Thanks!

 

 

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NuisanceAlgaeCultivator

Wow, all the live rock critters are so entertaining in themselves! 

Guess  having such a small tank forces an owner to notice the little organisms that are typically overshadowed by the main attractions in our larger tanks 🙂

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Arquisto

Went back to the local coral frag shop and picked up some more pieces to add to the tank. I think until next year I'm leaving it at that.

It looks like I'm getting some diatoms building up where the outflow is on the left of the tank, I know its normal for end of cycle but my tank shouldn't have needed too much cycling as the water is from the shop's system. It could be from the sand though, I think while it was live sand they gave it to me from the dry bag.

 

Also picked up a bumblebee snail, i feel the verdict online is still undecided on whether it is bad for the tank. Since it's an omnivore I'm afraid once it's done with any detritus in the small tank it'll go after the astrea snails and worms which I'd rather keep. I got the bumblebee because the store suggested it if I wanted something to around in the sandbed.

 

When I added the new zoas I moved one of them to the rightmost front corner and while it opened the first day, it didn't open back up today at all. I've moved it back to the top of the live rock and its opening up again. Looks like that particular zoa needs a good amount of light.

 

So new additions include; bumble bee snail, scrambled eggs zoas, bright green zoas (don't know the type), toadstool coral, a green ricordea mushroom, and a dragon's breath algae.

Additional photos of the bristle worm that came out and spirorbid worms. I had a photo of a tiny feather duster worm but haven't seen it come out in the last couple days.

 

 

638239306_IMG_0100(Large).thumb.JPG.31846e4bc42d088548ccd38e68207819.JPG

 

 

2100832309_IMG_0070(2)(Large).thumb.JPG.5e3d6ab5e56ab5d42eaa22652c465b65.JPG

 

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874393119_IMG_0074(Large).thumb.JPG.c58312ee2c4df3d37c1734895b6bb375.JPG

 

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2026205683_IMG_0084(Large).thumb.JPG.1f1a7dfb91deb855c24f057411a285e1.JPG

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Christopher Marks
On 12/12/2018 at 8:08 PM, Arquisto said:

camerathermometersetup.thumb.jpg.8594d0c8c5187127ff2368867af5d8f1.jpg

Such a great shot, I love all the macro photos you're capturing of your tank! I really need to invest in a macro lens one of these days.

 

Awesome new additions to the tank, it's filling in nicely! I'll be curious to hear how the bumblebee snail works out for you, I was considering one for my pico jar.

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Arquisto

@Christopher Marks You don't need to buy a dedicated macro lens i just got a reverse mounting adapter which cost around 10$. They should be easy to get on amazon.com just make sure you get the right one for your lens.

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Christopher Marks

Oh I can see now your lens is reversed! That’s great, I have always been curious to try shooting that way, or with macro extension tubes. 

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Arquisto

So during the holidays I left it on a timer with a normal lightbulb and it looks like some of the zoas didnt like it, when i came back they had melted a bit.

I had to leave again for another week so this time i brought it to the local coral store and they took care of it. Apparently it got a lot of attention from customers as they put it on the counter and people just couldnt believe how small it was.

 

During the drive to the store the yellow zoanthids fell off but apparently found a place they were happier, bottom left corner.

 

Below is the tank how it is now, a few clove polyps are definitely growing in random spots, probably pulsing Xenias or other similar things but won't know till they get bigger.

 

So here's the tank, doing surprisingly better than i thought.

Zoas in front of the leather toadstool have melted but are coming back so hoping they just needed to adapt to the lighting.

 

The green Paly's though aren't opening as much as they were when i first bought them, might not be good in a low flow tank like this and I may have to think about modifying the flow. Everything else is doing well though.

 

IMG_0089.thumb.JPG.a4c3c7f874b61f89d376f035b85ae714.JPG

 

IMG_0101.thumb.JPG.c8bd2a394371a404c326833627db1fe3.JPG

 

IMG_0090.thumb.JPG.c5cb7d650ebe4714e5e4de2bd506c437.JPG

 

And finally here's a macro shot of the amphipod that seems to be at the apex of the critters in this tank. There's another one tunneling next to it that definitely had eggs. For scale this guy is about 2mm in size.

 

IMG_0114.thumb.JPG.4d5dd126c3541e600b5b65dc06089aae.JPG

 

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Newstead

Nice to see one of these in action! Great pics, thanks for sharing.

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Tamberav

Love it!!! 

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Jon-Paul

Lol I saw this at fragbox and commented how I saw this on forums to them. So jokes

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