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5.5g and 2.5g system w/refugium diary (No 56k)


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/'>Click here for information about how I set up this system (Posts before September 26th)






Since I was unable to edit the title of my previous diary of my 5.5g tank, I am creating this thread to accurately describe my system of tanks and their refugium.



5.5G Main Tank:


Water Movement:

AquaClear 175gph PH

Small Rio PH sending water to refugium

Return from refugium

Siphon with 2.5



17" 2x24W JBJ Power Compact w/twin fans

One Actinic Bulb

One Florescent Bulb

All tank lights are on a timer from 11am until 11:30pm


Live Rock

Lightly stocked and mixed


Live Sand

Two inches of Carib-Sea's AragAlive extra fine grain (.5mm-1.85mm)



Small amounts of feather macro



LifeGuard digital thermometer




Kenya Tree

Clavularia sp

Pulsing Xenia

Blue Mushrooms

Green Mushrooms

Wide variety of Zoo's

Multi-Colored Ricordia

Two types of Green StarPolyps



Mushrooms appear to be Actinodiscus sp.


Fish & Mobile Inverts


Bicolor Pseudochromis

StagHorn crab

Cleaner Shrimp

Large Cleaner Shrimp

Four small Blue Legged hermits

Snails (Turbo, Cerith, Nassarius, Red Foot)

One small black legged red toed hermit (name?)


2.5G Mantis/Mushroom Tank:


Water Movement/Filtration

Aquaclear 20 HOB filter fed via refugium


-Nitrate/phosphate removers (Until levels drop)

-Carbon (one day every two weeks)

Siphon with 5.5g



Currently one 50/50 bulb

Soon to be replaced with the CoralLife 2x9w PC that is on the refugium (waiting for 2.5g glass top)


Live Rock

Mostly Branch Rock


Live Sand

Two inches of live sand directly out of an established tank (Medium/fine grain)



Green Hair Macro (carefully trimmed)



DI Auto-Top Off

(planning on making it a kalk drip).



Variety of zoo's

Ricordia floridia

Unique Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp?)

Manjano/mojano anemone's (Pest?)


Fish & Mobile Inverts

Mantis Shrimp (Not identified yet)




Water Movement

IN - Rio PH

Out - Siphons with both 2.5g and 5.5g tanks



2x9w CoralLife PC

(Soon to be moved to the 2.5g and replaced with different lighting)

Photoperiod: Same as the other tanks


Live Rock



Live Sand

3-4 inches of Carib-Sea's AragAlive extra fine Fiji Pink


Macro Algae

Grape Macro



Fish & Mobile Inverts

One medium hermit

Two turbo Snails


/'>Click here for information about how I set up this system (Posts before September 26th)

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Hey Darold,


You probably don't remember me? But, I went to Oxford. I remember meeting you and stuff, but I dont think we ever really got the chance to hang out. I was one of those social club junkies and was in Circle K and LCN. It's really cool that you've gotten into this hobby, and your tanks are looking great. Maybe we can hang out and talk "reef stuff" some time.


Take it easy dude,



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Haha, no way. If I met someone from Emory, I would have been like, "wow, small world," But meeting a fellow Oxfordian is even cooler. I live in Clairmont tower. I will PM you with more info so we can meet up. Do you have a tank at your place?

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Demon, sorry to hear you like the look, because I have plans to make it more streamline. However, I need to get a hold of a saw so I can cut the J bends needed to make this tank as clean as possible. I wanted to make sure the basic plumbing was do-able 1st. I appreciate the compliments, and this just goes to show how easily it is to add a tank to an existing system. I am not sure why more people don't do it. I would much rather have several tanks sharing the same filtration and water supply than have a single larger tank. I like the variety of setups I can have with multiple tanks (Getting species that otherwise would not get along).

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We need to get together and have an Emory get together. I might be able to do it this weekend. I plan on going to Cappuccino Bay and/or Fish Store and More probably friday or saturday.

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Another big update:






Aquascaping changes. Cleaner shrimp now replaces the Fire Shrimp (He was moved to the pico).







Glass top arrived (too big, so I will have to get it cut). Placed my 2x9w CoralLife PC on top. Moved the 20w 50/50 to the refugium.


Also got some good pics of the mantis.




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nd my new baby, the PICO!


Red Sea Aquavase glow version, with blacklight changed to a 7wPC.


Two grey legged hermits, one Fire Shrimp, a red moshroom, and a few zoo's!






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i just saw a pico setup just like that at the lfs. its awesome. but i think that poor shrimp has gotta be freaked out in that thing with nowhere to hide.....put him in the bigger tanks IMO

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I am starting to feel the same way. I didn't realize how big he was until I put him in there. I think I will switch him out with my smaller cleaner (they seem to hide less), and if the cleaner looks stressed I will turn toward other creatures to put in there.

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cleaner shrimp in general like to have a cave to hide in sometimes(like when molting) in my experience. plus they get big.


a peppermint shrimp would be a better option because they are smaller i think

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Got some new feather dusters. I only think I have one surviving peppermint, and he has been hiding in the refugium overflow. The Fire Shrimp is back in the 5.5, and the cleaner is in the refugium until the mantis is sold to a new home. Only a sole green hermit is in the .75 with a featherduster. Many new pics:


Full Shots:




Giant Duster



New Nimbles


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Thank you! I was very impressed with it at the store. I picked up two smaller ones just like it, and a nice green colored one as well.

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wow the system set up is amazing to me, can you like explain it to me, maby a drgram it's cool that they both share water well thanks

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I will try my best. The 5.5g, 2.5g, and final chamber of the refugium are all at the same water height. They also have a "triangle" of syphons between them. As water falls into this final stage of the refugium after being pumped inot the refugium from the main tank, it can go one of two palces. It can either get sucked into the 2.5g through a siphon that is connected to the intake pipe of the aquaclear filter, or it can go into the main tank vie a regular syphon. Since the aquaclear filter does not take as much water out of the refugium as is being put into it, the siphon with the 5.5g keeps this balanced. The water that enters the 5.5g eventually will get pumped back up into the refugium via a pump. The water that goes into the 2.5g is siphoned into the 5.5g. Because their water levels are at the same height, the siphons will pull water into the direction of the lower tank. I have a 2 siphons between the 2.5g and 5.5g for safety. Since most of the water leaving the refugium is being pumped into the 2.5g, it needs someplace to go. If the water level in either tank ever fell below these siphons, they would break, causing the 2.5g to overflow, and no water to go into the 5.5g. This is why one of the two siphons extends low into each tank. The second, smaller one is to make sure that there is enough tubing for water to flow quickly enough from one tank to the other. Water going into the 2.5g is being fed via the impeller on the filter, but only gravity (or water pressure?) helps bring water back into the 5.5. Eventually I will upgrade to a single larger diameter hose, but for now, the hoses of the 2.5g->5.5g are the same size as the one leading from the refugium into the 2.5. I needed to make sure water could leave the 2.5g as quickly as it is introduced.



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  • 3 months later...

Upgrading to 20L. I moved everything to that tank. I am using 30" 2x65W PC. The 2.5G I stipped down and rebuilt for my FW betta. The 5.5g os currently empty. I want to make this into some sort of species tank. I was thinking sexy shrimp,Harlequin,Starfish, or arrow crab. What do you guys think would be good? still have the 17" 2x24, so I was thinking of filling the tank with only shrooms as well. Any suggestions?

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