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Cryolath

Super Lurker First Tank! 10 gallon

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Cryolath

I have been a member of this forum for several years now and never posted because I have never had a saltwater tank. I came across the forum by accident when I was looking at freshwater aquarium forums and have checked back occasionally to look at pictures of awesome reef tanks and think that I would definitely have to try saltwater one day. Of course at the time with a low budget, in school with little time and knowing that I would moving in the near future was definitely not the time for a tank. I've now graduated and may still be moving in the near future, and I don't have the space available that I would like to for a tank, but I have the time and the budget, so I decided that with my tax refund that now's the time!

 

Since the rest of the post will be photos of an empty tank, here's my current freshwater tank, 12 gallon long:

IMG_3157.JPG.403388ecfdd8bb87679a1ad5077290ea.JPG

Ok, so that's not quite a current FTS, it's actually from several months ago before I decided that the plants should be fine with just dosing fertilizers in the water column as it should diffuse through the sand and get to the roots. My crypts and hygro did not agree, so they have just gotten some new root tabs and are starting to recover. Also neither of those 2 thermometers is in there since I added the inkbird temperature controller. 

 

On to the saltwater tank, due to space limitations it will be a 10 gallon standard tank using distilled water. 

 

Equipment:

10 gallon tank

Aquaclear 70

Marinepure reef gems (I ended up using less than half of the 14 pounds of rock in my scape that I received from BRS, so I figure any little bit of extra filtration capacity helps)

Red Sea Marine Test Kit

Red Sea Blue Bucket Salt

Refractometer

 

Still to purchase:

AI prime or Nanobox Tide

Jebao OW-10

Auto Aqua Smart ATO Micro

 

This is going to be a mainly softie tank with some LPS and some interesting macroalgae. Fish wise I am planning to have just an ORA orchid dottyback.

 

I can honestly say that I have never been this excited to open a box of rocks as I was when the BRS shipment arrived. I never thought that I would order rocks online either, especially with the cost of shipping, however with dry rock locally at $8 a pound, and BRS having free shipping over $29 I couldn't say no. 

 

It was also very entertaining to find a 'fragile' sticker on the box of rocks, however I did appreciate the fact that they did arrive as rocks, rather than gravel! 

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I was surprised at just how much rock 14 pounds was, as far as I could tell from reading (lurking) recommendations were for at least a pound of rock per gallon, so I  added a couple of extra pounds so that I would have some rocks to choose from and some rocks to break up for frag plugs and support structure. There was way more rock in there than I could use, maybe if I had gotten more creative with breaking the rocks and gluing them back together I could have used more of it.

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Preliminary stacking attempts on a template for the floors space of the tank. I am a very indecisive person, endless rock stacking could definitely have been a problem.

Current rock configuration, about to be JB water welded together:

IMG_3594.JPG.9b105e854fe227f332a3378e05cb3f01.JPG

Next step is to get the tank together, flood it and add some live rock to seed the dry rock, and then proceed to the waiting.

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WV Reefer
1 minute ago, Cryolath said:

I have been a member of this forum for several years now and never posted because I have never had a saltwater tank. I came across the forum by accident when I was looking at freshwater aquarium forums and have checked back occasionally to look at pictures of awesome reef tanks and think that I would definitely have to try saltwater one day. Of course at the time with a low budget, in school with little time and knowing that I would moving in the near future was definitely not the time for a tank. I've now graduated and may still be moving in the near future, and I don't have the space available that I would like to for a tank, but I have the time and the budget, so I decided that with my tax refund that now's the time!

 

Since the rest of the post will be photos of an empty tank, here's my current freshwater tank, 12 gallon long:

IMG_3157.JPG.403388ecfdd8bb87679a1ad5077290ea.JPG

Ok, so that's not quite a current FTS, it's actually from several months ago before I decided that the plants should be fine with just dosing fertilizers in the water column as it should diffuse through the sand and get to the roots. My crypts and hygro did not agree, so they have just gotten some new root tabs and are starting to recover. Also neither of those 2 thermometers is in there since I added the inkbird temperature controller. 

 

On to the saltwater tank, due to space limitations it will be a 10 gallon standard tank using distilled water. 

 

Equipment:

10 gallon tank

Aquaclear 70

Marinepure reef gems (I ended up using less than half of the 14 pounds of rock in my scape that I received from BRS, so I figure any little bit of extra filtration capacity helps)

Red Sea Marine Test Kit

Red Sea Blue Bucket Salt

Refractometer

 

Still to purchase:

AI prime or Nanobox Tide (I was hoping to find one in the classifieds at some point)

Jebao OW-10

Auto Aqua Smart ATO Micro

 

This is going to be a mainly softie tank with some LPS and some interesting macroalgae. Fish wise I am planning to have just an ORA orchid dottyback.

 

I can honestly say that I have never been this excited to open a box of rocks as I was when the BRS shipment arrived. I never thought that I would order rocks online either, especially with the cost of shipping, however with dry rock locally at $8 a pound, and BRS having free shipping over $29 I couldn't say no. 

IMG_3579.JPG.4458a1df2fe7786d120182b1830dfd88.JPG

It was also very entertaining to find a 'fragile' sticker on the box of rocks, however I did appreciate the fact that they did arrive as rocks, rather than gravel! 

I was surprised at just how much rock 14 pounds was, as far as I could tell from reading (lurking) recommendations were for at least a pound of rock per gallon, so I  added a couple of extra pounds so that I would have some rocks to choose from and some rocks to break up for frag plugs and support structure. There was way more rock in there than I could use, maybe if I had gotten more creative with breaking the rocks and gluing them back together I could have used more of it.

1819586424_IMG_3582(2).JPG.bda951ab5f48f509d339dd8b395d7cb3.JPG

Preliminary stacking attempts on a template for the floors space of the tank. I am a very indecisive person, endless rock stacking could definitely have been a problem.

Current rock configuration, about to be JB water welded together:

IMG_3594.JPG.9b105e854fe227f332a3378e05cb3f01.JPG

Next step is to get the tank together, flood it and add some live rock to seed the dry rock, and then proceed to the waiting.

Welcome to NR! Can’t wait to see what you do. 

 

Im partial to 12 Longs. 😊

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Cryolath

Thank you!

I really love the dimensions for the 12 gallon long tanks, but they take up some space!

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Cryolath

As promised, empty tank photos:

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The 10 gallon tank on the stand that I am refinishing, hopefully it will be done in a week or so. I haven't actually refinished anything before, but I know in theory how it should be done, so we'll see how that goes. 

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Rocks in a bucked of saltwater, trying to get all of the dust out of them first. You can also see the jb water weld, and while it did dry rock hard over night and I am very happy with how sturdy the structure is it was not the easiest to work with. The packaging said avoid contact with skin, so I put on some latex gloves, unfortunately it stuck to the gloves much better than to the rock. 

I also tried to put a small amount of it on the areas of the rock that would be in contact with the glass to try to cushion it a little. I ran out of the water weld and discovered that I am not good at determining contact points while the rocks are upside down. 

 Since I am only planning to fill the 10 gallon when it is in place on the stand and I hopefully won't have to move it for a while, I decided to officially start the cycle in one of my 5.5 gallon former freshwater quarantine tanks, I just have to finish making some more water to put in it. The rocks are backwards from the original plan, which is why there is so much water weld visible. Although they look interesting from this orientation too.

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This weekend I will go by some of the local aquarium shops and see about picking up a pound or two of live rock to help seed the rocks with bacteria. I have some Dr. Tim's bottled ammonia available to officially start the cycle if needed. 

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Cryolath

I made my first couple of batches of saltwater, and realized that i should rinse off the powerhead that I used to mix the saltwater before the salt dried inside the unit. That was not something that I had thought about beforehand, so this happened:

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Distilled water in a tupperware before putting it away.

 

So I may not have waited until the weekend to pick up some live rock, and it was quite tight trying to fit it into the 5 gallon. It is now awkwardly stacked in there, but it fits. IMG_3625.JPG.6f2035f05b253d9e3423ac65024288c0.JPG

It looks like the yellow sponge mostly survived, it was much more symmetrical in the store. /the bag was only half full of water and it was probably exposed to air, we'll see what that does to the cycling process. There is also a small, photosynthetic gorgonian (according to the shop) on the other end of the rock, supposedly very hardy, and /i have to say it has put a lot of polyps out in the last couple of hours.

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Fingers crossed that it lives! It;s kind of an ugly brown and I don't really want to keep it, but I will still feel really bad if I accidentally kill it. 

Coming from freshwater it feels really weird having living things in the tank during the cycling process.

Alright, now comes the waiting, I plan to let everything start cycling while I finish the stand and set up the 10 gallon this week. Transfer everything over and let the dry rock grow some bacteria for at least 4 weeks. Then add my one and only fish, and let everything settle for another couple of weeks before starting to add some coral. Aside from the gorgonian, which is already in there.

 

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Cryolath

Tank slowly coming together to get cycling.

 

Received the marine pure gems in the mail, they are significantly smaller as well as very light and fragile seeming. For some reason I had thought that due to them being ceramic they would be much more solid, I forgot about the idea of them having a large surface area, which would mean they were very porous, and thus are very light. They take up very little space in the aquaclear 70, I may take a few and put them in my freshwater tank just to see how they do as that currently has a significant bioload.

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I also got the Coral RX in the mail from Amazon (A very premature purchase considering that I am probably several weeks away from purchasing my first corals). It was very interesting trying to un-package it. It was in a mailing envelope, which I opened to find a priority mail envelope, a little strange but not too out of the ordinary. Then I opened that one to find another priority mail envelope, I had to take a picture when I opened that and found yet another...priority mail envelope!

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The coral RX was fine, came through with no issues, and very well packaged. 

 

The tank is now set up, on the stand. I forgot how clean and nice tanks look before the algae film starts growing. 

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The lighting turned into a used Kessil a160, I was never planning to spend as much as I would have needed to for a kessil and am quite excited to try it out. 

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Tank light on, rocks awkwardly positioned, definitely rearranging a little bit.

 

Next step, a whole lot of waiting. Several weeks until adding the first and only inhabitant, then a couple of weeks to settle before jumping into coral. Probably, hopefully.

 

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Cryolath

I was very interested in live rock in saltwater, it seemed like a good way to increase biological diversity, seed the tank with a balanced amount of bacteria. I thought the risk of pests was worth it.

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So many regrets right now.....

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..soooo many....

 

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billygoat

Smother it in superglue before it gets any bigger, imo!

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Cryolath

Attempted to kill it with fire and then super glued over the remainder.

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To be honest I would have preferred trying the kalk paste or injecting with lemon juice options before attempting the flaming method. However the tank is so new I have had no reason to purchase Kalk paste, and I don't have a syringe and needle available for trying to inject it with anything. It seemed a little bit to large to try just super gluing over it, so that left fire as the easiest and most available method, also a bit ridiculous and overkill. 

Now to wait for all of the other ones to pop out of the rock! I am really impressed with how large it was and that it took nearly a week before I discovered it in the tank.

 

Also, as someone who has never had an ATO before, a quick note to others that may also be unused to having a machine that adds water automatically when the water level drops. It is a really good idea to not only turn the filter off when moving large objects around the tank, but also turn off the ATO, which may recognize a significant water drop when a large rock is removed and start trying to fix the problem. What would also have been a good idea is knowing which cord out of the rat's nest belongs to the ATO so it can be reached rapidly. The last option, which is to just knock the sensor completely out of alignment and further into the water to prevent rapid filling, is probably a little less than ideal, but it was effective. 

 

 

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Cryolath

Alright, now for lots of pictures of live rock! Cell phone pictures, but still. I have spent a lot of time staring at this silly rock now, so I may as well post some pictures of it. 

I realize that with the tank being new that keeping sponges alive would be a difficult proposition, I was a little bit happy to get a piece of rock with this neat yellow sponge on it, however I am pretty sure it spent some time out of water during transport, and has been covered in a whitish film, so I suspect that it is dead. Especially since the sponges next to it are definitely looking much better. I think today there shall be a sniff test and possible removal. However there is a little tiny speck of yellow just below it that I am hoping is a living baby yellow sponge. 

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I am also growing some algae on my live rock. Foolishly I thought that scrubbing at it with a toothbrush would remove it. It had no noticeable difference aside  from taking off some of the coralline algae next to it. I'll have to try removing it with something a little sturdier I suppose. 

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I have found my first 'I really hope that this is a bristle worm,' It is very small although it seems that the last third of the body is wider than the rest, which doesn't seem typical of bristle worms or fireworms, they seem to have the wider section more towards the middle.

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I am also trying to decide if this is a benign hitchhiker or not, it appears to be a small polyp, but it doesn't look like an aiptasia to me. Also, the picture is terrible as the polyp is small and not in a great location for photos. 

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I've just realized how hard that is to find in the photo if you have not been staring at it continuously for the past three days like I have:

815327914_IMG_3641outlined.jpg.a79e0b70a5590c54dbd9aabe913dd924.jpg

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billygoat

Defintely a bristle worm! The good kind; don't worry. That looks like some kind of stony coral next to it too! 😮

 

The turf algae you've got growing in there can be quite difficult to remove, but you can pull it off manually with tweezers if you get the right grip on it. Grab it by the base and pull it sideways to shear it off the rock. Emerald crabs and some hermits will also eat it. Or you could just let it grow; that's what I do 😄

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Cryolath

Thanks for the official ID on the bristle worm, I feel a lot better about it now. 

I'm assuming that the coral next to it is a long dead skeleton as there are a couple edges of the coralline algae growing over it.

 

I may try removing some of the turf algae by hand, we'll see how it goes. I'm not planning on adding any crabs or hermits at the moment because its a fairly small tank and both species seem to have a habit of bulldozing and stealing food from coral. considering how new I am at this I'm trying to limit my options for failure!

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billygoat

That coral is almost certainly not dead yet, as it still looks brown in the middle of the corallites. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to bounce back! I started my tank with fresh uncured live rock as well, and have several stony corals that looked brutalized at first but ended up making a full recovery.

 

Not sure about that polyp (or is it a polyp?) in the latter pictures, but it looks like maybe it's a small feather duster worm? Could also be a tiny aiptasid anemone though; they often have no zooxanthellae when they are small and so appear to be clear instead of brown.

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Wonderboy

Looking great! That little polyp thing looks like a duster to me. At this point, I would leave everything as it is. Stop moving things around, as this will alter the stimuli to established bacteria colonies and cause population swings resulting in ammonia blooms. Try not to scrub/scrape anything during the cycle - I don't even scrape the glass. The more stable all conditions = safe, fast cycle. As soon as there's brown algae, add snails and hermits - A good clean up crew is important to maintaining balance; I never scraped the glass on my tanks... if it starts to grow more algae, I just get more snails and try to feed more efficiently. If you take the time to target feed, it doesn't matter if inverts steal food from other species on occasion, actually, I'm quite amused when I see it happen. Excited to follow along - good luck!

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Cryolath
On 4/28/2019 at 12:08 PM, billygoat said:

That coral is almost certainly not dead yet, as it still looks brown in the middle of the corallites. I wouldn't be surprised if it started to bounce back! I started my tank with fresh uncured live rock as well, and have several stony corals that looked brutalized at first but ended up making a full recovery.

 

Not sure about that polyp (or is it a polyp?) in the latter pictures, but it looks like maybe it's a small feather duster worm? Could also be a tiny aiptasid anemone though; they often have no zooxanthellae when they are small and so appear to be clear instead of brown.

I was just looking at that coral skeleton a couple of days ago and could have sworn that I saw some very small tendrils coming out of it, I was wondering if something could be growing on the skeleton. That's good to know that it might still have a chance! I'm trying out my light on acclimation mode, so we'll see how everything responds to that. 

 

On 4/28/2019 at 12:16 PM, Wonderboy said:

Looking great! That little polyp thing looks like a duster to me. At this point, I would leave everything as it is. Stop moving things around, as this will alter the stimuli to established bacteria colonies and cause population swings resulting in ammonia blooms. Try not to scrub/scrape anything during the cycle - I don't even scrape the glass. The more stable all conditions = safe, fast cycle. As soon as there's brown algae, add snails and hermits - A good clean up crew is important to maintaining balance; I never scraped the glass on my tanks... if it starts to grow more algae, I just get more snails and try to feed more efficiently. If you take the time to target feed, it doesn't matter if inverts steal food from other species on occasion, actually, I'm quite amused when I see it happen. Excited to follow along - good luck!

I'm pretty sure that it is a polyp of some kind, it expands and appears to have an oral disc with tendrils around it, which will shrink back into a small blob, which seems to be quite frequently, so I'm not sure how well it is doing. 

 

I'm not too worried about moving rock around during the cycle, keeping hands out the tank is great advice which I should be taking, but bacteria survive in sub-optimal conditions for much of the time. After a portion of the live rock being exposed to air during transport I don't think that too much else will affect them! 

 

I did remove the yellow sponge that was deteriorating it was just too large to be decomposing in a small tank. 

 

In other news:

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We have diatoms! Things seem to be moving along fairly well. 

 

I have also made the first living addition since the live rock:

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Some gracilaria hayi, working on getting some nutrient export established before adding livestock in a couple of weeks. It is actually attached to a glass marble, I had some live rock rubble I put aside especially for his purpose, and in the shuffle of getting the new stand and temporary storage, I have no idea where those pieces went. So temporary placement it is!

 

I went to a frag swap on Sunday for the sole purpose of picking up some interesting display macroalgae, unfortunately it doesn't look like macroalgae is that popular as I only found one stall selling any.  I was hoping to get some dragon's breath and some ulva to hopefully get some pods going, but it was either g. hayi, chaeto or a calcified macro, so hayi it is.  At some point I'm hoping to find some hypnea eventually as well, but that one was always a little more of a long shot. 

 

On a side note I used to be surprised when people added livestock really early to tanks just because there was a really good sale, but after going to a frag swap with a tank not ready for livestock it was incredibly difficult not to buy anything, especially a really nicely colored rock flower nem that I went by twice just to look at the colors. 

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Wonderboy
On 4/30/2019 at 6:39 AM, Cryolath said:

appears to have an oral disc with tendrils around it, which will shrink back into a small blob

 

but bacteria survive in sub-optimal conditions for much of the time

Interesting, maybe aptasia, maybe a medusa - so small, seems there's time to just watch it for a while.

 

Yup it will; re-stabilizing the cycle in stuff this small happens really fast anyways. And so does destabilizing, just be careful :]

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Cryolath
On 4/30/2019 at 12:54 PM, Wonderboy said:

Interesting, maybe aptasia, maybe a medusa - so small, seems there's time to just watch it for a while.

 

Yup it will; re-stabilizing the cycle in stuff this small happens really fast anyways. And so does destabilizing, just be careful :]

I will definitely be keeping an eye on it, however it has stayed closed up for a while, I'll see what it does.  That's true, destabilizing can happen quickly, and I will try to limit any drastic interventions. 

 

Algae is definitely kicking up a notch, patches of hair algae in addition to the diatoms. Testing with the Red Sea Test kit shows no nitrate and no nitrite, so I am testing the cycle by adding two drops of Dr. Tim's ammonia to see if I get any measurable ammonia before adding any snails or livestock. Livestock is going to have to wait as I will be out of town for several days anyway. 

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I was also concerned with the amount of flow in the tank, I have a difficult time assessing how much flow I am going to need as my freshwater tanks are shrimp and microfish based and so have less flow than normal anyway. I am also planning a soft coral tank with mostly zoas, mushrooms and a couple of LPS which don't need as much flow anyway, so I was starting to think that the AC 70 might be enough. Looking at it again, the right side seems like it needs some more flow to it, so:

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I wanted a small power head for a reasonable price, and the jebao was also controllable, since it seems that irregular flow patterns are good for reef tanks. It's a good size and Iike the small profile of the dry side as it is sitting in front of my ATO (plastic cereal container) and there isn't a lot of space.

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It was actually very loud for the first couple of days, so I had it on constant mode and hoped it would 'break in' and quiet down. It actually has quieted down quite a bit, I used to be able to hear in the next room, now I have to be quite a bit closer to hear it. 

The blue light next to it is the Auto Aqua ATO, I was worried the jebao might interfere with it, but no problems at all so far. The light is definitely brighter than I was expecting, but it makes no difference during the day when the lights are on  for viewing the tank, and I really like how low profile the sensor is, and how small the pump is. 

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I forgot to put up a picture of my ATO container, nice cereal container from Walmart. It is not great that the plastic is clear, I will have to do something about that. Probably involving spray paint.

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My next addition after confirmation completion of the nitrogen cycle was going to be the first fishy inhabitant, but I think that I would like to seed the tank with copepods first, most likely from algaebarn so I can pick up some macroalgae as well. The next problem will be that there will most likely be a lot more copepods than is needed to seed a little 10 gallon tank, I may have to see if anyone locally wants some extra pods. 

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Long time no posting, I have definitely made some questionable decisions and stocked too quickly based on my original plans. Things are actually going really well at the moment, so I am just waiting for the inevitable crash in the next month or two from rushing things. 

My first additions were tisbe and tiger copepods from algebarn, as well as some phytoplankton dosing, ulva and cerith snails. 

 

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The box from algaebarn arrived slightly damp. Their customer service was excellent, I sent through a ticket online and they shipped out replacement phytoplankton as well as pods. 

 

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I added the copepods, ceriths and some ulva macroalgae for them to hide in. I added the pods to the tank, and could see them hanging around for about 24 hours. However after that I have not seen a single pod and think that I managed to somehow kill two shipments of copepods, which is slightly concerning. 

 

I started seeing some green hair algae pop up, and was cleaning it up as well as I could during water changes. Then I went on vacation for a week and came back to:IMG_3822.JPG.8e421423a93288e135c8c42fcc39975b.JPG

I decided that I  was going to have to change something, there was no food being added to the tank as the only inhabitants were some cerith snials. I had read that in some cases the wrong color temperature of the lights could contribute to hair algae blooms. I liked the whiter look of the light, but decided to try changing the spectrum more towards the blue. On the kessil I changed the spectrum from around 45-50% color to about 35% color. After that the hair algae I removed stayed gone and no more grew, so I am tentatively attributing the hair algae bloom and recovery to an incorrect color spectrum.

 

After the hair algae recovery I decided to add some $5 test corals from a local store, the good old standbys, Xenia and GSP. I was really hoping to attach the GSP frag to the back wall to have it start growing up the back glass, however I have discovered that gel superglue absolutely does not adhere to glass at all. It appears to work , and then falls off over the next hour or two, which was very disappointing

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Ignore the hair algae next to the gsp frag, that is now completely gone. 

I also added a scarlet reef hermit as an impulse buy from the store, and he unfortunately only made it about a week for some reason, so going hermit-crab less for a while. 

 

 

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Cryolath

My next step was to try to find my planned finned inhabitants. Based on Igreen's sticky list of nanofish I decided on a captive bred orchid dottyback and a captive bred sharknosed goby. I really wanted captive bred fish as it seems they tend to acclimate better, and I wanted to support the captive breeding industry where I could. ORA had both species of fish currently in production, so I went to several local aquarium stores to try and see if I could get them, and none of them could get them. 

 I ended up on Liveaquaria, which had both species from ORA in stock, and if I spent $100 I could get free shipping. Not the most economical, but I could get the species I wanted with a 14 day  live guarantee, which is more than any of the local stores have anyway. 

 

The first real poor choice to add was in order to get the free shipping, it was essentially a free inappropriate coral or pay for shipping, guess which one I chose?

So the additions were a shark nosed goby, orchid dotty back, blue hypnea macro, and a green stylophora, which was the right price and available from ORA.

I didn't take a photo of the bags that the shipment came it, but the bottom half of them was blacked out, which somehow made it almost impossible to see the fish. I actually made it all the way through the acclimation process for the orchid dottyback before I actually caught sight of him (no, I do not know how it is possible to not see a bright purple fish on a black background.....).

 

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My cell phone does not like moving objects, but you get the idea. I never did get a picture of the sharknosed goby, actually. 

The orchid dottbyback is great, great color and is able to eat pellets after I have soaked them in tank water for a while, they are a little too big for him. They are NLS pellets. 

 

The sharknosed goby is a completely different story, he seems to have no ability to find food unless he literally runs into it face first, if he brushes it with any other part of his body he is usually unable to realize that it is there.  I didn't realize this at first, he spent the first week hiding under the ulva in the back, he would explore around a little bit when the filter was off so I could feed the dottyback, but never went after the pellets I dropped near him, so I assumed he didn't realize that they were food. 

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So he got caught and put into a breeder box so that I could make sure that he would eat, since it had already been a full week. That was when I discovered if the pellet practically hit him in the face he had no hesitation in eating it immediately. So he realized the pellets are food, he just seems completely incapable of seeing them, he has to run into them face first to eat them. The only good thing is that he is not afraid of the pipette and will try to eat food out of it if he runs into it. However he is fast, and if the food is not directly at the end of the pipette then he has already moved on when the food comes out. He is a very aggravating fish to feed, and I am hoping it gets a little easier. I released him back into the tank after a week of eating well in the breeder box, I got about 1.5 pellets into him a day so far, but it is time consuming. 

 

So, if anyone looked at the other coral in the picture you may have noticed that the green stylophora is not the only sps in the tank......

 

Stupid addition number two. The original macroalgae that I had wanted for the tank was dragon's breath, at the time I was looking to add macro most places were sold out or were really expensive, so I have some gracilaria hayi and ulva in the tank. Then I found somewhere that had it in stock for $10, however I was not going to pay that much in shipping for one item no matter how much I wanted it. So instead of passing it by I began adding coral to the order.....whoops. 2 zoas, and a pink birdsnest.  There was also a free frag of plating coralline algae as well, which I was not about to pass up. 

 

The zoas seem to be doing well, and the birdsnest appears to be still alive. However the dragon's breath is just melting away, which is very depressing as it was a really large really beautiful piece of macro, and I don't have any idea what to do about it. The blue hypnea I added before it also completely melted,  which should have given me a hint, but I wasn't sure if that was because I used distilled water to rinse it in before adding it to the tank. 

 

So... I have tripled the number of coral in my tank while at the same time adding my first livestock which is severely increasing the bioload of my tank, with two SPS. So I am setting up for a crash in the near future as the bioload stabilizes, but everything looks really good for now. Well, it is opening well and nothing coral wise is dying, so I'm pretty happy for the moment. 

 

Please excuse one last photo, which is pretty much pure windex to try and show two of the zoa under the blue lights with my cellphone.

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Armor of God, and Rasta's. From the photos I was most looking forward to the Armor of God's, but they are a little disappointing in my tank, but I am surprised with how much I like the Rasta's.  Now I just have to find a way to take slightly less windexy photos. 

 

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TatorTaco

Ordering too much at one time rarely ends well, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. 

 

For better pics, try increasing your white light level. I’m unfamiliar with how to do that on Kessils though. On my tanks, I have a dedicated light preset I can change to for pics.

 

What are your water parameters?  What is your light intensity at?

 

The SPS will require cleaner and more turbid water with higher light. I believe the macro would appreciate similar conditions, but a bit of nitrate may help too. 

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