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vqreefer

Nate’s Retreat 5 Gallon Reef

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vqreefer

I finally feel confident to start a thread for the tank and it has been running for almost 2 months. This is my first venture into saltwater and I knew it wouldn’t be the easiest way to start. 

 

The tank and hardware:

TopFin Retreat 5 gallon

Koralia Nano 240

Seachem Matrix media

Asta 20 Marine with broken remote

Customized 2 piece lid

Started with Caribsea Aragonite sand, dry rock, and Dr. Tim’s all in one

 

The livestock:

Possum wrasse

Trochus snail

2 nass snails

Red leg hermit

Bam bams

Red and blue acans

Magicians

Mystery zoa #1

Another mystery zoa #2

Fire and ice

Yet another mystery zoa (Korean) #3

Mystery zoa #4 probably has a name

Utter chaos

Frogspawn

Pocillapora (these and frogspawn were given to me by my neighbor to see how they do)

 

Future plans:

I’m slowing down a bit on stocking but I’m eyeballing some more zoas at lfs and in classifieds. There’ll be more acans in the future and maybe a torch or hammer. I’d like to add a shrimp or some sexies but I’m still researching. 

I also plan on adding an AC70 filled with media for additional bio filtration and volume. 

If I can’t get the remote for my light fixed or replaced, I may buy a new light entirely. 

 

 

My experience so far has been pretty good. I lost my first fish (Pygmy geometric hawk) a couple of days after adding it but so far everything else seems to be doing well. I feed a few times a week with mysis and reef roids. Algae is present but not very bad. I’m a little worried about the pocillapora but we’ll see if they make it. I live in California so heat may be an issue in the future. An Inkbird or other temp controller may be a good idea especially if I can get one with a cooling channel for a small fan or something. I don’t have an ATO and that may come some time in the future as well. All that defeats the simplicity usually associated with pico reefs but if it means preventing loss or crash it’ll be worth it. I’ve learned a lot in a short time and I hope that I will be successful with this tank. I may make a video about it and a how to for picos for someone with zero saltwater experience or knowledge.  

 

 

Pictures:

 

 

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vqreefer

The possum is very shy but I love it. It’s gradually coming out to the front more but still hides if I come up close. My family likes it and as it’s gotten more life it only gets more interesting and I think it’ll look great once matured. More pics/videos/updates will be on my Instagram @ fishgang_v2 Thank you to everyone who has given me advice and all the pico pioneers that have provided a wealth of information on here. I researched for many hours before starting and many more for stocking options and inspiration. There are lots of useful guides and posts out there but if there is anything with this tank or in general I can help with, let me know! 

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Jaag

good choice of fish. 

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kimdawg

Tank looks great and I love your rock.

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vqreefer
On 5/1/2019 at 7:58 PM, Jaag said:

good choice of fish. 

Thank you! It was a while before I saw it suggested anywhere

On 5/1/2019 at 8:26 PM, kimdawg said:

Tank looks great and I love your rock.

Thank you! I move one of the pieces the other day and it’s a little more balanced now. I’ll take some more pics next time I add anything. 

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WV Reefer
On 4/29/2019 at 7:10 PM, vqreefer said:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=c50b0cddbe5b031bimageproxy.php?img=&key=c50b0cddbe5b031bThe possum is very shy but I love it. It’s gradually coming out to the front more but still hides if I come up close. My family likes it and as it’s gotten more life it only gets more interesting and I think it’ll look great once matured. More pics/videos/updates will be on my Instagram @ fishgang_v2 Thank you to everyone who has given me advice and all the pico pioneers that have provided a wealth of information on here. I researched for many hours before starting and many more for stocking options and inspiration. There are lots of useful guides and posts out there but if there is anything with this tank or in general I can help with, let me know! 

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Looking good in there! 😊

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yoshii

Nice possum wrasse ,they can be shy but have great personalities

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vqreefer
10 hours ago, yoshii said:

Nice possum wrasse ,they can be shy but have great personalities

Mine comes out more but is still shy. It’s hard to get pics because if I go too close it hides especially if I put my phone near the tank. I have to stay a few feet away and use the 2x camera. My brother has a DSLR so I should really be using that to take proper pics of the tank 

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vqreefer

Cyano is getting bad and the magicians aren’t looking too hot. At first they had spots that looked like zoa pox but now it looks like polyps might be dying. I dipped most of my corals last week but I might have to again. Everything else seems to be doing fine. The fire and ice colony is growing on to the rock and the utter chaos and mystery zoa are growing new polyps. I tested a few days ago, phosphate appeared to be around .25. I’ll do more frequent small water changes and see if that helps. Flow should be sufficient but maybe I need a larger cleanup crew. 

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vqreefer

Yesterday I got a damsel that I believe is a Rolland’s damsel. Zoas are looking better but cyano is sticking around. My original hermit disappeared so I got a new one and added a bumblebee snail. 

 

I’m planning on upgrading to a 20-30 gallon tank. LFS has an Aqua Japan Q60 for $200 but the light is probably mediocre. Someone on OfferUp is selling a 24g cube with T5s for $120 or so. I’ll keep looking but this tank is too small to do much with and I’d like more stocking options and stability. 

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Mariah

@vqreefer how goes the koralia 240 in a tank that size? I'm thinking of getting one for my 4gal but worried that it's too much power

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vqreefer
53 minutes ago, Mariah said:

@vqreefer how goes the koralia 240 in a tank that size? I'm thinking of getting one for my 4gal but worried that it's too much power

Just fine. No issues in my tank but ymmv of course. 

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vqreefer

The damsel is now active and lively and adds some movement to the tank. Everything is still doing well but my magicians are looking a little off. Zoa pox? I’ll have to take some pics and research a bit more. I turned the light on with the manual on switch on my timer and forgot about it so it was probably on for at least 24 hours maybe up to two days. Hopefully I didn’t bleach anything but when I went downstairs today and the light was on I unplugged it immediately. LPS looked fine and zoas were half open. 

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vqreefer

Of course I decided on the tank I wanted and the only one at the store sold a couple days before I went back in. I might have to wait a couple more weeks but it’s just a patience exercise 😬 I did buy some dry rock and I have a rough idea for the scape. 

Tank:

Aqua AJ-Q60 (~30 gallon)

 

Stocking options:

Definitely a pair of clowns- gladiator, onyx, or bullethole most likely

Maybe my damsel

Definitely a lawnmower or other blenny

Maybe goby shrimp pair

 

Other ideas:

royal gramma

coral beauty angel

some sort of wrasse

dottyback if not too agressive

black cap basslet

 

firefish

sand sifting goby

neon/sharknose gobies

cardinals

 

I’ll probably keep it 4-5 fish depending on sizes and what not. I’ve done a lot of google searches for stocking a 30ish gallon tank and all the results are all the same. Does anyone have other suggestions for fish? Maybe I’ll start a thread if I find nothing else.  

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vqreefer

Still waiting on the tank. A couple of days ago I got a red goniopora frag that will look great when it opens up, tyree rainbow zoas and nirvana zoas. I told LFS I’d get the tank from him and he went to stock up yesterday so if he can’t get it in the next week or so I’ll order or go find one. I’ll also try to find a used AI Prime and figure out a heater solution. 

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vqreefer

Nevermind! He got it today and I (very dangerously) got it home but went to work right after. Tomorrow I’ll set it up but first I have to break down a tank that’s in its spot. I’ll also have to rehome my damsel or give it to LFS. Once it’s set up I’ll start a new post for it. The pico will be running until the new tank is cycled and everything is gradually transferred. 

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vqreefer

I got a bunch of corals from my neighbor who is breaking down his tank. Eagle eye zoas, a small chalice, meteor shower cyphastrea, monti, acro, mystery zoas, mushrooms, some acans that weren’t doing so well, some mystery spa, and a tiny piece of pink lemonade acro. Hopefully the new sps does well in my tank. My light isn’t great but it’s worked for everything else so far. I’ll try to get a better light like a Prime and put it on this tank while the new one is still cycling. 

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