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Serenity, Minimal's 7.7g Coral Garden

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minimal

Hello, thanks for checking out my thread!

 

Just wanted to introduce myself real quick- I've been keeping saltwater tanks for about five years off and on. Mostly due to low budget/impatience, I've not had very good luck with previous attempts. I was always buying cheap equipment instead of being patient and buying something reliable, using tap water, not dipping corals - every mistake in the book. You name it, I've done it. But now that I've settled in one location (I'm active duty, and will be at my current base for the next 2.5 years) with the time/money/patience, I'm going to build this tank the right way. It'll be a slower build, but I'm making sure this tank is planned well, stocked healthy, and built for longevity. 

 

Let's dive in :naughtydance:

 

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The tank sits on my desk, where I can view it perfectly. It's going through a (several lol) week long leak test while I wait for other parts to come in. (The desk lamp is just for the picture!)

 

Here is the equipment list, I'll be buying equipment and updating this as we go.

 

Tank

  • Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion 10G AIO

 

Lighting

Aqua Illumination Prime (Black)

  • Lighting duration: TBD
  • AI prime settings: TBD

 

Equipment

  • Sicce 1.0 return pump Eheim COMPACTON return pump (159gph)
  • Innovative Marine Spinstream nozzle
  • (1) Aqueon heater (50W)
  • Analog Thermometer 
  • Tunze Osmolator 3152 ATO (reservoir will be installed in the cabinet to the right of the desk)

 

Filtration

  • 10lbs BRS dry reef rock
  • 1/2" of caribsea aragonite sand

 

Now onto equipment pics :smilie:

 

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I love this tank. Such good quality for the price! Foam bottom, low iron glass, false acrylic back wall with overflow, three chambers and return pump- also comes with a mesh lid. Sweet deal for only 100 dollars. It's a "ten gallon tank" according to Innovative Marine, but the water volume actually comes out to about 7.7 to 8 gallons of water. The tank dimensions are 12"x12"x13", but including the filtration area, it's 12" wide, 15" front to back, and 13" high.

 

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The spinstream is awesome, a bit pricey for one nozzle- $25 from BRS. However, the semi-random flow it provides is rad. The only complaint I have is that it's loud. It makes a clicking sound as the gears rotates. Does anyone know of a solution? I've taken it apart, looked at it from every which-way, looked at other ones at my LFS- it's not faulty. Just super loud. Which is odd because the ones in my LFS are quiet. From research it seems like the noise goes away after about a month, but as the tank is in the bedroom...I'm not sure if I want to put up with it for that long. BRS sells a random flow generator/flare nozzle for about the same price. I may switch to it if this doesn't work. (Plus, it's truly random flow)

 

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This is the filtration area behind the false acrylic wall. Water is skimmed into the first chamber via the overflow grate and passes through a filter sock (getting removed once saltwater is in the tank). 

 

I'd like to use chemipure blue in the first chamber instead of a sock. I can't see a significant reason for it other than phosphate removal. Though I don't believe that will be an issue to begin with as the system is brand new and will have light stocking- but maybe it could be used preemptively to mop up any that does get in? Also, would chemipure blue be helpful as far as particulates, or would it be better just to run the filter sock and swap it out every so often? I've seen lots of people say it helps, but never used it.

 

Biological filtration is being left up to the rock and sand. With just one fish, maybe a second eventually, the rock should do a fine job. BRS rock is super porous and I've had good experience with it in the past.

 

Chamber two is where the heater lives, which is set to 77 degrees. After a small waterfall, it's into chamber three- this is where the thermometer, ATO float switch, ATO fill pipe, and return pump are. The water level is about 1/2" below the wall dividing the second and third chambers, as this is the area that fluctuates due to evaporation.

 

The Tunze osmolator is an amazing piece of equipment. My first ATO actually, so I cannot compare it to others :tongueout:

 

In the event of the float switch getting stuck, it will run for just under two minutes before shutting itself off. I've set the water level in the back so that even if it ran for that amount of time, it will still have an inch to go before overflowing the tank. The pump is near silent and has a strong head pressure so I'm not even close to worried about the three foot trip it has to make. I'll be picking up a reservoir tank this Friday and permanently installing the pump then. No additives will be in the RO/DI top-off, as this tank is going to be mostly soft coral. Small weekly water changes will replace nutrients :smilie:

 

The only complaint I have about the filtration area is that it doesn't have a lid or cover to hide all of the equipment. Dust can get in, water evaporates a bit faster etc. I'll be finding a way to DIY one soon.

 

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Here's the rock! It's been about a month and a a half since I started ordering equipment. We're getting close. 🤠

 

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BRS always nails it when it comes to rock. I chose to go with dry rock for this tank, as I've had issues with aiptasia before and would love to never see one again. The downside is it'll take time for the rock to color up, but it will be worth it in the long run. 

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This is the direction I'd like to go with the tank. Not a ton of vertical height, but well grown out corals, a fish or two (bangaii cardinal and maybe a clown goby if the tank can handle it), and lots of water flow. I'm not sure who's tank this is, if it's yours just DM me and I can take down the image if you like! Found it on pinterest :tongueout:

 

That's it for now! I'll be heading to the LFS this Friday to pick up the AI Prime, gooseneck tank mount, a reservoir tank, some random plumbing pieces, then drool over some coral. 

Thanks for checking my thread out :wub:

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RemoGaggi

Nice tank!  I have a Fusion 20 gallon.  To cover up the filter section, I got a piece of 1/4" black acrylic from the local plastic store to cover the filter section.  The plastic store will cut a piece for you and mine cost less than $5.  I then used a dremel tool to make the appropriate smaller cutouts for my cords and ATO tube.  Don't go any thinner than 1/4" as it will start to warp.  The 1/4 will still warp, but not enough to be a problem.  I just flip it over weekly after my water change.  

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Lula_Mae

You can still get aiptasia with dry rock. I took down a tank this week and in the back on a small piece of rubble was an aiptasia smirking at me!  I haven't had aiptasia in years and I was like "WHERE DID YOU COME FROM!?!"  Still no clue lol.  From my own dry rock experiences I'd suggest live rock, or at least part live rock, as the biological diversity can potentially be helpful in preventing or overcoming problems like dinos...ugh.

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debbeach13

Thanks for your service and welcome to NR. You picked a super popular tank and it sounds like a solid plan for setting it up. There are some wonderful examples here on NR. I do not have one but the spin stream nozzle has been reported to become almost silent in as little as 2 weeks. As always every tank and piece of equipment is different. I hope you have a great experience with your new tank. Dry rock and inspecting and dipping every coral frag will go a long way to keeping your tank pest free. 

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Joevember

Great equipment choices, I see this tank going far 😄

I noticed the same thing about water volume in my IM20, it comes out to ~15 gallons. But they're the best nano tanks you can get so it makes up for it.

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minimal
On 6/9/2019 at 3:14 AM, Lula_Mae said:

You can still get aiptasia with dry rock. I took down a tank this week and in the back on a small piece of rubble was an aiptasia smirking at me!  I haven't had aiptasia in years and I was like "WHERE DID YOU COME FROM!?!"  Still no clue lol.  From my own dry rock experiences I'd suggest live rock, or at least part live rock, as the biological diversity can potentially be helpful in preventing or overcoming problems like dinos...ugh.

Interesting. Maybe came in on corals? I've never heard that happen before! At the very least, I'll be aware beforehand that it could happen.

 

Bio-diversity is a good point, I may pick up a piece of live rock from my LFS once I get water in- for diversity as well as some coralline/feather dusters etc.

On 6/9/2019 at 6:04 AM, debbeach13 said:

Thanks for your service and welcome to NR. You picked a super popular tank and it sounds like a solid plan for setting it up. There are some wonderful examples here on NR. I do not have one but the spin stream nozzle has been reported to become almost silent in as little as 2 weeks. As always every tank and piece of equipment is different. I hope you have a great experience with your new tank. Dry rock and inspecting and dipping every coral frag will go a long way to keeping your tank pest free. 

Not a problem. Thank you!

 

I've done quite a bit of researching these tanks, absolutely beautiful ones on here! The nozzle has become noticeably quieter already, I think I'll be holding onto it.

 

What coral dips do have you used?

 

On 6/9/2019 at 8:48 AM, Joevember said:

Great equipment choices, I see this tank going far 😄

I noticed the same thing about water volume in my IM20, it comes out to ~15 gallons. But they're the best nano tanks you can get so it makes up for it.

Thank you!

 

And you gotta share pics of that IM20. Almost went for that one instead!

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Joevember

 

17 minutes ago, minimal said:

And you gotta share pics of that IM20. Almost went for that one instead!

Well, since you asked... 😄 Here's a pic of the tank a few days ago:

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And of the tank itself, from before I got rid of my BTA:

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As you can see, I'm a big fan of torch coral.

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Lula_Mae
1 hour ago, minimal said:

Interesting. Maybe came in on corals? I've never heard that happen before! At the very least, I'll be aware beforehand that it could happen.

 

Bio-diversity is a good point, I may pick up a piece of live rock from my LFS once I get water in- for diversity as well as some coralline/feather dusters etc.

Not a problem. Thank you!

 

I've done quite a bit of researching these tanks, absolutely beautiful ones on here! The nozzle has become noticeably quieter already, I think I'll be holding onto it.

 

What coral dips do have you used?

 

Thank you!

 

And you gotta share pics of that IM20. Almost went for that one instead!

It must have come in on a frag of some kind as I'm not sure where else it might've come from lol. It is definitely possible to transport all kinds of pests in on frags which is why quarantine and/or dips are so important.  I've used Lugol's iodine but admittedly it's not the best for getting rid of pests (but it's very useful to have on hand as it can help ailing corals and I highly recommend it). A more recent dip that some have started using is the Bayer dip, if you google around you can find information on how to do it, but make sure to rinse very, very thoroughly after if you use it.  Others can probably recommend good coral specific dips that I've never tried.  Picking up a bit of live rock is a good way to introduce coralline into your tank for sure--somehow I ended up with green coralline instead of the usual purple in my pico!  Coralline will look nice when it starts growing on your rocks.

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minimal
On 6/11/2019 at 6:29 PM, Joevember said:

 

Well, since you asked... 😄 Here's a pic of the tank a few days ago:

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And of the tank itself, from before I got rid of my BTA:

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As you can see, I'm a big fan of torch coral.

This looks SWEET. Awesome tank!

 

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minimal

 

 

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So the tank has been moved. I wanted my desk more near the window so here’s the new spot. 

 

Sorry for for the lack of updates! Almost ready to put salt in. 

 

Good news though! I got the AI prime. Was gonna go with the 12” gooseneck, but ended up going with the 18”. For $5 more it gives me a lot more flexibility in the placement/height of the light.

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First impressions from this light are AMAZING. Words can’t describe it. Just get one if you’re considering it 😅

 

For those interested, here’s the UI for the app!

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Gonna be playing with the light settings tomorrow morning, as I’m currently working swing shift. The lunar, acclimation, and weather settings are gonna be fun extras to experiment with!

 

I’ll also be draining the tank, adding sand, and scaping this weekend. I need to pick up some RO/DI to wash the rock in, epoxy to scape with, and a reservoir for the ATO. 

 

More pics to come soon!

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minimal

Later today I'll be washing the rock/scaping/adding sand. Super excited to get this tank going!

 

I've been playing around with the MyAI app for the prime, and WOW. It blew my expectations out of the water.

 

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If you go to the website, they have lots of presets to download and play with. I am currently running Dmitry Tumanov's setup, screenshots below.

 

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I have to read a lot into light schedules. I've always used T5's or par38's with a standard on/off, but now with so much flexibility, the opportunities are limitless. 

 

A cool party trick for the light is the Apple Watch app. Only having on/off, schedule, or manual kelvin adjustment, I won't be using it often. But there is some cool potential if the app keeps getting better.

 

 

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colinadam

I just ordered the same light for my new tank, an IM 30L. 

Cool tank, will be nice to see what you go with on the light setting front and everything else. 

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minimal
5 hours ago, colinadam said:

I just ordered the same light for my new tank, an IM 30L. 

Cool tank, will be nice to see what you go with on the light setting front and everything else. 

Thank you! Figuring out just what I'd like the lighting at is turning out to be quite difficult! haha do you have a build thread?

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colinadam
3 minutes ago, minimal said:

Thank you! Figuring out just what I'd like the lighting at is turning out to be quite difficult! haha do you have a build thread?

Not yet, I got the tank today and all the equipment ordered, maybe start one next weekend. 

Tank won't be getting wet until Sept, going to keep my Biocube going until then 🙂 

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minimal

We have rock & sand :happydance:

 

Spent this evening washing rock, sand and aquascaping. (I forgot how difficult it can be to create a layout you're happy with!) This is what I have so far.

 

Surprisingly, I enjoy it! With total honesty, I normally hate the first 63.5 tries :blush: I might tweak here and there as it does seem a bit empty, but once coral gets in and adds some vertical height/interest... :wub:

 

Anything you would change?

 

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15 minutes ago, colinadam said:

Not yet, I got the tank today and all the equipment ordered, maybe start one next weekend. 

Tank won't be getting wet until Sept, going to keep my Biocube going until then 🙂 

Keep me posted! Would love to follow along :biggrin:

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billygoat

I like the 'scape! Having the stack further towards the back gives you plenty of sand space for plate corals, which are some of my favorites. Not that you have to get any of those; it would still be cool without them. But that's my suggestion. 😅

 

Great build you've got here! I can see that you're very committed to doing things properly. I'll be following along.

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minimal
14 hours ago, billygoat said:

I like the 'scape! Having the stack further towards the back gives you plenty of sand space for plate corals, which are some of my favorites. Not that you have to get any of those; it would still be cool without them. But that's my suggestion. 😅

 

Great build you've got here! I can see that you're very committed to doing things properly. I'll be following along.

Thank you very much! And I’d not even considered those. I might pick a couple up when the time comes! 🙂

 

 

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minimal

Small change in plans. 

 

While I'm going for mostly softies/LPS, I'd love to put a montipora colony in the tank. The spiraled pattern some develop is so pretty. 

 

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I love how simple the tank looks without a powerhead visible, so I've been looking into upgrading the return pump (instead of adding the koralia) - anyone have any recommendations?

 

The stock pump on full blast is 92gph, with the spinstream I'm sure it's less than that. And from my research, montis tend to spiral more with strong/random flow and high lighting. I'm sure the AI prime will be plenty of light, but strong flow...:wacko:

 

I'm stuck between a Sicce MICRAPLUS pump (158gph, goes for $31), going with the originally planned Eheim Compacton (159gph) or downgrading for something around 120gph. What flow would you shoot for? The Sicce would give me roughly 16x turnover. The spinstream should cut that down some, but I have no way to measure by how much.

 

 

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minimal
On 6/26/2019 at 8:15 PM, minimal said:

I'm stuck between a Sicce MICRAPLUS pump (158gph, goes for $31), going with the originally planned Eheim Compacton (159gph) or downgrading for something around 120gph.

I decided to order the Sicce 1.0. From everything I've read, I'll be able to run a mixed reef just fine without a powerhead. I may end up swapping the spinstream for a RFG though. Time (and hopefully noise reduction) will tell.

 

Update!

 

I'll be starting the cycle this week! 🙂 

 

I just have one more package to get from BRS, and then it's game time. I've got test kits, refractometer, cleaning magnets, food, and the Sicce 1.0 (plus some silicone tubing to dampen vibration) in this one. I keep forgetting to grab an ATO reservoir, so I'll need to find something cheap and simple for that. The space the reservoir needs to be in is a super odd shape, so I'll have to do some searching for the perfect one.

 

The package comes either tomorrow or Wednesday, so I'll be grabbing water from my LFS and starting the cycle then! Extremely excited to start a tank knowing I've put the time/money into choosing the best setup. 

 

All the fun updates are on the way. Thanks to those who've followed the semi-boring stuff :blush:

 

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ninjamyst

really like the scape.  make sure you keep the gap between the back wall and the rocks so you get good flow back there and not collect detritus.  Have enough room to reach with a siphon to vacuum the sand.  

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minimal
1 minute ago, ninjamyst said:

really like the scape.  make sure you keep the gap between the back wall and the rocks so you get good flow back there and not collect detritus.  Have enough room to reach with a siphon to vacuum the sand.  

Thank you! LOVE your 13.5 by the way :wub: 

 

It's a bit hard to see, but I've got about an inch and a half gap back there

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minimal

I've always been intrigued by small gobies like Eviota and Trimma sp.

 

Depending on if my LFS can find them and get them in at a decent price, I'd like to find a trio of Trimma Rubromaculatus. Such beautiful little guys. They stay super small (under an inch in most cases, which will keep the bioload on the lighter side), are very hardy and very personable. I kept a single one in my first reef tank and fell in love. When I grab water this week, I'll see if he can get an order in.

 

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For inverts I'd like to get a porcelain crab and a few sexy shrimp. The tiny things always tend to go unnoticed in larger systems, so this tank should be perfect for a bunch of little guys.

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Joevember
32 minutes ago, minimal said:

I've always been intrigued by small gobies like Eviota and Trimma sp.

 

Depending on if my LFS can find them and get them in at a decent price, I'd like to find a trio of Trimma Rubromaculatus. Such beautiful little guys. They stay super small (under an inch in most cases, which will keep the bioload on the lighter side), are very hardy and very personable. I kept a single one in my first reef tank and fell in love. When I grab water this week, I'll see if he can get an order in.

 

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For inverts I'd like to get a porcelain crab and a few sexy shrimp. The tiny things always tend to go unnoticed in larger systems, so this tank should be perfect for a bunch of little guys.

Nice stocking choices! I just picked up a little clown goby for my 20 gal. Tons of personality in such a tiny guy. Here's mine somehow perching on the side of my tank like a tiny yellow spiderman.

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The inverts also sound nice in your tank. The white porcelain crabs are much more active than the blue ones, I never see my blue one in my pico, but I think the blue ones look more cool. I'd also recommend a pom pom crab. They look very unique, and you would notice it often in a smaller tank. 

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minimal
On 7/8/2019 at 10:16 PM, Joevember said:

Nice stocking choices! I just picked up a little clown goby for my 20 gal. Tons of personality in such a tiny guy. Here's mine somehow perching on the side of my tank like a tiny yellow spiderman.

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The inverts also sound nice in your tank. The white porcelain crabs are much more active than the blue ones, I never see my blue one in my pico, but I think the blue ones look more cool. I'd also recommend a pom pom crab. They look very unique, and you would notice it often in a smaller tank. 

I love him :wub: clown gobies are one of the things that actually brought me into this hobby! Thanks for sharing!

 

I totally forgot about pom pom crabs, great idea! I wonder if the porcelain and pom pom would get along? I'm gonna look into this

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minimal

We have water! 

 

So my last package came in this afternoon, picked it up on my way home from work. Got new return pump installed and I'm shocked at the difference. The stock pump was really bad in comparison to the Sicce 1.0 (which fits perfectly I might add). It's extremely quiet. Swapped the stock return line for a silicone one as well, now I can't hear anything other than a quiet trickle from the overflow, and the super. noisy. spinstream. I'm giving it two weeks and if nothing changes, he's getting replaced with a random flow generator :biggrin: 

 

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I went to my LFS to pick up water and asked about ordering a trio of Trimma Rubromaculatus'. They said the window to order those should show up in around two weeks, so I'll be bugging them frequently around that time :biggrin: Two fun things on the trip.

 

1. Had to figure out how to stuff a 2008 chevy cobalt full of five gallon buckets which as luck would have, aren't completely sealed. So I probably lost a gallon between the three buckets:rolleyes: 

 

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2. Drooled over a giant leather coral forest they had in a 400 gallon display. For comparison, that tang is about eight inches long. Also, that maroon clown did not like me taking this picture.

 

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Pre water

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Post water

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Obligatory sexy cleaner magnet post :wub:

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When the spinstream hits the surface, the water goes crazy. Glitter lines all over the place, and with the new pump, it's creating mini sandstorms in the front two corners. SWEET.

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To-do list:

  • Recreate the light schedule, it's a bit rough
  • Install analog thermometer (I've had too many digital ones fail on me)
  • Cord management 
  • Bide my time and wait for livestock :biggrin:
  • Cry over how pale the dry rock is and beg it to color up asap
  • Like 4

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