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Ccarlson

Back In The Saddle Again - 10G Budget Build

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Ccarlson

Cue the song "Reunited and it feels so good" 

 

I've been out of the hobby for about 5 or so years, this is the longest I've gone without a tank since 2nd or 3rd grade. 

 

Over the years, I've run the gambit of tanks - all kinds of different freshwater, to reef keeping and coral farming and breeding bangaii cardinals and seahorses. 

 

For a time, I managed a local colleges aquaculture lab, and spearheaded a coral farm project where I taught courses on Marine Ornamental Aquaculture and wholesaled a pretty decent amount of coral to various LFS. 

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After a career change, I was pretty burnt out on aquarium keeping and so sold all of my aquarium gear and moved on to other things. 

This spring, I was bitten by the bug again -  A week or so ago I saw a 10G tank for $7 at a local store I figured it was time. My wife agreed, as long as I didn't go "too crazy" (I believe we have differing opinions on what "too crazy" is...but, whatever :) ) 

So, here's where it starts - a seven dollar, 10 Gallon Aqueon tank.   

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(Also, Fair warning - most pictures will be taken by my crappy android phone...so..they will be bad.) 

 

 

 

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billygoat

I'm so down with the $7 standard 10 gallon tank. Sounds like its in the hands of a master, so I can't wait to see where you take it! Welcome back! 😁

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Ccarlson
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

I'm so down with the $7 standard 10 gallon tank. Sounds like its in the hands of a master, so I can't wait to see where you take it! Welcome back! 😁

Thanks! Definitely going to keep it easy and fun.

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Ccarlson

I decided to go bare bottom on this tank. I've never used this method before and am eager to try it. Historically, I had great success with DSB & RDSB  but this is time around is all about new, different, fun (and cheap) right? 

 

Decided to plasti-dip the back and underside of the tank. 

 

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It took a few more coats then I expected, but am pretty happy with the overall result. 

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xM3THODx

looking good...any idea what kind of reef you're going with this time around?

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Ccarlson
7 hours ago, xM3THODx said:

looking good...any idea what kind of reef you're going with this time around?

Not 100% sure. Probably pretty mixed I've always had an affinity for Zooanthids, palys and rhodactis so probably will see few of those. I used to have a crazy awesome colony of red blastomussa so may try to get a piece of that from a local reefer. Who knows 🙂

 

Also....happy day!
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Ccarlson

Like I forewarned, my android cell camera pics are terrible.  But, tank is up on the cabinet. Glad I blacked out both the back and the bottom. 
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Couple boxes of supplies landed as well. Scored a Aquaclear 70 on Ebay for $30, I'll eventually probably mod it a little for a space for chaeto or maybe even some of the dragons breath macro...We will see. 

And then Petco had their summer sale so I bought a few things to get my started - Chemi-pure, going to try out some Seachem Matrix in the AC70, Digital Thermometer, Reef Crystals and a swing-arm hydrometer 
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Ccarlson

Reached out to a contact back at the College where I ran the coral farm at, and asked if I could buy a little live rock to kick-start the new tank - they said just to go for whatever pieces and don't bother about paying for it - super cool! I didn't bother to weigh it, but I'm sure its 10+ lbs of rock. Few gallons of water, too. 

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They also still have some of the pieces that I grew out a while ago and said I can have free reign on frags of that too. Kinda excited to see a few of those again! 

Also, thinking about doing flower nems - Never done them before, they look cool and colorful, has anyone had any experience with them in a BB tank? Ill do some searching in the archives....

Going to start with just distilled water while tank cycles. May eventually upgrade to a RO unit... Found an old Rio powerhead that I was using for my old aquaponics system in the greenhouse. Good enough to mix up saltwater with. 

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ajkochev

Looks like a good start.  A couple suggestions,  I'd see about setting up a refugium with cheato.  This I've found really prevents unwanted algae in the main tank in smaller tanks.  I would also return the hydrometer and get a refreactometer. I use a cheap one I got of Amazon.  I used a swing arm for years but the refreactometer is far better and will not go back.

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Ccarlson
14 hours ago, ajkochev said:

Looks like a good start.  A couple suggestions,  I'd see about setting up a refugium with cheato.  This I've found really prevents unwanted algae in the main tank in smaller tanks.  I would also return the hydrometer and get a refreactometer. I use a cheap one I got of Amazon.  I used a swing arm for years but the refreactometer is far better and will not go back.

Thanks! Eventually the AC70 will become some sort of fuge with chaeto, or maybe some dragon tongue gracilaria . The swing arm was $5 and just to get started, will pick up a refractometer down the road for sure!

 

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Ccarlson

Rock and water are in the tank.  Went for the classic "lump of rocks in the middle of the tank" look. Will try to do some aquascape later. 
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Also rinsed and added the Matrix to the AC today, put a little piece of gutterguard in to keep the last floating pieces in. I don't want to go "whole hog" into modding the AC to a fuge yet until I have a clearer direction on where I'm headed with the tank. 

 

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And now, we wait......

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Ccarlson

Bonus! Just scored a 50W Neo-Therm on Ebay for $25 including shipping! (If you hurry and look now I think there's a 75w on there for cheap too!) 

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Ccarlson

The neotherm from Ebay showed up yesterday! 
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I removed the AC stock media basket/chamber, and emptied out the Matrix into the main body of the AC. Added a little more gutter guard to prevent any of the pieces from going somewhere they shouldn't. This allowed more room to fit the neotherm in the media chamber. 

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Ccarlson

Now we're making some progress. 3 weeks ago today added liverock, and pretty much did the set it and forget it method. 

 

Today, some goodies showed up - 

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Got a light, the Hipargero Aqua Knight, Flipper Nano, and some a filter floss pad. 

I did a water change, and then added the Chemi-pure and some floss to the AC chamber. 
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I was pretty impressed with the lights packaging, instructions, ease of setup and use. Overall, for a budget light it looks like its going to work rather nicely.  I did see a few horror stories about using the included connection pieces cracking aquariums over time, so I opted to make a metal stand that would slide behind the AC filter and I could attach my light to that. 

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Made some quick modifications to the top of the AC filter box (drilled a hole) so that my power chords and temp probe could fit in there and allow the lid to still actually close. 
Overall look now. Might reach out to the college to see if I can snipe a few mushrooms or something hardy to let them sit for a week or so to test the proverbial waters with. 

 

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Here is the corner that the little tank is in. 

 

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Ccarlson

Ok, time for some updates! 

I added a cleanup crew, 2 trochus, 4 astreas, 2 small blue leg hermits. I've never kept hermits in my reef, always been a kinda snail-only type guy, but thought it would be fun to try some. I know some can be prone to nip at zoas over time so I'll keep an eye on them. Thus far, the kids love them. 
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I also got a few corals to "test the waters" with,  two zoanthids, a montipora, efflatuounaria and a rhodactis.

 

 I knew that the tank had a few flatworms, and so I tried 3 stores in town, and no one had any of the Bayer bug product, and then it dawned on me -  I remember reading on the bottle a long time ago that Revive from TLF was primarily Spruce, Lemon, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil, Water, and an organic emulsifier.   And, it just so happened that my wife had gotten into the essential oil craze, and so we had a shelf with tons of oils - I knew I could find most of the ingredients. 

 

I ended up using about 6-8 oz of tank water, 2 drops each of Lemon, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil.  I didn't have any emulsifier, so I just used a Popsicle stick to keep the oil in suspension by agitating the water.  I dropped a zoa frag into the cup, and kept swirling for 30 or so seconds - flatworms came flying off!     I should have taken some pictures, but didn't think to. 

I then did a rinse in another 8 oz of just tank water to make sure there were no residual oils left on the plug. 

It's been 2 weeks since I added the corals, and the oil dip seemed to have no adverse effects on the corals (all opened up within an hour or so) and I've seen no bugs/nasties/hitch hikers. 

I'm NOT recommending this for everyone - but it worked in a pinch for me! I will be buying some Bayer off of amazon for next time around though :) 

 

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Ccarlson

I also picked up this OLD SKOOL timed outlet cheap, easy, and does the job. 
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Got this fountain lamp for the AC as well, to grow a little cheato with, going to run it on a reverse lighting schedule from the main tank. 
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And last but not least, picked up some cheato from an old friend 
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Also, anyone know of a decent way to make a snail guard? 
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zoafan627
On 7/16/2019 at 9:02 PM, Ccarlson said:

Cue the song "Reunited and it feels so good" 

 

I've been out of the hobby for about 5 or so years, this is the longest I've gone without a tank since 2nd or 3rd grade. 

 

Over the years, I've run the gambit of tanks - all kinds of different freshwater, to reef keeping and coral farming and breeding bangaii cardinals and seahorses. 

 

For a time, I managed a local colleges aquaculture lab, and spearheaded a coral farm project where I taught courses on Marine Ornamental Aquaculture and wholesaled a pretty decent amount of coral to various LFS. 

d9ceceb4b6ca8784175723d4a13f0221.thumb.jpg.cef392720978083e6985184d59883ff0.jpg


After a career change, I was pretty burnt out on aquarium keeping and so sold all of my aquarium gear and moved on to other things. 

This spring, I was bitten by the bug again -  A week or so ago I saw a 10G tank for $7 at a local store I figured it was time. My wife agreed, as long as I didn't go "too crazy" (I believe we have differing opinions on what "too crazy" is...but, whatever 🙂

So, here's where it starts - a seven dollar, 10 Gallon Aqueon tank.   

IMG952019071595133754780.jpg

(Also, Fair warning - most pictures will be taken by my crappy android phone...so..they will be bad.) 

 

 

 

What is the coral  that’s kind of blue that is being held?

 

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Ccarlson
14 minutes ago, zoafan627 said:

What is the coral  that’s kind of blue that is being held?

 

Relatively sure that was either a large acanthastrea or a favia. We had pretty large colonies of both back then. 

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