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Northwoodsreefer

A Crazy College Reef- $200 Stocking ideas?

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billygoat
11 hours ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

So, stick with snails and crabs? Porcelain crabs and decorator crabs. My plans are slowly crumbling...probably no rock flowers then 

I guess it depends a lot on how you are planning to move the tank. Having to catch a fish out of there every few months when you move back and forth from campus is going to be an enormous headache. If you've just got a bunch of inverts that are attached to rocks, moving it will be easy enough since you can just pull the rocks and put them in a bucket. 

 

Were you planning on just keeping it half-filled or so and moving the whole tank with water and everything still inside? That's not an impossible option either. How far will it have to go?

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Northwoodsreefer
44 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I guess it depends a lot on how you are planning to move the tank. Having to catch a fish out of there every few months when you move back and forth from campus is going to be an enormous headache. If you've just got a bunch of inverts that are attached to rocks, moving it will be easy enough since you can just pull the rocks and put them in a bucket. 

 

Were you planning on just keeping it half-filled or so and moving the whole tank with water and everything still inside? That's not an impossible option either. How far will it have to go?

I would not mind and it would be a 2 hour drive. I'm more worried about the animals health/stress levels. Plan is to put rocks in a 5 gallon bucket with as much water from the tank going into the bucket and leaving a small layer to cover the sand bed.

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billygoat

To be honest 2 hours is not really that bad. I think it's a great plan to just put everything in a bucket and then cover the sandbed with water. Worth a try at least! 👍

 

But yeah, if you had a fish you'd probably have to have a separate container for it to travel in. I have to imagine that most of the inverts you're considering would likely be fine though, provided the rocks in the bucket don't shift too much during transit.

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Northwoodsreefer
Just now, billygoat said:

To be honest 2 hours is not really that bad. I think it's a great plan to just put everything in a bucket and then cover the sandbed with water. Worth a try at least! 👍

 

But yeah, if you had a fish you'd probably have to have a separate container for it to travel in. I have to imagine that most of the inverts you're considering would likely be fine though, provided the rocks in the bucket don't shift too much during transit.

Yeah, maybe it will be fine for some other inverts. I will also look into a smaller bucket for my fish (if I get some). I feel like the stock should be okay, I will measure the rock scape to see how well it fits at the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket. I can't wait to get more zoas and other cool animals. I might try out a shrimp (although now that I look, not many fit or will play nice *sexies with zoas*). Overall, I feel like I should be alright after a while. Im trying to get a more stable job to hopefully allow more things for my tank omgomgomg! Still need to fine tune some things before stock gets here Wednesday/Thursday!!!

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mitten_reef
1 hour ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

Yeah, maybe it will be fine for some other inverts. I will also look into a smaller bucket for my fish (if I get some). I feel like the stock should be okay, I will measure the rock scape to see how well it fits at the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket. I can't wait to get more zoas and other cool animals. I might try out a shrimp (although now that I look, not many fit or will play nice *sexies with zoas*). Overall, I feel like I should be alright after a while. Im trying to get a more stable job to hopefully allow more things for my tank omgomgomg! Still need to fine tune some things before stock gets here Wednesday/Thursday!!!

have you considered a bare bottom tank? with a lot of low-lying rocks from softies and such?   considering how often you'll have to move between semesters AND breaks, dealing sandbed during moves seems like an added hassle.  I took one of my rockscape to give to the LFS yesterday - it fit perfectly in the small red sea salt bucket.      

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Northwoodsreefer
1 minute ago, mitten_reef said:

have you considered a bare bottom tank? with a lot of low-lying rocks from softies and such?   considering how often you'll have to move between semesters AND breaks, dealing sandbed during moves seems like an added hassle.  I took one of my rockscape to give to the LFS yesterday - it fit perfectly in the small red sea salt bucket.      

I haven't mainly because I HATE barebottom, idk why. Maybe it's because I like to focus more on nature-style reefs. I also don't know if i'm fully going towards the softie only tank. I know it would probably be better the inhabitants to be hardy, but ive wanted a biotope for too long.

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Northwoodsreefer

November 18th, 2019:

Had a hiccup with the tank last night, I saw my day time temps were steady around 77-78 degrees and took out the heater. The tank stayed around 77 all day long which made me think that I wouldn't need an overnight heater. Woke up this morning to a 75 degree tank, so I'll be putting the heater in the tank at night time to hold the tank at 76-77. I also re-read @yoshii's 3.7/5.5 tank thread and @el fabuloso's LEGENDARY 3 gallon reef recently and they had me thinking maybe the hardy variety reef would be better as I get back into reefs again. Maybe at a later time I can do my biotope.

Packages:

Gulf Coast Ecosystems:

In other news my Gulf Coast Ecosystems order shipped today so Thursday around 8pm livestock will be here. 

February goodies?: 

I was chatting with someone on Instagram and through that, I might get a chance for a nice sampler coming in February after everything grows well...super excited, but it won't be for a while.

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mitten_reef

 

36 minutes ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

had me thinking maybe the hardy variety reef would be better as I get back into reefs again. Maybe at a later time I can do my biotope.

It's not that biotope is a bad idea.  For you to continuously disrupting the system due to routine tank moves, you won't be able to achieve a true sense of biotope, where microfauna flourish in every layer of the system, specifically worrying about the sand bed. Every time you move, you'd likely need to fully wash and rinse the stagnant detritus/sand combo with fresh saltwater, else risk bad consequence.  

To me, a biotope requires time to establish, like @billygoat's patience with some of the uglies that was going on a while ago.  Speaking of, @billygoat did those bubbles in the sand ever go away on its own?

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Northwoodsreefer
7 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

 

It's not that biotope is a bad idea.  For you to continuously disrupting the system due to routine tank moves, you won't be able to achieve a true sense of biotope, where microfauna flourish in every layer of the system, specifically worrying about the sand bed. Every time you move, you'd likely need to fully wash and rinse the stagnant detritus/sand combo with fresh saltwater, else risk bad consequence.  

To me, a biotope requires time to establish, like @billygoat's patience with some of the uglies that was going on a while ago.  Speaking of, @billygoat did those bubbles in the sand ever go away on its own?

The tank won't be a biotope, I've decided that it won't work out. It will mainly have Caribbean inverts (snails and crabs) with soft corals and maybe a fish like El Fab had.

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billygoat
10 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

 

It's not that biotope is a bad idea.  For you to continuously disrupting the system due to routine tank moves, you won't be able to achieve a true sense of biotope, where microfauna flourish in every layer of the system, specifically worrying about the sand bed. Every time you move, you'd likely need to fully wash and rinse the stagnant detritus/sand combo with fresh saltwater, else risk bad consequence.  

To me, a biotope requires time to establish, like @billygoat's patience with some of the uglies that was going on a while ago.  Speaking of, @billygoat did those bubbles in the sand ever go away on its own?

I couldn't agree more with @mitten_reef here. The tiny micro life-forms are really what make a biotope aquarium come alive, but establishing a population of such things takes a long time and is easily disrupted by major events like rescapes or tank moves. My sand bed in particular took many months to stabilize. It went through various stages of grossness, with diatoms, cyanobacteria, overgrowths of Bryopsis and weird turf algae, until finally falling into something like an equilibrium. It is now populated by a wide variety of benthic microfauna, including worms, burrowing snails, large subterranean chitons, and an interesting layer of permanent subsurface cyanobacteria that is probably practicing useful nitrogen fixation (and yup - those bubbles are still there! If disrupted they reform quickly, so I think they are the products of photosynthesis. They probably help keep the deep sandbed oxygenated.). All of that life would be severely disrupted during a move.

 

When it comes down to it keeping a biotope is kind of a pain, because your livestock selection is limited and you are almost always forced to order specimens online in order to stay on-theme, which is more expensive than buying from local reefers or visiting your LFS. I have a special connection with the Caribbean (I grew up there) so I was willing to go the extra mile, but unless your heart is dead-set on keeping Caribbean livestock I vote that you just go for whatever easy-to-keep inverts are cheaply available in your area. 😊 No sense in making things harder than they need to be!

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kimberbee

Not to put your ideas down, but if you are going to be moving the tank frequently, I urge you to invest in heaters and air pumps to use during your trips. 

 

When I moved one spring, the temps of my water dropped to mid-60's and I ended up losing half my coral - ALL of my SPS and 1/3rd of the heads/polyps of my LPS. The drive was 45 minutes, but breakdown and set up meant the whole process was about 6 hours. 

 

I'm convinced my corals died because of 1. The low water temps and 2. Mini-cycle from disturbed/dirty sand. 

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Northwoodsreefer
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

I couldn't agree more with @mitten_reef here. The tiny micro life-forms are really what make a biotope aquarium come alive, but establishing a population of such things takes a long time and is easily disrupted by major events like rescapes or tank moves. My sand bed in particular took many months to stabilize. It went through various stages of grossness, with diatoms, cyanobacteria, overgrowths of Bryopsis and weird turf algae, until finally falling into something like an equilibrium. It is now populated by a wide variety of benthic microfauna, including worms, burrowing snails, large subterranean chitons, and an interesting layer of permanent subsurface cyanobacteria that is probably practicing useful nitrogen fixation (and yup - those bubbles are still there! If disrupted they reform quickly, so I think they are the products of photosynthesis. They probably help keep the deep sandbed oxygenated.). All of that life would be severely disrupted during a move.

 

When it comes down to it keeping a biotope is kind of a pain, because your livestock selection is limited and you are almost always forced to order specimens online in order to stay on-theme, which is more expensive than buying from local reefers or visiting your LFS. I have a special connection with the Caribbean (I grew up there) so I was willing to go the extra mile, but unless your heart is dead-set on keeping Caribbean livestock I vote that you just go for whatever easy-to-keep inverts are cheaply available in your area. 😊 No sense in making things harder than they need to be!

Very true, I think I will go with whatever is local/hardy around here. The biotope will be hot another time.

51 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

Not to put your ideas down, but if you are going to be moving the tank frequently, I urge you to invest in heaters and air pumps to use during your trips. 

 

When I moved one spring, the temps of my water dropped to mid-60's and I ended up losing half my coral - ALL of my SPS and 1/3rd of the heads/polyps of my LPS. The drive was 45 minutes, but breakdown and set up meant the whole process was about 6 hours. 

 

I'm convinced my corals died because of 1. The low water temps and 2. Mini-cycle from disturbed/dirty sand. 

The idea is battery powered air pumps and putting handwarmers in bags to for the rocks and fish

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Northwoodsreefer

@kimberbeeI did also find a car powered outlet that I could plug in my heater to keep the rock water warm, this might be the better way to go 

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kimberbee
1 minute ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

@kimberbeeI did also find a car powered outlet that I could plug in my heater to keep the rock water warm, this might be the better way to go 

Glad you have a plan! Sounds like a good one. I had considered pumps/heaters for my trip, but since I was only doing it once, it felt like wasted money. But now I've had to spend that "saved" money to buy corals to replace what died... 

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Northwoodsreefer
2 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

Glad you have a plan! Sounds like a good one. I had considered pumps/heaters for my trip, but since I was only doing it once, it felt like wasted money. But now I've had to spend that "saved" money to buy corals to replace what died... 

Even if the plan is a bit overkill and saves me some livestock money, is take that over killing animals and having to replace them

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Northwoodsreefer

November 19th, 2019:

I will be getting the Reef Cleaners package on Friday and Gulf Coast on Thursday :happydance::haha:omgomgomg. In other news, I also picked up some Chaetogrow from brightwell aqatics for my macroalgae and the polyplab 2.0 lens is amazing! One of the members for the local club might spare some softies for me too! I'll post an FTS after everything gets here and settles into the tank, so probably Sunday sometime. It's almost finals time so I could be posting less often on here just as a heads up. 

I found a coral I want...is only $25 with $11 shipping

Atomic Sympodium Coral - Live Coral Salt Water Marine Tank Aquarium

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Northwoodsreefer

November 20, 2019:

I thought as I was getting livestock  at the end of the week I would do a small water change of 1 gallon (roughly 20%). I also switched around some equipment for my tank. The internal whisper 10i took up too much internal space so someone had an AZOO filter for $14 on offer up. Needless to say, I got one for my tank. While I had some free time I've skimmed over all the TOTM threads that were under 8 gallons to get a feel as to what people stock the tanks with. Seeing all the tanks has me thinking about what people have used coral wise as well as maybe even a fish that would work in a tank my size. Corals like I've said before will mainly be softies with the possibility of some LPS (micro acans or blastos). I was also thinking of a sapphire, four stripe, or yellow tail damsel; another possible fish would be a bangaii cardinal fish.

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billygoat
1 hour ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

November 20, 2019:

I thought as I was getting livestock  at the end of the week I would do a small water change of 1 gallon (roughly 20%). I also switched around some equipment for my tank. The internal whisper 10i took up too much internal space so someone had an AZOO filter for $14 on offer up. Needless to say, I got one for my tank. While I had some free time I've skimmed over all the TOTM threads that were under 8 gallons to get a feel as to what people stock the tanks with. Seeing all the tanks has me thinking about what people have used coral wise as well as maybe even a fish that would work in a tank my size. Corals like I've said before will mainly be softies with the possibility of some LPS (micro acans or blastos). I was also thinking of a sapphire, four stripe, or yellow tail damsel; another possible fish would be a bangaii cardinal fish.

Looking through the TOTMs is a great idea! There are so many amazing examples of properly executed aquariums in there. I too find the archive to be a great source of inspiration.

 

As for fish though, I think the major limiting factor for you is not the size of your tank but the fact that you have to move it periodically. If size alone were the limiting factor you'd have a huge range of fish choices available to you.

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Northwoodsreefer
8 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Looking through the TOTMs is a great idea! There are so many amazing examples of properly executed aquariums in there. I too find the archive to be a great source of inspiration.

 

As for fish though, I think the major limiting factor for you is not the size of your tank but the fact that you have to move it periodically. If size alone were the limiting factor you'd have a huge range of fish choices available to you.

Very true, the ones I thought about choosing had two criteria; hardy and free-swimming. The reason for free swimming is that a fish that stays more in the open would in theory be easier to catch over a rock/bottom dwelling, smaller, fish. Being hardier "beginner" fish would also increase the likely hood of being able to handle the moves. I could try it out and if it doesn't work then the system will remain fish less.

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Northwoodsreefer

November 21st, 2019:

My Gulf Coast order came it was great, except for one thing. I know it was 3 day shipping, but the heat pack was ice cold and the temperature in bags was easily 62 degrees, this caused all the pods and other things to die-off. Kinda sad but besides that everything made it and I guess my macro algae situation has been figured out....the tank looks like Melevsreef's anemone cube, but instead of bubble tip anemones I have Gracilaria parvispora. With the bags arriving so cold, I'm a little worried that I just ordered a box of snailcicles from ReefCleaners...I hope it isn't bad tomorrow. Also, tomorrow is club soccer practice and I get to play center back again...I got to try it out last week after playing outside defender for the past 5 years and I think I like center back more.

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Tired

A free-swimming fish is very much not going to be easier to catch. It's potentially going to be faster, for one thing. I wouldn't put a cardinalfish, try a small goby.

 

You may still have some pods and whatnot alive. 62 isn't that bad for inverts if the change is gradual. 

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Northwoodsreefer
41 minutes ago, Tired said:

A free-swimming fish is very much not going to be easier to catch. It's potentially going to be faster, for one thing. I wouldn't put a cardinalfish, try a small goby.

 

You may still have some pods and whatnot alive. 62 isn't that bad for inverts if the change is gradual. 

Maybe I will do a goby and pistol shrimp pair

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Tired

Could work, but you'd need a plan for catching the shrimp. Or just secure your rockwork to the bottom and move the entire tank, intact, with all the water in it and a lid to prevent sloshing. That's what I'm gonna do. Or, more precisely, I'm going to rig a way to drain about 2/3 of the water and then put a lid over the remaining third so I can minimally disturb the critters.

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Northwoodsreefer
5 minutes ago, Tired said:

Could work, but you'd need a plan for catching the shrimp. Or just secure your rockwork to the bottom and move the entire tank, intact, with all the water in it and a lid to prevent sloshing. That's what I'm gonna do. Or, more precisely, I'm going to rig a way to drain about 2/3 of the water and then put a lid over the remaining third so I can minimally disturb the critters.

That is another plan, or I'll go with a pair of neon gobies. I'll see what happens, I'm more scared about the snails tomorrow

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Ratvan
8 hours ago, Northwoodsreefer said:

November 21st, 2019:

My Gulf Coast order came it was great, except for one thing. I know it was 3 day shipping, but the heat pack was ice cold and the temperature in bags was easily 62 degrees, this caused all the pods and other things to die-off. Kinda sad but besides that everything made it and I guess my macro algae situation has been figured out....the tank looks like Melevsreef's anemone cube, but instead of bubble tip anemones I have Gracilaria parvispora. With the bags arriving so cold, I'm a little worried that I just ordered a box of snailcicles from ReefCleaners...I hope it isn't bad tomorrow. Also, tomorrow is club soccer practice and I get to play center back again...I got to try it out last week after playing outside defender for the past 5 years and I think I like center back more.

Central defense is much more fun, you get to boot the strikers all game long. (Studs down the back of the calf 😉) really winds people up. 

 

Guess where I play 😀

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