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Seadragon's 10g Office Nano Reef: Simple. No Water Changes. No Carbon.

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Ratvan said:

With enough shells pretty good, i'm at about the same level and the hermits don't bother the snails at all with enough spare shells

I have a lot of them too. I've had snails on their backs and they don't touch them.

 

Now my zebra hermit, it was put in qt because it was an ass.

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Clown79
45 minutes ago, Seadragon said:

 

Oh, I believe you.  But, here's what I'm looking at right now... if any of the corals start to die down or not open (right now, they all are open and appear to be happy and waving in the current.  There's an old saying, if it ain't broken, don't..), I'll probably go ahead and buy the "Sanrise A029 Aqua Knight 30W CREE Nano Aquarium LED w/Mount" at the first sign of trouble.  That would cost me an additional $120 (between the two tanks) for something that may not be an issue yet due to these really simple corals that I chose.  Also, the chaeto algae has grown in size since I first put it in there and it has this pretty green color which might partly be because Charlie was cleaning it off a few days ago.  I am using 2 different lights on the aquarium and I believe that should be taken into account on why it may be doing OK right now.

 

I'll look into the "Brightwell Aquatics CHGR250 Chaeto GRO Chaetomorpha Algae Fertilizer, 250 mL" and other similar solutions.  Thanks for the info.

 

The light you have is good for chaeto, it's in the right spectrum 

 

 

Lighting isn't about how bright it looks to us but rather the correct spectrum.

 

Xenia actually love light. My happiest xenia are at the top of the tank, right under the light.

 

We aren't advising you or guiding you in the wrong direction, rather the opposite.

 

Most of us already attempted to try a basic light over corals- the outcome is either browning, lack of growth, or death.

 

The light is their food source

 

 

Another really good option that is fairly inexpensive is

 

https://www.amazon.com/ABI-Coral-Optimized-Spectrum-PAR38/dp/B01LWP37SD/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=abi+par38&qid=1569600743&sr=8-3

 

I of these on a 10g, you'll be good. These have great growth and colour for corals

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Seadragon

Does anyone have any experience or feelings towards the following products?

 

Seachem Reef Trace Elements 500ml

Reef Trace™ supplies a broad range of trace elements demonstrated to be necessary for proper reef health and growth. Trace elements are normally depleted by utilization, oxidation and precipitation. The latter two processes occur more rapidly than with other micronutrients. This makes it important to restore trace elements on a regular basis. Reef Trace™ may be used alone or in conjunction with Reef Plus™. Best results are obtained when both are used. Reef Trace™ is nitrate/phosphate free.Replenishment of a number of trace elements is required to maintain an environment ideal for the growth and reproduction of marine life, but while the importance of trace elements has been recognized by aquarists for many years, the physiological reasons are not fully understood. The chemical elements in seawater are varied, and, likewise their addition to the aquarium in trace quantities has varied effects on a variety of saltwater plant and invertebrate species. In general, though, these elements are important for metabolic processes and pigment formation. Addition of iron, for instance, has been shown to benefit coloring and growth for corals, anenomes, and other photosynthetic animals.

 

Seachem Reef Complete 500ml

Reef complete is a concentrated optimized blend of ionic calcium designed to restore and maintain calcium to levels found in natural seawater without affecting pH. Calcium and carbonates are essential to all coral growth. If either becomes deficient, coral growth will cease, followed by a rapid decline in coral health. To prevent this you must provide calcium (reef complete) and carbonates (reef builder or reef carbonate). reef complete also includes magnesium and strontium in amounts proportionate to typical utilization ratios. This allows one to maintain These two important elements while maintaining calcium.

 

Seachem Reef Plus, 500ml

Sachem reef plus is a full spectrum reef supplement Containing trace elements, vitamins, and amino acids demonstrated to have a positive impact on the growth of corals and other desirable reef creatures. Sachem reef plus is formulated to provide nutrients available from natural tropical reef waters. Contains vitamin B12, vitamin C, THIAMINE, inositol, CHOLINE, IODIDE, and other essential constituents at pH 8.3. Reef plus is nitrate/phosphate free.

 

Seachem Marine Trace Elements 500ml

Marine Trace™ supplies a broad range of trace elements demonstrated to be necessary for proper fish health and growth. Unlike terrestrial animals, fish obtain nutrients from both their food and environment. Trace elements are normally depleted by utilization, oxidation and precipitation, thus it is important to restore them on a regular basis. Marine Trace™ contains only those elements actually demonstrated to be required by fish.

 

Kent Marine Essential Elements

Kent Marine Essential Elements replaces biologically important trace minerals which are removed by marine fish and invertebrates, and removed through protein skimming,ozone, and especially carbon filtration. Designed for fish only and reef systems. Essential Elements is unmatched in its ability to increase vigor and color. Does not contain detrimental heavy metals, phosphates, nitrates, or silicates. Does not promote undesirable algae growth.

 

Fluval Hagen Sea Trace Elements for Aquarium

Fluval Sea Trace Elements provide a concentrated blend of 11 key trace elements in naturally-found proportions present in seawater. Regular dosing is strongly recommended to offset constant depletion by protein skimming, chemical filtration and natural ongoing biological processes.

 

Any recommendations or concerns from the ones listed or any others that may be better?  Thanks!

 

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Seadragon
30 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

The light you have is good for chaeto, it's in the right spectrum 

 

 

Lighting isn't about how bright it looks to us but rather the correct spectrum.

 

Xenia actually love light. My happiest xenia are at the top of the tank, right under the light.

 

We aren't advising you or guiding you in the wrong direction, rather the opposite.

 

Most of us already attempted to try a basic light over corals- the outcome is either browning, lack of growth, or death.

 

The light is their food source

 

I understand, but you have to know where I'm coming from too.  All I'm seeing right now is happy corals with the lights that I'm using and it's hard to spend an additional $120 towards the hobby when I already invested thousands into it in general (which I'm sure we all have).  I would be much more enticed to spend hundreds more $$ if I saw the browning, lack of growth, or melting first hand.  I do believe you and others had this issue, but you also had different starting variables than I do.  I'm also using natural sea water that has already been filtered, sanitized, and pH balanced as well to start with, not distilled water or RO/DI water or tap water with salt added.  So that may also be a difference between my tank and many others.

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Clown79
6 minutes ago, Seadragon said:

 

I understand, but you have to know where I'm coming from too.  All I'm seeing right now is happy corals with the lights that I'm using and it's hard to spend an additional $120 towards the hobby when I already invested thousands into it in general (which I'm sure we all have).  I would be much more enticed to spend hundreds more $$ if I saw the browning, lack of growth, or melting first hand.  I do believe you and others had this issue, but you also had different starting variables than I do.  I'm also using filtered ocean water as well to start with, not distilled water or RO/DI water or tap water with salt added.  So that may also be a difference between my tank and many others.

I started my re entry into the hobby tank the exact way, that's why I gave you a heads up before you start adding more corals(more $$$), to end up with issues.

 

I've also used the light you are currently using. It was great growing anubias and algae. All my other fw plants died.

 

Many new hobbyists make this number 1 error. Starting with the wrong light.

 

Lighting is the most important equipment for corals and is costly. 

 

Right now the corals are fine, that can change rapidly.

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Seadragon
9 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I started my re entry into the hobby tank the exact way, that's why I gave you a heads up before you start adding more corals(more $$$), to end up with issues.

 

I've also used the light you are currently using.

 

Many new hobbyists make this number 1 error.

 

Lighting is the most important equipment for corals and is costly. 

 

Just a thought... I've read many posts on different forums where some hobbyists use Xenia exclusively within their external refugium and it grows like mad, like a weed.  I wonder if every single one of those hobbyists use a special lighting on their refugium or if some are using a similar spectrum such as the two that I'm using.  So lighting requirements for Xenia per various sellers show Low to Moderate.  Now, I love my Xenia and if I didn't see them pulsing and opened up, I would definitely buy 2 of the lights that you suggested in a heart beat.  I really would.  And I may still do that once I notice an issue down the road.

 

I am thankful to you and others for your early warnings as I continue on this journey.  And you can always tell me later, "I Told You So!!".  But... what if I chose a different path and that path ended up at the garden of eden with no water changes and cheaper lighting for simple corals.

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Pjanssen

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned your bio-load as of yet. 5 fish in a 10 gallon that you want to keep low maintenance will be difficult. Not to mention that the clowns and the damsel will likely start to compete and fight for territory as they get bigger/older. I love the idea of low maintenance tank though and hope that you succeed.

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Seadragon
10 minutes ago, Pjanssen said:

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned your bio-load as of yet. 5 fish in a 10 gallon that you want to keep low maintenance will be difficult. Not to mention that the clowns and the damsel will likely start to compete and fight for territory as they get bigger/older. I love the idea of low maintenance tank though and hope that you succeed.

 

Yeah, it was mentioned in my original thread: 

 

 

And a few asked me to create a journal so here we are! 🙂

 

Like I mentioned in the first post, baby Dory will be given back to the LFS if there's any sign of aggression later in life.  Also, I might give Goby to the 2nd nano reef tank so that will bring my total fish count down to 4 if that happens over the weekend.

 

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Tamberav

Corals will open up in pretty much any light. This isn't really a good indicator of proper lighting.

 

If they grow well then they are healthy. They are fast growing corals and it should be apparent after a few weeks. If they are not growing then they are surviving and not thriving. This could be a lighting issue or nutrients or elements or so on. If they are missing something they won't grow well.

 

FYI my tank light broke and my tank went a MONTHS without any sort of appropriate lighting and I only had a few losses. You would be surprised how long these corals can hold on.

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Seadragon
22 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Corals will open up in pretty much any light. This isn't really a good indicator of proper lighting.

 

If they grow well then they are healthy. They are fast growing corals and it should be apparent after a few weeks. If they are not growing then they are surviving and not thriving. This could be a lighting issue or nutrients or elements or so on. If they are missing something they won't grow well.

 

FYI my tank light broke and my tank went a MONTHS without any sort of appropriate lighting and I only had a few losses. You would be surprised how long these corals can hold on.

 

Alright, let’s compare a picture of them now and we’ll check on them a few weeks later.

 

Taken on 9/27/2019:

5E94DC39-61F1-42B9-9D4F-1F911AAD4FFF.thumb.jpeg.77f14719440828f45948668be9cad7ba.jpeg

 

7CB1C02D-421A-4B50-A4A7-9BA8E1CA1E07.thumb.jpeg.4cdd670927850f57b493ba5da4a1557a.jpeg

 

9A843035-F438-4A3B-84F0-CA53DD085352.thumb.jpeg.7b2710dbe6758d7e24a8c5ffa60ad4ad.jpeg

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Seadragon

In case I move Goby to the other tank this weekend, he’s saying his last goodbyes to his best friend Blenny.  Wow, the Coralline algae seems to be coming in nicely too!  Some say Coralline algae is a sign of a healthy tank. 😉

 

26F47E24-87D1-483A-AC25-FF2903037A1C.thumb.jpeg.8677bb81c5a88cb407675613b4d43c00.jpeg

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Amphrites

Seachem's normal 1st-part has magnesium and trace elements, the reef trace has a fair bit of stuff in it, whether any of it is really necessary is definitely up for debate. Some folks are switching to All-For-Reef, but I don't know that much about it, I don't think it has quite as many trace goodies in it as Seachem Part 1 and definitely not as much as the Reef trace, whether that matters is beyond my ability to say.

Regarding lighting, people used to have goniopora and fox/bubble corals EXPLODE with new growth for months, we're talking 6-8 good months of awesome growth and extension, then shrivel up and die from what is now mostly assumed to be total-nutrient-starvation.
Be cautious when using short-term anecdotal growth and evidence with these animals, your light has a known PAR value and the animals you're growing have known PAR requirements, if they don't line up well you'll likely have issues down the road. To what extent will be based almost entirely on luck and the resiliency/adaptability of the specific animal(s) in question.

Best of luck with the Ultra-low maintenance system, I'd love to eventually have my own go this direction as well but I'm afraid it can't hack-it yet lol, have quite a bit more work until we're at that stage.

Oh, it might be worth looking at something like Seachem flourish to keep your macros happy long-term without water-changes.

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Seadragon
5 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Seachem's normal 1st-part has magnesium and trace elements, the reef trace has a fair bit of stuff in it, whether any of it is really necessary is definitely up for debate. Some folks are switching to All-For-One, but I don't know that much about it, I don't think it has quite as many trace goodies in it as Seachem Part 1 and definitely not as much as the Reef trace, whether that matters is beyond my ability to say.

Regarding lighting, people used to have goniopora and fox/bubble corals EXPLODE in new growth for months, we're talking 6-8 good months of awesome growth and extension, then shrivel up and die from what is now mostly assumed to be total-nutrient-starvation.
Be cautious when using short-term anecdotal growth and evidence with these animals, your light has a known PAR value and the animals you're growing have known PAR requirements, if they don't line up well you'll likely have issues down the road. To what extent will be based almost entirely on luck and the resiliency/adaptability of the specific animal(s) in question.

Best of luck with the Ultra-low maintenance system, I'd love to eventually have my own go this direction as well but I'm afraid it can't hack-it yet lol, have quite a bit more work until we're at that stage.

Oh, it might be worth looking at something like Seachem flourish to keep your macros happy long-term without water-changes.

 

Thanks for the info.  I was looking into the "All-For-One" and found the following, if anyone thinks it may be worth trying:

 

ALL-FOR-REEF by Tropic Marin - https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/all-for-reef-tropic-marin.html

Tropic Marin All-For-Reef contains all the essential minerals and trace elements required by corals to grow in an easy to use balanced solution. Including calcium, magnesium, strontium, and carbonate hardness elements, but also other less common elements like iodine, bromine, fluorine, selenium, molybdenum, & vanadium. All-For-Reef creates excellent coral care conditions with a single solution and no unwanted additional compounds are created when added to your aquarium that could alter the ionic balance or salinity. 

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Amphrites

Yeah, that was a typo on my end, I fixed it lol, I believe they (BRS) have a couple tanks on it and will be producing a video with details soon. I've no personal experience with it otherwise.

That HiPARGERO is a great light, but you could also try a $5 Walmart desk-lamp fixture with the shade removed and throw one of these in it, still fairly cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/ABI-Coral-Optimized-Spectrum-PAR38/dp/B01LWP37SD/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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Tamberav

I would not go with all for one since you are not doing water changes. Your stuff isn't going to be used up the exact ratio to make a all-in-one viable imo. You are going to end up with 0 of some and too many of another. 

 

For example you are running a macro and softy tank. this will suck down iron, manganese, iodine, etc... but it won't suck down calcium/alk as fast. Macro can absorb a TON of elements. Right now I dose 8 drops of cheatogro a day in my macro tank. 

 

Separate your alk/ca/mg from your traces with your planned stock. 

 

All-for-one seems more viable for a typical mixed coral tank imo. 

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BulkRate

I know this flies in the face of what you stated you're going for, but with that critter count and a heavy macroalgae stocking you'll wind up with a veritable meth lab of additives and dosing regimens to keep things happy if you try to go triton-esque.  Changing out 3-4 gallons with new salt water a week's really not a time-suck on such a small aquarium and does away with a lot of fiddling.  

 

Case & point my 10 gallon's still cranking along after almost 8 years.  I do two 2 gallon water changes a week plus glass scraping as needed (roughly every two weeks).  Floss swapped out when I remember to.  60-90 ml of top off water laced with .5 ml of Aquavitro 8.4 daily.  The macroalgae starts to fade & break up if I slack off any further.  I keep planing to send off a sample for an triton-style analysis just to see what my baseline is, but again, lazy.  😉 

 

Attached is a photo - the hammer corals are closed up a bit because the lights just came on and a hermit blundered through the lower tier of them.

 

BTW - you might want to look into one or two banded trochus snails.  Aside from being a bit finicky on the initial acclimation they're long-lived, tough as nails and can hold their own in a hermit-heavy tank.  Bonus is that they DO reproduce in captivity, but the baby snails will likely be picked off by fish or starve - one's about all my tank can sustain, but it's been in there for over a couple years now. 

 

IMG_0928.jpg

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Seadragon
2 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I would not go with all for one since you are not doing water changes. Your stuff isn't going to be used up the exact ratio to make a all-in-one viable imo. You are going to end up with 0 of some and too many of another. 

 

For example you are running a macro and softy tank. this will suck down iron, manganese, iodine, etc... but it won't suck down calcium/alk as fast. Macro can absorb a TON of elements. Right now I dose 8 drops of cheatogro a day in my macro tank. 

 

Separate your alk/ca/mg from your traces with your planned stock. 

 

All-for-one seems more viable for a typical mixed coral tank imo. 

 

Right now, the chaeto algae I have seems to be twice as large as when I first got it.  If I notice it to start to decline, I will probably buy the "Brightwell Aquatics CHGR250 Chaeto GRO Chaetomorpha Algae Fertilizer, 250 mL" since that seems to be what is being recommended.

 

Thanks for the call-out on not to get the All-For-Reef.

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Seadragon
4 hours ago, BulkRate said:

I know this flies in the face of what you stated you're going for, but with that critter count and a heavy macroalgae stocking you'll wind up with a veritable meth lab of additives and dosing regimens to keep things happy if you try to go triton-esque.  Changing out 3-4 gallons with new salt water a week's really not a time-suck on such a small aquarium and does away with a lot of fiddling.  

 

Case & point my 10 gallon's still cranking along after almost 8 years.  I do two 2 gallon water changes a week plus glass scraping as needed (roughly every two weeks).  Floss swapped out when I remember to.  60-90 ml of top off water laced with .5 ml of Aquavitro 8.4 daily.  The macroalgae starts to fade & break up if I slack off any further.  I keep planing to send off a sample for an triton-style analysis just to see what my baseline is, but again, lazy.  😉 

 

Attached is a photo - the hammer corals are closed up a bit because the lights just came on and a hermit blundered through the lower tier of them.

 

BTW - you might want to look into one or two banded trochus snails.  Aside from being a bit finicky on the initial acclimation they're long-lived, tough as nails and can hold their own in a hermit-heavy tank.  Bonus is that they DO reproduce in captivity, but the baby snails will likely be picked off by fish or starve - one's about all my tank can sustain, but it's been in there for over a couple years now. 

 

IMG_0928.jpg

 

Yeah, I mentioned earlier that I will be adding 3 additional snails to the tank.

 

I already special ordered two Banded Trochus Snails (1 for each tank).

And on Saturday, we'll be picking up some Astrea Snails and some Nassarius Snails.

I might also reduce the Blue Leg Hermit Crab count to 6 for each tank.  That'll leave us with 6 hermit crabs and 4 snails per tank.  (right now the 2nd nano reef has no CUC.)

 

I'm really into no water changes, as seen by my freshwater shrimp tank & fish tanks, and there's also a lot of videos on YouTube of folks who have done it with way more going on than I have.

 

Here's a tank that has been going on for 23 years, no skimmer, no water changes.  And his tank has a lot more coral diversity than I ever will have.

 

 

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Amphrites

The diversity actually helps ALLOT, and as a heads-up that video is pretty-well traveled. Sanjay is a fore-runner and literal god of this hobby, it's hard to even say where we'd all be propagation/home-keeping without his expertise, even if he doesn't come across as such in the video because of how laid-back and humble he is.
The man could probably successfully grow corals in a liquid-rubber coated sock better than most of us can manage in our tanks lol...

But there are quite a few tanks out there which don't utilize water-changes, for example the Triton-method is pretty-much an implied 0-waterchange reefkeeping-choice. It isn't impossible, just challenging, although sometimes it doesn't even need to be challenging. If you look through that channel's video's the gent actually set himself up a 10g nano with a pair of frogspawn and a royal-gramma, then ran it 0-waterchanges for a few months without issue (well a bit of green hair algae), but he kept the bioload low. (And I think he also used the N03 Out brightwell cubes for filtration in the back, those buggers are sulfur-doped and fantastic at getting rid of nitrate [until they aren't]).

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Poison Dart Frog
7 hours ago, Seadragon said:

 

Oh, I believe you.  But, here's what I'm looking at right now... if any of the corals start to die down or not open (right now, they all are open and appear to be happy and waving in the current.  There's an old saying, if it ain't broken, don't..), I'll probably go ahead and buy the "Sanrise A029 Aqua Knight 30W CREE Nano Aquarium LED w/Mount" at the first sign of trouble.  That would cost me an additional $120 (between the two tanks) for something that may not be an issue yet due to these really simple corals that I chose.  Also, the chaeto algae has grown in size since I first put it in there and it has this pretty green color which might partly be because Charlie was cleaning it off a few days ago.  I am using 2 different lights on the aquarium and I believe that should be taken into account on why it may be doing OK right now.

 

I'll look into the "Brightwell Aquatics CHGR250 Chaeto GRO Chaetomorpha Algae Fertilizer, 250 mL" and other similar solutions.  Thanks for the info.

 

Another good light with the same capability is the Pixie 30 on amazon. It's kind of a knockoff of the AI Prime. My girlfriend has it on her 10 gallon and it works really well. There are some youtube videos with PAR measurements for it and it's even enough light for a 30 gallon biocube. Either one would be a great bargain light. https://www.amazon.com/Lomini-Aquarium-Saltwater-Freshwater-Planted/dp/B07F5B5GRB/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=pixie+30+led&qid=1569623726&sr=8-1

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Tamberav

+1 Sanjay is not human. I'm sure only a million people have failed to replicate his set up long term. Keep in mind his tank is VERY MATURE with REAL live rock. Not dry!!!! The key is biodiversity!!! 

 

If you watch the video, he doesn't do water changes anymore. He did them for the 1st 15ish years.... he also had a skimmer. So the tank was set up traditionally and as it matured he removed stuff and maintenance changed. 

 

I would argue a tank full of soft coral is easier with no water changes then macro although I don't keep cheato so can't comment on its needs. 

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Seadragon

UPDATE: I just witnessed my Duncan's first poop.  A little brown round object from each of their mouths.  At first I thought something was wrong, but upon googling, I guess that's how corals poop.  Phew!  Lol.

 

This kind of reminds me of when parents' experience a baby's first fever and stuff like that.  We all rush to the doctor to find out it's really nothing to worry about.

 

I also just added about 6 long pieces of Red Dragon's Breath to my tank.  Now we got some color going.

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Seadragon

UPDATE 9/29/2019:

 

Highlights

- Transferred Sharknose Goby from the Office Nano Reef to the School Nano Reef; both tanks now have 4 fish.

- Reduced Blue Leg Hermit Crabs from 10 to 7 in Office Nano Reef; Added 6 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs to the School Nano Reef (my 7th happened to be an empty shell from LFS that is a hour away).

- Both tanks now have a Astrea Snail and a Stocky Cerith Snail.

- Added additional Pom Pom Xenia (ORA) to the Office Nano Reef.  May transfer one of the Xenia frags to the School Nano Reef next week.

 

Upcoming for Next Weekend

Banded Trochus Snails will arrive next Friday, 1 for each tank.

- Adding Ducanopsammia Coral to School Nano Reef next Friday.

- Adding 1 additional Blue Leg Hermit Crab to School Nano Reef raising the total count to 7.

- Adding 2 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (small, from Sri Lanka) to Office Nano Reef

 

Commentary

I notice when the hermit crabs rub up against the Xenias, the Xenias respond by bunching up and going on full "lock down".  Not happy with the negative reaction, but I guess that's for safety precautions.  Blue Leg Hermit Crabs probably do more good than harm, just a little annoying I guess to the corals.

 

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BulkRate

You won't regret getting those snails - they're eating machines but way less prone to knocking things over than turbos.

 

But yeah... I wouldn't set my sights on duplicating a tank of Sanjay's right out the gate.  At this stage of the game, I'm not sure he even needs water anymore to get coral to grow. 😉

 

I also know that MINE is not ready for trying to phase out water changes.  With a 30:70 ratio of macroalgae-to-everything-else I start to see fading on the corals & anemones and eventually die-back on the macroalgaes themselves even with all the feedings, a couple fish and crabs in residence.  Admittedly when I last went on a prolonged no-water-change jag I was ignorant and only monitored alkalinity/calcium/magnesium and salinity - micronutrient dosing was not in my lexicon, so you might come out better than I did.  As it is, a 5 gallon brewer's bucket of new salt water's a 10 minute prep and then a day or two to age it... water change time just involves a couple pitchers of tank water coming out, and a couple new going in.  Surplus water is stashed in some used 1-liter VOSS bottles to have conveniently on hand for the next couple water change days.    

 

Suggest you to check out Nanosapien's 12 gallon progression thread (http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/172031-nano-sapiens-12g-ye-olde-mixed-reef/).  It's what I've been striving to duplicate in mine (well at least until I got bit by the rock flower anemone bug).  Lotta great long-term stability strategies explored on it.  And has posted a complete timeline of the whole darn thing on page 1.  Which I now have to go and check out.

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Seadragon
11 hours ago, BulkRate said:

You won't regret getting those snails - they're eating machines but way less prone to knocking things over than turbos.

 

But yeah... I wouldn't set my sights on duplicating a tank of Sanjay's right out the gate.  At this stage of the game, I'm not sure he even needs water anymore to get coral to grow. 😉

 

I also know that MINE is not ready for trying to phase out water changes.  With a 30:70 ratio of macroalgae-to-everything-else I start to see fading on the corals & anemones and eventually die-back on the macroalgaes themselves even with all the feedings, a couple fish and crabs in residence.  Admittedly when I last went on a prolonged no-water-change jag I was ignorant and only monitored alkalinity/calcium/magnesium and salinity - micronutrient dosing was not in my lexicon, so you might come out better than I did.  As it is, a 5 gallon brewer's bucket of new salt water's a 10 minute prep and then a day or two to age it... water change time just involves a couple pitchers of tank water coming out, and a couple new going in.  Surplus water is stashed in some used 1-liter VOSS bottles to have conveniently on hand for the next couple water change days.    

 

Suggest you to check out Nanosapien's 12 gallon progression thread (http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/172031-nano-sapiens-12g-ye-olde-mixed-reef/).  It's what I've been striving to duplicate in mine (well at least until I got bit by the rock flower anemone bug).  Lotta great long-term stability strategies explored on it.  And has posted a complete timeline of the whole darn thing on page 1.  Which I now have to go and check out.

 

Both of those are amazing mixed reefs, Sanjay's and Nanosapien's.  I already have 3 successful no water change tanks already that have been going on for a few years, all freshwater though.

 

I've been making baby tweaks to my nano reefs nearly every day, and I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing so far.  Currently, I do unscheduled water changes whenever I move fish from one aquarium to another, add livestock to an aquarium, or make some sort of drastic change that requires water to be added.  Once everything is settled and I'm happy with the results, it's going to be virtually no water changes.  I'm placing my bets on Xenia and Duncan corals to be a lot more hardy than given credit for.  And even if I don't have the best growth rate among fellow hobbyists, that was never my goal.  I just want a beautiful tank to look at that can pretty much sustain itself without much intervention.

 

I'm not looking to sell corals, or to have all of my rocks covered by a certain deadline.  Slow and steady wins the race.  And as long as I keep seeing the Xenia pulsing and the Duncans waving their pretty tentacles, I'm happy.  Let's see how this goes for a year, and if it turns out the way I'm planning, I'll add it to my list of 5 aquariums with no water changes and minimal maintenance using a budget light fixture.

 

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