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Seadragon

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

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Seadragon

UPDATE 10/2/2019:

 

- Transferred all Blue Leg Hermit Crabs from the Office Nano Reef to the School Nano Reef.  I decided to keep my Office Nano Reef hermit crab free and focus more on snails.

- Removed all sizable snail shells from the sand to give it a "cleaner" appearance.  The multitude of empty snail shells reminded me of a snail graveyard.

- Added 3 Stocky Cerith Snails to the Office Nano Reef.

 

I found the hermit crabs to constantly rub up against my Xenia which caused the Xenia to stay closed and to stop pulsing.  Also, the hermit crabs appeared to go after my pretty coralline algae more so than my nuisance algae.  On the other hand, I was quite impressed how quickly Charlie, the Stocky Cerith Snail, was able to clean up all the brown diatoms and other algae from inside the refugium and all around the tank.  This ultimately made me want to focus on getting more Cerith snails and to transfer out the hermit crabs.

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Seadragon

As you may know, I love Pulsing Xenia (I prefer the pretty pinkish colored ones with rapid pulsing) and since this was my first time buying corals, I got to learn first hand on the world of buying corals and I have some lessons learned from this experience.

 

So, the first thing I noticed was the price for this "pest" coral is pretty much $29.99 across the board!  (Wow! I expected cheaper for such small frags of a PEST coral!)

 

Here were my options:

1. A small local LFS was selling "Pulsing Xenia" for $29.99, but it wasn't growing on a frag plug, just in the substrate and they were going to charge me full price.  Their tanks didn't look too clean and I wouldn't be surprised if I got some sort of hitchhikers along with the purchase for free.  So I passed on this, but I almost went with it and was going to buy a good coral dip from Amazon.  Although I hear some hitchhikers don't die from dipping.  Glad I passed on this either way, it seemed sketchy.

 

2. An eBay Seller sold me "Pulsing Xenia Waving Hand frag Pom Pom" for $39.17 (with shipping) and he shipped it without a frag plug and no styrofoam, 2 pieces in a baby bottle and it took a couple days to arrive due to no overnight shipping offered.  Needless to say, when it finally arrived, I opened the baby bottle and saw 2 ghostly white pieces of what looked like spoiled broccoli heads (small).  I attempted to acclimate and add to my tank, and it dissolved to mush in a couple days.  Was melting immediately.  Bad first experience and I learned my lesson about buying corals from eBay.  (I'm sure some people have better experiences, but this was mine, lol.)

 

3. I purchased "Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia Coral, Aquacultured (Xenia sp.)" for $29.99 (free shipping due to placing a huge order) from a major online retailer.  The overnight shipping and the packaging was superb, the best that I've ever seen.  The Xenia is still alive from this purchase, but unfortunately, it is lackluster.  I placed it where it shouldn't get too much flow, and I've seen it kind of do it's pulsing thing once or twice, but right now as I've been looking at it for the past hour, it doesn't look too special.  I feel like it has lost it's purpose in life and it's ready to move onto greater things.  I would not buy this particular type again, but the online retailer was great at shipping it.

 

4. Finally, I purchased "Pom Pom Xenia Frag - Xenia sp. ORA" (free due to local pick-up) for $29.99 from a local LFS with a huge facility.  This is my first time buying a coral marked ORA.  Here's what they had to say about ORA: "ORA Frags are propagated by Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums, the largest marine ornamental fish hatchery in the world. They continuously develop new frags and many are available in very limited quantities. We are proud to offer ORA's corals as part of our coral frag collection".  This particular Pom Pom Xenia Frag from ORA is AMAZING.  I'm looking at it right now and it has the exact color I love and it's rapidly pulsing.  I already told my wife that she is getting the Red Sea Pom Pom for her School Nano Reef, lol.

 

I'm so amazed by this ORA purchase and I'm excited to one day buy more corals from ORA.  Has anyone had a similar experience with ORA?

 

I think the other lesson that I learned is it's good to buy from a local LFS that you trust whenever possible since you get the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) experience.  And that could've saved me $69+ if my LFS had the item in stock at the time I was making this purchase.  Not to mention, the shipping time for me is just an hour drive going home.

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Amphrites

You could also try googling what distributors are reputable and asking around on the forums first as well, ORA (one of the largest names out there...)- Sustainable aquatics - Biota, Live-Aquaria -Pacific-East Aquaculture - World Wide Corals -Tidal Gardens (there are just too many reputable-dealers to list), Local-hobbyists and well-known ebayers are all great places to pick up animals...

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Tamberav

That ebay person should have never shipped Xenia that way. It is a poor shipper so it needs to be sent overnight. It melts easily at higher temps. I would have demanded a refund.

 

ORA stuff is fine...I think my Xenia is from ORA off live Aquaria site. I mostly buy off other hobbiests as Xenia is like 5 dollars or free from them. I pluck and throw my Xenia away as it grows rapidly.

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Ratvan

The only time I have had success getting Xenia posted is when a fellow reefer sent it in a damp Jiffy Bag. (Frag wrapped in damp newspaper, paper towels, in a jiffy bag, in an envelope.) I'm genuinely shocked at the price that you're paying/paid for that coral. 

 

I know each area is different but I have been giving away some of my easier coral frags to new starters(also because I no longer want these and they have infested my rocks) any reefers in your area that you can get some freebies from or do they all have issues with their tanks?

 

I'm the opposite way around, my LFS's suck and online ordering is hit or miss. My local reefers are where my money goes these days

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Seadragon

UPDATE 10/5/2019:

 

Yesterday, I added two small Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and a Banded Trochus Snail.  They all seem to have adjusted well and are quite lively in the tank.

 

However, I noticed everything in my tank seems to be doing alright except the Duncan Corals seem less happy than usual.  I ordered the API Calcium Test Kit and was able to test today to verify my hunch.  Currently, I only test for Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites, Alkalinity, PH, and now Calcium.  I noticed my Alkalinity dropped a little and now today, I confirmed that my Calcium is at 320 ppm.  I believe we want it to be between 400-500 ppm, correct?

 

So, I remember someone mentioned earlier about Seachem Part 1 so after doing some research on my available options, I ended up going with Seachem Reef Fusion 1 and 2.  Let me know your thoughts on this decision.  It appears Seachem Reef Fusion 1 adds Calcium, Magnesium, Strontium, Boron, Iron, Manganese, Molydenum, and Rubidium.

 

I'll start dosing starting Monday until I can get my Calcium levels back into a normal range.

 

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Tamberav

Ideally you will want to test daily and figure out the consumption then dose daily to maintain idea levels.

 

We would normally start this process after a water change so maybe after you get it up to your goals start testing to see how much is is falling a day. Test the same time of day.

 

Reef fusion should be fine.

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Seadragon

UPDATE 10/6/2019:

 

So I got to see first hand of how aggressive the little Azure Damselfish can be in my office nano reef.  For the past few days, it was occasionally picking on my clownfish.  I decided to separate it last night and promptly returned it back to the LFS it came from today.  I did some research on peaceful tank mates for my clownfish and decided on getting a Red Firefish Goby.

 

The school nano reef still has the Yellowtail Damselfish with the Clownfish and my wife reported no aggression issues as of yet.

 

My original Duncan seems to be happy, I was able to feed it twice already in the past few days.  The other 3-headed Duncan seems to be closed up mostly now, so hopefully after dosing on Monday, it helps the situation with it.  Everything else in the tank seems to be doing well including the new Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp.  I'm also looking forward to adding more rocks to my aquarium to create a "bridge" that goes between the two large rock structures.  I'm interested to see if the cleaner shrimp take a liking to it.

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Tired

Yellowtail damsels like to defend a cave, but don't tend to be aggressive when their cave is left alone. That, and they're more likely to smack something with their tail than actually bite it, which some fish will just ignore. 

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Amphrites
2 hours ago, Tired said:

Yellowtail damsels like to defend a cave, but don't tend to be aggressive when their cave is left alone. That, and they're more likely to smack something with their tail than actually bite it, which some fish will just ignore. 

The tail slaps aren't limited to live-critters or fish either, anytime I move a coral in the tank it gets a good slap to make sure it still knows who's boss, snails too. Granted my little springers likes to grab ceriths and forcibly remove them from his caves as well lol...

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Tired

My yellowtail used to try and bully a clown goby out of his cave. He wouldn't nip it, though- he tried once and found out about the slime, and did not nip it again. And it would ignore his tail-slapping, so he would just kind of flounce around it, posturing angrily at this fish smaller than him, as it ignored him completely. 

I know they're the "basic" fish, but I really do love damsels. My next (non-pico) tank is gonna have a yellowtail, no question. Bright colors, sass without being hyperaggressive, and that expressive little dorsal fin- what's not to love? 

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Amphrites

Nothing in my book, I adore damselfish, they're underrated mostly because people try to keep reefs with a theory of "throw another fish in" I think. They're no more aggressive than cichlids and far easier to keep, long-lived, personable, constantly-active and colorful as well.

Only real challenge involved is that you have to give them enough territories and be mindful of how they behave, so hobbyists really have to read and understand the fish's needs and what they may be getting-into when purchasing them. The fish get an undeservedly-bad rap because they're pretty, funny, and cheap so people window-shop the heck out of them without any clue they're buying fluffy-little turbo-cichlids. My .02 at least.

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Tired

I sorta want to try a group of domino damsels and something for them to host. I found a school of wild domino damselfish living in a stony coral of some form in Hawaii, all hanging out in there together. I don't know if they only do that as babies, though- only one was an adult, and then the rest were an assortment of large coin sizes, up to about silver dollar. 

 

My yellowtail had a conch shell he lived in, and would pretty much disregard anything that wasn't in or on his shell. Every now and then he got it into his little head to go and bother something else, but not often enough to do anything significant. I had a firefish in with him for awhile, which is a classic wimp, and he bothered it maybe once a month at most. If you keep them with anything that has any scrap of self-defense inclination (like most watchman gobies and blennies), they won't be an issue. 

 

It's a shame some of the damsels lose that nice, sharp baby patterning. Domino damsels don't look so nice as adults, and I think some of the black-and-white striped ones also tend to lose some definition.

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Amphrites

Three and two stripes are known to be awfully-aggressive, probably better-off with black and white chromi's or, if you prefer the white-and-black "stripes", rolland's damsels.
Anyway lol, enough thread hijacking to gush about damselfish, sorry yours didn't work out Seadragon.

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Tamberav

I keep a Starkii and a Springers without problems. I also had a talbot years ago. It just depends on the type of damsel and individuals. My Starkii only fights with what fights with her first... when I had one with a Jawfish a long time ago, she hated the Jawfish but had every right as the Jawfish stole her burrows and tried to kick her out and fight first which started a turf war. She was with all sorts of peaceful fish like dartfish and flasher wrasses, a pair of clowns, ect. They are pretty large too but they mostly just do a lot of posturing and flaring, no real biting or chasing. My current one is with a pair of clowns, gramma, and a midas. 

 

In large tanks, the more peaceful damsels tend to bicker among each other in groups and ignore other fish. They make wonderful brilliant blue filler fish in big enough tanks. 

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Seadragon

UPDATE 10/8/2019:

 

- I added a "rock bridge" so that the cleaner shrimp have a place to hang.  I also think it adds a nice touch to the nano reef.

1755499075_RockBridge1.thumb.jpg.6dd16042a34acb0fe77a820a6c36ee1f.jpg

 

- I experienced my first fish death this morning, the Red Firefish Goby.  When he was initially introduced, he seemed fine and was out in the open.  Then he started to dart to the cave under the large rock.  He stayed hidden and out of sight for a couple days.  Then this morning, I noticed it's head was in the sand next to a Stocky Cerith Snail.  The cleaner shrimp appeared to be cleaning it's underside, but after closer inspection, I noticed it was dead as I was pulling it out.

 

I checked my water parameters and I have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and surprisingly 0 Nitrates.  I guess the Macro Algae is really working which has me concerned because I know it's good to have a little Nitrates in the water.  I added more Calcium and Alk to the water since the Alk is showing around 180 and the Calcium is around 300-320 PPM.  All other fish, shrimp, and corals appear to be live and well.  After adding the additional Alk and Calcium, my 2nd Xenia seemed to grow larger almost instantly.

 

- I'm currently acclimating a Black Molly.  I hear they are very peaceful, they shouldn't hide much at all, and they like to graze on algae, including hair algae.

 

- My first Duncan has been open and showing off his tentacles almost every day.  I was able to spot feed him thrice already.  However, the other 3-headed Duncan has been closed up pretty much every day.  I have a feeling he doesn't like his particular spot on the rock.  I'm tempted to move him to a spot on the bridge that I think would make the tank look pretty neat to look at with the two Duncans at the center of it all.

 

 

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j.falk
On 10/6/2019 at 3:22 PM, Seadragon said:

So I got to see first hand of how aggressive the little Azure Damselfish can be in my office nano reef.  For the past few days, it was occasionally picking on my clownfish.  I decided to separate it last night and promptly returned it back to the LFS it came from today. 

😉

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Seadragon

I'm thinking about upgrading the lighting on my nano reefs, but after browsing Amazon and looking at the different lights for an hour or so, the manufacturers do not always seem to be straight forward with the PAR and color spectrum.  I feel like most of them say "this is the BEST light in the world! buy me!", but when I read the comments from consumers, they say: "this light SUCKS for corals! do not buy! low PAR, blah blah", and these are ~$100+ lights, so I'm not even looking at the real cheapo lights anymore.

 

Now, I do have some requirements.  The light must have extendable brackets that fits 20" top, have a PAR between 120-250, and a color spectrum between 14-20K.  I've never encountered something so difficult in my life, I almost think it doesn't exist.  I don't even care how much it costs!  I can't even find the damn things.  I was going to list some things I was looking at on Amazon, but after reading more into it, there was nothing that even meets the PAR and color spectrum requirements.  What are the TOP brands when it comes to reef lighting?  Do they even come in LED with extendable brackets?  Any suggestions for me besides the clip thing.

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Seadragon

What do you think about this light: Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light for $111.54 (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GFTK7CQ)

 

Unless anyone can find something better/brighter (that also has the extendable brackets for a 20" top).

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Clown79
Seadragon
19 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Sounds like you might be wanting something stronger like the pro or IC series?

 

Orbit_PAR.png

 

Here are measurements and comparisons including different lenses they use, spectrum and so on:

 

https://currentusa.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000926363-How-much-PAR-and-what-wavelength-does-the-Orbit-Marine-LED-produce-

 

Thank you!  Out of these two choices (unless there's another on Amazon that has the extendable bracket for 20"), which would you choose?  I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything before I place the order, thanks.

  1. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light (18 to 24-inch) for $111.54 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GFTK7CQ
  2. Current USA Orbit IC LED - LOOP COMPATIBLE (18 - 24") for $143.69 - https://www.amazon.com/Current-USA-4106-48-Orbit/dp/B01MDP0N01

Note: My Duncans are 5" from the surface, and my Xenia are 9.5" from the surface.

 

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Seadragon
7 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

 

Thank you, I really want to stick with the LEDs + Extendable Brackets for a 20" top because of both the look of the lighting (aesthetics from the outside + the ease for me to place it on top of my lid) and the coverage from within the tank due to the rectangular shape of my tank.  I did look over your choices though, and I'd like to stick with Amazon due to the quickness of shipping + the ease of returns.

 

Out of curiosity though, if you only had the following two choices, which would you choose and why?

  1. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light (18 to 24-inch) for $111.54 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GFTK7CQ
  2. Current USA Orbit IC LED - LOOP COMPATIBLE (18 - 24") for $143.69 - https://www.amazon.com/Current-USA-4106-48-Orbit/dp/B01MDP0N01

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Seadragon

Thanks for the help everyone and persuading me from the beginning to upgrade my lighting.  I ended up choosing the "Current USA 4204 18"-24" Orbit Marine IC LED with Bluetooth" for $174.90. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KWHKGYP

 

I'm a sucker for iOS apps controlling things such as vacuum robots or aquarium lighting (it can also monitor water temperature, control water flow if you buy their pumps, and even has effects for rolling clouds/thunderstorm).  I think this model will suit me well for the type of corals I'm going after.

 

Thanks!

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Clown79
4 hours ago, Seadragon said:

 

Thank you, I really want to stick with the LEDs + Extendable Brackets for a 20" top because of both the look of the lighting (aesthetics from the outside + the ease for me to place it on top of my lid) and the coverage from within the tank due to the rectangular shape of my tank.  I did look over your choices though, and I'd like to stick with Amazon due to the quickness of shipping + the ease of returns.

 

Out of curiosity though, if you only had the following two choices, which would you choose and why?

  1. Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light (18 to 24-inch) for $111.54 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GFTK7CQ
  2. Current USA Orbit IC LED - LOOP COMPATIBLE (18 - 24") for $143.69 - https://www.amazon.com/Current-USA-4106-48-Orbit/dp/B01MDP0N01

All the lights I listed are leds and will certainly cover your 10g. All available on amazon.

 

Bulk reef supply is highly recommended site.

 

The non budget lights like Ai, Kessil, and nanobox are top of the line lights

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