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Steemax

Barebones 20H Reef Tank

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Steemax

FTS 2/24/2020

20200224_164235.thumb.jpg.058098ab6c75e7bdf7b597dfe2c8da24.jpg

 

Hello all, 

 

Figured i'd start a journal to keep track of my new reef tanks progression and growth as time goes on. 

I've been into reef keeping for around 15 years with various fresh and saltwater tanks from larger tanks to nano's. 

 

I'm setting up this nano reef to scratch my itch while my wife and I save for a home. Then i'll upgrade to a larger tank. 

 

This is will be a basic tank with minimal equipment. 

 

Equipment: 

Petco $1/gal 20g high

Hipagero/Aquaknight 30w Amazon special LED light

Aqueon 150w heater

Two Koralia 240 powerheads

Aquaclear 50 HOB /w only filter floss 

 

Sand: 15lbs of Caribsea Bahamas Oolite topped with 10lbs of Fiji Pink

Rock: 18lbs of various live rock from established reef tank from LFS

Water: Distilled water tested at 0 TDS until I get a RODI setup

Salt: Instant Ocean Reef Crystal

 

Livestock:

Clownfish x2

Cleaner Shrimp x1

Blue leg hermit x3 (Dropped in various sized shells for them to change into instead of killing the snails)

Trochus Snail x2

 

Corals: 

Zoa Frag (not sure what kind)

Ricordea Mushroom

Green Polyp Leather Coral 

 

The only other fish I'm looking to add down the road is a single Royal Gramma and that will be enough bio load for this tank. 

 

On to some pics: 

 

My two captive bred Percula Clownfish:

 

20191224_130955.thumb.jpg.6c747cfec0e7ee61fb9e41a934cd94d4.jpg

 

Random Zoa frag I picked up for $14, couldn't say no: 

 

20191224_131153.thumb.jpg.f11bb16a6a44b790fefab1e295e80637.jpg

 

Green polyp leather coral I picked up today from Petco for $24, seemed like a good deal. I remember these used to go for a lot more money 5+ years ago so it blew my mind: 

 

20191227_195634.thumb.jpg.92d60592e83ea43169f04c463cd8659d.jpg

 

Mr. Cleaner shrimp doing what they do best: 

 

20191227_195651.thumb.jpg.8cb8570fbaf59e0ef632920df7d06580.jpg

 

Ricordea Mushroom: 

 

20191227_195726.thumb.jpg.1c983e0d667a0e6d68a042ad06d76794.jpg

 

Side Shot: 

 

20191227_195700.thumb.jpg.7b2c510a5b514ef370b556c60602d2e5.jpg

 

FTS:

 

20191227_195617.thumb.jpg.a4a66dc4421ec198338cc1727c31ee4c.jpg

 

Thank you!

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Clown79

Tank looks good

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WV Reefer
11 hours ago, Steemax said:

Hello all, 

 

Figured i'd start a journal to keep track of my new reef tanks progression and growth as time goes on. 

I've been into reef keeping for around 15 years with various fresh and saltwater tanks from larger tanks to nano's. 

 

I'm setting up this nano reef to scratch my itch while my wife and I save for a home. Then i'll upgrade to a larger tank. 

 

This is will be a basic tank with minimal equipment. 

 

Equipment: 

Petco $1/gal 20g high

Hipagero/Aquaknight 30w Amazon special LED light

Aqueon 150w heater

Two Koralia 240 powerheads

Aquaclear 50 HOB /w only filter floss 

 

Sand: 15lbs of Caribsea Bahamas Oolite topped with 10lbs of Fiji Pink

Rock: 18lbs of various live rock from established reef tank from LFS

Water: Distilled water tested at 0 TDS until I get a RODI setup

Salt: Instant Ocean Reef Crystal

 

Livestock:

Clownfish x2

Cleaner Shrimp x1

Blue leg hermit x3 (Dropped in various sized shells for them to change into instead of killing the snails)

Trochus Snail x2

 

Corals: 

Zoa Frag (not sure what kind)

Ricordea Mushroom

Green Polyp Leather Coral 

 

The only other fish I'm looking to add down the road is a single Royal Gramma and that will be enough bio load for this tank. 

 

On to some pics: 

 

My two captive bred Percula Clownfish:

 

20191224_130955.thumb.jpg.6c747cfec0e7ee61fb9e41a934cd94d4.jpg

 

Random Zoa frag I picked up for $14, couldn't say no: 

 

20191224_131153.thumb.jpg.f11bb16a6a44b790fefab1e295e80637.jpg

 

Green polyp leather coral I picked up today from Petco for $24, seemed like a good deal. I remember these used to go for a lot more money 5+ years ago so it blew my mind: 

 

20191227_195634.thumb.jpg.92d60592e83ea43169f04c463cd8659d.jpg

 

Mr. Cleaner shrimp doing what they do best: 

 

20191227_195651.thumb.jpg.8cb8570fbaf59e0ef632920df7d06580.jpg

 

Ricordea Mushroom: 

 

20191227_195726.thumb.jpg.1c983e0d667a0e6d68a042ad06d76794.jpg

 

Side Shot: 

 

20191227_195700.thumb.jpg.7b2c510a5b514ef370b556c60602d2e5.jpg

 

FTS:

 

20191227_195617.thumb.jpg.a4a66dc4421ec198338cc1727c31ee4c.jpg

 

Thank you!

Looks great so far. 😊

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Steemax

Thank you both!

 

Placed my first online order from Cultivated Reef for some frags, i'm a bit nervous but let's see how it goes: 

 

-Rasta Zoas

-Purple Death Palys

-Scrambled Eggs Zoas

-CR's Violet Cespitularia

-Green Duncan 

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10001110101
32 minutes ago, Steemax said:

Thank you both!

 

Placed my first online order from Cultivated Reef for some frags, i'm a bit nervous but let's see how it goes: 

 

-Rasta Zoas

-Purple Death Palys

-Scrambled Eggs Zoas

-CR's Violet Cespitularia

-Green Duncan 

Haven't ordered from them, but my experience in the past ordering corals online has been pretty good.  As long as it's a reputable site usually the coral ship very well.

 

Please dip them though just to be sure, a quick 20 min dip in any common reef dip can prevent you from getting dreaded zoa spiders/nudis etc.

 

Those are all great corals, look forward to updates.  I like your rockwork too!

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Steemax
59 minutes ago, 10001110101 said:

Haven't ordered from them, but my experience in the past ordering corals online has been pretty good.  As long as it's a reputable site usually the coral ship very well.

 

Please dip them though just to be sure, a quick 20 min dip in any common reef dip can prevent you from getting dreaded zoa spiders/nudis etc.

 

Those are all great corals, look forward to updates.  I like your rockwork too!

Thank you!

 

Yeah they have a good reputation online and have been very responsive to me by email. 

I'll make sure to give them a dip in some Revive, can't wait to receive them, i'll post up pics.

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Steemax

Cultivated Reef let me know there are weather concerns and want to delay the shipment which I appreciate. New delivery date is Friday but I wont be home from work until 4pm so i'm a bit nervous. The box wont be sitting outside but in a temperature controlled office until I pickup so I got that going for me. 

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Steemax

picked up an 8" bone cutter to cut up the frag plugs on the incoming order. This thing is beefy.

Also ordered some original chemi-pure for the HOB.

 

Quick note, my cleaner shrimp has been acting strange right after molting the other day (Saturday Morning). One of its antennas are very short and bent inwards/tangled up with its arms. Looks to be bugging it. It's moving around the aquarium spazing out and won't react to any food I feed the fish nor is grazing the rocks. It's been hanging out on the temp gauge all day today. 

 

20191230_170847.thumb.jpg.119dd37ecfd1ae450818ee786b7d493e.jpg

 

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Steemax

Decided i'd add a protein skimmer, went with the aquatic life 115 as i've used this one before and it did alright for a nano skimmer. Tank is full of micro bubbles until this thing breaks in. My Leather coral also decided to shed, there's still some skin hanging off of it. 

Zoas are doing great but my Ricordea looks odd. It's stretching wide and it's mouth is open. Not looking too hot. I dimmed down the lights a bit and am running them much lower. The Zoa's and the leather aren't bothered by the lower light so i'll see if the Ricordea bounces back like this. 

 

My cleaner shrimp is acting normal now. Whatever was happening it snapped out of it and is now eating out of my hand and grazing the rocks. 

 

Did a basic water param test after my water change...

Ammonia: 0ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 0 - 5ppm

PH: 8.2

 

Also the new corals arrive tomorrow. Very excited to receive my first online coral order. 

 

20200102_183814.thumb.jpg.83719877437e60d2d2b78612fba5e242.jpg20200102_183927.thumb.jpg.8ec877589241ccbfd1bc6da3d7053a45.jpg20200102_183730.thumb.jpg.fe9c5a830f18d54e4eee2d2562c3efa2.jpg20200102_183850.thumb.jpg.c8978238838710fd5d8e64f4970bca88.jpg20200102_183718.thumb.jpg.5acb2b21649a22c2a8899597b8cdbb69.jpg

 

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Steemax

My order arrived this morning, floated the bags for 30 min then did a slow drip acclimation for an hour followed by a 15 min dip.

All in all they seem to have all survived. I had them sitting in the dark in the back corner to acclimate to the light. I'll post pics shortly after I place them in their final destinations. 

 

The Violet Cespitularia is such a vibrant UV color. Never seen anything like it in stores. Very excited about that one. 

 

20200103_154927.thumb.jpg.6f63947463196c0b7bde7b0a8f8354e9.jpg

 

20200103_173735.thumb.jpg.2434ce0ebcfedca2041a03e426d28a46.jpg

 

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Steemax

So far so good, they're in their placements and opening up. I'm not so sure how the cespitularia is supposed to look though. I placed it in a higher flow area. I hope that's ok. Most of the zoa's are open minus a couple a polyps.

 

20200103_203950.thumb.jpg.8798b2a575b39118cd485e414178be95.jpg20200104_103420.thumb.jpg.0578856cfa3c2a56d4aef23a0f05e734.jpg20200104_103458.thumb.jpg.643ace6d0f9250c205c4ed3d40d75ae3.jpg20200104_103453.thumb.jpg.1a294dd42e0a30bb75676df2b554d476.jpg20200104_103443.thumb.jpg.077631784dad8ae8a519901ea7d08334.jpg

 

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Steemax

Looks like protein skimmer just broke in and started pulling skimmate although it's still producing a bit of bubbles in the display. It'll probably be another couple weeks until that dies down. 

 

I'm trying to figure out my stocking. Looking to add my next fish in a month to give the tank some time to settle in a bit more. I'm thinking a Royal Gramma. Had one in my first tank that was with me until I tore down that build. I'm open to any other suggestions. 

 

Current stocking includes: 

 

2 Clownfish

1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

3 Blue leg hermit crabs

2 Trochus snails

 

I think one more fish would complete this and keep the bio load at a manageable level. I just measured my nitrates 5 days after my last 5 gallon water change and it's coming up as unreadable so I should be good to go.

 

20200105_003751.thumb.jpg.fc40d2d89183acd3b2b5cf6ecafe2dc4.jpg

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Steemax

Stopped by the LFS today since it's new shipment day and picked up an acan frag (3 polyps) and a nice mushroom rock. LFS had a small Royal Gramma but i had to resist.

 

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873188487_20200105_162023(1).thumb.jpg.ea71df53c0fa6ce4d492e15dd85efed5.jpg

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Steemax

Recorded a quick video to see how it turns out. This was after feeding the Duncan and Acan some mysis. 

 

 

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Steemax

I seem to be having trouble registering any nitrates. I saw a few strands of Dino's pop up earlier in the week which freaked me out. I tested the water and sure enough I was showing 0 nitrates. It's now been 1 week since my last water change and I'm still showing 0 nitrates. Nitrites and Ammonia are 0 as well.

 

Yesterday I turned off the Skimmer/removed the Chemipure, and fed heavy including mysis shrimp to the Duncan & Acan.  Today most of the strands of Dino were gone. I threw in a fresh bag of straight carbon in case of toxins. All that feeding and i'm still showing 0 nitrates. 

 

Maybe I don't have enough of a bio load to be running my skimmer? it's been really pulling gunk out last few days. Or maybe the Chemipure i threw in during my water change was the culprit? I'm not sure. 

 

This is what my skimmer pulled in 24hrs. 

20200107_175614.thumb.jpg.3eb12c190ea49d3c3d6ecc3f6f7e3d24.jpg

 

Besides all that, all my corals are happy, Acans and Duncan are well fed and fluffy, Zoa's are all open. My cleaner shrimp just molted again and his antennas are growing back quite nice and the new mushrooms are really stretching open with great coloration. The only thing not open last couple days was my leather which is currently shedding. 

 

Here are some random pics i took today: 

20200107_175636.thumb.jpg.3e817afcd36c3691c9fac2be7b52e957.jpg20200107_175835.thumb.jpg.e47fec8c8e2366eafeae4af7b3c0ea82.jpg20200107_175921.thumb.jpg.0a614d80df149921ae836f817b920391.jpg20200107_180024.thumb.jpg.0edf55999496b648f400dc0ed17fad0f.jpg985335317_20200107_175817(1).thumb.jpg.0fb2caea84c525d38c13bdf87629cf64.jpg20200107_175807.thumb.jpg.b437a2cfbd3191891c58465018ca9087.jpg20200107_175755.thumb.jpg.093ac9452883e6eadec87ae0aa929abd.jpg20200107_175712.thumb.jpg.5a7d4ab929ecea59402429bdb630527b.jpg

 

 

 

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Steemax

A BRS haul.... my DKH came in at 10.3 and my Calcium at 390 after exactly 1 week from last 25% water change. I don't think i'll need to dose much for now but will be ready when/if water changes can't keep up with coral demands. Now i need to get me a phosphate checker.

 

20200108_192223.thumb.jpg.346d9e9cfd38b173749b57195d963724.jpg

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Steemax

Update Post...

 

All the corals are doing great and showing growth already. Only the Ricordea did not make it. I made the mistake of placing it in direct light and it bleached out. 

 

I stopped by the LFS today and walked out with a zoa frag, a paly frag and a single head baby hammer frag. If anyone can ID the paly's and Zoa's i'd appreciate it as LFS wasn't sure. The Zoa's don't come out great on camera but they have a bright pink surround with a dark purple/blueish inside. 

 

I'm still having trouble registering any nitrates in the tank. I'm going on a week and half with no water changes. Feeding the fish once a day, fed the corals reef roids once and mysis shrimp twice. There's snail poop everywhere and yet I can't get any reading. I'm dumbfounded on what's going on. I don't see anything growing in the tank that could be using it. At this point i've only been running a UV, and my AC with straight carbon and filter pad. 

 

Just in case it's my test kit, I made some salt water using my tap water knowing there are nitrates in there (tested it before with a freshwater kit when I had my planted tank) sure enough it registered nitrates just fine. 

 

I also had a massive pod explosion. They are literally everywhere in the millions including in the water column. My clowns are not very interested in them so they are basically doubling in population daily. Not sure if there could be a bad effect to this eventually when there's no food for them.

 

Anyone on to some pics...

 

FTS

20200111_174349.thumb.jpg.90ac48d7703d37aede3fdae47e5ff368.jpg

 

Side Shot

20200111_174335.thumb.jpg.3e2b4f9e31d4f024f3e87f870394cd2e.jpg

 

Leather Coral Shedding

20200111_174228.thumb.jpg.b5227aba6fea3d15cc82fc8a2a30ff1e.jpg

 

The Mushrooms are now spreading out over the surrounding rocks

20200111_174149.thumb.jpg.12b9d94eedc051e18b50ae355d0c1e0a.jpg

 

Acans nice and fluffy

20200111_174145.thumb.jpg.3d4643da210c3f8e423cc5e44c9f65aa.jpg

 

Duncan has two new baby heads growing underneath it already

20200110_170533.thumb.jpg.e55f8290375a51fd1b6760277b016747.jpg

 

The new Zoa's from today

20200111_172223.thumb.jpg.13f4dc85002f04920ea2f35c90972151.jpg

 

The new Paly's from today

20200111_172209.thumb.jpg.968ba6887e07c851c626ed35af11629d.jpg

 

The new hammer from today

20200111_172158.thumb.jpg.0ee98b16a305b3565cb3e85253f2e7da.jpg

 

The Zoa Garden in the making

20200111_174215.thumb.jpg.7b7d0505e1f8394f7406415895abd9e1.jpg

 

 

 

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SliceGolfer

Think you got a hammer coral there, not a torch.

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Steemax
1 minute ago, SliceGolfer said:

Think you got a hammer coral there, not a torch.

I was literally just going to fix that in my post as I heard the notification on NR lol

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DNR88

Nice looking tank, good luck with it! 🙂

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Steemax

Welp it happened... Got an RG. Drip acclimated it, put it in the tank with lights out for an hour and it's been very active. Hasn't bothered going in the rocks at all yet. I threw a pinch of flakes in there and it devoured them all before the clowns could even realize there was food in the tank. It's now trying to munch on the glass since the glass is covered in pods. 

 

Also not sure if you can tell in the picture, the one clown developed pop eye on both eyes. After a week one of the eyes returned to normal. One of them still has it. She's eating and acting fine though so i'm giving her time as it seems she's able to heal on her own. 

 

20200112_140037.thumb.jpg.e65205b006775e36b32a4ba9c5573cd5.jpg

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Steemax

Fed the corals Reef roids last night. Had no idea the hammer would love it so much. Was feeding the zoas nearby and I see the hammer has doubled it's tentacle reach. Put a healthy amount on it and it pulled it all in with it's mucus and swallowed it all down. 

 

Chowing down: 

20200114_180114.thumb.jpg.af49b157d17927509568ff2668b57e39.jpg

 

All happy now and RH would not get out of the pictures. Keeps photo bombing and following my phone.

 

20200114_184922.thumb.jpg.facc0be9c0cb2e83be4e4ad48220a7df.jpg

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WV Reefer
49 minutes ago, Steemax said:

Fed the corals Reef roids last night. Had no idea the hammer would love it so much. Was feeding the zoas nearby and I see the hammer has doubled it's tentacle reach. Put a healthy amount on it and it pulled it all in with it's mucus and swallowed it all down. 

 

Chowing down: 

20200114_180114.thumb.jpg.af49b157d17927509568ff2668b57e39.jpg

 

All happy now and RH would not get out of the pictures. Keeps photo bombing and following my phone.

 

20200114_184922.thumb.jpg.facc0be9c0cb2e83be4e4ad48220a7df.jpg

All of your frags look really nice. 🙂

Keep an eye on the Cespitularia as it can quickly take over a rock if given the chance.  i have to rip it from my tank in clumps.

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Steemax
39 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

All of your frags look really nice. 🙂

Keep an eye on the Cespitularia as it can quickly take over a rock if given the chance.  i have to rip it from my tank in clumps.

Thank you! yeah the Cespitularia can get out of hand quick, I'll make sure to keep them at bay.

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Steemax

Purchased the Aquatic Life 50GPD 4 stage RODI unit + a float valve for it. Kind of going in blind on this as I'm not quite sure how i'm going to hook it up yet. I purchased some faucet adapters along with it so i'm hoping I can just connect it directly to my faucet after removing the aerator and pressure will be enough. 

 

Carrying around those 2.5 g distilled water gallons for mixing saltwater and topping off already got old and expensive. 

Unit should be arriving today so we'll see how it goes. 

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