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Hello again nano reef!


New FTS:




It’s been about a year since I’ve been active with reefing, everything kind of fell apart after my 80g shallow build was put on hold due to a bit of oversight on my part.. (electrical issues 😅).  After that my temporary/quarantine tank became my only tank and it wasn’t set up with that intention so I lost interest.  I finally realized I had all this equipment lying around and here we are.  I picked up an aquamaxx 25g cube and overflow and pulled some of the unused equipment out of the basement.  Not the massive dream tank or the 80g but until I have a more stable situation this will work nicely!  I’m just hoping I can get some real results this time around.  






I’ll be getting turbo start today, once cycled I’ll be transferring my fish, inverts, and surviving coral slowly to this tank along with my mp10 and nanobox mini.  Still can’t decide if I want to seed the sump with my live rock.. there’s some bubble algae and aptasia for sure not sure what else.  






Please excuse the mess of cords, going to try and build a little cabinet to go to the left of the sump to hide those and various tools/fish food.


Thanks for reading!

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First time using an apex had it up and running for over 24 hours now but have run into some issues.. I submitted at ticket after doing a bit of searching and found nothing helpful but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask?


Has anyone had some outlets become unresponsive?  No power surges in the house and there's no way I maxed out the wattage etc, only had the 2 heaters and return pump running whenever this started.  I have power to 5 and the rest I can't use (4, 7, & 8).  I had used them before also (fuge light and skimmer as seen in pic above), and tested them with the heaters that are working in the remaining outlets - when I turn them on using fusion the corresponding light on the energy bar lights up but there is no click like before and no power given.  The power log is not recording everything and goes blank every so often giving me a red (!) next to the voltage but eventually comes back but only for 2/3 of the working outlets.  


Luckily this sort of thing is happening when I only need my heaters and return pump!

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Sometimes I can be a bit dense.. all I needed to do was unplug and re-plug the energy bar into the outlet.  😅


I'm running a Duetto ATO currently and the pump failed - with help from Joseph at XP Aqua I was able to figure that out and he sent a replacement very quickly.  Really happy with the customer service!


As far as the tank is concerned it took me a while to dial in the overflow but I have a decent handle on it now, the skimmer is breaking in, and I have added all my critters from the 15g to the tank/sump along with some rock.  I did have to bring a VERY large aptasia along with one of the RFAs that wouldn't leave its piece of rock but it is in the sump and hopefully the nem will move and I can remove the aptasia.  Otherwise the rock was overall very live and clean - not nearly as bad as I feared - so I transferred about a third of it to the tank/sump.  CUC reinforcements arrive today from Reef Cleaners and some gracilia - going to try that in the fuge instead of chaeto to start we shall see how it goes!  Ill update pics tonight - gonna play with my new lens!


I cannot make up my mind about the sand bed, part of me feels its fine and part of me feels its too deep.. guess I'll make a decision if I get a burrower of some kind, I only have room for a 1-2 fish probably maybe 3 if they're all tiny.  I've wanted a Forktail blenny for a while but that would severely limit the last fish probably would only get a yasha pistol pair if I did that.  I'm also tempted to do a six-line but I am worried about aggression in the smaller footprint.  Unfortunately the sump isn't livable long term if I have issues, and again I would be limited if not fully stocked at that point.  Something else that caught my eye over on DD was a pygmy red rooster waspfish.  Very pretty, cute, and different but it would probably eat or sting all my fish on purpose or accident sooner or later.  Not worth the risk.  Currently I don't plan to add anything new for at least a month.

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I have been getting some weird readings in testing so I want to figure this out before getting new coral.



API: 7.8 



he last couple days have been "stable" at about 7.25-7.3
After re-calibrating this morning it was reading 7.92.. I'll be monitoring it but it is still a bit low.




1/9 - 6.8 dKH

1/13 - 7 dKH

1/15 - 7.1 dKH


Red Sea:

1/13 - 6.44 dKH

1/15 - 6.44 dKH


Ca has been 395 on 1/13 and 1/15 using red sea.

Mg I only tested on 1/13 and was 1480 - a little high for blue bucket but that doesn't bother me as much.

Specific gravity has been stable at 1.026 - my refractometer has been in line with the conductivity probe.


I am not sure what is off.. my test kits may be bad - they aren't expired (will be in march) but they are about a year old I think.  Is it possible to be getting an Alk of about 6.5-7 using blue bucket?  It should be higher, I might believe it if my Ca was dropping but it isn't.  So I will be re calibrating the pH probe.. I may need to order an ICP test just to figure out if my kits are telling the truth.  I don't want to start dosing if I don't have an explanation for the low pH/Alk.  Anyone have any theories?


I stopped by a local place I hadn't heard of before - Reefwise in Lisle, IL - it was a nice little shop!  A huge step up from my usual place!  It was very hard not to bring a couple easy sps back with me but I want to figure out my parameters first.  The guy working there said he would look into getting some Tracey's Damsels in their next order - if I can get a trio I think those will be my last fish.


Working on pictures, I can't find my whatever lighting/camera settings I used to use but these will give you an idea of the state of things.



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Things have been going good, pH seems to have been low due to the Alk being low.  I finally mixed my two part up just to have on hand and to dose as needed until things are growing enough to require consistent dosing but I added some to bring parameters into the preferred ranges and pH went up as expected and it seems to be MUCH more stable now which is really nice.  


The red gracilaria hasn't been doing much of anything.. I read somewhere that it prefers cooler temps which may explain its lack of growth, I have been feeding heavily and nitrates have been between 10-20 ppm and there have been diatoms which seems to be going away in favor of a bit of hair algae.  So I ordered some chaeto from algae barn along with some pods.  Hopefully that will fix the algae but overall it hasn't been terrible just need to clean the glass every couple days.  


I found one baby aiptasia - going to try and remove it when I have my hands in the tank next.  


Coral growth is good!  The acan has rebounded wonderfully - I never expected it to reattach itself to the skeleton after half of the polyp/head was bailing out but it has been puffy and polyp extension has been excellent.  The blastos are doing well - I added live baby brine a couple days ago and they went nuts I haven't seen blastos fully expand like they did I hope more feedings like that will help their growth.  I am surprised I don't see live brine more often as a reef practice.  I know the nutrition is minimal but isn't that a staple of coral in the ocean?  I never cultured them when doing freshwater because the world of salt was scary to me back then but it is SO simple.  I figure I can use for coral/snacks and grow the rest to adults and gut load them for added variety in diet.  I wonder what dosing from a culture would do.... I assume that's what NPS systems do?


I have also picked up a few new inhabitants with more on the way.  About a week+ ago a pygmy red rooster waspfish showed up again on DD and I pulled the trigger after another bout of research.  I knew it was a risk but I am - so far - extremely glad I took it.  He has been a really beautiful and interesting addition.  He has shown no interest that I have observed in any of my other fish - I don't think he could even go after Sheldon (my tailspot) if he wanted.  He is a predator so I am still working on weaning him onto frozen but he has yet to show interest in anything other than small shrimp.  My fire shrimp and red line goby have been just fine with him.  


After some mix up with lion king names he was dubbed Mafusa 😅 but I like it so oh well lol




I also grabbed some variation of a birdsnest which has branched a good amount since going in the tank - though a couple hermits have chipped a few of the tips off 😣, a mystic sunset monti, and a candelabra gorg.  This week I have a few more coral to get the tank started, as well as a BTA and a few more RFA's.  




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Messing with the white balance really helped with pictures, going to try and figure out the blue lighting ones to get better coral pics later.


These were taken during feeding time right before I moved corals around.









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I like the look of it, can become very nice when it all starts to grow. 😊

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