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ECLS Reefer

5g Zoa Playground (Formerly AIO Challenge Tank) - April Update

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ECLS Reefer
1 minute ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Sorry to hear the YCG didn't make it. 😕

 

But your tank looks stunning! Love the zoa pile you have in there! 🥰

So investing in an AI prime was worth it. All the zoas have bounced back with the better light, and have been sucking up nutrients and alk/calcium like crazy. It’s settled into biweekly water changes, but does require trace, alk and microbacter 7. I’m also thinking of dosing a little calcium too, since it’s been dropping a bit. I was happy to see the zoas in the center and the small rock of yellow ones come back with the light. The shrooms were smothering them!

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Snow_Phoenix
2 minutes ago, ECLS Reefer said:

I fail to see what I do wrong with those little dudes or what it takes to keep them thriving. Such a bummer though because I find them super cute. 

They can be difficult to get onto prepared sometimes. I had better luck with my GCG than YCGs. Although I did have a YCG a very long time ago that wasn't fussy and ate everything I put in the tank. 🤔

 

He was special, that one. 

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ECLS Reefer
9 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

They can be difficult to get onto prepared sometimes. I had better luck with my GCG than YCGs. Although I did have a YCG a very long time ago that wasn't fussy and ate everything I put in the tank. 🤔

 

He was special, that one. 

I’ve had no luck with GCG or the yellow now. I’m afraid a black or citrinis would be too big. I thought about a panda too- they’re cute. Not sure if they’re as difficult as the others though.

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ef4life

I’ve never had luck with a yellow clown either. Both I tried didn’t make it. My green has been in the tank for a few years now 🤷‍♂️
 

why did you change your screen name? 

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farkwar
4 minutes ago, ef4life said:


 

why did you change your screen name? 

Haha

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ECLS Reefer
33 minutes ago, ef4life said:

I’ve never had luck with a yellow clown either. Both I tried didn’t make it. My green has been in the tank for a few years now 🤷‍♂️
 

why did you change your screen name? 

I work at a children’s hospital, so when I’ve told my coworkers recently about my IG account and they’ve wanted to follow to see my photos, I’ve gotten a few “ew” responses and raised eyebrows. Granted I’ve been called Dirty Sanchez since I was a baby nurse working a ghetto trauma center (by a pediatric ER doc no less), but I figured it would be better to not have to explain away my screen name... So I changed it here and IG. 

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ECLS Reefer

Some coral shots from the Challenge tank, plus a FTS.

 

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ECLS Reefer

The critters of the Challenge Tank. The sexy herd is doing really well, and I dont think I’ve lost any of the 8. I still with they’d become a breeding population, but thankful they’re doing so well. 

 

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Target (Tar-zhay) is still doing well in there, pleasantly plump and eating whatever comes her way. I’ve been super lucky in that all three of my mandys (one in each tank) eat like pigs and take frozen without issues. 

 

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And, introducing a new face that hopefully will take root in the tank and do well. I’ve named him Skeeter, and he’s a white lined comb tooth blenny, or pictus blenny, whichever you feel like calling him. He’s super cute but I haven’t decided if he’s a great eater yet, so hopefully he will catch on and relax. He moved into the barnacle almost immediately but every time he camouflages in the corals it gives me heart burn until I find him again. 

 

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A.m.P

Fish that can hide probably nock a solid ten years off all our bloody lifespans...

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ECLS Reefer
43 minutes ago, A.m.P said:

Fish that can hide probably nock a solid ten years off all our bloody lifespans...

Especially when you own cats

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ECLS Reefer

Full Tank Shots in review.... can definitely see how the photography and camera have improved over time too. Looking back at some of the truly awful photos makes me cringe 😬 And what made the biggest difference in growth and color? The AI Prime.

 

November

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October

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September

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August

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June

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May

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April

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ECLS Reefer

Wow!! Can’t believe we are pulling into the end of this little competition. The tank is doing well, and the hairy green mushrooms have split two and three times in there since I got the new light. To the point that I really need to trim the things. The shrimp and fish are all thriving as well. Target (Tar-zhay) and Skeeter hang out with each other- it’s so cute when Target swims right up to Skeeters face and they have a short conversation before Target continues on. The Monthly FTS got kind of cut in half because I feel like I can’t get the detail I want without being far away or so close up it leaves part of the tank off. And a few macro shots playing with the two Laowa lenses, the 25mm and 50mm micros. 

 

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ef4life

Looks great in there. Love the macro shots 

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ECLS Reefer
7 minutes ago, ef4life said:

Looks great in there. Love the macro shots 

It has really taken off with a better light. I should have jumped for it earlier. 

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Tamberav

Love the pictus!! I have one too 🙂 They have always not been great eaters for me and kind of skiddish at first but eventually after weeks of you thinking it is on a suicide mission... they suddenly start eating voraciously.

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ECLS Reefer

So, not much of anything has changed here. Have been hoping the blue eyed blondes and rastas would kick into high gear and start growing all over the glass and their frag holders, but so far no dice. Today I trimmed the green hairy mushrooms and shared the trimmings with the Evo. Not sure if that was the exact way to frag a shroom but we shall see what happens. Whatever result I get, the shrooms in this tank have been shading the zoas badly so that they don’t open as much as I’d like, so a trimming was necessary.

 

Skeeter is doing well, and Target as always is a fat little sausage.

 

FTS 

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ECLS Reefer

Woooo hooo it’s a new year!! Gotta get this little tank whipped into show shape for its final fancy full tank shot. I’ve been so proud of how well it’s done for me in a year, how easy it’s been with maintenance, even with the small hiccups in the beginning, and the whole heater explosion = death problem I had to deal with. I still miss that little Tailspot blenny I had when that happened. 

 

So, a quick turn down memory lane:

 

 

The original setup:

 

Tank

Started 2/7/2020

AquaTop Pisces 5 gallon Peninsula Bullet

 

Equipment:

Stock pump

Fluval 50W heater

Stock light

 

Media:

Stock bio balls

Stock carbon/floss filter cartridge

MB 7

2lbs live rock

Bare bottom

 

Stock:

Two accidentally transferred blue leg hermits

Bristle worms

GSP colony

Small colony of palys

 

Plan for: 

1 tail spot blenny

1 ornamental shrimp (either skunk cleaner or fire shrimp)

More palys or zoas

Mushrooms

 

 

 

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Now :

Equipment:

       same AquatopPisces 5g bullet

       same Aquatop stock pump

       Neotherm 25W heater

       AI Prime 16HD light

       Smart ATO

       Tetra Whisper 60 air pump to air stone in AIO block

       Amazon digital thermometer

       Smart WiFi capable multiplug to run whole system

       Hand made ATO reservoir - about 1-1.5g total held

 

Media: small bag of phosguard (Seachem) and carbon pellets (Brightwell)

             Neo sized bio cubes in mid chamber (Brightwell Export NO3)

 

Dosing: All Brightwell

             Reef trace - once a week

             Part B.      - once a week

             Microbacter 7 - twice a week

             Vitamarin C.    - once a week

             Strontion.        - once a week

             RedSea AB+ Coral food - once a week

 

Care/Maintenace regimen: 

              Test water chemistry every Friday or Saturday

              Water change once a month

              Return pump cleaned once a month

 

Livestock

              Pictus Blenny (Skeeter)

              Target Mandarin (Tar-zjay)

              Two various sized blue legged hermits

              Two to three astrea turbos

              One margarita

              One candy cane pistol shrimp

              Multitude of bristle worms

              Herd of about 8 sexy shrimp

 

Corals: 

            Hairy green mushrooms - have split so started with two and now have 5

            Purple rhodactus - hasn’t split but is nice and large.

            Pandora zoas

            Green zoas

            Red n blue zoas

            Green n blue zoas

            Orange zoas

            Nirvana zoas

            Iron man zoas

            Blue eyed Blondies zoas

            Rasta zoas

            Blue/green ricordea

            Orange/yellow leptastrea

 

That’s how we do it with this tank!!! Will be following up with the final full tank shot soon when I get the best one I can.

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debbeach13

That last top down photo is fantastic.  Absolutely a contender.

 

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ECLS Reefer

Full Tank Shots and some over head shots for the final month submission. 

 

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A few more photos to follow with fish and corals.

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ef4life

Looks great

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ECLS Reefer

My tank is an AquaTop Pisces Bullet AIO. I started the challenge with the stock light and a bare tank bottom, but I could not stand the dirty look of the bare bottom. I ended up putting in a small sand bed after rock scaping and have been much happier with it, as well as the bio load capabilities. I only used about 2lbs of cultured live rock, and seasoned water from my big established tank, which helped the tank basically start cycled from the beginning. I also chose to go with a selection of “dirtier” corals that don’t mind higher nutrients, such as mushrooms, green hair polyps and various zoas. The only coral not quite in the “dirty” category is an orange leptastrea, which has done well if not grown quickly. 

 

The light situation evolved from the stock light, to an Asta 20, to an AI Prime 16HD. The AI Prime did wonders for coral growth, and I wish I’d invested in it sooner. I stayed with the stock pump, though it does get clogged frequently now a year into use, and has to be cleaned or flushed frequently. That being said, I went to quite a lot of trouble (it’s not easy for some reason) to get a second stock pump from AquaTop, just in case it ever completely dies on me. I tried a small hydor flow pump for a short period of time but it was like watching a woman try to keep her hair straight in a tornado, so I retired it and stayed with the stock pump. The fish and coral all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. It has been very low maintenance, requiring water changes maybe every 3-4 weeks, and low dosing. I have been able to stick to once a week supplements of the following:

 

Brightwell Reef Code B

Brightwell Replenish Trace Elements

Brightwell Vitamarin C

Brightwell Microbacter 7

Brightwell Carbonit-P

Seachem Phosguard


Live stock at the completion of this challenge ended up being a lively, fat target mandarin (Target - - “Tar-jhay”) and a pictus blenny (Skeeter), as well as a herd of sexy shrimp. They aren’t super demanding, so long as I present the required daily gift of fish food shake and every other day nori for Skeeter. I ended up loving this little tank and will most likely be keeping it as is, rather than breaking it down. I have daily expectations now of stare offs with Skeeter, who likes to watch me from his perches. It’s always amazing how we fall in love with our tanks 🙂 

 

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23 minutes ago, ef4life said:

Looks great

Thanks I was working on the synopsis thing but you were too quick!!! 

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debbeach13

The tank looks great and that is a nice write up. I am glad you plan on keeping it running. Good luck in the contest.

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ECLS Reefer

So, since my final contest post I’ve noticed my nirvana zoas are about to take over the Tonga stick that the hairy green mushroom lives on. That’s stuff is a good grower! 
 

I made a Hail Mary fish addition for a while- I had hoped for a pair of medium sized mocha storm clowns, but instead got a pair of tiny storms. And one died almost the instant he hit the water of the big tank. Very frustrating. But my husband was terrified for the remaining little guy because of how pushy Boudicca the blood orange hybrid clown has gotten, and begged me to home the little storm in the challenge tank until he grows a bit. So, meet Harvey ☺️
 

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Also, I took some pictures of the red/blue zoa using both the Laowa 50mm and the 25mm ultra micro lenses. I think they turned out great and especially showed some good detail. 
 

50mm:

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25mm:

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Jungle_v_i_p

Perfect aquarium. Much nicer than mine is and may ever be. Those mocha clowns are awesome. Sorry to hear one didn’t make it. Good luck in the contest!

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debbeach13

Those pictures are awesome! Hi Harvey welcome aboard.

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