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Snow_Phoenix

Snow's 10G Tropical Jungle Healing Retreat (365 Day Challenge)

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Snow_Phoenix

Hi everyone.

 

I've decided to participate in the 365 day challenge in NR. 🙂

 

Background:

 

This tank is actually 4 years and ~3 months-old, However, it was always used as a halfway tank of sorts - meaning, I rotate livestock in this tank pretty often before moving the animals to other tanks. It was always treated as a 'spare' tank, and sometimes a hospital tank. For the past 1 year++, it was run exclusively as a FOWLR. 

 

But I've decided to strip it down and convert it to a full reef tank. So this will be a reboot. Even though the rocks are very old, everything else (except a few existing fish and inverts) will be entirely new. 🙂

 

Theme/Concept:

 

'Tropical Jungle'. I live in the tropics and I'm drawing inspiration from local places I've visited throughout my life. The real jungle is dense but beautiful. For this tank, I'll be using different types of corals and macros to fit the 'jungle' theme. For example:

 

'Flowers' = Clove polyps/Xenia

'Mushrooms' = Mushrooms

'Grass' = GSP

'Trees' = Green Torch/Green Leather Corals

'Bushes/Undergrowth' = Various types of Macro (Caulerpa/Chaeto/Galaxaura/Halimeda etc.)

 

Specifications:

 

10G cube tank with built-in mini sump at the back of the tank

Rimless

8mm Crystal White Glass

 

Equipment:

 

500 L/Hr Astro Return Pump

Sobo Mini Wavemaker (4000 L/Hr)

1x PAR 38 LED (36W) '

1x Aquazonic LED (17W)

 

Rocks & Sand:

 

~3.5 kg of cured, mature LR (>4-years-old)

~3kg of coarse aragonite sand (brand new)

 

Salt:

 

Fritz RPM 

 

Media:

 

Filter Floss

Activated Carbon

Coral Stones (in zipped up mesh bags)

RowaPhos 

 

Fish:

 

Bicolor Blenny (Dusky)

Occy Clownfish (Pisces)

 

Inverts:

 

2x Turban Snails

1x Pink Legged Hermit Crab (Derp)

 

Corals:

 

Red/Green Favites

Purple Encrusting Montipora

Green Encrusting Montipora

Red Pavona

John Deere Leptastrea

Green Leptastrea

Duncan Coral

Red People Eater Zoanthids

Green Zoanthids
Green-skirted Purple Zoanthids

Orange-skirted Red Zoanthids

Rainbow Implosion Palythoa

Red Acan

*Unknown Acans/Blastos

Pom Pom Xenia

Green Torch Coral

Red Fungia

Orange Rhodactis Mushroom

Teal Green Discosoma Mushroom

Bullseye Rhodactis Mushroom

Green Kenya Tree

Brown Toadstool Leather Coral

Alien Pox Cyphastrea

 

Macroalgae:

 

Leaf Caulerpa

Blade Caulerpa

Chaeto

 

*TBA:

 

Livestock:

 

Assorted Corals

2x Turban Snails

Assorted Macroalgae

1x Cleaner/Fire Shrimp

 

Equipment:

 

 

1x Cooling Fan

1x Thermometer

1x Mini-Skimmer (*Only if necessary, otherwise this will be a skimmerless system)

 

The tank is currently located downstairs, in my library/art room. The present water temp. spikes up to 31.5'C on very hot days, which makes it unsuitable to host any coral atm. So, for now, I'll refrain from adding any corals until I can purchase a new mini fan. Macroalgae can survive in this heat however, so I'll be adding macro first to the tank.

 

Today morning, I stripped down the tank, drained/emptied it and tossed out the old LS. 

 

Here's my condiment pic:

 

D02.thumb.jpg.041cc15e370aa04597b23d53c5266b57.jpg

 

And here's how the tank looked like this morning:

 

D03.thumb.jpg.70b1d5de8cb958c19e6453b1df1f4aae.jpg

 

D04.thumb.jpg.3f8fca9ae6686587b6b6511871b1595e.jpg

 

I even drained the sump chambers at the back of the tank, and removed the remaining water using kitchen towels. My livestock and LR was kept soaked in a separate container while I did this:

 

LR.thumb.jpg.dba2a35eb9fb7a2ae95ac538e9efdcc6.jpg

 

 

FTS 1/3/2020:

 

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

I had to make some basic preparations before cleaning out the tank.

 

1. I bagged up some coral stones in a mesh bag with a plastic zipper:

 

997638795_CoralStones.thumb.jpg.321ec779bb3dc0482dde52288122d79b.jpg

 

2. Cut out some thick pieces of floss for the filter area:

 

1254024924_FilterFloss.thumb.jpg.27b4668d6c3842002e0b0f5b177400d0.jpg

 

3. Bagged up some activated carbon and RowaPhos into a sock:

 

1603325411_ActivatedCarbon.thumb.jpg.66aca807bb5cbb7e038209cfff74626a.jpg

 

RowaPhos.thumb.jpg.83dc82b1ce8ced4f5e1b50ab368147dc.jpg

 

Media.thumb.jpg.faa153970d7df112273545cd4a246483.jpg

 

4. Washed and dried my janky lids under the hot sun for a while:

 

91637922_JankyLids.thumb.jpg.4882000444c1f2179992844b585ca9e5.jpg

 

5. And most importantly, washed and cleaned 3kg of new crushed aragonite sand:

 

1906473299_Sand1.thumb.jpg.c57440f24af84cd21960f7f544090da7.jpg

 

856581865_Sand2.thumb.jpg.eeba33a35d9924c03257fbdcc85cdd77.jpg

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

1. I wanted a thicker sandbed this time, so I made sure I had a 2" layer of sand. The grains are 'C5' so they're much larger than usual. 

 

S01.thumb.jpg.86a32a698c11637d65387dd0ffe3e5d1.jpg

 

2. Since my LR is pretty old, I don't expect to see a cycle. (Or by the very most, a very soft one). Either way, I transfered all my livestock back into the tank within the first hour of re-wetting it. My Talbot damsel was placed in a breeder box because I plan on rehoming it - it's too territorial. 

 

F01.thumb.jpg.85d57cafca8070f8d88ae9cbdebf35a3.jpg

 

3. My clownfish is still very small though, and gets along quite well with my blenny, so I'm keeping him.

 

F03.thumb.jpg.0c75ff6f83a7fcda573f6278112fce73.jpg

 

4. The tank water was a bit cloudy for the first hour:

 

T01.thumb.jpg.bfb3d92c5603dcbea59a0b35e1588e01.jpg

 

T04.thumb.jpg.73cf01e52f99e53f6d1cc97a17c9590a.jpg

 

5. With regards to scaping, the tank dimensions make it a bit difficult to scape using medium-sized rock pieces. I ultimately settled for the usual 'arch' scape, which is pretty boring, and good to mount various corals. I did however pile my fourth piece of rock at the top to create a 'ledge'. It's encrusted with coralline and was a pull-over from my pico reef for the pico contest last year:

 

L01.thumb.jpg.6985466794ad28b958d150ced9d55f15.jpg

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

After an hour, the water cleared up fairly quickly.

 

1. With my lone PAR 38, I noticed that only one side of the tank receives a lot of light, while the other side remains dark and shaded:

 

T01.thumb.jpg.21b06026e09d622802341dee6a3ef6d5.jpg

 

2. So I added my old Aquazonic LED as a back-up/additional source of lighting. 

 

T05.thumb.jpg.611b155e97466cd7f9533bbddfcd78d8.jpg

 

3. It's quite risky, balancing the light on the janky lids, which aren't super-stable. But at least all areas of the tank are bright:

 

T03.thumb.jpg.0a399ed01f83d1a44d71280fd952822c.jpg

 

4. My Aquazonic LED actually has two light settings - the first setting is full lighting (all white, blue and red LEDs up):

 

T02.thumb.jpg.f8f850a8d8a304a93904b9a2b7cac802.jpg

 

5. While the second setting is mostly just heavy blue LEDs:

 

T04.thumb.jpg.e8190461e4a8acd8c4cfe3e7d5494ea7.jpg

 

With both lights on, I think I can keep LPS and even small mini maxi carpet nems in this in the future. But with the PAR 38 alone, I'll be stuck doing very low-light-demanding corals such as shrooms and a softie. 

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This is the first official addition true to the 'jungle' theme - some Caulerpa prolifera and Chaeto:

 

M01.thumb.jpg.16cc617d48bd6d44ef8a31fa4d4089d2.jpg

 

I'm planning on taking some Fern and Grape Caulerpa from the refugium of my 60G reef upstairs, and seeding this tank with more macro. I'll also try to transfer some of the beige microbrittlestars and tiny snails from the fuge to this nano. 🙂 

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Snow_Phoenix

So these are my current livestock:

 

1. Nemo the clown (probably will change his name later):

 

C05.thumb.jpg.b242d946ed67b582ab38601e67e4cd2a.jpg

 

2. Dusky the bicolor blenny:

 

B01.thumb.jpg.06071557b74f875b011836a1c556b782.jpg

 

3. And the ever-invincible Derp, the hermit, which you *might recognize from my picoreef:

 

H01.thumb.jpg.787f31b82efacaa16df0f71bd99a269e.jpg

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Also, one quick note - this tank will be a budget tank. I've decided that with the exception of a Torch coral, I'm not going to spend more than RM 30 per coral frag for this reef. I'll try my best to get frags below RM 15, if possible. I think this is do-able, given that one of my LFS branches does specialize in selling very cheap frags of basic corals (non-premium ones). 

 

And I plan on taking my time with coral-stocking this tank. My main focus will always be my main reeftank in my bedroom. But this tank will keep chugging along, even if I don't add much to it. 🙂

 

All the equipment I've used are old equipment. The tank itself is very old. The only new equipment will be the mini fan.

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Tamberav

:happydance:

 

Great start! And yay for Derp!

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seabass

I ♡ Derp!  May his reign of destruction continue.

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Ratvan

Yay Derp Tank! v2

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Snow_Phoenix
2 hours ago, seabass said:

I ♡ Derp!  May his reign of destruction continue.

Lol, I was actually thinking about his destruction in the pico as I was resetting this tank. Made me cringe. I have a feeling I'm going to be cringing a lot once the corals goes in and he finds them. :lol:

2 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Yay Derp Tank! v2

To Derp Everlasting! 🥂

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Ratvan

I love Dusky too, although not seen mine this week. Might have to check the back chambers again

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Snow_Phoenix
7 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I love Dusky too, although not seen mine this week. Might have to check the back chambers again

Dusky is actually surprisingly territorial towards my damsel. Speaking of the damsel, it slipped out of my breeder box even though I used a rubber band to secure the box lid. It's now freely swimming around the tank. :sideeyes:

 

Really not in the mood of removing all the rocks out to catch the fish again, so I'll monitor it. If there is an opportunity to net it though, I'll take it, and keep it in a separate holding tank instead. 

 

Otherwise, I wanted to keep this at only two fish. The DT area is very small and I don't think it can accomodate more than that. (Unless all 3 were nano-sized and <2"). 

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Dusky is actually surprisingly territorial towards my damsel.

I know right? Its not bulldog shaken anything yet has it (unlike mine- dick)

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Snow_Phoenix
22 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I know right? Its not bulldog shaken anything yet has it (unlike mine- dick)

Nope - but it gaped its mouth and backed the damsel up into a corner. Almost like screaming: 'AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!' 

 

Blennies. Pfft. 🙄

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Azur

Looking forward to seeing this one develop, good luck! The slanty top rock really adds something to the scape 🙂

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Snow_Phoenix
8 minutes ago, Azur said:

Looking forward to seeing this one develop, good luck! The slanty top rock really adds something to the scape 🙂

Thank you! 🙂 

 

I can't wait to see this filled up too. 🙂 

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debbeach13

Good luck with the reboot. Welcome to the contest. Following

Go Derp Go!

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devaji108

nice! I love your theme I was/am playing around with a similar theme. gonna be exciting watching this one come together.   

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This guy is extra salty

Just Lurking here

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Snow_Phoenix

Welp - I flipped the lights on today morning and discovered my 'bush' a.k.a. macro went for a walk last night! 😮

 

20200220_120141.thumb.jpg.83e993ae99faa0db2c502dfff5f95ed3.jpg

 

So I quickly used some wooden chopsticks to poke it back in its corner:

 

20200220_120326.thumb.jpg.6e0d09153c5c87ecd1f3d6cb7b8cd31e.jpg

 

20200220_120333.thumb.jpg.9c576aa7dd91ec9fd0e79440b9b40211.jpg

 

I sense Derp's claw in all of this. 🤨

 

Also managed to snag a quick pic of all 3 of my fish together. Still am figuring out how to catch that damsel without upending my whole scape:

 

20200220_120416.thumb.jpg.351ef64b552ab939e60f3e0e2d92f511.jpg

 

20200220_120415.thumb.jpg.bfb68708ef79a08174468dccebcf085d.jpg

 

Will probably add some fern caulerpa soon. It's time to prune my fuge in the 60G. 🙃

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seabass
1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

I sense Derp's claw in all of this. 🤨

FuturamaApplause.gif

Yay!  Go Derp, go!

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Ratvan
2 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

20200220_120141.thumb.jpg.83e993ae99faa0db2c502dfff5f95ed3.jpg

I sense Derp's claw in all of this. 🤨

I love seeing Derp flee from the scene of the crime, wish I could help with the Damsel. All my fish have been incredibly easy to catch so far

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Snow_Phoenix

1. Post-feeding session today:

 

2. Derp! :lol:

 

3. A small clump of Caulerpa on the far left of the tank. I don't believe I put it there last night. Derp? :unsure:

 

4. These are some of the microbrittles I plan on transferring to the nano - just a few of them, not all of them:

 

5. I'll also try to transfer some of these tiny hitchiker snails from my fuge to the nano. There's plenty of them, and they seem to like eating film algae:

 

6. These are some of the macro I currently have in the fuge, and it needs to be pruned - I have grape, fern & blade caulerpa, and a very small strand of Galaxaura:

 

 

I'm trying to seed the tank with microfauna & various macro first to increase diversity in the reef-to-be. Mostly, I'm trying to avoid getting dinos. It's terrifying to deal with. :unsure:

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Yesterday I dropped by my LFS and picked up this dude:

 

He's been in the store for months, and was relatively cheap, so I decided I might as well bring him home. Acclimated him and it went well:

 

He found a nice cozy spot in one of LR holes, crammed himself in there and dangled his arms out. 🙂 

 

 

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