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A.m.P

The tube has a new scape, decided to clean things up past a "neatly arranged pile of frags".

Now it has a "drunken half-attempt at iwagumi" feel.

 

Full disclosure, the zoas were reaching and the beam from the par bulb's spread was ticking me off; this scape was a convenient excuse to bring everything closer to the center.

 

IMG_20201128_170419_15.thumb.jpg.72901a3b41bec503b267a22ea1631bec.jpg

 

 

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A.m.P

New light!

 

Stumbled across one of those NiCrew "HyperReef" lights for about 0.40 to the dollar and decided to give it a shot since I'd been following them before this competition started, for the $30 spent I'd not likely recommend any other light on the market, but NiCrew also wouldn't have a business.

I can near-guarantee it won't put out as much PAR as the old bulb it's replacing, adding to the side-grade feel is the reality of older-light configurations. The light's marketed as 30W, but about 2's going to the board and fan, the remaining 28 is split evenly between whites +R/G and Blues.
At 100% blue and 40% White I'm likely only hitting the tank with 19W of power, but I'm getting much-better spread than with the 12W PAR bulb and did this knowing full-well I've no high-light animals in the system (and that the AB+ schedule for AI prime's only hits about 35-38W).

 

IMG_20201217_131400.thumb.jpg.cf9413fb4ba43449fb587f66ca980c15.jpg

 

Pros:

  • Impressively-solid construction; I was not expecting a solid, heavy heatsink and overall block of metal, it's well put-together
  • Cree LEDs, sure they're likely bulk-bought rejects and bottom-bins, but it works fine for aquaknight and they'll do well-enough here too
  • Better spread than the PAR bulb, it has lenses, that's pretty nice
  • Cost me about the same as a PAR bulb, keep an eye out for open-box deals and second-hand gear, happy-hunting
  • Retail price of $60 gives you around 1/2-2/3 the effective-wattage of a Prime-HD 
  • Looks sharp

 

Cons:

  • If you look closely you'll see some creative accounting is necessary to get a decent fit and a level-angle out of the mounting-bracket (which won't fit rimmed-tanks and looks to have brass threads)
  • Controller is what you'd expect and what you've seen before, 6 blue settings, 6 white, and a fast-track QC-setting (blue on, white on); bring a timer
  • NiCrew has a reputation from Freshwater, it's as beloved and hated, recommended and sworn-off as you'll find
  • Body's meant to look like a hydra or a radion but has a wimpy-fan (why skimp on such a cheap part?); heavy heatsink could make up for it but I'm not going to tear-it-down to check for thermal-paste. Can tentatively-confirm the heatsink gets hot, in fact the whole mounting-arm gets hot, that's a great sign. (30w is passive cooled, took the back plate off and there's no fan)

 

I'll be updating with growth as things move-forward, so far the frogspawn immediately-reacted and is fuller than its' been in months so that's quite nice.

@Reefkid88 - Your requested tag

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Reefkid88

Nice !!! Keep us updated on how it performs. 

 

 Speaking of the AquaKnight,there is a par testing video on a IM10 I believe it was,and it did pretty damn well for what it is. I want to say it was like 100 at the bottom of the tank,but I could be wrong. 

 

Just YouTube search aquaknight v2 par and it should be the first video. It won't let me copy and paste the link. 

 

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A.m.P
1 hour ago, Reefkid88 said:

Nice !!! Keep us updated on how it performs. 

 

 Speaking of the AquaKnight,there is a par testing video on a IM10 I believe it was,and it did pretty damn well for what it is. I want to say it was like 100 at the bottom of the tank,but I could be wrong. 

 

Just YouTube search aquaknight v2 par and it should be the first video. It won't let me copy and paste the link. 

 

I've seen a couple par charts, it really doesn't do a bad job at all, but it struggles with heat if the glut of people having reliability issues after a year or so are any indicator.

 

Speaking of which I took the back plate off, there's no fan unless it's under the heatsink, so it's passive cooled.

Hope they used good thermal paste, but the board itself is pretty huge lol.

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A.m.P

Happy Christmas and holidays, hope everyone's had a great few weeks.

 

IMG_20201228_102858_58.thumb.jpg.4e896fcf892e12b513338a72a1abe972.jpg

 

Had to move the trumpet coral in here after a Re-scape in the main tank, too much flow, too much light, nowhere it was happy.

 

The sinularia is in the big system now, in entirely too much flow, we'll see how that works out XD

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A.m.P

Happy New Year, hard to believe it has nearly been a year too. Guess I'll get a write-up and try to take a few better photos to close this thing out.

 

Thanks for tagging along.

 

IMG_20210106_120837_13.thumb.jpg.2c77b888c4a40cf96815284543f59fd9.jpg

 

IMG_20210106_120817_29.thumb.jpg.81577e5faffc037728aac4be59e3a8a2.jpg

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banasophia
2 hours ago, A.m.P said:

Happy New Year, hard to believe it has nearly been a year too. Guess I'll get a write-up and try to take a few better photos to close this thing out.

 

Thanks for tagging along.

 

IMG_20210106_120837_13.thumb.jpg.2c77b888c4a40cf96815284543f59fd9.jpg

 

IMG_20210106_120817_29.thumb.jpg.81577e5faffc037728aac4be59e3a8a2.jpg

Happy New Year! I sure do love your tank!! 🤩 I would love to see some close up shots if you get a chance. 🙏

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A.m.P

A few quick shots and a FTS, I don't know whether these will be the last shots I'll upload before the end of the month, I may try to snag some which look a bit nicer but my gear is limited in what it can do.

 

Duncan

1807653235_WP_20210114_11_58_19_Pro(2).thumb.jpg.0f4715fd3f670e2c38ede22da8e7de72.jpg

 

 

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Acan

WP_20210114_12_00_27_Pro.thumb.jpg.dc34a20a3a4528c80959ae5c48ce2a6d.jpg

 

 

Chalice

(I keep having to fight some Vermetid snails on this one, you can see the glue from the last round)

WP_20210114_12_00_42_Pro.thumb.jpg.852b2f4e0b8cbeeda489d0c7c0ac25ac.jpg

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A.m.P

Favia

WP_20210114_12_01_04_Pro.thumb.jpg.235947800a377af802301758d4bb920b.jpg

 

Frogspawn

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GSP and Monti

WP_20210114_12_02_08_Pro.thumb.jpg.62317442eea9a2e93fad4dd593439362.jpg

 

 

Quick FTS With Lydia

(The Zoa's were pouting today, not sure why, probably Lydia)

WP_20210114_12_02_59_Pro.thumb.jpg.29100d904b76e3cbb6c6dce2b9050647.jpg

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Reefkid88

Looking GREAT !!!

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A.m.P

Alright, so word on the street is we all need to finish up these threads with a summary and a final FTS. 

I mostly set-out to just participate and enjoy everyone's tanks alongside my own for a year.
I decided early-on that I wanted to see if I could scrounge-up a tank for a reasonable-price and keep it that way, both for my sake, and to show anyone who happens upon nano-reef that it doesn't take huge investments or incredible gear to grow coral and have a nice piece for the family and kids in the living room.

 

With that in mind the system started out with a tank volume and dimension easily-replaced by a 10 gallon Aqueon from petco's Dollar-Per-Gallon sale

(you could even make a built-in rear section by cutting a bucket and siliconing it into a corner)

A cheap but reliable set of heater and pump, and a Par-bulb bearing home-depot fixture clamped to a TV stand, handle life-support.

Of course all that was sat down on a used table from target haha.


Even the rock kept with the theme, having itself been second-hand from another hobbyist, cured and glued-together into a negative-space swimming area for use in another one of my tanks.

 

The stocking list and maintenance on the tank suited my own, and the theme's, budget and time constraints; the inhabitants were all accessible and affordable pieces (at around $5-10) I got from reaching out with local clubs and reefers in the community, the Instant Ocean SW came pre-mixed from a LFS, and the fish came from the sassyiest, fluffiest reaches of the south pacific.

 

Maintenance has been easy and losses have thankfully not really been an issue, despite my best efforts, I change the poly-fill out when I remember to and do a 10% waterchange every month-or-so, scraping off the coralline and cleaning the acrylic while I'm at it. Dosing has really not been a concern until the last month or so, now I just squirt a little DIY all-for-reef into the tank once-a-week and things have stayed pretty in-line with new-mix Instant Ocean salt.

 

Unfortunately the poly-fill and my lack of attentiveness did cost a Torch coral its' life after the sicce return pump ended-up clogged, reducing its' output by who knows how much for at least a month, I didn't even think to check as everything else looked fine.

Lydia, the rollands damselfish, also managed to pick an ironman shroom to death and shred the dragonsbreath macro I tried to grow out, I should have acted sooner to save the mushroom, but the algae incidents were hilarious to watch.

 

Thank you all for following along.

It has been an unexpectedly-rough year for all of us and the competition hasn't been quite as lively as the last few I read-along with/followed. I don't think I'll be able to really compete in any other competitions, no more space or time, but at the end of the day its' been wonderful to have a second -mostly carefree- tank in the household and it's going to remain a permanent part of our home.

 

 

I hope everyone has been doing well out there, thanks for following along and I'll try to keep this thread going with occasional updates!

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Stocklist and expenditures copied from OP:

 

I may as well do a little pricing game since I tagged this as a #BudgetReef, I'll update below whenever anything gets added:

-Atoll tank, freebie with $130 AI Prime (I sold the light, bought a prime hd for 120 and then sold that - in any case the light's not on the tank so I don't think it counts)

-Return pump, came with tank

-Finnex Titanium Heater $20

-ABI Tuna Blue PAR 38 $30 ($3 for the lowedepot bargain fixture and $2 for the pie-tin light-shield)

12/20 Replaced with equal-cost NiCrew Hyperreef

-Branch Rock $15 (used, cured, set-up into a negative-space scape with maximum room for flow and for fish to swim)

-Rolland's Damselfish $20 ($0 after store-credit, but that's kind of cheating)

-Dragons Breath $0 (Was $5 for the original frag, but little lydia likes to frag it for me)

-Odd Frogspawn morph $0 ( $5 originally, Came from 20L system -should maybe count?)

-White Tipped Torch $0 ($10 originally, Came from 20L system -should maybe count?)

-Pair of Trochus $3

-Red Legged hermit and shells $2

-4+ dwarf ceriths $0 (compliments of old tank and possible baby-time, still have a few juvie trochus growing up)

-Branching Briarium $5 

 

March Additions:

-Duncan (purchased by my wonderful wife) $10

-Bravo Favia (Some crazy oaf of a monkey came in and fragged the original $15 animal, what luck! [transferred back to 40 breeder]) 

-Baby Acan colony $20

 

May Additions:

-Chalice coral from 20 Long $0 ($10 or so last year -might need to count? [transferred back to 40 breeder])

-Iron Man Disco $12

 

August Additions:

-Neon Green Sinularia $10

-Autumn Favia $5

-Hydor Centrifugal 260 Return pump $25

 

November Additions:

-Gobstopper Zoanthid $3 PP $10

-Miami Hurricane Chalice $5 (Thank you PieMan2k for the ID)

-Mystic Monti $Free.99

 

December Shuffling:

-Sinularia swapped with Trumpet coral

-Par Bulb swapped for NiCrew

 

                      $192 Total

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debbeach13

Sounds like you accomplished what you set out to do. That is great. Good luck.

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kimberbee

Great job hanging in there for the whole year! Good luck!!

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A.m.P

Was goofing around this AM for a few minutes and here are a pair of mediocre shots to show for it lol.

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debbeach13

Pastel rainbows. Nice

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banasophia

Beautiful corals 🤩

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A.m.P

Knocked over the Acan, the only thing the little brat leaves alone is coralline algae.
 

IMG_20210219_144605_93.thumb.jpg.f5ce1b53e1cd5cdac58128204f3eca07.jpg

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A.m.P

The trumpet is getting close to having four heads finally. Some shots from tonight.

 

IMG_20210222_174504.thumb.jpg.d4f6e304f85b7ec16d0fbbb84f23e22c.jpg

 

IMG_20210222_174618_97.thumb.jpg.6b2b16348530ae93e3d64693a1066f7d.jpg

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banasophia
1 hour ago, A.m.P said:

The trumpet is getting close to having four heads finally. Some shots from tonight.

 

IMG_20210222_174504.thumb.jpg.d4f6e304f85b7ec16d0fbbb84f23e22c.jpg

 

IMG_20210222_174618_97.thumb.jpg.6b2b16348530ae93e3d64693a1066f7d.jpg

That’s gorgeous! Looks very happy, and hungry!!

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A.m.P
1 hour ago, banasophia said:

That’s gorgeous! Looks very happy, and hungry!!

It gets heavily fed once a week or so lol, seamless transition from getting no food to being a pig, but its' always displayed pretty impressively at night.

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