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mylertitchell

Majors Nano Reef 49l

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mylertitchell

Background
So Tank was started in July, it all started with doing a water feature in the garden (a well with some goldfish), then a betta tank (aquaponics) for the office, then I came across the reef hobby, started googling galore, owned nothing and had every system dreamt up, i wanted to get a nano tank that would fit into my house with no upset and then if all went well and knew the hobby was for me, I would be able to upgrade down the line. I read an article, that was just spoke to me and it was based upon a book, so i found the book, bought it in hardcopy (the wife said was on the phone too much) and was locked in. Reef was gonna be definitely for me.

I had a friend who was a long time fish enthusiast (tropical) and had just got into the saltwater game, FOWLER tank and then into corals and then sacked his tropical tank and upgraded to just one reef tank. Having a Reef Buddy has definitely made this journey even more enjoyable. 

So after reading the book, my brief was simple a nano tank that would fit on the table I already have, buy equipment which can be used in the next tank (modular etc) and hopefully i enjoy the hobby and if so upgrade to as big as tank I can (ie id love a 6ft peninsula with walk in room behind it, dividing the dining room and living room, but then id need a new house, most likely 200l, big enough tank but in scale with the room), and if i didn't well, well don't even need to finish the sentence. As its a great hobby!

Goal
Fully stocked stable Tank, once I Reach this target I will begin the journey all over again with most likely a 3ft sumped tank, then convince the wife we need a bigger house and its nothing to do with the fish.

Tank Spec
Start: July 2019
Display: Aquael Nano Reef Duo 49 Litre

Rock: Aquanetta 2 Module display (ceramic), 2 live pieces (donated by friend) and some dry pieces

Sand: CaribSea Aragonite Fiji Pink Sand 15LB
Lighting: Stock , Zetlight 1201 x1 x 2
Heater: V2therm 50 Digital Heater 50w

Wavemaker: APS 2500 PowerheadJebao SW-4 (running at 1000l)
Filtration:  Stock, HOB Canister Filter APS-500,
Filter Media: Coarse Sponge, FIlter Floss, Seachems Matrix, Phosguard, CarbonMatrix
ATO: Autoaqua Smart ATO Micro (4l res - Cereal Container)
Testing: Salifert test kits (Alkalinity, Calcium, Nitrates, Phos)
Dosing: Manual - Microbe-Lift Calcium, Saliferts KH Buffer, LaCl3*, Carbon (NitraPhos Minus)* Automatic - Single Doser - Kalk/Vinegar solution, Manual - Microbe-Lift Calcium*, Saliferts KH Buffer*, LaCl3*
*if required

I have been on quite the journey so far (including a bad crash), it is gonna be quite enjoyable going down memory lane to get yous up to date...
Plan of Action: Monthly updates as part of my routine.
July 2019
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mylertitchell

July 2019
Target

Cycle Tank and add a basic clean up crew

Equipment

All Basic Stock, a 1200l HOB waterfall filter running fluval carbon, clearmax, biorings, coarse sponge.
Summary
Took a couple of attempts with scape, but got there in end. Live Rock was added with hitchhikers 😅 (feather dusters, bristleworms, tube worms, brittle starfish, asterina starfish, zoas rock and mushrooms rock). Had to make some readjustments to scape to make room around glass for maintenance but trying to utilise every inch. 

Turned out green hair algae isn't part of the ugly process (will never use live rock again).

My LFS told me i need powerhead (he turned out to be quite expensive and had no snails or nothing in, very limited stock and poor coral selection, water is £6 - drive an hour water is £1 but generally £3) Bought 2 red hermit crabs and some Green Star Polyps.

Was not topping up yet just WC.
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mylertitchell

August 2019
Target

Fish, snails and a shrimp

Equipment

2500 Powerhead (APS)
Feeding

Pellet, Frozen, Flake , Off on repeat

Maintenance 

Weekly Water Change (mon), Daily Clean Glass, Weekly testing (strips), log and photo (fri).
Summary
Manual Scrubbing Hair Algae every other week, my friend was getting some CUC online, i jumped in and got pair of astreas, 3 ceriths and 1 algae hermit. Hoping this would start to take care of algae issues.

I bought a magnet, drilled/fixed it to the rock and made a floating background rock for back of glass, i was told an island is best for GSP. Really happy how it went and planned to add more.

Happened to be doing my sons babyshoot 2 hours away from house but 10mins from a great big LFS. Unplanned but had to take opportunity. Some how walked out with a big box containing a pair of turbos, bumblebees, a clownfish, pyjama cardinal, zoa frag and pulsing xenia. I definately got over excited, but knew this opportunity wouldn't arise again (havent got back there yet)
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mylertitchell

September 2019
Target

Coral Order
Summary
Found online stores that deliver CUC and corals, which is key for me (due to being 2 hours away from stores). I may of got excited this month to get some stock into tank. Was being quite ignorant to the hair algae as my params were good (still strips) looking back my params were good because the hair algae was dealing with them, my display tank was basically a refugium lol.
I bought a pink gonipora, a rainbow acan, pair nas snails and some shells for my crabs (shells was a bargain £3 for some shells and ended up with 2 of the shells already having red crabs living in them).

An online auction came up with penny bids (they havent did this since) and ended up winning a kenya tree, zoa and candy canes. Very impulsive but they were basically giving them away (in exchange for money lol)
I bought dragons breath to see if this helps with nutrient issue.
I some how also purchased a pair of pompom crabs that month too. I definitely went mad that month, also if you look at bottom left, you can see im preparing for something (honestly im an idiot looking back - slow down man).
I bought another magnet and created another floating rock for my pulsing xenia
Front
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Side

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PomPom (how could i say no)
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mylertitchell

October 2019
Target

Get my shit together
Dosing
Carbon dosing (NitraPhos minus)
Summary
So i ordered a yasha goby and pistol shrimp pair, he said they deliver (we dont deliver fish here, just coral and inverts) i received a hi-fin goby and randals goby, they were tiny i mean crazy small like wow, should never of bought them, the shrimp didnt make it and the goby jumped (glass lid). £50 quid gone in less than day. I also order money cowries was told they great at GHA. The man didnt put them in and ended up not telling me but sent out a CUC pack. Like i ordered 2 snails and he gave me nass, bumblebees turbans and crabs (yes all plural). Absolute disaster, staying away from that cowboy from now on.

1 pompom died, I ordered proper test kits (salifert) and nitrates was 25 and phos was 0.25, i began carbon dosing (nitraphos) and got this to 2 and 0.03 by end of month, my hair algae had white tips, i took this as good sign.
Such a good sign that i celebrated with a forest fire digi and some sexy shrimp.

Hindsight 

I am an idiot, calm down, stop buying stuff, they will still be there when your ready. Water Changes is the best and quickest fix (my problem was saltwater was expensive and 2 hr round trip).
How did I think this was okay, i was out of my depth and still kept buying things!
Front
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Sexy Shrimp (they do move across the tank, but the live on that kenya tree - really happy with that tree purchase and its wee rock)

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mylertitchell

November 2019
Target

Really get my shit together
Equipment
Jebao SW4
Dosing
Razor 
Summary
So I bought a refractomer (was using hydrometer) and Razor . It was time to get a grip, my friend started making his own saltwater (rodi) and i was buying it off him so was able to start doing better water changes aswell (i see here in my notes im talking 5% changes, im now doing 35% - 15l). Really i should been doing some serious wc.

I dosed razor for 1 week, my corals and dragon breath were not happy so i stopped. My GHA was lower, my nitrates where going up (makes sense as they were consuming it) Razor has seemed to work but at a cost, sexy seen eating acan head also.
I was definitely lieing to myself as you can see i did another floating rock, new powerhead and some coral (there not even in my notes, i swore i wrote everything down)

5th Nov
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30th Nov
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mylertitchell

December 2019
Target

Its time to go shopping!
Equipment
Zetlight 1201, Autoaqua Smart ATO Micro, RODI, TDS/pH Meters, Media (Phosguard, CarbonMatrix)
Dosing
Calcium, Alkalinity, Carbon
Summary
I had planned to go to the big smoke with my friend, we had it all planned, 4 fish stops and some lunch. No wifes, no kids just us. My tank was stable, elements good (was just starting to dose elements), nutrients last 2 weeks nitrate 2-1 and phosphate 0.03-0. I thought I was in the perfect place for this trip.

I went big! I bought fish 2 snails 2 crabs 1 SPS 4 LPS 3 soft, glasses, amino acids and calcium. A serious acclimation large water change drop in temp because of this.

Perfect Params
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Shopping Day
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Day After Acclimation
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The day after this my light finally arrived (china), I should of been on cloud 9. But unfortunately the royal gramma must of went into the firefishs home the first night and my firefish bolted and jumped out of tank. I mean I was devasted, like this was my first fish, i dont think i could get another firefish, he was amazing, had his wee home, went swiming, he had a class routine.
New Lights
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Started 10% water changes, dosing calcium and alk as required, still dosing carbon. Some corals weren't happy but took that as just adjusting to new light. ATO was installed (salinity has been rock solid ever since)
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mylertitchell

January 2020
Target

Keep the dream alive
Equipment
APS HOB Canister Filter
Summary
I never quarantined the royal gramma, he was eating brilliantly, i started flashing (didnt no it was this to after). At night after work i didnt think he looked well, that morning I said ill get him out and start treatment, wife rang while at work. he was dead by lunch. By the next week my other 2 showed signs, i took them out to treat they died within 24hrs. This was a proper dark day, my clown looked so frail, i hated it. Bought 1 fish and he wiped out everything. Cannot believe how quick it all happened, this was my dream fish, he was suppose to my first but then got hard to get hold of. If i had quarantined him, i may of saved all 4 lives. But this happening has made me a better reefer.

I added a new filter and filled with seachem matrix (5 trays, 1 sponge/floss, 3.5 matrix and 0.5 chemical (phosguard and carbon)), my nutrients started to increase in tank.  paly,zoas hammer not looking well. acan SPS dead. everything else was good. mushrooms good lost some.

I lost alot but started a new stable routine, this is definitely the moment i knew this hobby was gonna be for life, i was getting out of this and going to see the otherside no matter what. I changed the media, stopped carbon dosing was worried about organic carbon and bad bacteria.
Whites
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Blues
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mylertitchell

Febuary 2020
Target

Stable
Equipment
RODI Finally Up and Running
Summary
20l Water Changes for 3 weeks, got my nitrates 5 and phosphates 0.03, Dosing calcium as required currently (havent found sweet spot) and alkalinity daily, making up a rodi + kH buffer and adding a cap daily. Plan to change to Kalk in future. 14th Feb - 2 months from the date to my nutrient levels where back under control. Been generally running alk 11.2 calcium 440, changing this slowly to 430 and 10.2, as things seem to be ok here and allows me room for swing. 
Have dosed LaCl3 when seen colour in phos, generally 2ml diluted formula would take this from 0.1 to 0.03. Now dosing bacteria with water change (microbacter7), my flow has been 60x turnover, slowly lowering this also. Everything happy, except Frogspawn (reason for changing flow). Doing 10l water change as part of routine.
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mylertitchell

March 2020
Target

Stable, improve maintenance
Equipment
DIY AWC kinda
Summary
Flow x30 (happy with this), nitrates went up with 10l water change, changed to 15l water change. seems to be maintaining so far.
ATO Failed multiple times during week, overflowed tank was quite dangerous, did this 4pm every day. Turned out to be sun blinding the optics and she went mental, pump ran dry with it. 7l of rodi into tank. params were off as expected, but was ok thankfully. Moved optic to other side (i can see magnet now, but least its not gonna happen again) Daily dosing of alk, less daily swing, everything seems to be stable. 
Plumbed in my RODI so always have 25lits of rodi, bought another 25l fermentation bucket, added old wavemaker and an old heater, 15l saltwater made every friday with ease to be used on monday (use heater so dont have to worry about temp swing). I have small pump, tubing and clips.
RODI and salt
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Maintenance
Monday - Water gets pumped out of tank into my bucket, i stop it at 15l, whilst its pumping out, i stir sand and blast rocks, clean glass, i change filter every 2nd week, i change media every 4 (multi-tasking, this all being done whilst WC), once i take 15l out, i put pump into clean water, and pump it in. I can then tidy up polish glass, and put it all back together, very satisfied with this workflow. 
Friday - testing, topup ato, photograph, journal, stir sand blast rocks, feed corals, (i feed mix frozen, aminos and roids to corals and fish etc)
End of every month I am now going to collate my journal into this and set my target for next month.

Fish

11 weeks from the deaths of my fish, i finally got fish back in the tank, a pair of black ice snowflake clowns 🤩
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Tank
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mylertitchell

April 2020
Target

Auto Dosing Kalkwasser (minimal parameter swing)

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Enthrol

Really like the 'scape man. Sorry about your losses but glad you stuck with it. Looking forward to following along.

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mylertitchell

April 2020
Target

Auto Dosing Kalkwasser (minimal parameter swing)
Equipment
Zetlight 1201 x2
Single Channel Doser
Fluval Nano Scraper (Had some hard algae on glass, this took my glass to new)
Doser
Ordered a Jebao WIFI 3.1 Single Doser, and started manually dosing kalk morning and night. The doser arrived and unfortunately was defective, it just would not stop pumping, as if instead of being 0(off) and 1(on) it was 0.1 and 1, app fully worked but it just didnt stop. End result somehow ended with me receiving full refund and keeping doser (crazy to think that was better for them than pay for p&p)

Anyhow, i thought how could i salvage this, so i unscrewed doser, secured manual button to always be on and screwed back together, I went to app, removed all schedules and set doser to manual mode. I was somewhat prepared for this as during research of dosers i had always thought a peristaltic pump and a timer would do the job, but when i priced them up it wasnt much saving compared to jebao from china. I bought this single doser for £29 new delivered. Anyway so i plugged her into a wifi plug that i had spare, and let her run until the unit was primed.

What alot of peoples issue is the wifi plugs can only be on and off for minutes. But if they are alexa enabled you can setup routines, which can go to seconds (increments of 5) Amazon Alexa is Key! Alot of calibration required to see what she really does dose. 50ml per minute is max on unit, but after calibrating i was getting 35ml per minute and used that as my logic on dosing.
Very Happy with my DIY Doser.
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Lime Vinegar

I am now dosing kalkwasser and vinegar, as a single solution. I am currently still finding my sweet spot, but my param swing over a week would be 10ppm of cal or 1dkh alk max, so still brilliant just trying to hone in. pH has increased which is great benefit also.
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General
I saw some corals for sale at a great price online in particular papaya clove polyps (one the first corals i fell in love with), ended up buying monti histura, papaya cloves, pipe organ, and 6 named zoa frags, i had  to make a makeshift frag rack to handle them out of eggcrate and some suction clips i had. Once putting these up my brain finally clicked, I had another light in garage, I bought 2 just so i could use these on next tank, why keep for next when I can put on now. With slight mod (nothing permanent) I was able to put both on my tank.
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Summary
Was a really great month and I have some targets for next month to make the tank easier to manage (even though it already is, but few changes will suit family life better). Main goal for next month is place some of the frags, and find pretty place for the leftovers who need to grow out more, have kalk and vinegar honed in.
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