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prdoring

Prdoring's Contour 3 - First Coral!

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prdoring

7 years.  7 Years I held off the temptation to get back into reefing.  Then the world shut down, and I started looking at tanks on youtube.  Needless to say I am stoked to come back.

 

Due to the rigors of apartment living (a.k.a. moving) in a major metropolitan area, I have decided to spin up a pico.  The main focus is going to be coral, but will have some inverts, and potentially a goby, but not decided on that yet.

 

One of the main goals for this pico is to have as much of the equipment / wires and whatnot hidden and clean.

 

All I am waiting on is my rock which comes this week, so I plan on starting the tank on Thurs or Fri.

 

I will be cycling with Dr. Tims one and only and Dr. Tims ammonium chloride.

 

Equipment:

  • Marineland Contour 3 Aquarium
    • Modified filter basket
  • Kessil A80
  • Kessil Spectral Controller
  • 25w Heater
  • Inkbird Temp Controller
  • Upgraded 150gph Pump

 

Rock/Sand:

  • CaribSea Liferock
  • CaribSea Ocean Direct Live Sand

 

Planned Equipment:

  • Osmilator nano ATO
  • Hidden ATO reservoir
  • Fan, Iceprobe in HOB (does not fit with main goal) or Chill Solutions Chiller for the handful of hot (unconditioned) weeks we have here in Seattle.

 

Stock:

  • 2 Blue Leg Hermit
  • 2 Astrea Snail
  • 2 Nassarius Snail
  • 1 Yellow Watchman Goby

 

Planned Stock:

  • Coral - Start with some tough softies, then go from there.

 

 

 

The Tank and Light (it seems to be tradition to put a bottle of something in there)

The goose neck only lets the A80 get so close, do you think this is close enough to the tank?

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Wiring And Control Setup (No the temp is not configured yet)

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Modified Filter Tray:

The filter supports carbon pads, while I plan on using carbon to polish occasionally I mainly want to use this for floss.  I 3D Printed an ABS panel to go where the pad normally does, to divert flow up and over the floss.  I also plan on running a bag of Marine Pure Gems in the next chamber.

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Thanks for all the info on what is new, and all the lurking these past couple weeks.  Super excited to be back.

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debbeach13

Welcome back. 7 years there must be some interesting changes in equipment and how things are done. Do you want to share any thing about your previous tank. I hope all goes well in your pico. The only thing I would suggest is test kits. You probably have them but I didn't notice them on the list. The condiment in the tank was for the 365 day all-in-one contest to show that you were starting a new empty tank. This needed to be post by Feb. 29th to be entered. I also missed the start date. Have fun.

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prdoring

Oh yeah, I have a test kit ready to go.  I find a little too much joy in logging and graphing data.  

 

Stuff has changed a bunch, when I started the only LED fixtures available were suuuuper pricy, and live rock was the norm.  When I was breaking down my tank, par 38 LED bulbs were just starting to take off.  

 

I ran a biocube for several years, it was a bit of a budget setup due to where I was in life at the time.  It was successful for what it was but didn't have enough light to keep / grow the corals I wanted.  I had to break it down and sell it when moving from VA to Seattle.  It is really nice to come back to cooler, more compact, cheaper technology, with a bigger budget to get what I want and a better work life balance to put more into it.  This has me especially excited, removing some of those constraints is going to allow me to do it right.  Not to mention, my patience as a 31 year old is much higher than that of the 22 year old I was when I started my first tank haha.

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debbeach13

That's great. I am following and looking forward to reading all about your cycle with Dr. Tim's.

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PicoSavvy

Ok, I have to ask what is with the sauce bottle? seen a couple of other tanks that had ketchup bottle in them.

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Ratvan
7 minutes ago, PicoSavvy said:

Ok, I have to ask what is with the sauce bottle? seen a couple of other tanks that had ketchup bottle in them.

It is a qualifying requirement to the 365 days of reefing contest that is running

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debbeach13
17 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

The condiment in the tank was for the 365 day all-in-one contest to show that you were starting a new empty tank. This needed to be post by Feb. 29th to be entered. I also missed the start date. Have fun.

I thought this answered that.

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prdoring

First pass aquascape, thoughts? Advice?

 

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20200428_104127.jpg

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prdoring

V2

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PicoSavvy
34 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

I thought this answered that.

Sorry missed that big hand and small phone screen dont make a good combo.

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debbeach13

No worries just goofing with you. I like both of those. Looks like some good spots for coral placement. I stink at doing a scape. Which one do you like? That's what matters. The only rule I follow is being able to get the magnet cleaner/scrapper between the rock and glass. Which I never did years ago. Always put the rock against the back wall for stability and more sand bed in front. I some times miss that.

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prdoring

Thanks yeah I am going with a modification on the second one.  Yeah my last tank was rock against wall and it was a pain, but also so cool.   This one I am trying to leave enough clearance for mag scraper most of the place and manual scraper in others.

 

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prdoring

Dr Tims arriving in an hour, rock, sand, water in, starting fishless cycle tonight

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prdoring

Whelp, Amazon sent the wrong Dr. Tims, so I am hoping the seed from the live sand / liferock will be enough, if not I will dose with a new bottle coming in a couple days.

Current Readings:

 

Pre-Ammonia Addition:

Ammonia: 0.1
PH: 8.35

N03: 0

No2: 0

 

Post-Ammonia Addition:

Ammonia: 2.0

PH: 8.35

N03: 0

No2: 0

 

We will check back in 24h and see if we have some microbuddies growing.

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prdoring

DSC01305.thumb.jpg.5fcb307c724b045fdb79012d711932e6.jpg

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Adwyth

Love the progress so far! I think these contours make great little Pico reefs. I’ve got one and was really surprised at how well that glass top keeps evaporation down.

 

I also really like your rock work and what you and how you modded the stock filter cartridge holder.

 

Im following along and look forward to your updates!

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prdoring

Thanks! I am super excited for this one. I see you are using the same tank.  How are you liking it so far?  

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Adwyth

I’ve had it set up since February and it ha performed very well. I am still using the stock pump and it seems to be enough flow.    I slightly blocked the lower intake so the sandbed wouldn’t migrate to the sump compartment. I am using the stock filter cartridge minus the carbon and removed the stock foam from the bottom. I have an Aqueon 50w heater in the back and that’s really it. I wanted to keep it simple.

 

The only thing that I have not cared for is the curved corner glass. It is a pain the get the corners clean of the hard green algae that has been growing. The flat panels are easy to clean with a plastic card, but the corners...not so much. 

 

Everything else working great!  I just do weekly 1 gallon water changes, wipe down the glass, swap the filter cartridge out and call it a day. The evaporation is so low that as long as I do my weekly maintenance, I don’t even have to top water off. I unintentionally went a week and a half between water changes an had to ad a splash of top off water.

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prdoring

That is great to hear about the evap, though when summer gets kicking I think I will need to invest in an ATO because that cover will need to be off.  

 

Good to know on the corners **busts out calipers and starts designing a custom scraper**

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prdoring

Had some spare time this morning, decided to do an early reading and see if we have any movement.  

 

Timestamp Ammonia Nitrate Nitrite PH
4/29/2020 10:33:08 1.5 1 0.25 8.3

 

chart.png.615adfd33867c2f27c8bb1618b939b3c.png

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prdoring

Allright! Definitive Nitrite! Microbuddies officially getting going.

 

I think the initial wiggles are from variability in my interpretation of the test kit. But nitirite is straight up purple, adding another 2ppm ammonia tonight.

 

880563240_chart(1).png.c72915f5da9b1fb4d3fb3ea53870fb01.png

 

 

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debbeach13

Looks like it is going pretty good. Are you satisfied so far?

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prdoring

Quite, still happy with my rockwork, tank size/placement is correct, sand is doing what it should, flow seems solid, really nothing to complain about.  

 

Plans for the future are evolving a bit, after I am at a state where I am chewing through ~2-4ppm ammonia in a day I am considering getting a green clown goby and a jar of pods when I get my CUC to ensure ammonia is coming in without dosing and to get some initial biodiversity before adding coral.  Thoughts?

 

 

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debbeach13

I always like fish first before coral. I didn't do that this time and wonder if that has resulted in slow coral growth. 

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teenyreef

What a pretty tank! I like the clean look and the scape. 

 

Personally I like to add a small cuc to start, then a fish or two. Then corals. My logic is that snails are hard to kill and easy to replace, and I don't feel guilty if they die. 🙂

 

For the curved edges, I had the same problem with my Cadlights 4g. The nanomag scraper from Two Little Fishies worked well. The magnet side looks big, but the scraper is a small flexible pad that does well on curved surfaces. 

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