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Teenyreef's 20g Study-kept Dustmite Biotope: It's holey!

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teenyreef

Established: Who Knows? Soon? I hope!

 

2020-06-06 FTS:

20200606_232202.jpg

 

2020-05-02 FTS:

20200502_093657.jpg

 

Equipment:

Ultum Nature Systems 60U 20g rimless aquarium

Lights: Radion XR30 Gen 5 with hanging kit

Jebao DCS-2000 return pump

MP-10 circulation pump

Tunze Osmolater 3155 ATO

Finnex 100w heater

Apex Lite with temperature and Ph probes, EB-8 power module, WXM wireless controller for MP-10

Coral Box D300 Plus skimmer

Fiji Cube Low Profile External Overflow Box (400GPH)

Skimz UP18 Sumpro sump

BRS dosing pumps, dosing ATI Essentials Pro #1 and #2 (three part plus trace elements combined in two bottles)

PhosphateRx as needed to reduce phosphate levels

 

Fish:

None yet, humidity is still too low

 

Inverts:

Just a few dust mites

 

Corals:

Does dry rock count?

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teenyreef

I've been meaning to start this tank journal for about a year now. It's probably good that I didn't since it would have been one of the slowest tank build threads around. But I'm posting now because I finally have most of the equipment and a place to put it, and it's time to start thinking about some of the final details.

 

I won this tank as a drawing prize in the annual N-R Secret Santa contest thanks to a generous donation from @UNS (Ultum Nature Systems). Their tanks are absolutely beautiful and I'm super excited to get it set up finally.

 

The tank is a standard dimension 20g, with nice 45 degree mitered edges on the super clear glass. My goal for this setup is to have a very clean look with as little clutter from equipment as possible. I'm going to drill the tank for an overflow and for the return, with a Skimz 18" sump below.

 

I'm going to set up on my desk which is made from a countertop and kitchen cabinets from Ikea. It will go on the corner of the desk where I currently have the IM10:

2020-02-08 IM10 FRS

 

I've selected and bought the sump, skimmer, return pump, and heater, and I have an extra MP10 pump so most of the equipment is here. Now I just need to get it all out of the garage!

20200502_093657.jpg

 

Before I can get set up, I still have to make some big decisions:

 

Lighting: I had actually bought a Radion XR30 Gen 4 late last year.

And then they came out with the Gen 5 a month later. :rant:

And then I found out @BulkReefSupply has a twelve month return-for-credit policy! :happydance:

So the light went back, but I'm having second thoughts about the XR30....more to come on that later.

 

Position: peninsula or standard? There's room on the end of the desk for peninsula style, but I'm not sure I'd be able to see everything as well.

 

Plumbing: going to do a Herbie drain, but I'm still figuring out exactly what fittings and pipes I need to order.

 

Rocks: use dry rocks, recycle existing rocks from the IM10, or mostly dry rocks with one or two recycled ones to seed the tank?

 

Fish: keep the fish from the IM10, of course, but what else?

 

ATO and dosing containers: the sump is going to take up almost the full width of the cabinet. There's room in front of the sump, so I need to place the ATO and dosing containers there. I need to figure out some containers that are thin but also not too tall so they don't block access to the sump. Or maybe relocate the ATO container to the floor next to the outside of the cabinet under the desk.

 

Tank transfer: what transfers from the IM10, and how? I'm thinking just coral frags and corals on small rocks. I don't want to transfer all the big rocks and end up with all the same pests. A clean start with dry rock might be best. So I also have to think about whether to keep the IM10 running while this tank cycles, or rehome the corals into another tank temporarily.

 

Return plumbing. I know I want the return plumbed through a bulkhead for a clean look. But I need to decide what actually connects to the bulkhead. The classic approach is a threaded connector and some Loc-line with a flare nozzle. But I don't really want all that stuff sticking in the tank and messing up the clean look. I'm wondering if I could just hook up a random flow generator. I know @Clown79 really likes hers. I also need to decide whether to split the plumbing for dual returns and have the overflow in the middle, or to put the return on one side and have a single return on the other side. That will partly depend on whether I go with a peninsula style or not.

 

Cooling/humidity: I might need to put a small exhaust fan in the cabinet to keep the temperature and humidity down. But I may wait until things are running to make sure I need it.

 

 

I'm going to keep editing this post as I think of more things to need to be figured out.🤔

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WV Reefer
18 minutes ago, teenyreef said:

Established: Who Knows? Soon? I hope!

 

2020-05-02 FTS:

20200502_093657.jpg

 

Equipment:

Ultum Nature Systems 60U 20g rimless aquarium

Lights: TBD

Coral Box DCA3000 return pump

MP-10 circulation pump

Tunze Osmolater 3155 ATO

Finnex 100w heater

Apex Lite with temperature and Ph probes, EB-8 power module, WXM wireless controller for MP-10

Coral Box D300 Plus skimmer

Fiji Cube Low Profile External Overflow Box (400GPH)

Skimz UP18 Sumpro sumo

BRS dosing pumps, dosing ATI Essentials Pro #1 and #2 (three part plus trace elements combined in two bottles)

Kamoer dosing tube/probe holder

PhosphateRx as needed to reduce phosphate levels

 

Fish:

None yet, humidity is still too low

 

Inverts:

Just a few dust mites

 

Corals:

Does dry rock count?

I would be interested in seeing a dust mite biotope. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Smurf

I love the look of fresh equipment! Can’t wait to see how growing your ‘coral rock’ goes 

 

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teenyreef
5 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

I would be interested in seeing a dust mite biotope. 🤷🏻‍♀️

First post award! 

 

I've been looking at the dust biotope in the garage for a while, I think it's time to upgrade :lol:

3 minutes ago, Smurf said:

I love the look of fresh equipment! Can’t wait to see how growing your ‘coral rock’ goes 

 

Thanks, me too!

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teenyreef

Thoughts about lighting...I want to give the Radion LEDs lights a try on this tank. They're used by a lot of very successful reefers in spite of their high cost, and I really like the approach Ecotech tool with the latest Gen 5 light with the blend of colors and wider spread/diffusion. I initially thought the XR15, while powerful enough, wouldn't have enough spread over the 24" length of the tank. So I decided to go with the XR30 even though it's way overpowered for this size/depth tank.

 

But the XR30 may actually provide too much of an even spread. I've learned it's important to have both bright spots and less-bright spots in a tank if I want to keep anything other than sps. Acans, in particular, just turn boring orange/red if they don't get pretty low light. It's a pain finding a shady spot with just the right amount of light especially as the corals up top start to fill in, creating too much shade. And acans are hard to move once they encrust on the rocks.

 

The other thing to think about is using T5s together with LEDs, which I've learned works really well. The T5s give a little broader spectrum than the LEDS which corals seem to like a lot, and there's a lot less shading because they run the length of the tank and don't come from a point source.

 

So, the options I'm thinking about are:

1. XR30 Gen 5. Great power/color, even coverage. But very limited PAR differences within the tank, so low-light corals will be a problem.

2. XR15 Gen 5. Enough power, and the ends of the tank will have a lot less light for softies and acans. But it may concentrate the high power light too much and not allow enough room for all the sps I want to keep.

3. Two XR15 Gen 5's. Gives a lot more control on how much light goes where. About the same price as one XR30. More flexibility for reuse in a future tank. But this probably won't be very different from a single XR30 in the long run, and will have a more cluttered look.

4. XR15/T5 hybrid. Adds benefits of T5s. But it covers a lot more of the top of the tank and isn't nearly as clean-looking.

 

I think it will come down to what I aim for as the main goal of the tank. If I really want to focus on sps, especially high-end acros, the XR30 may still be the best option.

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teenyreef

- Just added a note to my list of things to figure out - where do I put the ATO and dosing containers? I may end up getting a custom ATO container that will fit in front of the sump without taking up too much room.

 

I also need to come up with a name for the tank that at least is up to "Dad joke" level.

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kimberbee
1 hour ago, WV Reefer said:

I would be interested in seeing a dust mite biotope. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Come look under my couch... 😬

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mitten_reef

I was really hoping you’d go really BIG, like 80-100G shallow BIG.  
 

but I guess this will do. You’ll still have just about 100 Gallon worth of tanks. 😂

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Clown79
1 hour ago, teenyreef said:

Thoughts about lighting...I want to give the Radion LEDs lights a try on this tank. They're used by a lot of very successful reefers in spite of their high cost, and I really like the approach Ecotech tool with the latest Gen 5 light with the blend of colors and wider spread/diffusion. I initially thought the XR15, while powerful enough, wouldn't have enough spread over the 24" length of the tank. So I decided to go with the XR30 even though it's way overpowered for this size/depth tank.

 

But the XR30 may actually provide too much of an even spread. I've learned it's important to have both bright spots and less-bright spots in a tank if I want to keep anything other than sps. Acans, in particular, just turn boring orange/red if they don't get pretty low light. It's a pain finding a shady spot with just the right amount of light especially as the corals up top start to fill in, creating too much shade. And acans are hard to move once they encrust on the rocks.

 

The other thing to think about is using T5s together with LEDs, which I've learned works really well. The T5s give a little broader spectrum than the LEDS which corals seem to like a lot, and there's a lot less shading because they run the length of the tank and don't come from a point source.

 

So, the options I'm thinking about are:

1. XR30 Gen 5. Great power/color, even coverage. But very limited PAR differences within the tank, so low-light corals will be a problem.

2. XR15 Gen 5. Enough power, and the ends of the tank will have a lot less light for softies and acans. But it may concentrate the high power light too much and not allow enough room for all the sps I want to keep.

3. Two XR15 Gen 5's. Gives a lot more control on how much light goes where. About the same price as one XR30. More flexibility for reuse in a future tank. But this probably won't be very different from a single XR30 in the long run, and will have a more cluttered look.

4. XR15/T5 hybrid. Adds benefits of T5s. But it covers a lot more of the top of the tank and isn't nearly as clean-looking.

 

I think it will come down to what I aim for as the main goal of the tank. If I really want to focus on sps, especially high-end acros, the XR30 may still be the best option.

That's spot on. If you want a mixed reef it's so important to have lower light areas for those corals that don't do well with high light(fried a few myself accidentally thinking it was low light)

 

Looking forward to seeing your 20 up and running.

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teenyreef
8 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

I was really hoping you’d go really BIG, like 80-100G shallow BIG.  
 

but I guess this will do. You’ll still have just about 100 Gallon worth of tanks. 😂

Lol, that's true! And the actual water volume including the oversized sump will be closer to 40g. 

 

I'm still thinking about replacing the IM40 with a shallow 80. I think it would fit on the same cabinet. 

 

Or my 90g fw tank is down to algae-infested live plants and one huge clown loach. Maybe I'll convert that to sw. 

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debbeach13

Wow how exciting for you. Starting a new tank is so much fun. The excitement of all the new possibilities. This is why MTS hits so many members. I know this will be a great build with a lot of followers. I just want to wish you much success in this new journey.

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teenyreef
8 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Wow how exciting for you. Starting a new tank is so much fun. The excitement of all the new possibilities. This is why MTS hits so many members. I know this will be a great build with a lot of followers. I just want to wish you much success in this new journey.

Thanks!

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teenyreef
25 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

That's spot on. If you want a mixed reef it's so important to have lower light areas for those corals that don't do well with high light(fried a few myself accidentally thinking it was low light)

 

Looking forward to seeing your 20 up and running.

Yeah, I think it all comes down to how much shade there is, and how much difference in light levels I get at the far ends of the tank.

 

I'm really still in love with the XR30 option just because it's the cleanest-looking and covers the least amount of the tank. I just don't think a single XR15 will provide enough PAR.

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teenyreef

Another thing to think about is what I will transfer from the IM10. I don't want to bring any pests over, so most likely I'll just transfer frags, and corals that are on their own small rocks. But the big rocks definitely won't come over.

 

But that means I need to cycle this tank with new rocks. And that means I have to keep the IM10 running until that's done. Or I need to temporarily put whatever gets transferred into another tank (probably the 30g frag tank) while I get things going.

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teenyreef
1 hour ago, kimberbee said:

Come look under my couch... 😬

Ok, I've got a name for the tank now! For now, at least 🙂

 

"Teenyreef's 20g Garage-kept Dustmite Biotope"

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Clown79
34 minutes ago, teenyreef said:

Another thing to think about is what I will transfer from the IM10. I don't want to bring any pests over, so most likely I'll just transfer frags, and corals that are on their own small rocks. But the big rocks definitely won't come over.

 

But that means I need to cycle this tank with new rocks. And that means I have to keep the IM10 running until that's done. Or I need to temporarily put whatever gets transferred into another tank (probably the 30g frag tank) while I get things going.

Do you have pests to worry about?

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teenyreef
6 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Do you have pests to worry about?

Yes, something has been killing the acros in the IM10 from the bottom up for a long time. I assume it's due to pests but I've never been able to figure out what they are. I just posted some pictures in that thread.

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Merthynia
2 hours ago, teenyreef said:

Yes, something has been killing the acros in the IM10 from the bottom up for a long time. I assume it's due to pests but I've never been able to figure out what they are. I just posted some pictures in that thread.

Maybe some extensive dips when you pull those out to put wherever? Hopefully whatever it is could be killed by it. It's a shame since those are such nice looking corals otherwise.

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DreC80
5 hours ago, teenyreef said:

Thoughts about lighting...I want to give the Radion LEDs lights a try on this tank. They're used by a lot of very successful reefers in spite of their high cost, and I really like the approach Ecotech tool with the latest Gen 5 light with the blend of colors and wider spread/diffusion. I initially thought the XR15, while powerful enough, wouldn't have enough spread over the 24" length of the tank. So I decided to go with the XR30 even though it's way overpowered for this size/depth tank.

 

But the XR30 may actually provide too much of an even spread. I've learned it's important to have both bright spots and less-bright spots in a tank if I want to keep anything other than sps. Acans, in particular, just turn boring orange/red if they don't get pretty low light. It's a pain finding a shady spot with just the right amount of light especially as the corals up top start to fill in, creating too much shade. And acans are hard to move once they encrust on the rocks.

 

The other thing to think about is using T5s together with LEDs, which I've learned works really well. The T5s give a little broader spectrum than the LEDS which corals seem to like a lot, and there's a lot less shading because they run the length of the tank and don't come from a point source.

 

So, the options I'm thinking about are:

1. XR30 Gen 5. Great power/color, even coverage. But very limited PAR differences within the tank, so low-light corals will be a problem.

2. XR15 Gen 5. Enough power, and the ends of the tank will have a lot less light for softies and acans. But it may concentrate the high power light too much and not allow enough room for all the sps I want to keep.

3. Two XR15 Gen 5's. Gives a lot more control on how much light goes where. About the same price as one XR30. More flexibility for reuse in a future tank. But this probably won't be very different from a single XR30 in the long run, and will have a more cluttered look.

4. XR15/T5 hybrid. Adds benefits of T5s. But it covers a lot more of the top of the tank and isn't nearly as clean-looking.

 

I think it will come down to what I aim for as the main goal of the tank. If I really want to focus on sps, especially high-end acros, the XR30 may still be the best option.

I think option 4 and add a second XR15 down the road if needed.

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teenyreef
7 hours ago, DreC80 said:

I think option 4 and add a second XR15 down the road if needed.

Yeah, I've pretty much decided against #2 and #3. I think #4 (XR15 plus T5s) gives the best blend of light and should have plenty of PAR. But #1 will look a lot cleaner which is my primary goal with this tank. So it's kind of a toss up still. 

I need to look more closely at the size of the hybrid fixtures like the Aquaticlife. If it covers too much of the top of the tank and makes it hard to take top down shots, I think I'll go with #1 (XR30 only). The Gen 5 lights are supposed to have a better spectrum blend so that using T5s isn't as critical. Hmmph, we'll see.

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teenyreef

Hmmm, @BulkReefSupply just released a video on light spread from different lighting options. Clearly they've been following this tank thread already. :biggrin:

It's a good video and worth watching. It did remind me that there is always an option #5: T5 only. But I'd already discarded that option because of the desire to minimize the size of the fixture over the tank.

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/video/view/5-minute-saltwater-aquarium-guide-light-spread/

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neyes_ice

will be looking forward to this build! so UNS tanks are definitely not tempered? i’m planning a 16 g cube build and i’m trying to find out if it can be drilled. also if i may ask why did you choose a fiji cube overflow box rather than the popular eshopps  or the marine depot one?

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teenyreef
10 hours ago, nano_nano_nano said:

will be looking forward to this build! so UNS tanks are definitely not tempered? i’m planning a 16 g cube build and i’m trying to find out if it can be drilled. also if i may ask why did you choose a fiji cube overflow box rather than the popular eshopps  or the marine depot one?

Yes, they definitely are not tempered, so they can be drilled: 

 

I'll post some thoughts on overflows tomorrow. 

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