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36G Shallow Reef - QT system added, fish were sick

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Frag Factory

Ordered Updates!

 

June 2020 - Cycling

Tank is up and running with a few bits to finish.

 

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July 2020 - Tank Transferred

Corals are transferred from my old tank, stuff starting to be put in position.

 

IMG_20200727_165140.thumb.jpg.ed16b309f1371ed14158a4fd4c9c740b.jpg.dc604894049d7aa0c5ad926862042c04.jpg

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Thread Begin

 

So since my ADA 30c nano has become full and things are about to kill each other and I've also managed to fill my frag/frogfish tank an upgrade was in order.

 

I'm also off work like many of you, so the time seemed right.

 

This is the upgrade with the current tank in the background.

 

IMG_20200518_154350.thumb.jpg.eaa603c0a73608f7d305f78ac5a8cf6d.jpg

 

It measures 30" x 24" x 14", made by Aquariums4Life in the UK (outstanding shop and tank builders).

 

The front is starfire, there's an overflow with 2 drains and a return drilled.

 

I've also got the sump too, this measures 24" x 18" x 18" with 2 filter socks. The tank was designed to be densely stocked, but I probably won't go mad.

 

I have a lot to do, I hope to document it all. My other tank has a wacky equipmentless design, this will be much more traditional and I will keep it relatively simple. Stocking will largely be the same, really nice softies, lots of Ricordea and clams. I also have some SPS frags in my frogfish tank that will move over.

 

I look forward to adding more as I go along, I will be ordering steel online and welding my stand in the next 10 days or so!

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mitten_reef

very nice dimensions....can't wait to see how you'll get it filled.  so guessing mostly transfer first, then add more later?  OR will this tank have all-new livestock/corals?

 

following along...

 

 

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Frag Factory
On 5/18/2020 at 4:25 PM, mitten_reef said:

very nice dimensions....can't wait to see how you'll get it filled.  so guessing mostly transfer first, then add more later?  OR will this tank have all-new livestock/corals?

 

following along...

 

 

I'll be moving things over slowly but I'll be going with all new rock, most likely caribsea synthetic. It will leave LOTS of room for new corals which should keep my addiction in check for a while 🤣

 

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Frag Factory

It's been an expensive few days, but let's take a moment to pay homage to the CNC cut weir overflow on my tank. It is PERFECTION...

 

IMG_20200520_173253.thumb.jpg.4bb0ee4d137f5ef840d6b0a4fb411a39.jpgIMG_20200520_173300.thumb.jpg.10899d4e3db1eb1e1d3f54b13a54ad00.jpg

 

I'm also totally blown away by the silicone work and polished edges too... The quality of construction is equal to my ADA tank.

 

IMG_20200520_173311.thumb.jpg.79a34882715db5235127fd8add359679.jpg

 

I went to an LFS today and had to order in almost everything I needed, people have been very busy it seems and bought almost all their stock (which is good!).

 

I've gone for:

  • 2 x Tunze 6015's - You can't beat Tunze for quality.
  • TMC DC 2000 return pump
  • Eheim Jager heater (to go with my controller on my current tank)
  • I've got all the plumbing too, nearly £100 on it's own (F**k I forgot that was so expensive...)
  • New RO filters and DI resin
  • Evergrow IT5060, kind of a budget light but has the same LED's as Radions and not many lights cover 30" tank length.
  • 5kg of ceramic media in bags
  • 6 spare filter socks in 100, 200 and 400 micron.

I still need to sort out rock and a stand. I'm also going to need to research skimmers, as much as I would like to go and get a quantum that's a lot of money... and with the biggest recession in 300 years looming it might not be wise to spunk too much cash on this right now. Brands will innovate and try to deliver the same quality results for less cash, I'm putting trust in capitalism... Or I can pick up something on sale when things fall apart.

 

I've had 10+ years of keeping reef tanks with a few breaks in between. I've never used a skimmer... 

 

I still need to build a stand too, I'm trying to work out where to put all my electronics, ATO container and dosing containers without needing anything outside of the tank but that's pretty difficult. The sump is LARGE. It gives me about 4" on the side and front if I put it in the back of the stand and if I make the stand 2" larger front to back and mount it on the side I get about 12" of room on the left hand side. The problem with that is the tank has to go behind the door and 2" extra room makes things kind of tight. I might have to just bite the bullet and have a ATO container hidden somewhere else or make a new TV stand and hide it in there.

 

Once I figure out stand layouts I will get to work (probably at the weekend assuming DIY shops have stuff in stock). I might scrap the steel stand idea, I think I get more internal room if I just use plywood and build something similar to the ADA design which I copied for my 12" cube.

 

I'm also concerned about evaporation and mold. When I moved into this place it suffered a little bit from dampness and a 30" x 24" footprint is pretty large... I might have to use an acrylic top which is less than ideal but that's life I guess. The alternative could be a dehumidifier but those are noisy and annoying.

 

This is my sump.

 

IMG_20200520_173338.thumb.jpg.06d0a2eae252f91c82c1707ead8fbc63.jpg

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Frag Factory

Ok, I've been making the most of lockdown and I've built my stand, but I have not built my door yet...

 

It's had about 15 coats of outdoor paint and the internals, back and bottom are covered in silicone to protect against water damage. I've not had a sump before so I'm probably over reacting but I am slightly concerned about water damage from spray and evaporation which is why I wanted to go with steel.

 

IMG_20200531_190303.thumb.jpg.7ebf9006b16af580a5fedd991a00ebb8.jpg

 

The Skimmer is a Bubble Magus Curve 7, it's probably overkill.

 

Plumbing is also complete, it's a fairly simple twin standpipe (25mm drain, 32mm emergency drain):

 

IMG_20200531_185249.thumb.jpg.e37886765047082f81fd4b170dff4d7a.jpg

 

IMG_20200531_190324.thumb.jpg.25a3fa1d1ba99568b74bf6aad7cbe0d9.jpg

 

I did a great bodge job on the elbow for the return, extending it with a coupler connector which I cut and sanded down to meet the return outlet hole in my weir.

 

Next up is electronics, those need to be drilled/set up on the left hand side of the stand internals.

 

I'll also have to get a price for an ATO container to go into the gap to the left of the stand.

 

I have rock and substrate already but I've had enough for today.

 

I'm very excited 😁

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Elizabeth94

Nice dimensions on this tank. Should give you plenty of room to make a cool aquascape with some depth to it. Good job on the stand! 

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Frag Factory

Aquascape is done (I would love some feedback, I think it's ok and should fill out well when covered in coral but I'm not 100% sold on it...)

 

View from front:

IMG_20200601_173603.thumb.jpg.05fb1f674a4e9980225bb9d50bad5bd8.jpg

 

From the top:

IMG_20200601_173612.thumb.jpg.46ad54b9957f3a77b6e91aab0e91c3df.jpg

 

From the door as you walk in:

IMG_20200601_173618.thumb.jpg.761b0f8c1aab5c440ed1e30fe0f92ddc.jpg

 

From my dining table:

IMG_20200601_173625.thumb.jpg.1dcc7e2955a8760c9ebead10be0b96d3.jpg

 

I think it's interesting and offers lots of room for fish (until corals grow) but I'm not sure it really shows the depth off too well...

 

The tank is full anyway, I've got a filter sock full of brine shrimp cubes and chopped up silversides as an ammonia source and have dosed a bottle of Dr Tims as well as move over some live rock rubble from my current tank which is covered in coralline algae.

 

The rock is D-D Aquarium Solutions Aquascape Rock, I recommend it. It came in a 20kg box, I think I only used about 12kg.

 

IMG_20200604_202757.thumb.jpg.0940ff1fabfe257a488acdaeff3f23d2.jpg

 

IMG_20200604_202830.thumb.jpg.c839ac94ec551c6bbfffc71da5eeb05a.jpg

 

My new light doesn't seem as "crisp" as my AI prime, I might have to dial in the settings more. The tank water is also cloudy from the bacteria I added so it may be that.

 

Either way, apologies for the crap photos for now.

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My cycle is still taking place but things are getting clearer, I've also been playing with the light settings (which really don't play well with my camera...).

 

Some new pics of the scape, I've also added a bunch of rubble from my other tanks filter to help seed bacteria. I did dose Dr Tims but my salinity was 42ppt and I think I may have killed the bacteria... Not sure how I missed that (unless I didn't account for displacement when I weighed the salt out).

 

IMG_20200611_215614.thumb.jpg.b9663aeb826bcc7491edb2e7f1842ffc.jpg

 

IMG_20200611_215440.thumb.jpg.1f326702a048e2846f998f01a1a8d72a.jpg

 

IMG_20200611_215502.thumb.jpg.a87520d0bc18f65322cb13f396864a86.jpg

 

There are still jobs to do but I'm waiting for things to arrive, I need:

  • Build a DIY magnetic kalk stirrer
  • An acrylic ATO container
  • The door for the stand (waiting for the acrylic window to arrive)
  • Evaporation lid (again, waiting for acrylic)

I have to wait for my acrylic provider to deliver my order, they are running behind due to high demand from PPE orders.

 

Dosing Plans

 

I thought a lot about what to do with dosing, I don't plan on that many SPS but would like another couple of clams. I'm convinced I can keep up with demand through kalk dripping and plan to run this inline from my ATO container on a separate system. I'll be testing weekly with a 20% water change to keep parameters on track. A fall back plan is normal balling with aquaforest products which I already have.

 

My basic kalk stirrer plan looks something like this:

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However, I'm concerned the magnet doser might not work in a thick kalk slurry at the bottom. We shall see, I could also add a more traditional stirring bar from the top like the professional units have or even run the magnet elevated slightly on a spindle system.

 

I'm also debating if I go full retard on this, I could dig my arduino kit out and build a circuit that keeps the kalk mixing 24/7 using a laser and a light sensor that stops mixing when the slurry rises too high in the container and blocks the light. If life doesn't return to normal soon I may do this out of boredom.

 

The tank is running a very low light schedule to help it get into the rhythm of things. Blues and whites only at 3% or so. There's no algae yet but there are lots of pods, I added a couple of liters worth from my outdoor culture to help populate things. Most ended up in my filter sock though.

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Kellie in CA

I like the aquascape!  I have something very similar in my tank. 

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Frag Factory

IMG_20200615_231130.thumb.jpg.2bffa75e6d0f2e63c71cf673d343e930.jpg

 

Kalk reactor is done, complete with janky mount.

 

It's a good container sat on a magnetic stirrer. The stirrer turns on for 1 minute every 12 hours. This is enough to cloud up the bottom half of the container where fresh water enters on a low setting.

 

I then feed it every hour with fresh water from my single head coralbox reactor and kalk slowly drips out of the mangled ehiem intake.

 

It should work.

 

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Elizabeth94

I thought that was a blender at first. Haha! 

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Frag Factory
9 hours ago, Elizabeth94 said:

I thought that was a blender at first. Haha! 

I can see why 😂

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mitten_reef
On 6/11/2020 at 5:22 PM, Frag Factory said:

 

IMG_20200611_215614.thumb.jpg.b9663aeb826bcc7491edb2e7f1842ffc.jpg

 

IMG_20200611_215440.thumb.jpg.1f326702a048e2846f998f01a1a8d72a.jpg

 

IMG_20200611_215502.thumb.jpg.a87520d0bc18f65322cb13f396864a86.jpg

Very nice scape!  I'll be setting up a 24" x 24" tank soon, and this is kinda like what I had in mind.

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dnadrifter
On 6/11/2020 at 2:22 PM, Frag Factory said:

My cycle is still taking place but things are getting clearer, I've also been playing with the light settings (which really don't play well with my camera...).

 

Some new pics of the scape, I've also added a bunch of rubble from my other tanks filter to help seed bacteria. I did dose Dr Tims but my salinity was 42ppt and I think I may have killed the bacteria... Not sure how I missed that (unless I didn't account for displacement when I weighed the salt out).

Consider getting some Fritz Turbo and keeping nitrites below 5 ppm.  Just my 2 cents...

 

Really like the scape !

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Frag Factory
1 hour ago, dnadrifter said:

Consider getting some Fritz Turbo and keeping nitrites below 5 ppm.  Just my 2 cents...

 

Really like the scape !

I added some ATM Colony at the weekend, Ammonia read 0.1ppm this morning. Cycling should be done tomorrow.

 

I'm in no rush, LFS's don't have much stuff in at the moment anyway.

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Frag Factory

My favourite rude LFS owner reopened today. He's very funny, the kind of guy who clearly loves the hobby but not retail.

 

I bought some of my first inhabitants.

  • 10 Trochus snails
  • 2 black and white clowns
  • 1 bicolour blenny

The tanks had its first water change, cycle was done last week. I also moved some GSP over last week as a test.

 

Things are still in the ugly stage, but I'll be moving things over from my other tank in the next week or two. I felt like adding fish would help the tank mature before I add all my favourite corals to a new system.

 

IMG_20200626_203630.thumb.jpg.2fa50e1981c1db3a530708dbb9d36093.jpg

 

This little dude has made the right hand bommie his home, but has been super skittish.

 

IMG_20200626_203702.thumb.jpg.febd9018fc17a0796a5e48ce83544f4f.jpg

 

IMG_20200626_203710.thumb.jpg.10c8f836ba0db3398bb4aabc605ae9c0.jpg

 

I also made an evaporation lid with a D- D Jumpguard and a sheet of polycarbonate. Looks professional and clean.

 

IMG_20200626_204510.thumb.jpg.6168ce757fecc1da0f129087e6330f84.jpg

 

Feed hole

 

IMG_20200626_204523.thumb.jpg.62dde570e0ec7e54464d67e8c1cfda80.jpg

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teamschreiba

Love the scape and enjoyed reading the thread on your last ADA tank. Look forward to seeing this one progress!

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Frag Factory

Looks like I have my first challenge, if I am not mistaken this looks like Bryopsis...

 

IMG_20200702_200912.thumb.jpg.06bbeffec0dd6a8326ab6c1aad8f39a5.jpg

 

This can literally only be from either:

  • The LFS I got my fish/snails from
  • My other tank when I took out LR rubble (very doubtful)...

2fd04435f368c15e5f70df15cc80e26f.png.01a3a604ca53b73402726609e0a764aa.png

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Well this is getting real good, the clownfish have gone back. One of them was looking very rough today with what I suspect is brook.

 

I don't have any QT set up currently but have a spare tank and space... I called my LFS and they said other clownfish in that batch also were looking sick and he offered to take them back and put them into his QT system along with the others. I'm hoping I caught it early and they pull though. 5 stars for customer service though, I was just hoping he had meds in to treat them myself but it's a great offer by them.

 

The blenny looked fine but catching him would have been a pain so I've left him for now. Current priority is to set up a proper QT system of my own, this has been a lesson I should have learned years ago. I know better than this but decided to gamble anyway.

 

Noobs who may read this, ALWAYS QUARANTINE EVERYTHING.

 

Rule #76 - Play like a champion, no excuses.

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The boys have moved in, and by boys I mean corals from my other tank that may or may not be gendered. No idea, I'm not a biologist.

 

I don't think there's been any losses, we shall see in the next week...

 

Corals were removed from my old scape with a wet tile saw, chisels, hammers, razors... A whole host of things.

 

It was stressful, I don't want to do that again.

 

IMG_20200709_151959.thumb.jpg.ae70cfe9a2d0fa10e9d12ac263df57dc.jpg

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Corals are settling in well, no losses to report just yet... I think I got away with this.

 

Fluconazole was also dosed last night, figured I had bryopsis and couldn't find any negative effects to the treatment so felt confident in it.

 

Spent today setting my QT system

 

IMG_20200711_153033.thumb.jpg.80913aab7af3d899e7957a6b5bd95273.jpg

 

It's a bargain basement £45 set up that came with filter (on the right), heater and hood/light.

 

I added a HOB filter, I didn't feel like butchering the lid on a brand new tank so I've just used a piece of polycarbonate as a drip tray and added an old freshwater light. The rock is in there cycling the sponge filters (in the HOB, the internal filter and air filter) and will be removed with PVC pipes. I've dosed some Dr Tims ammonia to help it along.

 

I've also bought enough meds to see me through anything...

  • General cure *
  • Agar for food binding
  • Cupramine
  • Chlorquine Phosphate**
  • Metroplex*
  • Formalin
  • Myxazin
  • Tremazol
  • Salifert copper test

* = I had to import from the USA

** = I had to lie to an internet doctor about going to Honduras so I could get the malaria pills

 

Thank god the EU are protecting me from buying medicine for my fish... 🤮

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Quick update on whats going on.

 

All corals except for Xenia are thriving after the tank transfer, most xenia looks pretty dead and I put this down to two things:

  1. I pulled it off the rock of my old tank and threw it in
  2. Low nutrients?!?

It's probably the first point... I'm not worried though, the kenya trees and Xenia were probably going to go into my frogfish tank anyway. I didn't want super fast nuisance corals growing in this tank as taking the light and lid off is a pain. The less I do it the better (and better for the corals too frankly...)

 

I'm on day 5 of Fluconazole treatment for byopsis... And HOLY F'in S*** THAT STUFF IS GOOD! 90% of the bryopsis has gone, like totally gone already... There are a few tougher strands left but they are dead waiting to fall off the rock. It has totally worked and I've not seen a single side effect from the meds. I have left my skimmer off the entire time but I'll be turning this on tomorrow.

 

I will have before and after photos tomorrow, it's seriously impressive.

 

And finally... I have coraline algae already 💪

 

My "fear" of using dead rock was having to live with this sterile boring white rock for a year or two before it coloured up, I'm now 6 weeks in and coraline algae is on every rock that gets direct light. I just have tiny 1mm (1/32" in your money) specs right now but I have no doubt that it will take hold and grow well from here. I think Kalk helped, I've kept KH at 8dkh but kalk also boosts PH which coraline likes.

 

I knew my blender was a good idea 😄

 

I'm also hoping to go fish shopping at the weekend, I think my QT has done cycling (I've not tested it for a few days though). I'm hoping for a group of chromis... I do enjoy them and they should be a solid hardy fish to learn proper prophylactic quarantine methods with.

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My beautiful bryopsis free rock

IMG_20200718_173206.thumb.jpg.5764ca56869d78b30bc381160e3ebdb4.jpg

 

This is day 7 and it's gone, all of it.

 

I've also cut up my ricordea rock, I'm surprised how many I have. I started with one of each colour and only the green has failed to multiply

 

IMG_20200718_173158.thumb.jpg.8e1c75e0bff997adbabe87227e51f39a.jpg

 

My superman rhodactis are also BOOMING

 

IMG_20200718_173211.thumb.jpg.bf8a1a067b130809f17ffc0c5f37058c.jpg

 

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Christopher Marks

Loved your last system @Frag Factory, this is a really beautiful tank upgrade you've put together! I'm glad to hear it's all coming along nicely so far. 🙂

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Frag Factory
On 7/22/2020 at 12:51 AM, Christopher Marks said:

Loved your last system @Frag Factory, this is a really beautiful tank upgrade you've put together! I'm glad to hear it's all coming along nicely so far. 🙂

Thank you dear! Things do seem to be progressing well.

 

I think I'm officially through the "ugly" stage, diatoms have burned themselves out and Bryopsis has gone. I've also started gluing coral down in position.

 

Here's some sneak peeks, I'm waiting for everything to reopen and look sexy again before more photos.

 

IMG_20200727_165140.thumb.jpg.ed16b309f1371ed14158a4fd4c9c740b.jpg

 

IMG_20200727_133111.thumb.jpg.491178a38fb02363234b095d7ccbf9e9.jpg

 

IMG_20200727_133055.thumb.jpg.e33a8bce5ff444dd9c891cb20c0e2eaa.jpg

 

The stuff on the sandbed needs a home but I ran out of glue...

 

I'm already excited to see what this looks like once it's grown in!

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