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da1001

Dark's Algae Filled WaterBox 20

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da1001

Quick Story:  Had an IM Nuvo 10 back in 2015 after being inspired by teenyreef's IM10 back then.  A series of unfortunate events led to me having to abandon that after a few months.  I then found out the new apartment management was getting rid of all fish and birds, so I couldn't restart the tank.  A series of moves and job changes at work meant I was unable to restart the tank until just now, I finally bought a house and plan to be in place for awhile.  

 

Specs:

Waterbox Cube 20

The wood colored WB20 aquarium stand

Prime 16 HD

Jaeger 100W Heater (I keep my house cooler)

Jebao SOW-4

Sicce 1.0 w/VCA nozzle

Picked up a BRS 4 stage plus RODI unit

Using Tropic Marin salt

Trying out the Tropic Marin essentials test kit

5 gallon Trigger Crystal Red ATO reservoir with an XP Aqua Duetto

 

I got the Tim's One and Only and started the cycle yesterday.  Tested params today and it seems to be working so far.  If all is well after the 8 day cycle period it calls for, I will go to the LFS and pick up a small clownfish to toss in.

 

Still to do:

cable management in the stand

finish cycling

make some more RODI water to finish filling up the ATO reservoir and make some salt water for my day 14 water change

figure out a lid of some sort to keep the fish in

 

I am aiming to go with 1-2 clownfish, a firefish and a yellow clown goby for livestock.  Couple nassarius, astrea and cerith snails for CUC.  Corals will be leaning towards zoas, acans, rock flower nems, then maybe a birdsnest near the top and a cyphastrea or two later on, easier SPS type stuff.  My goal will be to try to get everything directly from the LFS as it is available, so it might take me time to get my wish list knocked out, but I want to support my local ppl during these trying times.  

 

And now what you all have been waiting for, pics.  I apologize for the crappy quality, I had my old cheap phone available.  Once I find the decent camera I will post better pics later.  Overall I am happy with the scape, it looks slightly strange on the front left side, but looking in the from the sides you can tell there is a nice little cavern network among everything for the fish to swim through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christopher Marks

Congrats on your new nano reef @da1001, the Waterbox Cube 20 is a handsome setup, particularly with that wood stand.

 

Do you have a photo from the side to show more depth of the new aquascape? Your plans sound pretty good! 👍

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da1001
1 hour ago, Christopher Marks said:

Congrats on your new nano reef @da1001, the Waterbox Cube 20 is a handsome setup, particularly with that wood stand.

 

Do you have a photo from the side to show more depth of the new aquascape? Your plans sound pretty good! 👍

Absolutely, even found my better camera for it too.  First 3 are FTS, shots into the cavern structure, then pic 4 and 5 are viewing the left and right side respectively

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Left side pic, will have to wait to add 5th pic due to file size constraints

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da1001

And finally the right side of the tank:

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As you can see from the back right corner, even with the Jebao turned down it still pushes the sand away from the glass a good deal but I think it looks unique and adds character so I am not going to mess with the settings or try to fix it.

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da1001

Initial impressions:

 

Jebao is nice so far, but someday I will get an MP10wQD 

I'm still horrible at reading these test kits, but cycle seems on track 

The myAI app is garbage on android, I am having a tough time setting it up like I want.  Supposedly easy street on an iphone but I dont feel like changing phones just to get it perfect

The ATO is pretty quiet and I am happy evaporation on the tank only seems to be about a gallon a week.  With a 5 gallon reservoir, I dont feel guilty about going a few days without checking it

I like the grain size of the caribsea special grade, my last tank was fiji pink if I remember correctly and it was always getting blown around

Working from home kinda stinks, it means I am always taking peeks at my tank around the corner and not working like I should be  🤷‍♂️

Still on the fence about hermit crabs, I am wondering if all-snail CUC will work or not since before it was a mix of both

Got in the PE pellet food, all for one dosing stuff for the corals and my coral dip from BRS the other day, I am as ready as I can be for the cycle to finish

Pretty much just letting things cook for now, I am not in a rush on this one like I was on the last one

 

 

 

 

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da1001

Quick update: So my Tim's One and Only card says I should be able to add a fish tomorrow, but the Ammonia is still reading 3.0, so I sure as heck ain't doing it.  I have seen the nitrites starting to kick in, they have gone from 0.1 to around 2.0 right now, so I guess I just need to wait it out a few more days because I can see that it is cycling, just nowhere near as quickly as it was supposed to.  I know teenyreef was having trouble with his Microbacter working as well on his new 20 gallon tank, maybe these miracle in a bottle type quick-cycling things need a closer review?  Oh yeah, pH has been hovering constant in the 7.7-8.0 range, my eyes cant tell the two colors apart, but its consistent at least.

 

Will continue to test nightly, if Saturday or Sunday the ammonia looks like zero, my LFS is open for a few hours both days. 

 

Suggestions: 1 clown fish or a pair?  Keeping in mind I will also (hopefully) be able to find a yellow clown goby and a firefish in a month or two. 

 

Positive they will have clowns though, if I walk in there and they dont have a 75 gallon tank on the wall with about 50+ baby clowns, I will eat my hat.

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da1001

Day 10 of cycling, Ammonia still looks like 3.0 on the test kit, Nitrites still at 2.0, but I have speckles of diatoms all over my rock and sand bed now, so I am hoping just another couple days and the ammonia will finally be used us and I will see a drop in nitrites.  Was supposed to be able to toss a fish in per the Dr Tim's graph yesterday, so not really happy about that.  Followed the instructions exactly after re-reading them multiple times to make sure I didn't miss anything but still didn't work.  I don't think I will be getting any fish this weekend at the current rate.

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da1001

Wow, what a difference a single day makes, I got ammonia moving from 3.0 to 1.0.  2.0 Nitrites, over 50 Nitrates.  Any day now...

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da1001

Salinity 1.026

Ammonia 0.05

Nitrites 1.0

 

Any day now...

 

 

 

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da1001

The cycle completed, I am happy to say 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.  I went to buy some clown fish from the LFS about 40 mins away (should have called first) they had a bunch of designer models at $50 each but no regular ocellaris models. 

 

I was talking to them and they said they are getting in a big shipment of them this Tuesday or Wednesday, so I will call ahead to make sure the order has arrived then drive back over in a few days.  Until then, I tossed in a tester coral, just a little 2-head $10 orange Acan colony.  I had a sweet 6-8 head Zoa picked out but another guy snatched it out before I could have it bagged up. 

 

We will see how the Acan performs, but I am expecting no issues.  Within 20 mins of me putting it in, it was puffed up and had feeders out slightly, no signs of tissue recession or distress that I can see.  Will get a better pic in the morning when the lights come back on, I missed my opportunity earlier and the lights are now 1/3 into their 1 hour ramp down.

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da1001

As promised.  I will try to pull out the macro lens sometime soon to see about some better pics, I wasnt super happy with the ones I got just now but I dont have time to mess with settings at the moment.  

 

Also went to a LFS the other side of town and got a surprise, 2 clownfish made it home with me and are happily cruising the tank now.

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da1001

Macro Shot:

 

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da1001

Visited the LFS again last night, picked up some Reef Roids and a Ric and what I believe is a Stylophora.  I originally thought it was a birdsnest to be honest, it was my mistake in not double checking.  Anyway, pics in a bit when the lights come on, thanks for looking.

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debbeach13

Welcome back to reefing. I love all the nooks and crannies in your rock. That scape looks like you will have some great places for coral. Glad you found the fish you wanted. Good luck with your tank.

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da1001

OK, small pic dump.  Came back with some unnamed Zoa's today when I went to grab some gel glue from the LFS for the frag plugs, the snails keep knocking the plugs off the rocks (no damage yet but it could be a matter of time).

 

Inhabitants now:

2 turbo snails

2 astrea snails

2 nassarius snails

2 clownfish

 

1 stylophora

1 zoa frag 

1 acan frag

1 ricordia

 

Don't mind them looking closed up.  The pics before I glued them down didn't turn out well as I hoped, so most of the shots are after I had just finished gluing them.  I will add an update pic in a few days when they have gotten used to everything.  

 

The ricordia seems to like the bottom of the tank for now, it has puffed up more down there vs when I had it higher in the tank for more light so I will monitor it and see how it does.  That is why it will not be on the rock work in any of the pics if you were wondering.

 

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da1001

Phosphate 0.03

Nitrates 15

 

Did a water change then gave it a couple hours to settle down.  Everything seems happy.  For some reason the larger clown will mess with the zoas and close them up, but they seem to be getting used to it and don't stay closed as long anymore.  Fed the corals some Reef Roids and All-for-Reef, fed the fish their PE pellets and took some pics after everything was done.  Ive done some research and the Zoas appear to be Green Bay Packers, if I am correct.  

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da1001

Still going through the initial ugly phase, but those snails I got are putting in work so I cant complain.  

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da1001

I decided to order a Rock Flower Anenome online, I could not find one at my LFS so it will probably be one of the few corals I ever get online.  I will keep my LFS running with purchases from them for everything else.

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da1001

New phone today, testing out the camera.  This is with a Moto G Stylus, just default settings.

 

 

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da1001

Gave the new RFA a day to get situated.  I tried him on the sand at first but he didnt seem to want to stick himself down to the sandbed so I held him next to the rockwork and he grabbed onto that and hasnt moved since.  Here is a phone pic, will aim to get a better shot with the fancy camera sometime soon.  He doesnt match the pic on the website exaclty, but I wasnt expecting him to since they run Radions and I am using AI.  On their site it looked more blue and pink, but right now he is blue and orange under my lights.  He is still pretty small, maybe an inch across?  I will be grabbing some frozen food from the LFS this weekend to attempt my first feeding but he seems happy so far.  No issues and mad props to SaltCritters for the excellent packaging for the weather.

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da1001

Oh, almost forgot: moved the Ric up onto the rockwork forward and right of the stylo, he seems ok with being there so I might glue him down any day now so he has a permanent home finally.

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da1001

Went to the LFS for some frozen mysis, came back with frozen mysis and 4 new corals.  I picked up an echinata, a plating monti, a small frag of GSP and a tiny torch.   The GSP hasnt opened up yet so no pics of it yet.  Included a pic of the rock flower anenome.  I need to figure out a filter, I bumped up the blues in the tank a bit and it really made all the corals pop, but now its really hard to get good pics without them looking blown out (or whatever the appropriate photographic term is).

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da1001

Update: going to do a water change over the weekend sometime.  Algae is picking up slightly, I think because I introduced more blue into my lighting schedule than it originally was.  I am having a weird time with my Acan and GSP, normally those things grow like weeds but the GSP has refused to come out probably 4 out of the last 5 days and the Acan seems smaller and has a small white edge to it almost like it is receding.  Changing from the whiter to bluer light, I kept the wattage about the same although until I dialed it in, I would say it was about 10% stronger than I intended for a couple of days.  Anyone have any experience with anything like this before?  The rest of my corals seem to be doing ok, even the easier to keep SPS seem fine so IDK what I am doing wrong to annoy the easier to keep ones.

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da1001

Ran my parameters:

 

1.026 salinity

77.8 temp

10-15 nitrates 

less than 0.03 phosphate (my test doesn't go any lower and it was noticeably lighter, so I am assuming close to 0)

8 alkalinity

8.0 ph

 

IDK, I will leave them alone and hope they bounce back.  If not, they were my cheapest corals in my tank.  Not that I want them to go, but it would hurt less.

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da1001

Been a few weeks since I posted an update.  Tank is deep into the ugly phase, diatoms everywhere.  Hoping they clear up any time now.  Got about a dozen corals in there now, consisting of eagle eye zoas, green bay packer zoas, 3 different acan colonies, the RFA I ordered online lasted about 2 weeks then crapped itself to death so bad there was a hole right through the middle of it you could see through, that's been my only loss but it was maybe 3/4" across so who knows what got it.  I replaced it with a green RFA about 3" across from the LFS and it seems to be doing ok although I haven't had it in too long to know for sure.  The frogspawn isn't doing much but it isn't dying, so I call that a win.  Got some GSP on the rockwork that is loving life.  The stylophora is doing fine.  The montipora is so-so, it lightened up over the weeks but I changed positions of it and it has some bright yellow bits on it now so I am hoping it is recovering.  Got a birdsnest that cant decide where it wants to be so I am moving it until it puffs up good again and finally the ricordea is doing ok as well.  I got a peppermint shrimp and tossed it in 2 weeks ago, it cruises around cleaning up whenever I feed so I cant complain.  Snails are all doing their jobs, clownfish are being dicks to each other like they do and the tank continues to do its thing.  I can post an ugly pic if you want, otherwise I will wait until its a bit nicer looking.

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