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Ole Mugwump

Chris's 40 Breeder - A Marine Planted Tank

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Ole Mugwump

Alright, so this is my second (maybe third?) go at a planted tank. I'm going more traditional this time (the last couple were more experiments with guppies and random lighting), so this will be somewhat similar to @billygoat's Caribbean tank, minus the corals and nems - just algae, and maybe a couple of gorgs. I guess I'm taking inspiration from his tank, more than anything else. He's always been a huge help!


I'm planning on lots of green and brown macros, with a few red sprinkled in for color. I've got a purple ribbon gorgonian that was in my reef that simply isn't doing well - I added it into here, and it's actually doing much better. This tank is already much dirtier than my reef, so I suspect that to be a culprit. I plan to add a few more gorgs over time. I had thought about seagrass in this tank, but I think I'll hold off. It'd be awesome, but might be best until I can set up a biotope for it. Seems to not thrive for most people, and is difficult to source (I can't find any, at least not from a company that has a good reputation).


Here's the current tank, equipment, livestock, and algae:



Aqueon 40 Gallon Breeder with a Versa-Top Glass Hood

Top Fin 40 Gallon Breeder Stand

Aquaclear 70 HOB (to be replaced, or supplemented with more flow)

Fluval 300W Heater (to be supplemented with a controller and a second heater, down the line)

GLW 150W LED Floodlight



3 Orange-Line (Spiny) Chromis

1 Dalmatian Molly

1 Scissortail Dartfish

1 Arrow Crab (possible murderer!)

1 Purple-Ribbon Gorgonian



Red Gracilaria



This tank is still in it's infancy - it's been up for about a month, and was set up with cycled (albeit "dry") rock, so I don't have many concerns with ammonia, but it's still going to be prone to uglies. I'm going to try to order some macro in the next month or so, but I haven't seen a lot available. There's definitely some from GCE and a few others, but nothing that's really catching my eye - rather, not enough to convince me to order. I also posted in the Marketplace, hoping to buy some clippings, but no luck. We'll see how things fair!


The light was an idea that I've seen used in a lot of high-tech freshwater setups, so I assume the idea will work well with surface-dwelling macros (green and brown, mostly). It's bright!. Doesn't come with any dimming options, either, so I may have to get creative with light diffusers and stuff like that. Only $40, though! I also need to suspend the light above the tank, as it gets "meh" coverage just sitting on the hood.


This tank was home to some fancy guppies I raised in SW (see my last macroalgae experiment), but they didn't do so well in this tank... I'm thinking the arrow crab is to blame. I saw a gash on one of their sides shortly before it died, so I'm thinking he's going after slower fish - makes sense, seeing as the molly, chromis, and dartfish have done just fine. He may be getting rehomed, and soon!




Dim, phone-adjusted FTS - the tank is nowhere near this dark and yellow:



To prove it, here's how blown out the fixture is from above - it's insane!:









Thanks for the read! I'll be updating as I add stuff. Next things in should be a good CUC, I think.



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Ole Mugwump

So, remember that Arrow Crab? The one I suspected of murder? Well, I got home from work and saw one of my Chromis like this:




It's difficult to see, as he's still a fast fish without a tail, but he's missing all of his tail fin (plus some flesh) and has a massive red/purple spot on his side. I don't expect him to live very long.


I moved the arrow crab to my cycling (well, mostly cycled) Pseudomugil Cyanodorsalis breeding tank, as they aren't coming in until later this week. I'll take him back to my LFS tomorrow.


I just hate that I suspected this guy of being bad news, and still decided to keep him. He's just so cool! But, no more arrow crabs for me.


Here's the murdering bastard in his cell, awaiting exile to the LFS:



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I'd love an update on how this tank is doing! I am currently working on a nano that is also inspired by @billygoat 's reef, and planning to add some macros to the display, for now all I have is a lump of cheato in a breeder net, but I want to add something with a bit more color and vibrance directly to the display. 

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