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geekreef_05

The Desktop Reef

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geekreef_05

Hello NR, 

 

Over the holidays I got setup with my new 13.5G fluvial. Replaced much of the original equipment already. Kinda regret not getting a Waterbox with AI Prime lights.. but next time!  

 

*Updated Feb 2, 2021*

Tank: Fluvial 13.5G peninsula. 12G display and 1.5G in tank sump. *Estimated actual water volume is 10-10.5 gallons

Display Lights: Current USA Orbit Marine IC PRO LED 

Fuge Lights: Auqa Gadget ChaetoMax 2-n-1 Refugium LED - Innovative Marine

Return Pump: Sicce Syncra Nano  *Using stock Ehiem. Tested and it proved quieter. 

Heater: Cobalt Neo-Therm Flat 50W

Sump Area 1: inTank chamer one with Mechanical filter floss and a marine pure block 2" square.

Sump Area 2: Marinepure diamond media (2 bags) and chaeoto ball. Attached is 9W marco fuge light.

Sump Area 3: Equipment storage: Return pump, heater, ATO sensor & fluid top-off, dosing area.   

ATO: Smart Micro ATO with 2x 10 Litre (2.6g) reservoirs and RODI water.   

Dosing Pumps: 3x Kamoer X1 pumps, daisy chained together. Single power source. 

Dosing Containers: 2x 1.5 Litre (0.4g) containers

Dosing Elements: All-For-Reef and Red Sea C (Mg)

Water: RODI water, 4 stage with Instant Ocean Reef Crystals

Dry Rock: Marco Dry Rock, 15lbs

Sand: Carib-Sea Black Live Sand, 10lbs

 

 

Aquascaped Photos! 

"Old School" natural look with more rock that folks are using these days. 

 

418455526_Aquascaped(Dec172020).thumb.jpg.4ee35d79cb92a8c1f4521ba8ade575d6.jpg

 

1806801143_DryRockunderActinics(Dec172020).thumb.jpg.892ce6b57c5ee06c08f5f6b02aa0a45c.jpg

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geekreef_05

I finally took some new photos and here you can get an idea of my dinning room... now transformed into my home office over covid. The aquascape was done Dec 17th. Ive now had water in the tank long enough to complete a cycle. I used some instant ocean brand live bacteria and amm, nitrites, nitrates have flattened out to 0. Reef growth parameters are running on the low side (pH, Alk, Calc), but Im awaiting delivery of my dosing pump, container and all-for-reef liquid. Also outstanding is delivery of the ATO. 

 

I also went through the programming of my lights and wavermaker. Both seem like decent but not amazing products. Its good to note that everything Ive done isnt top of the line, its all kinda middle of the road. The lights are programmed to the recommended spectrum & intensity provided by the company. 

 

Reef Light Cycle:

Sunrise 0830 - 1000

Daylight 1000 - 1900

Sundown 1900 - 2130

Moonlights 2130 - 0200

 

Fuge Light Cycle:

Lights on 2330

Lights off 0700

 

Wavermaker Cycle:

Dawn, 0530 - 0730 -> Low Flow, Nutrient wave

Sunrise, 0730 - 0900 -> Moderate Flow, standing wave

Daylight, 0900 - 1400 -> High Flow, standing wave

Sunset, 1400 - 1630 -> Moderate Flow, standing wave

Night, 1630 - 0530 -> Low flow, constant stream

 

 

Yesterday I swapped the Ehiem stock return pump with the Sicce Syncra Nano that I bought. I got this based on the idea it will be super quiet. Its definitely louder than the stock Ehiem. It does have a stronger flow - no doubt - probably more than its rated to - but I totally dont need that flowrate for my return pump. Im gonna swap back to the stock Ehiem today. 

 

20210106_092207.thumb.jpg.674e8eff309eb91d5cca3702a14d481f.jpg

 

 

20210106_092301.thumb.jpg.5f88622a8fed61fc800cb192a519264c.jpg20210106_092248.thumb.jpg.2e8c78e093014434ed4c148d1b13c6b2.jpg20210106_092239.thumb.jpg.e3309b842acdddb0dd0890e27fe3b765.jpg

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geekreef_05

Its super nice that all the equipment is contained in section 3 of this tiny tank, but its impressively annoying to work in! 

The coffee break pump swap yielded good results. Lower flow and noticeable notch down in humming volume from the Sicce to the Ehiem. Perhaps it just happens to be my specific units - maybe my Ehiem is exceptionally quiet and the Sicce I got was unusually louder than normal. 

 

I admit this is a light hum thats only noticeable when the room is quiet. Its muffled when anything else is "on" in the room, like the furnace ¬†A/C, dishwaster, room fan,¬†TV, etc. But since this is my office space, silence is appreciated sometimes ūüôā¬†¬†

 

 

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geekreef_05

Clowns and shrimp went it last night ūüôā. They had a nice frozen Brine Shrimp snack before bed.

Also Chaeto in fuge as well as live pods and brine shrimp for Fuge seeding went in last night. I got the Ultimate Combo pack from Algae Barn, worked well.  Im old enough to think its amazing that algae barn exists for reefers! Nothing like that was around when I started reefing long ago! I also started daily feeding phyto, and live bacteria... 

 

20210106_184004.thumb.jpg.f115e302855f0601d06d57aeff869ad1.jpg

20210106_191616.jpg

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debbeach13

Welcome back to reefing and NR. Looks like your off to a good start. Good luck with your new tank.

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geekreef_05

Well, its been 5 days since Ive got the clowns & shrimp and about 3 days since I start dosing all-for-reef at the min recommended amount. All inhabitant seem very happy - eating well, comfortable all over the tank, found their sleeping and playing areas, etc. Ive been feeding lil amounts of frozen brine shrimp 2x daily & changing the top layer floss filter pad out every 2-3 days.  I just tested parameters on my lunch break:

 

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm 
pH:  8.4
Specific Gravity: 1.025

Alkalinity:  8
Phosphate: ...didnt actually test. Not super concerned.  
Calcium: 450 ppm
 

Im pretty happy with that. Now I need to save some pennies for corals. Tomorrow I'll see if my LFS has some snails - diatoms are in bloom as my rocks have lightly browned. Im still awaiting delivery of the ATO as well as an additional acrylic container for the all-for-reef (currently dosing from a glass jar). Otherwise most of the key equipment installed! whoo hoo! 

 

One simple success I wanted to share (perhaps new reefers do this already), I picked this up a remote controlled on/off switch for my return pump from amazon: 

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B072F9DGRL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

For $20 CDN it was totally worth not having to unplug my return for feeding time. Hope that helps some folks! 

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geekreef_05

Well, I picked up a 3 Mexican turbo snails at the LFS, as well as frag of GSP and Xenia. I did that over lunch time. While I was in afternoon meetings, I noticed there was aptasia growing on the frag plug of the GSP. The GSP had been growing in an arch over the aptasia. After work, I removed the GSP from the frag plug (tossed the aptasia-plug) and glued it back to the reef. 

 

Before I removed the GSP from its plug, I dug around my basement and actually found a bottle of Aptasia-X from the old days! However, note to aging reefers, that after 10 years the stuff just turns to powder. I tried to re-invigorate it was tank water, but it was a no-go. Tossed that too. Hopefully I prevent aptasia from entering my tank - but i seriously doubt that in the long term!  

 

GSP still hasnt opened and its been a couple hours. Im sure it'll be fine tomorrow morning. Look at me - feeling bad for GSP - yikes. I'll grab a tank update photo tomorrow as well. 

 

On another note, the turbo's are really mowing down that algae. I got only 3 because I dont want any animals to starve or die in my tank, even the snails. 3 should be enough, long term. Interesting that it looks like I got diatoms, cyano and GHA all at the same time. Im thinking its from the chaeto ball i picked up from the LFS last week, or it would be more diatom predominant. 

 

And stupid me - as I was about to glue the GSP to the rock, it slipped, hit my desk with the glue side down. The glue stain.. may not come off my poor desk! booo! Im open to any suggestions on that one. How to remove reef-glue from a wood desk, without ruining the finish!  

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geekreef_05

Well this was the photo from yesterday, after the introduction of GSP and Xenia. The frags look comfortable, although the GSP is in area that I assumed would be high direct flow, but its just not that strong in that specific spot. An inch up or down would have made a big difference - i should have gone down for sure.  At this point I'll leave it alone and let it grow into the high flow.

 

20210113_093516.thumb.jpg.29aade4d2508c2beaf7a32f429cc427b.jpg

 

The ATO got delivered and I installed it today. Definitely not as finely accurate as the Tunze, but it's still pretty good. The water tube is way to large of a diameter for a nano tank ATO, although its advertised as being for a nano. Overall good bang for buck, compared to the Tunze. All flaws Im willing to accept. 

 

The turbo snails are making solid work of the algae. In another couple days I'll be at near bare rock. 

 

Im a little frustrated at my ATO reservoir. I bought two top off containers and assumed I could easily attach them via a siphon hose. Proves harder than expected! Science aint going so well today! Im gonna have a think and try a new strategy to prime the hose. Worst case, I can grab another X1 dosing pump and set it to move a small amount daily. 

 

My objective is to have 2-3 weeks of ATO water in reserve. Gonna get a good measure of tank evap in the next 24hrs well. 

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geekreef_05

This is more of a note to self, but I made some updates to the Reef's schedule:

 

Reef Light Cycle:

Sunrise 0830 - 1000

Daylight 1000 - 2000

Sundown 2000 - 2130

Moonlights 2130 - 0200

 

Fuge Light Cycle:

Lights on 2300

Lights off 0700

 

Wavermaker Cycle:

Dawn, 0530 - 0730 -> Low Flow, Nutrient wave

Sunrise, 0730 - 0900 -> Moderate Flow, standing wave

Daylight, 0900 - 1400 -> High Flow, standing wave

Sunset, 1400 - 1630 -> Moderate Flow, standing wave

Night, 1630 - 0530 -> Moderate Flow, Nutrient wave

 

Feeding Schedule & Notes: 

  • 1030 and 1600 daily
  • spirulina enriched Brine Shrimp mixed with RO water.
  • sometimes lightly microwaved ūüôā¬†
  • 1/4 cube per feeding¬†,¬†served in a plastic shot glass¬†ūü•É
  • Into a high flow spot I add a 5ml dose of phytoplankton and 2 drops of coral ammino (daily).

 

Having a longer daylight cycle should not be a problem, given how effective the snails are at mowing down the algae. I want to have a balance of growth, so they dont starve as well. I think in another 2 days they'll have the algae bloom totally knocked out. That said, the cyano has heavily carpeted my sandbed now. It looks nasty, but again, I think the snails will handle it, eventhough it may take 2-3 days. 

 

Coming from the old school, it was common practice to never touch a sandbed, once its settled. Today it seems like everyone vacuum's their sand during WC's to keep it pristine looking. Personally I will leave it alone and let the snails handle the surface algae. 

 

As for flow, I removed the constant stream mode. I think most corals will appreciate the nutrient wave setting. 

 

Yesterday I also installed the inTank Chamber One modification. I should take more gear pictures, for my own record and reference even. I was able to put a block of marinepure in the back and filled the rest with 2 kinds of filter floss. I'll be changing the top floss layer a couple times a week. 

 

Im still feeding twice a day and the clowns are always fat looking. The shrimp have learned to find food by skimming the surface when its feeding time, which makes feeding them a heck alot of easier for me. 

 

At this point the only equipment left to arrive are a couple dosing containers (dosing is happening outta mason jars right now).  Im looking forward to completing the reef setup for sure! 

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DevilDuck

Great looking tank!

When I upgraded the stock pump to the Sicce Syncra .5 it was noticeably louder than stock. I removed the Y split in the output nozzles and replaced it with 1/2 line-lok and a 1/2 FRG nozzle and it quieted down.

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geekreef_05

Good advice dude! thanks. Quiet is good. Can you drop a link to those products too? : ) 

I will totally check it out. 

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geekreef_05

And good to know that you also thought the stock pump was quieter than the sicce! 

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DevilDuck

Here's the links to the RFG and loc-line.

 

https://vividcreativeaquatics.com/shop/1-2in-random-flow-generator-rfg050-single/

https://vividcreativeaquatics.com/shop/loc-line-12in-modular-tube-6-knuckle-segment/ (We'll probably only need 2-3 knuckles off this)

 

  1. Remove the tube from your return pump
  2. Snap off the Y-split from the part the screws into the back wall
  3. Snap off 2-3 knuckles segments from the new loc-line (this takes some muscle!)
  4. Snap the 2-3 segments onto the part the screws into the back wall (also takes some muscle, I put it on a towel on the floor and basically pressed it down with all my weight)
  5. Snap on the RFG nozzle
  6. Screw it all back on the tank

 

 

 

 

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geekreef_05

Thanks dude! 

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geekreef_05

Well, before the weekend I snapped a couple algae bloom pictures. 

I might just get in there with a toothbush if the snails dont finish it up this week...

20210115_162815.thumb.jpg.9cc729f6bc2fe907db3b676eaa861182.jpg20210115_162737.thumb.jpg.1259ead0d9fad34f6b4eab7799c399a2.jpg

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SaltyGallon

Off to a great start mate! Dw about the diatoms, they'll burn themselves out in a few days/weeks. Par for the course ūüôā

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DevilDuck

I've read good thing about Tropic Marin All For Reef. But why do you need to dose it if you have very few coral?

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geekreef_05

hey DevilDuck, 

 

So Im an old school reefer who's back in the hobby. I'd say that dosing is required if you really intend to keep corals, healthy and growing. Im also adding 5ml of phyoto and 2 drops of amimo acids daily, just to feed the micro-bacteria & copepods in the tank.  The corals I have right now 100% dont need any of this. I also intend to add blue clove polyps to the mix. These reef weeds will be my filler corals, to grow around the ones I really want to keep (LPS, SPS). 

 

Although I have only 2 very basic corals, I intend to stock the tank when the time is right. Basically Im waiting out my algae bloom and for the tank to level out with rock solid stability in both chemistry and biology.  So right now, Im dosing min levels to get comfortable PH, ALK, CALC, MG numbers for the corals that I intend to keep (LPS & SPS). I also dont do many water changes - Ive done 1 so far, so my trace elements and calcium, alk arent being replenished as often as the would-be by regular water changes.

 

The key is that Im monitoring nitrate & phosphate levels, to understand when I need to do a water change. I kinda do them as required.

 

hope that helps dude! 

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DevilDuck
11 minutes ago, geekreef_05 said:

hey DevilDuck, 

 

So Im an old school reefer who's back in the hobby. I'd say that dosing is required if you really intend to keep corals, healthy and growing. Im also adding 5ml of phyoto and 2 drops of amimo acids daily, just to feed the micro-bacteria & copepods in the tank.  The corals I have right now 100% dont need any of this. I also intend to add blue clove polyps to the mix. These reef weeds will be my filler corals, to grow around the ones I really want to keep (LPS, SPS). 

 

Although I have only 2 very basic corals, I intend to stock the tank when the time is right. Basically Im waiting out my algae bloom and for the tank to level out with rock solid stability in both chemistry and biology.  So right now, Im dosing min levels to get comfortable PH, ALK, CALC, MG numbers for the corals that I intend to keep (LPS & SPS). I also dont do many water changes - Ive done 1 so far, so my trace elements and calcium, alk arent being replenished as often as the would-be by regular water changes.

 

The key is that Im monitoring nitrate & phosphate levels, to understand when I need to do a water change. I kinda do them as required and so far all looks good. For note, in-case something goes wrong, I keep 3-4 gallons of mixed water in sealed bin, to do a quick water change if required. 

 

hope that helps dude! 

Thanks for the great explanation! This really helps! I might go the same route with the All For Reef dosing as soon as my test kits come in. 

How do you like the Kamoer X1 dosing pump?

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geekreef_05

Glad I could help! 

 

The Kamoer X1 is fantastic option for a nano-tank, because it can dose as little as 0.1ml at a time. I like it enough that I'll likely buy another to solve my problem in linking my side-by-side ATO reservoirs.

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geekreef_05

Couple Full Tank Shots, as the algae bloom subsides and the snails make ground, 

 20210120_172401.thumb.jpg.51943176dee1989f91d3ce302ca0b6df.jpg20210120_172328.thumb.jpg.7e6f578ad13ac30a46e5ccdf591310a9.jpg

 

And for anyone interested in equipment, here is how the rear is organized: 

20210120_174118.thumb.jpg.1893f0587df2d5c0fd3bce83a035a817.jpg20210120_174104.thumb.jpg.f5481dfa9ff48bf79412baa8578e7279.jpg

Sump Area 1: inTank chamer one with Mechanical filter floss and a marine pure block 2" square.

Sump Area 2: Marinepure diamond media (2 bags) at the bottom and chaeoto ball at the top. Attached via velcro is 9W marco fuge light.

Sump Area 3: Equipment storage: Return pump, heater, ATO sensor & fluid top-off, dosing area. 

 

 

 

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JustReading

That's a set up! I am fighting everything I can to not let me Evo get this far lol.  I want simple 

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geekreef_05

Thanks dude. 

 

Ive been a little grumpy that my ATO and dosing line glue job is messy. But it works. The ATO water hits the dosing line exit and cleans it off each top-off. This prevents build-up of calc on the dosing line, which was definately a problem with all-for-reef.  

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geekreef_05

More equipment pictures for those interested, 

 

Back of Tank, 

20210121_161400.thumb.jpg.99b90979269ae03b4a7cc293a4c42d8a.jpgg Jar 

 

 

Dosing Jar & ATO reservoirs... (proper container on delievery for dosing),

 

 20210121_161434.thumb.jpg.c337a944115975cf3f9e7656ed28e472.jpg

 

 

And this is under my desk. The controllers, power supply and wires are all stuck under there. Keeps it hidden from view,  

20210121_161540.thumb.jpg.8185736a8a78d5c90c46457f44378d12.jpg

 

There is another power bar and bunch of wires to the right of this picture as well, also stuck under the desk. Stuck under to the right is the laptop docking station, monitor wires, camera wires, mic wires, adaptors, etc (work equipment). 

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geekreef_05

I took a couple quick coffee break snapshots this morning before feeding time. The 3 snails have done a good job with the algae. Im almost totally back to white rock. There's still some clean-up left on the sandbed, but they'll get there. 

 

I wanted to point out to any newer reefers here that I have 15lbs of rock and only 3 snails. The 1 snail per gallon rule is way overkill. A better rule of thumb would be 1 snail per 5lbs of rock. I said earlier in this thread that I intend to ensure everything in my reef thrives and that includes the snails. The 1 snail per gallon rule will only in starving snails in the long-run. 

 

Here's are some pic's: 

Side View: 

20210125_101409.thumb.jpg.6fc66105b3831d8166941f1a3a028179.jpg

 

Front View:

20210125_101426.thumb.jpg.59680cd0bc5b2d5940be279c85c3a8c0.jpg

 

Peninsula View: 

20210125_101415.thumb.jpg.50b5081743318c78437b5cc950e49d6a.jpg

 

 

This week the final dosing bits arrive - 2x kamoer pumps, red sea magnesium, LPS food, and 2x dosing containers among other odds and ends. Im looking forward to finalizing the automation! I also sprang for the suite of hanna checker digital test kits (mine are literally 20+ yrs old). 

 

And I am very excited. I placed my order for corals this weekend as well. I purposely delayed deliverery for Feb 2, so I have this week to get the fine tuning done ūüôā

 

Also tomorrow after work I pick up the final reef weed (filler coral)- blue clove polyp frag ūüôā¬†

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