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benedictus natura

My Little Piece of Nature

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benedictus natura

My Aquarium Journal!


After a long, long, long time out of the reefer community and thanks to a wonderfully supportive SO, I'm starting up a new pico! I've fallen in love with the macro algae dominate tanks; they've inspired me to start my own. Unless otherwise stated, most everything was purchased from the devil we hate to love, Amazon.com. 



Each of the above has inspired this tank. Some because of the color palette used, some because of the stocking, and others because of how much work they've benefitted this hobby. 










  • Hobein
  • Black Egg crate
  • Dr. Tims Ammona
  • Dr. Tims One and Only
  • Brightwell Aquatics NeoPhos
  • Brightwell Aquatics NeoNitro
  • Brightwell Aquatics Chaeto Gro
  • Brightwell Aquatics Ferrion




  • Goby & Pistol Shrimp Pair or 1 White Spotted Dwarf Goby
  • Dwarf Planxis
  • Marginella Snails
  • 4 Dove Snails, Pictocolumbella ocellata
  • 4 Cerith Snails
  • 1 Pom Pom Crab, Lybia edmondsoni
  • 4 Sexy Shrimp, Thor amboinensis
  • Spotted Porcelain Crab, Neopetrolisthes maculatus


  • Rhipocephalus phoenix
  • Halimeda, various species 
  • Gracilaria, various species
  • Red Grape Algae, Botryocladia


  • Red and Green Mushrooms
  • Red and Green Rock Flower Anemones


Week 1


Currently the take is empty, cycling without fish.


While building the final stand for this tank, I started playing with the rocks. Playing with the rock like Legos, building up towers and once found a formation I liked, I started glueing from the top town. 


When I placed the build in the tank I realized a few problems. The initial build was slightly too large to fit in the tank and allow room for any magnetic algae scrubber to reach 100% of available glass space. Also, the summit of this little mountain was way too close to the top of the water. This setback was a blessing in disguise. 


In taking the rockscape out of the tank and chiseling off some of the excess rock, it fell apart. After all, I used cyanoacrylate to hold it together. I was able to remove a few 'blocks' and was left with a form that as much more pleasing. Now I can scrub all of the glass and there is more room between the summit and the water's edge. 


Initially I had planned for a pico pump with a deflector to create more random water movement, but I had forgotten about his while building the rockscape. It took up a lot of room anyway. I'm sure it'll be useful in the future. 


The rear of the tank has some crushed coral and shells mixed in the sand while shells are above the sand and scattered all over the top of the rockscape. Sand is about 2"-4" thick graduated from the front to back.

Aquascaping 1


My tank is small and I want to display of small critters. This won't be a tank to sit back in a chair and watch from across the living room. It will be a tank that necessitates getting close and watching small things travel across the rock and through the sand. It will be a tank that requires you get close and actively pay attention 


When cycling is over, I'm hoping that my LFS or an online vendor has the macros and inverts on my wish list. Until then I'm waiting patiently. 




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Welcome to NR and back to reefing. That is a very pleasing aqua-scape and a solid plan. Your comments about viewing a pico are true. I keep a chair next to my pico just for the reason. I wish you hour of enjoyment. 

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I love rock flower anemones, and can't wait to see how this tank develops!!

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benedictus natura


Tested the water quality. Results are Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrates 30. 

Did a 20% water change. Stopped by the LFS to  check out fish they had in stock. Didn't get a fish but they had some Red Ogo; of course I had to buy a clump!


Little did I know, there was a Bubble Tip Anemone hitchhiking on the Ogo! 


Edit: Some dinoflagellates have appeared, as it does will all new aquariums. The struggle beings. 






Edited by benedictus natura
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A free anemone! Score! Looks like you’re off to a great start.

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