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Christopher Marks

🏆 365 Day All-in-One Nano Reef Challenge FINAL VOTING 🏁

365 Day All-in-One Nano Reef Challenge Ballot  

113 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Best Theme Tank

    • A.m.P
      1
    • Aqua Splendor
      36
    • banasophia
      2
    • Craig.
      5
    • ECLS Reefer
      1
    • ef4life
      0
    • Jerad81
      0
    • Lorenz725
      1
    • McCune
      0
    • MrP
      3
    • NoOneLikesADryTang
      0
    • SaltyGallon
      11
    • SeaFurn
      1
    • Tamberav
      7
    • This guy is extra salty
      1
    • Tigahboy
      44
    • waldoz
      0
  2. 2. Best Aquascape Design

    • A.m.P
      3
    • Aqua Splendor
      48
    • banasophia
      1
    • Craig.
      18
    • ECLS Reefer
      1
    • ef4life
      0
    • Jerad81
      1
    • Lorenz725
      2
    • McCune
      1
    • MrP
      10
    • NoOneLikesADryTang
      0
    • SaltyGallon
      5
    • SeaFurn
      0
    • Tamberav
      7
    • This guy is extra salty
      0
    • Tigahboy
      16
    • waldoz
      0
  3. 3. Best DIY Modification

    • A.m.P
      1
    • Aqua Splendor
      37
    • banasophia
      1
    • Craig.
      10
    • ECLS Reefer
      0
    • ef4life
      9
    • Jerad81
      4
    • Lorenz725
      1
    • McCune
      1
    • MrP
      2
    • NoOneLikesADryTang
      0
    • SaltyGallon
      20
    • SeaFurn
      0
    • Tamberav
      3
    • This guy is extra salty
      15
    • Tigahboy
      8
    • waldoz
      1

  • Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.
  • Poll closed on 03/08/2021 at 06:59 AM

Recommended Posts

Christopher Marks

The 365 Day All-in-One Nano Reef Challenge 🏁 has officially come to an end!

 

🗳 WE NEED YOUR VOTES! 🗳

 

CoralVue Hydros Controllers

Sponsored by CoralVue Hydros

 

Hey everybody! 👋 How was your year? How are you holding up? 2020 really threw us some curveballs, didn't it? Who could have imagined there would be a global viral pandemic just after we got started?! It's been a tough year, things have not gone according to plan, and I know we've lost touch with some of our dear friends and community members. I hope everyone is doing well out there, know that you are missed and thought of here.

 

This 365 Day Challenge began as way for community members to flex their reef keeping skills and show off what they can create in 12 months, all within the confines of an All-in-One style aquarium system, 20 gallons or smaller. After 12 months of competition, and impressive 17 nano reef tanks have made it to the end to compete for the top prize in one of three different goals categories!

 

Now we need you, the Nano-Reef Community, the help decide the winners! Each contestant has been asked to share a final FTS and a brief summary of their experiences in the 365 Day AIO Challenge, which are listed below in alphabetical order. Please review each competitor's Nano Reef before casting your vote for each of the goals listed below. Click on any contestant's nano reef to be taken to their competition aquarium journal to learn more about their journey.

 

Voting Ends Sunday March 7th at Midnight PST!

🏆 Challenge Goals & Prizes

There will be 3 winning nano reefs chosen by community vote. In the event of a tie, I, Christopher Marks Community Founder, will cast the tie-breaking vote. Winners shall be chosen based upon achieving one of three potential goals:

 

Goal 1 - Best Theme Tank

Kitschy or cool, colorful or coldwater, pick a "theme" and stick to it.

Give us detail on what your theme is and why you picked it. Take us along on your creative journey as you share your theme with us.

Goal 2 - Best Aquascape Design

The golden ratio, symmetry or asymmetry, spires, caves, and cliffs. Creating a balanced and harmonious aquascape is a delicate art form. Show your creative side and dazzle us with a colorful and unique aquatic landscape.

Goal 3 - Best DIY Modification

Don't you hate it when you can't find what you want in a store? Sometimes you just have to DIY!

Share your problem and the steps you take to come up with your own solution.

 

CoralVue Hydros Control 2 Prize Package

HYDROS-Control-2-Aquarium-Controller-CoralVue.jpg

🏆 Challenge goal winners will each receive a HYDROS Control 2 Aquarium Controller from community sponsor CoralVue! 🎉

 

The all-new HYDROS Control by CoralVue allows you to monitor and control your aquarium like a pro, even if you’re a beginner just starting out. Track temperature, PH, ORP, water level, flow, leaks, outlets and more. Control pumps, timers, level sensors, dosers, fans, solenoids, switches, cabinet lighting, and whatever else you dream up. Check the health of your tank and take corrective action from anywhere using the HYDROS mobile app. Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Smart plugs. Color-coded ports and cables. Add accessories without having to connect extra modules and cords. HYDROS is a system you can grow with! The Control 2 and Control 4 can be used together and are compatible with the HYDROS WaveEngine.

 

HYDROS Control 2 Aquarium Controller Includes:

  • Control 2 Head Unit
  • Power 4 WiFi Controllable 4-outlet Power Strip
  • Temperature Sensor

Hydros-Power-4-WiFi-Power-Strip-CoralVue.jpg

HYDROS Control 2 Features

  • Monitor key aquarium water parameters and control equipment from anywhere using the HYDROSapp for Android and iOS.
  • Easily adjust settings by swiping on your mobile device. There is zero coding or complicated programming required.
  • Mobile text alerts and app push notifications are sent the instant something goes wrong so you can take corrective action remotely.
  • Set rules to turn on & off equipment automatically based on real-time data and create schedules to perform tasks throughout the day.
  • The HYDROSControl 2, HYDROS Control 4, HYDROS WaveEngine, and future HYDROS products can all be used together.

 

Potential prize winners may only claim a prize from 1 of 3 goal categories. In the event a nano reef tank is voted as a winner for 2 or more goal categories, the winner must choose only 1 of the available winning prize categories and forfeit the remaining category prizes to the nano reef tank(s) with the next highest vote count(s) in the remaining goal category (or categories).

 

🎁 Bonus Awards from CM - Winners to be announced March 7th
Win a Nano-Reef T-Shirt & Sticker pack!

  • Friendly Competition - Award for the most helpful and encouraging competitor.
  • Bad Luck - Award for the competitor that just can't seem to catch a break.
  • Frugal Master - Award for the best challenge tank on a budget.

 

Please keep in mind our wonderful community sponsors when purchasing your equipment, supplies, and livestock! ❤️ 

365 Day All-in-One Nano Reef Challenge Competitors List

See all the competition entries, including those who did not make it to the end, by using the Nano-Reef Community Tag "365 Day Challenge"

 

📜 Final Challengers List (Alphabetical Order)

 

@A.m.P Amp's 365 challenge, The Return of the Tube - Final Summary

 

On 1/25/2021 at 3:18 PM, A.m.P said:

Alright, so word on the street is we all need to finish up these threads with a summary and a final FTS. 
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I mostly set-out to just participate and enjoy everyone's tanks alongside my own for a year.
I decided early-on that I wanted to see if I could scrounge-up a tank for a reasonable-price and keep it that way, both for my sake, and to show anyone who happens upon nano-reef that it doesn't take huge investments or incredible gear to grow coral and have a nice piece for the family and kids in the living room.

 

With that in mind the system started out with a tank volume and dimension easily-replaced by a 10 gallon Aqueon from petco's Dollar-Per-Gallon sale

(you could even make a built-in rear section by cutting a bucket and siliconing it into a corner)

A cheap but reliable set of heater and pump, and a Par-bulb bearing home-depot fixture clamped to a TV stand, handle life-support.

Of course all that was sat down on a used table from target haha.


Even the rock kept with the theme, having itself been second-hand from another hobbyist, cured and glued-together into a negative-space swimming area for use in another one of my tanks.

 

The stocking list and maintenance on the tank suited my own, and the theme's, budget and time constraints; the inhabitants were all accessible and affordable pieces (at around $5-10) I got from reaching out with local clubs and reefers in the community, the Instant Ocean SW came pre-mixed from a LFS, and the fish came from the sassyiest, fluffiest reaches of the south pacific.

 

Maintenance has been easy and losses have thankfully not really been an issue, despite my best efforts, I change the poly-fill out when I remember to and do a 10% waterchange every month-or-so, scraping off the coralline and cleaning the acrylic while I'm at it. Dosing has really not been a concern until the last month or so, now I just squirt a little DIY all-for-reef into the tank once-a-week and things have stayed pretty in-line with new-mix Instant Ocean salt.

 

Unfortunately the poly-fill and my lack of attentiveness did cost a Torch coral its' life after the sicce return pump ended-up clogged, reducing its' output by who knows how much for at least a month, I didn't even think to check as everything else looked fine.

Lydia, the rollands damselfish, also managed to pick an ironman shroom to death and shred the dragonsbreath macro I tried to grow out, I should have acted sooner to save the mushroom, but the algae incidents were hilarious to watch.

 

Thank you all for following along.

It has been an unexpectedly-rough year for all of us and the competition hasn't been quite as lively as the last few I read-along with/followed. I don't think I'll be able to really compete in any other competitions, no more space or time, but at the end of the day its' been wonderful to have a second -mostly carefree- tank in the household and it's going to remain a permanent part of our home.

 

I hope everyone has been doing well out there, thanks for following along and I'll try to keep this thread going with occasional updates!

 

@Aqua Splendor ༺ ᴀq͎ᴜᴀ ꜱᴘʟᴇɴᴅᴏʀ - ɴᴀɴᴏ ʀᴇᴇꜰ ༻ - Final Summary

On 1/31/2021 at 11:10 AM, Aqua Splendor said:

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Overview:

After many years, I finally made my first display tank, something I should have done sooner, but here we are. This has been a big roller coaster, adventures that brings challenge in many different shape of form. This aquarium meant more than a simple small aquarium filled with saltwater. If I could  put it in one word: Perseverance. Perseverance of keeping this adventure alive, perseverance to step up when you get down, perseverance on documenting this aquarium ever week, perseverance to adapt. This aquarium has been the central point of my life in the last couple of months, there's a lot story behind this box of glass that transcend the effort and determination, and I'm very please with the current result of the tank. An aquarium is in a constant evolution and this one is only on his early stage, there's more to come 🙂

Theme Tank:

Diversity.

At first, my plans was to make a Goniopora and mushroom island on the back and the second island was suppose to be a SPS dominant one with Birdnest, Pocilopora, etc... However during this adventure I bought fish and shrimp that started to have a bad nipping behavior towards them. I took the decision that I will let go the SPS plan and focus on LPS/Soft corals.

My goal was to show what I love the most in life: Diversity
I wanted to show that it is possible to have diversity in a nano tank with corals. To show that soft coral are beautiful. That you don't need blue light to make a saltwater aquarium beautiful.
The challenge to keep coral close together is real, and overtime coral placement might change and that's ok, it's the joy of finding the right balance in a complex ecosystem of diversity that make this aquarium entertaining.

Aquascape Design:

Simplicity.
Over the year I've seen many people making aquascape for saltwater, this side of our hobby is totally misunderstood in my opinion. I see people teach techniques how to make an aquascape but a lot of this come from freshwater. Saltwater aquarium are different. Corals are not Plants, Wood and Rock are not Dead Calcareous skeleton. There's one thing that make an aquascape: Corals. More specially, the position of corals. When I made my rock scape, I only cared about few things: making a cavern for a shrimp, be able to see from all angle (for video purpose) and how the flow will interact with corals. Having a peninsula aquarium makes things more restricted and combining with nano/pico size, the options gets slimmer. Since I had a theme with Goniopora and another with SPS, those 2 needed to be on separate island. The back rock was made with a cliff, so we can see from the "front" a little bit with mushrooms while the middle rock was in a triangular shape and not to high so corals could grow and take the space. When you look at the reef ocean, you can see the simplification behind this complex of interaction of life. The challenge is to miniaturize into a glass of box.

 

DIY Modification:

Unseen.

This was the category I was looking for. It spark my brain with ideas and I love to craft so my idea take shapes :). There's one element that we often see in all my aquariums: I love to hide equipment. The stars of the show is not the equipment but the living creature you take care of. So the challenge is find ways to hide all the necessary equipment.
The first step was to find an aquarium. It need Glass, super transparent, low iron, no green and silicone, transparent silicone. When you have an aquarium with black silicone, it pop the edge of the aquarium. Luckily my freshwater LFS had glass aquarium with transparent silicone. All I needed to do was to build the "AIO" section. I've build in the past some of them so I had some ideas on what work and what not. It's not just for the view, but it need to practical for maintenance. The easier to maintain, the more this aquarium will be clean. 

Since I want a clean look, I opted to have it laser cut and I made the 3 chambers. I made the Eggcrate filter media support turn out to be really robust. 
I also made an IKEA reef light, I wanted something that felt more "home". There's also another project I was going to make, wood structure, but due to lack of time, I couldn't make it for the end of the competition. However I left a hint in my pictures on what is coming 🙂

 

- Aqua Splendor

 

@banasophia Banasophia’s Evo V 🌀- Final Summary

 

On 2/1/2021 at 1:00 AM, banasophia said:

What a Year!

 

I don’t think my tank will win any prizes in our competition, but I’m grateful for the experience, and this low maintenance setup was just what I needed in my home office over the course of this stressful past year. 

 

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Stock Lights, Stock Pump

Intank Media Rack/Surface Skimmer/Chamber Plug

Smart Micro ATO

Hygger Mini Wavemaker

Aqueon 50 Watt Heater

Caribsea Liferock 

Filter Floss, Chemipure Elite, Matrix Media

 

Theme/Scape: Swirls 🌀🌀🌀

 

I decided to do the competition because I had a vision of the tank - the scape, the flowing torch, and the background really all appeared in my mind’s eye - so I was truly inspired to create it. I had intended from the beginning to keep it simple, but with the pandemic and everything else going on in the world I simplified even further. I was thankful I was able to get to my LFS to find the perfect torch coral (as I recall it was only torch coral in stock) before we locked down, because the torch, scape, and background art were the essential elements. Had the circumstances been different, I’m sure I would have added more corals to fill it in more. 

 

Aside from checking my salinity each week during water changes, and keeping an eye on my temp (which ranges from 76-82), I have only tested my parameters once this whole time, before adding my fish. Since I do a 50% water change each time, I know they should remain in the appropriate range for my livestock. I kept the stock lighting, which I turn on manually each morning, enjoy the tank all day while working, go in and feed Jack (pellets) and turn to blues after having my own dinner, then back in to say goodnight to Jack and turn out the lights before heading in to bed. It has been a nice routine; Jack is a super cute little fish and he almost always peeks out to say goodnight when I tuck him in. I wish I hadn’t lost his mate; it was so much fun watching the two of them together and getting to observe their spawning which was like clockwork when I had the two of them in the beginning.

 

In summary, I’ve found this tank to be a great little setup, and would recommend it to those looking for a tank of this size and shape. I appreciate everyone who has followed along and offered their friendship and support over the course of this past year. And thank you, Christopher Marks, for this community and this contest! 

 

@Craig. F L O A T I N G R E E F - Red Sea Nano Max 365 AIO! - Final Summary

 

On 1/29/2021 at 5:28 AM, Craig. said:

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Greetings fish-enthusiasts and fellow reefers. This 365-day nano reef challenge has been challenging, expensive, and a whole lot of fun!


My partner, Ange, and I were keen freshwater planted tank aquascapers for many years and this reef has been transformative for us in many ways. 
 

The journey begins when we purchased our first home together and sadly after a month of moving in we said goodbye to our old dog. There was this one living space in the house where she would spend most of her time, and it felt so unbearably empty and utterly heart-breaking for us after her passing. We decided to dedicate the living space to all things we love – fish, artwork, swivel chairs and houseplants! This is where the healing and transformation begins...

 

The concept for our floating reef was inspired by coral_fish_zoa, a popular reefer on Instagram – an ambitious reference – and we are so pleased with the end product.

 

There were many learning opportunities along the way too. We have learnt that you cannot change aggressive old clownfish. They will bite you. We have learnt the importance of quarantining fish after a nasty bout of white spot. We have learnt to carefully select coral and thoughtfully scape the tank to ensure the corals don’t harm each other. We have learnt that Coral Banded Shrimp can lose many legs as they shed their skeleton! 
 

We love that our reef is peaceful, low maintenance and colourful. It has transformed an empty space into a nature-zone where we can observe and reflect

 

Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported our reef, we hope you continue to enjoy it as much as we do!


Craig and Ange 🐠

 

@ECLS Reefer Le Dirté’s Flirting with Divorce 🙊 365 AIO Challenge - Final Summary

 

On 1/10/2021 at 4:41 PM, ECLS Reefer said:

My tank is an AquaTop Pisces Bullet AIO. I started the challenge with the stock light and a bare tank bottom, but I could not stand the dirty look of the bare bottom. I ended up putting in a small sand bed after rock scaping and have been much happier with it, as well as the bio load capabilities. I only used about 2lbs of cultured live rock, and seasoned water from my big established tank, which helped the tank basically start cycled from the beginning. I also chose to go with a selection of “dirtier” corals that don’t mind higher nutrients, such as mushrooms, green hair polyps and various zoas. The only coral not quite in the “dirty” category is an orange leptastrea, which has done well if not grown quickly. 

 

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The light situation evolved from the stock light, to an Asta 20, to an AI Prime 16HD. The AI Prime did wonders for coral growth, and I wish I’d invested in it sooner. I stayed with the stock pump, though it does get clogged frequently now a year into use, and has to be cleaned or flushed frequently. That being said, I went to quite a lot of trouble (it’s not easy for some reason) to get a second stock pump from AquaTop, just in case it ever completely dies on me. I tried a small hydor flow pump for a short period of time but it was like watching a woman try to keep her hair straight in a tornado, so I retired it and stayed with the stock pump. The fish and coral all seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. It has been very low maintenance, requiring water changes maybe every 3-4 weeks, and low dosing. I have been able to stick to once a week supplements of the following:

 

Brightwell Reef Code B

Brightwell Replenish Trace Elements

Brightwell Vitamarin C

Brightwell Microbacter 7

Brightwell Carbonit-P

Seachem Phosguard


Live stock at the completion of this challenge ended up being a lively, fat target mandarin (Target - - “Tar-jhay”) and a pictus blenny (Skeeter), as well as a herd of sexy shrimp. They aren’t super demanding, so long as I present the required daily gift of fish food shake and every other day nori for Skeeter. I ended up loving this little tank and will most likely be keeping it as is, rather than breaking it down. I have daily expectations now of stare offs with Skeeter, who likes to watch me from his perches. It’s always amazing how we fall in love with our tanks 🙂 

 

 

@ef4life Jared’s 5g 365 aio challenge build - Final Summary

 

On 1/22/2021 at 8:27 PM, ef4life said:

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2020 - what can we say besides what a crazy year, and 2021 well it’s still too early to tell. But this friendly little competition has been a blast, one of the highlights of the past year. I was hesitant to join in originally, but I’m glad I did.


I wanted this to be a very budget and diy tank, I started with some stuff I already had and made some upgrades along the way. The diy travertine all in one chamber really worked out as good as I hoped. It’s growing coralline well and adds to the small tanks bio filter. It might even be too effective since I’ve been having to dose nitrate and phosphates.

 

my goal with this tank was to have a thriving little sps dominant reef, and its headed that way now. It was a difficult first few months, and even now some corals just haven’t done well, but as it matures the coral seems to be doing better. However, the future of this little pico is limited, I do plan on taking it down in a few months, but Plan to upgrade it into something better. Stay tuned nanoreef...

 

@Jerad - Jerad81's 20g Newbie Build - Final Summary

 

On 1/28/2021 at 12:00 PM, Jerad81 said:

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As this is my first ever saltwater tank I have had a pretty incredible adventure! That was one of the biggest reasons why I chose to make this a budget build. I don't want to invest in anything too expensive until I have a lot more confidence I can keep it alive. The most expensive thing in my tank cost about $40. 

Over the course of the year I have had good success with mushrooms, especially my ricordia, and rockflowers. They have all grown really well and seem to be very happy in my tank. I wish my lfs had a bigger selection of them because I would love to add more. Unfortunately though, I have really struggled with other types of corals. I have tried several lps corals throughout the year and so far none of them have really flourished. A few have died on me while the rest are surviving just fine but clearly unhappy. My photosynthetic gorgonian seems to share their attitude as well. I also tried a finger leather that just slowly deteriorated in my tank over the course of a couple months. 

I also have 4 fish in my tank that all appear to be doing well. I have 3 spotted pajama cardinals that are perfect for a 20g tank. They don't move around a lot but my tank is small enough they don't really need to. It seems to be the perfect size for fish that like to just hang out and float around. My 4th fish is a banded circus goby. It has taken him a while but he has warmed up to my tank and is fun to watch from a distance. He's still not a big fan of people and immediately goes into hiding if anyone gets too close. Kind of a bummer because he would be really fun to show off more but I'm hoping he'll get over that fear eventually so I can. 

Overall this has been a great experience. I know my tank doesn't look as full or flashy as most people's but I'm really happy with where it's at. Now I just have to figure out how to get my stony corals to flourish and it'll be perfect!

 

@Lorenz725 Rascal the cat’s 5 gallon 365 day AIO Challenge - Final Summary

On 1/24/2021 at 1:55 PM, Lorenz725 said:

Well here it is the last post for the 365 day challenge! There were some up and downs with this tank like I am sure a lot of others had to deal with covid.
 

Theme: 

The theme of my tank is low cost. The only reason why I was able to join this challenge was because I won a 5 gallon tank from a LFS drawing. I already had a JBJ ATO from a tank I had set up years ago. I started off with the cheap stock LED light  it came with. I ended up trading a coral from one of my other tanks for a AI prime. The dry rock I had along with the sand and I kept the stock pump. The only out of pocket money I spent on this tank was for a heater and the biweekly 50% water changes. Every coral in the tank was either given to me or I traded corals from my other tank. 
 

Aquascape: 

I did not go crazy with this one. I used dry rock I had so I was limited on design. I do really like the doughnut rock with the perfect hole In the middle. I really want to add a fish but it’s been slim pickings at my LFS with covid. 
 

DIY: 

I did not have to do a lot of DIY to this tank. I did modify the chamber to fit the flat heater and cut a hole for the ATO. I would love to add a controller so I can be more on top of things going on with the tank. 
 

Overall: 

This tank has been a blast it is the longest I have had a tank this small set up. I plan to keep it going and letting the corals grow out. I have always loved pulsing xenia coral but was scared it would over take my bigger tanks. I really took my time with this tank letting it cycle and adding one coral at a time. I don’t feed the tank but I do add 1ml a day of All-for-reef and do a 50% biweekly water change. I have been fighting flat warms for months now and can’t seem to get rid of them. Thank you for putting on this contest I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun!  

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@McCune Waterbox Cubed - Final Summary

On 1/31/2021 at 4:16 PM, McCune said:

January 2021 FTS

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This 365 challenge has had some serious ups and downs. Started the tank then Covid 19 hit and all the shut downs. Tank was going and cruising along with not much added to the tank. Then everything seemed to settle in and the tank hit its stride. Cue the ominous music. My family took an amazing vacation in Cape Cod. Great week so much fun in the sun with the kids.......

 

When I returned home from vacation I knew something bad had taken place. The smell as soon as you came in the basement told me I had significant losses in my tanks. The tanks had been over 85 degrees for most of the week and I lost so many fish and corals.

I was able to weather that storm and eventually get the tank back on track again. Famous last words....

 

In October my home and both me and my wife’s cars had a tree fall on them. My Tundra was totaled and so was my wife’s MDX. Also we had a good amount of damage to the house. So needless to say my mind was occupied by more important things than the tank, but I have to say several months of no hands in the tank and bare minimum maintenance turned the tank around and everything was looking pretty good. I shut down my larger tank and the cube took in all the maxi mini carpet nems and rock flower nems. 2020 sucked in so many ways but in other ways it gave us back more time with our family. I will keep the cube chugging along and make more additions in the future 

 

thanks for the fun year

 

@MrP The Tree of Life - Waterbox Cube 10 - 365 Day Challenge - Final Summary

 

On 1/31/2021 at 6:30 PM, MrP said:

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It's been a difficult year for most of us and congratulations to everyone that made it to the end! I wasn't able to achieve all of the goals that I had for this tank due to not having local resources which forced me to order everything online including fish and coral. This was the largest challenge but I plan for this tank to be around for a while and will continue to update this thread as changes are made.

 

I didn't have any plans or visions going into this competition until I started gluing rock rubble together. It started to take on the form of a bonsai tree. The "Tree of Life" theme was born. I began planting my zoanthid garden around the base of the tree which represent flowers. I chose not to add sand to this tank with a vision that the green star polyp will eventually resemble grass as it continues to grow and cover the bottom glass. As for the rest of the tree, I decided to simply decorate it with various LPS corals on the lower branches and easy SPS corals on the upper branches. 

 

As with most reef tanks, the first year is always the most challenging especially being a bare bottom tank. I was presented many challenges. With patience, I stayed persistent and made my way through them. It is now a healthy aquarium, abundant with life that I hope to enjoy for years to come. 

 

@NoOneLikesADryTang 365: Two Tanks One Thread - Final Summary

On 1/31/2021 at 11:41 PM, NoOneLikesADryTang said:

There’s nothing that drives the tank keeper crazier, than being late. To keep the theme of driving her absolutely bonkers this year, I figured there’s no better way than waiting to the last hour of the last day to remain eligible. The tank has gotten some nasty brown/rust colored algae, that’s now forming tan bubbles. It doesn’t seem to bother much, other than being incredibly ugly. We’ve only moved a few goni’s and a couple SPS Frags to this tank, and all seem fluffy and happy. We’ll continue to move over a piece or two a week, until this tank is full (pending the algae doesn’t turn in to an even browner, uglier mess, in which case we will probably put the frags back in the 80 gallon, and let the Arizona sun do what the Arizona sun does to the rocks, and start over.) 

 

Current Equipment 

  • IM 20 Gallon Peninsula, with 326gph Mighty Jet return pump 
  • Radion Gen 5 XR30 Blue
  • Cobalt Neo-Therm 100w heater
  • AI Nero 3 wave maker 

 

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Currently the only fish resident is a File Fish (Teaser - the tank keeper has a great idea for the next challenge with this fish). He got moved to this tank, when I thought he was eating euphyllia in our 80 gallon tank. With some time, and banishment, I believe him to be innocent. He shall now be called Andy Dufresne from here on out. 
 

All though this tank has been fairly uneventful this year, I have enjoyed being a part of this contest, on my favorite little slice of the interwebz. Thank you @Christopher Marks for making this such a great community for those of us passionate about this hobby. Thank you everyone on Nano-Reef, who has followed along, even though the tank updates have been fairly boring. I hope I somehow made it at least mildly entertaining to read my antics in driving the tank keeper to drink. All the while, displaying my prepubescent teenage boy humor intertwined throughout this build thread. 
 

I have am certain this tank will not win any awards, nor should it. I would like to formally appeal to the voters, that @debbeach13, who started her build thread a few days late to qualify officially for the competition, be considered for the Friendly Competition Award. Over the last year, I couldn’t look at a build thread, without seeing her kind words of encouragement. It’s people like her that makes this community so wonderful. I really hope an exception can be made for her to qualify for a bonus CM award. 
 

Lastly, but certainly not least, thank you @EfrainChicagoDeepdish for being my better, and funnier (her claim, not mine) half. There is no one I’d rather go on reefing adventures with. Thank you for introducing me to this hobby, and this website. Thank you for letting us enter this competition this year, even though I know you really didn’t want to take on an additional tank. You are the epitome of love. I am so blessed to be on this journey called life with you. I love you  with all of my heart. 

 

@SaltyGallon 365 Day Challenge: 1G Office Ocean - Final Summary

On 1/28/2021 at 3:27 AM, SaltyGallon said:

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It's been an absolute blast guys! Win/lose/whatever it doesn't really matter, this box of water was a much needed piece of happiness (and sanity!) throughout 2020, so thank you NR for the great contest.

 

There's been a few triumphs and trials, but thankfully not too many of the latter! 

 

I'm proud of a few things, particularly the build and the scape and the concept itself. I love the planning aspect of a new tank and the small scale requirements made everything that little bit trickier - measuring the overflow area to the nearest mm etc just to make sure the pump would fit haha. Likewise I'm also pleased with the simplicity of the tank. I've stuck to the mantra of "keep it simple stupid" and the only testing this tank has ever has ever had (outside the original cycle) is for temperature and salinity, no nitrate/phosphates or any of that gumph! The joy of a small tank with easy corals is if anything looks off you can just hit it with a big water change...!

 

That said it hasn't been without it's trials. Sure there's been the odd bit of bubble and turf algae, but nothing hideous on that front. The biggie was the hot weather in mid-summer - I quickly learned that this is the pico kicker! The acrylic lid is a godsend day to day as it keeps the salinity steady but mid-summer it has to come off so the tank can get blasted by a fan. Very much catch 22! Next summer I think I'll move the tank to a nice cool cupboard when it's hot rather than faffing with a fan and multiple daily top offs.

 

I think for any future similar builds I'd probably switch up the light too, the 3w is aesthetically really nice but I think for a future build I'd go bigger and dial it down. The corals have grown, but perhaps not as much as they could have. There's still a real gap in the market for serious and good looking pico tank parts - pumps, lights, and dare I say wavemakers! I guess it's still a niche in the grand scheme of things, but I think they'd sell like hot cakes.

 

Thanks so much for tagging along and being such a friendly bunch, it's been a genuine pleasure. Good luck to all others in the contest and wishing you all health and prosperity for 2021!

 

@SeaFurn SeaFurn's Old School Pico Gets An Upgrade - Final Summary

On 1/31/2021 at 9:56 PM, SeaFurn said:

365 Day Challenge Summary

 

It's been a rough journey.  The tank today doesn't look anything like I thought it would when I first started this contest, but I guess I'm happy I've got some corals left.  I'd really like to go back to around day 36 and get a do-over but that's not gonna happen so let's deal with things like this - the good and the bad and the ugly.

 

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The good:

  • I appreciate the small group of you who followed my posts and offered support, advice and encouragement.  Thank you so much.
  • The list is probably too long to post here, but I really have learned a lot over the course of the year.  A couple of key areas are how the lighting schedule was impacting the corals and how much to dose daily to keep the tank parameters stable in desirable amounts to keep corals happy.  I have to dose alk, cal, mg, nitrogen, and phosphorus daily to keep the tank stable.  In addition, the only water changes I've done in the last few months are a few 5 cup water changes. I also removed the ATO have been topping off manually. 
  • I think I like the tank better with sand. 
  • The tank is pest free, although I consider the huge pods I've recently found and those crazy red spaghetti worms kinda like pests. I'm constantly removing the spaghetti worms still. 
  • My favorite pink/orange ricordia started out with one mouth and it now has 4.  I'm sure it will split any day now.
  • One head of my hammer coral is splitting.  (I know it's kinda lame to be commenting on something as basic as a coral splitting or growing a couple of new mouths but in my tank, that's been a rarity)
  • I had one shipment of corals that arrived 44 hours late but everything survived - for awhile anyway. 
  • While the corals where temporarily housed in the 45 due to the ATO failure - a baby RFA hitchhiked onto the rock and it's still doing well back in the 10 gal.
  • Day 129 I said the tank looked great.  I'll take my word for it but it's hard to believe there ever was a time it did. 
  • This past month. I don't think the tank has necessarily turned the corner but it's nice that I can end on a good month. 

 

The bad and the ugly:

  • I about killed one head of my frogspawn by blasting it with water thinking it was infested but @WV Reefer and @Tamberav  clued me into what minestrial filaments are.  Will never make that mistake again. Interestingly - rock flower anemones have the exact thing that they extend from the bottom of their foot  They likely use them when moving into/through new hostile areas.
  • Attempts to save a few acros by fragging were unsuccessful.  I've heard of people doing this but I suppose if something was off in the tank to cause it, without fixing that first, fragging it wasn't going to help much. 
  • Zoas - some people have a green thumb with plants and some don't.  I don't have a green thumb with zoas.  They are still a mystery to me - and really piss me off. It's taken so much effort to get them open and keep them open. Last month was first time I've seen my remaining zoas, (and I have lost a bunch) open for almost the entire month. And there's always some new issue with them.  The latest is when my hermit crab climbs over my one bunch of Cateye zoas. Individual polyps simply pop off the frag plug. It's like they are barely attached to the rock anymore compared to the others. I usually find them wedged somewhere in the tank and then I glue them to a new frag plug.  Is this their way of spreading?? 
  • Ricordia - my bigger ones have fared well through all the ups and downs while the smaller ones have mostly shrunken down into nothing. I'm not sure why.  Well, it's probably related to the issue below. 
  • The extended period of low nitrates and phosphates also had a detrimental effect on the corals - despite continual feeding. My tank simply failed to thrive.  Some of you will probably say I'm being too hard on myself but when you look at the pics of the tank now compared to the early months, it's clear that there's been an extended problem.   
  • The ATO failures and significant salinity swings back in late May/early June and again in early August was this tank's undoing  Several corals perished and many others suffered for months afterward - and even still, I'd say. The fact that it happened twice broke my spirit and killed my motivation which ultimately kept me from posting every day of the contest like I intended. 

I'm probably going to take this tank down so I can focus on my rock flowers and baby rock flowers. I'd like to get some smaller tanks set up so I can start trying to breed them to get some never seen before morphs.  So, if anyone is interested in some corals - some of which still need a little TLC, let me know.  

 

@Tamberav Tamberav's pico in 365 - Final Summary

On 1/30/2021 at 12:41 AM, Tamberav said:

This contest has been an enjoyable distraction in 2020. My theme was growth and I guess I achieved that personal goal. Yay! 🙂 My plan for this tank was to keep it simple. Live rock, light, flow, water changes. No testing, no dosing, no fancy additives or media. Just low stress, low cost fun! 

 

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It is hard for me to think that this tank is only 5g. I have never kept such a small tank for this long of time before. The height and tons of small life makes it feel so much bigger. 

 

The live rock has probably saved my butt here. I mosssstly kept up on water changes.. but sometimes not 😉 I believe all the life that came in on it kept algae at bay as I feed a lot. Enough to look like it's snowing. The blennies, gobies, and numerous crabs/shrimp/critters do not complain! I also got some cool hitchhikers like the limpet and tunicates and lots of feather dusters and beneficial guys. I never found any bad hitchhikers. People worry so much about the bad things on rock but I never found it to be an issue. 

 

I plan to keep this tank going and see how much more it will fill in. We may be moving this spring/summer though which will pose it's own challenges to all my aquariums but going to try and keep as much going as I can (I move a lot so it is not the best hobby but I am an addict).

 

I am glad our small forum could have something fun happening in 2020. Thanks for following along! 

 

@This guy is extra salty Extra Salty 365 acroholic fuge - Final Summary

On 1/27/2021 at 9:49 PM, This guy is extra salty said:

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Well this tank has had a bunch of ups and downs let lone being moved twice last year. 
the “Acro-Fuge” being a SPS dominant tank with the flair of having macro algae for nutrient export has helped it become a Ultra low maintenance tank. The mangroves have shown the most noticeable growth since I just recently had to remove the additional T5 light rack so they can grow straight (up)

the original inhabitant (pistol shrimp) is still in there I hear it from time to time freaking me out cause it sounds like plastic is breaking or being snapped. It has a murderous streak for bristle worms and has taken the life of “York” the black clown fish. Pepe and Moo are still enjoying the anemone and only leave it when it’s feeding time (morning/night) but the seem to like the caulerpa forest that surrounds the anemone. As for “Gary” the sole chromis is still a derp and tries to snuggle the anemone cause it thinks it’s a clownfish.  Last week I added a bicolor blenny (no name yet) that seem to keeping some of the nuisance algae at bay but loves to perch on my rainbow gonipora (irritating it all the time) but it keeps the sweeper tentacles from going nuts. Lastly coral, from start to finish I only lost 4 corals over the past year. Two were cause of a bad crab (tossed into return pump chamber) one acropora fell into the anemone and STN over a week (I thought it would’ve stopped but I should’ve fragged off pieces)  and the last one was a mystery RTN (meteor shower cyphastrea) I was stumped since all of the other acros were having significant growth. 
 

I didn’t really have a maintenance schedule or much of a dosing regimen I primarily used Kalk+2 in my 18g ATO container which I filled biweekly. I would add 20ml of replenish(Brightwell aquatics)  every Sunday. And I would add 20 drops of coral aminos (Brightwell aquatics) the following Monday. I would skip dosing whenever I did a biweekly/monthly water change (5gallons)

whenever I did remember to do it (or if something wasn’t looking right)

 

I would have to say the tank was a easy keeper. I am definitely going to keep the tank running well after the contest is over since it is my Son’s tank. It was built with him in mind so the maintenance is extremely low (so I can watch him not the tank) another thing is that I literally DIY’d everything on this setup minus the return pump, heaters, lights, and ATO.  I enjoyed building this tank, stand, and media/light rack. Basically without the need to buy anything (besides heaters) cause I used equipment that already had laying around. I may be frugal but I definitely built something to last that I will never give up. 

 

@Tigahboy Tigahboy’s SW Planted Tank Project - Three.Six.Five - Final Summary

On 1/27/2021 at 8:57 AM, Tigahboy said:

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None of us could've foreseen what a crazy and difficult year 2020 would become, but I think a lot of us leaned into this hobby as a way to escape the harsh realities of the world around us. So I am truly thankful for this hobby and Nano-Reef.com for putting on yet another awesome contest.

 

My goal for this tank was to create a saltwater version of a freshwater planted tank. Sticking to this theme, I stocked this tank with mostly macroalgae and it currently has six different species (seven if you count my centerpiece bubble algae) plus a couple photosynthetic gorgonians. Just like a freshwater planted tank, focusing on the aquascape was key, so I endeavored to create a natural looking aquascape with live rock (inspired largely by freshwater scapes) and started filling out the tank with macroalgae. I also have six tiny (and super cute) masked gobies, three sexy shrimp, and a bunch of snails and hermits in here.

 

I consider this the true start of my passion for macroalgae. I never expected the amazing diversity in colors and shapes found in macroalgae until I started this project. I loved this tank and macroalgae so much, I started three other macroalgae dominant tanks after this one and have more projects in the works. I know this tank may not be for everyone, and I still get questions from folks wondering why I keep tanks full of algae instead of coral, but it's brought me a lot of joy and has given me some really cool opportunities, such as being featured in Reefbuilders, featured in various YouTube videos including Bahama Llama and Seafriendlyreef's channels, and also highlighted in a couple of podcasts with me as a featured guest (Reef News Network (episode 148) and Nature's Wonders (episode 6)). I even got a sponsorship from UNS which has helped me create new macroalgae projects. Even cooler, I've seen a lot of hobbyists from both saltwater and freshwater sides starting their own macroalgae tanks which really makes me excited for what is in store for macroalgae this year. I've blabbered on enough, but would like to end with a big thank you to all of you who followed along my crazy macroalgae journey. #eatsleepalgae

 

@waldoz 20L AIO build -365 Day All-in-One Nano Reef Challenge - Final Summary

On 1/30/2021 at 10:26 PM, waldoz said:

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How I came about to getting a tank:

My dad had been trying to convince my mom to let him get a reef tank for a couple of years. After seeing a 2-gallon anchor hocking jar, I asked my dad how much everything might cost if I were to “possibly” be interested. The price started out as a rough estimate of $50. Then he slowly kept adding equipment that would be needed, and the price slowly went up to about $100. If he had laid it all on me, I probably wouldn’t own a reef tank. 

After that, I wanted to try it out, but first I had to convince my mom to let us get one. It took some explaining of where it would be and how noisy the air pump was going to be. She finally said yes. It wasn’t long until I decided I wanted a 10-gallon instead. After a few days, my dad had been offered a 20L by a forum member (thanks @righttirefire!) instead of the 10-gallon that we were going to go with. My mom had already said that we couldn’t go over ten gallons, but after some more convincing, she reluctantly agreed.

 

Things we like about our reef tank:

We like the light that we are using for our tank because we can customize our own settings. It also makes the corals look nice. We also like the height of our tank stand because it’s pretty close to eye level and it isn’t too tall.

 

Things we would do differently:

We wouldn’t do a 20-long again because it’s too long and doesn’t have a lot of depth to it. It’s also hard to make a rockscape that looks good in the front and the back.  We probably wouldn’t do an AIO again unless it were larger than a 30-gallon. There isn’t really any space in a smaller AIO to put a frag rack and an anemone basket in. If we had a sump we could put the cut/split anemones in one of the chambers and it would leave more space in the display area.

Our stand looks nice, but something that we would change is  having the frame covered so it would hide all the junk and wires I have laying around on the frame.

If we had the room, I definitely wouldn’t have the tank in my room. It tends to make noise when I’m sleeping. The noise goes anywhere from the thermometer becoming detached from the tank wall and clanking on the glass, to the equipment wires buzzing because they decided to touch something.

Tank routine:

It’s pretty low-maintenance. I do 2-gallon water changes every other week. I blow off the rock with a turkey baster, unless I forget (which doesn’t happen too often). I clean the glass whenever it needs it, whenever I have the time, or whenever we do tank shots. Syphoning only happens when the sand actually needs it, but we can’t get into some areas because our tube is too big. I test the salinity only when I’ve added a bit too much of the RODI water, or whenever I’m concerned. I also test newly mixed water for salinity. I test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and PH when I feel up to it because I don’t like washing the test tubes out. I change out our filter floss whenever I notice that it really needs to be changed, or when it gets too clogged and the pump starts sucking air.

 

Advice for anyone getting into the hobby:

I think having basic quality items has given us a solid foundation. Don’t try to cut corners on the important things such as the refractometer, the lighting system, and the RODI system. Another thing is cycling the tank; we cycled ours for a month and a half, and put a raw shrimp in while cycling to help move along the process.

 

Don’t be hasty with selection:

So far I’ve had two impulse buys and they’ve both died. The first one was Fathom, the Percula clownfish. He wasn’t a bad purchase, but I should have waited and bought a nice pair. The second one was Benny, the Lawnmower blenny. I bought him mainly because he pecked algae off the rock, and I thought that was cool. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any algae that he could pick off the rock. He wouldn’t eat anything we offered him, and copepods didn’t last him very long. He sadly ended up dying from starvation.

In conclusion:

We’ve learned a lot along the way and have had a great time reefing. Nano Reef has been a great place to learn and find information and the reefing community is very supportive and helpful. Thanks to all the help we got, we have a very nice and successful reef tank.

 

 

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Christopher Marks

bump manatee GIF

Bump

 

Please join me in thanking @CoralVue Aquarium Products for supporting the Nano-Reef Community all these years, and for their incredible generosity as our competition prize sponsor. They put a lot of passion into developing the CoralVue Hydros 2 Aquarium Controller for our hobby, this is a seriously cool tool for reef keepers! ❤️ 

 

fish kissing GIF

Sending fish kisses your way @CoralVue Aquarium Products

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Tigahboy

Congrats to all the contestants who made it to the end! 👏

 

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debbeach13

This is going to be very hard. Picking only 3 and which goal is very very hard.

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SaltyGallon

Congrats to all finalists. Not an easy year to keep a tank going by any stretch! 😎

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ECLS Reefer

So many were great! My little tank definitely got spanked by others, and man I wish I’d had their ideas!

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This guy is extra salty
On 2/24/2021 at 11:43 AM, debbeach13 said:

This is going to be very hard. Picking only 3 and which goal is very very hard.

I wanted to vote for everyone! But I can’t 😭

 

On 2/24/2021 at 11:11 AM, Tigahboy said:

Congrats to all the contestants who made it to the end! 👏

 

you still got my first loser vote 😜

 

7 hours ago, ECLS Reefer said:

So many were great! My little tank definitely got spanked by others, and man I wish I’d had their ideas!

I liked your setup, definitely didn’t get spanked by any means. 😀

 

 

 

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ECLS Reefer
9 minutes ago, This guy is extra salty said:

I wanted to vote for everyone! But I can’t 😭

 

you still got my first loser vote 😜

 

I liked your setup, definitely didn’t get spanked by any means. 😀

 

 

 

It wasn’t bad, and it’s still going strong. I should have gotten a better light earlier in 😕

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SaltyGallon

Well with the small number of votes that have been cast it's safe to say we don't have a problem with bots interfering here 😝

 

... Get voting people!

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Jerad81

Would it be appropriate for me to vote even though my tank is still in the challenge? I promise I'll only vote for myself once 🤣!

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Christopher Marks
13 minutes ago, Jerad81 said:

Would it be appropriate for me to vote even though my tank is still in the challenge? I promise I'll only vote for myself once 🤣!

You can vote for yourself, no judgement here 😄

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Tamberav

Finally got my voting in... lots of beautiful tanks 🙂

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ef4life
9 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Finally got my voting in... lots of beautiful tanks 🙂

Yes me too, very tough choices to pick a couple winners

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Joevember

Sure has been a year. I haven’t really been active at all on any of the contenders, but man, you guys can put together some nice tanks. Congrats for sticking to the challenge for a full year y’all!

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SaltyGallon

... I think I'm going to not look at this thread until it's closed, the vote is too close to call haha! Good luck to all contestants 😎

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Aqua Splendor

I created a post so we can all share and bring people to vote, we need the reef community to be aware!
___________________________________

 

Reefers, WE NEED YOU!
After a year of dedication by passionate hobbyists, the contest has ended. We have now the official list of candidates for voting, 17 were selected and 3 of them will have a chance to win with your vote.

The vote is splitted into 3 categories: Best Theme, Best Aquascape, Best DIY.


How to vote?
Go on Nano-reef.com, there’s a post for voting with all the participants' journals of their adventure. You can click/swimp/in bio if available for a direct link.

It takes only a few seconds/minutes to vote but if you are interested you can read the thread of each creator, you will be fascinated by the evolution of those aquariums.

 

If you can also SHARE THE POST, it would be really appreciated, the reefing community is awesome and we need more awareness about this fun contest!
Thank you, go vote and good luck to the participants


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I made it so you can save the picture, maybe share on Facebook group, Instagram, what ever your platform, hope it help

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NoOneLikesADryTang

I nominate @Aqua Splendor as the creator for all Nano-Reef's future marketing needs. That's a great flyer!

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MarieH

So many beauties to pick from, I had to at least cast one vote for a local yokel aqua splendor, Nice work to everyone, winners all.

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Aqua Splendor
3 hours ago, MarieH said:

So many beauties to pick from, I had to at least cast one vote for a local yokel aqua splendor, Nice work to everyone, winners all.

Ah! thank you, fun to see other from the same city, a bit rare on internet

 

I made a post on R2R to come here and vote, feel like general discussion is like a chat, threads are going on second page so fast.
I don't know if it was ok since i'm not affiliated and we are one community, why not.

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This guy is extra salty

😂 @Aqua Splendor just got himself a ton of votes! Good job 😂 

in all categories! 🤣 

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Aqua Splendor
2 hours ago, This guy is extra salty said:

😂 @Aqua Splendor just got himself a ton of votes! Good job 😂 

in all categories! 🤣 

I asked people to not vote for me, I ... don't know what else to say... arrggg, I mean cool, but, my neutrality mindset person is ... mixed ... lol

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Thrassian Atoll

Awesome tanks everyone!  Good luck!

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Christopher Marks

🗳 Get those final votes in tonight!

5 hours remain! 

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MarieH
17 hours ago, Aqua Splendor said:

I asked people to not vote for me, I ... don't know what else to say... arrggg, I mean cool, but, my neutrality mindset person is ... mixed ... lol

Its all in good fun, whatever the outcome, a deserved win, whoever. Cheers!

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Christopher Marks

🏁 Congratulations to our 365 Day Nano Reef Challenge Winners! 🎉

 

Best Theme Tank @Tigahboy

Tigahboy’s SW Planted Tank Project - Three.Six.Five

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Best Aquascape Design @Aqua Splendor

༺ ᴀq͎ᴜᴀ ꜱᴘʟᴇɴᴅᴏʀ - ɴᴀɴᴏ ʀᴇᴇꜰ ༻

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Best DIY Modification

365 Day Challenge: 1G Office Ocean

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🏆 Winners will receive a HYDROS Control 2 Aquarium Controller from community sponsor @CoralVue Aquarium Products! 🎉

 

HYDROS-Control-2-Aquarium-Controller-CoralVue.jpg

 

The all-new HYDROS Control by CoralVue allows you to monitor and control your aquarium like a pro, even if you’re a beginner just starting out. Track temperature, PH, ORP, water level, flow, leaks, outlets and more. Control pumps, timers, level sensors, dosers, fans, solenoids, switches, cabinet lighting, and whatever else you dream up. Check the health of your tank and take corrective action from anywhere using the HYDROS mobile app. Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Smart plugs. Color-coded ports and cables. Add accessories without having to connect extra modules and cords. HYDROS is a system you can grow with! The Control 2 and Control 4 can be used together and are compatible with the HYDROS WaveEngine.

 

HYDROS Control 2 Aquarium Controller Includes:

  • Control 2 Head Unit
  • Power 4 WiFi Controllable 4-outlet Power Strip
  • Temperature Sensor

Hydros-Power-4-WiFi-Power-Strip-CoralVue.jpg

 

🎁 Bonus Awards from CM
A Nano-Reef T-Shirt & Sticker pack!

I'll reach out to all the winners via private message soon, hang tight!

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