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Skeeterific

Skeeterific's 20 Gallon Long - new inverts

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Skeeterific

IMG_0354JPG.thumb.jpg.37717c44323a86ca2f3bda726dc87bc0.jpg

 

Does it look good? No. But is it better than it looks? Also no. 

 

It's healing though! 

 

A couple of years ago I had a 38 gallon, which was a mess, and which I then had to sell when I moved across the country for a grad school program. I downsized to this 20 long, which went on to crash twice. The tank was empty except for some very hardy zoas and a single hermit crab for pretty much all of 2020. I finally came back to my apartment in February, and did my first water change on this tank in a full year a couple of weeks ago. I've had trouble keeping corals in the past, but I'm invested in taking its maintenance and research more seriously! And, if anything, the system is definitely seasoned now. 😛

 

Equipment:

The main idea with this build is keeping expenses low, I like trying to avoid unnecessary equipment and trying to find a natural way to deal with tank issues. That said, I'm about ready for a much more powerful light. There are way too many choices, just thinking about it raises my blood pressure

-Cheapo 20 long

-Cheapo HOB filter, with filter floss and chemipure

-2 powerheads, one cheapo, one Jebao wavemaker, which I so far am not that impressed with. I love the size, but it's noisier than I think it should be, and while I appreciate all the setting choices, it doesn't provide nearly as much flow as I hoped it would.

-Light: Hipergaro Aquaknight 30W

 

Corals

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These are the only survivors from my multiple crashes. They had all lost color, but are bouncing back with more regular maintenance and feeding. That out-of-focus zoa in the front is an Utter Chaos that I pissed off so badly it spawned and popped up clear across the tank. The babies look a lot less stretched. 

 

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I also have some dragon's breath that is going to die and that's all there is to it. It's been floundering for a while, but I think my recent addition of 2 astra snails and 1 shortspine urchin will finally wipe it out. I don't think they touch the healthy growth, but they eat the faded stuff, which I'm sure makes it less likely to recover overall. I'll replace it later to help with nutrients when things are more stable, right now I think the hair algae is outcompeting it.

 

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Fish and Inverts

 

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Added in the past month is:

-1 neon goby

-1 shortspine/rock burrowing urchin

-2 astrea snails

 

Then there's the hermit crab, who has been in there for over a year, munching algae, alone, in my empty apartment, in a failing tank. Bless him. I should probably add some more, so he has company. I'm just nervous they might kill each other, and I'm a little attached to him at this point. 

 

Immediate Future Goals

-Address the algae. I have a big hair algae issue, which is slowly getting under control with more maintenance and my urchin, Professor Pricklepants (btw shortspines are the best, they're great algae eaters, don't get big, and don't pick stuff up). This is a long game, taking it slow to not exacerbate any parameter or nutrient issues. 

-Upgrade the light. I got the Aquaknight because it was cheap, but I'm ready to try and get something a little more attractive and customizable. Any advice welcome. 

-Take a day, put on a podcast, and crush every single one of my dozens and dozens of @%#* VERMETID SNAILS. I'm going to do this by hand, and may add a bumblebee snail for any I inevitably miss.

 

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Cheers!

 

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Skeeterific

I took a day to focus on re-scaping the rock that has been in the same position for 2 years. A lot of the pieces were too big, and there wasn't much visual flow from one island to the next. I wanted to push everything to the back, to free up more real estate and make the tank seem bigger, as the scape I had was more suited for a peninsula build. 

 

But first...vermetid snail eviction!

 

20210518_114531.thumb.jpg.2a2ff7eb2874920e25b07d3e531279b9.jpg

 

The cuc took the  opportunity to have adventures in the construction zone.

 

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At the end, I had this:

 

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Compared to the previous scape:

 

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The focus is on one big island in the middle now starting from as close to the back wall as I could get, with two smaller ones to the side, purposefully not very high, for better viewing space. I was able to fit almost all the rock I started with, demolished and glued back together, minus one 1lb piece that I'll use for frags in the future. I think this will allow a lot more space for corals to grow in! It also makes the whole thing look more purposeful overall. I took the opportunity to rip some of the more stubborn hair algae out. Later on I saw one of the astrea snails snacking on the shorter turf. 

Here's a closeup of the main island. There are a couple of good caves built in for fishy hiding spots.

 

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From the right-hand side. I think the conch shell works better this way. I love this piece and it's a great hiding spot for my urchin, Professor Pricklepants, to nap before he comes out at night, but it didn't really fit in visually in the other scape:

 

IMG_0389JPG.thumb.jpg.83eaa054d805e85645b701d8483020c1.jpg

 

That's all for now!

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tassos

Good luck this time around! I think the rescape is an improvement.

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Skeeterific
19 hours ago, tassos said:

Good luck this time around! I think the rescape is an improvement.

Thanks! I do too!

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WV Reefer
On 5/20/2021 at 5:32 PM, Skeeterific said:

I took a day to focus on re-scaping the rock that has been in the same position for 2 years. A lot of the pieces were too big, and there wasn't much visual flow from one island to the next. I wanted to push everything to the back, to free up more real estate and make the tank seem bigger, as the scape I had was more suited for a peninsula build. 

 

But first...vermetid snail eviction!

 

20210518_114531.thumb.jpg.2a2ff7eb2874920e25b07d3e531279b9.jpg

 

The cuc took the  opportunity to have adventures in the construction zone.

 

20210518_162610.thumb.jpg.9b40d33799f0009af0f146e1abab5b03.jpg

 

At the end, I had this:

 

IMG_0388JPG.thumb.jpg.128fbb553edffde99dfd1c8ac69619a5.jpg

 

Compared to the previous scape:

 

Message_1621349744628.thumb.jpg.8e3a7379682fb356fddd51a1cb3044fb.jpg

 

The focus is on one big island in the middle now starting from as close to the back wall as I could get, with two smaller ones to the side, purposefully not very high, for better viewing space. I was able to fit almost all the rock I started with, demolished and glued back together, minus one 1lb piece that I'll use for frags in the future. I think this will allow a lot more space for corals to grow in! It also makes the whole thing look more purposeful overall. I took the opportunity to rip some of the more stubborn hair algae out. Later on I saw one of the astrea snails snacking on the shorter turf. 

Here's a closeup of the main island. There are a couple of good caves built in for fishy hiding spots.

 

IMG_0393.thumb.JPG.dd65298454f60eb4f4a706d73df6d528.JPG

 

From the right-hand side. I think the conch shell works better this way. I love this piece and it's a great hiding spot for my urchin, Professor Pricklepants, to nap before he comes out at night, but it didn't really fit in visually in the other scape:

 

IMG_0389JPG.thumb.jpg.83eaa054d805e85645b701d8483020c1.jpg

 

That's all for now!

I like the height in the middle now. 😊

 

Keep that algae pulled and it makes it easier for the crew to snack the smaller stuff. 

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Skeeterific
23 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

I like the height in the middle now. 😊

 

Keep that algae pulled and it makes it easier for the crew to snack the smaller stuff. 

Thanks, I will! Your 12 is such eye candy, including the bookshelf and everything on it 😁

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WV Reefer
3 minutes ago, Skeeterific said:

Thanks, I will! Your 12 is such eye candy, including the bookshelf and everything on it 😁

Thank you. 😊

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Skeeterific

I left town for a week and let the tank settle after the big rescape. I've heard of tanks going through a mini-cycle after breaking rock, but it all seems pretty stable. Had to tackle vermetids again, but there are definitely fewer than before. I added a bumblebee snail. I've heard conflicting evidence about them eating vermetids, but I thought it was worth a shot. I know one won't have much of an impact, but I'm hoping if it does eat vermetids we can tag team the issue over time. If not, one probably won't be enough to run out of food and attack the astrea snails, so it should be a safe addition. Also added this week were:

2 blue leg hermits

3 tiny zoa frags whose names I don't know

1 candycane coral frag 

a hunk of chaeto

 

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The chaeto is free-floating around the tank (here it's skulking behind the conch), but I'm going to hide it behind the center island as soon as I'm sure it won't melt. I don't think I need it necessarily, but the copepods love the hair algae, and that's disappearing, so really it's mostly for them. 

 

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I have a hard time not overfeeding the candycane. It has such a dramatic feeding response!

 

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The goby with a couple of the new zoas. Still trying to get rid of those frag plugs, but there are apparently no reefers near me, and my LFS is leery about taking in corals. The goby is really cute. He's claimed the left island and future zoa garden, and I've started seeing him adorably perfecting his cave by rearranging grains of sand one by one. 

 

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debbeach13

Looks like things are improving - less algae.

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Skeeterific
5 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Looks like things are improving - less algae.

Definitely! Crazy how regular maintenance will do that 😛

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