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Reefing 9to5 Keke's first nano reef contest


kekke1082

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Most recent top down FTS: taken May 14th↓↓

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Good morning Nano Reefers! 

 

This the official start of my reefing 9to5 nano tank. Its also the first nano reef contest I've ever participated in! Im super excited! 

 

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Mini Macro Mansion

 

My goal with this tank is to use it for macro and coral QT. The main focus of this nano will be the macro algae species i can acquire. I fell in love with macro algaes thanks to wonderful inspirations from nano reefers like @Tigahboy

I've also been inspired by @billygoat's florida/carribean themed tank and most of the macros will be ordered from Gulf Coast Ecosystems and live rock will be coming from either gulf live rocks or other Florida based aquaculturing facility. 

Current Full Tank Shot:

Sorry guys I'm uploading a lot of this from my crappy LG cellphone so cant insert pics where i want them to be yet 😅

Contest Entry Picture:

Please see above 😅

 

Equipment:

  • Tank: this tank is actually a second hand tank i bought from someone who built it themselves. Dimensions are 11in W x 11in L x 12in H making the volume of the tank about 6.3gallons.
  • Filtration: the tank is actually built to accommodate a canister filter so I'll be using a hydor professional 150 with a total capacity of .84 Gallons (3.2L). Outside of the live rock and macro thats going into this litte box of water the canister will only be for mechanical filtration and water movement. It will contain mainly just filter floss and possibly carbon or chemiclean if needed. 5/14/22: some things got tweaked. I ditched the canister a few months into the contest due to the inconsistency of the flow provided and an excess of noise emitted from the canister I used. I switched over to a makeshift sump instead and it has worked out (except for the flooded living room floor a few times when power went out or I forgot to lift the return nozzles above the water level before cutting the power for maintenance 😅) the return pump is a lifeguard quiet one pump ant it's been amazing! Heater is a fluval preset 50w. Circulation pump is a aquami kps. 

 

  • Lighting: I'll be using either a kingbo par38 bulb suspending if from a floating shelf above the tank (if my fiance allows me to 😂) or a aquaknight clamp on led. 5/14/22: so malot of the DIY aspect I didn't get around to unfortunately. My fiance began having some concerning medical issues as the contest progressed to the point where I considered rehoming most of my aquariums and equipment in order to be able to focus solely on her care and treatments, however, after some lengthy and ongoing medications and specialized treatment plans I've been able to maintain most of them including the contest tank. That being said, the aquaknight light somehow melted one day and I was fortunate enough to catch it before any fire or other issue had happened and changed it out for the kingbo par38 bulb instead.  
  • Power heads: an additional pump for water movement may become necessary in which case I'll be putting the aquamai kps to work to keep the tank from harboring detritus.

 

Livestock:

  • Various soft corals most likely ricordia and other mushrooms, gsp, xenia (?), zoas, but its mainly about the macro! Im going to try and get my hands on some blue hyp.  @Tigahboy has me going gaga for his carpeted macro display. 
  • Coral: palythoa colony, pulsing xenia, Duncan, goniapora, GSP and a leather coral (can't recall the type) one rock flower anemone. I also attempted a sun coral which did great for a while and then faded fast, fungia, favia, month none of the Stony corals did well for me at all I think that was mostly my own fault due to lack of knowledge but I've learned a lot from the mistakes I made and will be trying to keep them again in the future. 
  • Fish: ? Suggestions welcome i have no idea yet if i want any fish in this nano but I'm open to recommendations. I'd love to keep it to theme and go with a fish that will not pose a threat to the macro but also wouldnt feel cramped in the space this little box allows. 5/14/22: the only fish in this system is my baby black Darwin clown from Robert Kings clownfish. And it will stay that way until this tank is incorporated into a larger system (details on that at a later date 😉)
  • Clean up crew: there are about 7 blue legged hermits, about 5 or so dwarf Caribbean hermits (that's what the LFS called them idk, they kind of look like tiny red leg hermits to me but they've stayed tiny) about 8 dwarf cerith snails, 4 margarita snails, and at least 5 bristle worms that I've seen. It is loaded with pods of all sizes. 

 

Highlight Links:

  • Nothing yet 😊 in the midst of this contest I started a YouTube channel. it is more for myself then for others but I hoped it would help me with keeping up with all the little projects that I plan to do with my tanks.

 

  • I'm going for both unique and budget build when it comes to thia nano. Having just moved at the end of august into this new place, and having several other projects both reef and non reef related going on too I'm going be doing this with materials i pretty much already had in my storage unit or purchased second hand. Besides the macro from gulf coast ecosystems all other live stock including corals will be purchased with gift certificates i won from a local reef club event. There will be a combination of live and dry rock. The dry rock for this tank was all free, I'll probably go the bare bottom route, and attach the macros to rocks or do small enclosed containers (mini clay pots?) With course sand or crushed coral substrate still undecided. 

 

Alright time to get back to work!! 

 

 

Contest summary: 

 

I absolutely did not stick to almost any of my plans 🤣! This became a go with the flow tank in every sense of the word! It was so enjoyable just to watch it develop and grow vs trying to be super rigid with the planning. In the end I let it do its thing and only made tweaks when necessary. I finally got passed a lot of the weird brown algae stage, and my snails keep up with a lot of it much better now that the lighting schedule is intermittent instead of constant. I started with a ton of macro in this tank, way too much for it's size. I ended up trimming a lot of it back and trading it in at my LFS for store credit. That is one of my biggest regrets. Things died back on its own after a bit and began to balance itself out. The hermits mowed dow any dying bits and kept the living macros clean of debris while also completely rearranging everything 😅. Going forward I'll probably skip the hermits in favor of more snails or have fewer hermits then what I have in the tank currently. 

 

This is my first nano reef forum contest and it's been a doozy! I started this contest with encouragement from my fiance and from nano reefers alike. I've lurked on this forum for the better part of a decade and never got my feet wet. So this contest was my way to take a dive. The concept was to create a macro haven and along the way I have learned so much about the needs of macro algae compared to corals and other livestock. I initially hoped to prove a therapy that using macros at the very beginning of a new tank would help "speed up" the process of checking, and boy did that teach me some interesting lessons! I almost quit multiple times, I dealt with a lot of losses that were unfortunate and the result of mostly my own lack of knowledge or proper precautions taken, and yet here we are several months later and the Mini Macro Mansion has survived through all odds. My little clown fish Eeek has made it through it all with me even after her other half Meek took a long ride on the hardwood roller coaster and wasn't found in enough time to keep swimming. I learned that me and Stony corals still have a long way to go before that relationship can be tested again 😅. The biggest lesson I learned was to have more faith in myself and my abilities, and to never stop learning, never stop trying and to ALWAYS have a lid on your aquarium! 

 

If there are any questions I didn't answer I'm sorry I'm a bit scatter brained lately 😅. Feel free to ask here and I'll answer whatever I can ☺️

 

Reefin' 9 to 5, Brought to you by:

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FTS February 28th. 

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Entry photo

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Day 1: October something 😅

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10.15.21 UPDATE: well its wet now! I havent added salt yet. I found this box of instant ocean from the last reef i had and decided why not! I was originally thinking about using tropic marine but for the sake of keeping this relatively budget friendly IO will do.

 

ISSUES: I may have to change this canister out. The in/out flow from the tank into the canister and the orientation of the in/out flow of the canister are opposite each other. Although the connections on the canister swivel. I havent been able to find an orientation under this stand that work. So far it seems to be working fine however there seems to be constant strain for the pump to to try and consistently purge air from the canister. I'm at a loss as to how to correct this. I do have another canister on hand but the tubing and fittings for the overflow are much larger than the connections for the other canister. What to do what to do. 

 

Anyone have any suggestions on bow to fix this issue? As a temporary measure ive dialed the outflow from the canister into the tank down a bit and it may serve as a permanent fix but that depends in how well the pump holds out. So far theres a noticeable difference in the sound of the pump with the return flow dialed back. 

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10.23.21 UPDATE: LET THERE BE LIFE!!!

 

So I cashed in one of the raffles I'd won at a local reefing event and picked up several lbs of live rock, a few soft corals and got a freebee piece with some cool sponges in it. The Reef Farm had a great selection to choose from but wanting to keep to my theme I got a small clove colony, mixed zoa frag with about 8 to 10 polyps, and a nice sized leather frag. Lights just came on so everything is still closed up. Just waiting on that macro to come in from Gulf Coast Eco systems and from a seller on ebay. Theres tons of biodiversity in this rock and it has great color. 

 

On a side note the hydor canister is holding out even through a recent power outage (power was cut for about 3 hours before i noticed it was out). Everything started back up without any issue no drop in water level the pump seems to be handling the flow rate pretty great now. 

 

In other equipment news, somehow during the move from one apartment to the storage unit and now to my townhouse, my Aqamai KPS lost a prong in the connecting cable from the powerhead to the power source so i have a new sicce on order from BRS. From what i can tell i have a bit of a dead spot in flow around the bottom of the tank. The canister provides a nice even almost circular flow from the top of the tank to almost the bottom of the tank but isnt quite getting all the way down. I'm hoping the sicce power head i got wont be too much for this little tank. If it is I'll have to find a way to dial it down or constrict the flow. You can somewhat see the direction of the flow from the way the sand has built up. It went in flat around the rocks but the flow had other things in mind. I adjusted the angles of the output nozzles to direct more flow past the leather and around the rock in the front. I'm no good at aquascaping yet so this will be fun once the macros come in. 

 

So far so good! My only concern right now is eliminating the micro bubbles coming from the output from the hydor. 

 

Enjoy the updated FTS, and some other fun views. I'm also not the best photographer but im working on it! 

 

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33 minutes ago, kimdawg said:

It is looking good so far.  You can always change the rock around later if you decide to.

Very true! Im sure it will be looking completely different once the macro algae comes in 

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  • 2 weeks later...
21 hours ago, ef4life said:

Your tank looks good, the rock looks very mature is it all live rock from another system?

Yes it is! So this is all live rock i picked up at The Reef Farm in raleigh, its very mature and was hand picked right out of her coral vats in Grace's greenhouse. She helped me pick some really nice pieces and i even had enough to get quite a few dry pieces as well. I ended up adding a few small rubble like pieces and a larger piece very similarly shaped to the one already mature. Later this month I'm going to start working on my other tank but i dont want to get into that one on this thread lol. 

 

I have some more equipment coming from BRS from all the giveaways they've been doing and just bc i needed stuff for the other system so i bought some things for this one as well. I also have an order coming in from Gulf Coast Eco systems this week. 

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Update 11.03.21: MACROS ARE IN!!! 

 

My shipment from Gulf Coast Ecosystems arrived today and i could not be happier with the variety of algae i received. The order absolutely filled this little nano but its not done yet! 😉 still have a few surprises on the way. There are few changes still in store in the form of my canister changing to a small sump. I'm going to try to keep the volume close to the same as the canister but not sure how im going to make that work yet. Probably going to try a cereal container or plastic shoebox or something along those lines. I forgot that i ordered this little ricordea as well and I'm in love! Now i just have to get the cloves and zoas place in spots that they won't get over run by the algae this will be fun! Photo bomb time

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I like it.  Sorry if you already have; but could you please elaborate for us, your plans to dose nutrients?

 

The macroalgae will quickly consume the available phosphate and nitrate (as well as trace elements such as iron).  Dosing nutrients will be necessary.  IDK, maybe something like Plant Fuel Too.

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4 hours ago, seabass said:

I like it.  Sorry if you already have; but could you please elaborate for us, your plans to dose nutrients?

 

The macroalgae will quickly consume the available phosphate and nitrate (as well as trace elements such as iron).  Dosing nutrients will be necessary.  IDK, maybe something like Plant Fuel Too.

 Sure! I'm actually going to my LFS this weekend to pick up some brightwell products, specifically cheatogro, neophos and neonitro. Its likely I'll also need their iron additive as well. I'm also picking up a new test kit probably a red sea or salifert kit to go along with the API Test kit I currently have. Since today (last night) is the first night of the macros in the tank, I'll be testing for nitrate, phosphate, magnesium, and calcium mainly every other day for the first week to help me determine how often I'll need to dose nutrients in this tank. 

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Thanks.

 

I like the Hanna ULR Phosphate Checker for phosphate.  I find that Salifert is good for everything else.  I might pick up an alkalinity test kit too.

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1 hour ago, seabass said:

Thanks.

 

I like the Hanna ULR Phosphate Checker for phosphate.  I find that Salifert is good for everything else.  I might pick up an alkalinity test kit too.

That is a good idea thanks for sharing! I have to check my api kit and see if my alk test is still good. I've currently got what is left over from my reef master kit and freshwater master kit that wasny expired. Between the two kits i still had enough in date regent for all the major tests during cycling. I also purchased a 150g bag of brightwell neomarine salt during the BRS halloween give away sinve I've been wanting to try it anyway and i think once the box of instant ocean reef crystals i have is almost done I'll start doing small water changes with it. I noticed with the IO reef crystals it mixed to a salinity of 1.023 (per my refractometer and my LFS milwake salinity meter) and I'd prefer it be closer to 1.025/1.026 I've been topping off with pre mixed to try and slowly raise the salinity during the cycle over the last few weeks and its still at 1.023 which isn't bad at all just not what i want it at. I actually tested the salinity of the bag water from my gulf coast ecosystem shipment and it was surprisingly at 1.030 exactly from the bag of red macros, and at 1.028 from the bag of green macros. 

 

Outside of the salinity, i also feel that with the neomarine salt I'll have to dose less often than with the IO salt to replace nutrients and trace elements. Im pretty sure i got some form of calciforous(i have to be spelling that wrong) algae in the halimeda family that is going to require higher levels of calcium than the other macros.

 

Another thing i noticed is that im still getting small ammonia readings between 0ppm and 0.25ppm from my api kit which is why I'm looking for a different kit to supplement the api. I checked out one of your experiments regarding the API ammonia test specifically before making the choice to get an additional test kit as well. I've never had any issues with api giving accurate readings but the fact that things like prime or other dechlorinators can creat that false positive has me hesitant to add any life to the tank outside of the macros and few small corals until i see no ammonia. 

 

Part of the reason i wanted to to this nano with macros and plan on using macros in my 40b when it is set up is because i really believe that the addition of macro algaes in the early stages of cycling can help reduce the cycle time. We all know that patience is key in this hobby but we also all know that new hobbyists and long time hobbyists alike have moments of impatience and may make the mistake of moving too fast resulting in tons of unfavorable outcomes. I'm far from the sharpest tool in the shed especially when it comes to analytical data however i hope that by the end of this contest I'll have some sort of base line data before the next project begins. Ideally I'd like to run them concurrently but funding may be an issue 😅 my fiance has yet to see the BRS charges from the last few days but she has also willingly contributed to the project without hesitation (she is a keeper for sure she always enables my hobbies lol and i enable hers). Hopefully with any luck the data i collect will be beneficial to the hobby in some way. People are always looking for the newest and fastest method to cycle a new tank, and i feel macros dont get near enough attention or credit (although their popularity is constantly growing) for their ability to speed that process up. Of course the choosing the right macros for the job is going to be a big part of the process and i believe this journey will definitely help. 

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11.9.21 updates: several changes happening soon...

First things first, I switched out my sicce nano stream pump for the aquamai  kps. Both are great pumps and move a good amount of water but the kps fits the space so much better. 

 

Second thing changing is the canister. As much as i love the ease of use, the pump is under way more stress than it should be and its causing a ton of micro bubbles not to mention a lot more noise then I'd like. I'll be switching to a make shift sump (basically just a dollar tree plastic shoe box with a return pump) it holds about 1.5 gallons and since I'll be shortening the length of tubing and removing the canister the total system volume will still remain within contest limitations. 

 

Third thing changing is the lighting. I got super lucky with the AI prime win from BRS and my hanging kit finally came in for it. I'm trying to decide if i want to mount it directly from the ceiling or make a shelf above the tank to mount it from. So many options lol I'm also switching to brightwell neomarine salt since i was already planning to use it for my 40 breeder. 

 

Now for the fun part! I've got some new growth popping up on some of the macros after only a week or so in the tank which makes me super happy! Im hoping that the lighting upgrade and salt change will increase the growth rate which would great! I'm starting to see pods running along the tank walls as well. Theres some green algae growth probably briopsis or some other filamentous algae. It doesnt seem to be causing any issue. I've been testing daily since the addition of the algae (prior to the algae i was testing every other day to watch for ammonia spike from die off on the live rock) and levels have been consistently at about 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and between 10 and 20ppm nitrates. pH has been consistent at 8 to 8.2 with little fluctuation and temp stays between 78.5 and 80.5. I have not yet tested for trace elements, however, the new growth leads me to believe that everything is happy and healthy. The little ricordea is doing very well so far, it's been out and open and hasnt moved from the rock i lightly glued it to. Theres a random piece of blue hypnea that likes this little spot on the sand next to the ricordea. If it starts to grow there i wont be upset at all 😅 who doesnt want a blue hypnea carpet after seeing those lovely aquascapes by @Tigahboy

 

I've got more surprises coming for this little guy can't wait to show them off! 

 

Photo dump time! 

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11.10.21 UPDATE: got the mini sump online and let me tell you that was a learning curve! Having never used one before i learned a very interesting and valuable lesson about water levels, flow rates, and siphons!! (I'll add a link to the video later once i figure out how to post it to either youtube or insta 😅

 

 

Now for the surprises! Lucky me they all came in today! Thats right! Mangroves to round out the macro algae. I also received a nice piece of GSP from @MikeW , another ricordea, zoa frag, and gorgonia from gulf coast ecosystems and I'm pretty sure i got a piece or a few pieces of branching coralline algae as well. I think im finally satisfied with the tank and im seeing a ton of pods all over took a while to get the pics i wanted without pods in the way 😅

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I think your tank looks great so far!

 

I just wanted to mention that it looks like your tank is supported just on two sides with pieces of plywood, the entire bottom of the tank needs to be on a flat surface to prevent abnormal loading .

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39 minutes ago, Cryolath said:

I think your tank looks great so far!

 

I just wanted to mention that it looks like your tank is supported just on two sides with pieces of plywood, the entire bottom of the tank needs to be on a flat surface to prevent abnormal loading .

Thanks for mentioning that. You are correct and I'll be fixing that issue as soon as possible (probably this weekend) gotta make a lowes run and grab some 2x4s. This was temporary to be able to add the sump. (None of that went as planned hence the 1to 2 gallons of water that ended up on the floor)

 

I'm trying to decide if i want to build a hood and separate base for the tank to sit on and possibly something to hide the sump. This old 20gallon long stand has got to go! It's just not pretty and I'm not sure what to do with it honestly. 

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Lots of things have happened recently. I went our of town for a weekend (due to a family emergency) leaving the tank alone for 2 days with return pump off to avoid possible flooding of the sump or possible burn out of the pump from evaporation. The macro mansion fared pretty well. Since the time frame was so short and I've been battling a bit of the uglies from trying to walk that fine line of not enough nutrients, just enough nutrients and way too much nutrients, I chose to leave the lights off for that period. Everything was alive and well when i returned home which made me very very happy. 

 

I've contemplated changing the tank so many times since deciding to join in and for the sake of my emptying pockets and overly indulgent but wonderful fiance that is nearing the end of her patience with the ever expanding costs of my now 5 soon to be 6 running tanks both fresh and marine, i decided to leave it as is and maybe start curing some rock and building tbe aquascaoe for my other project while leaving the 9to5 nano as is. 

That decision made I'll instead be doing my best to beautify this frankentank as I've lovingly dubbed it. I'm going to start by building wooden base for the tank to sit on and changing the stand out to something a little more aesthetically pleasing (for me and the fiance bc this tank stand is a bit of an eye sore) and either building a canopy that will have an opening just large enough for the AI prime i won to hang over and shine into with minimal light overspill or I'll build a reflector and hang the AI a bit higher off the tank. That is still rather up in the air (no pun intended). What i will likely do is grab a 8 to 12 ish gallon tank and put it in my storage unit as a possible back up if anything happens to the 9to5 tank before the contest ends. 

 

One other surprise that i hadn't shared with everyone here just yet.... The Mini Macro Mansion has residents!!! 

 

About a year or more ago now I won a raffle for a pair of designer clownfish from a longtime breeder and finally i had the right set of circumstances to allow me to have them shipped to me. Clownfish are definitely not native to the gulf of mexico but the size of these little black darwins is perfect for now to fit in the 9to5 mini macro mansion until the macro haven (40B) is up and going. They have been in the tank just over 15 days now and seem to be loving their little home.   

 Clean up crew including a peppermint shrimp that scares the ever loving crap out of me with his first molt in my tank has also been introduced for just over 3 weeks and I'm finally catching a glimpse of peppy every now and then. The clowns have not been named yet but their little personalities are adorable! They've taken well to the diy feeding ring and stick pretty close to it or the thermometer as often as possible constantly begging for food. 

 

I've started a brine shrimp hatchery as well to be able to give all of the tanks and fish a lovely live treat a few times a week. 

 

There has been a ton of growth and changes to the macro algaes. My dragons breath has pretty much walked all over the tank, all of the culerpra is thriving it seems and most of my other  red algaes are hanging in there pretty well? The GSP mat that was added not long ago is finally opening up and seems to be happier every day the gorgonia surprises me by how happy it also seems daily. The zoas are actually pretty picky so far. Dialing in the nicrew light is a bit challenging for me although i think I've about got it figured out now 😅 i hope. 

 

The jury is still very much out on whether or not i like sumps but i finally get the concept and understand why they are appealing. 

 

Anywho time for a photo sump!!! (Updated FTS is in the main description)  

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5 hours ago, Maas101 said:

That's a pretty box of ocean you have there. Looks really natural and I like it 👍

Thank you! I've been questioning myself a lot with this little box of ocean lol. All in all since the fish are happy the corals seem happy and healthy and the main focus, the algae are proliferating and growing well I'm ok with it all. I've got some nice big chunks of rock in there and i honestly want to rescape it so bad to better showcase the algae and give the fish a better habitat (a bigger cave or ledge to hide beneath). The pieces i have in there are beautiful and intricate and i feel their uniquness in shape is lost in this tiny box. If by chance i can come across some smaller shelf rock pieces i may change the scape to some type of floating platform with smaller profile island with cave below it. I'm still very much a novice when it comes to aquascaping. It helps knowing that it looks natural though 😁 I've been watching a lot of dive videos and following the real reef thread here for inspiration on my other build and i guess that influenced this one too. I went with a rock pile type of habitat for this one and tried to create apaces the critters would like. The algae I'm letting do its own thing it grows where it grows with minimal interference from me unless i see it causing problems (theres a piece of culerpra irritating my gorg that i need to move to a vetter spot) or if i see the macro deteriorating. 

 

Lighting has been another challenge. The nicrew light that came with this tank is a pretty powerfull little light but dialing in the preferred spectrum for both the corals and the macro has been trying right now i manually adjust the lighting based on the time of day. Since im working from home its not much of an issue but its tedious. I can not wait to switch to my AI but i have to get that mounted first. 

 

The next few weeks will mostly be diy project updates and progress photos 😅 i got a saw from lowes so i can stop asking my dad to help me build everything and driving 3.5hrs one way to bum his garage and tools.  

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I've seen many artfully constructed scapes that look simply stunning but a little like a manicured garden compared to a wildflower patch they may have the same plants but the effect is entirely different. I have done a fair few reef and lagoon dives and the reality is much closer to yours than it is to the precisely placed scapes. Neither is right or wrong, a tank of water in an office or living space is an entirely artificial environment, as long as the residents of the tank are properly cared for then it's all about what pleases you aesthetically.

 

Get more tools! I have a garage full and still lust after more, tools make stuff and making stuff is fun 😁

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24 minutes ago, chipz said:

I love the term "frankentank"! It's looking great, though. So natural with the mix of macroalgae and gorgonians.

Thank you! Im thinking about making a YT channell just for Frankentank lol 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to set up an emergency frag tank. I received a few pieces from a local hobbyist and also got an order in from a local shop that i won from a raffle back in September during a club meet up. Went to add and acclimate the corals to the new tank and decided to go ahead and do some testing since i fell behind for about a week or two due to some work changes and other things going on. 

 

Some how my fresh water for top off and my saltwater mix for up coming water change were switched around during the shuffling i had going on in the room with tanks moving for furniture to come in and instead of topping of with fresh i was topping off with my premixed (mixed it at home myself). I started noticing some unhappy corals beginning with my gorgonia, i didnt think much of it at first since i had read that like leathers they occasionally will shed as the grow, however, by the third or fourth day of no polyp extension was was really concerned about its health and happiness and it just so happened to be that same day that i got the shipment of new corals in. I'm glad i tested when i did bc my salinity had gotten up to 1.040 😬 not good! I've been removing several cups of saltwater and replacing it with the same amount of freshwater throughout my day with a few hours between each and testing my salinity after every other exchange. So far things are coming down but after doing this now for about 3 days its till above 35ppts, and i have had some loss of livestock 😣 i have had one of my baby black darwins jump out of the tank, lost a few of my clean up crew, and thankfully the other members of the crew did their job and removed most if not all of the unfortunate losses. I'm not really sure at this point whether or not i should do any additional water changes or if that would only create more problems. I've been adding prime and stability in small doses daily to make sure the bacteria and sump can keep up with any possible ammonia buildup and testing daily, so far ammonia and nitrite is still testing at undetectable levels (0ppm for both on API test kit). I'm reconsidering a partial reset of the system. I've already taken out some of the larger pieces of LR that was in the tank. One of which i placed into my impromptu frag tank, I've trimmed some of the macros back and traded them to a local fish store. I'd like to possibly add a shaving brush and some branching macros. 

 

Some pics from the frag tank today. I think I'm now obsessed with gonis and duncans 😅. My gorgonia in the main tank seems to be shedding, I'm going to try and take a water sample by the LFS to see if maybe my refractometer may be off a bit. My ricordea florida is still doing fine in the main tank as well as the macros that are still present. The remaining clown and peppermint shrimp are also fine, in fact it molted again and i saw it cleaning tbe underside of one of the rocks. I'm really doing my best to try and move slowly with bringing the salinity down, so far i havent seen any corals melting although two of my mushrooms (another ricordea and a small discosoma) have disappeared. I hope that once things are back in balance they will show up. Sadly, i lost a few fish in one of my freshwater tanks as well. With all this loss of fish (a first for me in quite a long time), I've been re evaluating my process and trying to find ways of preparing better for potential mishaps like the bucet switch. I think I'll be setting up a mixing station and changing some bucket colors and/or printing some labels for everything. The frag tank is doing very well although its only been up a few days. 

 

Since the unpleasant part of things is over I'll share some photos. In trying to bring this duncan and the zoas back after being in the main tank with such high salinity. I'm honestly so surprised that the peppermint shrimp and my remaining clown are still kicking after that disaster. I'm checking on them several times a day and investing in a better test kit. (I really want hanna checkers but dont know if i can afford those yet) next best thing will probably be either red sea or salifert kits. My LFS also uses api which I've never really had any issues with in all my years of fish keeping (and i still consider myself a novice) but i think i need some tests with higher propensity for accuracy. 

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