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nine2Five micro-reef 5


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 I'm gettin' better at sneaking up on you like this. 




I saw the little micro-reef tanks (somebody else bought one) and then I had to have one. 


Current Full Tank Shot:

IMG_4610.jpeg.090607b12f0569a010a29fd0af2953e4.jpegContest Entry Picture:





     * UNS 4gal cube




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Conclusion, summary, or thanks...



Reefin' 9 to 5, Brought to you by:

intanktemplate.jpg.858bfcd66a6d01fbb99cbe6d0beff090.jpg  &  nanoreeftemplate.jpg.4ff4c41570f99dd79c0198de114ce5e1.jpg


Dry tank:






  • Like 3
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7 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Slick little tank! I use the Original Magic Erasers to clean acrylic. Works great!

I tried it out, it works great! Thanks for the tip.

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Cloudy with a chance of diatoms.


I glued all the rocks together out of old live rock and dry rock, added it to the wet tank with some wet rubble and Cerith shells, from my other little pico.  I let it run for a day or so and added in a couple of hermit crabs ( a halloween and a scarlet) they are a bit on the inactive side, so a few days later I got a couple of tiiiiny little blue-legs hermits and added them as well.  that was all about 7 days ago. 


Also in the tank are a couple of big conus shells I purchased on Etsy, and finally I added zooanthid frag (it has a couple of polyps on it) that I had knocked off the rock from my other pico.  It was stuck in a little hole in the rock and not open, it has still not opened.  I'll wait another month to panic over it.


I found an aptasia anemone on one of the pieces of rubble a couple of days ago.  I put his chunk of rubble in a cup of fresh water for 8 hours or so and put it back in.  I haven't seen any more aptasia since.  


The tank is kind of foggy, the crabs are active.  I've fed them a few goldfish pellets in the last week.  


Diatoms are without a doubt starting to grow on everything.  my hope is to change water in another 4-6 weeks or so, and that the water will look better, and then start changing every week.  


I have the light running at about 12 watts or so with the kind of 'BRS prime video',  purples a little higher than the blues and some white and some green profile thing, It's about 8-9 inches from the water probably. 


I don't really have high hopes that this tank is going to be looking all that great by the end of the contest in April or May or whatever, and I don't really have any concrete ideas about stocking it either, we'll see what happens.  I do plan on keeping it up and running indefinitely, I'd like to possible add some macro algae to it at some point maybe? I'm not sure. 


I'm running the aio filter with nothing in it now, no floss, no carbon etc, just a heater and only the return pump.  I gotta say, with the lid and the soft flow and the ink bird controller, the salinity and the temp seem pretty stable.  My little bow front 3.5 with the partial lid with seems to have a lot more evaporation.


The acrylic lids seem to warp every couple of days, and are kind of a PITA, but I just flip them over and they rewarp in the other direction.     





 I put the rock formation on the left in the water maybe a week ago, and starting last night it started having a bunch of micro bubbles, the chunk of pukani (dried out) I put in there yesterday doesn't really have them yet.  


Bubbles are actually coming out of the rock and hitting the surface of the tank as I type.  I'm guessing this means there is something growing In there.  I'm guessing the pukani will have micro bubbles in about a week or so.  





  • Like 4
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  • 2 weeks later...

How come you're doing this then?


Because I ain't got nothin' better to do.


It's greening up a little bit, I think it's still kind of cloudy looking.  I added some tigger pods and I've been giving it a drop or so of phyto feast, there are pods all over the place. One of the tiny blue leg crabs swapped into a bigger shell, but I haven't seen a molt yet.  I tested the water and there was a little bit of ammonia, no nitrites though.  I ordered eco-pods and some live phyto from algae barn along with the PNS purple and yellow stuff. I'll be podding this tank with those and switching to the live stuff (and the same in my other little tank too).  I think I was seeing Dino's in this tank initially, there were lots of bubbles, I could blow them off with a turkey baster, I didn't see them in the morning, but they would be there by the evening.  I turned down my light intensity a bit, added the pods and started with the phyto feast, they seem to not be coming back.   I don't know if they are possibly part of bringing up a new tank with dry rock, it's my first time, since '89 or so anyway 🙂


This picture is after the lights have been on all day.  and I scrubbed the inside, a bit half-heartedly, with a magic eraser, and polished the outside with a microfiber cloth.  This is my first acrylic tank too. 



  • Like 6
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How is it with stains?


A montipora frag, I think it's called a chili pepper and a trochus snail were added to the tank last week.  It seems like they're doing ok so far. About half the water got changed too.


The tank has good bit of ugly brown algae growing everywhere. It needs cleaning from the glass every day at this point, or there is a pretty thick film building up.


The pods are swimming all over the place, they're getting a little live phyto every day. 


The tank has measurable nitrates and I think a little ammonia still.  It had about the same ammonia level, according to the API at the shop kit about 3 weeks ago, but no nitrates so things seem to be happening. 


Here's a couple of pictures, the polyps on the monti look quite a bit more red to my eye than in the pictures, and the tank looks much browner fuzzier and nastier than it does in the pictures too.


Though not  very active, the Halloween crab sure is a looker when he actually decides to shuffle around and stir up the detritus a little bit.






  • Like 10
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  • 3 weeks later...

...as we meet in the struggle of life... or death.

A gob of frags were added a few weeks ago, unfortunately right after, that the Chili-pepper monti bleached brown then light grey and seems to have stayed that way ever since.  I really have no idea why the demise other than, I know I used a little bit of kicker, when I glued the frags onto the rock.


Water has been changed once (about 90%) and I cleaned out the pump. 


Live phyto continues to be fed (about 2-5mg) a day, I don't see tones of little pods swimming around now though, just a few.  I've also dosed AB+ a couple times and a little bit of reef-chili and some PNS purple algae and PNS yellow snow, but not all of it at one time or every day or much of any of it. 


more rocks were glued onto the skeleton, it looks a little chunkier now.  


Other than the green monti rapid die off, everything seems to be reasonably happy.  I don't like how stretched those zoanthids in the front are.  The zoanthids in the back are flat and relaxed.  I'm not changing the lights yet in any case.  I think the favia (I bought it kind of bleached) is coloring up slowly. 


I've been doing some really tiny water changes with a turkey baster, i'm using it to suck out detritus and replacing the water with salt water.  This amounts to between a 1Pint and 1 Quart at a time.   (not every day, a couple of times a week)


Lights are running at 10W purples > blues > whites and some dark red, and it's about 8-10 inches over the glass. 


Tank doesn't seem to be getting overwhelming amounts of algae  be-it ugly or pretty.


I had the water tested again yesterday, I still have a trace of ammonia, I guess it really does take a while to cycle in dead-rock, bare bottom with no additional media or carbon etc.  I'm planning on waiting it out, not adding bottle bacteria or any media in the AIO for now.






  • Like 3
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13 hours ago, A.m.P said:

If you're using API ammonia it's famous for false positives.

That's its rap.  However, I'm almost sure that API's ammonia test kit doesn't yield false positives.  It does, however, display color changes with low levels of ammonia (sometimes as low as to not cause any noticeable problems, and low enough for other test kits not to register a color change).  It's simply a very sensitive test kit.  If anything, I wish they'd reflect this sensitivity on their color chart.  I plan to write an article about this sometime in the future.

  • Like 5
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Mind you drop water on 'em occasional and keep 'em damp


A few more frags have been added, a couple of leptoseris, another zoanthid frag and a couple more favia frags.


It looks like the flame-boi is continuing to color up and even get a little texture, but over the last couple of days it has a weird spot on it, I probably banged into it with a turkey baster or something.


Everything seems like it's looking ok, but It doesn't seem to be undergoing what I'd call furious growth yet or anything.  The alkalinity doesn't seem to be lowering.   


I've only done 2x total water changes on this tank so far, I've been changing a quart or two of water at a time a couple of times a week and sucking most of the water that's getting replaced out with a turkey baster concentrating on detritus removal.  I'm trying to keep some nitrate in the tank, I haven't actually measured it for a couple weeks though. The last time I had the water tested the Ammonia had settled down to a true 0 on with the API test at my local fish shop, and there was a little nitrate. 


filter floss was added to the overflow for the first time yesterday, it's poly stuff they use for quilts.  I stirred up the tank up pretty well and the floss picked up some goop, so it shall get swapped out tomorrow.


The coral's colors seem pretty good, and the water is looking nice and clear so that's heartening.  


All of the live phyto is gone, so it hasn't been getting that, but It's getting some reef-chili, AB+ aminos, yellow-snow and brine shrimp, and some pellets for the crabs.  


The light is running at 10watts and out of acclimation mode now.  There is still some green/brown algae growing, but it doesn't seem to be overwhelming anything, if it gets bad I'll run blues only on it for a while maybe? 


 I think I'll wait at least a couple of weeks before I add any more inhabitants to it. 





the "old" zoas.



the new zoas, the hammer and one of the new leptos. 



Acans, rhodactus and ricordia.  When fed brine the rhodactus balloons inside out and obviously loves to eat.




Flame-boi (see troubling dark spot) It looks white to the naked eye.




One of the new favia corals.



on the right you can see two of new leptos.  That brown patch with the bright yellow dot is one of them, it was a frag pulled out of my little bow front.image.jpg

  • Like 6
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I didn't take a picture, but I noticed that the purple and green favia next to this flame-boi (I really don't like that name but whatever) had some tentacles out this morning (they were probably 1/2'' long max and nowhere near the flame-boi, but is it possible that it could have been stung by purple/green ?  I kind of thought that favia would tolerate each other, but what do I know? 



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Yesterday a surprisingly large glob of dark goop came out of this spot on the purple seashell (it was the halloween crab's shell before he relocated).  It was kind of sticking to the shell and I blew it off with a turkey baster and squirted into the filter floss.   This morning I noticed this guy sticking out.   I recall another glob of goop coming out of it maybe 2-3 weeks ago.  


Ideas about what it is?  


I've named it "eep!". 



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