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Lakedawgs 13.5


lakedawgs

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lakedawgs

Howdy,

I have had 2 small reef tanks in the past but have been out of the hobby for 8-9 years.  Picked up a Fluval EVO 13.5 and have just set it up and am currently cycling.

Thought I would start a journal thread. 

A buddy is tearing down his 90 gallon in mid April.  He is offering me some different polyps, a small hammer coral, a leather, a trumpet and some other small stuff.  Really lucky timing on my part for sure.

 

Fluval EVO 13.5

Upgraded the pump to a Tunze Silence pump

Cobalt 75 watt heater

13-14# of live rock from a friend (only out of the water, covered with a wet towel, for about an hour, hoping for a short cycle)

7-8# of Carib Sea 'Super Naturals' sand paired with 8-9# of crushed coral

 

Not sure I love the initial rockwork.  I might break up the large slab on the left side, it is pretty big for this small tank.

Thanks for checking out my new setup, much more to come.

Lakedawgs

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lakedawgs

Had a couple of small corals on the live rock my buddy gave me.

Some brown polyps and not sure what the other one attached to the empty snail shell is.

 

Lakedawgs

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Christopher Marks

Welcome back @lakedawgs!

 

That looks like a leather coral of some kind on the snail shell. How nice to have a friend for coral frags!

 

Breaking up that big rock would give you more aquascape options, I agree. 🙂 

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lakedawgs

It is just really good timing with a buddy tearing down his tank after my cycle offering me basically anything I want from his tank.  I am only taking small stuff but yes I feel super lucky with this as I am on  a budget.  I have been able to put $$ in to the upgraded pump, heater and some other items. 

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lakedawgs

I ended up breaking up the big rock in my tank and redoing the layout.  Will post a pic when things clear up.

I found a snail I have not seen before.

Anyone  know if this is a good guy or bad guy? Pretty small, maybe 1/3".

THANKS
Lakedawgs

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NanoGrant

Tank is coming along nicely and your new scape looks a lot better! 
 

Good shout on getting rid of that snail. It looks like a sundial (eats zoas) which also has vermetid snails on it. 

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Cool man, I like the new rockscape. Do you have the top rocks secured together somehow?  That top right one makes me nervous

 

I've just started cycling my first reef tank last night, also a fluval 13.5.

 

Good luck!

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lakedawgs

Hooked up with a local reefer that is into fragging and not trying to get rich off of it, lucky for me.

Picked up 6 frags, a couple different colorful zoas, Jack-O-Lantern Lepto, Prizm Favia, Tropic Thunder Monti and a some Green Paly's, all for $75.

 

All seem to be looking good after a couple of days in the tank,

Pics to follow once I learn how to take some good ones with only the actinic lights on.

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lakedawgs

I cut the stems off of the frag plugs I got and glued a few to rocks with the super glue sandwich method.  Super glue gel, JB Weld 'Water Weld', Super Glue gel.  Seemed to work well. 

Question, one of the frag plugs is made of ceramic, how do I cut the stem off that thing?

THANKS

Lakedawgs

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lakedawgs

Did a little lighting upgrade.  A week or so ago I added a 12", 9 watt, actinic blue ReeBar from 21LedUSA.com.  It fit nicely in the hood and I really like what it added so I got a second one.  2 bars and the power supply were $42 shipped.

I added a Nicrew Light Controller to ramp my stock light from 0-50% power over a 1.5 hour period for sunrise and sunset.  

I just added the second light today and added some silicone because I am paranoid.  The lights are well made and well sealed but again I am paranoid. So I will not install the new lights over the tank until tomorrow.  The one ReefBar at full power and the factory light at 50% really took away the overly white light that the factory light provides.  

There was zero heat issues, for me, with one light and I am sure adding the second one will not make a difference. 

The only thing I need to change is to get shorter screws for mounting and use black cap nuts so the outside of the hood looks clean.

I will report after I have had both new lights up and running for a bit. 

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lakedawgs

Thanks @devilduck, I am at 100% on the ReefBars and 50% on the stock light.  Too much white light. I will drop down to 30-40% and test.

Did you see good coral growth at 30-40%.

 

Thanks much,

Lakedawgs

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I run mine with a dimmer only at 60% as I didnt like the additional blues that i put on the tank and have good growth on Soft Corals and Anemones. Basically set the lighting to what you like to look at and if you keep the parameters stable then the corals should adapt 

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lakedawgs

I have been running the two added ReefBars for a couple of days.

The first pic with the stock light at 30% and the ReefBars at full.

The second pic is with the stock light at 50% and Reefbars at full.

I will like just with the stock light at 50% and Reefbars at full.

 

Need to get through the 'ugly phase'.

 

Thanks much,

Lakedawgs

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NanoGrant

This is coming together nicely!

 

Lighting looks much better with the two reefbars, and that is a great DIY install you’ve done. 

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lakedawgs

Thanks

I am happy with it but the silver screws sticking out look ugly.  I need to stop being lazy and cut them down and get some black cap nuts that will look much better.

 

I have been getting in to water testing.  My Calcium is very low, 125 and my Alkalinity is at 5.7.  Magnesium is fine.  Just did this today.  I am going to do a water change in a couple of days and test for a week to develop a baseline.  I am thinking about using B-Ionic 2 part.  As I work from home the idea of micro-dosing by hand is appealing. 

 

Any thoughts on B-Ionic 2 part?  How do you guys handle Calcium and Alk in your nanos?  Installing an auto dosing system is not an option.

THANKS

Lakedawdgs

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DevilDuck

This doesn’t sound right. What brand of salt are you using and what is your salinity at? Mix a fresh batch of salt water and test it. Post your results here.

 

 there is nothing in the tank that is should be consuming that much calcium and alkalinity.

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NanoGrant
9 hours ago, lakedawgs said:

Thanks

I am happy with it but the silver screws sticking out look ugly.  I need to stop being lazy and cut them down and get some black cap nuts that will look much better.

 

I have been getting in to water testing.  My Calcium is very low, 125 and my Alkalinity is at 5.7.  Magnesium is fine.  Just did this today.  I am going to do a water change in a couple of days and test for a week to develop a baseline.  I am thinking about using B-Ionic 2 part.  As I work from home the idea of micro-dosing by hand is appealing. 

 

Any thoughts on B-Ionic 2 part?  How do you guys handle Calcium and Alk in your nanos?  Installing an auto dosing system is not an option.

THANKS

Lakedawdgs

I’ve not used the product you mention but I can highly recommend Tropic Marin All-For-Reef. It’s 1 part dosing and everything is balanced, so no trying to balance alk with calc/mag. 
 

I also dose it manually throughout the day to keep things a bit more stable.

 

The big plus for me is that a 500ml bottle will last me over a year so it’s very economical. 
 

1 hour ago, DevilDuck said:

This doesn’t sound right. What brand of salt are you using and what is your salinity at? Mix a fresh batch of salt water and test it. Post your results here.

 

 there is nothing in the tank that is should be consuming that much calcium and alkalinity.

Agree it would be interesting to see what your fresh mix tests come out at.
 

 

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lakedawgs

As suggested I am going post some daily test results.

I also wanted to mention, a few days ago I added some new coral frags.  A couple of Zoas, a small (1"x1.5") Favia, a similarly small Lepto and a little Monti about the size of a quarter.

 

I am using Reef Crystals, SG is 1.025

I am using Salifert test kits.

 

I tested freshly mixed saltwater today and will do a 17% (it's how the math works out) water change with this water tomorrow and post test result each day.

 

Sunday, fresh saltwater

Calcium  490

Magnesium 1380

Alkalinity  8.5

 

Thanks, looking forward to getting my water chemistry in track.

Lakedawgs 

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lakedawgs

Here is my Monday readings from the tank.

 

  Calcium Magnesium Alkalinity  
Sunday 3/13/22 490 1380 8.5 Mixed Saltwater
Monday 3/14/22 480 1320 6.1

Aquarium Sample

 

Thanks

Lakedawgs

 

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lakedawgs

Tuesday's readings

  Calcium Magnesium Alkalinity  
Sunday 3/13/22 490 1380 8.5 Mixed Saltwater
Monday 3/14/22 480 1320 6.1 Aquarium Sample
Tuesday 3/15/22 450 1320 5.4 Aquarium Sample

 

Thanks 
Lakedawgs

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