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schg's Ultum Nature Systems 45u


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Cycle complete!

 

I'm actually pretty shocked at how well the Dr Tims One and Only / Ammonium Chloride worked, with ammonia and nitrite both at 0 and Nitrate at roughly 5-10ppm right now. I also had diatoms start yesterday, and a small bit of green hair algae start today. I'm going to consider my cycle done, and probably will pick up a few small snails and blue leg hermits tomorrow.

 

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Things are looking quite ugly right now, which I figured I should document because why not? I have also had an issue with both wavemakers I purchased, and am going to return them both in favor of the Aqamai KPS which should be here Wednesday.

 

The first pump I purchased, the Hygger Mini 1600, was just too damn powerful and blew my sand away from the corner as you can see in the above photo. I actually kind of like the sand at this point, and may keep it like this...I'm not 100% sure on that. The second pump, the Jebao SLW-5, was way too noisy and didn't feel like it was going to last long term. I guess I can't cheap out as much as I would like to!

 

Thoughts on the sand? I'm torn if I want to even it back out again or pretend this is more "natural" and keep it like this.

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1 hour ago, schg said:

 

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Thoughts on the sand? I'm torn if I want to even it back out again or pretend this is more "natural" and keep it like this.

I love your aquascape! If you are planning to add a pistol shrimp and goby you might as well leave it to them to re-scape the sand as they see fit. I've always loved my pistol/goby pairs, but they have their own aesthetic opinions 🤷 I just bought one of these little tanks today so I can set up a separate tank for a tiger pistol that is causing too much chaos in it's current tank.

 

BTW, even though I currently I have a yasha/candy cane pair in another tank (and love the yasha), I am a sucker for the hi-fin gobies, like you. The black/white striping and yellow face are just so cute!

 

 

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12 hours ago, chipz said:

I love your aquascape! If you are planning to add a pistol shrimp and goby you might as well leave it to them to re-scape the sand as they see fit. I've always loved my pistol/goby pairs, but they have their own aesthetic opinions 🤷 I just bought one of these little tanks today so I can set up a separate tank for a tiger pistol that is causing too much chaos in it's current tank.

 

BTW, even though I currently I have a yasha/candy cane pair in another tank (and love the yasha), I am a sucker for the hi-fin gobies, like you. The black/white striping and yellow face are just so cute!

 

 

 

Thank you! I have been moving some of the rock around a bit, but am feeling pretty good about that side of things at the moment. Good point about the sand with a goby / shrimp combo, perhaps I introduce them first and let them have their way with the sand to see what happens.

 

And it really is, I love the coloration on them. They were also one of my first fish, we purchased a hi fin and candy cane pistol about 15 years ago when we first started with reef tanks. I haven't had one since, so I would love to enjoy that again!

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Reefkid88

I think that would be a great combo for this tank honestly. 

 

 On a side note,I found a 10" rimless Aqueon cube locally for $10 I might snag,I guess the dude had a betta in it that died lol. Poor fella. 

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58 minutes ago, Reefkid88 said:

I think that would be a great combo for this tank honestly. 

 

 On a side note,I found a 10" rimless Aqueon cube locally for $10 I might snag,I guess the dude had a betta in it that died lol. Poor fella. 

 

Oh noooo, that is sad lol. I still have the old tank that I haven't returned yet, since I had already thrown away the packaging. I'm not sure if I can still return it without that, so if not perhaps a betta is in my future lmao.

 

But I wouldn't blame you for grabbing that, its a great tank for even the price I paid, but at $10 its a steal.

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Reefkid88

Well,I meeeean you could always just sump this tank with that tank. Just saying 🤷‍♂️ !!! 

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On 6/7/2022 at 5:33 PM, Reefkid88 said:

Well,I meeeean you could always just sump this tank with that tank. Just saying 🤷‍♂️ !!! 

lol nah I’m good, that would require me to rethink my whole filtration method and I don’t know if I’m prepared to do that right now. 
 

 

Ended up returning the other two pumps and got an Aqamai KPS, which seems like a fantastic solution for my tank. It certainly takes me even further above my budget, but that’s what reef tanks are for. 
 

I also started my clean up crew today, grabbing some Astrea snails, a Nassarius, some Blue Legged Hermit Crabs, and a Green Mithrax Crab. They are going to order me a Hi-Fin Goby as well, which should be here next week I imagine. 

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Reefkid88

Very true,always keep it as a frag tank in the future,or a QT ? Or stash it away until you need it its certainly small enough to lol. 

 

 Heck yeah,this is moving along nicely. I might actually get my tank wet this weekend and get the cycle going. Got the AIO section glued in,just need to make 1 or maybe 2 baffles for it and she is golden. 

 

 Just manually top it off until I order the ATO. 

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13 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

Very true,always keep it as a frag tank in the future,or a QT ? Or stash it away until you need it its certainly small enough to lol. 

 

 Heck yeah,this is moving along nicely. I might actually get my tank wet this weekend and get the cycle going. Got the AIO section glued in,just need to make 1 or maybe 2 baffles for it and she is golden. 

 

 Just manually top it off until I order the ATO. 

 

 

Perhaps! I did go to Petco last night and it was right on the return line, but they had issues with their system and said if I come back tonight I can return it still, so I probably will just do that.

 

That is also where I got my Mithrax Crab, who I was hoping MIGHT go after the algae that I had but didn't have much confidence in. As I was looking at the algae, I realized it was not green hair algae, but it was most likely a form of bryopsis since I saw branching fern like strands. Either way, the Mithrax CRUSHED it overnight, and it appears to be 100% gone. I love Mithrax crabs!

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Picked up a cute little sharknose goby today, after going into my fourth shop and not being able to find a hi-fin goby. Everyone says they can order one, but don’t really know if they’ll get it and when. But I did decide I’d rather have 2-3 small gobies than a clown, so I’m going that route instead. 
 

Also picking up some free coral tomorrow, a few local club members have generously offered after I posted on my local forum asking to buy frags. 

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Super jealous! Shark nose gobies are my absolute favorite but I just caved and bought a plain old captive bred neon goby because I couldn't find a shark nose locally. I love the multiple small gobies idea, too. That's what I am doing in my 40gallon. Are you going to keep looking for the hi-fin, or choose different small gobies?

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On 6/12/2022 at 1:49 AM, Reefkid88 said:

Oh snap,I am super envious right now !!! 

 

On 6/12/2022 at 9:44 AM, chipz said:

Super jealous! Shark nose gobies are my absolute favorite but I just caved and bought a plain old captive bred neon goby because I couldn't find a shark nose locally. I love the multiple small gobies idea, too. That's what I am doing in my 40gallon. Are you going to keep looking for the hi-fin, or choose different small gobies?

 

lol I didn't realize sharnkose gobies were something to be envied! Granted, I have always loved them, but I feel like I seem them for sale often enough that I thought they were more of a staple in the nano-reef world.

 

I do plan on continuing looking for the hi-fin, as I really wanted to center the tank around that pairing, and then will see if I feel confident enough to add a third goby (either green banded or red headed).

 

 

I picked up a bunch of free frags last weekend, mostly zoas and palys with a few SPS, a ricordia, and some pulsing Xenia mixed in 😱 I'm not sure if I want to actually house Xenia in this tank, but my wife does love it so maybe I'll let it stay for now... I will also be picking up a few more frags possibly this weekend and some more at the beginning of July from two other local club members (well, one is also a member on here with some really killer tanks! @YHSublime)

 

This tank might be filling out a lot quicker than I anticipated, but I won't be mad about that!

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Picked up a nice little Rock Flower Anemone today, as well as some Nano Conch Snails (strombus maculatus) which I had in my previous tank and always loved them. I’ve always had a hard time finding them, but a local reefer has kept up breeding them for about 20 years. 
 

I know I should take some pictures of the additions I keep talking about, I’ll try to do that soon…

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Alright, I grabbed two quick shots since I hadn't actually taken any with anything inside of the tank, but I feel like I need to try a different lens with this camera for reef stuff. I used to shoot with my Nikon, and feel like I had way better results than I'm getting on my Canon.

 

Full tank shot with some of the inhabitants visible:

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And a shot of the Rock Flower Anemone, which looks better in person than this lighting shows:

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Picking up some more coral tomorrow, and may make a trip this weekend to grab some micro brittle stars and coral from another local reefer.

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Reefkid88

Oh boy she is looking full already. Its gonna be good though. I see that Goby out front and center though !!! 

 

 I also liked my Canon for shoot over my Nikon,for some reason the senor seemef better for leds. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 5:52 PM, Reefkid88 said:

Oh boy she is looking full already. Its gonna be good though. I see that Goby out front and center though !!! 

 

 I also liked my Canon for shoot over my Nikon,for some reason the senor seemef better for leds. 

 

lol you have no idea.... I have acquired even more since that picture, most of which was free. I ended up cutting a few polyps off most of the zoas and glued them down to the rock on the left, and now need to find a home for the remaining frag plugs to clear my sand bed. This tank is going to be FULL before I know it.

 

I also may be getting a Fiji-12 sump for an absolute steal, and likely will purchase a glass overflow so I can sump this bad boy instead... I didn't plan on going this route, but it would be nice to get the ATO sensor out of the display...

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I know I just posted about possibly going the sumped route, but I wanted to get some ideas out there for feedback. If I go this route, I'm going to do a glass overflow, such as the VIV brand one, which includes the return line as well. Easy enough.

 

In an effort to keep things even cleaner than I have now, I am thinking about ditching the Aqamai wavemaker but keeping the glass lily pipes to make a closed loop wavemaker setup. Does anyone have any experience with any of the cheaper DC wavemaker pumps, such as the Jebao DCQ-3500 or the AQQA 800? IF either of these work well, it would really get me damn close to my ideal clean setup while not losing out on any functionality...

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I bought the same tank today from Petco since it was on sale, and I noticed you cleaned up the silicone and it it looks great. How did you go about that? Did you basically reseal it, or trimmed the inside corners?

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15 hours ago, Draco said:

I bought the same tank today from Petco since it was on sale, and I noticed you cleaned up the silicone and it it looks great. How did you go about that? Did you basically reseal it, or trimmed the inside corners?

So I did that on the 3 gallon before I swapped to the 6, and decided not to do it on the 6 since I was a bit more afraid of the water volume being problematic. I just used a sharp razor blade and cut along the glass, then peeled the silicone bead away. I honestly should have run a smaller and cleaner silicone bead inside after cleaning everything up to avoid leaks, but I water tested for 48 hours without any issues...

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5 minutes ago, schg said:

So I did that on the 3 gallon before I swapped to the 6, and decided not to do it on the 6 since I was a bit more afraid of the water volume being problematic. I just used a sharp razor blade and cut along the glass, then peeled the silicone bead away. I honestly should have run a smaller and cleaner silicone bead inside after cleaning everything up to avoid leaks, but I water tested for 48 hours without any issues...

Thanks for the reply! I was concerned about the stability of the seams if I'd trim away. Not sure if its a risk worth taking

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Reefkid88

Thankfully my 6g cube the silicone seams were basically perfect. Just at the top where whom ever whipped the silicone gun away from was little whip tails I judt had to clean up. I would have moved to resilcioned mine in black. 

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4 hours ago, Draco said:

Thanks for the reply! I was concerned about the stability of the seams if I'd trim away. Not sure if its a risk worth taking

 

Of course! Yeah, I agree, it probably isn't worth it overall. I was just coming from an ADA aquarium as my previous rimless cube, so I was spoiled with better glass and silicone 😛

 

3 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

Thankfully my 6g cube the silicone seams were basically perfect. Just at the top where whom ever whipped the silicone gun away from was little whip tails I judt had to clean up. I would have moved to resilcioned mine in black. 

 

Yeah this one I got is actually a lot better than the first one anyway, so I didn't really worry about it. I did clean up the top of each seam as well though!

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Starting to stock up:

 

I mentioned earlier that I have acquired a ton of stuff already, but I haven't really photographed much of it. I honestly need to figure out my photography with this tank, as I really just can't get things how I want them to be. I didn't try very hard here, but I think I may pick up a new lens soon for the reef stuff. I promise I can take decent photos, but usually only of my car!

 

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Anyway, here are some tank shots:

 

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Full tank shot as of today.

 

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Bloodsuckers, unknown yellow zoas with orange skirt, and some various SPS up above

 

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Two different type of GSP, going to make the more neon one more of a focus in the front left corner of the tank

 

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Mummy Eye chalice

 

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Baby Jawbreaker mushrooms, one is about the size of a nickel and the other is about half a dime

 

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Unsure what these are, half are more green and half more yellow, they were next to some Pandoras but have no pink in the body

 

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Pandoras, Utter Peace (maybe?), and Oxides

 

 

I will try to grab some actually decent photos soon, and will be clearing up my sandbed today by giving all the stuff I didn't want to glue down to a local reefer. Picking a bit more up this weekend as well.

 

One side note; I updated the first page of my thread to clean things up a bit, showcasing what was paid and when I acquired literally everything in this build. I plan to keep updating this, including maintenance costs, just to be a bit more up front about how much a tank of this size can cost and how much I am getting for free. I am not factoring in gas driving to get this free coral, which I probably should since it is so damn expensive right now! 😐

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  • schg changed the title to schg's Ultum Nature Systems 45u

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