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Reef Casa Studio 12 Dream Build


416Reefer

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Welcome to my build thread for my new Reef Casa Studio 12 tank.  I started out in the reefing hobby with a nano tank, worked my way up to larger tanks and now want to apply everything I have learned to create a dream nano tank and the Reef Casa Studio 12 is the perfect canvas.  

 

After much consideration I decided to go with Staxx rocks and a sand bottom.  I initially was planning on using Hawaiian black sand but changed my mind once I realized it was magnetic and may scratch my glass while cleaning.  I paired the tank with the Reef Casa Halo light and a 50 watt heater.  Since I don’t have room for an auto top off reservoir I am using a quarantine box hung on the back of the tank as a makeshift ATO reservoir.  I’m not sure if this is a long term solution but it works for now.

 

Setting the tank up was a breeze.  The glass is very clear and the silicone on the seams is high quality.  The included return pump is quiet and moves the water well, although I think I may upgrade to the available Random Flow Generator once I add corals because I want to try and avoid adding a wavemaker.  The tank is now fully cycled and over the next week or so I will start to add corals.  My plan is to work on one section at a time, unlike in the past when I just randomly placed corals.  I’ve also never kept rock flower anemones so I hope to create a garden of them as well, although they are a little bit difficult to find.

 

I will post again once I add corals and get this great little tank officially underway!

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Thanks for the welcome !  Hope your tank is going well! What equipment are you running on it ?

I am having trouble being patient about adding corals to my Reef Casa Studio 12.  I decided to add a zoa rock from my established tank that I am not too attached to in order to make sure that the tank is ready for corals.  I also picked up a nice red and pink rock flower anemone.  I definitely need to get a coral lens to cancel out some of the blue light. 
 

Now that there are corals in the tank I am going to start by running each of the blue channels at 40% and the white channel at 5% and make adjustments as necessary.  The plan is also to do 20% water changes every other week when I change the water in my larger system.  I decided against plumbing the two tanks together so the Reef Casa could act as a "lifeboat" tank in case something happens to my larger tank.  

 

As long as everything goes well this week the plan is to add my blasto garden on the weekend.  Fingers crossed!

 

I am going to try and avoid dosing initially and maintain major and minor elements through water changes only, although that might not work as the tank gets more mature.
 
As long as everything goes well this week the plan is to add my blasto garden on the weekend.  Fingers crossed!

 

 
 

 
Now that there are corals in the tank I am going to start by running each of the blue channels at 40% and the white channel at 5% and make adjustments as necessary.  The plan is also to do 20% water changes every other week when I change the water in my larger system.  I decided against plumbing the two tanks together so the Reef Casa could act as a "lifeboat" tank in case something happens to my larger tank.  
 
I am going to try and avoid dosing initially and maintain major and minor elements through water changes only, although that might not work as the tank gets more mature.
 
As long as everything goes well this week the plan is to add my blasto garden on the weekend.  Fingers crossed!

I am going to try and avoid dosing initially and maintain major and minor elements through water changes only, although that might not work as the tank gets more mature.

 
As long as everything goes well this week the plan is to add my blasto garden on the weekend.  Fingers crossed!
 
Now that there are corals in the tank I am going to start by running each of the blue channels at 40% and the white channel at 5% and make adjustments as necessary.  The plan is also to do 20% water changes every other week when I change the water in my larger system.  I decided against plumbing the two tanks together so the Reef Casa could act as a "lifeboat" tank in case something happens to my larger tank.  
 
I am going to try and avoid dosing initially and maintain major and minor elements through water changes only, although that might not work as the tank gets more mature.
 
As long as everything goes well this week the plan is to add my blasto garden on the weekend.  Fingers crossed!
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The zoa rock is doing well and so now I think it’s time to add corals.  I have decided to keep it simple (hopefully) to start and started with a couple of rock flower anemones.  I had been told that they are more likely than other anemones to stay put once placed…. And while this may be the experience of some hobbyists it certainly wasn’t mine!  One beautiful red one has decided to hide under a rock ledge and the other has wedged itself so far into a crevice that it is basically invisible.  I don’t want to damage them trying to remove them so I’m going to adjust lighting and flow to see if I can coax them out.  If anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

 

The Blaso garden is going much more smoothly.  I have added 4 dfifferent types of blastos to a single rock ledge and also couldn’t resist picking up a great looking DMT mushroom.  I am really going to try and avoid spur of the moment coral purchases and focus on planning but I couldn’t pass up the mushroom!  I will post a few more pictures once they have had a couple of days to acclimitize and open up.

 

I also picked up a Reef Casa random flow generator and immediately noticed a fair amount of detritus being kicked up off the rocks and sucked into the filtration box.  I think it will be helpful in keeping the tank clean.  I am also starting to think that my single snail is going to need some reinforcements to keep the tank clean.  

 

All in all I would say so far good!

 

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The corals seem to be adjusting nicely to the tank, although the Rock Flower Anemones are still not co-operating.  I also picked up a coral lens for my camera and the pictures are much clearer now.   I’m going to keep the lighting as it is at this point and maybe slowly ramp it up in a few weeks.

 

I am going to work ledge by ledge… trying to avoid encrusting corals because there is so little space.  I also have lots of euphyllia in my other tank so I think I will try to restrict myself to one very nice hammer coral on the right side ledge.  I’ve never had luck with torch corals in any of my tanks so I will avoid them as well.   If anyone has any suggestions for other gardens I can create I’d love to hear them.  I think I want to have a show stopper plate coral on the sandbed as well.  The key will be waiting for the perfect pieces.  I also added a Raptors Peace Favia and moved the zoa rock back to my other tank. They were too dull for this build. 

 

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  • Like 5
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Looks great! Welcome to nano-reef, excited to follow along. :welcome:
 

I love your Staxx scape, great job with it. Good to know that rock flowers may hide in the crevices like that though. I think the blasto garden will look amazing!
 

 

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Thanks ! The rock flowers are still on the move. I guess in hindsight really porous rock work and rock flowers maybe don’t mix.  I didn’t realize how impossible it is to move them once they settle.  Tank #4 and I’m still being surprised! I am going to get a couple more and let them settle on the right side of the tank and just work on the left side for now.   

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Not a whole lot has changed this week.  I did move a Florida Ricordea mushroom from my large tank into the Reef Casa nano.  I thought it would get more love in a smaller tank and it looks great under the Halo light, which I have been very impressed with.

 

The blastos have settled in nicely and are starting to puff up.. I think they may be too close together and I may have to space them out a bit more at some point.   The Rock Flowers have moved again and are in a slightly more convenient spot.

 

 I did my first water change on the tank this week and noticed that the alkalinity was down to about 7dKh so I am going to start dosing a small amount of All For Reef a couple of times a week until I figure out the consumption rate.  I really found the precut floss to be handy and it is nice and dense so it caught the detritus really well and kept it out of the back chamber.

 

The upcoming plan is to move the Green Chromis into my larger tank to join the school that is there and get a Royal Gramma as the centerpiece fish for the tank.. just a matter of finding time!  I will hopefully pick up a coral or two this weekend.

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It’s disposable just like regular filter floss but it’s precut to fit exactly in the first chamber. The tank comes with a plate that fits in the first chamber and holds the floss.  It’s a really nice touch that makes changing the floss super quick and clean.  Reef Casa sells it in packages of 12 which will last about a month (longer for me because I only have one fish right now)


https://reefcasa.com/product/aquarium-filter-floss/

 

I’ll take a picture of the setup next time I change the floss 

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Things are starting to come together... but not without some changes of plan.  I went to Fragbox this weekend and picked up 2 nice hammer coral frags.  I wanted to place them on the right side but the flow was way too high so they are on the left now.  I'll put some easy SPS on the right side once the tank has matured a bit more.

 

Unfortunately I glued the plugs down on the right side and when I moved them I wasn't as gentle as I should have been and I lost a few polyps on the orange one... although it seems to have bounced back nicely and I think it will be ok.  It was totally my fault!

 

I also realized the blastos are too close together so I moved them as far apart as I can to give them room to grow.

 

Now that I have some higher light corals in the tank I have raised the light to about 70% on the blue channels.. my white channel is still 5%.  I will let the corals adjust for a few weeks and then raise it a bit more if I have to.

 

I added a Royal Gramma but he's still pretty shy and only comes out when the pumps are off for feeding.  

 

I'm really impressed with this little tank and looking forward to see how the light does growing the hammer corals.  I am predicting it will be a bit of a balancing act between the low light blastos and the higher light hammers.

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My anemones are playing hide and seek. The red one is now front and centre and the other one is hiding somewhere !

 

Everything I read said that they stay put but that is definitely not the case !

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I’ve found that some rock flowers are content to stay where I place them and some like to move around… in my experience the ones that are yellow with red tentacles have moved around the most. Have you been feeding them at all? 

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I’m really happy with the light.  I am running Radion Pros on my big tank and I honestly think the mushrooms look nicer under the halo.  It could be that I am running it very blue but I’m still very impressed. I am going to try and grow some easy sps at some point. 

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I think I have 15 RFA in my 75 gallon and most of them never move, but I have one or two that go from the top of the rock into the sand every couple of weeks.  So far they have all stayed on the front side of the rocks so I can not complain.

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The tank is coming along nicely. I added an alvepora from my bigger tank this week and it’s looking good. I don’t know if I’ll keep it there or not.  It wasn’t getting my attention in the bottom of my bigger tank

 

The hammer corals are doing quite nicely… the orange one seems to have recovered from me being a bit too rough moving it !

 

I have slowly ramped the Halo light up to about 70% on the blue spectrum. I think the Hammers want a bit more light but my mushrooms might suffer if I turned it up anymore.  

 

I am doing 30% water changes every two weeks and going to try and avoid dosing for now. My dKH seems to stay fairly steady at about 9 and only drops 0.5 between water changes.  I’m sure this will change as the tank matures. 

 

I am going to add some easy sps to the right ledge soon and maybe the top ledge as well.   Unfortunately my rock flowers are still moving around quite a bit… this has surprised me a bit.

 

All in all I’m very happy with how the Reef Casa tank is progressing.  Im hoping to add a couple more corals this weekend and waiting for a pistol shrimp/watchman goby combo to come up for sale!

 

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Looking good! Did you use the 200 gph stock pump? I just got mine running over the weekend and it seems to be pretty high flow… I’m thinking SPS will love it. What kind of SPS are you thinking of adding? 

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I’m using the stock pump.  I found the flow is less intense with the random flow generator. For now I am going to frag my forest fire digitata from my other tank and see how that goes. If it does well I may add a birds nest or birds of paradise.   Maybe one day a tabling Acro on the top ledge. 

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There were a few changes to the tank this week.  First, I decided that the purple and green hammer was getting too close for comfort to my blasto garden so I decided to move it into my larger tank.  I am going to leave the orange hammer in for the time being and maybe put another one above it to the right.

 

I picked up a purple anthrax mushroom frag from Fragbox to add to my mushroom garden as well as a green birdsnest frag for the high flow section on the right side.  I am curious to see if the tank is mature enough for SPS corals yet.  While doing a water change I accidentally broke a piece off my forest fire digitata colony so I decided to try that as well.  The disc is way too big but it is all I had on hand at the time.  If it does well I will cut the disc down at some point but I was in a bit of a rush.

 

I've noticed that my alkalinity is dropping a little bit between water changes so I may have to start thinking about dosing All For Reef in this tank too.

 

The Reef Casa Halo light continues to impress me.. I've upped the white a little bit to bring out some of the colours in the mushrooms a bit clearer.  I'll try it for a week and see if I want to go back to all blue.

 

Next up is a yellow watchman goby and pistol shrimp combo.  The Royal Gramma is still  elusive but is out a bit more often these days.   I'm trying to decide what type of garden to put where I took the hammer coral out.. I am leaning towards acan but I'm not sure yet.  

 

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Ah yes I want to try a digitata in mine, too.
 

I like the pics with more white light… I always like running whiter lights on my tanks and stocking corals that look good under whites because I find it so much easier to photograph. And I have a question for you about your Halo light… when it’s running, does it display the time on yours or does it just flash the red dots? Not sure if I missed pressing something as a final step.

 

 

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