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"Sounds like Rhetoric" 20gal Two-sided (1yr!)


Rhetoric

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"Sounds like Rhetoric" 20gallon peninsula build

 

12-20-23

Entry

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Dining

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2009 I'd been watching Craig's list for a Saltwater set up. No experience (Salt or fresh) at that point.  I was in bed surfing and found someone needing his tank gone "that day" for $200.  So I called up my father inlaw and a couple buddy's and we moved a fully set 90 gallon tank ("the 90") and stand at 2am with ZERO experience! (We didn't lose a single fish) - Welcome to the hobby!  I had that tank for almost 3 years before it sprung a leak and I exited.

 

My wife and I moved in 2018 into our new home.  In the entry way is a large arch cut out the goes into the dining room. It happens to be directly above a utilities room.  I'd joke about how I would do it differently if I had the chance. How it would all be plumbed into the basement and look clean.  While having a huge volume of water, and all the things a fish room would need. 

 

November 2022 I'm in a client's home and see a 14 gallon aio and the itch was overwhelming.  Here I am taking all the things I learned the first round and applying them with a fresh perspective.

 

Honestly it never occurred to me that I dont need a 100+ gallon tank in that spot to make something beautiful and fill the salt void.  I started hitting the LFS asking about smaller tanks and what they thought about AIO tank designs.  Over an over again I was told little tanks are for beginners.  I'm wasting time and money on a smaller tanks. That Ill get the fever for bigger (insert bad LFS pitch for bigger AIO).  They my be right guess time will tell.  I found this site and fell in love.  

 

I've noticed a few things here, maybe just some observations.  I see new players starting small and learning.  I see seasoned referswith multiple tanks making AMAZING Nanos with their "left over frags".  I see a lot of folks just like me getting back into the hobby.

 

At this point my perspective is as follows.  I have the absolutely perfect place for a smaller tank.  I've spent as much on my new set up as I spent on the "the 90" gallons light upgrade alone.  I'd like to use this journal as a place to dump my thoughts.  A place to look back in a few years and reflect and if all goes well, see some growth.  Not just the tank but myself as a reefer.  (I live in Colorado, and referring to yourself as a reefer here means something different 😉)

 

I Grabbed what looked like a standard format for documentation of a tank build.  Wanted to get all this info down in one place.  Make it easier to update as I go.  Im not a great tech guy, so ill be learning a little journal managment along the way as well.

 

 

 

Equipment and Specifications

  • Tank: Nuvo 20 gallon peninsula aio
  • Lighting: AI prime (retired 3/5/24) RadionG6XR15
  • Wavemaker: nero 3 wave maker
  • Return Pump: Sicci 1.0
  • Heater: hydra 100wt
  • Aquarium Power (or Temperature) Controller: 
  • Skimmer: 
  • Filtration: 
  • Filter Media:
  • Lid: plastic solid Dyi

 

Rock and Sand

  • Amount and Type of Rock: 18lbs dry rock
  • Amount and Type of Sand: CaribSea Argonite

 

Fish

1 clowns

1 Fire goby

1 Sixline wrasse 

4 Snails

1 Conch

1 Emerald crab

 

Water, Parameters, and Dosing

  • Water Type Used: RO/DI
  • Salt Mix: Red Sea
  • Target Parameters:
  • Dosing: F1 Kamoer pump Dosing All for Reef
  • Top Off Method: (Tunzi nano)

 

 

History and Tank Summary

 

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  • Like 5
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What a wonderful setup, I'm new to marine. I have a 100ltr nano tank 6 month old, also 3 tropical tanks. 

My tank marine is doing great, I would strongly recommend take your time don't rush into things, my first mistake everything in marine takes alot of time to achieve. Parameters, stability is very important more so in small tanks, good maintenance is very important, don't chase number's. Alkalinity 9dkh phosphate nitrate just keep stable, mine are high but tank doing great 

Can't answer all your questions I'm a newbie red sea salt blue bucket very good, ro water, auto top up is a must, brightwell bactor 7 very good for new tanks. Mag cal will look after themselves with weekly water changes. Get a good test kit hana for 1 and keep a log of your readings, I could go on and and on, good luck pal 

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As the tank cycles and I eagerly await a passing yellow ammonia score I've begun some "house keeping" set up.  It took me years of lugging buckets from the LFS to invest in an RODI.  Also years of dumping water into a Sump to top off daily.  Not this time.

 

I got a tunze 3152 set up on a small 2.5 gal reservoir with lid.  The way I see it, if that little gadget messes up it only has about 10% of my total water volume to dump into display.  A lesson from "the 90", to much ATO reservoir can be a bad thing.

 

My ATO research failed to point out this little ATO doesn't have a redundant safety (just a small timer) and that really bothers me.  Once all the house keeping is installed I'll work on back up safety next. (Famous last words)

 

Wife and I are in the process of cleaning up the storage room and making a space for the RODI install.  Once installed I'll plumb the RODI to the ATO reservoir.  All in good time.

 

I've also got a better power bar on order (shipping this tine of year can be crazy)

 

Future house keeping includes setting up the saltwater mixing station.  Currently a 5 gal tote in the stand.  Which will also be plumbed into the RODI/ATO for simplicity.

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  • Like 1
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Staying busy while the tank is cycling:

 

Put a small a access panel below the tank and "fished" (thats a quality fish pun) a line through the floor into a utilities room in the basement.  Will be the freshwater line off the future RODI. 

 

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Next I will need to install the RODI and plumb a float valve onto the ATO reservoir.

 

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Also the Christmas tree got put away and for the first time we really see the other side (front door side)

 

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  • Like 2
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Great question there are few little spots they can tuck into.  I moved one of the rocks around today to try and give a little more cover if needed.  They seem to be doing well.  Mainly hanging out and about in the current.  I am running a pretty minimalist rock scape (atleast its minimalistin my own mind). 

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Clyde isn't doing good at all.  He ate the first day and Second and then it began.  Heavy breathing and mouthing a few hours later lethargic swimming.  Then the dreaded sunk in the corner colors changed and near death.

 

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Last night when all the kids where in bed I almost did the Humane thing as hes clearly suffering.  I talked my self out of it and said he gets the night to fight.  

 

I was absolutely amazed this morning to see him swimming about in the flow.  This time I could clearly see classic white spots of an Ick outbreak Bonnie has it aswell. 

 

Ive thought a lot about this post, whether I'm interested in showing the net my struggles and miss steps.  I'm keeping this journal for me and I'm not perfect.  This journal will reflect that unfortunately.

 

I chose dry rock and dry sand because I loved the idea if controlling what goes into the tank.  I opted to cycle fishless as it seems the most human and progressive.  I've always cycled with fish and have a good track record.

 

I've never used a QT tank.

 

I opted to not QT the clowns for a few reasons.  The fish cycling strat has always worked never had issues adding fish to a cycling/cycled tank.  I justified it with ideas of only adding 3 fish total just didn't seem like it would be necessary especially on the first fish.

 

So let's break down what happens next.

 

The water quality on the main tank is all in Established and safe Pickes based in API tests of ammonia, Nitrates and Nitirates.  Salinity at 1.25 and 78 degrees.  

 

I had to get a pop up QT tank going asap.  Picked a little 10g kit and copper treatment from the retail store for $80.

 

I had 5g of mixed up saltwater for a future change.  Currently mixing up another 5 gal to get the 10g tank kit fully set up.  Once it's fully set up the 30 day copper treatment begins for both.

 

I gave Clyde a fresh dip and put him in the QT tank hoping he makes it.  I'm worried the copper will over stress him /shrug.  

 

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Now the reality of all of this.

 

The DT now will sit for 76 days (11 weeks) to eradicate the ick.

 

My failure to properly QT my fish costs time, and maybe a living creature. 

 

Long post.  Saddened by the set back.  I hope ol Clyde pulls through this.

 

Final note,  I thought it was odd that the LFS salinity was at 1.31 when I brought them home.  It worried me as that's a big swing to my 1.25.  Why is their salinity so high?

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I hope the QT/copper treatment goes well and the fish are OK. 

10 hours ago, Rhetoric said:

Final note,  I thought it was odd that the LFS salinity was at 1.31 when I brought them home.  It worried me as that's a big swing to my 1.25.  Why is their salinity so high?

You should ask the store. This is opposite of what I usually find. Stores often have low SG 1.021 - 1.023.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

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A few days after the last post she passed aswell.  Both fish had clear signs of ick upon death.  Never got past a day or 2 in QT tank.

 

Took my water in to have tested by a LFS that uses the API Fishcare system.

 

Everything was low Alk/cal/mag.

 

When the shop tested salinity it was 1.019

 

The only piece of equipment I had from "the 90" was my old refractometer.  Clearly this got by me (and the shop I bought the fish from, as I had them test me for cycle completion prior to taking the clowns home.)  I've got the cheap API tests and wanted to be safe and sure.

 

I have to own this part of the fishes death.  The salinity level played a part, tough mistake.  I felt like I was being so cautious. Everyone I've spoken to said that isn't what killed the fish.  I feel like they say that to be nice.

 

Either way those 2 fish introduced IcK into a sterile tank.  I know Ick is a tricky topic with a lot of different thoughts and strategies to treatment ans mitigation.  

 

Whether all fish have it or it's environmental, I'm hopeful it doesn't come from my tank in the future.  It's easy to be fallow right now, so might as well give the next fish a best case situation.

 

Moving forward:

 

Going to be fallow until mid April.

 

Switching gears and moving towards adding some tougher corals as the lights are going on and ugly stage begins.  Will start working on a clean up crew (when that time comes).

 

This will help fill in the time as I get over the fish set back and the ick fallow period.

 

So here is the "Canary in the coal mine".  Will see how this little duncan and shroom do for a couple weeks and go from there.

 

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I cleaned up the hospital tank and will now be a 30 day observation quarantine period for all new fish.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick little update: The Duncan and shroom are looking good.

 

Came into cheap coral frags (talking less than $5 each) so I went nuts.  Zoas, shrooms, Favia, Ricordia and a grumpy ol leather toad.

 

My photo taking is Bleh.  I'll work on that.

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  • Like 1
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My father has been digging through some old family photos and found this of my grandfather's fish store.

 

Pueblo Colorado - Early 60s.  We are trying to find the name of the store (just for fun).  Anyways thought I'd put it here.  My Grandpa passed when I was 10, never really got to know him 😪

 

 

  • Like 3
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  • 3 weeks later...

After talking with many local hobbyists I've come to terms with "waiting out ick".  Too many stories of people doing 70+ days only ro have ick break outs anyways.  So with that I've began reefing on.

 

Both sides

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The diatoms came and went added 2 trochas Snails that where amazingly effective. 

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Added lots of new frags found a local auction that sells 1" chucks for cheap!  Love it.  Added a bunch of zoas, shrooms, Favia, favites, a torch and leather.  

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Just a couple weeks out from Reefstock here in Denver.  I plan on picking up some good looking Acan lords, torches and Hammers.  At that point I'll have over 20+ frags in my little 20g tank and I will be "done" stocking it. 

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I've added a few fish also.  Mocha clown and black clown.  Wife is calling them Mortisha and Gomez.

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Also a yashi goby and tiger pistol that the kids named Jeckl and Hide (goby hides all the time.)

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It's been a nice rebound after the rocky start.  I've got the lights turned down to 20% and everything seems to be good for now.  Get the last few corals Added and will slowly push the lighting up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reef stock was good to me!  12 more frags.

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Couple nice torches

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Acan rock is all set

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A good looking hammer

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Acan already open

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both sides of the euphyllia rock

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Sps on top (never really planned on any sps, we'll see how it does)

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 Only a couple more spots left on the upper part of the center rock.  It's been a challenge trying to figure the middle out, lots of shadows and vertical space.  I'd like something that encrusts with out branching out and can tolerate more light.

 

The 5 zoas aren't open yet more to come.

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Working on photo taking.  Logging a few angles for future reference.  Really tried to design a 2 sided tank with some fun angles and hopefully color once it's filled in a bit.  (changing the title today from penncila to Two-sided)

 

Dining side

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Entry side

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  • Rhetoric changed the title to "Sounds like Rhetoric" 20gal Two-sided
  • 3 weeks later...

The Tank feels a little empty.  The yashi hides behind the ric and never comes out.  He doesn't come out for food.  Been Target feeding direct into his cave.  I see him eating it but he looks skinny.

 

Never comes out!!

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Picked up a cleaner shrimp he's added a lot of movement.

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I won a this mushroom on an live auction.  I would have never bought something like this but looks pretty cool.

 

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On 4/3/2023 at 6:11 PM, FSTanks said:

Following along.

Thinking of the same tank and light… how are the corals doing?

Hello, thanks for checking out the tank.  I am happy with the aquarium over all.  It's pretty limited on space in the "sump" section.  I don't have plans on running a skimmer but I know several brands will fit if ever needed.  

 

The feel like the light doesn't quite reach edge to edge.  So I know there are other options that could give a more even and "full" tank light.

 

With that said, I feel great about the corals.  I put 40 frags in over 6-8 weeks and all of them are still alive and healthy.  Many are growing new polyps and encrusting rocks already.

 

No plans on changing lights at this point.  However the 30 inch blade lights would be something I'd consider if I was doing it again.

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Edited by Rhetoric
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The clowns.

 

2 days ago I watched the female try and kill the male.  Shes went after him harder then I e ever seen.  He hide under a rock for 12 hours after breathing heavy.

 

Next morning they where a happy couple again, didn't think much else of it. Chocked it up to angry clown behavior.

 

In a strange turn of events today when I came home from work she is breathing hard, laying on the bottom and isn't eating.  

 

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There is another variable to this problem.  I added a tailspot blenny (named Lemmy) that has been an amazing addition to the tank.  He's eating algae and was ignoring the clowns and being left alone.

 

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I'm not sure what happened to her.  Did he bring something into the tank?  The other fish are all fine. 

 

The yashi started coming out soon as I added the blenny.

 

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The plan is to see what the morning brings. I'm also on week 2 of Dosing 4ml of all for reef a day.  The numbers are slowly leveling off.  

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My Phosphate dropped from .04 to zero over the last 2 weeks  It had held tight staying between  .03 and .04 for 6 weeks. In response I've begun feeding the corals reef roids.  I cut the directions in half and it causes my P04 to go up .01 every feeding.

 

I suspect the growth of a stringy looking algae is the largest consumer (Anyone watching know a name?) It only grows on the entry side of the tank.  The entry side has a conserably brighter with higher natural light.  The Snails have kept it mowed down for the most part. However the shape of the center rock seems to keeps the snails off and its building up.

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Mortisha (female clown) is back inaction and doing fine.

 

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Wouldn't be an update with out some fish drama.  Hide (yashi goby) has disappeared again and haven't seen him in 2 days.  He's lived under the same rock for months seems odd.

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The fish drama is over (for now). Not only did the yashi show up a few days later.  For the first time in 2 month he started coming out and eating when I feed the tank.

 

He relocated under donut rock and is coming out all the time! His behavior changed over night with his apartment move. 

 

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in other news my parameters on the move, not just my P04.  My Nitrate dropped from 10 to 4 in one week.

 

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Alk and Calc have come up and are staying up.

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Mag is low and very slowly coming up.  I'm thinking about a slow an adjustment to move it closer to 1400ish and seeing if A4R will keep it there.

 

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Working theory is with the A4R getting the alk and Calc in line the corals are consumers of the P04 and N03.  Now I'll focus on feeding a bit more and using the reef roids to ensure nothing bottoms out for to long.

 

Dialing this little tank in is happening quickly.

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The fish drama is over (for now). Not only did the yashi show up a few days later.  For the first time in 2 month he started coming out and eating when I feed the tank.

 

He relocated under donut rock and is coming out all the time! His behavior changed over night with his apartment move. 

 

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in other news my parameters on the move, not just my P04.  My Nitrate dropped from 10 to 4 in one week.

 

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Alk and Calc have come up and are staying up.

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Mag is low and very slowly coming up.  I'm thinking about a slow an adjustment to move it closer to 1400ish and seeing if A4R will keep it there.

 

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Working theory is with the A4R getting the alk and Calc in line the corals are consumers of the P04 and N03.  Now I'll focus on feeding a bit more and using the reef roids to ensure nothing bottoms out for to long.

 

Dialing this little tank in is happening quickly.

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  • Rhetoric changed the title to "Sounds like Rhetoric" 20gal Two-sided (1yr!)

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