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


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The blennie passed away, pretty sure it was related to his eating habits.  It took a week or 2 before he would take frozen or flake (I tried a few different brands) he was always skinny.  He had started eating and thought he was in the clear.  #sigh.


Onto April (4months) FTS and updates.

Entry side


 Dining side



The green birds nest had started to bleach a little so I moved it down (and on other side of donut rock) Time will tell if that was enough.



The Goby is full on "out of his shell".  He moved in under donut rock and is always out now.  I give credit to the blenny (RIP) for making him feel comfortable.



The giant hairy mush I won split into 2.




I also had an interesting P04 spike.  I was having trouble keeping it at .01-.02.  Then one day it was at .23!  I'm not really worried about it but it was a big jump for 1 week.  I had been feeding a lot of flake to try and get blenny to eat.  Thinking that was the cause.  It could have been the reef roids too. /shrug.  I never feed flake in the past not sure how much it influences Phosphate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The LFS got a ton of super nice trachy's, Lobo's and acans yesterday (Like 50 of them!)


Added this bad boy to entry side!




Also added a Jason Fox Stylopora where the green birds nest was (high up dining side) set lights to acclimate mode.




I was spot feeding some corals last week and the female clown (Mortisha) bit me!  I spazzed and jammed my baster super hard into the little acan.  It's been dieing ever since.  Might be my first coral loss.



All and all things are going well.

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Decided to change my AI lighting program today.  I'm crossing my fingers that I'm not changing things for the sake of changing.   


I've been running a download called pirate of the Caribbean. 






I'm switching to the penneywise 10hr daylight 51% with a long term goal of pushing into 61%.  See how the corals handle the change fir a few months before powering it up.






Im feel good about the guy making this preset.  Shared a lot of good data with projected par readings.  That are similar to my set up and light.  




They are similar for the most part, this is closer to an AB+ type with more whites  Restarted the acclimation mode 30 days, see what happens




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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay,  one day after the light change I chicken out and switched it back.  I feel like nothing is dieing (knock on wood) so I'm leaving it alone for now.   A few May pictures for fun.






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  • 2 weeks later...

A fish story today.


Before I got my tail spot blenny, I had picked up a cute little neon cleaner goby.  He was in the tank all of 2 days before he disappeared.  I spent some time looking in the over flow but didn't see anything. He was so small I figured he jumped through the screen and got ate by Yoda the cat!20230530_220651.thumb.jpg.9f35a5f274ee0f7d57b594e71cc4a58f.jpg


I had the local shops chase down another tail spot (first one never ate frozen, pellets, flake... nothing)


Introducing: Mr. Lemmy dos Blenny whom is already eating frozen and flake on day two.


 This weekend I tore apart my AIO sump section for a deep clean and guess who's been living back there for 2 months!!


My kids named him "The neon Phoenix"


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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming up on the 6 month mark.  I added almost 45 corals by the end of month 3 (March).  Tonight I highlight a couple "challenges"


This was sold to me as a branching monti.  I loved the smooth skin and color.  The last few weeks it's stopped extending polyps.  It's been in the tank for 3 months and doesn't appear to be encrusting at all.   Not sure what to do with it more or less light?  More or less flow?  (Currently gets quite a bit of light and flow)



The baster incident officially claimed this acan.  Was a good looking 🌈,  I removed the skelly today




Went camping for 4 days this weekend first time away for more than one night.  Came home to a torch polyp gone.  To be fair it had not been opening for awhile.  I speculate it wasn't getting enough light.  It was the on the very edge of my tank.




I did catch and release this good looking rainbow trout! Life's always about perspective, sometimes I feel like it's a give and a take (torch polyp for hook jaw?)




I'll end with a highlight of a my green softys that haven't gotten a lot of photo love yet.  2 different toad stools and my giant hairy mushrooms.



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I saw this great micromussa on the murrmans reef live auction paid $66 bucks.


Happy Father day to me! 


I've got quite a bit of bubble algae "popping" up.  I wasn't going to add Crabs of any kind but took a chance on an emerald crab.  #fingerscrossed


Ive been thinking about getting a sicce 1.5 return pump (currently have 1.0)to push a little more water (the flow pattern on this peninsula tank is tough).  Tried finding my AIO sump demionsions only to find out IM discontinued my tank.  Just going to leave this here for easier reference in the future





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State of the Union: 6 months


It still feels and looks like a very young tank. Most of the frags I've added over the last few months have been small.  It's something that's changed since my last tank in 09;  Everything is more expensive and much smaller.  


I lost the second tail spot blennie.  He was eating way better then last one.  Woke up the other day and the shrimp had "cleaned him up"  I'm done with adding fish for awhile.


I'm still running no filters or skimmer, just a 20% water change every 2 weeks and  dosing 3.9 ml of All For Reef daily.  Took about a month of manual mag dosing to get to 1440ish, will now see if the AFR will keep it there.


Water perimeters log:



Current stocking report:

2 clowns

1 yashi goby

1 neon cleaner goby (who moved back in to the AIO area)

1 cleaner shrimp

3 Trochus snails

1 turbo snail (hes a bull in the china shop, but by far my best lawn mower)

1 emerald crab


A couple top downs while doing a water change today (always from both side)




Early dining side (1st month)


6 month dining side


Early entry side (1st month)


6 month entry side



Still excited to do water changes and tinker every couple weeks.  #cheers to the next 6 months.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Today I'm 10 beers in and and decided it's my journal and I'll post what I ####ing want.


June 11th he crashed on a motorcycle, he passed on July 2nd.  He was 19 years old and the service was today.  I've never seen a pastor break down like that.  They are the ones that tell you God had a plan. Even he knew...  #### that.


My friends buried their child today NO parents should go before their children 


Tank related


I was trying to squeeze in a water change this morning.  Busy day had the water pre mixed should be quick. 


20% out 20% in.  


Then I saw the bottom of the fresh salt water bucket.  The heater had broken, waters already in the tank.  Black shit at the bottom.  No time, honestly didn't care, what to do?  We are leaving in 30 minutes.


Put a polyfilter in and left.


Who ####ing knows what will happen.




until next time.


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Bad day aftermath update. 


The poly pad is turning a orange ish color I think.  That would mean it's pulling some iron out I'd the water I believe.



My branching monti is bleaching, pretty sure its toast 



both of my toadstools closed up



So far everything else is open and looks okay. Fingers crossed that I didn't get a ton of black crap into the tank and the poly is quick enough to get it out.  


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  • 2 weeks later...

7 month photo update.


Having a tough time dialing the all for reef in, feel like it swings all over the place.  Alk and Calc jumping up while mag drops.  I'm beginning to wonder if it's time to change things up.  So far I've just let it all ride and rarely adjust the dosing amount.


I wonder of these changes are related to the heater accident.  I've pulled the poly filter and moving on.


Corals look healthy, im worried about the recent alk swing.  Time will tell as I'm just going to leave it alone.  Nitirates (9-13) and Phosphates (.03-.06) are all staying in ranges that make me happy.


I've definitely got a bubble alge explosion, the emerald crab isn't eating it.  Will try another one in the future.




A comparison shot:





 Full tank shots


Zoa land


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  • 2 weeks later...



My acros are just surviving (if that) and it's time to go another route. Thinking Stylopora and birds nests.


I was able to pick up a huge colony of green birds, and 8 heads of a neon green frog spawn for 80 bucks from a guy breaking down his tank.


I'm in the process of cutting it down and moving things around.  Thought I'd post the hot mess my tank has become while I sort it all out. 


The original (his tank)received_1699547933850334.thumb.jpeg.29fc293ef051cd510d9215f21150758b.jpegchopped all the dead undergrowth out and split into a few nice pieces.20230807_204129.thumb.jpg.535f5997f7baa29969c01237512461ac.jpg20230807_204126.thumb.jpg.180c7df19188b6006c20f0b21755856a.jpg20230807_204050.thumb.jpg.2e1de93a1e35b1470b3675db0fb30880.jpg The big chuck needs more trimming.  Wanted to look at it (study) for a day or 2 before chopping it up.


The frog spawn starting to open up



Soap box moment:

I've been absorbing reef content the last 6 months like crazy.  I didn't start this tank to impress the internet.  I got caught up a little in the fancy coral craze.  


I don't want more equipment.  I don't want to dose daily  and monitor perimeters all the time.  That's why I went for the all for reef.  I don't need the brightest, most colorful, the crazy named cutting edge corals.


What I really wanted when I started was a nice tank full of coral.  I'm learning as I go about all these corals.  What I'm leaning into is the ones that meet my strategic lazy reefing style. 


Let's see how the birds nest does over the next few weeks.  



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Love the honest approach and the tank looks good for it. Birdsnest looks good.. I seen a post from June re a red branching Monti.. looks like it could be either a bubblegum or forest fire Monti... Not sure if you still have it or not? 💪

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13 hours ago, Murphs_Reef said:

Love the honest approach and the tank looks good for it. Birdsnest looks good.. I seen a post from June re a red branching Monti.. looks like it could be either a bubblegum or forest fire Monti... Not sure if you still have it or not? 💪

Honest approach keeps me humble.  The red monti melted right after the heater incident.  To be fair it wasn't growing or encrusting, but wasn't losing color either.  To bad too I wanted that one to grow out. 

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On May 8th I did a post about changing my light profile.  The next day I chickened out and put it back.  Today I adopted the exact same light profile and set a 45 day acclimation.  Went from a 12 hour cycle to a 10 hour.



Busy reef week:

Did more trimming and mounting of the birds nest.  Im sure ill replace some of it down the road but for now the tank is starting to look "fuller"





I traded all the left over extra bird nest frags (was a complete cool whip sized bowl) into the LFS and they gave a little store credit.  

I picked up a couple zoa frags along with a new cyphastrea an leptoseris frag and replanted the old torch rock


I also picked up a couple cool feather dusters





Let's see if I can keep my hands out of the tank for awhile.  


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Last water change I notice how yellow the water has become.  Today I added 2 tsp of carbon to a bag and put in the caddy.  I'm still running this tank with nothing!  No filter, socks/floss, skimmers nothing.  First time adding any kind of media


 My Nitrates jumped up from the normal 10ish to 19 this week.  Maybe a little heavy handed with the food?  I don't think feather dusts could cause it (both seem good so far). 


 The "19" number doesn't bother me, just don't like seeing 10 point jumps in a week.


Couple photos with the whites on for a change.





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8 months.


Light change seems good so far still 34 days on the acclimation count down.  The last couple hours are Blue. Like Blue Blue. I mean Blue (Da Ba Dee)  it's growing on me.  Will be interesting to see it at full strength.


Added a cool looking paly frag . 7 bucks on the local live auction (I have a problem its right next to my work, can't pass up cheap crap)  I did put it on an island, pretty sure they are utter chaos which grow pretty fast.


the frog spawn and cyphastrea are doing great


Feather dusters are doing well


And the 2 sides FTS dining and entry




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I started this tank and said NO CRABS.


Bubble algae starts growing and of course.... an emerald crab is the solution. 


Bullsh@t.  I know better.


I've had zoanthaids receding ever since I added it.  Been watching close to see it first hand.  Last night I caught the 1 emerald crab straight up eating Stylopora polyps!


Note to self: Trust what you've learned in the past.  9 out of 10 times the recommendation for an animal to solve the problem is fish tank myth.  It's propaganda to sale things. 


I don't have a Sump so back to the fish store.




 The answer to the bubble algae:


1. Manual removal


2. Let the corals out compete.  


3.  The non-reefing community thinks bubble alge is neat.  It bothers us because we've been conditioned that it's bad.


(A non reefing friend came over and saw the tank for the first time, all the pretty corals and animal in there and they ask me what the little green bubbles are!! I was triggered!)


P.S.  I'll never own another crab again.


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Again with the cheap frags!  Green slimer for $4 bucks and a nice sized bubble gum digi for $6


I just keep "planting" things and seeing what wants to grow at the top of middle rock  Some day I'll be wildly over grown, and have to deal with it. (can't wait)


The middle vertical rock has presented shadow problems. So today I chiseled out a little dryrock shelf and glued it to the rock and added the slimer.



The digi looked great when I bought it, good sized chunk. 


When I picked it up the plug was covered in green hair alge and aiptasia ($6 bucks!)  So I cut the 3 largest pieces off and spread them around the tank.



It's clearly not happy about it... We will see.


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I just started 3 days ago with an innovation AIO 15 gal nano cube.  I started collecting stuff back in January. Saw my sons  reef tank and fell in love.  Using AI. 16 led light. Started with live Carib sea sand and live rock. Got the water from Franks tanks who has the ro/di setup and sells the water.  Had them test water and got a clown and fritter eye? Blue damsel and a torch, hammer and cotton candy soft corals.  Wish I could find frags for $5. I spent $200 on the 3 little frags I got. So far water is good and sf is good.  Do I need a wave maker ?  The mini Hygaar one I have is too strong for the tank I think. Blows coral off their rock and fish o to other side of tank. 

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On 5/8/2023 at 5:36 PM, Rhetoric said:

I'm switching to the penneywise 10hr daylight 51% with a long term goal of pushing into 61%.  See how the corals handle the change fir a few months before powering it up.

I spoke with the creator of the pennywise script.  He made the following suggestions for me


Run the Pennywise 61% for 2 prime 16HD

Run the Pennywise 71% for 1 prime 16HD


I really like it, but do seem to like a little more white light (I'm old school).  I have been playing with the Eddie Putra as it is about the perfect mix of blue and white for me.  I may adjust the blue intro and exit times as the lights are on for a lot longer than I would want.  I just adjusted the start time as this one went on way too early in the morning.  



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

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