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DNR88's Blue Marine Reef 90 (24 gallon) - Sand bed rinsed


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Soo, here we are with something new. Goodbye to the Blue Marine 60 and hello to the Blue Marine Reef 90 with 24 gallon . That's a 50 percent increase! 


Latest FTS (2023-03-20).



After the sand bed rinsing (2023-02-26)







- NEW! Two Azure Damselfish 😁

- Six line wrasse

- Halloween hermit crab

- Electric blue hermit crab

- Different snails

- I have some 'high end' corals like Rainbow Monitopora, Jack-o-Lantern Leptoseris and Blueberry Pie Zoa, but I actually love most to watch the 'moving' corals, like my four different toadstool leather corals, with white tips and neon green! 🥰


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Added a small Rasta zoa frag and a neon green Sinularia today and now my tank is 'full' with corals, after I already added several corals like two different toadstool leather corals and a tiny Blueberry pie zoa last weekend.


Hopefully a fts later this week 🙂

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  • DNR88 changed the title to DNR88's Blue Marine Reef 90 (24 gallon) - Two islands..

No fts yet, the tank is currently suffering from red algae film on the glass and I only remove it after sunset.


I started dosing baking soda today, because my Kh is very low, around 6. With a teaspoon every other day, I want to see what effect it has. And then of course also keep an eye on the calcium and magnesium. 😉

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  • DNR88 changed the title to DNR88's Blue Marine Reef 90 (24 gallon) - Two islands

Every day a little bit better. There's cyano on the sand bed, but it seems to be slowly disappearing.


Kh/alkalinity values are back on track, without bringing down my Cal and Mg luckily.


And you can spot my new Azure Damsel duo on the picture. 😄IMG_20230220_161204198_edited3.thumb.jpeg.c13888ebad8fcc9ec9b005f8d8636fd5.jpeg

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DNR this is great 🙂 literally I'm at a stoplight in Austin right now thinking: nano reef just isn't moving fast in the methods of tank control they're more reserved, willing to keep invasions and give lots of time to exclusively natural controls, even if they don't work. I wish we could get some rip cleans going to show how fast we can put tanks back in line...


Then I checked the site and here's your post 🙂


It will help tremendously. When I'm at work in a sec I wanted to add some planning details for the system based on that pic. A little custom run will be perfect/ will update in a bit

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Highlights for your rip clean:


When done, re ramp the lights. Don't go right back to this intensity level: it may be part of the cause of the invasion, too strong lighting has impacts on invasion strength, and its important not to bleach out the corals once the system is fully cleaned of waste + invasion mass.


Make sure to take the sand once it's rinsed for 2 or so hours in tap water, it'll take a while, and drop test it in a clear glass of water. If the sand has any clouding whatsoever, redo it until it's perfectly clear. Final rinse in saltwater, to evacuate the tap water, then your whole system can be stacked back on top of that perfect sand. 


- match temp and salinity to the old water and use all new water in the setup, it's a total change. The light ramping is why that small parameter shift doesn't hurt any corals in our example thread. 


- keep fish covered they can jump while in totes. 


- don't use a brush to clean off rocks: it smashes bits of invasion into the rocks.  Set the rocks on the counter, use a knife not a brush and scrape off the attachments and be rinsing them away with saltwater. You can put peroxide on any stubborn spots on the rocks after you've cleaned that area to burn off invasion cells we may have missed. 


Care for the system, post rip clean invasion control ideas coming up next

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After care:


Lowering light intensity overall and sustaining that for two months helps you determine if it's too high currently. No corals are harmed by a 10% or so reduction in overall light power, I'm in process of doing that right now to my vase to get less algae cleaning needed on the walls of the system. 


The initial setup after the rip clean has even more reduction to prevent coral bleaching; but after a few days pretty low initial power you'd begin a ramp up to levels still slightly less than where it's at now. You can be feeding your system exceptionally well after a rip clean, the corals will open brightly after this care mode 


- its not that natural controls, altering phosphate and nitrate, can't get your invasion gone. They might can. But that doesn't export these cells it decays them into the sandbed which is already full of waste in people's challenge tanks and when GHA sets in, capitalizing on that remaining mass, altering N and P won't help those tanks. Feel free to experiment with params or clean up crews after the rip clean, so that invasion mass is gone, and they're positioned solely as growback prevention vs removal. We will have a nice contrast thread after you're done to compare to hands off approaches that take weeks and months comparatively. 

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Thank you for your extensive information @brandon429👍


Regarding lighting, I had been working on making my light bluer for a while. So the violet is completely gone and the white is only 10%, while the blue is at 60%. This has certainly helped with the disappearance of the algae on the stones and I notice that my CUC now also keeps this much better clean.


Only the sand remains a problem and I hope that thoroughly rinsing the sand according to the described method will help.


And I will definitely lower the lighting after cleaning and slowly build it back up.


I'm excited for tomorrow! :)

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It took me several hours and countless washes of the sand, but the results are worth it. It's quite an undertaking that you don't do monthly and I'm curious how long the sand will stay clean now. 🙂




Cleaned tankIMG_20230224_1358164473.thumb.jpg.b7facde7c5c68e5f5601f61c4cf233a6.jpg




The blue lights are now back at 25 percent, but the corals seem to like it. The invertebrates and fish are all doing well too.

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  • DNR88 changed the title to DNR88's Blue Marine Reef 90 (24 gallon) - Sand bed rinsed

That's flipping amazing as a first go. Really it is


Prognosis: any strands of regrowth from the prior population in place are siphoned up: that's the toughest invasion in reefing you have. There are expected to be a few 2 gallon siphon + water change runs that guide out invading  remassing cells, this is their nature 


A one pass fix might be lucky, but maintaining this look is the reason for the tank realignment. I'm expecting some low level guiding work just like a garden removed of pent up weeds in one day. Ongoing targeted work to beat the toughest invasion in reefing is expected, it'll be much less work overall now. 


It's not about testing to see how long the rip clean holds unabated its about the series of moves that now commands your reef to comply, this was step 90% 


Now when you remove a new tuft off the rocks or a new red strand on the sand, you're back to 1% mass and a perfect clean tank


If you lift a rock out to guide it now and set it back, no cloud occurs. Before the rip clean, a massive cloud would have occurred and it could also harm your system. 


Before the rip clean if you removed only 2 gallons of siphon targets you'd still be massively invaded, it's about turning the tables on mass now you'd fight their regrouping a while, their internal energy stores will soon relent since the supporting community is gone and no irritants or chemicals are now present in the system. 


Now you can play with light tuning, it looks great, and grazers if you select to try them. You removed mass which chemi clean would have killed + sinked into the bed, true export rare rare true export thank you so much for those pics they're just gold, they'll help others for sure. I'm going to get to linking the results and will stay accountable here for the outcome, can't wait to see it

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I'm putting yours in my best of the best 9 rip cleans in reef 2reefs thread, these two sites are friendly and counter share information and links. Rtr readers will benefit from work logged from nano-reef.com excellent community work. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The green toadstool leather at the bottom looked extra puffy today. The red cyano/dino has come back, but I can live with it for now.



A slope cube style fits well in a rectangular aquarium. Anyway, I'm very happy with it. 🙂

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