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icenine

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This gets transfered into a 24 gallon aquapod after the first year.

The aquapod begins on page eight of the thread

Year three and the Red Sea Max begins on page fourteen of the thread

 

So here is the story: I'm an experienced fish keeper, but in the avenue of freshwater varieties. I've kept African Cichlid tanks for years. I've been tempted to dive into sw reef for a while but never quite convinced myself to take the plunge... not having the room for (I could never give up the cichlids and switch those gallons to reef) or the nerve sink the funds into a "big" reef tank. Whenever the opportunity arose to spend some dough on the hobby, I always got more bang for my buck by upgrading the cichlid setups rather than starting to build a big reef. I'd seen the nano reefs popping up over the years but being a "big" tank fish keeper most of the nanos didn't support the amount of livestock I would want ... or so I thought. Besides, I was all comfy with freshwater and my great looking cichlid tanks. Reffing had just enough of an intimidation factor to keep me away.

 

Anyway.... We have a five yr old son... I don't think I need to explain the nemo effect to anyone who might be reading this. But, having always been tempted to go with a reef I decide to do some investigation and see if I might be able to set up a nemo nano. ya know... for the boy (not that I wanted to do it for any of my own interest as well... ha ha!) The JBJ cube was appealing so I began to comb the internet for info.

That search brought me here (among a few other places). I then spent the next couple of months or so... reading. A lot.

 

I'd like to express my apperception to everyone involved with this site and all who post here. You're questions, answers, ideas, success and failure stories were a tremendous resource. The galleries were inspirational...

After countless hours spent clicking away through posts and having questions raised and in some cases having the answers raise new questions, I got my plans together and took the plunge.

 

I got a tank, threw some LR in there with a clown, a couple of tangs, an octopus, picasso trigger and some jellyfish.

 

...easy there now... ...I was just kidding... ...relax...

 

Here is what really happened after I figured I had a plan:

 

Like I said the JBJ cube was what interested me initially. Big enough to let me feel we were going to get enough tank to justify the cost and small enough to fit in the space requirements I had.

 

As I researched the JBJ cubes and their pros and cons for me I realized that I wasn't going to want to use it as is out of the box. There is a lot to like about the JBJ cubes, the design in general, not having to have a bunch of crap hanging off the back, glass... etc. But after a bit of reading I knew I would be modifying it quite a bit. I knew at this point that I would want a skimmer and probably a fuge as part of the system. Cutting out the overflow, adding the skimmer, moonlight, setting up the fuge, adding pumps.... the JBJ tanks were looking like more of a project than I anticipated and I really wanted to do as much as possible before adding livestock. I can't tell you how glad I was I did the research before buying. Because....

 

One night while surfing e-bay I came across an acrylic tank that was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. 15 gallon acrylic with a hood, a false wall for an overflow, Skimmer on the back with a couple of Rio 800s. It measures 18"H x 15"W x 13"D. The display area is 10" deep with the remaining three behind the false wall in the filtration area.

 

 

Lighting: I wound up installing current brand dual satellite fixture. 2x18w dual bulbs with one being a sunpaq daylight 10,000k & 6,700k and the other being an Actinic 460nm & 420nm. There is a white led moonlight incorporated into this fixture as well. The acrylic hood meant MH lights were out of the question. Am I going to want to upgrade those lights at some point? Probably, especially considering the depth of the tank, but for now it's a good starting point. I also added a 7w jbj fixture over the section of the overflow that will be used as the fuge.

 

Filtration: The first compartment is the overflow. This compartment contains the heater, a 100w visi therm and the first Rio 800 pump which feeds into the skimmer. Second compartment is where the skimmer is housed. The third compartment is goinng to be set up as the fuge. The fuge is intended mostly for nitrate reduction but I'll be seeding it with critters as well. There will be live rock rubble and chaeto macro algae in the fuge. The output from the skimmer feeds over to the fuge and the fuge sits over a second Rio 800 pump that feeds back into the display.

 

Next step.... live sand and rock. I'm still debating on what rock to go with either premium aquatics nano rock or some Haitian live rock I've spotted elsewhere on the net. I should have an update on how that search went along with some pics in a week or two.

 

Here are some pics of the tank:

Forgive the picture quality, I was an early adapter to digital photography and my camera is six years old.

 

 

 

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Edited by icenine

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Sounds great, and welcome to the Nano-Reefing Comunity :)

 

If I were you, I'd upgrade that lighting. Add in another Satalite fixture for better light.

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Thanks for the comments Trav, but I'm not going to be able to fit two satellites over this tank. I'd need 13" front to back to line them up side by side and 14" front to back.The tank is only 13" front to back with 10" in the front display and the remaining 3" behind the false wall. While just hanging over the overflow might be OK the cup for the skimmer gets in the way.... so no dice. But like you I thought about it. If anyone has any other suggestions for lighting I'm all ears. I'm going to see how the lighting does for the first 6 months or so and if I decide I need to I'll end up building a custom hood less 'warpable' than acrylic.

 

Now for the update... I found a stand that works well for the tank. Just the right size and strong and stable enough. I've leak tested the tank on the stand and ran the pumps with fresh water. During the test I got a lesson in the difference in a the Rio 800 and 800RVT. After hooking up the standard Rio to the skimmer it was less than quiet. I expect noise from the bubbling skimmer but this was all pump noise. The standard came with a venturi attachment... which did nothing to quell the noise and didn't work any better. I then switched the two around and everything was much smoother. (it took me about a half hour of messing around before I came to the conclusion that I needed to switch them... doh!) Below are pics of the two pumps in case anyone is interested. Flow overall seems pretty good, not a hurricane but it's getting pushed around. I don't think I'll be adding a third. 800RVT is the one on the left:

 

 

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Here is the tank on the stand I acquired. It's flush front to back with about three inches on either side.

 

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I also ended up returning the JBJ light I had purched for the fuge and picked up a 5w light from coarlife instead. The coralife is a little smaller, a little more direct and allows for better placement over my intended fuge area. It was $15. Pic below:

 

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Next items... sand and live rock. Oh, and water....probably gonna need water too.

It's been a bit frustrating shopping for live rock... I live in a big city (Chicago) and the selection of live rock available locally is the pits. It's abhorrently expensive ($8 to $12 a pound) or butt ugly... or both.

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I've ordered some uncured live rock.

I went with an e-bay seller under the ID jean_pool. They offer 25lbs of uncured Haitian live rock for 89.00 shipped ups ground. I kicked in another $20 an they shipped air frieght to ORD. Their feedback is consistently good (363 at 100% positive) and I contacted about a dozen buyers who had good things to say and pictures to share. So I got brave enough to buy some rock sight unseen.... I'll post pictures of what gets sent to me.... fingers crossed till then.

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The rock is here. I must say I'm pretty happy with what I got. Thanks to Catherine at Sea Life Imports (aka Jean_pool on e-bay) for helping the sale and shipment go smoothly. She was quick to answer questions and got my rock to Chicago via air freight without a hitch. I'd recommend checking out their auctions if you are looking for live rock or a clean up crew, they have such good feedback for a reason.

 

Here is a pic of how it was shipped:

 

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They wound up sending me 33lbs, I paid for 25lbs which was more than I needed to begin with... 33 is MUCH more than I really needed. But hey, it gave me more to play around with and figure out how I'm going to auquascape this tank. I traded the extra to a LFS for some live sand and cash. ....that comps a considerable portion of the purchase price for the rock, about half. If only everything in this hobby worked out so well.

 

The rock was really good for creating shelves in the aquascape to display coral on and because it's so light and pours it should make a great candidate for doing what live rock is really there for in a reef tank, which is to work as filtration. Given the height of the tank the scape I set up is tall. Some silicone is going to be used to attach a few rocks together but nothing will be silicone'd to the tank. I "customized" some of the rock, with a hammer,chisel and a dremmel tool. Some pieces were just too large for the tank,others I notched to help them fit together.

Cracking a few rocks open as I did revealed some interesting things as well. In the process of "customizing" rock I must have killed a dozen worms and slug type critters... the largest being a 4" bristle worm looking thing. When they say there is life in your rock they really mean that some of it is smack in the middle of the rock.

 

I chose this rock based on it's typical shape and structure more so than potential hitch hikers. ...but while it's curing waiting for things to appear from it is going to be the tank's only entertainment value for the next few months. Though I know it's a slim chance that if anything really interesting does pop out, it will survive the cure/cycle. Right now there is a nice amount of Coralline in various shades of red, pink, purple and green. I've lightly scrubbed some of the dieing life off the rocks but there are a couple of rocks I've as of now at least, left untouched just to see what happens.... The tank will not have anything added to it other than the beginnings of a clean up crew over the next three months, so I have time to wait it out.

I'm also skimming for several hours a day while the cure is going on. I've read differing opinions on running a skimmer during a cure/cycle but since the rock is uncured I think running the skimmer is the way to go. There will be enough die off on the uncured rock to get the cycle going... and the skimmer will cut down on the pu factor.

PS... my bak pak type skimmer throws a ton of micobubbles into the display, but I hope that will dissipate the more I run it. It's collecting a very watery very brown skimmate. I expected what collected in the cup to be thicker. It does however smell just as bad as I expected it to.

 

Here is a pic of the aquascape.

 

 

 

13010PIC00046.jpg

 

 

My sand bed is about an inch deep with 10lbs in there. This pic is of all the rock in the tank rock "pre-scrubbed" so a lot of the crap you see on the rock in this picture has been removed. This was taken while I was working out the scape and figuring out which rocks I would keep. This is pretty much what I settled on. The rock in the upper left corner I left as is for the moment. The green bubble stuff is not bubble algae, which was my first guess as to what it might be. ....at last I think it isn't. Some of it had broken off during shipping and I broke a little more off myself, it's some sort of sponge like organism. I'll post another closer pic in the identification forum to see if anyone has any insight before I make it gone. I'll probably remove it regardless of what it turns out to be, that rock in particular screams "plant some colorful zoos on me!" when I look at it in the tank.

 

I'll post some more and better pics in a couple weeks as the cure goes on.

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Love the aquascaping- looks very nice. I can relate to your not having room for another big tank- I have a 55 gallon turtle tank, 29 gallon goldies and now a 20L SW. Of course now I am eyeing up my 29 and wondering how my goldies would like a 20L instead.

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Never buy an acrylic nano tank. Never.

OK maybe that's an opinion, but for me it's now a mantra.

 

This was the first acrylic tank I've owned and it will be the last. No matter what anyone tells you about how improved acrylic used in a tank may be today over years past... improved is still lacking.

The stuff is way too soft for an aquarium display. I had my doubts about acrylic going into this but I did it anyway, big mistake.

 

I was messing around with the live rock and a piece slipped out of my hand. In a glass tank this would have meant nothing. In an acrylic tank it left a nice 4in long scratch right in the middle of the front panel.

It could not be in a worse spot.

So... I'm contemplating just ditching the tank and starting over with a glass one, I am still just curing my live rock. I could go on living with the gash in the front of the tank. The gash will probably get filled in with algae eventually making it stand out in some shade of green rather than the gauged acrylic white it stands out in now. I've looked in to what it would take to remove the scratch and it's just not worth it. Most of the scratch removal kits from what I've seen end up just leaving you with a foggy patch on the acrylic and that would actually be worse than the scratch in the center of the front panel.

Acrylic is just fine for hang on the back systems and such, but it is just not a suitable material for the display. Especially in a nano size tank.

 

Never buy an acrylic nano tank. Never.

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my glass tank has scratches on the front panel from that too, but i find on glass it is less noticable than if it were to happen in acrylic. sorry bout your scratch, that tank was looking really nice

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So far there is stuff o' plenty popping out... After the second day with rock in the tank, the glass was speckled with white dots... most look like worms. I've wiped off the glass... they can grow on the false wall all they want to. I expect all the little white worms and pods to disappear while the ammonia rises (and it is rising) and then hopefully re-appear as the rock cures. There are about half a dozen amoeba like sponges growing in yellow, green, red, pink and purple. A couple of the sponges excreted a slimy coating for a while but that dissipated off of most of them. Some calpura appears to be growing in a few areas, I'm ready to siphon that out. I also left a bunch of dying Halimeda on the rock and there are some new sprouts of that growing as well, that I will likely leave. There are about a dozen misc tube worms that have popped out, and I've spotted a peanut worm or two and something that looks like a bunch of white tube worms are growing out of the sand now. Some odd looking snail I initially thought was maybe another sponge made an appearance the other day... but has since vanished. Some of the hitchhiking zoos(see my post in the ID forum and thanks to soju and jenniebutterfly for advising me about what a closed up an traumatized zoo looks like before I scraped them off) have melted away but they don't all look completely dead yet.

 

At this point I'm doing a lot of reassuring to the family that yes, it will get pretty and no, it won't always smell so bad, it's just gonna take awhile. I think so anyway...lol. But for the meantime stuff is going to continue to die, rot and stink up a bit. The smell from the tank itself is not that bad (save for the skimmer collection cup) unless you get your nose right up to it. I was actually expecting it to be worse than it is.

 

My bak pak type skimmer's micorbubble spewing has dissipated and I hope will disappear completely. The skimmate has gotten thicker and darker. What collects in the cup almost looks just as revolting as it smells now.

 

While I cure I'm not running the lights often but I am doing a few full day cycles just to monitor temperature swings. So far so good with the temps. It stays stable when I target it to 79 degrees and up, I think I'll be alright if I leave it there.

 

I'm still PO'd about the scratch. But I decided to just live with it, at least until I get to the end of the rock cure.

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nice documentation & cool tank. i am really sorry about the scratch. that blows.

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So.... I managed to make a trip to the ER due to my nano reefing.

I was poking around in the tank.... without aqua gloves.

 

Yep, I know, I know.... I must have read a hundred threads that deal with or make mention of someone getting a rash, running a fever or having a digit explode because they were messing around in the tank without gloves. But you see, normally I exhibit superhuman qualities on a daily basis... so I don't need no stinking gloves. I should be impervious to anything in this little tank. Besides I'm just curing live rock in it now, right?

 

Yeah, well.... stupid me.

 

Anyway, I messing around with the tank on Saturday a bit. Cleaning some algae that's building up in a spot the magna float can't get to, and succumbing to the irresistible urge to see what it would look like if I moved a couple of rocks around. ...keep in mind that I'm curing live rock so my tank does not really warrant this sort of attention to cosmetic detail right now, but none the less that is what I'm doing at the time anyway.

When I finished, I had a bit of a stinging sensation in a couple of fingertips and a little on my right arm which was the one that spent the most time in the tank. I washed up and the sensation went away. I didn't think about it after that.

When I first set up the tank on March 1st I had a similar sensation after handling the rock, and at that time I wore gloves covering my hands only when I was customizing the rock, not while I was setting it up in the tank. I spent a whole lot more time with the rock and in the tank at that time and after washing up thoroughly it went away.

And this past week, nothing bothered me afterwards as well.... until Thursday Morning. When I woke that morning my thumb and a few fingertips felt kinda tender, the sensation was not unlike a mild burn. I also has a couple of red blotches on my right arm, not streaks, blotches. As the day went on my fingertips got more sensitive, my right thumb started to swell and the blotching spread on my right arm about to the point I had my arm submerged in the tank to. So... It wasn't hard to guess what I had done that was causing this, I was kinda surprised it took four days before it showed up since I had not touched the tank since Saturday. I start thinking about calling my doctor, pop a couple of antihistamines from the office first aid stash and go on with my day.

By around 7PM that evening the blotching had spread down my hand and grown considerably around my arm. The thumb on my right hand had swollen some and the blotches were now raised but still stopped at about the point I had my arm in the tank to. It looked in general much worse. That tender burning like sensation was also now noticeable on two fingers and my thumb on my left hand too.

So crap, It's too late in the day for me to see my DR so I decide to swing into the ER to get it looked at.

I'm sure you can imagine what fun I had (or really fun they had) explaining why I thought my arm was ballooning up and popping blotches.... "well, I'm setting up this saltwater reef tank you see...."

They gave me a shot of bennidril, and script for bennidril pills and some prednisone. So right now it's being treated as an allergic reaction. It's not disappeared but the swelling has gone down, nothing appears to be spreading at this point and I'm not running a fever.

I'm following up with my DR on Monday, I hope that I see more improvement before then. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything before, but I've never kept a reef either. It could have been what's left of the hitchhiking Zoos or just about anything else that's in the tank.

 

My aqua gloves are on the way, I ordered the hazzmat crew looking jobbers that go up to your armpits @ Fosters and Smith. I think I learned my lesson.

 

One of my co-workers asked me if I was going to give up on the reef after this.... the thought never crossed my mind. In fact now I HAVE to finish this tank set up. I can't let 15g of reef get the best of superhuman me now can I?

 

 

Now for the more normal stuff.....

 

Another week into the cycle/cure and wow, did I get a huge ammonia spike! I was topping the chart (8.0) on my API ammonia test kit without reading anything for nitrite yet. I was getting kinda worried that the water was going to be too poisonous to move on in the cycle... my freshwater tanks never spiked so high for so long, it was making me nervous. (although I never cured live rock in a freshwater tank... this was new for me having so much dead and dying matter in a tank) It was very tempting to do a bunch of water changes, but I refrained. The cycle moved on in a couple days and nitrites appeared. I'm watching nitrite go up the chart currently while ammonia goes down, but I feel much better about the whole cycle.

The hitchhiking zoos have melted away to only a few polyps....and those don't look too good. I hope this will be the only time I have to watch corals die in our tank. A couple of sponges have disintegrated as well and the little white pod population also pretty much disappeared like I expected. Worms for the most part seem to have survived the spike. Hitchhikers are kinda interesting for the short while they last when you cycle.

By the end of the week I had a diatom bloom going on, which of course led to my trip to the ER. This third week I've been running the lights a little more as well as the skimmer and I should be adding some chaeto to the fuge area soon. Sometime at the end of week four I hope to be adding some naussirus snails as the beginnings of a clean up crew, my substrate is looking like a junkyard.

All in all things are going as I thought they would. Well, except for the scratch, and the trip to the ER ...haha.

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hatian rock kicks a$$ . I have it in my 58 gallon and im very happy with it so far. God luck with your tank man.

 

Sincerly,

Mike

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Well, the cure is done. Curing live rock was not as bad as I thought it might be. It took about a month... I had kinda prepared for it to go a few weeks longer.

Not that I'm complaining.

At the end of the third week I was reading nitrates and got a major algae bloom. There was still some ammonia present which I'd chalked up to the remaining die off, (no water changes since it went in to that point) so I siphoned up the debris left on the substrate and rocks with a 40% water change. I was reading nitrate for a few days afterward but ammonia and nitrite stayed at zero, it was looking like things were on the way to being stabilized. Brown algae had just about taken over the tank with green hair starting to take hold as well. There were a few patches of cyno that were growing rapidly, that I was not happy to see.

So this week I added the clean up crew, 12 nassarius snails, three astrea snails and three red legged hermit crabs. Let me tell you, the nassarius snails are fantastic. From what I had read I expected them to mainly stick to the substrate and not eat much in the way of algae, however they are all over everything and just about wiped out my brown and green algae in a matter of days. The astrea snails are pretty voracious as well. ...both types of snails munch on the cyno.

So... there is cheato in the fuge, (thanks to Fishery for the baggie full) and the cleaning crew is in. Things are going to stand pat now for the next six to eight weeks. Right now my water is crystal clear.... you might think it was a box of air if it wasn't for the occasional bubble floating by.

As far as the hitchhikers go... the pod population is back and some tiny brittle stars have popped out. A couple of the sponges have survived along with some of the macro. There is some type of barnacle/worm thing that you would think was a part of the rock but turns out to be an animal. It opens up swivels around and grabs at stuff in the water column like a feather duster, I've placed it so that it in more of a direct flow. I've caught a few peanut worms sneaking out to feed recently as well.... so I didn't kill all of them during my cycle. The hitchhiking zoos have all bit the dust, I never did get to see them open. Coralline is present but does not look to be spreading much yet. I'm still only running the skimmer several hours a day. It hardly generates much skimmate at all now where as I would empty the cup daily when the rock first went in. Lights are now on for 12hrs a day...so long as my water stays as clear as it is and the clean up crew keeps the algae in check it the lights will stay on for that long.

After five weeks readings are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, salinity 1.025, ph 8.2, temp 79f ...that's all I'm testing for at the moment.

The reaction/rash that sent me to the ER finally cleared up and my fingertips don't feel "burnt" anymore. ....but I'm never sticking my arm in that tank again without aqua gloves.

I'll post some updated pics soon as the coralline spreads. Basically right now... it looks like the last pic I posted minus the polyps in the upper right, the water is much clearer and there are a bunch of inverts crawling around.

 

I'm thinking about the corals that will go in a couple of months from now... since I have lots of time to think about it. I'm leaning toward a nano 12 pak from Seacrop... folks have posted some great reviews of their service. Softies,mushrooms, zoos, polyps along with maybe a torch and a sun coral.

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yep... got those. Not as awkward to use as I thought they might be.

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Originally posted by BigRed25X

how long did it take you to type all of that ######? lol man that is long

 

And all the other posts are long too!!!

Nice btw!!

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Well... It's been a couple weeks and things have been added so the thread is due for an update.

I've added a few dwarf brittle stars to the crew. They are about two inches in diameter and blue (not green). The person I got them from swears that they are not predatory, won't eat corals either (detritus feeders) and should stay under 3". I spent quite a bit of time looking for info on this variety of brittle star and came up completely empty handed. The only thing I know for sure is that they are harvested out of the Caribbean. So... I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope they work out. Big gamble putting something in your tank you really don't know much about, but unusual items are often a little too hard to resist. Thus far they seem to be doing fine and I'm not missing any snails or hermits.

I think that this will be it for the cleaning crew. The nassarius army stands at 15 now. Whatever variety I wound up with, these nassarius are omnivores.. they unquestionably eat algae and chow any food I drop in the tank as well. Since I've had them in the tank they appear to be the all purpose snail. They spend time on the rock, glass and in the substrate eating algae. When I throw a piece of shrimp in there they are on it like a horde of zombies. With those and the astreas, the turbo, hermits, brittle stars, misc pods and tiny feather dusters I think the tank is pretty well covered.

 

I also added some corals. I know I said none would go in till June but I came across a tiny (10 polyp) frag of blue zoas with green centers and orange skirts as well as a frag of GSP for five bucks each. I just couldn't pass it up... the GSP was on my list of corals to include in the tank from the start. Besides I was looking to drop at least one coral in the tank before I placed an order with seacrop... I'd be too nervous to gamble with twelve right off the bat. I wanted to make sure that corals don't mysteriously evaporate in our tank or something like that first. They both went in just after the brittle stars and the zoas opened up the day I put them in. The GSP took a bit longer... with just one polyp popping out the first day, and a dozen or so a few days later. I did not go to any great lengths to acclimate them, aside from getting them up to temp.... I had not gotten anything together to do a drip acclimation before I got 'em, very bad of me even though it looks like it worked out. I've since got the acclimation gear in order.

The rock the GSP was on had a surprising number of hitchhikers crawl out of it. There was an inch long bristle worm, a brown banded btrittlestar about an half inch in diameter and some pretty big looking pods.

 

And then.... B16AR2NR offered one of his frag paks here on NR last weekend.... have you seen the stuff he offers here from time to time? Real nice, lots of colors. The couple of corals I had in my tank were doing fine ... lol.... did I mention he offers some really nice stuff? it was such a good price too. ...so I got in on the sale. He sent me not just the four shown in his post but a total of 5 stunning frags. ( I was one of the first eight to place an order and got the bonus) Four varieties of Zoas and a candy cane. All look great and are extending, even though they have only been in the tank for five days now. Many thanks to Todd... it was a great kick start for the reef. BTW... he shipped fast and had them packaged well, and they all started to open as soon as they went into the main tank. It was a great transaction all the way around. I highly recommend checking out anything else he offers in the future, I know I will.

I got to try my hand at mounting frags to my rockwork with these additions as well. The frags all came on small pieces of rock and I used loctite gel to mount them in place. (my turbo snail quickly demonstrated his ability to knock over frags). That was easy enough once I figured out how much glue to use. Then much to my chagrin the other morning the super reds were sitting on the bottom of the tank. They had come off the original mount they were shipped on and that I had glued down. So.... I was a little worried about placing the zoas actually in the glue rather than just gluing the rock they were on... but they look happy now so I think I pulled it off.

There will still likely be an order placed to seacrop, I'm going to be looking to add a variety of colored mushrooms and a couple of softies.

OK... so I totally caved on the "wait till June to add corals" portion of my plan by a month. But..I'm not adding anything else till then... really.

I think.

Coralline is really catching on all over (including my glass unfortunately), the rock is coloring up nicely with red, orange, three different shades of green, pink and purple.... there is a white coralline growing in spots to, that's a color I did not expect to see.

 

One of my astrea snails has either offspring or a hitchhiker/parasite. I've not found much info on the breeding habits of astrea snails but there is a small snail that looks to have the similarly shaped shell attached to the underside of one of my astreas. The body of the smaller snail looks darker than the pigmentation of the astrea. It's been there for about a few weeks (that I noticed anyway) and does not seem to be bothering the astrea much. It picks up bits of food along with the parent/and or host and has grown a bit since I first spotted it. I think it might be a pyramid snail, but it's bigger than any pics of pyramid snails I've seen. If anyone has some insight as to what's going on with those two please let me know.

 

 

Here is a really bad some pics of one of the stars (my camera has no maco feature):

13010PIC00068.jpg

 

wow... there is actually stuff in the tank now, and it only took a little over two months to get it to this point.

 

15 lbs of live rock (around about that much anyway)

10 lbs of live sand

3 Red Legged Hermits

15 Nassarius snails

1 Turbo snail

3 (maybe 4) Astrea snails

2 Dwarf Blue Brittle stars

A gazillion little white 'pods

Orange skirted Zoas with blue rings and green centers

Green Star polyps

Teal Blue Candy cane

Red Skirted Zoas with white centers

Red skirted Zoas with purple ring and pink centers

Green people eater polyps

Lime green skirted with orange mouth zoas

 

Here is a full tank shot. Soon, I'll be purchasing a new digial camera. But until then nothing but these crappy pics.

 

13010Full_tank.jpg

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Well, Todd offered another frag pack last weekend. So... five more corals have gone in the tank. .... did I mention yet he offers some really nice frag packs?

This latest offering had his famed Eagle Eyes... which look even better in person. I'm glad I was able to get them from the guy that coined the term so I don't have to wonder "are these REALLY eagle eyes or not?" Whatever you wanna call them they are far and away my favorite coral in the tank now.

There were also some extremely nice neon greens, solid reds, solid blue and baby blue in addition to some red and green candy cane. They all look great in the tank so far.

He also threw in a couple more polyps of the GPEs... the original frag I got from him had sprouted a couple new polyps so now there are eleven. The other original frags have all added a couple polyps and one of the heads of original candy cane has developed a visible second mouth and is splitting, so that is going from three heads to four. I think everything is doing well.

I'm pretty happy with the variety of zoas I've got at this point. I'm sure that I'll spend plenty of time re-arranging them as they (hopefully) spread.

And again... my thanks go out to the NR community. B16ANR2 in particular for taking the time to frag some of his selection. I'm quite sure he could have made more money by offering his corals on e-bay, so I appreciate him dishing them out here. I doubt that I would have been able to obtain the variety of frags and other items for the tank that I did for the prices I did if not for the reefers and sponsors on this site. I'm sure that the reef would have been more expensive not to mention more brown at this point without NR.com.

 

I did get to see something new last week with the GPE. I was walking by the tank and noticed that two of the polyps were gaping, mouths wide open. So I stood there for a minute and watched each one of them expel a glob of brown stuff and then close up their mouths. I'm assuming that it was polyp poop, because that's what it looked like. Kinda solid and it floated away in the current, hopefully to wind up in my skimmer's collection cup.

I'm feeding the tank a little, only a couple times a week with cyclopseeze. I'm not spot feeding specific corals, but I might try that soon. I'm only adding a small amount to the tank in general. Since I'm seeing things split or spread my guess is that's all I need to do for now. The canes extend their sweepers to feed at lights out, the rest of the polyps close up when the lights go off.

 

Spotted a new hitchhiker the other night and I'm not particularly thrilled about it. It's some sort of Xanthid variety of crab. He was tiny, only about 1/4 inch across and looked to be picking food from the rock... but after reading up on them he could decide to start picking zoas or the fish I eventually stock as he grows. Opinions vary in terms of what exactly they eat, but the general consensus is that they are a pest.

I'm not worried at the moment but it's time to start planning a crab trap the likes of which I read about in other posts here. If he survived the curing of live rock in the tank it's not likely he will just disappear.

As for other hitchhikers, not much else in the way of new but I just see more of what I already knew was there. I know I have four peanut worms I've seen snatching food simultaneously and the small feather dusters and tube worms are all over the place. I've seen several bristle worms running around now and at least one banded brittle star who's extended arms from a hole in the live rock is the only evidence of. There are some digitate hydroids as well, I see strings going out and being reeled back at about five different places in the tank. The pod population is well... exploding like crazy with no major predators for them as part of the current stocking. Glass is covered with coeplopods, especially after lights go down and the rock is crawling with a larger amphlopods, the more shrimp like variety. ...the volume of them right now kinda makes me wanna put a dragonette in there.... ;)

Coralline is still spreading, and much to my surprise purple is actually one of the least dominant colors. Green is the most predominate and there are three shades of it. There is a light green, a very intense neon/kinda florescent green and yellowish/pea soup looking green I now refer to as exorcist vomit coralline. In combo they actually all look pretty good together. The next most common shades are a deep red/maroon and pink followed by purple. I still have some of the white stuff growing and there is little bit of orange too, I would really like to encourage more of the orange so I'm going to try to scrape some off ground it up and re-distribute it in the tank. I'm not disappointed in the least by the coralline coloration, I really like how it is turning out. I had just expected the tank to be more purple.

 

Now, I've got 13 varieties of corals in the tank... and I do plan on adding more. Below is the list of inhabitants so far, this would be week eleven of running the tank.

Moving along.... it seems slowly but yet I keep hoping I'm not doing things too fast.

 

 

3 Red Legged Hermits

15 Naussairus snails

1 Turbo snail

3 (maybe 4) Astrea snails

2 Dwarf Blue Brittle stars

A gazillion little white 'pods

Orange skirted Zoas with blue rings and green centers

Green Star polyps

Teal Blue Candy cane

Red and green candy cane

Red skirted Zoas with white centers

Red skirted Zoas with purple ring and pink centers

Green people eater polyps

Lime green skirted with orange mouth zoas

Eagle Eye Zoas

Electric green Zoas

Solid red Zoas

Solid teal Zoas

Teal blue Zoas with green skirts

 

 

I going to get my Seacrop order together at the end of the month, I'm thinking mostly mushrooms, a devils hand leather, toadstool leather .....things along those lines out of thier CPR selection. I should be out of room in the tank after that. I would like to add a torch but I'm concerned about spacing and sweeper tentacles.

By time summer finishes there will be a couple of false percs and a skunk cleaner shrimp added.

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re: scratch in acrylic

 

if you still havent removed your scratch, you should consider purchasing a pentair scratch removal kit. it has many different grades of sandpaper in it, from 1500 (coarse) 12,000 grit (polishing grade). I've removed very deep scratches all the way to super fine hairline scratches that you can only see at an angle. you can even use it underwater. hope this helps.

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Thanks for the tip tz.... I've looked at that stuff and I'm considering giving it a try. The thing that has been holding me back Is my worry that instead of a scratch, I'll end up with a big blurry spot.

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