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Francis' 30 gallon Oceanic cube


flipteg

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~January 22, 2008 UPDATE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

latest picture of the aquarium...

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i've removed much of the soft corals that can be invasive, mainly the zoanthids... the only reason i've left the xenias is because it's hosting the clownfishes... i've put in green star polyps, even though they can be invasive, because i like them and i like how they kinda glow in the bluish... however, they are sequestered on a small rock not touching anything but sand and glass...

 

parameters:

alkalinity 8dKH...

calcium 400ppm...

magnesium 1300ppm...

salinity 35ppt...

temperature 78F-81F...

nitrate 0mg/l...

 

filtration:

i've since added a 5.5 gallon sump/refugium to the setup mainly to grow chaeto with a nice extra of hiding the equipment... 5.5 gallon is small but it's the largest standard aquarium i can fit inside the stand... the return pump is an Eheim 1250... the pump's flow rate is about 150gph after head loss... the flow is further reduced to around 70gph with a T connector and a ball valve...

 

the aquarium's main filtration are live rocks, chaeto, and a Reef Octopus recirculating PS-120 protein skimmer fed by a MaxiJet 600... there is a ball valve on the MaxiJet so the water's circulation through the skimmer is around 60gph...

 

the chaeto is very efficient at taking up excess nutrients... the problem with chaeto is, sometimes, they are tempermental... their growth rates vary from time to time... before installing the Reef Octopus skimmer, i can see cyano and hair algae start to take over everytime the chaeto has a hissy fit... adding the skimmer afforded the chaeto much slack...

 

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the sump/refugium does not have dividers... this picture shows how i provided the skimmer's feed pump with a constant water level... i cut the top off of a 1 gallon Gatorade bottle... the feed pump, the skimmer's return, and the hose from the main tank's drain are all inside the Gatorade bottle... since the maximum water level of the sump is lower than the brim of the Gatorade bottle, water overflows from the top of the bottle down to the sump/refugium's water level...

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circulation:

circulation is provided by 2 Tunze 6025's...

 

lighting:

the tank is lit by a single metal halide 150 watt light bulb... i'm still using the same Coralife hang on 150 watt metal halide fixture and ballast but now with a 12,000K Reeflux bulb... now that the tank is open top, i like the sleek look of the light fixture...

 

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fishes:

the system currently have 6 fishes... the green banded goby and the red head goby have passed away... they couldn't compete for food because the female clownfish is a voracious eater... very little food gets passed her... once i noticed this problem, it was too late... the gobies' stomachs are too pinched in already and even when i fed enough to actually see them eat, it was too late... also, i couldn't feed the tank as much as i would like because the skimmer i was using at the time is not big enough... i could see cyano starts to take over whenever i over feed... now that i have a more complete filtration system that is better at keeping excess nutrients in check which allows me to feed the tank as much as i want, i'm thinking of getting another green banded goby and red head goby...

 

percula clownfish pair... first picture is the female (this is the same clownfish as from the original post), and the other picture is the male...

Hyori... yes, i name my fishes...

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Hikaru...

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golden dwarf angelfish...

Parango...

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hi-fin goby...

Mr. Barber with the pistol shrimp Lefty...

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McCosker's flasher wrasse...

Geronimo...

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lawnmower blenny...

no name yet as i just got this fish recently...

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corals:

here are pictures of some of the corals in the tank...

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maintenance:

freshwater top of every 2 days... dose 2 part solution everyday... feed fishes... 4 drops of Kent's chelated iron everyday for chaeto... i don't really have any schedule for water changes... i just do them whenever i feel like it, which comes down to almost never...

 

the only parameters i regularly test for are calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and salinity...

 

conclusion:

right now, i'm pretty happy with the tank... i've entertained the idea of a calcium reactor but ultimately i've decided to stick with dosing the 2 part solution... they're easy to make, easy to monitor and adjust the dosage, and very cheap... later on, i will add an automatic doser, maybe a Litermeter 3... but i have to figure out a way to squeeze 2 2.5 gallon tanks inside the stand to hold the 2 part solutions...

 

i will update this post again later on... right now, in the foreseeable future, i know i'm always gonna have a reef aquarium...

 

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ORIGINAL POST~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

here are pictures of my 30 gallon cube... it's been up for almost 8 months now (set up October 14, 2005)... when i was first setting this tank up, my main focus was on fish... but i quickly found out how limited the selection of fish is for 30 gallons... plus, i've been battling nitrates and cyano these past couple of months... it is only this past 2-3 weeks that i finally have them under control...

 

early on, i decided that i want it to be LPS dominated with 2 or 3 nice colonies of acropora on the top part... i started liking LPS's when i got the frogspawn and hammer on December 26, 2005...

 

the fishes that i have in there right now are:

percula clownfish (she was first fish that went into the tank)...

hi-fin goby...

green-banded goby...

red head goby...

 

snails, hermits, 3 sexy shrimps, skunk cleaner, and a coral banded shrimp...

 

parameters:

ammonia 0mg/l...

nitrite 0mg/l...

nitrate <0.2mg/l...

temperature 78F during light on and 80F at light off... this is because the fan is doing such a good job at cooling the tank... it turns off when the MH light goes off at night...

PH 8.0...

alkalinity 8dKH...

calcium 450ppm...

specific gravity 1.025...

 

MH light is on from 1pm to 1am...

 

photo taking question... it seems like no matter how hard i try, the pictures that i take of my tank always comes out as "meeeh"... it looks ok, but it's nothing exceptional like a lot of the shots i see here... i've tried all different sorts of color balance, exposures, different lenses... shooting from across the room... i don't know what it is that i'm doing wrong... are some lighting more photogenic than others...??? i'm thinking that T5's and VHO's look better in picture than some metal halide bulbs...

 

but anyways, here are the pictures... comments appreciated...

 

sadly, about 2 months after this picture was taken, the bubble tip anemone had an accident with the powerhead... i had to take it out since it started melting... also, the other clownfish in the background died of brooklynella... it was sick when i got it from the petshop... i wasn't familiar with clownfishes' diseases back then and i thought that it will recover in my tank as opposed to being in the petshop's tank... it died after 3 weeks in my tank... luckily, my other fish didn't get it...

 

by the way, this is my first post but i have been lurking in this forums ever since i started the tank back in October 2005 :happy: ...

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thanks for the replies...!

 

travisurfer, the clam on the left is a maxima and the other is a derasa clam...

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Agreed. Very nice tank! What type of lighting are you running?

 

i am using one of those Coralife hang on the back light... 150w 14kk MH light and a normal output 15w actinic purely for looks... i feel 150w is enough cause i don't really plan on it to be an SPS dominated tank...

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just some pictures for update... i just bought the fuzzy one today... i bought the acropora about 2 weeks ago...

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