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About andrewkw

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    Nano Reefer

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    Ontario, Canada

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  1. andrewkw

    Side shot of my 112 gallon

    Wish the tank was 36" wide not 18" but reflection still makes it look good.
  2. andrewkw

    Do you quarantine inverts?

    I do qt my inverts, 72 days is ideal, but realistically I usually end up doing about 30. After a shrimp molts in theory it should be fine and they are going to molt long before 72 days. The reason why I say 30 days is, I use my frag tank for both coral and invert qt but somewhere along the way corals will go in and they will reset the clock.
  3. andrewkw

    What is your favorite salt mix, and why!

    My favorite is probably red sea blue bucket - this is simply because the levels are closest to what I run. What I actually mostly use is coralife. It's cheaper and close enough. The only thing I really don't like about salt mixes are ones that are super high alkalinity, or ones that need to mix for 24hrs. This is just because I store RO/DI and not saltwater and mix on demand.
  4. andrewkw

    10 gallon Sexy Shrimp "reef"

    Here's the nano today. I added a couple of flower anemones. After floating around for a night they both find nice spots. I was originally planning on buying more but found too much other stuff to buy in a rare fish shopping trip. Unfortunately the weekly trips to the lfs are over for now for me and I only have the opportunity to buy fish and coral a few times a year. The only issue with the tank is the toadstool only opens once a week. All the other corals are doing well and this random micmol led light does seem capable of supporting corals at least softies anyway. I mentioned I had originally planned on getting more flower anemones, I did of course find some real nice pieces for my other tanks, but I also found a fish I have wanted for many years. This yellow scopas tang! While he currently is in a 10g (qt) tank he will not be going in with the sexies. He's destined to be my centerpiece fish in my main reef. The funny thing is in the past when I've seen them my wife was very opposed to me spending $200 for a fish that looks like a $30 fish. Now with everything going on in Hawaii the price of yellow tangs has risen making these guys more comparable to the common fish they resemble. That being said this one is not a very bright yellow and his fins look orange. You can tell right away he's a scopas. Sorry to get OT but this is my own thread. I will shoot another video of the tank soon, and hopefully soon I will start to see some egg carrying. I did just recently do a head count and can confirm all 11 sexy shrimp are still alive and well.
  5. andrewkw

    Vodka 22ml a day, nitrates still at 30.

    Ich has less than NOTHING to do with nitrates and phosphates. Nor does stress for that matter. Ich is a parasite. Your fish have to be exposed to it. Either they came with it, or a coral / invert that you added without quarantining brought it in. There are no effective reef safe treatments. There are 3 easy effective treatment methods that can be done outside of the tank. Tank transfer method - you should read about this further elsewhere but imo this is the easiest and least stressful on the fish. It involves moving them 4 times as close to 72hrs as possible into sterile tanks. You need to understand the ich life cycle to understand how this works. Copper - pretty self explanatory follow directions and make sure you treat fish long enough will eliminate ich and many other things - not reef safe, can be hard on certain fish, possibility of over or under dosing if you don't have a copper test kit which imo are usually hard to read. hypo salinity - the most labour intensive but it works too - doesn't have the benefit of killing other things that copper would and more work then ttm but it's proven effective against ich. Keep in mind while these treatments can be done in as little as 12 days your fish cannot return to the display tank for at least 72. Additionally 30ppm should not effect most / all LPS or anemones. What kind of anemone is it? how established is it? more then likely you have other issues at play besides slightly elevated nitrate issues. You will find some SPS tanks running at higher nitrates then 30.
  6. andrewkw

    Vodka 22ml a day, nitrates still at 30.

    You can't expect a 30% water change to reduce nitrates more than 30% which is why I suggested 75% or higher. You can increase the dosage, if you're only increasing 1ml a day you are going to notice a problem before it becomes a real problem. Continue testing and monitoring. IMO there is very little danger in carbon overdosing if you are going slow. Of course if you were to dump a whole bottle in then yes there would be problems but adding slightly more worst case you should end up with a bacterial bloom (slime, cloudy water ect) before you do any real damage. What kind of tank is this? Softies? SPS?
  7. andrewkw

    Vodka 22ml a day, nitrates still at 30.

    I am a big fan of carbon dosing as well and increasing your dosage should work. However a second option would just be to do a large water change if you're looking for quicker results. IE 75% or more.
  8. andrewkw


    Congrats, great looking pico.
  9. andrewkw

    10 gallon Sexy Shrimp "reef"

    Thanks Paul, your own pico was very inspiring to me. I actually just went back to some of my even older posts from 2005. Silly things like me asking how long corals live, and starting the initial fill of my 15 gallon nano reef with tap water. Unfortunately I used photobucket back then so now most of the images are broke like so many great build threads over the years. I was looking at some of my old posts and saw this from that 15 gallon nano "12/29/05 Purchased 16+ lbs of Haiti live rock total $92.00" It's been a long long time since I've seen Haitian lettuce rock and not just because I live out in the country these days...
  10. andrewkw

    10 gallon Sexy Shrimp "reef"

    Tank is doing really well considering how new it is. Live rock has really coloured up. This was of course live rock before I added it, it just wasn't under any direct light. Copepod population is exploding. The shrimp of course are doing well too. They seem more active now that there are corals in the tank. I did have a minor issue as 2 got sucked into the hob filter. They were both fine and all 11 are still doing well. I removed the filter since it was only running a couple spoonfuls of carbon anyway. The corals added are just corals I had in my frag tank. Remember where I live now there is no lfs so it's either take from there or wait. I am taking a couple of trips later this month so I do hope to pick up at least a few flower anemones. The toadstool is the only coral that hasn't opened up. I believe it's starting to shed so it may take a while. I put a kenya tree frag in mainly because I have about 50 frags of it. It just grows like crazy in my main display. The blue sponge I've had for years but it never really grows much. It has encrusted to the rock (I did glue it too) so hopefully that's a good sign. Below are some new pics. Additionally here is a video of the tank as of now. I've always shot occasional videos but they were just videos no talking ect. I started actually making youtube videos this year and will document this tank in both photo and video form.
  11. andrewkw

    10 gallon Sexy Shrimp "reef"

    Since I have no lfs I will have to get them on a trip or perhaps have them shipped when the weather warms up. Shipping here is problematic due to the lack of a major hub. This also means I probably have to get them all at once. Probably going to add a test coral or 2 into the tank. The sexy shrimp may eat them but that's just another food source for them since I'll just add something that is overgrown in my other tanks. In my experience they are not 100% reef safe but as long as you are not keeping them in a pico with single polyps of corals they don't really do enough damage to be of any real concern. That being said I've never had more then 3 in the past.
  12. I haven't started a thread on nano reef in many years. First started with a 15g nano in 2005 here, also had a 2 gallon pico for 6 or 7 years and I kept sexy shrimp in there for some time. It was TOTM way back in april 2011 Fast forward to today and I once again have sexy shrimp. A couple of weeks ago I purchased 11 and as of the other day I counted 11 so they are all still alive. I've setup a 10g tank for them and hope to try and raise some babies in the near future. After many years of living close to many great reef shops and weekly or bi weekly shopping trips, a year and a half ago I moved out to a rural area with no reef shops. I've found it boring for a number of reasons including the no reef shops so instead of looking for an ultra low maintenance project, I looked for something that was MORE labor intensive. I actually have lyretail damsels in my 112 gallon mixed reef that spawn regularly but catching them + getting rotifers shipped to me was not appealing, so I got some sexy shrimp shipped to me. Shipping here is mostly a disaster due to the remoteness, and very few places in Canada want to ship Air Canada cargo. Airport to airport is far safer than courier. Regardless I got these guys without incident. Standard 10 gallon, one Korilia powerhead at 425gph, one red sea pico filter with a tablespoon or so of carbon. Half an inch of sugar sized sand, rinsed and clean less one cup seeded from my 90 gallon fowlr. Approximately 3lbs of liverock. This is not even a guestimate just a guess. I took 3 pieces from my frag tank and stuck them in. Minimalist look for once for me, but I may add more rock at a later time. This was actually acid washed live rock that has only been "live" about 4 months, but the glass is already covered in copepods and there are feather dusters growing on the back (tank has been setup exactly 14 days). In the few pieces of rock there were stomatellas, asterina starfish and more. I just got a micmol aqua 300. Mostly because it was cheap and low profile. I currently have the tank on a shelf but it's not exactly level so eventually I'll move it over to a 2x4 stand or something similar and the low profile won't be as much of a concern. I never realized how much of a pain it is to have stuff above a tank. I see fresh water people with these racking systems all the time and after just one tank on a shelf I am rethinking how I want to arrange things. Getting back to the light, it looks really good as far as appearance. It has lots of blue, a couple of uv and is advertised as full spectrum. It's only 24w so it remains to be seen if it can grow coral. I am likely to either do all mini carpet anemones, or all mini rock flowers. I've also thought about mixing them. In my 112 gallon I have 2 mini carpets and one rock flower but I suspect in a small tank this will be more problematic. Since I am in an isolated location I will probably have to get them all in one shot. I *may* add some corals in the mean time to test the light and liven up the tank. 11 sexy shrimp hardly seems enough, sometimes only 2 or 3 are visible, but usually there are at least 6-8 out. I feed them .5mm and 1mm pellets both they seem to take readily. Since they have no predators and the current on the sand strong enough to move the food on the sand this seems to work fine. Here are the first pics : Once I start seeing eggs I will start brine ship hatcheries and setup another tank for the babies ect.
  13. andrewkw


    Congrats Mark, been following your tanks for many years!
  14. andrewkw


    Wow simply amazing. I had a pico tank for over 5 years which also was a TOTM on nano reef and I have to say this one is much more impressive then my former pico. Almost makes me want to start another one. Congrats and keep up the good work!
  15. andrewkw

    My first pico! Dymax IQ3 now 5 YEARS OLD!

    I've been meaning to post for a while and rereading some of this has me almost reconsidering but I'm afraid I'm going to take this tank down. It's probably not a surprise to some long time viewers as I normally update more frequently. I just don't pay much attention to it anymore. Some of the corals like the chalice and the anemone and a few palys have been in here more than 5 years the pink chalice probably 6 but the tank has just become too much of a pain. I can't fit anything in to keep the acrylic clean. I forget about water changes ect. I always thought when I moved I'd just throw the whole tank in a 5 gallon bucket but now as I get ready to move this summer I am looking to downsize before I upsize. It has nothing to do with being bored of the hobby or reefing or anything I just have other tanks on the go. Some of you may or may not know but I have lots of other tanks. I am shutting down this tank then my frag tank. I also have a 90 gallon garden eel tank which previously held octopus and cuttlefish before them. That tank is going to be shut down as well. my 180 gallon mixed reef which lately has had my old 112 gallon plumbed into it as a large display fuge will be kept and hopefully upgraded to something in the 300 gallon range. When I first started this tank I wasn't doing too much with reefs and keeping some of the weird creatures listed above as I grew frustrated with my main reef. Overall this has still been the most successful tank ever. It convinced me LED's were for real and the lights will indeed last years and years. I learned 100% or greater water changes are fine for healthy corals, and got to keep a few tiny fish and inverts that would never last in my bigger tanks. I've been reefing for 11 years and still haven't found my theme. I'm looking to get away from the big random mixed reef where everything does okay and go either sps or lps dominated. With that being the case I probably will still operate other styles of tanks so I don't rule out a new nano / pico. With that being said the one condition will be having a strong enough tank that is big enough to support a magnet that can keep the viewing panels clean. This tank started as I picked it up off the shelf while I was waiting to check out at big als. Who would have thought it would last this long. When I do move and upgrade to the "final" tank I am hoping to get many decades out of it. thanks for all the support of this tank over the years and being featured as a tank of the month is still a great honor to me. Andrew