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About ReefJar

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    Pico Reefer

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    "Some People Keep Cookies & Candies In A Jar. We Keep Live Corals & Inverts In Ours!"

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  1. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Hey everyone! I've been lurking and enjoying everyone's reefing adventures! It's amazing to see more and more people getting interested with smaller reefs. I've moved to Japan and have shut my reefs down. However, I plan on starting fresh and have new challenges to talk about and discuss. I wrote more here: https://www.reefjar.com/moved-to-japan/ but I will start new thread once I pickup some hardware and sort out potential issues. Thanks so much for all the positive feedback and wish continued success to all!
  2. ReefJar

    Craig's Fluval Spec V

    Not sure if you've seen my post, but here it is for future reference on using 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. https://www.reefjar.com/how-to-kill-algae-with-h202/
  3. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Well, if you've been to my site you will see some new posts. One thing I didn't write about yet is an accident... well two things combined I think led to a bigger mess than it could have been. When it rains, it pours. I changed to a new bulb (ABI Tuna) and I also started using Reef Crystals. I had issues with Reef Crystals and a orange/brown sludge as mentioned before. But I filtered the water like IO said and sure enough it cleared up the water. I'm still not convinced the water was fine and shouldn't have used that salt again. I also had some corals burn. Here is what happened: I changed the light to the ABI Tuna after the saltwater was switched over. When I was out, the light dipped down close to the jar and burned some corals. The screws for the clamp light must have come loose when I changed the bulb over. I thought I doubled checked them but I guess I didn't do a good job at that. Once death started, it just wouldn't stop. I tried gluing, fragging, etc... The jar looked like a complete mess after 2 weeks. The SPS were the ones hit the hardest. The water quality was poor even though I was doing water changes frequently. I thought everything was settled when I realized there was more SPS within some crevices dying and polluting the jar. I should have removed the rock sooner and cleaned it up properly. It was extremely disheartening to see my beautiful jar dying. Updates: I've switched back to Coralife Marine salt mix and cleaned up the rocks. Added new corals! I also purchased a Fluval Spec V, but don't worry, I'm still keeping this jar going! Here are a couple sneak peak pictures of some new corals that I've added and are doing well.
  4. ReefJar

    First Reef Tank. Fluval EVO V

    Oh sad to hear! I just picked up a Spec V and the SB Reeflights Sprite nano! Going to be a SPS dominate tank. I recall seeing you got the same light? What did you start the intensity off at? I guess a par meter would be in order, but I'll start low and pay attention closely to the corals. I'm more of a fan of the 20k look so I'll be heavy on that side. However, it's a powerful light, so I'll definitely be careful. Cheers!
  5. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Done cycling? What type of lighting are you using? Could you give us a little more information about your setup? Either way, when your system is "ready"... I would stick to something easier like Birdsnest to start and shy away from Acropora.
  6. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Yeah there are many posts on other forums about it as well, even some pictures from Facebook of Instant Ocean's responses. And of course many who say they've never had this issue and others who have. Are you using from a pail, bags, or boxes? I'm using salt from a pail and I rolled it around to mix it before I used it. I'll definitely update if I run in to any problems or changes with this salt. Thanks so much for chiming in on it Cheers!
  7. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Hey everyone! How's it goin'? Updates Salt Water I was using Coralife Marine salt mix and it has been great! The only downside is that I had to order it online because the store I bought the first bag at was charging more for a bag than I could for a pail (150g mix) online. So I decided to look for something local and found Instant Ocean Reef Crystals. I've heard good things about it and I thought the extra nutrients/minerals would be great. Did my usual thing, poured some water in to a bucket, got the power head going and dumped in some salt and mixed it with a small paddle for a minute and put the heater on. Everything was looking good so far... (following pic is actually from a 2nd smaller batch but looks exactly the same as the 1st one did.) Came back 4 or 5 hours later to this... (Note: about 2hrs in I moved the power head up to help "aerate" the water) I dumped the water because there was no way I was going to put this in my jar. This is some of the scum left over. There were actually like brown/orange globs on the heater and walls, hard to see in this pic. Maybe it was a bad batch of salt? Long story short, many people have experienced this with reef crystals and Instant oceans response is either You didn't clean the mixing vessel/equipment properly It's normal and will filter out or settle, it's just something that's picked up in their mining process and is okay to use. Mixing the salt wrong (lol) Some have said it's some sort of clay additive and they've used the water in their reefs with no problem for years. Something about the clay acting to draw out metals in the water etc etc... Either way we don't have skimmers or other filtration for this kind of thing, so I wasn't putting it in. * I've seen similar orange/brown complaints with other brands of salt. It's the first time I've seen it. Never had an issue with Coralife or regular IO. So I tried mixing the salt in cold water vigorously as instructed (adding the salt very very slowly over 15 mins), once it was closer to the proper SG, I then heated up the water. Guess what? Same thing. Another person I found said that they mix and add it to their reef right away without issue. I was hesitant on that... but I tried mixing, heating, etc after 3 hours I did a water change. So far all has been okay, the water looks clear in the jar and the corals seem to be liking it. Makes me a bit nervous of not letting the water "stabilize" for a long period of time, but it seems the longer that it mixes the browner it gets. IO say's the water should be ready as soon as it's mixed and SG/Temp are adjusted. I might not use Reef Crystals after this bucket is done. I'll go either regular IO or deal with ordering salt and go back to Coralife. Changing Salts It's a good idea to change salts slowly. So what I did was I did partial water changes over the course of 1 week or so. 1st day 25%, 2 days later 50% 3 days 75% and today I did a 100% change. Pictures Here are a few pictures around water changing time. (Red planet is toasted, it didn't handle the move well and it was too late by the time I noticed it was taking a turn) Hard to see here, but just above the acans on the bottom right you can see a branch of birdsnest growing to the right and it grow in to a monit and the monti is growing over it. I'll try to get a better pic some time. In the beginning there was a bit of fighting but now it's like they are okay with each other.
  8. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Hey, thanks so much for the kind words! Well the problem is, once things starting growing they will literally glue themselves together. So removing rock work from a narrow hole isn't going to work very well. If you only had 1 or 2 rocks in the center, perhaps you could do as you described. To be honest, I think adding egg crate is just going to create more problems than it's worth. After all, it's a very small space. I'm not worried about stirring up the sand anymore, every time I do a water change I end up mixing it up because I'm pretty reckless when doing water changes. Something like a hurricane / snow globe effect (I do a turkey baster blast- drain-rinse (fill it up again forcefully)-drain-fill each week). But maybe at Christmas I'll do a forced flush in the sink, just for the sake of it. There is no problem with using a CUC (add whatever you want), some people do and some don't. There are snails in my jar, no idea where they came from. I'm assuming they were hitch hikers on the rock right from the start. There's one large stomatella and possibly a couple small ones, and one unknown snail. All noctural snails. Here are somethings to consider: When pest algae starts growing, it grows very very fast in the beginning. So you're going to need a very large CUC... but once things stabilize and the algae/pests are reduced... then your CUC is going to die because they don't have anything to eat. And some will start eating your corals in an effort to survive. I'm pretty sure my jar would look like a mess right now if I hadn't been so diligent in the beginning. At this point, adding a crab or more snails would be pointless... they would die and attack corals because there's very little for them. I'd have to some how direct feed the CUC hoping to prevent carnage within. What are you going to do if you get an aiptasia infestation? Shrimp are sketchy and might not take care of the problem. Adding a foxface or other type of fish is not realistic in such a small volume of water and you'll have a lot more issues to deal with. Using something like aiptasia x is probably going to kill everything because of the PH change. Again, small volume of water. EDIT: H202 works great for them. I was using a paint brush to apply it in the past, but I started to use a cue tip. Not only does it burn them away, I can scrape the physical mess left and remove as much as possible with little drippage. And you can break the cue tip in half and use a pair of tweezers to hold it, to get in very difficult locations inside the reef. Natural reef? Don't worry about algae then, there's plenty of it in the ocean
  9. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    I haven't had to cut the monti back! Originally the red one was a small sliver (piece that busted off another piece that is hiding in the shadows), but it's growing quite fast now. The green one is growing quickly as well, but it's okay for now. I may have to trim it back in a couple of months. I'll probably just snap off a big piece and add it to another project I started Thank you so much! I I wasn't going to upload this video just yet, I had more footage I wanted to add... but Maritza The Vase Reef was eagerly waiting for an update and thought that there might be others .... I need to work on my site a lot more. Just trying to find some time to do so. Brandon is awesome and I'm so thankful for his advice. The jar really is in cruise control! A lot of my friends want their own mini-reefs now haha... unfortunately they don't want to put the time in, in the beginning to get things rolling. 35% H202 is awesome, just be careful as it's incredibly dangerous. I'm not sure if you've checked it out but I did a bigger write up on the h202 here http://www.reefjar.com/how-to-kill-algae-with-h202/
  10. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Here are a couple photos that were edited by Maritza Vase Reef to help bring out the colours! Thanks so much! As many of you know, pictures are hard with reef lights! haha
  11. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Here is a quick update with a bit of Acan action! You can see the palys growing on the glass, everything is growing and growing! Not much to report. I have a Red Planet Acropora... which was dark green in the middle of the jar. I moved it up higher 2 weeks ago. It started changing gray and a little red... but the polyps are now MIA... going to leave it and see what happens. Might have been a bad move. Algae is under control as usual. Things have stabilized quite well and take care of themselves. I do really heavy feedings with no issues. Lots of worms and critters come out when they smell food! I'm not dosing at all. I was for a little bit but got lazy. Regardless, things are still growing rapidly. I have a rock that's starting to cover with dark red/purple coraline. I'm sure it would speed up with dosing. Still keeping an eye out for other corals that I might be able to squeeze in somewhere. I'd like to get something orange or purple... perhaps some sort of branching montipora (forest fire and a purple variety). Also would like some Rastas! But I'm not paying $15pp. Welp, that's about it for now
  12. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    Thanks so much! Haha, yeah things are getting pretty cramped now, especially with the birdsnest taking off in all directions. I've played with air flow as well, just so that my jar isn't vibrating my entire desk and to help reduce the noise. It's been going pretty good, but I noticed that salt eventually builds up inside the airline (the other day I woke up and realized it was plugged... not sure when it stopped during the night). So when I do water changes now: I turn off the air and pull the line out of the jar. I have a small pipe cleaner that i dip in fresh R/O and ram inside the line a few times. Then I turn the air on while pointed towards a tea towel on my desk and run the pipe cleaner in there some more. Seems to do the trick. Oh, I have a piece of hard tubing from a bubble wall that I've glued to the side of my heater so that I can slide the airline back in to the jar and leave it there without curling and bubbling other areas (keeps it in the exact same location every time). Here is a pic of it: Here is a random picture of some Palys that have grown on to the glass (Almost everything will take to glass): This is on the back side of the jar so I don't mind that they are doing this (it happens fast!). Peace!
  13. ReefJar

    4l/1gal Soft pico reef jar

    Right on! How was the temperature when using a power head? It's one of the downsides in such a small system. I see a lot of cool little brush-less motors (I mean really tiny that use like 1w or less that look strong enough for a jar or vase), but none fitted for aquatic use.
  14. ReefJar

    A Danish pico

    Keep up with feeding and lots water changes, I'm sure the favia will bounce back. I had a monti that I thought was on the way out (stn/stung by octospawn) and it looks awesome now. I've had similar scares with other corals and was able to bring them back. There's definitely hope with some TLC!
  15. ReefJar

    2 Gallon “Cookie Jar” Pico Reef by ReefJar

    I hope you enjoy this post to compliment the video : http://www.reefjar.com/6-months-review/