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  1. State of the Aquarium, 27 September 2020 the journal begins here: Didn't realize image compression and Figure 1 looks terribad. yikes! The story actually begins well before this photo on the 22nd. We rewind to December 27th to where I was moving a couple of aquariums in my wife's Honda Fit. (near professional aquarium mover at this point, it's my 4th move). She says she didn't say that, but from that video conversation through Facebook I started thinking real hard what would I make for a third aquarium. I wanted to be lazy and build another planted tank, but I was ready for something different like the tank I made before. I built an Amazon blackwater aquarium to just see how simple or hard it was to maintain that effect. Turns out it was just a matter of boiling botanicals to no end. Wife was okay with another tank. Good enough for me. I was a newly minted aquatics specialist at my Petco and I turned the saltwater section around by not killing all the invertebrates. (That's another story to tell.) Then I thought, hey you're not at FOWLR tanks why not building a reef tank at home? $1 per gallon sale happened right around the new year. I hemmed and hawed at the idea of getting a tank. I looked at Inappropriate Reefer's 10g build. Then I saw defekt's Sanity Saver. Perfect. I had to work around my property management for not having an aquarium of 15 gallons or more. I worked the legal gray area by getting a 20 gallon long since I remember measuring the inside dimensions came closer to 16 gallons than 20 gallons as advertised on the marketing label. I never enjoyed tanks that ran tall with a poor footprint. Bigger footprints mean more horizontal swimming room and unless you're caring for sea jellies or freshwater angels height can be a dimension to ignore. Fortunately there was only one 20L sold at my store and after 3 weeks of thinking really hard of how to build it and its life support elements I decided to go for it and blocked out the image of a nasty credit card bill (but hey points right?). I bought the tank around January 10th and it just sat there sad without a stand for about a week. I was still wondering if this was a good move, but I didn't like the idea of just wasting a perfectly good tank. I built one of those nicer Petco stands (because my wife doesn't have her woodworking tools right now). And that stood for another few days. I painted the back of the aquarium with clearance acrylic paint from Michaels. I waited another week as I was picking out parts. Life Support System: (thanks defekt) AC70 from a previous tank with stock foam sponge, 100g of GAC, and biomax rings (added PhosGuard 9/2020) Foam layer Media bag (currently running 16 grams/2tbsp of GAC and GFO each) Floss Bio Max rings 2x Koralia 240s 1x Koralia 425 - added October 3 Fluval 100w heater Current Orbit Marine LED 24-36" NICREW ClassicLED Marine 30" (peak hours only) - added August 15 Parts arrived on January 21st. Thanks Amazon Prime trial. CaribSea LifeRock, 20lb box arrived January 22nd. I bought CaribSea CORALine from my Petco store. Figure 1. Insert awful photo.
  2. I'm upgrading my 20G mixed reef to a 60G. I've decided to start a journal a bit ahead of time - the tank has already been paid for, and is currently being built by my LFS. Specifications: 2'ft x 2'ft x 2'ft cube tank = ~60G 10mm Crystal White Glass Rimless 20" x 18" x 15" sump = ~23.37G Total system volume = ~83G+ Equipment: 3000l/Hr Return Pump Jebao OW-25 Wavemaker 1x AI Prime HD (55W) 1x InLed R60 (85W) *Skimmerless Livestock Plans: Mixed reef with minor SPS and LPS. More focused on Softies and Shrooms. Will have zoas as well as nems. Fish: 1x Starry Blenny (Thanos) - 12/08/2018 1x GCG (Goblin) - 30/09/2018 1x Female B/W Occy Clownfish (Nero) - 07/12/2018 1x Male Reg. Occy Clownfish (Sushi) - 09/06/2019 1x Yellow Coris Wrasse (Helios) - 06/08/2019 1x Zebra Dartfish (Tic) - 13/06/2019 1x Tangaroa Goby (Casper) - 07/05/2019 2x Steinitz Goby (Odin & Freida) - 06/11/2019 1x Lubbocks Fairy Wrasse (Bo) - 27/11/2019 1x Leopard Wrasse (Leopold) - 08/12/2019 1x Male Spotted Mandarin Dragonet (Poseidon) - 31/01/2020 1x Male Scooter Dragonet (Illaron) - 21/02/2020 1x Female Scooter Dragonet (Bella) - 01/06/2020 (*Been in LFS since 01/2020 1x Male Ruby Dragonet (Orion) - 05/09/2020 Inverts: 1x Saron Shrimp (Saron) - 15/07/2018 1x Cleaner Shrimp (Doc) - 28/09/2019 1x Fire Shrimp - 23/11/2019 1x Halloween Hermit Crab (Hermes) - 27/06/2020 3x Nassarius Snails 1x Tuxedo Urchin (Tux) - 22/04/2018 1x Purple Rock Urchin (Mr. Prickles) - 10/12/2018 1x Feather duster worm 1x Spider Decorator Crab (Spyder) - 06/06/2020 (*Been in LFS for ~8 months) 2x Bubbletip Brittle Starfish (Marco & Polo) - 12/07/2019 3x Turban Snails Corals: Red Pavona Green blastomussa Green Pagoda/Cup Emerald Mummy Eye Chalice Cherry Garcia Chalice Orange/Green Cynarina Bicolor Hammer Coral Purple/Green (Unidentified) Zoas Yellow Yuma Orange Yuma Green Yuma Pink Yuma Multi-colored Yuma (*Rainbow) Rhodactis Mushrooms (Variable Colors) Discosoma Mushrooms (Spotted/Red) Red Devil Mushroom Anemone: Mini Maxi Carpet Nem Macroalgae: Fern Caulerpa Grape Caulerpa Blade Caulerpa Galaxaura Red Bubble Algae Dragon's Breath Red Cotton Candy Chaeto *TBA: Fish & Inverts: x4 Snails *Stocking plans might change as I move along, but I don't plan on doing any tangs, triggers, rabbitfish etc. I might look into dwarf angels though like a flameback, coral beauty or flame. I'll also be adding various types of macro to the fuge in the sump, as well as slowly stock up on corals as I go. Otherwise, this will mostly be a TT from a 20G to a 60G. I currently have ~10kg of LR in my 20G. I'll be adding an extra 20kg LR to the 60G (split between DT & sump) - I've already been cycling some dry rock for nearly 2 months in a storage bin in preparation of the upgrade. All the equipment except the return pump is now with me - that will come when they deliver the tank to my house. Here's a basic sketch design of how the DT & sump looks like: This is a pic of how the cabinet will be (as texted by my LFS manager to me this afternoon): The color of the cabinet will be black matte: And this was the two of us discussing and adjusting the sump design repeatedly over the past few days: I left the sump design up to my LFS manager to decide. I'm not confident in designing my own sump, tbh, and he's more experienced than I am, so he'll be getting to it. The salt used will be Fritz RPM. I'll be mixing the salt a day ahead of the tank's arrival so that we can quickly scape the system and get it filled up and running as soon as possible. This whole setup did cost me a lot of time, effort, planning and money, but I think it's worth it. The main reason behind this upgrade is because my 20G is cracking, and the crack is angling towards the bottom panel of the glass - it's just a matter of time before the tank collapses. The secondary reason is because my Starry Blenny is too large and I think he'll appreciate a larger tank. The whole system will be set up in my bedroom, and no fans or chillers will be used since my room is quite cool enough, especially when I turn both the fan and A/C on at night. Will update when the tank arrives. Stay tuned! 🙂
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