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  1. Does it look good? No. But is it better than it looks? Also no. It's healing though! A couple of years ago I had a 38 gallon, which was a mess, and which I then had to sell when I moved across the country for a grad school program. I downsized to this 20 long, which went on to crash twice. The tank was empty except for some very hardy zoas and a single hermit crab for pretty much all of 2020. I finally came back to my apartment in February, and did my first water change on this tank in a full year a couple of weeks ago. I've had trouble keeping corals in the past, but I'm invested in taking its maintenance and research more seriously! And, if anything, the system is definitely seasoned now. 😛 Equipment: The main idea with this build is keeping expenses low, I like trying to avoid unnecessary equipment and trying to find a natural way to deal with tank issues. That said, I'm about ready for a much more powerful light. There are way too many choices, just thinking about it raises my blood pressure -Cheapo 20 long -Cheapo HOB filter, with filter floss and chemipure -2 powerheads, one cheapo, one Jebao wavemaker, which I so far am not that impressed with. I love the size, but it's noisier than I think it should be, and while I appreciate all the setting choices, it doesn't provide nearly as much flow as I hoped it would. -Light: Hipergaro Aquaknight 30W Corals These are the only survivors from my multiple crashes. They had all lost color, but are bouncing back with more regular maintenance and feeding. That out-of-focus zoa in the front is an Utter Chaos that I pissed off so badly it spawned and popped up clear across the tank. The babies look a lot less stretched. I also have some dragon's breath that is going to die and that's all there is to it. It's been floundering for a while, but I think my recent addition of 2 astra snails and 1 shortspine urchin will finally wipe it out. I don't think they touch the healthy growth, but they eat the faded stuff, which I'm sure makes it less likely to recover overall. I'll replace it later to help with nutrients when things are more stable, right now I think the hair algae is outcompeting it. Fish and Inverts Added in the past month is: -1 neon goby -1 shortspine/rock burrowing urchin -2 astrea snails Then there's the hermit crab, who has been in there for over a year, munching algae, alone, in my empty apartment, in a failing tank. Bless him. I should probably add some more, so he has company. I'm just nervous they might kill each other, and I'm a little attached to him at this point. Immediate Future Goals -Address the algae. I have a big hair algae issue, which is slowly getting under control with more maintenance and my urchin, Professor Pricklepants (btw shortspines are the best, they're great algae eaters, don't get big, and don't pick stuff up). This is a long game, taking it slow to not exacerbate any parameter or nutrient issues. -Upgrade the light. I got the Aquaknight because it was cheap, but I'm ready to try and get something a little more attractive and customizable. Any advice welcome. -Take a day, put on a podcast, and crush every single one of my dozens and dozens of @%#* VERMETID SNAILS. I'm going to do this by hand, and may add a bumblebee snail for any I inevitably miss. Cheers!
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