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  1. Keeping this mostly for myself as a way to track progress on an experiment. Happy to help anyone else thinking about going the SW planted route. Long story short, my reef crashed years ago from an HVAC failure while on vacation and our house got 95 degrees for a week, life got busy, and I was pretty defeated from the crash. I was able to keep my fish alive somehow, and just lost interest and did the bare minimum to keep them happy. I always thought I was more successful with my high tech planted tanks and stumbled across some incredible Macro tanks. I thought I would take a chance at this type of tank, using mostly equipment I had lying around. Going to see how I like this type of tank before making a final decision on how to revamp / reboot the 20G. Equipment: AGA 5.5 Aquaeon 50w heater Koralia nano 240 AquaClear 20 5lb Caribsea live sand 0.5 live rock rubble Dry Rock (circa 2014) from my basement. DIY CREE XP3 LED (Red- Royal Blue - Natural White - Green - Red) Tank gets a boat load of natural sunlight too Events Wet & Live Sand: 1/5/22 LR Rubble: 1/8/22 Chaeto & Green Grape Caulerpa 1/8/22 RED GRACILARIA & Gorgonian: 1/14/22 Macro Algae Caulerpa Racemosa (green grape) Caulerpa Var. Peltata (saucer algae) Red Gracilaria Chaeto Coral Gorgonian Live Stock Neon Cleaner Goby Current Routine: Daily top-off, 6 drops Chaeto Grow, 6 drops Kent Purple up.
  2. Hey guys! So, I recently had a disaster in my hobby. My apartment had to be treated for pests, and I was required to remove all of my tanks from the apartment during treatment. During this time, I ended up losing about half of my livestock - including my beloved Peacock Mantis Shrimp. I do really miss having a mantis shrimp - they such cool little creatures. Very interactive, inquisitive, and always getting into some sort of trouble in the tank. Reminds me of my puffers, in some ways! But I don't think I want another peacock right now - I want to try a different species. One I've had my eye on for quite a while. The Wennerae Mantis, Neogonodactylus wennerae! These guys max out at around 3", and are perfectly suited to small tanks. They're smashers (meaning they have modified claws to break open shellfish), just like my peacock was, but with much less power. These guys are able to hunt down crabs, shrimp, and snails, but are going to struggle to crack open anything with a thick shell. I went to my LFS today, and picked up a 5.5 gallon Seapora glass tank for $16.99. It's a nice tank for the price - Seapora makes nice stuff, IMO. I rinsed it out, just to get any dust out of it, and this was it. Next, I decided to paint the back black, since the tank wasn't going right up against a wall. I taped off the rim of the tank with duct tape, cause that's all I had lol. I just use some Krylon Black Acrylic paint and a roller for this. I prefer spray painting but I don't have an area to do that here, so rolling paint on is the best I can do. It looks fine from the front side of the tank, but usually looks kind of "meh" from the back. First Coat: did three coats total, which got me a decently opaque surface. This is what the tank looked like, pre-fill: I added some sand from the Peacock Mantis tank, which has long been dried, but not cleaned. I'm hoping all that dead gunk in the sand will help get us a strong cycle in this tank. Whenever I filled it the first time, I ended up getting milk, basically. Gotta love aragonite. I had just used plain freshwater to fill that time, though, so I drained the tank and added in the rock. I'm using a piece of marco dry rock that I had from a previous tank, a piece of well-seasoned rock that's got some life already on it (although, not much algae due to being in a bucket), and a piece of rock I got from the LFS. I got this particular rock for a reason - but that's gotta be a surprise. Whenever I refilled the tank (with saltwater this time) I was careful to do it slowly to minimize cloudiness. The powerhead I bought (Aquatop MCP-1) was way too strong for this tank, and was blowing water around. So, I pulled my Koralia Nano 240 out of my 10 gallon QT, and switched them around. Each tank is better off, I think. Then, I tossed in a preset heater and a thermometer, and we're off to the races! I'll update this post tomorrow, and tell the story of why I picked this rock, and what the extended plans are for this tank.
  3. Utahpico

    5.5g ADA Reef

    Tore down my 3.7g reef and replaced it with a 5.5g ada "mini m" low iron glass tank.
  4. Lost absolutely everything to a house fire back in February. I mean everything, tank clothes, food, memories. EVERYTHING. Family and I are fine. We have a new place to live......SOOOOOOOO Back at it again. No name 5.5g tank. Cheap wal-mart filter. Cheap Amazon Par38 bulb. how it all started Tank is cycled, cuc has been ordered already. Time for some frags this weekend. FTS SECTION FTS 5/30/2017 2/12/18 3/20/18 Some uglyness more updates later
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