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Hello all! I have been a long time lurker in all of the reef forums, but have always found nano-reef.com to have the most helpful information and some of the most kind and connected members! I have read through all of the posts related to the featured aquariums and find all of them an inspiration. This is my first ever forum journal. I have had freshwater community/planted and cichlid tanks since I was in grade school but upgraded to reef tanks in 2015 with a 55 gallon mixed reef. I moved in 2016 and transferred everything in my 55g to a standard 29g nano tank. I was very proud of my discosoma dominated 29g until the spring of 2018 when vermetid worms got out of control; that in combination with the birth of my son and my own medical issues led to a complete tank teardown and a multi-year hiatus from the hobby. My wife and I just moved to a new home in April of 2021 and I had the itch to start a new tank before we even had our house packed up. After multiple months of preparation, the same 55g display that got me into the reefing hobby began cycling again on 7/11/2021. I hope this journal chronicling my dive back into the hobby may serve as a resource and guide to other reefers on a similar journey; in the same way so many of your journals, featured aquariums, and posts have helped me. It should be noted that this tank is a budget build...about as budget as builds come. I am a humble social worker and my wife is a stay at home mom to our two children. There will be no fancy equipment, dosing pumps, and reactors on this tank. Most of the equipment I am using is recycled from my old tanks. There are a lot of tanks in this and other forums that use a lot of high-end gear, which I think is great and produces fantastic results, but is just not something I can duplicate. I have always struggled to find a good blog documenting the set up and progression of a budget build. I hope that other budget reefers can look to my process and set up and have a guide to replicate my (fingers crossed) success. As far as a stocking plan goes, this will be a softie tank. The tanks I find most appealing look wild and almost overgrown; this has been my philosophy and style with my planted tanks and has continued into my reef keeping. As a result my livestock selection and methods may be quite different than many of the SPS dominant reefers. For this tank I intend to only stock around a dozen coral species and let them grow out and cover the rocks. I loved my mushroom dominated tank and plan to have a variety of different types in this tank as well. I would like to try my hand at a zoanthid garden too. I may or may not stock all of the corals below. I would much rather have a few huge colonies than have a ton of corals that need constant pruning. I am also considering adding some macro algae to my display. I am not 100% on this and need to do some more research before I make any purchases. As far as inverts go I intend to purchase a mix 'n match special from ipsf as well as a custom cuc from reef cleaners a few months apart as needed...other inverts I will be hand picking out from my LFS. (Edited) Coral stocking plan: Toadstool Leather (Sacrophytum spp.) - Added 9/2/21 Waving Hand Anthelia - Added 9/2/21 Various Mushrooms (Discosoma, Rhodactis, Ricordea) - Added 9/10/21, 9/5/21) Various Zoas/Palys - Added 9/10/21, 10/19/21) Finger Leather (Sinularia flexibilis) - Added 9/5/21 Cabbage Leather (Sinularia dura) - Added 9/5/21 Blue Star Polyps - Added 9/10/21 GSP (Briareum spp.) - Added 9/5/21 Pom Pom Xenia (Xenia spp.) - Added 9/5/21 "Blue Zing" birdsnest (Seriatopora) - Added 10/14/21 Blastomussa - Added 10/19/21 Golden Plume Gorgonian (Pseudopterogorgia bipinnata) - Added 9/10/21 Rusty Gorgonian (Gorgonia spp.) - Added 9/5/21, 9/10/21 Kenya Tree (Capnella spp.) - TBD Candy Cane (Caulastraea) - TBD Leptoseris - TBD Pavona - TBD Chalice (Pectiniidae spp.) - TBD Hammer (Euphyllia) - TBD Duncans (Duncanopsammia axifuga) - TBD (Edited) Macro Algae stocking plan: Shaving Brush (Penicillus dumetosus) Pencil Cap (Penicillus capitatus) Mermaid's Fan (Udotea spp.) Money Plant (Halimeda spp.) Christmas Tree (Rhipocephalus phoenix) Flame Algae (Bryothamnion spp.) Red Gracilaria - in refugium Sea Lettuce (Ulva) - in refugium Fern Caulerpa - in refugium (Edited) Fish stocking plan: 2x Naked Dot Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) - Added to DT on 8/07/21 1x Yellow Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) - Added to QT on 8/14/21, Added to DT 9/19/21 1x Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) - Added to QT on 8/14/21, Added to DT 9/19/21 1x Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge Bispinosa) - Added to QT on 10/22/21 Fish removed from stocking plan in edit: 1x Blenny (Tailspot, Lawnmower, Starry, Bicolor) 1x Yellow Coris Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) 5-7x Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) 2x Pajama/Banggai Cardinals 1x Six-line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) 1-3x Damsels from Chrysiptera genus (Edited) Invert stocking plan: 7x Astraea Snails (Added 10/19/21) 5x Cerith Snails (Added 9/9/21) 30x Dwarf Cerith Snails (Added 9/9/21) 7x Nassarius Snails (Added 9/9/21) 6x Nerite Snails (Added 9/2/21) 12x Periwinkle Snails (Added 9/2/21) 12x Hermit Crabs (Added 9/2/21) 1x Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Added 9/5/21) 1x Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Added 8/31/21) Mini Brittle Stars (Added 9/2/21) Spaghetti Worms (Added 9/2/21) Bristle Worms (Added 9/2/21) 3x Trochus Snails (TBD) 1x Fighting Conch (TBD) 2x Emerald Crabs (TBD) 1x Brittle Starfish (TBD - may need help choosing a reef safe species) Inverts removed in edit: 3x Ninja Star Astrea Snails (Delivered but didn't survive trip from RC) I will be writing some follow-up posts later today and into the week documenting my progress so far including my DT setup, QT setup, aquarium/parameter log, as well as some pictures. Happy reefing! EDIT: attached most recent FTS
RollaJase posted a topic in Large Reef JournalsHello all . As some of you may know, I have been contemplating a move towards a larger aquarium for quite some time now. I love my 30G cube, it has taught me so much about the hobby and in June last year (2014) I was awarded TOTM which was a huge honour to me. I have had the opportunity to experiment with a wide array of live stock and equipment and with this knowledge I have a clear idea which way I would like to take this new project. A link to my original 30G Cube can be found below: http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/318986-rollajases-30g-custom-cube-upgrade-brainstorming/ Back Story: A little back story for those of you who are unfamiliar with my journey. My original tank was designed, built and stocked on a shoestring budget, initially. At the time I was a poor University student, willing to cut corners to get the dream of my first reef tank up off the ground. I designed this tank purely around utilising a single PAR38 LED bulb for lighting while keeping as close to 30G of water volume as possible. At the time, this was not an issue for me in relation to my vision. However, as I delved deeper into this hobby I started to realise that the cheap, basic equipment I had initially purchased just wasn't going to cut it. As it stands, the only original pieces of equipment I am still using (besides the tank and stand) is a 150W heater and a pair of thermometers. Everything else has been replaced at least once and in most cases, twice. My current tank is fairly decent build wise but my biggest regret has always been the lack of internal overflow. This was a cost saving method for me initially and I rectified the lack of overflow about 2 years in with a sump refresh and the installation of an overflow box I designed and built myself. I have designed this new tank from scratch to rectify what I believe to be shortcomings with my original setup. This time I won't be cutting corners and instead of designing everything around my choice of lighting I am designing it all around the available space I have. The dimensions will be modest but still the largest aquarium I have ever owned and something that will fit well with a modern home when I eventually move into my own place. Inspiration: My two largest inspirations for this project are 4x5's 'Made in Africa - A Shallow Reef' and TheDoogan's 'Shallow Rimless Reef'. The look, feel, dimensions and livestock of both of these build's is pretty much exactly what I envisioned in a future upgrade and this style suits my available space perfectly. The stocking choices are also very akin to my own personal tastes. I don't want to mimic these builds by any means but I do very much want to draw heavily on them for inspiration. Table of Contents: Chapter 1 - Design Chapter 2.1 - Stand Build - Frame Chapter 2.2 - Stand Build - Base and Cladding Chapter 2.3 - Stand Build - Fans, Power and Control Chapter 2.4 - Stand Build - Vents and Shelf Chapter 2.5 - Stand Build - Cable Management, Fan Brackets & Top Chapter 2.6 - Stand Build - Cladding Part 2 Chapter 2.7 - Stand Build - Tidying Up Chapter 2.8 - Stand Build - Lighting and Ventilation Chapter 2.9 - Stand Build - Painting and Display Lighting Mount Chapter 2.10 - Stand Build - Cable Management Part 2 & Shelf Install Chapter 2.11 - Stand Build - Finishing Touches Chapter 3.1 - Equipment - Tank, Sump and ATO Reservoir Chapter 3.2 - Equipment - Plumbing Chapter 3.3 - Equipment - Lighting Chapter 3.4 - Equipment - Final Install Pictures Chapter 4 - Aquascape Inspiration Chapter 5.1 - Tank Update - 17th January 2016 Chapter 5.2 - Tank Update - 7th February 2016 Chapter 5.3 - Tank Update - 26th July 2016 Chapter 5.4 - Tank Update - 9th August 2016 Chapter 5.5 - Tank Update - 26th September 2016 Chapter 5.6 - Tank Update - 16th October 2016 Chapter 5.7 - Tank Update - 1st November 2016 Chapter 5.8 - Tank Update - 20th July 2017 Chapter 5.9 - Tank Update - 26th July 2017 Chapter 5.10 - Tank Update - 10th October 2017 Chapter 5.11 - Tank Update - 16th October 2017 Chapter 5.12 - Tank Update - 8th November 2017 Chapter 5.13 - Tank Update - 8th January 2018 Chapter 5.14 - Tank Update - 9th May 2018 Chapter 5.15 - Tank Update - 26th September 2018 Chapter 5.16 - Tank Update - 6th June 2019 Equipment: Tank: 31.5x24x18" (800x600x450mm) - 10mm glass (Low Iron front and two sides) with overflow Sump: 20x15.5x15.5" (535x400x400mm) Custom Sump ATO Reservoir: 7x12x15.5" (180x300x400mm) Custom Reservoir ATO: Cade Ripple ATO Stand: 31.5x24x39" (800x600x1000mm) DIY Stand With Cladding Lighting: Custom LED Fixture with NanoBox V3 Arrays Flow: 1 x MaxSpect Gyre XF-130 Battery Backup: APC BK650-AS (650VA) UPS & Coral Box Power Cell Return Pump: Jebao DCS-4000 Heaters: 1x 300W Microbe Lift Titanium Heater and 1x 200W Fluval Heater (on InkBird Controller) Skimmer: Coral Box D500 (with upgraded DCA-2000 pump) Reactors: 2x FistaFiltration Nano Reactors (GFO & Carbon) Dosing: 1x eKoral eK Doser and Marine Color MCD-3-M Doser (Alk, Cal, Mag, Potassium, Bromide, Boron) Livestock: Fish: 1 Melanurus Wrasse (Male) (Halichoeres melanurus) 1 Scarlet Pin Stripe Wrasse (Secretive Wrasse) (Pseudocheilinus evanidus) 1 Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) 2 Green Mardarins, male and female (Synchiropus splendidus) Clean Up Crew: 8 Turbo Snails 5 Cerith Snails 4 Nerite Snails 4 Nassarius Snails 4 Trochus Snails 2 Brown Janitor Hermits 2 Crimson Janitor Hermits Corals: Corals - Softies: Assorted Zoanthus sp. & Palythoa sp arranged in a garden Pink Body, Green Polyp Leather Coral Pink/Purple Dendronephthya Corals - LPS: Fluro Orange Fungia Plate Red and Green Trachyphyllia Green and Purple Reverse Stem Hammer Orange/Gold Leptoseris Red Leptoseris Corals - SPS: Green Plating Montipora Green Montipora Capricornis Red Plating Montipora Red Montipora Capricornis Pink and Green Birdsnest Toxic Green Staghorn Green Acropora Blue Staghorn Blue Acropora Green Poci Purple and Green Acro Full Tank Shots: 9th June 2019: 28th September 2018: 8th May 2018: 26th March 2018: 8th January 2018: 8th November 2017: 8th October 2017: 7th September 2017: 24th July 2017: 21st May 2017: 21st February 2017: 1st November 2016: 16th October 2016: 17th July 2016: 7th February 2016: 17th January 2016: