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  1. Joevember

    Joe's Boneless Pico Reef

    Hello NR! I’m excited to be joining the old school pico reef contest. My plan for the tank is a ‘boneless’ setup… so all (or mostly) soft corals and nems. On top of this, the tank will be set up at my high school, Whitney Young, as a part of my club, Eco Club, which focuses on animal stewardship and environmental education. I will be the one managing all maintenance on the tank. My main goal for this project is to teach other students about coral reefs/marine habitats and for them to be able to become active in their protection and conservation. Since I’ll keep it at school I won’t be there to take care of it every day, so I’ll try to make it as bulletproof as possible (why it'll be boneless). Let’s get down to the setup list: The tank I’m using is a UNS 3N, very seamless, clean look. Aquaclear 50 power filter. I’ll get into the filtration below. Kessil A160, supplied by the club. Kessil Spectral Controller, supplied by the club. Aqueon 50W heater. ACKE horticulture/refugium light. JBJ ATO, cheap and ugly... I'd like a Smart ATO micro in the future because the JBJ is reeaally bulky. Now we’re getting into filtration: The filtration is going to be mostly biological. I converted the AC50 into a refugium by putting the light on the back and taping the sides to keep the light in. I’ll be putting chaeto in there along with 3 marine pure spheres- I considered caulerpa but the possibility of it going sexual and nuking the tank outweighs the pros. The other biological filtration will be from the sandbed and live rock. I might also throw in a chemi pure blue baggie in there just because I have so many of them. No mechanical filtration at the moment since I won’t be putting in a lot of nutrients/large organic matter. Jumping into the aquascape plan: I wanted to give this its own category since I planned so much about it. Just to give you an idea of how long I spent on it, it took me over 10 minutes to wash the epoxy and super glue off my hands after I finished it. I designed an arch to be able to let a few corals grow up the sides of it while leaving enough room on the sandbed for other corals. I’ll try to find some tall corals like leathers, kenya tree, xenia, or photosynthetic goniopora to put on the back of the arch to give it more depth. I want to keep an RBTA on the top of the arch and let it be a real centerpiece, but I'm worried it eill outgrow the tank. If that happens I might try to get a carpet mushroom to replace it. I’ll get cloves, GSP, zoas, mushrooms, and some other softies to grow over everything and make colorful. Then on the sandbed I’ll keep RFAs and ricordea to put some more colors in there. Moving onto the stocking list: So the only real things that I will stock in the tank will be a clean up crew and a few crabs. My plan so far is to put in my pom pom crab, halloween hermit, and a porcelain crab as show inhabitants. The clean up crew will be a couple nassarius snails, some zebra/blue dwarf hermits, and a couple trochus/astrea snails. I’ll update this and make an actual list of things I put in the tank once it’s fully set up. That about does it, I’ll try to pump out as many updates as I can for you all.
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