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  1. @banasophia recommended I should create a journal on here. So… here we go! 😊 Hello! My name is Tyler (aka inland_reef). The ‘Tale of Three Tanks’ began with the purchase of a used 28 gallon Nanocube on April 9, 2018 (Just rounded out the 1 year mark!). Like everyone else on this forum, I got addicted to saltwater aquariums 😂 This journal will talk about the evolution of my tanks, their setup specs and my ideas for future plans. While you're here, enjoy some eye candy of my current setups below. Ill try to make this a picture heavy journal, but you can see more pictures of my tanks on my Instagram page @inland_reef . I post daily updates there.
  2. So I’ve decided to launch an investigation. I went to my LFS a few weeks ago and saw they had just received a school of orange spotted filefish. Always an optimist, I asked the store if they would feed them frozen mysis for me to observe. Miraculously ALL the filefish in the tank began to eat the frozen food. The filefish has just arrived the day before and were in a system running heavy copper so this made absolutely no sense to me. not thinking twice, I asked them to bag up the one with the best appetite and took it home. I put it in an observation tank for a week but it didn’t eat so I added it to my display to reduce its stress and hopefully have more luck. I used a dead acro skeleton with mysis and grocery store shrimp smeared on and it picked at it. A few days later I happened to feed some flake food to the tank and crazy as it sounds the orange spotted filefish swam all around the tank gobbling any piece it could find that would fit in its mouth. Since then ive been crushing the flakes to a smaller size and giving tiny feedings to the tank 3x a day and the filefish’s belly is perpetually bulging. But the story doesn’t end there. I told a friend of mine about my crazy luck and what I had seen in the store and he asked me to grab one for him and hold it until we meet up at reefapalooza next week. Although a few weeks had passed I went back to my LFS and saw they still had several of the filefish remaining and all with fat bellies. Amazing! the store confirmed that they had only been feeding the tank frozen foods. Also no coral or copepods present in the tank either. So I grabbed two more. One for my friend and one to hopefully pair with the filefish I have. that was yesterday. This morning I found my male and female filefish sleeping together. They woke up when I added flakes and the new filefish picked at a couple while the established filefish raced around gobbling up pieces of any size it could find. the one I set aside for my friend was really stressed alone in the observation tank I had put it in. It needs a water change. But I added a little frozen mysis and again even the third filefish woke up and raced around gobbling the mysis. Even chewing and spitting the pieces that were too big until they were small enough to swallow. This all seems too good to be true. It remains to be seen if these fish will survive long term but the fact that they’re all eating prepared foods from the water column, with little or no training, immediately after being introduced to a new system, is ridiculous. I need answers. I am not an very experienced aquarist. I research as much as I can and I will jump through hoops and spend hours each day monitoring and providing for my tanks as best I know how. I still make impulse buys. I still try things I shouldn’t (this may be one of them). But even I seem to be doing something that is rarely possible for veteran reef keepers. im not stroking my ego here. It can’t be me. It has to be the fish. Perhaps they were trained by the fish distributor? Perhaps it’s just a massive coincidence of fish personality? But my favorite theory is that it’s the collection site that makes the difference. I got the details of where my LFS got that batch of filefish. I called them and am waiting for a call back from their head of sales to answer my questions. Heres what I’m most interested in hearing back about. From you all. And from the head of sales. Does the collection sight determine success or failure for these filefish in an aquarium environment? It stands to reason that slight deviations in environment throughout the region where these fish live could effect how they behave. I know they went extinct locally near japan when the specific choice species of acropora died out. That population couldn’t even adapt to eating other acros. Maybe another reef has fish that are more opportunistic. Maybe one area has orange spotted filefish that have adapted to eat copepods as well as coral. Or montipora ad well as acropora. (These are all things I’ve heard orange spotted filefish (OSFs) will eat in captivity when not accepting prepared foods. And finally maybe there is a small region where the OSF has adapted to eat whatever smells good. A place where, for whatever reason, the filefish have evolved to lose the instinct to be so picky. If this is the case it’s huge news I think. Imagine what an expert aquarist could learn about OSF husbandry it they had access to the opportunistic specimens I just got. What if everyone had access to the opportunity to have a filefish that will feed. We could all learn how to truly care for this fish once the hurdle of food rejection is off the table. So im determined to learn where these particular filefish came from. I will ask if any more are available from that area. And if I can manage that. I will try to recruit as many people as I can to join me in the experiment to learn what drives this fishes behavior. I would love love to hear any thoughts and feedback. Any questions. Or even any requests. If I can manage to organize another set of OSF from the same reef to my LFS I am willing to buy and ship them on behalf of any determined experienced aquarists out there. I may be getting way ahead of myself but I feel this could be an opportunity for the whole hobby to learn and grow and I don’t want to think I missed the opportunity to share it with everyone by keeping my theories to myself. Sorry this his is so long. Really hope somebody reads it all...
  3. HingleMcCringleberry

    Review my tank? 30gal (Pictures)

    Hi all I feel like I’ve just about finished stocking my 30 gallon tank. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done so far. I’d love to hear feedback on my little ecosystem I designed. Criticism is welcome as well. I just want to show off the product of my efforts and hear ways I might still improve it. My tanl is a 30 gallon biocube. It’s been set up for about 4.5 months now but it was mature and full of water and rock when I received it used so I got a little head start. i have attached some photos I took yesterday there are are a couple of frags that got burned and were put on the sand temporarily. let me me know what you think!
  4. I just want to show my appreciation to Cultivated Reef and Holly. I had ordered two Gladiator Clowns with special instructions. Holly made sure we were both on the same page and made it happen. I returned to order corals. TOP NOTCH!! Grade A+. If you are looking for the best fish and most vibrant corals, please do yourself a favor and check out the site, you won't be sorry. www.cultivatedreef.com
  5. Hi Friends, I very recently received this Alien Eye chalice, and it is my latest addition to the tank! It is a gorgeous coral. That being said, I wanted to confirm the following - Is the spike-like pattern normal? Or is the coral trying to signal something? My parameters are all good, because the other species are doing fine. Could it just be that the coral is still in settling-down mode? It is only 2.5 days as of this moment! Any pointers would greatly help! Thank you all for your valuable inputs.
  6. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Hammer coral not feeling so well?

    So, the last couple of days, my Euphyllia is acting up a bit. I am not sure if it is not feeling well, or if it could be splitting or perhaps something else I am not aware of. What do you guys and girls think/suggest? This morning The afternoon As for parameters, only thing that is slightly elevated is my phosphate, since I am trying to balance out my chemistry some more. Other then that, my latest paramaters, before the water change last monday.  Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Nitrate: ~10ppm Phosphate: .35 PH: 8.1-8.2 dKH: ~10.5 Calcium: 460 Salinity: 1.025 Temp: 77 Could it be preserving energy? Is it dying? I don't see any little critters, nor brownish goo, or zooxanthellae being expelled or whatsoever. It's been doing this for about 3 to 4 days now. Did a 25% waterchange on monday, to see if that would help out, so far it seems not to. Other corals and livestock seem to be ok and active and I haven't changed anything particular lately. Curious what you guys think could be going on 🤔.
  7. dpep

    Buying Coral Online

    I just started my first tank, a 32 biocube. So far I have picked up everything for my tank at my LFS, but I'm looking to broaden the coral diversity. Just wondering if there is anything specific I should look for when ordering from online retailers, and if there are any precautions to take before integrating those corals to the tank
  8. HingleMcCringleberry

    Living with ich: Can/Should it be done?

    Hi all, I’m looking for opinions on wether it is worth trying to cure my ich. I have ich ich in my 30 gallon reef tank. It broke out about 2 months ago and all the fish made it. I bought some reef safe medicine that claimed it would cure ich knowing it wouldn’t cure it. I do credit the medicine with lessening the burden on my fish and allowing them to fight through it. My my understanding is that ich is definitely still alive in my tank. Just not in plague proportions. I’ve heard fish start to build a degree of immunity to a particular strain of ich after they fight off the initial infection. So there’s just a small amount of ich feeding on my fish in low enough numbers that my fish maintain their immune systems and appear asymptomatic. And I guess I could be ok with that. It feels precarious. If the ich ever reaches critical mass then it will start to tax the immune system of the fish. The stress of fighting it off weakens their immune system and it snowballs into another outbreak. That’s my understanding. But can I avoid giving ich that foothold? My fish get along great. My parameters are stable. And I don’t plan on adding any more fish. So all the biggest triggers to stress a fish and start an outbreak are mostly neutralized? in the meantime, as my fish continue to fight the daily battle of enduring a handful of ich bites, they are slowly building more immunity. Like a cruel vaccine? Maybe? ive also heard from someone that ich can only reproduce and undergo its lifecycle a finite number of times (many years worth). But still. If all my fish hang on, and nothing new is added, could it be possible to make it to the finish line and beat ich by running out the clock? there are tons of encrusting corals that cover a maze of mat holes and crevices in the tank. I could only remove the fish by tearing it all down and sacrificing a lot of coral die off. Can I live with ich? Has anyone done it? Is it really worth tearing down my tank to kill it?
  9. We have had our Goniopora for about 6 months and at first it was super happy but slowly has started dying from the bottom up.If has stopped receding but the polyps never come out any more.We have moved it around the tank every couple of weeks to see if it likes a different spot with different flow and light but nothing seems to make it happy!Everything else is the tank is super happy except it. please help! https://imgur.com/a/n27Zbqh
  10. Saltwatertank7

    HELP! Possible coral bleaching?

    So I recently picked up a torch and a favia for my 12.5 gallon tank. After a while I noticed the torch lose color very quickly, and begin to not extend much at all, and now I’m starting to notice the favia lose its green color on the top, but it still hasn’t it on the sides which are shaded from the light, is this fixable? All of my other vitals are doing well, but as you can see below, these two seem to be struggling.
  11. SoCal Sandy’s Nano

    SoCal Sandy’s Nano

    Hi! I’m Sandy and I live in Southern California. I am so excited to have found this forum and am reading the posts. I am retired and putting together my first real venture into a reef tank. Prior to this tank, I had a smaller nano for a few years with a clown, some rock, and a few snails. After the clown died, my nephew took the tank and it is doing well. So I am setting up a small reef tank. I got a Nano Cube CF-Quad LED 28 gallon. So far I have CaribSea sand (30lbs), one CaribSea “live rock” chunk of rock and one piece of barnacle. I have added 9 gallons of Nutri-Sea water, and 20 gallons bulk Catalina Water. And that is where I am now. I would think my next step is a heater setup. I read on the forums horror stories of “heaters gone bad”, and wonder if it’s worth it to just start out with some sort of monitoring system. If not, than I would be grateful for any direction or advice on heaters. All input is greatly appreciated!! I am really excited about setting up this tank! Nice to to meet you all. Sandy
  12. Wondering what this brown stuff is on my coral. Not sure what coral it is as I bought the whole rock as a piece off another hobbyist. i have a bit of brown algae in my tank however this has gotten smaller and lost colour. All of my peremiters are well my nitrates are about 20ppm. any help would be appreciated, I’ve posted in other forums and haven’t gotten any advice. thanks
  13. Hannahhhh

    Is my coral happy?

    I just got my first coral, it’s spotted mushroom from live aquaria. I’ve read their instructions on placement and water flow, but I’m wondering, how do I know if these corals are happy/doing well? How do I know if I should move them to a different place in the tank?
  14. HingleMcCringleberry

    Lighting questions and acrylic lid

    Hi all, First, a huge thank you to everyone on this forum that has been so helpful to me with all the posts I’ve made. Your advice has been crucial as I have been learning more about this hobby. I want ant to ask about lighting. A month ago I picked up someone’s used 32 gallon biocube that they had modified. They removed the canopy and replaced it with a mounted vivaspectra led light and a mesh cover. Recently ive been looking to change that setup since evaporation has been requiring me to add fresh water to the tank twice daily to maintain salinity. It’s impractical to have to use the RODI machine that often and so I built myself an acrylic cover to replace the mesh lid. I want ant to know if this will affect the light that reaches the tank. Does anyone have experience/ is it a good idea to run light through an acrylic panel and still grow healthy corals? aditionally the light is adjustable and can dim the 10k whites and actinic lights independently and im trying to decide what ratio of the two will be best for growing my corals. A few montipora, some acans, a couple chalices, and Zoas are the corals I’m currently growing. Assuming I have the right placement for each what spectrum of light is ideal to help them grow? More blue or more white? Will the acrylic lid affect how this ratio reaches the corals? any advice is deeply appreciated!
  15. HingleMcCringleberry

    Parasite on my acans?? Help? (Pictures)

    I dont know what this is but it seems to be growing or living on the side of my acans. Will it hurt them?? Ignore my serpent star. It seems to have two tentacles/antennae?
  16. I bought this three-headed frag of acans 2 days ago. They seemed pretty happy until now. I even fed them some frozen mysis last night. but there was always this one corner that seemed to be releasing a little bit of slime into the water. That'ss what corals do when they've recently been disturbed and moved" I said to myself, and I assumed it would just wash away. Then today I got back from work and found that corner oozing lots of slime and can see some exposed skeleton! the other heads seem very happy; no recession as far as I can tell. And even the oozing head seems happy besides. But something is clearly wrong. Did I tear the polyp pacing it in the tank? Is it infected? can I blame this on water chemistry and lighting? I need a diagnosis and I feel like I need to act fast based on how suddenly this injury appeared.
  17. HingleMcCringleberry

    Acan Echinata: How fast does it grow?

    Thinking of buying a decent sized colony of Acan Echinata on sale at my LFS. Does anyone know how fast this coral grows? With/without feeding? Is it hard to care for? Basically any advice? Is it ok for someone with beginner to moderate experience with corals? (I’ve been keeping Monty Cap trumpets and frogspawn successfully for a few months)
  18. Jason2000

    Coral ID

    I've recently aquired my first marine aquarium which came as a full set up, including this coral which seems to be doing quite well. Can anyone identify it for me? Its about 6cm across currently. Also be interested to know how large and how fast it is likley to grow, and whether it will benifit from the soft coral powder food i'm adding for the other corals. Thanks in advance
  19. Jozefs a lizard

    Any high flow corals

    I have a biocube 14 with upgraded LEDs and a wave maker which does 144 gph flow. I have 4 coral colonies which are thriving The corals are Red Cap Monti (doubled its size in 4) Recently got an uknown stylophora which was in a low flow tank in Petco and got it for FREE (started growth on a new branch) Duncan coral (is growing 3 more heads) a yellow birds nest coral (also doubled its size) my cuc is 4 hermit crabs and an astrea snail. And centerpiece is a domino damsel I'm looking for 1 more easy to keep coral as I don't want to push the bioload. Any Ideas
  20. (I posted this same post in the corals forum) Hi. I'M new to the forum and was hoping some experienced reefers could offer some advice on my coral health! I have a 20 gallon DIY mixed reef tank that has been running for about 6 months. I have about 1 year experience running a 75 gallon reef tank that I took down about 6 years ago when I left for college. Everything I have added (soft corals, LPS, fish, inverts, nem) seems healthy and has been a pleasure to watch. Up until now I have never tried any SPS corals. 5 days ago I decided to venture into some "beginner" SPS. I don't have very accurate water testing kits so I am not looking to advance any further with difficult corals until I can at least better monitor my water parameters. I have a very large amount of live rock for the tank size and two hang-off-the-back filters (in case one ever fails). My heater is a decently stable and my digital thermometer always reads 78.4-78.8. My lighting is not very strong: Marineland LEDs rated at about 100 par at 12 inches and 6000K. It is also not diffuse at all and has almost spotlights of higher intensity throughout the tank. (yes, I plan to upgrade my lighting when I have the funds in about a month). I bought two montipora frags 5 days ago, one large orange monti cap and one small sunset monti. Both came from my LFS and were not shipped (at least not any time recently). To compensate for my low lighting I placed them about 5 inches down in the water directly under the "spotlights" from my LEDs. I really don't know enough to tell if they're doing ok or not. given that my situation is atypical bordering on stupid (I know it sounds bad) I want to make sure Im not killing the frags. I have a friend with a very successful SPS tank who will take them if I'm hurting them and I just don't want to see them die! I think they might be doing ok. I'll be watching for long term signs of health but I just wanted to ask if there are any issues visibly indicating immediate shock from new/bad tank conditions. Please don't be too hard on me. I know you'll want to know my water parameters and more details than I can probably measure. I don't want advice on keeping them alive as much as advice on how to tell if they're healthy (although all input is appreciated). If they aren't healthy I will rehome them at the first clear sign they're declining. I have attached pictures.
  21. HingleMcCringleberry

    New Chalice Frag Dying?

    I have a 20 gallon tank that has been set up for about 6 months and have been having great success with soft corals so I decided to pick up a trumpet coral and chalice frag 2 days ago. The trumpet seems happy but the chalice looks concerning. I know they don't like a lot of light while they adjust so it is at the bottom of my tank out of the direct light from my led lights (they are not particularly strong anyways). right away i noticed a little bit of brown discoloration on the side of the coral. over the couple of days I've had it the brown area seems to have become more distinct although no skeleton is exposed. I know there's a lot of variables at play (water params, parasites, lighting, handling) but what I want to know is whether this is a sign of a serious problem. The brown spot hasn't really progressed noticeably in the last day so is it a cause for concern? Although I do want to know why this happened I'm more concerned with just knowing what is happening and how worried I should be.
  22. Mike P

    Duncan

    Duncan frag
  23. DanielHerrera

    Bleaching/death rates of corals

    Hello everyone, I want to learn about some ways in which a coral might bleach or die. I am particularly interested in bleaching/death rates for each reason. As an example, I believe bleaching due to low light intensity might take a couple days while excessive light intensity might kill a coral much faster. Does anyone have a refference for all possible death rates of corals? Although I'm interested in sps corals, information on every coral would helpful. This could help use better make an idea on why our corals might br struggling. Thanks!
  24. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Montipora Digitata polyp extension question

    I recently got my first SPS frag, a blueish Montipora Digitata. Now, with my other corals, I could get a decent enough idea if they were happy or not concerning flow and lighting for example, because their response was quite obvious and quick (Euphyllia and Rhodactis for example). However, this being my first SPS, I am not so sure, so I figured I'd make a small thread, hoping you guys and girls could help me out. As for my parameters, I measured these this morning and the frag is in my system for about a week; Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Nitrate: ~3ppm Phosphate test kit is on its way PH: 8.2 dKH: 11.3 Calcium: 475 Lighting: AI Prime HD on a somewhat customized AB+ schedule and on an acclimation period until February 23 Flow: return nozzle and Aqamai KPS Left side view right side view Close up (crop) where the polyps seem to extend the most I am not entirely sure yet about the placement, because I see a lot of shading/dark sides on the frag, which is a result of the shape as well. I am also wondering if I could accidentally burn it, having it so high up on the rocks, that's why I put the Prime on an acclimation period though. Last but not least, my apologies for the quality of the images. They were made with my phone, yet I am looking to buy a filter and magnifier soon, because I really enjoy taking pictures of the frags and how they're evolving/growing. What do you guys and girls think? Polyp extension alright, or no? Anything I could or should change, any feedback is much appreciated! Bonus question, is it normal to tweak that much in the early stages of having a reef aquarium? I just can't seem to let it be, instead, I am wondering if the light schedule is alright, what about the placement of the frags....Flow, wondering if the return nozzle is aimed alright and the KPS schedule is decent enough....Oooh, how about the turnover rate? 🤦‍♂️ (I am really enjoying it though, don't get me wrong, haha!)
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