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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