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  1. After 5 years of planted tanks I'm back on nano salt water. Started 11 days ago I have begun the cycle process, and have I forgot most of what I knew years ago... Man! I'm rusty.. Anyway going to keep a wee log of it. Grimes 15 gallon mixed reef with added pest algae 😭 Equipment: AquaOne Nano 40, 15 Gallon Stockheater and pump Fluval SEA Nano LED Jebao wp 10 wavemaker Jebao dp-4 dosing pump Filtration: 5 kg of live rock 1 kg TMC fine sand. Macroalgae in compartment 1 of rear chamber Macroalgae - Caulerpa Taxifolia Livestock (updated 14th November) Fish & Inverts: Yellow coral goby (Gobiodon okinawae) Blue neon goby (Elacatinus oceanops) Firefish goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera) 5 x Banded Trochus Snails 2 x Bumblebee Snails 2 x Cerith Snails 1 x Nassarius snail Peppermint shrimp Emerald Crab 4 hermits Coral: SPS: Montipora delicatula LPS: Hammer (Euphyllia ancora) Duncan's (Duncanopsammia axifuga) Acan (Acanthastrea echinata) Goniopora Softies: Zoas - Radio Active Zoas - Red People Eater Zoas - blue hornets Zoas - Rastas Green Implosion Paly Mushrooms Yuma Red Mushroom Orange (Rhodactis mussoides) Mushroom Florida Ric Green Star colony (Pachyclavularia) 8th April 2020 27th Oct 2020
  2. The School Nano Reef: Simplicity Meets Ultra Low Maintenance WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! For the past year, the wife really wanted a nano reef tank for her classroom to be viewed by hundreds of students, their parents, and her co-teachers. She was so determined and excited about this that she told all of her co-teachers that she is getting one even before I planned out the logistics of such a feat (since I'm brand new to saltwater tanks and wasn't too eager at the time to spend the time and money to learn such a thing). But, I didn't want to let her and her friends down, thus the School Nano Reef Tank was born on 9/17/2019, a week after my Office Nano Reef Tank was born which can be found here. I also wanted to document this tank separately from my Office Nano Reef since it has been having a host of it's own unique types of issues which included Dino's up until recently which I'll detail in a separate post. MY PRIMARY GOALS I have 3 primary goals for this nano reef: 1. Extremely low maintenance since it can be weeks before I'm able to visit this tank to perform any type of maintenance. 2. To have GSP cover the larger rocks and to have Pom Pom Xenia cover everything else that remains. 3. To have clear water with no odor. EL CHEAPO 10 GALLON AQUEON AQUARIUM FROM PETCO FEATURES β—• Price: $14.99 (I missed the dollar per gallon sale, but the dream must move forward!) β—• Tank Length: 20.25" β—• Tank Width: 10.5" β—• Tank Height: 12.625" β—• Material: Glass TANK HIGH LEVEL CHARACTERISTICS ⇨ Aquascape : Nature's Ocean 12-Inch Coral Base Rocks (they gave me 2 gigantic aragonite rocks so I spent hours trying to break them apart by throwing them against the concrete. I was a madman on a mission!) ⇨ Sand : 10 pounds of Nature's Ocean Natural White No.0 Bio-Activ Aragonite Live Sand ⇨ Heater : EHEIM Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 50W ⇨ Lighting : NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light & Finnex 10" FugeRay Ultra Slim Aquarium LED Light; Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light ⇨ Powerheads : Hydor Koralia Nano 240 (2) ⇨ Wave Controller : Hydor Smart Wave Circulation Pump Controller ⇨ Filtration : Marina S20 Power Filter (Filled it with 4 Marina Slim Filter Carbon Plus Ceramic Cartridges.) ⇨ In-Tank Refugium : Drilled custom holes into a Hamiledyi Fish Breeder Box ⇨ Coralline Algae Starter : Pink Fusion Strain & Purple Helix Strain Coralline Algae in a Bottle + Nitrifying Bacteria ⇨ Tank Lid: 20-Inch Aqueon Aquarium AAG29020 Versa Top ⇨ Natural sea water: Imagitarium Pacific Ocean Water, 5 gallons (2) MAINTENANCE β—• Occasional dosing of Reef Fusion 1 and Reef Fusion 2 to add calcium, alkalinity, and other elements and trace minerals. β—• Top off with Distilled Water with Instant Ocean's Marine Conditioner that adds protective fish coating and eliminates chlorine, chloramine & heavy metals. β—• When the water's surface develops an oily film, skim it off with paper towels as needed. Then re-add filtered natural sea water for any water that was removed. β—• Replace the Marina Slim Filter Carbon Plus Ceramic Cartridges for the Marina S20 Power Filter whenever the need arises. β—• Clean the sponge filter attached to the Marina S20 Power Filter intake whenever the need arises. MY CORAL CHOICES Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia This was one of the first Xenias that I purchased and I found out that I actually love the Pom Pom Xenia (ORA) variation more due to the pinkish color and larger pulsing effect. So the Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia was banished to the School Nano Reef. Green Star Polyps / GSP The School Nano Reef will only get doses of Calcium and Alk whenever I have time to visit it, which may be weeks at a time. Thus, the only surviving corals that can take such abuse may very well be GSP and Xenia. Let's see how these two hold up in the long run. I'm hoping that the GSP will cover all three huge rocks within this tank within a short period of time. MACROALGAE Chaetomorpha Macroalgae This is part of my magic bullet to keep the phosphates and nitrates down as low as possible. This plus the Xenia will be my main excess nutrient exporters. Red Dragon's Breath Gracilaria Hayi Macroalgae [EATEN by Mexican Turbo Snails] Simply beautiful to put into the display tank. Seems to work best if you can find a way to anchor it down. Red Ogo (Gracilaria Parvispora) Macroalgae [DEAD: Melted in 24 hours] Normally a beautiful bright red & burgundy color and is fast growing, this macroalgae did not survive a 4-day journey through the mail in cold weather conditions to my home. The temperature inside the package felt a bit cold due to the heat pack not holding up for the entirety of the trip. Upon opening the bag, a really foul stench permeated the room. The macroalgae arrived orange and became mostly transparent within 24 hours. Needless to say, I had to remove all of the Red Ogo from the tank. LIVESTOCK 2 Ocellaris Clownfish (ORA) It wouldn't be much of a School Nano Reef without the ultimate stars, Nemo and Marlin. We just love their vibrant colors, overall peacefulness, and their wacky movements! 1 Sharknose Goby Originally in the Office Nano Reef, Goby has made his transition to the School Nano Reef quite well. I often see him first in line to eat when the circulation pumps are switched off. He enjoys laying on top of the enormous "rock bridge" that can be found within this tank. 1 Yellowtail Damselfish To make this tank even more appealing for all the kids staring at it, how can you forget about Dory. Hopefully, Dory won't become too aggressive as time goes on. This damselfish was also originally within the Office Nano Reef. 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp from Sri Lanka The larger of the two Cleaner Shrimp that was in the Office Nano Reef makes his debut to the School Nano Reef. He spends much of his time hiding under the "rock bridge" or off to the side. Still hungry as ever and even swims upside down on the water's surface when the food pellets hit the water. 1 Stocky Cerith Snail [PRESUMED DEAD: Haven't seen the Stocky Cerith Snail in awhile] These snails are hard workers and they even clean on the edge where the sand meets the glass. 1 Banded Trochus Snail They are excellent algae eaters and do a great job cleaning the brown diatoms off the glass. They are able to right themselves if they fall upside-down onto the sand. 1 Astrea Snail [PRESUMED DEAD: After closer examination, I believe the one I have left is actually a Banded Trochus Snail.] I hear these snails cannot right themselves if they fall upside down into the sand. Somehow, this snail has defied all logic and is still alive. If he does fall upside down, there are about 14 hermit crabs waiting for their next free meal. 2 Zebra Turbo Snails I was looking for Mexican Turbo Snails and the LFS told me that these were them. I found out later that they lied and they're actually Zebra Turbo Snails. All of these are large (~2"). 2 Turbo Snails I got these snails for my Office Nano Reef to take care of some cotton candy algae that may have hitchhiked onto the Chaeto that I bought off eBay. I found out that the smaller ones (~1") tend to pass it by which are the ones that I currently have. They were purchased at a LFS under the name "Turbo Snail", but the LFS employee said they should be Mexican Turbo Snails, but by the look of their shells, I do not think they are. They never did eat the cotton candy algae so they were banished to the School Nano Reef. I later added 2 additional larger (2"+) snails and confirmed that at least 1 of these does eat cotton candy algae. I have a feeling one or both of the larger snails are in fact Mexican Turbo Snails, but I'm listing it under the generic Turbo Snails just to be safe. 13 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs These Blue Leg Hermit Crabs can be interesting to watch. I always enjoy watching them switching shells and then sometimes switching back. 1 Electric Orange Hermit Crab As the story goes, I ordered 6 Banded Trochus Snails from LA, but only received 3 Banded Trochus Snails, 2 empty shells, and a hermit crab! Well, shown below is the hermit crab and it has grown much larger than my other Blue Leg Hermit Crabs! a ton of Tisbe Copepods Our unseen clean up crew behind the scenes. They sometimes sacrifice themselves as lunch for any hungry fish waiting for their next daily meal. HITCHHIKERS Asterina Starfish I have read mixed feelings on these aquarium pests. Depending on which you have, some may eat corals, but most will leave them alone. They normally consume algae and some hobbyists report Coralline algae as well. These hitchhiked onto a rock with GSP on it that I purchased from a new-to-me LFS. I welcomed them to the School Nano Reef because some students were asking if we could get some Starfish for the tank. Now we got a few "baby" Starfish. Hopefully it'll never turn into hundreds or thousands of these little Starfish. PICTURES Day 60 (11/16/2019) since starting the School Nano Reef: Day 76 (12/2/2019): Day 89 (12/15/2019): Day 96 (12/22/2019):
  3. I feel bad. I’m a beginner and my husband took care of my tank. He’s out of town an I have no clue what to do! I know it’s bad. That’s all I know. Update. These pics were three weeks ago but had to take new ones. The first two pictures are before the water change the last are after it.
  4. IfYouAskNicely

    My first SW tank, a 2.5g

    Hello! So, I've been interested in biology in general from a pretty young age, I've had and still have various freshwater tanks since before middle school or so, and I'm going into my senior year of college now in San Diego(pretty moderate climate). A half a year ago or so I got the saltwater bug, and have been lurking on a bunch of forums and such learning about corals specifically. The final straw was when my boss, who has a 300 gallon reef tank at my work, told me that he would give me frags for free from pretty much any coral in his tank. So, I decided to make a reef tank, with the goal in mind that I'm a broke ass college student and so I'm going to spend as little money as possible. I've read all over the place about how the bigger the saltwater the tank, the easier it is to maintain, but that's obviously not 100% true as evidenced by everyone's experiences here. I decided to go for a challenge for my first saltwater tank by using a 2.5 gallon vase, and Maritza the Vase Reef was some of my primary inspiration. The only equipment running in it are an airline and a heater(and a battery powered thermometer to check the heaters not fritzing), as well as the light which is a I think 10watt compact flourescent 50/50 bulb. My phone's super crappy right now, so I'm going to try and borrow someone else's for a little and then I will upload pictures. It has been running for probably four months or so now. The first month was rough but I attribute that to the fact that I used an old heater, it malfunctioned and basically turned everything to soup. Since then though I've been steadily adding more and more corals, sometimes 3 a week, sometimes I won't add any for a month. The only not coral livestock I put in there that didn't come with the live rock is a small hermit crab and a bumpy red crab I took from the tidepools(sshhhhhhh). The only coral deaths I've had have been mushrooms which weren't able to attach high enough and were pulled into the bumpy crabs lair and eaten, and a small stock of pulsing Xenia which shriveled up over the course of a month or so. All the corals I have now are growing or at least static in their growth and don't seem unhealthy. I've heard that pulsing Xenia actually like slightly higher nitrate and phosphate levels, and so that's why I think they died, because my maintenance consists of weekly 90-100% water changes/glass scrubbing as well as taking the main rock out and scrubbing algae and detritus off with a toothbrush. I do the huge water changes because the tank is so small, and I also put quite a bit of reef roids into the tank the day before I clean it and change the water. Another thing which is fairly unconventional, but I haven't tested my water in any way since starting the tank. I rely on the fact that I buy premixed water from a reputable store and change basically all my water out with fresh water with the right parameters. Yes I still top off with RO/DI water from evaporation, I just keep the water level consistent though instead of using a refractometer. Only reason I don't test is because I'm on a tight budget. I have a feather worm in there and I've heard that they are VERY sensitive to water conditions and so I just make sure he's doing good and all is well. I'll try and upload pictures later today!
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