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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
Hi everyone, my old tank was a 20 gallon aqeuon with a tomato clownfish and a yellow watchman goby. This will be a slow thread as I'm a little tight with money at the moment, but I hope the end result will be fantastic. Anyways I picked up the top fin 55 gallon tank kit. I am aqua scaling it to have 2 clumps of rocks on both sides that slope into the middle like a trench. I was watching serpa design and he painted the back of his tank with Rust-Oleum acrylic black latex paint and I think I will do this to really get the trench vibe going. The goal of this tank is to not have many corals but have huge colonies that will fill the tank. Tank: TopFin 55 Gallon Filter: One TopFin 75 Gallon Power Filter and an Aqueon 20 Gallon Whisper Heater: TopFin 200 watt Heater Skimmer: Reef Octopus HOB 150 gallon Light: Fluval Reef Tank Light 48 inch Wavemakers: Koralia 1150 gph Algae Scrubber: undecided Livestock plans in order of introduction: Fish: 1x Yellow Watchman Goby (from current tank) 1x Lawnmower Blenny 1x Tomato Clownfish (from current tank) 1x Radial Filefsih 3-5 Harem of chalk Bass 1x Green Clown Goby 1x Atlantic Longnose Butterflyfish Inverts: Different species of Squat Lobster (experimental) 1x Crinoid 1x Ball Sponge 1x Spider Sponge 1x Christmas Tree Rock 1x Coco Worm Various Tunicates 2x Staghorn Hermits 2x Porcelaine Crab 1-2x Brittle Starfish Army of Hermit Crabs 1x Caribbean Thorny Oyster Army of Snails Corals: All Current Corals Various Colors of Sun Coral 1x Fathead Dendrophyllia 1x Carnation Coral 1x Chili Coral 1x Ref Finger Gorgonian 1x Yellow Finger Gorgonian 1x Blueberry Gorgonian Various Goniopora Various Gorgonians