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So... after being inspired by @jbb_00 and @WV Reefer I decided that I'd turn my newly bought Mini Complete tank into my first ever reef aquarium. I've done some research and am sticking with hardy corals such as Zoas and Mushrooms. You've all been super helpful and reading your threads have just been an immense amount of information and knowledge. I know that getting into this hobby with such a small tank (the Mini Complete is less than a gallon) is a daunting task but I'm going to take it slow and make this a learning experience. I've had the tank now for a week but all I've done is fill it up and check its temperature. I realized the heater that came with the tank wasn't going to do it, it never got the water temp above 70F, with @jbb_00 help i got the heater he had and for the last couple days now its been stable at 78F. Next thing I did was find a really small but passionate frag store in Toronto (where I live) and was hoping they could help me out. I found FrabBox and decided to bring the tank with me... they blew all my expectations. The owner saw the tank fell in love and started making the hardscape right there and then because he was just amazed at how such a small All in one tank could exist. He supplied me with live rock, live sand, and a bag of his water which was more than enough to fill it up and then do a water change. He basically said I got a transplant of his 1400 gallon system for his frag store. Anyone in Toronto should really check it out. I was excited when he told me the rocks had already a couple of mushroom corals on it and i promised him I'd come back next week for some Zoas. But needless to say I've spent over a few hours just watching the small tank and I've seen so many creatures now. Hoping some of you guys can confirm my IDs or help me figure out what they are. Here are some photos of the set up first, and then the creatures in question in the next post. I'll keep you guys updated as I progress but thank you so much for all of your advice and in advance for all of your help and guidance! Live Rock Live Sand - store gave me from an open bag they had of Carrib Sea.
Well I took the dive on the minicomplete. Gotta be honest after I opened the box and started realistically looking at what I thought could be done, I regretted buying the dang thing and posted on eBay within the same week! Anyhow it got a ton of views but no one was willing to pay anywhere near what was payed...so left with no choice I marched forward against nearly everything I’ve learned for reef keeping. This forum luckily has an abundance of collected knowledge. Challenge #1) Heat The size of heaters that could shut off at a specific temp were usually too big, and the size of heaters that could fit seemed to over or under heat. So the challenge was a teeny heater that shuts off at a specific temp. Boom: This bad mama jama is only about 3” x 1” x 1” ( let me know if you want specific dims). It fit in the sump with enough space to use 2/3 of the filter media provided. The heater has a light that turns orange when heating and green when on standby. Ideally it’d be mid 70s but it seems to stay at a steady 79-80f. During the day I unplug the heater and let the tank go to my office temp of 76-78. Challenge #2) Aquascaping Nearly every rock is Mount Everest in this thing. I looked up “The Golden Rule”, artistic ratios, and googled aquascapes for days. Did many mock ups glued some stuff together: After days and nights of drawings, scaping, rescaping, then rescaping, I came up with this: Challenge #3) Substrate This was actually wildly easy, I put a quarter cup of sand in a Dixie cup rinsed it off and added it using a spoon. Easiest and cleanest substrate I’ve done in my life. I figure the challenge will be seeing how the bacteria acts with this little bitty amount of sand... Challenge #4) Water Another actually wildly easy task for the mini. Went to Walgreens and purchased a gallon of RO (“and/or distilled” lol) water for $1.27, mixed with about a half cup of reef crystals, checked parameters and went on my merry way. FTS Day 3, I’ll update once there is life tomorrow but here’s where it sits as of now: