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Diamonds x Pearls posted a topic in Nano Reef JournalsState of the Aquarium, 27 September 2020 the journal begins here: Didn't realize image compression and Figure 1 looks terribad. yikes! The story actually begins well before this photo on the 22nd. We rewind to December 27th to where I was moving a couple of aquariums in my wife's Honda Fit. (near professional aquarium mover at this point, it's my 4th move). She says she didn't say that, but from that video conversation through Facebook I started thinking real hard what would I make for a third aquarium. I wanted to be lazy and build another planted tank, but I was ready for something different like the tank I made before. I built an Amazon blackwater aquarium to just see how simple or hard it was to maintain that effect. Turns out it was just a matter of boiling botanicals to no end. Wife was okay with another tank. Good enough for me. I was a newly minted aquatics specialist at my Petco and I turned the saltwater section around by not killing all the invertebrates. (That's another story to tell.) Then I thought, hey you're not at FOWLR tanks why not building a reef tank at home? $1 per gallon sale happened right around the new year. I hemmed and hawed at the idea of getting a tank. I looked at Inappropriate Reefer's 10g build. Then I saw defekt's Sanity Saver. Perfect. I had to work around my property management for not having an aquarium of 15 gallons or more. I worked the legal gray area by getting a 20 gallon long since I remember measuring the inside dimensions came closer to 16 gallons than 20 gallons as advertised on the marketing label. I never enjoyed tanks that ran tall with a poor footprint. Bigger footprints mean more horizontal swimming room and unless you're caring for sea jellies or freshwater angels height can be a dimension to ignore. Fortunately there was only one 20L sold at my store and after 3 weeks of thinking really hard of how to build it and its life support elements I decided to go for it and blocked out the image of a nasty credit card bill (but hey points right?). I bought the tank around January 10th and it just sat there sad without a stand for about a week. I was still wondering if this was a good move, but I didn't like the idea of just wasting a perfectly good tank. I built one of those nicer Petco stands (because my wife doesn't have her woodworking tools right now). And that stood for another few days. I painted the back of the aquarium with clearance acrylic paint from Michaels. I waited another week as I was picking out parts. Life Support System: (thanks defekt) AC70 from a previous tank with stock foam sponge, 100g of GAC, and biomax rings (added PhosGuard 9/2020) Foam layer Media bag (currently running 16 grams/2tbsp of GAC and GFO each) Floss Bio Max rings 2x Koralia 240s 1x Koralia 425 - added October 3 Fluval 100w heater Current Orbit Marine LED 24-36" NICREW ClassicLED Marine 30" (peak hours only) - added August 15 Parts arrived on January 21st. Thanks Amazon Prime trial. CaribSea LifeRock, 20lb box arrived January 22nd. I bought CaribSea CORALine from my Petco store. Figure 1. Insert awful photo.
Well, it's a little late to start a build thread now seeing as the tank is mostly put together, if anything I suppose this will be more of a "polishing up" stocking and grow-out... thing... I do have some pictures I've taken of the process though and some little stories about how one thing or another got thrown together, but at this point I like the scape and stock enough I wanted to share it. Hope you enjoy! About 8 months ago I bumped into the opportunity to purchase a used Nuvo Atoll and AI prime light for $150 and I just couldn't say no. I'd been really wanting to get back into the hobby after moving off the big island of hawaii for ongoing health-reasons after a bout of myocarditis. It came in pretty scratched but I polished it up within an inch of the factory using the three-step Novus polish kit and some microfiber towels. Unfortunately I no longer really have any before and after pictures of the 6 or so hour process of getting everything nice a bright again, but I definitely learned I never want to deal with an acrylic tank again. I can't believe how easily these tanks scratch and how deeply at that... Next up was grabbing some rocks, I didn't want to deal with all the pests and unknowns which can hitchhike on live rock so I went with dry, instead figuring I would cycle the tank using ammonia, bottled Tim's, and some time. I couldn't really think of a fantastic scape Idea and had too many plans laid out, so I just ended up walking out of the LFS with a 30lb or so pile of Dry rock. I figured I could do some kind of really vertical scape to take advantage of the cylinder-shape of the tank, and I grabbed enough flat pieces that I felt like I could easily make a cove or island layout if I wanted to down-the-road. I replaced the stock pump with a Sicc nano 120 gph and bought a Sicc Voyager 240 for circulation alongside Brightwell N03 cubes, about "50 gallons worth" of Matrix and No3-out media, some chemi-pure blue nano satchels, phosguard, carbon, and egg-crate to hold it all in the AIO section. Underneath the overflow is filter-floss, carbon/phosguard, and then a chemipure satchel, to the right of it in the section which gets essentially no-flow is the NO3 seachem media, then in the large-middle section is half-a container of the brightwell NO3Out media and the Seachem Matrix. I also fashioned a little DIY lid out of Lowes scrap acrylic to keep evaporation down, though I really should have used some rods to keep it from warping, I still can't say I'm unhappy with the results. Bought a continuous power-supply UAC, which doubles as a backup for the nebulizer-compressor... And a Finnex 100W heater. Next-up the protoscaping while the tank cycled, I really wanted to try to maximize the amount of space I had for corals and livestock, while working with keeping a kind of full-tank-gyre action going. I was never really happy with the initial-concepts but couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to do, shy of keeping things bare-bottom, either. I managed to skip any huge algae or cyano breakouts and ended up with a 0-ammonia 10-nitrate tank within two moths, though I did get a few diatom blooms they always cleared up as fast as they came on. (That said I still get the occasional bloom after playing with my rockwork >_>) After two months wet, and about 1 month of feeding an empty tank, I decided to test the waters with a small clean-up crew, four nerite snails and a dwarf cerith. I never really took any pictures of them, but my wife and I both love watching the nerites zip all over the tank despite supposedly being "nocturnal", and have enjoyed trying to figure out where on earth the cerith is hiding during the day. Shortly thereafter we decided to grab a maxima from a local LFS, at the time it looked almost opal-white and was barely two or three inches across. I placed it towards the top of my rockwork and woke up the next morning to find that the little bugger had jumped into a hole and quite-firmly attached itself, prompting a "quick" re-working of the tank. Unfortunately working in the tank and scaping is much less pleasant than I had expected, certainly nowhere near as enjoyable as it used to be for me. Because of my various conditions I've lost most of my postural muscles over-time and have swinging electrolyte-imbalances which can cause shaking, spasms, and pain at just about any angle or weight. Needless to say working in the tank can at times be incredibly frustrating and physically-unpleasant, that said I still love aquascaping dearly and will probably end up with a planted bookshelf-tank or jar in the future. A shot of the clam and a Photo-bombing pair of nerites a few weeks-in. About a month later I decided it was time to start adding some corals when I chanced upon a bunch of indo euphyllia about to run out its' timer on Ebay, I picked up an unknown piece which I think is Baliensis, a bi-color frogspawn, and a yellow-ish hammer; plus a Florida-ricordea, chalice, and blasto-merletti colony for about $15 a piece after-shipping. Here's a grumpy shot of everyone after shipping, dipping, and dropping into the tank: And everyone a few days later: After an ongoing, impressively-successful, feeding regimen of sera-marin-granules (once a week) and 1/4 the recommended dose of RedSea AB I decided to order some plastic-coated neodimium magnets to replace the frag plugs, with the plan of epoxying and gluing their pairs into the rockwork, this way I can remove, swap, and frag the colonies without tearing apart my scape or worrying about much of anything. Unfortunately I think I went overkill on their strength as I can pretty much pick my rocks up by the corals XD Shot of the Maxima and Pink-green chalice after about a month settling-in and my dialing in the two-part dosing to keep alk and cal stable. The longer I had the scape up the more I realized the flow levels just weren't working out for the euphyllia or the chalice. The water coming off the voyager was getting deflected down directly onto the colonies and buffeting them, so I bought a timer to turn the powerhead off a few times a day as a temporary-solution until I felt ready to begin more re-scaping. After a week or so I decided breaking up the rock the Maxima was attached to was a great starting place as its' size and awkward shape left itself and the entire scape unsteady and prone to constantly coming apart while I tried to work with the coral. A few days ago my wife fell in love with this dark black-purple and rich-green anchor coral we found at a LFS, it reminds me of a truffula tree or some goofy fairytale-plant. Which leads me to the current iteration of the scape, overnight the new anchor coral decided to go cliff-diving and fell off its' plug entirely, to fish it out I pretty much had to tear apart the whole tank. With that said it did give me the opportunity and excuse I needed to completely-redesign my rockwork into something that would work better for my animals and for me. Four hours and a very sore back/core later and we have this beautiful little lagoon/cove which keeps the euphyllia sheltered from harsh flow and light, keeps the clam high-and center toward the Prime-puck, and the chalice in highish-flow and medium-ish light. The plan from here is to get a Lobo/Favia/Acan colony for the center and some bubblegum Digitata for the back-right of the wall (to be suspended by magnets) and decide on a small fish which won't harass the clam (No clown gobies, no damsels, I've heard clownfish can be mean...) maybe an assessor? I would love to try a yellow-stripe clingfish, but I know you're not supposed to keep pipefish with clams and am not sure if there's a similar rule. On top of that they're very difficult to keep and, while I would be willing to make it a little-feeding dish and shelter and go the extra-mile, even those who seem to do everything right tend to have their fish die within 3 years... Since there's no real information about their actual lifespan in the wild, I don't know how comfortable I am with the idea of potentially doing that to an animal when other species seem to adapt or even thrive in captivity by contrast. Anyway, that's pretty much the whole process of setting up this 13g nano, it has been a really long time since I've been able to play around with this hobby and honestly this tank has been jumping back into the deep-end for me. I'd love to hear any suggestions on livestock, but I want to keep it light and 10% every-other week or even monthly water-changes in the realm of possibility because of my condition (I test every three days to make sure nitrates are undetectable). Hope you enjoyed the read as much as I've loved browsing around the community and admiring all of your tanks and projects, hope you have a great day!
I'm trying to recoup some equipment costs, and am listing some frags for sale. I've made a similar listing to the local club forum, but I'm making a second listing here just in case there are reefers who are not a part of the club.Â I'm located in IowaÂ and am unfortunately not looking to ship any of these frags. If you're interested, pm me for more information and we can set up pickup arrangements. Â Frags Â 1x PZ Prometheans colony withÂ 50+ Polyps $200 -Taking Preorders for 3 Polyp ($20), and 10 polyp ($50) Frags as well! Â 1x Hawkins Echinata FragÂ $25 Â 3x Hawkins Echinata FragsÂ $7.50 eachÂ *Note, one frag plug also has a unnamed acropora* Â 1x Acropora Secale (1/2 inch)Â $5 Â 2x Ultra Blue/Green MilleporaÂ $25 each Â 3x Green Montipora Digata:Â $10 each Â Thanks for looking! Xiaoxi Yang