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  1. State of the Aquarium, 4 April 2021 Abstract Coral reefs of Pacific origin are generally represented in the central and western Pacific Oceans. Many times we see stock photos online or print media and I am willing to bet that 99% of the time such media is taken from Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It makes sense. The Great Barrier Reef is relatively accessible. You need an international flight out of Los Angeles and before you know it you've landed in Sydney and then you take an excursion out to Queensland. If you want more exoticism you can travel to other countries and enjoy really cheap eats and entertainment while you're diving. If you are adventurous you find yourself in Tahiti, Fiji, and Samoa. All great destinations as long as a typhoon isn't looking for you. However, coral reefs are expansive and cover the most of the western Pacific rim. Through warm water currents delivering the right parameters and sending out small coral gametes, recruitment occurs in countries where we may not associate with corals. Japan is one of them and is home to some of the northernmost coral reef assemblages. Corals live as far north as Tsushima smack dab between Korea and Japan. Progressing poleward, assemblages will change as water loses its warmth from the equator. Sparing you the details, this aquarium is focused and curated towards commonly found species about the Ryukyu Islands, an archipelago south of the main islands (if you've heard of Okinawa then you may know what I'm referring to), within the confines of very shallow depths under 3-5 meters in protected environments (lagoons, moats, patch reefs, coral stands). 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.
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