112 gallon mixed reef is looking like a reef again

andrewkw

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Here is the short version of the long story.
Almost a year ago I made a big move of over 700km to a rural environment. No more weekly trips to various LFS ect. No more bleach down the drain and unlimited amounts of salt water for that matter..

I had a 180 mixed reef, a 90 gallon garden eel tank and a 112 gallon that was my old display tank that was basically a display fuge with a carpet anemone that I was paranoid would eat my fish. Some other cool stuff like a pair of masked swallow tail angels, achilles tang ect.

Tearing everything down was hell I gave the garden eels away because it was much easier to just rinse out of the sand then try and and set that up again.. The reason was I did not move right into my house. I spent about 6 weeks at my parents house with all my livestock in the 90g tank and some other holding tanks. Achilles wasted away but killed a bunch of other fish first. A tank I had a bunch of LPS in mostly euphillias melted away. Masked Swallowtails died too.

It wasn't just the livestock. Tanks took a beating. The first thing I did once I did move in was get outlets installed where the tank was going. By chance there are concrete pillars under a spot that perfectly fit my 180. Got it's own breaker / gfci's then the 180 itself broke. It had just been moved around too many times, too many times I moved it around by myself. Thankfully old 112 was still around. This was my first big display tank a miracles tank purchased in 2006. Even getting the 112 back up was a hassle and a half. First my sump wouldn't fit under this tank. I actually knew this but forgot about it until I was setting it up. Fine I have another sump that will fit but guess what skimmer won't fit in that sump.. On and on stuff like this went but again I had another skimmer so everything worked out more or less.

It's now been going for about 8 months without any real issues. I run it barebottom, all the detritus goes into one corner and change approximately 10 gallons of water a week. 10ml of diy nopox per day and since it's not packed with corals I usually just dose alkalinity 1-2x a week. Now that I have a couple sps I may have to start daily dosing again. Hopefully because if something is consuming it means it's growing.

I have 2 issues, one of which I can cure but haven't gotten around to, the other I just live with :
Aiptasia. Joe's juice bought a couple months of relatively clarity but now I have probably 100+ I really need some nudibrachs or a copperband butterfly. No peppermints as I have a rock anemone.
Purple clove polyps. They aren't as bad as they once were and I seem to have luck with LPS encrusting over them where as zoas and sps get encrusted with them. I can't treat chemically due to the large number of softies. I also rely on 100s if not 1000s of astrena starfish as a big part of the cleanup crew.

I believe the closest reef shop is about 4hrs away. The good ones 7+ I have met a few reefers here which is nice because I was expecting 0 but the scene is not very big at all. The one benefit I have is my well water is very good. TDS is typically 55 out of the tap and you can even drink it. I've only had to change RO filters once and even then I really didn't have to. 1tds before di 0 after every time.

I'll take another FTS another time, as you can see the tank gets a lot of natural sunlight and so far it has not been an issue.




The purple clove polyps. I do from time to time get a tiny bit of cyano see bottom left but it's not a big deal. Byproduct of the nopox imo.



I call these guys chromis, but I guess technically they are lyretail damsels. I bought 5 maybe 4 years ago and 4 are still doing great. The only fish I have that is older is my naked clownfish which I've had since 2006.






These red mushrooms are from the first coral I ever bought circa 2005.


Chalice is growing over purple cloves...











Canada has far less online selection then the US, but shopping online for corals just isn't the same. I loved going to the shops finding random things, seeing creatures I had never seen ect. Also it's a lot more economical to pick up a frag here or there or even a colony then it is to place an online order. For fish I wouldn't feel comfortable with anything less then having them shipped airport to airport.

Still I thought now that I am away from impulse purchases I'd settle on a theme that isn't mixed reef. Sometimes I feel like I want to do more SPS, sometimes I feel like softies. LPS have probably been my biggest love dating back to when Australia started exporting corals and even before but I still can't pick a theme. I would like to get some more fish and corals to fill things in eventually but out here I have no choice but to take it slow which for the health of the animals inside is probably for the best.
 
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Cory

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Here is the short version of the long story.
Almost a year ago I made a big move of over 700km to a rural environment. No more weekly trips to various LFS ect. No more bleach down the drain and unlimited amounts of salt water for that matter..

I had a 180 mixed reef, a 90 gallon garden eel tank and a 112 gallon that was my old display tank that was basically a display fuge with a carpet anemone that I was paranoid would eat my fish. Some other cool stuff like a pair of masked swallow tail angels, achilles tang ect.

Tearing everything down was hell I gave the garden eels away because it was much easier to just rinse out of the sand then try and and set that up again.. The reason was I did not move right into my house. I spent about 6 weeks at my parents house with all my livestock in the 90g tank and some other holding tanks. Achilles wasted away but killed a bunch of other fish first. A tank I had a bunch of LPS in mostly euphillias melted away. Masked Swallowtails died too.

It wasn't just the livestock. Tanks took a beating. The first thing I did once I did move in was get outlets installed where the tank was going. By chance there are concrete pillars under a spot that perfectly fit my 180. Got it's own breaker / gfci's then the 180 itself broke. It had just been moved around too many times, too many times I moved it around by myself. Thankfully old 112 was still around. This was my first big display tank a miracles tank purchased in 2006. Even getting the 112 back up was a hassle and a half. First my sump wouldn't fit under this tank. I actually knew this but forgot about it until I was setting it up. Fine I have another sump that will fit but guess what skimmer won't fit in that sump.. On and on stuff like this went but again I had another skimmer so everything worked out more or less.

It's now been going for about 8 months without any real issues. I run it barebottom, all the detritus goes into one corner and change approximately 10 gallons of water a week. 10ml of diy nopox per day and since it's not packed with corals I usually just dose alkalinity 1-2x a week. Now that I have a couple sps I may have to start daily dosing again. Hopefully because if something is consuming it means it's growing.

I have 2 issues, one of which I can cure but haven't gotten around to, the other I just live with :
Aiptasia. Joe's juice bought a couple months of relatively clarity but now I have probably 100+ I really need some nudibrachs or a copperband butterfly. No peppermints as I have a rock anemone.
Purple clove polyps. They aren't as bad as they once were and I seem to have luck with LPS encrusting over them where as zoas and sps get encrusted with them. I can't treat chemically due to the large number of softies. I also rely on 100s if not 1000s of astrena starfish as a big part of the cleanup crew.

I believe the closest reef shop is about 4hrs away. The good ones 7+ I have met a few reefers here which is nice because I was expecting 0 but the scene is not very big at all. The one benefit I have is my well water is very good. TDS is typically 55 out of the tap and you can even drink it. I've only had to change RO filters once and even then I really didn't have to. 1tds before di 0 after every time.

I'll take another FTS another time, as you can see the tank gets a lot of natural sunlight and so far it has not been an issue.




The purple clove polyps. I do from time to time get a tiny bit of cyano see bottom left but it's not a big deal. Byproduct of the nopox imo.



I call these guys chromis, but I guess technically they are lyretail damsels. I bought 5 maybe 4 years ago and 4 are still doing great. The only fish I have that is older is my naked clownfish which I've had since 2006.






These red mushrooms are from the first coral I ever bought circa 2005.


Chalice is growing over purple cloves...











Canada has far less online selection then the US, but shopping online for corals just isn't the same. I loved going to the shops finding random things, seeing creatures I had never seen ect. Also it's a lot more economical to pick up a frag here or there or even a colony then it is to place an online order. For fish I wouldn't feel comfortable with anything less then having them shipped airport to airport.

Still I thought now that I am away from impulse purchases I'd settle on a theme that isn't mixed reef. Sometimes I feel like I want to do more SPS, sometimes I feel like softies. LPS have probably been my biggest love dating back to when Australia started exporting corals and even before but I still can't pick a theme. I would like to get some more fish and corals to fill things in eventually but out here I have no choice but to take it slow which for the health of the animals inside is probably for the best.
Looking good! I feel you anout Canada being hard for corals. I wish my well was good,, i get 625tds right now lol.
 
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andrewkw

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Thing is there are a lot of reef shops they just don't have online stores. I would say the Toronto area is comparable to anywhere outside of maybe LA in the US for corals. There was probably 20 shops within an hour of me that sell corals. Besides the shipping costs it pains me to order online when I know only a fraction of their stock is posted online if they even do ship..
 
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andrewkw

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Tank is continuing to do well. Ever since photobucket went away I haven't been taking as many photos. Instead I've been taking more videos.


Almost every coral is growing. I've even managed to add some new things.

I added things while I was visiting Toronto. I brought some frags back wrapped in wet paper towels and they all survived the trip without incident. See
A couple of pics :
IMG_9824.JPG

IMG_9814.JPG

IMG_9912.JPG


IMG_9910.JPG
 

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Tank looks delightful to me!

Wondering if those softies that you've got so many of aren't blue Cespitularia or something similar . . .

~Bruce
 
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andrewkw

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Tank looks delightful to me!

Wondering if those softies that you've got so many of aren't blue Cespitularia or something similar . . .

~Bruce
You know it's funny because when the store posted a macro of it, I thought hey this is cespitularia (i used to have probably 60% of the tank covered in the purple variety years ago). When I got to the store to see it, I thought it was actually a colt coral. Now I'm pretty sure its a kenya tree, although I've been calling it a colt for years.
 
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andrewkw

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skimmer2.jpg

skimmer1.jpg


Doing an annual protein skimmer cleaning today. It hasn't quite been a year since the tank has been setup in my new house but as you can see there is a lot of growth all over the skimmer. Performance on the skimmer is still great but if it declines in the dead of winter I'm not going to go out and hose it down. I'm now running it with vinegar and fresh water for most of the day to get it real clean.

Due to all the hell of the move I'm using my 3rd choice for sump and 2nd choice for skimmer (I have a big old ATI BM 250 that won't fit in sump / under tank). Still it wasn't too much trouble to get it out from under the tank and give it a good cleaning. With the skimmer off it's eerily quiet, not that the skimmer is loud but there are not many sounds at all in my house other then the slight tank noise my tanks make.
 

leahfiish

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Looks great. I really like that picture of the chalice with the mushrooms.
 
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andrewkw

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December update on my tank. My christmas present to me was supposed to be new live stock. I ordered 9 SPS frags and a few throw in zoa / palys. The shipment was delayed once due to mechanical failure and a second time due to "bad" weather (it wasn't that bad). I am out in the middle of no where but it's still just an hour and 20 min flight from Toronto. My wife suspects there just wasn't enough express shipments the first day but who knows. What really surprised me is real fedex / ups don't exist out here. It's all subcontracted out to smaller local courier companies. We really don't know much about rural / small town living despite being up here almost a year and a half. At least a couple polyps on the zoas and palys survived 50+ hours in transit. When the water finally reached me it was ice cold. One of them took a whole week to open up.

Here is a video update on the tank, as well as a few photos.




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So the question now is what do I do next? The obvious is nothing but that's boring. I can risk more livestock shipments, or I can upgrade hardware. Open to suggestions. Watch the video for better description of options but I'm open to anything.
 

leahfiish

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What are you currently using for flow? It looks great the way all of your corals are swaying.
If you are looking for livestock I would try to contact every vendor you are interested in and explain that you'll need airport to airport shipping. I bet that some of them could work it out. Do you have any lfs even remotely close to you? How do they get their fish in and where do they order from?
 
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andrewkw

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What are you currently using for flow? It looks great the way all of your corals are swaying.
If you are looking for livestock I would try to contact every vendor you are interested in and explain that you'll need airport to airport shipping. I bet that some of them could work it out. Do you have any lfs even remotely close to you? How do they get their fish in and where do they order from?
The flow looks really good and with the bare bottom it's easy to collect detritus on the one side but in terms of numbers I am probably under powering the flow. I just have it really well positioned. I have a jebao rw15 almost on max wave mode and a tunze 6065, this combined with my return probably barely pushes me into 5000-5500 gph, so not a crazy amount of turnover. The problem with upgrading this is everything is working well. That being said the jebao has passed 2 years, and while I do clean it regularly it could and probably will die at anytime. Still a big fan of these powerheads but the previous models lasted me about 2 years before giving out. Tunze's seem to last the longest. When ecotechs were new I had the original MP40s but those are long dead so these days I prefer a smaller investment that will last about 2 years vs a larger that will last about 5. When you do the math you still save.

There are a few places that can ship airport to airport for whatever reason most places use westjet which doesn't fly here. I still have a hard time ordering livestock online other than the shipping difficulties there is the sticker shock + I just prefer to pick things out in person. I really didn't think this would be such a big deal before I moved but it really has turned into something. Especially when I read about shipments happening at former lfs.

Closest reef shop is about 3 and a half hours away. It's a nice store but selection is somewhat lacking, they can order stuff but then it's the whole sight unseen thing again + a 7hr trip to get it.
 
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andrewkw

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Nothing super exciting going on this month, one frag fell over and since it's so difficult to get corals here I tore down a big part of my aquascape and still couldn't grab the frag. Next time I'll just let it go. I have one mexican turbo snail that has long since exceeded his lifespan, I blame him.

Still it's nice to see things growing well, I am in no way losing interest in my reef I just want to add some new things to it.
 
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andrewkw

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February update : First off I was thrilled to see my tank chosen as the first reef tank 365 here on reef2reef. In the tank I've had a few minor setbacks but it's still progressing forward.

I lost my firefish. I suspect the lyretail damsels killed him. He had been beaten up pretty bad a couple of times but always fully healed until one day he disappeared. I actually think one of the damsels is also gone but hard to confirm. I have either 3 or 4 and they are always spawning. So one stays in the rock or behind the glass depending on where they lay to fan / guard the eggs. Yeah they are damsels but they're basically chormis and I've had them 5 years or so. Possibly getting old too but probably still too young to be dying of old age. The other setbacks are the small milli frag in the first picture at the top right has rtn'ed. It's just a small frag and I paid either 10 or $20 for it and it hasn't really grown much but still disappointing. The other issue I am having is green chalice in the second to last picture is losing a war with the frilly mushrooms and the other softies that surround it. Frankly that's a little surprising but corals growing over corals growing over corals is one acceptable way to lose livestock. Of course I could tear down the tank and cut things up but not worth it since more than likely 75% or more of the colony will survive.

I managed to get 2 frags from a local reefer which is really rare out here. By local she still lives about an hour away from me. Next month I will be making a trip back home to the Toronto area so I should be able to pick up some corals for both this tank and some anemones for my new 10 gallon sexy shrimp. Still gotta create a build thread for that tank. I have done many build threads on several forums over the last 12+ years and I still think this is the best way to document reef tanks both to share with the community and to be able to go back myself and enjoy seeing the progression. This is the first tank I have documented with videos on youtube and I also enjoy that format. The videos with people talking about their tanks are probably my favorite to watch. Here are some photos from this month as well as a video. If you watch the video there are a bunch of growth comparisons over the past 7 months since I started making videos for this tank.

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andrewkw

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Before we get too far into april I have to do my march update : Every month I do a video on the tanks progression or regression.

I've added a few new pieces, a couple from the one semi local reefer I know. Additionally I bought a couple of pieces when I was in Montreal. I actually got 4 corals but only 2 survived. I kept them in the bags too long most likely 24hrs or so, then another 12 out of water wrapped in wet paper towels for airplane carry on. While I was away my gorgonian which I've had for years got covered in some sort of algae and didn't have any polyp extension for close to 2 weeks. I was really worried but it's now back to normal. https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/gorgonian-in-trouble-help-with-centerpiece-coral.371369/page-2#post-4604581

Just a couple of weeks later I went back home to the toronto area and had a chance to visit some of my former LFS. I hadn't seen the owner of one shop in probably 2 years but right away he mentions something I'd be into and I just couldn't resist. A yellow scopas! In all my years in the hobby I've never had a yellow tang but I've always wanted a yellow scopas.

scopas.JPG


I have a bunch more new corals which are quickly making their way to my display tank. Once I get everything mounted I will post some more photos.
 
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andrewkw

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Some pics after target feeding / water change.
The pectinia is new. Wow! My only complaint is it outshines everything else in my tank despite being a 3/4" frag.

This maricultured piece is also new.

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More to come. I am really happy with where my reef is going these days.
 
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andrewkw

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April video showing my new additions. Scopas has completed tank transfer. I am treating an additional time with prazipro and I will continue to observe him for a few more weeks but he will soon make it into the display. Looking back on earlier posts in this thread it's remarkable to see the progress this tank has made.
 
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