265g Mixed reef 20+ years in the making

Dragonsreef

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Thought it was time to finally start making some build threads on my tanks. The first is a tank me and my grandfather have built together. He's the one that got me into fish keeping when I was a kid. It all started with his first 180 gallon tank back around 1998ish. The tank did fairly well and was mostly soft coral, but was still a steep learning curve for any new hobbyist especially back then.

A few years later I think around 2002 our neighbor down the street was getting rid of his 360 gallon tank so we decided to upgrade since it was a deal we couldn't pass up. Unfortunately it ended up springing a leak 6months or so after being setup. Having to find a tank asap and get everything switched over we ended up with a 265 gallon which is what's still running to this day. Since it was all an emergency switch we unfortunately lost all but a couple coral and some fish during the process of getting everything settled in the new home. From there things went very well. New tech was coming out and we had the latest calcium reactor and c02 control with a pH pinpointed and we were finally able to start keeping sps.

Things went well for quite some time after that we saw some great growth, but it never seems to last forever in this hobby, around 4 or 5 years later we had a chiller failure, temps shot up over 90* and again lost most of the tank. Keeping a 265g cool even with all the ice we could gather was not easy, but the damage was already done over night when the temp spiked. We got the chiller replaced, and learned the hard way to always have a backup on hand.

From about 2008 until 2020 was the best the tank ever did, we really felt like we were getting it right, wall to wall sps and everything was going great. We had many colonies that were 6-12 years old.

Then the most recent extinction event happened and the calcium reactor got stuck on somehow. Alk cal and MG went through the roof. Tank hit over 14dkh up from 8. It was nothing short of a miracle that anything survived. The only sps to survive was some digitata, procillipora and our largest acro colony. About half of the LPS made it as well. Softies seemed nearly unaffected.

So what'd we do next? Contemplated throwing the whole thing out haha after 3 total resets in 20 years it's pretty disheartening but we decided to carry on and continue learning from the mistakes. So we bought an Apex about 6months ago and switched to dosing over the Calc reactor. We waited a few months for things to settle again and now in 2021 we're back in full swing and starting to repopulate the corals.

Current setup
Lighting - 6 Ai sols (got them brand new and still running strong)

Filtration - 40g sump, filter socks, refugium, massive reef octopus external skimmer, 10% water changes weekly

Dosing - brs 2 part


These pictures are from right before the most recent crash and I'll share more about the setup and current pictures soon.

FB_IMG_1602528870998.jpg FB_IMG_1602528893075.jpg
 
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revhtree

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Wow amazing reef! Sorry for the crash!
 
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Dragonsreef

Dragonsreef

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Wow amazing reef! Sorry for the crash!
Thank you, it definitely sucks but unfortunately it happens when trying to keep a whole ecosystem in a box. We just learned the hard way to always have back ups, and ways to double check everything.
 
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Dragonsreef

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Here is the first of many progress shots post recovery starting at the beginning of this year 1/15/21. The comparison of before and after. This picture was taken shortly after my visit to WWC where we picked up a bunch of new corals to start repopulating the tank. Notice how much less color there is.
20210507_013022.jpg
 
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Dragonsreef

Dragonsreef

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Its been difficult to catch up with all the additions we did in the past so im just going to update it from here on. The tank is looking awesome and has definitely made a full recovery from the problems we had last year.

So yesterday we hit up Reefapalooza NY and brought home some very nice pieces. We were even able to get a hold of a JF solar flare thats been on the wish list.


Maybe you saw us there? This is my grandfather, my brother, my grandmother and me. We had never been to a large convention and we were all blown away with the amount of venders and coral there.
20210627_195753.jpg




Heres the solar flare, i cant wait to see how its color comes in as it grows!
IMG_20210627_172628_748.jpg



Another eye catcher was this bright green goni. Many of the vendors were selling similar pieces for around 200, but we snagged this guy for $65!
IMG_20210627_172628_798.jpg




Another acro thats been on the list was a pc rainbow. There was one vendor selling some seriously nice chunks
IMG_20210627_172628_872.jpg




We've made a few orders with Jason Fox and were certainly happy to pick up some more. We couldnt pass up this grafted monti as well as this purple one with red polyps. (Cant remember the name lol)
IMG_20210627_172628_870.jpg


IMG_20210627_172628_888.jpg





Had to get a maxima, who could resist. This is the 3rd one in this tank.
IMG_20210627_172628_897.jpg




And last but not least a purple stylo and some acans
IMG_20210627_172628_903.jpg
IMG_20210627_172628_908.jpg
 
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