28g JBJ build

Magellan

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This is my first saltwater tank, I got it secondhand for $125 with the light and stand. It’s a 28g acrylic tank with the “sump” in the back.

equipment:

150w metal halide with a 14k blue tint Phoenix bulb (would highly recommend the bulb)
Hydrofill ATO
Eheim Jager heater
Power strip with timer
Media basket in the back with filter floss, Purigen, Phosguard, and biomedia.
A bag of carbon
20lbs live sand
about 30 lbs of dry rock, the centerpiece is heavier than it looks.

here’s some early pics of the setup, scape, first corals/fish, and how ugly things got!
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Magellan

Magellan

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Fast forward about 10 months, my fish and corals are doing great!

2 clowns (Laura and mini-me)
Blue devil damsel (Fiji Girl)
Lawnmower blenny (The Night King)
6-line wrasse (Bruce)
Tuxedo urchin (Magellan II)
Skunk Cleaner shrimp (Jaque)
Numerous snails and blue legged hermits

wall hammer
Branching hammer
Goniopora Stokesi
Purple birds nest
Teal Stylo
Green Pocillapora
Kenya Leather
GSP
Green Yuma shroom
Green Paly
Red mini acan
2 different mini zoas, orange and yellow
Green Monti
Jason Fox Burnin Banana
 
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Magellan

Magellan

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I feed Reef Nutritions phyto feast and Oyster Feast separately every day, and sometimes feed reef roids as well. I work from home, so I compensate for the temperature (metal halide bulb in the hood means it gets hot during the day!) by putting frozen water bottles in the back. I live in NC, sometimes it took 3 a day this summer. Just can’t justify spending 400-600 on a chiller for such a small tank. (And something else that can go wrong!). I scrape the glass every couple of days, but I don’t get much algae anymore and am mostly just really ocd. Every once in a while I will get in there with a credit card and scrape the hard stuff off in the corners, but other than water changes and cleaning my filter media I don’t need to help the CUC out very much...My urchin and blenny are tireless!
 
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Magellan

Magellan

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Key to success:

I made a classic newbie mistake about 6 months ago when I purchased a Goniopora Stokesi. It looked cool in the store, and I just knew it would be an amazing centerpiece coral for me, and of course I had the perfect spot...

I got it home, glued it down, and then googled it. Rather than despair, I thought “challenge accepted!” I enthusiastically read everything I could about keeping Goni’s, watched a ton of YouTube, read countless forum posts, and ultimately decided that I was going to be the rarest of the rare new aquarist who could keep one of these delicate beasts. In my efforts to create an environment that my Goni liked, (by far the most sensitive animal in my tank) I created an environment that all my corals have liked! My fish are happy and growing, and so are my corals. I still keep my 65g freshwater, but it’s so boring compared to reefing!
 
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Magellan

Magellan

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I like the aquascape!
Awesome Tank.gif
thanks! It barely fits in there, but I made it work. I think the fish REALLY appreciate having lots of shade from the metal halide, and it breaks up the flow as well so I haven’t felt the need to add a wave maker.
 

Salty Lemon

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thanks! It barely fits in there, but I made it work. I think the fish REALLY appreciate having lots of shade from the metal halide, and it breaks up the flow as well so I haven’t felt the need to add a wave maker.
Going by the picture, I think it looks fine. That's great that you don't need a wavemaker.
 
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Magellan

Magellan

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Very nice tank and rockscape! I used to have a Jbj years ago.
Congrats on your tank.
thanks! its been great for me, other than learning my lesson with the ATO (unplug before water changes...unplug before water changes...) I haven’t had to do much except get a new bulb and a new return pump. Which it has 2 of, so even when one went out it was good to go. This thing was built to last, I love it! Just curious, what was your upgrade from this tank?
 
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Magellan

Magellan

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Going by the picture, I think it looks fine. That's great that you don't need a wavemaker.
there are 2 spots on either side where it’s too close to the walls and the algae scraper won’t fit, so I occasionally have to clean it off with a credit card. Incidentally my most useful tool, the rounded edge fits perfectly into the rounded edge of the front walls and won’t scratch the acrylic!

and I’m at about 18x turnover with the 2 returns. I’ve got my SPS up top in the higher flow places, and then my LPS and softies down low. Getting the flow right was such a process, especially for my Goni!
 
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