38-Gallon Reef

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Apollo7235

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You may want to move your heater, people don’t suggest putting it with the return pump because that chamber can run dry
I actually had that issue for a while, but I finally got it fixed when I downgraded my return pump. After much testing (power kills, back-syphon testing, etc.), I am confident that the water level in that chamber will remain high enough to keep my heater covered as long as I keep up with my top-offs! Thank you, though! If that chamber runs dry, I'll probably end up with a burnt out pump, busted heater and a huge mess considering the only way it should happen is if the syphon on my overflow was to break...... *shivers*
 
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Do a large water change, reinstate total system clarity via new water, the tank is done Fritz is plated onto surfaces in 24 hours we are at ~13 days. It’s not that you’re partially done, you’re done ten days ago having paid for the most concentrated bac avail. You can tell from any post I’ve been in, api readings do not impact the outcome of the cycle we don’t want to run them up in the presence of the new animals for this nice new blended cycle setup, you both did not cut any corners on that build! Outstanding.


you fed it well, on levels under the test kits which still cycled on time for sure, hope that helps.
Thank you for the warm and fuzzies! I did my best! I'm super grateful for the kind words and support as well as the advice!

I am going to do a 10-gallon water change (~25%) now that I bought my QT tank set-up and use the tank water in my QT (yay for recycling!). More on my QT setup in a bit after I can get some photos ;) I would love everyone's thoughts on that as well!
 
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Yeah, Brandon makes a strong argument and he may be right. Just don’t see the harm in feeding tank and seeing that nitrates start to climb as they should. Aside from waiting of course
I appreciate you following along with my build! Your advice has been invaluable!
 
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I like for new tank owners to start with some starter corals and clean up crew

then that early success drives interest as more is added. The key hidden secret is this: fish disease protocol controls when you add fish, not anything about the biofilter.

time to consider fallow and quarantine, but you get to stock your reef with corals and fun stuff first :) fish go in last.
That's the plan! World Wide Corals is less than an hour from me, so I am probably going to run over there and check it out here very soon. I'm also thinking about participating in the ARC live sale this weekend. Funny, because I am much more interested in adding corals at this point than adding fish. Seems like it's better to add fish later, anyway.
 
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Good morning/Good day!

I got the lighting set up on my tank, hubby got the doors on the beautiful stand he built me, and I got the acrylic in the doors smoked, so I thought a progress post was warranted!

I decided to go with two black AI Prime 16HD Reefs for my tank mounted using the black brushed aluminum mounts. I wasn't 100% sure I loved the look of the mounts initially, but they're definitely growing on me ;)

Purely for the purpose of aesthetics, I have been messing with the light settings (which I know next to nothing about). I decided to give some of the AI Signature Series programs a try so I at least have a starting point.

I initially began with the Nanok program. After a few days of this, I decided I hated it because of how stinkin' blue it is. I understand that blues are very important in reef lighting, but holy cow. I felt like our living room turned into a rave at 4PM!

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I have since switched to the Saxby program and I am actually quite happy with it so far. I appreciate the oscillations which, I suppose must be to provide brief reprieves from the intense lighting, and I also like the less blue aesthetic. I also decided to go with the moonlight/lunar cycle option, unless anyone can talk me out of it, because I like to think I am providing a more natural environment for my tank inhabitants by doing so.

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I did create the copycat of the Ecotech AB+ program just in case I decide to try something different, but this one is super blue as well, so it's pretty unlikely unless my future inhabs decide they hate the Saxby.

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On to my tank stand: well, I made the mistake of agreeing to glass inlay on my doors, so I had to fix that oopsie once he got them hung. Thankfully, he chose to use acrylic instead of glass so they will be less of a pain to replace if need be, but since the acrylic was originally clear, you could see all of my sump equipment and I didn't particularly love that look. To remedy this, I ordered some static cling window film (yes, I have commitment issues, so the adhesive was not an option for me ;)), and I think it really turned out nice.

So, here's the final product! Cycled and ready to go!

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Next project: Getting all of the cords, remotes and boxes organized and hidden....... o_O

Next post: QT tank and corals on order!

Thank you very much for reading! Remember, I love feedback! So if you're thinking it, please post it!

Have a fantastic day!
 
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It took me a good while to decide how I wanted to approach the whole quarantine process considering the high stakes at hand, but I think I got it figured out for the most part.

I have decided to begin my tank with corals only, then maybe a few fish as nutrient demand increases. Anyway, here is my set-up:

10-Gallon Aqueon Aquarium ($9.99 right now at Petco!)

Aqueon QuietFlow 30 LED Power Filter

Aqueon 200W Preset Aquarium Heater

AquaNeat Powerhead

Black Egg Crate

Coralife Digital Thermometer

Coralife Clip-On LED Fixture

Single Plug Outlet Timer

Black Gloss Vinyl

I realize that some of this stuff is a bit overkill for a 10-gallon tank, but I already had it on hand, so it is what it is. I am going to run the system for 2 days before I place any coral in it so I can be sure that the heater doesn't overcook anything and to let the bacteria seed and establish. I do have back-up equipment on order that I will use to heat water during changes and top-offs, so if I need to, I will swap them out. I don't think I'm going to need that power head in there considering the filter is rated to turn over 200GPH, but I won't know for sure until I get some corals in there! I chose to leave the egg crate on the bottom of the tank because the corals I have coming in are LPS and the light I chose is not dimmable, so I don't want to fry them. The light does, however, switch between blue and mixed, so here are photos of each mode:

Mixed:
IMG_9510.jpg

Blue:
IMG_9512.jpg

This little QT is sitting on our wooden computer desk, actually, so that ribbed material you see underneath it is a piece of an old, thick yoga mat I had sitting in the closet. It worked great to level the surface out!

To seed this tank, I ordered this cool little filter sock mount from Amazon, filled a sock with MarinePure Gems and plopped it into my sump:

IMG_9513.jpg IMG_9506.jpg IMG_9507.jpg

That little set-up will have been marinating in my sump for about 5 days before I move it into my little QT tomorrow. I think the QT system should establish nicely between the biomedia and my tank water.

Here is my QT plan:

Day 1:
- Float the bags to temperature acclimate for 15 minutes upon arrival.
- Place coral and bag water in large bowl and drip acclimate using my new Innovative Marine Accudrip Acllimator.
- Dip in Two Little Fishies ReVive per bottle instructions, blow off using turkey baster, and double-rinse.
-Dip in Bayer Insecticide, blow off using turkey blaster, and double-rinse.
- Place in QT, lights off.

Day 2:
- 6 hours of light.

Increase lighting by 1 hour per day until I reach the same 11-hour photoperiod of my DT. Obviously, I will be monitoring and feeding the coral daily. I would really like to remove the corals from the frag plugs, but I think I need a bit more experience before I march down that avenue. I will settle for just removing the pegs for now.

I plan to QT my new frags for 30 days from the last day I see any sign of pests. Granted, my eye is untrained, but I sincerely hope that things will work out between the ReVive, Bayer, and minimum 30-day quarantine!

Here are the components of the beginnings of my QT arsenal:

Two-Little Fishies ReVive

Bayer Complete Insecticide

Innovative Marine Accudrip Acclimator

Dissekt-Rite 7" Cutting Shear

Dissekt-Rite 10" Specimen Forceps

Old pair of tweezers

Oggi Mixing Bowl Set

30X LED Magnifying Glass

SeaChem Ammonia Alert Badge

Turkey Baster

Whelp, I think that about covers it for now!

Please let me know what you guys think! Diving into this sucker head first, so any advice and feedback is always appreciated!
 
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Well, today was the day! I placed my first coral order on Friday with @CoralsAnonymous and my new little inhabitants came in this afternoon!

Before they arrived, I did a last minute water parameter check on my little 10-gallon quarantine system:

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Salinity: 1.025
Temperature: 79.7F
Calcium: 460ppm
KH: 9dKH

Nitrite was randomly high, but according to my research, it doesn't matter in marine life, so onward I went!

This is my first online coral order, but I personally feel like this packaging job was exceptional! Everything was very tightly fit and there was definitely not much room for anything to jiggle around. No water leakage, no problem!

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Each coral was packaged in an individual specimen cup and suspended within the cup in a small plastic bag. Wonderful idea, if you ask me.

The salinity of the water the corals came in was 1.028, a little higher than mine, but nothing a little drip acclimation couldn't handle!

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Perky little duncan peeping out to check things out during the drip!

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Dip time!

First dip: ReVive by Two Little Fishies. 15 minutes with a few 'blow-offs' from the turkey baster. I used 1 cap-full for 1/4 gallon (4 cups) of QT tank water (per bottle instructions).
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Double rinse, then second dip: Bayer Complete Insect Killer. 10 minutes with a few 'blow-offs' from the turkey baster, but I couldn't see anything considering it was so milkey, so I'm not 100% sure they really did much good. I used ~40mL (~1oz) in 1/4 gallon (4 cups) of QT tank water (per online instructions).

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Double rinsed and ready for the QT! During this rinse, the frag plug actually fell off of my dendro......apparently that was all the confidence booster I needed because I happily clipped my duncan off its plug and clipped most of the plug away from my itty bitty mystery coral. About 45 minutes after I popped them into the tank, my perky little duncan took a peek at its new world, as did my dendro!

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I fed both my dendro and my duncan each a pellet of Reef Blizzard LPS food and they sucked it right down. This is them 40 minutes after their meal:

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And here they are now, just before I head off to bed!

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I must admit, I am pretty surprised at how quickly they opened and how readily they snapped up some food! From my reading, I know that feeding an NPS, such as my dendro, the second you see them begin extending tentacles is important to their acclimation, but holy smokes! I'm a very happy camper! Now to wait and see what that little mystery coral is...... :D

All of my praise to @CoralsAnonymous! You have just gained a loyal customer! Thank you so very much!

Anyway, thanks for reading!
 
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Lots of stuff happening in my reef-to-be these days:

First of all, I had some issues with my dendro and duncan spitting out the ReefBlizzard pellets a few hours after they would swallow them. More on that here:


Secondly, I discovered that my beautiful red ogo macro had suddenly died and I had a subsequent green hair algae outbreak :rolleyes: More on that here:


Thirdly, I noticed some green hair had made its way onto my new frags in my QT tank :mad: More on that here:


And lastly, I think I've got the coral bug because I can't seem to stop buying them..... :oops:

I really love the NPS corals, but they have been pretty difficult to find, so I the only one I have (so far) is a really pretty single polyp dendrophyllia. I also have a really pretty, brightly colored duncan that has a voracious appetite and is growing very quickly. Both of these I ordered from Corals Anonymous and had an absolutely amazing experience :D

The mystery freebie coral ended up being a double-polyp eagle eye zoa that I actually gave to World Wide Corals when we took a trip there on Wednesday. Although they were beautiful little polyps, I am just not looking for zoas yet. That trip added a beautiful WWC Kryptonite Candy Cane, Jason Fox High Voltage Platygyra, and some WWC Green Centered Flame Tipped Clove Polyps to my QT.

Due to the recent pop-up of green hair in my QT, I placed an order with Aquarium Depot for 1 Spiny Astrea and 4 Astrea snails. I'm sincerely hoping that they will eat the green hair off of my corals without damaging them. That being said, I think I'm going to have to grab some new frag plugs or rocks from my LFS to temporarily glue them onto so they don't tip over from the snails climbing on them.

With this order, I also bought 4 nassarius snails (to help clean-up after the corals at feeding time), and a purple sea whip (I couldn't pass it up for $5.99).

I know, I know. Slooowwwww down, Katelyn. But I can't help it!

The last thing I am going to buy before I stop resetting my QT clock is some sun coral if I can find them. I am obsessed with them, but so far haven't been able to find a frag with less than 5 polyps. Apparently my LFS might have one, so I suppose I will see if that's truly the case tomorrow!

Anyway, thanks for reading! Any and all advice and insight is always appreciated!
 

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Glad to see you’re having fun with this. With so many dif setups and systems and methods finding success I hesitate to say ime would suggest going slow. You have to find that balance between feeding, bio capacity and water changes. Would also think it will take some adjusting to get flow dialed in with your tank size, amount and placement of rock work, circular pump rate and placement ... to get enough flow with no dead spots yet some variations depending on what corals you want to place and where. Algae outbreaks with a newer tank more erratic/unpredictable. If left unchecked could get harder to control. Quick potions don’t address the cause, only symptoms. Personally would round the bend of algae going away instead of growing before I bought much more coral
 

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Great looking build so far!

In my final compartment, I have my handy dandy Eheim Jager TruTemp Aquarium Heater, which I one-step-upped to the 150 Watt, and my Aqueon Quietflow Submersible Aquarium Pump, Model 3000. Unfortunately, this return pump did not work out for me, so I ordered a Sicce Synchra Silent 1.5 Multifunction Aquarium Pump, which will actually be here today (more on what happened with my Aqueon pump in my future 'Why My Tank isn't Running Yet' post).
Be careful if your sump is still set up this way. You never want your heater in your return section of your sump, it's the section that has the most risk of running dry, and then damaging your heater, sump or home.
 
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Glad to see you’re having fun with this. With so many dif setups and systems and methods finding success I hesitate to say ime would suggest going slow. You have to find that balance between feeding, bio capacity and water changes. Would also think it will take some adjusting to get flow dialed in with your tank size, amount and placement of rock work, circular pump rate and placement ... to get enough flow with no dead spots yet some variations depending on what corals you want to place and where. Algae outbreaks with a newer tank more erratic/unpredictable. If left unchecked could get harder to control. Quick potions don’t address the cause, only symptoms. Personally would round the bend of algae going away instead of growing before I bought much more coral
Definitely my line of thinking! I’ve had the lights turned off in my display since I first noticed the GHA in it, so I’m hoping that that will do the trick. My QT is definitely a little more tricky. Going to do a 50% water change on it today because I noticed the ammonia badge is turning a little blue. Snails will be here tomorrow or the next day, so I am going to try to get to my LFS today to see if they have some frag plugs I can temporarily glue everyone to in order to try and prevent damage from the snails knocking them around. really hoping the snails Help me get this nastiness under control! I pulled as much of the junk off of my clove polyps as I could, but I stopped for fear of hurting them.
 
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Great looking build so far!


Be careful if your sump is still set up this way. You never want your heater in your return section of your sump, it's the section that has the most risk of running dry, and then damaging your heater, sump or home.
Thanks!
And yes, I do, but I and going to move it, I think. Just have to figure out a better spot for it!
 
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I just realized I didn’t post any photos of my new little frags, so, here they are!

Jason Fox High Voltage Platygyra:
B3ACBC70-B9CB-4DEC-8214-6957F1747CC6.jpeg

WWC Kryptonite Candy Cane:
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WWC Green Centered Flame Tipped Clove Polyps:
(SUPER moody. Really having a hard time getting them to open up fully. ADVICE NEEDED!!!)
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Fatty Duncan after a huge meal:
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Fatty Dendro after a huge meal:
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I just thought I'd share a couple of photos of my beautiful little dendro posing for the camera ;) (Don't mind the GHA)

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After stuffing it's.... well.... face? Hahaha

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Latest update:

Having some pretty yucky issues with GHA in my QT. I initially tried to solve it through water changes, manual removal and clean up crew, but no such luck. I ordered 4 astrea, 1 spiny astrea, and 4 nassarius snails, but unfortunately, the 4 astrea snails did not make it and the one spiny just isn't enough to handle the amount of GHA in my tank. Unfortunately, it is getting to the point where the algae is beginning to smother my clove polyps, so I am trying some more aggressive methods. I have Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner coming in today and will be documenting my progress with it on this thread beginning with my first dose today.

On to happier news:

Along with my snail order, I bought a purple sea whip frag, which I'm super happy with :) I had a GREAT experience with Aquarium Depot, who immediately refunded me for the 4 astrea snails when I submitted my claim. The sea whip, spiny astrea and nassarius snails came extremely healthy; the sea whip even had it's polyps extended while still in the bag! Meanwhile, the spiny astrea and nassarius snails have been happily motoring around the QT. I will ABSOLUTELY be ordering from Aquarium Depot again.

I also bought some sun coral from a fellow Reef2Reefer, thank you @Shirak! They were nice enough to include a clipping of pulsing pink xenia with my order, but, unfortunately, it came loose from it's plug and got sucked into my HOB filter. It's looking awfully rough, but I reattached it to a new plug and am hoping it might come back! Especially considering the stories I've heard about xenia being so hard to kill!

Here are some photos:


Purple Sea Whip:
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Nassarius Snails munching on the dead Astreas:
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Spiny Astrea munching on algae:
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Partially extended Sun Corals after some liquid encouragement (hoping for full extension in the next couple of days!):
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OOOH looking good. Oh no on the Xenia! Looks like it's not too bad in the background of the last photo. The Sun coral looking good!

My frag tank went through a GHA over everything! I put a pile of hermits, turbos, astrea, and margarita in and they eventually got it under control. Now that there is coralline and a good bacterial film on all the surfaces the GHA only pops up here and there.
 
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OOOH looking good. Oh no on the Xenia! Looks like it's not too bad in the background of the last photo. The Sun coral looking good!

My frag tank went through a GHA over everything! I put a pile of hermits, turbos, astrea, and margarita in and they eventually got it under control. Now that there is coralline and a good bacterial film on all the surfaces the GHA only pops up here and there.
No, it's not too too bad, but it's definitely missing some 'claws', haha! I think it will do alright. Supposedly, they do well in 'dirtier' water, so I'm sure they will spike right back up given how much I feed.

Definitely good to know that GHA is beatable! I've read quite a bit about this Vibrant stuff and it looks to be a solid option. Hopefully it works! Otherwise, I am going to have to start using this green hair to replace mine that is falling out! Haha!
 
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Well, unfortunately, my poor, beaten, bedraggled Xenia clippings took another ride through my HOB and this time, not much was left :( RIP

On another note, great extension from my new sun corals last night! Very happy with their progress!

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After feeding time:
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As mentioned earlier, I began my journey with Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner last night. 1mL per 10 gallons (I am going to give the once a week regimen a try considering the poor shape of my tank). I will try and post daily photos on the progress And weekly video updates.

Tank parameters directly before first dose, directly after a 50% water change:

Salinity: 1.025
Temperature: 79.8F
pH: 8.0-8.2 (Hanna Checker on order)
Ammonia: Between 0 & <0.15 (I STINK at reading these dang Salifert tests)
Nitrate: ~10ppm (API for now, Hanna Checker next)
Phosphate: Just above 0 if not 0 (API for now, Hanna Checker next)
Calcium: ~420ppm (API, Hanna Checker later)
KH: 8dKH (API)

TDS Meter reading 0 from 119.

Here is my Day 0 video, directly before the first dose:

 
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Day 01 Post Vibrant Dose #1:

No noticeable change.

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Just for the sake of keeping complete and accurate records, I replaced the cartridge and the ‘ammonia reducer’ in my HOB filter, and also added 1/3 small bottle of Biospira. I feed heavy because of my NPS, so I just wanted to give my bacteria population a leg up.

Aside from that, all my corals look happy and stuffed themselves at both feeding times, snails are still motoring around, and nothing else of interest to report.... unless you count watching the nassarius snails literally dive off of the glass to get at food when I feed my NPS.... Hahahaha :D
 
Aquashella

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 11 2.5%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 274 62.4%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 108 24.6%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 37 8.4%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 1.8%

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