40 Breeder Magic- A Reefer's Journey Into The Abyss

AquaCave

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have been putting off my build thread for my 40 breeder for some time. Not because of lack of time or interest, but because I'm self-conscious about my tanks and only post photos of them when they look nice.

This tank has been through a few different iterations. None of them have succeeded due to my lack of knowledge and wanting to try new things. Finally, after 1.5 years, I'm sticking with 1 method and I believe it will work. I've done my research and I'm no longer afraid to ask questions in fear of looking like an idiot. Now I know I'm an idiot and I'm okay with that.

Tank:
I have a simple Aqueon 40 breeder with an Aqueon 29 gallon DIY sump for a total of 50 gallons of net water. The stand is the petco special. I used Marco dry rock for the scape along with mortar to make the shapes I wanted. Initially it was supposed to be 1 solid piece, but it broke in 2 (thankfully not in the tank). It just so happened that it broke in a perfect spot where I can easily remove them if I need to deal with any bubble algae (blech). Looking at it now, I wish I would have made it a couple of inches shorter, but alas here we are.

20220828_131524.jpg

20220828_134918.jpg


Sump:
Filtration consists of a Clarisea SK-5000, a Bubble Magus NAC 3.5 skimmer, live rock in the sump (will be adding more at some point), and a BRS Deluxe media reactor for ROX carbon as needed. I have low phosphate, but I have the option of using gfo in it as well if need be. The skimmer is actually a beast and an amazing option for smaller tanks with sumps. I would highly recommend it. I have been utilizing carbon dosing for the last 3 weeks (distilled white vinegar) to help control nitrate. I'll be adding a 2nd Kamoer X1 Pro so I don't have to manually dose. That will be my main nutrient export moving forward, but I'll still utilize biweekly water changes to get any unwanted nasties out of the tank. I have the return pump and skimmer plugged into wifi outlets so I can easily shut them off for maintenance. The heater is an Eheim Jager plugged into an Inkbird controller. I have the XP Aqua Duetto for the auto top off.

20220828_131614.jpg

20220828_131646.jpg

20220828_131709.jpg

20220828_133358.jpg


Flow:
Flow is provided by 2 AI Nero 5 powerheads that are mounted near the bottom of the tank underneath the overflow box, as well as a Chinese return pump rated for 700 gph. It is a barebottom tank, so the flow is ripping. The flow keeps detritus suspended so it can be removed by the clarisea. This tank was originally supposed to be a peninsula, and may well still be down the road, but my current living setup doesn't allow for that.

20220828_133307.jpg

20220828_133312.jpg


Lighting:
I currently have 3 AI Prime HD's, but that will be changing in a couple of days. I have some Hydra 32 HDs (meant for another tank that's not yet running) that I'm going to be mounting on a tslot light rack I'm getting from Framing Tech. I'll throw on 4 of my Prime HDs with upgraded "Gold" clusters from @luxdium ; 2 on the front and 2 on the back to eliminate shadowing.

20220828_131533.jpg

Screenshot_20220828-141042_Adobe Acrobat.jpg


Fish:
I have 4 fish in the tank. 1 (small) yellow eye Kole tang for algae, 1 Molly Miller for aiptasia (seriously worked wonders in the display), 1 six-line wrasse for any potential coral pests, and 1 black cap basslet because it's purple and that's my wife's favorite color.

CUC:
Clean up crew consists of various snails in the main display and sump, as well as some hermit crabs in the sump. I added some berghia in the sump for aiptasia, which was an awesome idea. They used to be everywhere, but now I can only see a couple. I'll be adding some more because I think they've all died. That or I just never see them. Either way, I'd like some more to encourage breeding if they're there and to eradicate the remaining aiptasia. I add pods every once in awhile, but only to bolster the population and add in some fresh genetics. I'm also going to get an emerald crab for the bubble algae (blech again) and will throw it the sump after it has done its job.

Testing:
I monitor alk with the Hanna dKh checker, phosphate with the Hanna ULR Phosphorus checker, nitrate with the Hanna HR checker, calcium/magnesium with the Red Sea tests, and salinity with the Misco Seawater refractometer.

Dosing:
I use kalkwasser for calcium/alkalinity and have a Kamoer X1 Pro for that. Magnesium is kept up with water changes, but I have BRS supplements for corrections.

Salt Mixes:
I use Brightwell Neomarine and Instant Ocean, depending on price at the time. My preference is Neomarine since I like to keep alk around 8.5-9, but both salts work well.

I think that pretty much covers it. I'll try to keep this updated as time goes on. Since carbon dosing is new to me, this is where I'll be documenting my experience with it and hopefully have some awesome corals to show for it soon. I'm getting some acros in from @Battlecorals on Thursday, which I'm incredibly excited for. If you have any advice for me or any questions, please don't hesitate to post!
 
Tenecor AIO Conversion Kits Now Available!
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Wow! Very well thought out build! I really like the rock work. Keep it up :)
Thank you! Thought out may not be the right term lol. It's more along the lines of trying and failing a lot and hopefully fixing the mistakes along the way. Glad to have you along for the ride, Zach!
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm getting a shipment of acros from @Battlecorals today, including the contest coral "Blood Bank." Below is just a snapshot of what my parameters are like. Some of it may not make sense without context, but it makes sense to me. I was doing pH tests, but then I realized they mean nothing since I hadn't calibrated the pH tester for a long time and those numbers could mean nothing. I get new calibration fluid today. I started dosing kalkwasser a couple of days ago, so I'm hoping the pH will be higher.

20220901_072108.jpg
 

ReefSlice

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
341
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Sanibel, FL
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Nice tank! Very similar to my 40b, same rock building method, same skimmer, and also recently started kalk to maintain parameters. Mines only 8 months old though and using Kessils and t5s! Post up some pics of that BC pack when they settle in, that's my next addition too.
 
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Nice tank! Very similar to my 40b, same rock building method, same skimmer, and also recently started kalk to maintain parameters. Mines only 8 months old though and using Kessils and t5s!
Thank you! I've used kalk in the past when this tank had acros, but it's been about 6 months since I lost them. Not sure if it was lack of light or not being able to care for the tank due to a family medical emergency. I've just recently been getting serious about acros again and needing the supplement alkalinity and calcium again. Here's pics of the acros I got from Adam today.


BC Bees Knees. Big chunky piece.
20220901_132057.jpg



BC Blood Bank. It's a contest piece. Figure I'll post my ruler pics here as well.
20220901_132045.jpg

20220901_131828.jpg



BC Violet Crumble
20220901_132133.jpg



Edit: Just realized the last pic has a dead acro there. Unfortunately, one of the pieces didn't make it in transport. It was half dead on arrival. Adam packaged everything well. It happens unfortunately and is an inherent risk to shipping corals. He'll be replacing it in my next inevitable order. I didn't intend for a contest coral to be one of the tester corals, but that just puts extra pressure on me to make sure I stick with a consistent maintenance regimen and frequent testing.
 
Last edited:
RAP Orlando
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Just got an order in from BRS. I got another Hydra 32HD for a total of 3, brackets for the 32s, brackets for the Prime HDs, the Aquatic Life t5 hybrid hanging kit for the tslot aluminum light rack, and a Kamoer X1 Pro 2 dosing pump. I hooked up the dosing pump and got it programmed to dose 35ml per day of vinegar with added Tropic Marin K+ between 8:00-6:00pm. This is my 2nd pump of the same kind and I love it. Being able to calibrate it easily and regularly gives me assurance I'm not going to accidentally overdose. Another plus is being able to daisy chain them off of the same power supply, so there's no need for another outlet to be used up. I've got the dosing lines going through the wall into the hallway closet so the vessels and pumps are hidden.

20220902_170302.jpg
 
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I use a whiteboard to log all of my test results so I can get a better understanding of how my tank operates. I'm going to be posting pictures of it here whenever I'm getting ready to erase it so I have a backup of it.

20220903_072908.jpg
 

Garf

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
3,586
Reaction score
4,373
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
BEEFINGHAM
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I use a whiteboard to log all of my test results so I can get a better understanding of how my tank operates. I'm going to be posting pictures of it here whenever I'm getting ready to erase it so I have a backup of it.

20220903_072908.jpg
Let’s see if you get a bump in pH, I hope so :)
 
Corals.com
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Let’s see if you get a bump in pH, I hope so :)
Me too! It's hard to tell if that thing is working yet as I've also had all of the windows closed up due to local wildfires polluting the air. It rained a little last night and cleared things up a bit, so I'll be testing it today and tomorrow to see what levels I'm at now that I can open them.
 
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I got lazy a couple of days and didn't test. Everything is still in line though. The carbon dosing seems to be working pretty well. I have to dose Brightwell Neophos daily to keep phosphate at around that level. If the bacteria are in fact taking up that much phosphate per day, then I'm hoping at least some of that is being consumed by the coral. Once the nitrate is closer to 10, I'll reduce my current dosage of vinegar of 35 ml per day to 25ml and continue to test often. I feel like a reduction of 12ppm of nitrate over 17 days is not too much to shock the coral.

pH appears to be rising a bit. Morning high of 8.05 today and 2 of the highest late evening peaks I've had at 8.15 and 8.16. You can see the drop in pH from shutting the windows for the fire and the rise when I was able to open them back up. I also found a piece of equipment I'm working on and testing to raise my pH plugged up, but it's since been working flawlessly. It's funny that you can see the dip for that as well.

20220913_192426.jpg





Just gonna leave this here. It's a pic I grabbed today of the BC Blood Bank that I'm growing out in the Battlecorals contest. Top down view is my favorite.

20220913_172119.jpg
 

Tonycass12

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
976
Reaction score
1,569
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Traverse city
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I got lazy a couple of days and didn't test. Everything is still in line though. The carbon dosing seems to be working pretty well. I have to dose Brightwell Neophos daily to keep phosphate at around that level. If the bacteria are in fact taking up that much phosphate per day, then I'm hoping at least some of that is being consumed by the coral. Once the nitrate is closer to 10, I'll reduce my current dosage of vinegar of 35 ml per day to 25ml and continue to test often. I feel like a reduction of 12ppm of nitrate over 17 days is not too much to shock the coral.

pH appears to be rising a bit. Morning high of 8.05 today and 2 of the highest late evening peaks I've had at 8.15 and 8.16. You can see the drop in pH from shutting the windows for the fire and the rise when I was able to open them back up. I also found a piece of equipment I'm working on and testing to raise my pH plugged up, but it's since been working flawlessly. It's funny that you can see the dip for that as well.

20220913_192426.jpg





Just gonna leave this here. It's a pic I grabbed today of the BC Blood Bank that I'm growing out in the Battlecorals contest. Top down view is my favorite.

20220913_172119.jpg
Wish I had the same solid alk level like you do. Are you missing a decimal on those P0⁴ measurements? Just curious.
 
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Wish I had the same solid alk level like you do. Are you missing a decimal on those P0⁴ measurements? Just curious.
Kalkwasser makes my job pretty easy when it comes to alk. Just tested at 8.4 today, but that's to be expected as the acros get more settled in and coralline growth happens. The phosphate readings are in ppb. I have the Hanna ULR Phosphorus checker as it's supposed to be more accurate than the ULR Phosphate version. I have a pdf saved on my phone that I can open to easily convert. The ppm numbers are ~0.02-0.06.

Edit: I wish I had the acro growth and coloration that you have. Haha. My numbers mean nothing if I have nothing to show for them.
 
Last edited:

Tonycass12

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
976
Reaction score
1,569
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Traverse city
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Edit: I wish I had the acro growth and coloration that you have. Haha. My numbers mean nothing if I have nothing to show for them.
You will make it there Nate just takes time and patience! Keep it stable and keep growing its only taken me a couple years lol
 
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You will make it there Nate just takes time and patience! Keep it stable and keep growing its only taken me a couple years lol
Thanks, Tony! I'm praying for it. If my acros die this time around I'll be flummoxed. I'm consistent with testing and maintenance, I feed an appropriate amount, and I've been watching the corals daily to see if anything is stressed.

I was able to ID spionid worms in the Blood Bank frag :downcast-face-with-sweat:. I took tweezers to the corallite and crushed it today. I figured a lost corallite is an okay sacrifice so I don't let these guys burrow through the colony and stunt the growth. It took 2 attempts before I was able to get both. You can see the missing corallite when compared to an old photo.

When I first got it. It's on the left branch, the shaded hollowed out corallite.

20220901_132045.jpg


Today

20220916_172326.jpg


20220916_172021.jpg



Bonus Zoa Pic: If anyone wants some Aphrodite zoas, let me know.

20220916_172414.jpg
 
Last edited:
AS
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thanks, Tony! I'm praying for it. If my acros die this time around I'll be flummoxed. I'm consistent with testing and maintenance, I feed an appropriate amount, and I've been watching the corals daily to see if anything is stressed.

I was able to ID spionid worms in the Blood Bank frag :downcast-face-with-sweat:. I took tweezers to the corallite and crushed it today. I figured a lost corallite is an okay sacrifice so I don't let these guys burrow through the colony and stunt the growth. It took 2 attempts before I was able to get both. You can see the missing corallite when compared to an old photo.

When I first got it. It's on the left branch, the shaded hollowed out corallite.



Today






Bonus Zoa Pic: If anyone wants some Aphrodite zoas, let me know.



Not sure why it's double posting the photos...

Edit: Fixed it.
 
Nutramar Foods
OP
Oregon Grown Reef

Oregon Grown Reef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
1,724
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Salem
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I just realized that I didn't post when I got the new light rack from Framing Tech. I'm a huge fan. Way more coverage now. The Prime HDs are on for 3 hours a day as supplemental peak lighting. They light up the sides of the coral and increase the par by about 150 during that time with an all blue spectrum. I'll be installing aftermarket @luxdium "Blue" clusters to provide a wider uv/b spectrum to the corals. Below is the spectrum on their Ultra Blue setting. Curious to see how the corals react.

20220915_183658.jpg


20220915_183708.jpg


14.png
 
AquaCave

What are some of the challenges of reefing with a cube?

  • Swimming space for fish

    Votes: 26 61.9%
  • Smaller front viewing panel

    Votes: 7 16.7%
  • Adding space between corals

    Votes: 17 40.5%
  • Flow pattern

    Votes: 19 45.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 9.5%
Cultivated Reef
Top