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40 gallons of water and some rocks..

Johniejumbo

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I’ve had this tank running for well over a year now. It has had a some serious mood swings. It looked great. I neglected it. It looked bad. I did right by it. It looked good. Then it went very bad. It grew gha like I was farming it. I harvested. It grew. I harvested. It grew again. Then one day I got cheeky and decided to really clean it up. I did too I cleaned it up really good. The next morning most everything in the tank was dead ;Sour
I’ve kept reef tanks for over 15 years. I’ve had things die before, not this much at once mind you. This one really took the wind out of my sails and I just turned everything off but the return pump. I didn’t test or try to figure out what happened, I just quit. Moved the tank to a different room and just left it for a few months. Wife wouldn’t let me sell it. She said I’d be back and wish I hadn’t if I did.
Well..... I’m back. :D Turned the light back on. Did a big water change. Cleaned it up a bit and here it is.
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I had put all survivors from the mass die off and put them in what was my quarantine tank. Some star polyps, a few zoas, a mostly dead hammer, and one 10 year old pj cardinal. Plus a few crabs n snails. I put a few of them back in this tank to see how they do. Not the cardinal though. I’ll wait. He’s happy where he is.

This was a couple of weeks ago. I will list what little equipment I have and add some more pics soon. Maybe this time I won’t murder everything! o_O
 
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SPR1968

No, it wasn’t expensive dear....
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Well it’s looking good so far for you and fingers crossed.

If your unsure or need to know anything just ask if you need any help this time with anything, and keep the pictures coming!
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Ok. The setup. This thank was bought used. It was empty and needed cleaned but came with a fair amount of extras so the 200 bucks was totally worth it. I think. It’s a 40 breeder with a home made stand and hood. It has a rather large three chamber sump with no clear label. Part of the label that is there says “eef creations”. A pan world return pump. It has some half broken protein skimmer I probably won’t use much. I used it last go round and it was a pita. If I have to have one later I’ll either get parts for it or buy a new one. I have one power head in there. It rattles like an 89’ Ford Aerostar that’s been wrecked 6 times and ran without oil for a few thousand miles. Probably need to replace that pos. The lights it came with are metal halides. It came with 2 150w double ended halides in some sort of diy retrofit reflectors under the hood. I took them out from under the hood, cut a hole and mounted them on top in order to increase spread and decrease the heat factor. I have decided to only run one fixture for now. 2 is a lot more light than I need at this point. The last owner was big into sps. I can’t afford to be so less light it is :) The bulbs were poo. They were labeled 14k but were a sickly yellow green. And they didn’t match. Replaced them with new 14k Phoenix bulbs I got from an extremely generous fellow forum member. Thanks LL!
I also have mounted under the hood an older current marine led 24” fixture. I used it for blue ramping last time. This time I will only use it when I want to see stuff in blue light and when I need a white light for pictures. I also have some kind of heater in the sump. Not sure what brand but it seems to be functioning. I also have a magfloat for cleaning the glass.
That the rundown on the equipment. I plan on getting one of the jebao wavemakers off Amazon when I can scrape together 60 bucks or so. Other than that, I have no real plans on changing anything. Medical bills and such have us pretty well scraping by so this will be a poor mans build. :D Next I’ll outline the critters I have and what’s (hopefully) going to go in it.
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Alrighty, on to the occupants!
As I stated earlier I had a few survivors from the apocalypse. Some zoas, a few palys, a mostly dead hammer, a few star polyps, and one plate coral. There are also a few various crabs and snails as well as the one poor lonely pj cardinal. A guy online was getting rid of some Xenia in my area so I got some from him to put in the newly resurrected tank first. They did good for a few days so I figured why not add some of the other surviving corals in and see how they do. So far so good. They actually are doing pretty good! My qt isn’t set up to handle corals and I’m pretty surprised they survived in there for the last few months. The hammer is recovering good. Below is a picture of it a couple days after it was put in and one I took today.
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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The hammer coral I had mostly given up on seems to appreciate its new environment!

On another note. My new live rock will be here Friday :) I like new stuff. I think I’ll set up my old biocube to put some of it in. I don’t think a little die off from a small rock or 2 would be enough to hurt anything in my tank but all 17 pounds or so of it may be a bit much. I am certain there will be quite a bit of die off as I opted for the free shipping. But hey 89 bucks even for 17 lbs of live rock is pretty hard to beat. I’ll see how this stuff comes in though......
 

rahusky

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A noticeable lack of micro fauna has produced a boring sterile environment.... the LFS here has boring rocks, therefore, I have put in a requisition for 17lbs of liverock from GulfLiveRock. :D
Did you use the airline shipping from GulfLiveRock? I've had my eye on them but live pretty far.

edit: sorry I need to read on. let me know what you think
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Will do. I wish I could have afforded to get the overnight. I expect it to be ok for the most part though. I used to get Fiji rock shipped in many years ago. It took a few days to ship and there was a lot of die off but it was amazing how much life crawled out of those rocks.
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Got my 17lbs of rock from gulfliverock! It arrived a couple of days ago. It’s good looking rock I think. Lots of growth and such. If I had the mullah I’d prefer the faster shipping but all in all it’s fully worth the 89 bucks. I can’t buy that purple painted “live rock” locally for so cheap. I flashlighted the tank after lights out and noticed a good variety of pods on the glass and in the water column. As far as packing goes it was as good as could be expected. No broken pieces. Many types of macro algae, sponges and lots of different color coraline. It’ll be a while before I find out if any other unseen hitch hikers made the trip. I think I’ll lights out for a few days while the mini cycle goes about it’s business. So far the highest ammonia test had been .25 so that’s good. Didn’t think to take pics as I unpacked it ;Facepalm Pics don’t really show it very well but I got 8 good 6-8” rocks. In the last pic all the new rock is around the front of the old rock.

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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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The rock is coming along nicely. Some Halimeda died some is bouncing back. Starting to see some sponge growth and a couple of tunicates along with various other organisms. :) Probably not needed but I put a little phytoplankton in just in case something in there wants it. I have the lights back on and am expecting some more algal growth to show itself pretty soon. I ordered a small clean up crew from reefcleaners. I went with an all snail setup for now. It should be here Thursday I think. Yay for money cowries!
 
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Johniejumbo

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I decided to test my tank to see about where it’s at. I say about because I only use API test kits. The results are as follows
PH- 8.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Phosphate - 0
Calcium - 460
KH - 9-10

I was kind of expecting to see some nitrates in the tank.... After all, I just dumped 17 pounds of very smelly live rock in there. I thought the die off would have trashed the water a bit. I haven’t done any water changes yet and I haven’t hooked up the protein skimmer either.... no massive amounts of algae blooming....
Kinda waiting for the hammer to drop and everything to go wonky lol. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!
My little clean up crew will get here on Friday :) I’ll add them and wait a month or so and see what happens. Have to remember to feed them every so often. Suppose I should add some new pics soon too! I’ll do that this evening.
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Snails are here :) good shipment from reefcleaners. 2 money cowries, 11 Florida ceriths, 7 nassarious vibex, 8 nerites, 5 limpets ( one of my faves) and what was supposed to be 18 dwarf ceriths. Clearly the dwarf ceriths don’t get counted. I bet there are 60 plus in there.
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Finally some signs of coraline algae growth!

Tank is just about over run with various pods. This make me happy for sure. I’ve had this tank running for almost a year and a half. ( only a few months since I turned the lights back on after “the crash” ) I never did see much in the way of pods and worms n such before. I always felt it wasn’t a balanced little eco system. The halimeda that came in on the rock is starting to bounce back strongly. I may have a halimeda garden before long. Can’t say I’ll be upset about that :)

On a side note. I’ve been topping this tank off with untreated tap water. I haven’t even been dechlorinating it...... The water here is pretty hard and the quality leaves a lot to be desired. At somewhere around 1000 tds lol. I kept thinking I would start using rodi again but right now it ain’t broke so I’m not going to fix it.
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Tank is doing well.
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Just a little update.
Calcium is starting to get used a bit. Lots of coraline spots popping up and the halimeda is taking off! Snails all seem to be living well. I feed the tank very rarely. I’ll turn off flow and sink a piece of nori for the snails maybe once a week. And I have still been adding microvore and phyto alternating every couple of days. Pod population is very happy.
They are about to have some company too!
I won the weekly algaebarn giveaway for the 5280 pods and ocean magic live phyto! It’ll add nice diversity to the tank.
I have also decided on adding a Hector’s goby. Or maybe a Rainfordi goby to the tank next. My wife wants me to try a mandarin, with the tanks pod population so healthy I might do it!
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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Got a Rainfordi goby today :) first fish in the tank. Fingers crossed ;Nailbiting Wish I could have got a captive bred one but this one looked alert and health ish. A bit skinny..... I have a boat load of pods in this tank and a little filamentous algae so hopefully it will fatten up .... time will tell!
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Johniejumbo

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Well...... the Rainfordi goby is doing great. So I decide it’s time to add a couple more fish to the tank. I bought a couple of very small occelaris clowns and put the pj cardinal I’ve had in a smaller tank in. One of the clowns didn’t make it. He seemed weak from the get go. I should have been pickier at the store. The LFS is going to replace it so it’s ok. I went back to the store to talk to the owner about the replacement clown and my wife sees a Mandarin that should be in our tank. Well who am I to say no right?! We take this guy home and acclimate and he seems great. All the way til he was dead the next morning ;Facepalm So I test the tank. There is a small amount of ammonia in the water according to my high end API test. No nitrite or nitrates to speak of. ph is 8.3. Oh. Wait The temp is 86 degrees. Heater malfunction. Poop. Took a water sample in to have it tested and the LFS test were way different than mine. Double poop. So I need a new heater and a heater controller maybe. And new test kits. I don’t know why my high dollar API kits that are about a month from expiration that were stored in the hot/cold garage for a few years would be no good anymore. Go figure
 
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Johniejumbo

Johniejumbo

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I titled this thread appropriately. It seems that all I will end up having :mad: I have recently killed 2 small clown fish, a rainfordi goby, and a mandarin. I’m not adding anything else for a while..... the corals all seem happy. The inverts are thriving. I’m leaving it at that until I can justify the cost of trying fish again. Until then I shall enjoy watching the star polyps take over the tank.
 
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Johniejumbo

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Got me a new cheapo test kit because my last cheapo test kit was not lining up with what the LFS cheapo tests showed. Glad I did. The new ones actually work. My nitrate,ph, and ammonia kits weren’t any good anymore. So instead of having 0 nitrates I have about 20ppm. My ph is a nice 8.3ish not 8.0ish. I may do a little water change this weekend to keep the nitrates down a bit. They shouldn’t go up any. I have one fish in there and I don’t feed much. I should really clean the glass and take a few pics for posterity.
 
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What's the first thing you do when you see algae forming in your tank?

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