a simple nano cube

lil sumpin

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Here we go! Back in the saltwater game after over a decade hiatus. Used to have a FOWLR as a teenager but I lost the system to fish disease. This time I’m going for a reef


2024 Goals:
- improved filtration, currently considering upgrading to a canister filter but am also playing with the idea of setting up an HOB overflow and 5.5gal sump
(lil sumpin sumpin)
- accurately chart and measure up parameters and figure consumption out to a T, the best thing I’ve done for my system is keep up with weekly water changes so half this battle seems to be won
- refrain from overstocking and instead pay attention to the livestock already in the system, want to key in on the best methods to get them nice and flourishing
- add fish, pls send stocking ideas!


Jul 2023
Picked up an aqueon 14 cube, reef breeders nano LED, Aquaclear 50 and a fluval m50. Decided to do a budget minded HOB build. Could not find an LFS that would sell me live rock so I ended up using caribsea liferock.

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Aug 2023
Let cycle for a month, fritz turbo start, fishless fuel, PNS substrate sauce a week later while starting to ghost feed flake food, used fishless fuel another 2-3 times, started using MB7 and finally was able to acquire live rock rubble to better seed the system.

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Sept 2023
Pods, first softies and LPS frags went in. This was a tough stage for me. I will admit all the patience I had cycling was out the window and I ultimately ended up biting off more than I could chew.

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Oct 2023
Humbled myself after losing some frags, how you ask? By losing more frags unfortunately. Began treading carefully, testing consistently to start learning the alk, cal and mag consumption.

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Nov 2023
By this point I had only done water changes 3 or 4 times. I figured this really needed to change and after some large back to back water changes, began doing 15% weekly. Everything improved, no joke. Also began to use a DIY coral snow following water changes.

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Dec 2023
Still struggling w placement. Ultimately I would like to have as few frags on the sand.

My folks: when are you getting fish…?

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Jan 2024
Not a whole lot of nuisance algae, I clean the glass 1-2x a week. Keeping up weekly WCs. Havent lost anything lately and hoping that keeps!

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Feb 2024
Fish are finally in about 6-7 months after I started this tank. I think it is inevitably going to become a high nutrient system. I like to feed these guys pinches of pellets and flake 2-3 times a day and frozen mysis 2-3 times a week. They’ve settled in fairly well and the coral seem to be looking better every day

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Mar 2024
Still doing 40% WC every week. You can see plenty film algae taking hold of the corners and glass and scattered dinoflagellates on sand bed. Finally getting coralline spots on the liferock.

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hahahohol

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CUC put in the work! a little MB7 also seems to be doing the trick

Currently on week 7 of this reefing journey still seeing a little bit of diatoms, perhaps cyanobacteria and hair algae?

Acclimating a bunch of little softie and lps frags on the sand bed rn and can’t wait to see them taking up more space

ty for viewing!
The video isn’t working for some reason
 
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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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The brown algae has since succumbed a little bit. If there’s ever a patch or two, it’s usually gone within the next day or so (ceriths are voracious!)

I’ve started to notice green spots on some of the corners of the cube! Next batch of uglies incoming
 

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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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Beginning to see green specks on some of the rockwork. Not quite sure how to ID this stuff but I’m thinking it most resembles green hair algae. I’ve been dosing phytoplankton for a few weeks now, started w 5ml a day per Oceanmagik instruction and now around 10ml a day. Broadcasting 2-3 pinches of reef roids once a week and spot feeding some of the corals. Lights are 50% blues 10% whites. CUC seems to have no interest in these green specks so I’m wondering… is this the beginning of GHA?

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I don't think your lights are the problem. I think you are putting a lot of nutrients in your tank and you are seeing the effects of that now. I would ask yourself if you really need to dose anything at all. I have a nano as well and have been up and running for almost a year. For me, slow and steady has led to a lot of success. I don't add a lot. I still have only one fish (a clown) and have watched a few frags do very well. It is not a tank for the impatient but I really feel it is the winning strategy. Always tinker less. When I get the urge to tinker, I do a 10% water change. If the algae is really bothering you, put a turbo snail in there and can almost guarantee it will munch it away!
 
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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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I've since phased out the OceanMagik live phytoplankton, not sure how long it's really alive for. The GHA patches are definitely there but I'm not too worried yet. I have 6 ceriths and 6 scarlet hermits in there who've been doing great work keeping most of the ugly stuff at bay (and some pods). It's kind of cool to see these blooms grow on these rocks as I started with caribsea liferock but I definitely am not trying to see these rocks go from painted purple to green, hairy and "alive". Thanks for the tip @jpmazzone, I was actually considering adding either 1 or 2 small turbo or a single trocchus snail to bolster the crew a little bit
 
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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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Was dealing with some alk swings for a few weeks... I think the favia, acan, caulastrea and leptastrea frags are on their way out. Tissue around the edges has turned white, some white spots also in the centers. Saddest to see the candy cane go. Definitely should have been more cautious about how many different specimens to start with…

Did a 50% water change after about 10 days. Parameters are:

Salinity - 1.026
pH - 8.15
Alkalinity - 9.3
Calcium - 410
Magnesium - 1200
Nitrate - 50
Phosphorus - .25

Temp has been consistent at around 78.1 to 78.7 night and day. I’m beginning to see more green circular patches on the lower parts and back of the glass. The green stuff on the rock isn’t letting out. I’m assuming it to be green turf algae. Brushing does nothing, I think I might have to go in with a razor. It’s embedded on the rock and even though it has a nice contrast on the purple life rock, not trying to see the whole thing turn lime green. Running whites at around 5% and blues at 65%.

Aiming to bring magnesium up and start doing 25% weekly water changes. Any advice, criticism and feedback is appreciated!
 

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jpmazzone

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I don't think that you need to stress out about the algae. Spare your fingers and let time help you out. Your tank is just out of balance. I would consider pulling stuff out of the tank that is dying/rotting. I think you need to slow down. A tank of that size can benefit from regular water changes. You don't yet have enough coral in your tank to deplete nutrients and minerals quicker than your salt water mix can introduce it. For that reason, I would cease all dosing, ensure your lighting period does not exceed 8 hours, commence regular water changes (maybe vacuum the sand) and introduce only one turbo snail. You want the algae to gradually disappear. If you add too many CUC and the algae goes away overnight, guess what, your CUC will starve and then the die off will cause another algae issue. Follow the steps I gave you and post a picture of the tank in 4 weeks and I bet you will be much happier.
 
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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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I don't think that you need to stress out about the algae. Spare your fingers and let time help you out. Your tank is just out of balance. I would consider pulling stuff out of the tank that is dying/rotting. I think you need to slow down. A tank of that size can benefit from regular water changes. You don't yet have enough coral in your tank to deplete nutrients and minerals quicker than your salt water mix can introduce it. For that reason, I would cease all dosing, ensure your lighting period does not exceed 8 hours, commence regular water changes (maybe vacuum the sand) and introduce only one turbo snail. You want the algae to gradually disappear. If you add too many CUC and the algae goes away overnight, guess what, your CUC will starve and then the die off will cause another algae issue. Follow the steps I gave you and post a picture of the tank in 4 weeks and I bet you will be much happier.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm reluctant to add anymore CUC because of this reason but I've found the ceriths and hermits have no interest in the green stuff. I will eventually add 1 turbo snail and let it get to work in a few weeks, in the meanwhile I'm gonna get into the habit of consistent weekly water changes. Definitely not buying any more frags before everything looks happy. The honeymoon phase is certainly over
 
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lil sumpin

lil sumpin

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we’re you nitrates really 50ppm or just 5?
Also what size tank are you running?
I wasn't sure if the reading was 25 or 50 but in the end I decided it looked more like 50 (using Salifert)

Running a 14g cube, aquaclear 50 hob filter, reefbreeders nano led, reef glass skimmer, fluval m50 heater, waiting on a jecod elw 3 to replace the sicce syncra nano for flow
 
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lil sumpin

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Wow that seems really high for corals. I love your scape though. Hopefully it all balances out and you can get back to enjoying the view.
Definitely aiming to get nitrates to around 20ppm.. Currently I have some chaeto in the ac 50 and hoping it'll allow for some export. Other than that, it's gotta be a result of the water changes that I've been doing every other week. The system isn't responding well to that infrequency so I'm gonna have to religiously abide by water change Wednesdays
 

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