AquaCave

bjonesq

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This is mostly copied from my introduction meet and greet post, but I wanted to consolidate the information here in my build thread! Below is an overview of my current setup:

Display Tank (DT)

Tank:
Innovative Marine Fusion Pro 25 Gallon Lagoon (w/ overflow protection and hightide risers)

Light: 1x Nicrew 50W Aquarium LED Reef Light (w/ simple on/off timer)

Lid: Red Sea DIY Tank Lid Kit (24x24) w/ Neat Aquatics feeder hole

Filtration:
  • Pumps: 2x Sicce Syncra Silent 1.0 w/ Random Flow Generators on each nozzle and each pump attached to each return nozzle individually
  • Powerhead: 1x hygger Mini Wave Maker (1600 GPH)
  • Media: 1x inTank filter floss holder (tank specific) w/ inTank filter floss
Skimmer: Icecap K1 nano protein skimmer

Heater: hygger Titanium Tube Heater 100W

ATO: autoaqua smart ATO Lite (w/ pump)

Reservoir: Innovative Marine 5 gallon reservoir

Security:
  • Water Level: autoaqua water security (high level)
  • Skimmer: autoaqua skimmer security
  • Temperature: autoaqua temperature security
Substrate / Live Rock: CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Sand w/ 28 lbs Live Rock

Salt: Red Sea Coral Pro

Miscellaneous
  • BBS Feeder: 3D printed Paul B feeder designed by sisterlimonpot (Humblefish)
  • Hatched using Brine Shrimp Disk Hatchery from BRS (and their eggs) and enriched using Selcon Concentrate
  • Dosing: Algaebarn Oceanmagik (1/2 oz. 1x / day)
Livestock (DT):
  • Fish:
  • 1x Mandarin Dragonet (male)

  • Snails:
  • 1x Banded Trochus
  • 1x Tiger Conch
  • 2x Nassarius Vibex
  • 1x Tongan Nassarius
  • 4x Bumblebee
  • 2x Virgin Nerite
  • 2x Astrea
  • 1x Ninja Star Astrea
  • 2x Dwarf Cerith
  • 5x Dwarf Planaxis

  • Invertebrates:
  • 2x Harlequin shrimp (male / female)
  • 3x blue legged hermit crab
  • 1x Mexican red legged hermit crab

  • Corals:
  • 1x radioactive dragon eye zoanthid
  • 1x fire and ice zoanthid
  • 2x mystery zoanthids


Refugium

Refugium:
Medium CPR Aquafuge2 (~3.6 Gallon)

Filtration:
  • Pump: 1x Sicce Syncra Nano Pump
  • Media: CPR AFBT (Bubble Trap Box) w/ inTank filter floss
Light: Nicrew ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light 15W (w/ simple on/off timer)

Substrate / Live Rock: CaribSea Mineral Mud w/ ~2lbs Live Rock rubble

Macroalgae: Algaebarn Ulva Sea Lettuce, Algaebarn Red Ogo, Algaebarn Chaeto

Pods (dosed + brought in on rock): 1x Algaebarn 5280 Pods, 1x Algaebarn Ecopods

Livestock (Refugium):
  • Snails:
  • 2x Astrea

  • Invertebrates:
  • Chocolate Chip Starfish (varying amounts to feed Harlequin shrimp)
  • 1x emerald mithrax crab
  • 2x Mexican red legged hermit crab

I also wanted to give y'all an idea of my planned upgrades and welcome any comments/ideas on such:

Upgrades

Lid:
ReefinaintEZY custom acrylic lid

Dosing:
  • Pump(s): 2x Kamoer X1 Bluetooth micropump
  • Reservoir(s): 2x 16 oz. glass dosing containers (etsy)
  • Fluid(s): Tropic Marin All-for-reef, Red Sea Reef Energy AB+
  • Miscellaneous: Icecap 2-tube magnetic holder
Tank Stand: Innovative Marine APS Aquarium Stand (for Fusion Pro 25 Gallon Lagoon)

Light(s) (DT): 2x AI Prime 16 HD LED Reef Light (black) (w/ bendable brackets)

Light(s) (refugium): 2x Innovative Marine ChaetoMax Refugium Light 9W

Powerhead(s): 1x AI Nero 3 Powerhead (2000 GPH)

Heater: Cobalt Neo Therm Pro 100W

Testing:
  • Test Kit(s): Hanna Mineral Reader Kit(s) (alk – dKh, Ca, phosphate – ULR, nitrate – HR, pH), Red Sea Magnesium Pro Test Kit
  • Miscellaneous: autoaqua magnetic stirrer
RO/DI: BRS 4 Stage Value Plus 75GPD RO/DI System

My tank has been up and running for 4 months with live rock from the beginning. I have not had much NTS (new tank syndrome) other than a bit of diatoms here and there, mostly from what I believe was dosing expired Oceanmagik.

Also, I recognize the difficulties with keeping a mandarin dragonet in such a small system and did extensive research and preparation beforehand. I have quite an extensive pod population (as well as annelid detritus worms) and I am well aware of the limitations of such, hence the Paul B feeder to supplement. I planned him being my first fish (and possibly only fish, until I upgrade tanks this next summer), which is why I elected to have a large live rock volume for the system. I also purchased him from Eliot at Marine Collectors to ensure proper selection and treatment before he went into my system. TIA for any comments/advice!
 
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bjonesq

bjonesq

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Nice equipment list! You may want to experiment with first Calanus and then brine with your Mandarin. He may or may not take to frozen food, but if you keep at it there's a good chance you can get him interested in frozen as well.
Thanks for the suggestion! From some of my research it appeared that there is a divide among those who believe mandarins can be sustained through periodic feeding of frozen (once trained) and those who believe this is insufficient. Would it be a good idea to try this simply as a supplement to its pod/live BBS diet? Or is training to frozen a regime that can actually be used in lieu of the live BBS hatching? I imagine regardless the mandarin will pick at pods as much as they can throughout the day regardless right?
 
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bjonesq

bjonesq

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Here are some tank pics! A little dirty at the moment (especially my trochus's shell, which seems to be the ONLY place GHA grows lol!).
 

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Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
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bjonesq

bjonesq

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Also, please excuse my reflection. And for any wondering, the rocks on the back wall are in fact suspended on the wall. I sanded the rocks down to have a flat back (on either side) and chiseled out a hole where I used coral frag glue to glue a reef-safe magnet. I originally planned to one day have some cool corals up there, but the hidden utility was really protecting the corner of the sand bed from the return nozzle flow so that I can have it higher than would normally be allowable and angled more into the tank.
 
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