Chipmunk's ~120G System


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Jun 6, 2017
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Baltimore, MD
Hi everyone. I've been running without a build thread for a long time, but I've decided I should try to keep better track of my progress. I've been documenting the progress of one comeback-coral and find myself wishing I had more progress shots. So here's the attempt to do that.

The system has been up and running in some form for about 5 years. It started out as a sumpless 20g long. I added a 10g sump after some time, but never had much success. I struggled with water quality because I lived in a condo and didn't have much space for additional equipment or water volume.

About a year ago, I moved into a single family home with a huge basement that has become the tank cave. I upgraded the tank to a 40g breeder and added a 50g Rubbermaid sump. Things started growing well after 6 - 9 months so I got more corals. In the last few weeks I added a 50g Rubbermaid tank as a coral tank. This is how the system is today.

Equipment list
- about 120g total volume
- 40g breeder (main tank)
- 50g Rubbermaid Sump
- 50g Rubbermaid coral tank
- unknown quantity of live rock (a lot)
- 2x Viparspectra 300W lights (one over main tank, one over coral tank)
- SCA-301 skimmer
- Jebao 6500 DCS return pump
- 4x Jebao SOW-8 powerheads for flow (2x in frag tank, 2x display tank)
- About 600w of Eheim heaters
- Inkbird temperature controller
- Jebao 4-head dosing pump
- DIY skimmer delay circuit (delays skimmer restart time after power outage/feeding)
- DIY battery backup system with 100Ah deep cycle battery
- No ATO
- No controller

Temp: 76*F
Salinity: 53 mS/cm (about 35ppt)
pH: don't know, don't test
Alkalinity: between 8.7 and 10 dKh. I target 9 dKh, but it ebbs and flows over time
Calcium: around 425 - 450ppm, don't test or supplement individually
Magnesium: 1,300 - 1,400 ppm? Haven't tested or dosed in a long time, pretty stable
NO3: between 5 ppm and 25 ppm is my target
PO4: between 100 ppb and 200 ppb (0.1 ppm and 0.2 ppm)

- Fully saturated limewater dosed every hour, 24x a day

Maintenance Routine
- 10% weekly water changes
- Clean skimmer collection cup weekly
- Empty skimmer collection bucket when full
- 8 tbsp GAC changed once a week
- Scrape glass when I'm not feeling lazy

Current Problems
- Dinos again. Attempting to battle with elevated nutrients and H2O2. Have some ocean live rock in QT that will hopefully increase biodiversity
- Vermetid snails. Done trying to deal with these. I've accepted that they're in my tank and I'm not going to get rid of them. If they're not bothering corals, I don't care.

Stock List
- 2x captive bred standard Percula clownfish
- 1x captive bred coral beauty angelfish
- 2x pencil urchins (hitchhiked on KP Aquatics rock)
- 1x cleaner shrimp

- Coming soon. All SPS with a few Ricordia fl.

Pictures of corals and setup to follow. Thanks for reading.
Go to for high end corals!