Choss' 96 gallon Reef Savvy "Nano" Tank

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by choss, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes I am with you on QTing everything. I have a 20 gallon frag tank that will be fed one way from this system (via AWC system) and it will house all new SPS for several weeks/months before they go in the main tank. I was thinking that if I do go with the new live rock I will place it in a small tank (I have an extra 10 g) and observe it for some time to look for the typical pests that can come in with said rock. As far as aiptasia go, I feel like no matter how hard most reefers try, they eventually see them in the display. I plan to deal with them proactively - peppermints and one of the first fish I will add is a matted file fish. So that is my plan for now. I haven't pulled the trigger on the rock yet so still mulling it over.
     

  2. YHSublime

    YHSublime Reefopotamus R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree, 50/50 would work well. That's essentially what I did with my dry rock and then using sand from other tanks, and seeding rock from other members. I'm also a cavalier and lazy reefer, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
     
  3. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I am definitely lazy as well - at least I want to be lazy. That is why I'm automating much on this build.
     
  4. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I thought I'd share a pic from my frag tank. Its more a 20 gallon long QT system to make sure nothing bad gets into the main tank once its up and running. I couldn't resist this tang. It was sold to me as a yellow Kole Tang. He is really shy so its really hard to get a good picture. He's been with me 3 weeks now and appears 100% healthy and eats like a pig.

    [​IMG]Kole tank by choerenz, on Flickr
     
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  5. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Update
    So the weather in NY finally turned for the better and went from about 15 degrees up to 45 degrees this weekend. That allowed me to spend the weekend getting the Pukani rock ready for curing. I had already bleached the rocks for about 5 days. Its really amazing rock.

    [​IMG]Pukani closeup by choerenz, on Flickr

    I rinsed the rock and I found all kinds of interesting relics. Here is a small crab and sponge that were wedged in the crevices.

    [​IMG]Pukani critters by choerenz, on Flickr

    I added the roughly 45 lbs of Pukani to a large brute. Filled it with water and poured in (very slowly) 1 gallon of muratic acid.

    Safety first Choss selfie

    [​IMG]Choss w. safety gear by choerenz, on Flickr

    Muratic starting to work....

    [​IMG]Cooking Pukani by choerenz, on Flickr

    [​IMG]pukani bubbling up by choerenz, on Flickr

    This is the third time I've cooked rock this way and its really not that bad. You just have to go slow and allow the acid to do its thing.
     
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  6. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Scape - first try
    I laid out my rock on a plastic board that I have taped off to represent the footprint of the tank. I am going for two islands. Based on the rock I have I want to attempt to create a natural looking chasm between two large rocks. I also want to try to make the islands very different - so not symmetrical. In taking stock of the three main pieces I will use, I have one large lower mound that will be great to grow SPS, and a natural tower piece that will allow me to attach corals vertically with SPS near the top. One of the most spectacular reefs that is inspiring this tower vision, is the amazing nano reef by Medred. Here is a picture from that build

    [​IMG]Medred reef by choerenz, on Flickr

    Here is a first pass at my scape. Looking for feedback!

    [​IMG]scape first try by choerenz, on Flickr

    Closeup of the tower.

    [​IMG]tower closeup by choerenz, on Flickr
     
  7. Janci

    Janci Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I like the scape.
    Just be careful with the height.
    I have found that such a vertical rock looks great at the beginning, but it does noet allow you to put many corals on it. It creats shadows and also obstructs the flow a lot as all the water has to go around it instead of over it.
    Suggestion: do not let your rock to go higher than 2/3 of the total height of the tank.
    This for visual as well for practical reasons.
     
  8. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Janci thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I am definitely considering the height as a potential drawback. I'll measure tonight when I get home to see how high it is relative to the water line. Assuming I go forward with this or similar layout, I will run 2 MP40s so that they create a circular flow around the taller Island. I will also stagger the Islands so one is more to the front. In addition the the MP40s (I still have to buy a second one) I will also run 2 MP10s off the back wall. So I should have a ton of random flow in the tank.

    I'm excited to be in these final stages of the build. I still need to soak the Pukani in tub for a few weeks to make sure its PO free etc. I also received my live rock shipment yesterday so I'll share some updates later today on those pieces.
     
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  9. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Live rock
    This weekend I also picked up 25 lbs of live rock from Gulfliverock.com. The main purpose for this rock is to add bacteria and beneficial critters to the system so I opted to have Dan from GLR schedule the package via Air Cargo to minimize die off.

    I want the benefits of adding this rock to my system, but am struggling with where to put them considering the clean scape I hope to achieve. They may end up in my sump, or maybe I add them initially and then remove them a few months down the road.

    The rock was delivered well packaged in plastic, some water, and paper towels to keep the rocks moist.

    [​IMG]Gulf live rock unboxing by choerenz, on Flickr

    Bag is open...

    [​IMG]Gulf Live Rock first impression by choerenz, on Flickr

    You can see lots of good color, sponges, some small corals, and a bit of macro algae.

    I carefully unpacked everything and rinsed the rock in a bucket, and then into a 10 gallon tank with a heater, two HOB filters, and I borrowed my small Tunze Comline 9004 skimmer from my 40 gallon AIO tank.

    [​IMG]rock in tank by choerenz, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Gulflverock by choerenz, on Flickr

    So far my Skimmer is pulling out a lot of gunk and the smell isn't too horrible (although my son said "dad it smells like poop"). I haven't spotted any bad hitch hikers yet but I'm going to play the waiting game and let the rock sit in the holding tank for over a week - then test a bit of food and see what comes out. If all is good, I will see about starting up the main system, and adding both the Pukani and the live rock at the same time.
     
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  10. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Pukani is now soaking in RODI water with some GFO running. I checked the PO today and its only .12. That is a lot lower than my last rock cure experience but this is the first time I have tried bleach and acid. Should I wait till its even lower or is this rock ready to go in the main tank? On the live rock, its still producing some really stinky stuff in my skimmer so I think it may need a few more days but I am thinking I may add both the live and dry rock this weekend to the display.

    Wow as I read this I realize I'm returning to my former impatient self ;Nailbiting
     
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  11. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm glad I stayed patient. Meet Fred. I just discovered him today. I walked past my 10 gallon that is holding my live rock, and I felt a set of eyes on me.



    He's really quite cute. I may have to keep him and set up yet another small tank in my basement. Or I will find him a home. Right now I'm not yet sure what type of Mantis it is, but I will let him wait a few more days and then put some food in the tank and see if he comes out. The poor guy is probably pretty hungry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  12. Janci

    Janci Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Hahaha, those mantis are funny. I had one too that came with some live rock and could catch the guy at the very beginning.
    In that time I had a fuge so he ended up there. Once and a while I fed him a small hairy crab the I took from between the SPS coral that I bought.
    But when upgrading the tank there was no fuge anymore so he moved to the display tank.
    I do not see him any more, but hear him every night showing off with his "clicking" sounds.
    It is a small shrimp of about 2 inch in a brown colored jacket.
     
  13. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So you keep him in the main tank today? Has he gone after any fish or shrimp? I am really into the little guy. Today I saw him fully out for the first time. He's small still - maybe under an inch. Bright green.

    Also, Janci, I saw on another forum that your Avatar is a pretty sweet looking bike. I don't recognize the model. What do you ride? I ride a BMW F700GS.
     
  14. Janci

    Janci Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes, Michel (= the mantis) is still in the main display. He might have gotten into a snail, but I never saw it with my own eyes.
    I do find pieces of crab in the display which could mean Michel was on a hunt.
    There is picture of him somewhere. Will take a look tonight to post it here.

    I bought a BMW R9T scrambler last year as an upgrade from the Honda CB550.
    Nowadays it is good weather here to take it for a spin in the weekends and I sometimes use it to commute. In 3-4 months, riding pleasure is gone as the summer heat will remind you to get back to air conditioned environments.
     
  15. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Send me a link to Michael. These guys can get pretty big so maybe keep an eye on him :). I started with a CB500X and then switched over to the GS. I find the GS is as easy to ride, low center of gravity is key. I love the R9T! Sweet bike.
     
  16. coralcruze

    coralcruze Well-Known Member

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    @choss everything is coming along nicely. glad to see some water finally in your tank. LMK when you are ready for some coral and color. LOL
     
  17. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Funny that you should ask...

    Update

    I have been testing my Pukani rock for PO - Its been sitting in a tub of warm RO water since I gave it an acid and bleach bath about a week or so ago. The last batch of Florida rock I cured (via acid bath only) had PO readings, each one taken over an 8 week period (so about 2 weeks apart)

    .21
    .32
    .37
    .02

    With the Pukani I have taken two readings so far with the same Hanna checker:

    .12
    .03

    Its almost too good to be true, or, doing the acid and bleach bath is super effective. Its also possible that the rocks that I received from Aquacave could have been treated similarly in the past. I sort of doubt it as I removed a few dead critters but its possible.

    Anyway, that begs the question, do I refill the tank this weekend and get the new rock in there. I will add a few pieces of live rock as well and I have siporax that has been getting seeded in my 20 gallon frag tank where a small Kole tang is supplying the poop to feed the system.

    So the checklist from a few weeks ago looks like this:

    1. Determine rock - live or Pukani (check - I went with both)
    2. Cure Pukani rock and check for PO (check - .03 and dropping)
    3. Get live rock into holding tank, remove dead organics and pests (ongoing - first pest identified - Fred the Mantis shrimp, watching sponges carefully for die off, removing some here and there, but overall I can probably add some rock to my sump safely at this time and help speed along the cycle)
    4. Get siporax seeded (check)
    5. Fix metal halide issue (check) - add LEDs (check - Kessil 360 WE added, second is temporarily over my 40 cube)
    So unless anyone sees any issues, I'm tempted to go for it this upcoming weekend. I can fill the tank via RO water from my basement setup, and add salt to the tank itself. I have read from one or two threads that its better to add salt before (as it can affect some equipment) but it would be really impractical to mix the salt and then have to bring containers up from the basement. Thoughts on any or all of the above?

    Super excited to get this system wet & salty.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  18. JustAnt

    JustAnt Active Member

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    Glad you r so close! Hopefully we have another westchester club meeting when your talk is fully operational
     
  19. choss

    choss Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I will host soon! Water is going in this upcoming weekend.
     
  20. Janci

    Janci Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    No objection here... hell, I would have thrown all in when you first made your check list a few weeks ago. LOL
    Serious now, for mixing salt I prefer to do it in the tank. That is filling with rodi, getting it to temperature and adding salt slowly to get to the correct salinity. Only after that adding rock and sand (go bare bottom ;)).
    Once I did with adding the salt in the sump, but yes, then I thought that this high salinity water would pass the return pump and this might not be so good. So the second tank I added it to the display. Still, I doubt how this could be bad for equipment.
    Waiting for your update... ;Watching;Watching;Watching
     
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