College Reefs: How my Clownfish are on their way to a degree

Reefjunky21

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OK, well they might not be getting degrees but they are for sure helping me get mine! I am currently a Junior at a small school in Ohio and I have something no one else has, a pair of badbutt clownfish! I have been keeping reef tanks for about 7 years now and after all that time I finally feel like I'm avoiding rookie mistakes. I originally brought a 5 gallon tank to school my second semester of my freshman year and my whole plan was to make everything as simple (and cheap) as possible. Anyone in the hobby knows where this is going. I went too simple and too cheap right out the gate. I went bare-bottom, no mechanical filtration and even skimped on the live-rock. Long story short that tank did not survive past spring semester. I tore it all down and swore that I was done!

Fastforward a year and my obsession with the hobby had been rekindled. I spent the last summer researching how I can make this tank 1) thrive long term, 2) personally enjoyable and 3) informative to others. As the only person on my campus to have a saltwater tank, I felt like this time around I had to keep the tank up for myself but also for the people living with me. 5 months into that journey and people still come up to me and ask "you're the one with the fish tank in your room right?"

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Tank Specs

Display: 10 gallon glass aquarium
Lighting: 2 Par38 Rapid LED bulbs suspended using Coral Compulsion clamps
Heating: Eheim 25W heater
Circulation: Ecotech mp10 (OG model)
Skimmer: None
Filter: Aquaclear 20 w/Chemi-Pure Blue
Substrate: Carib Sea Arag-Alive Reef Sand (~12Lbs.)

Current Livestock

A pair of Ocellaris clownfish
2x Sexy Shrimp
2x Nassarius Snails
2x Scarlet Hermit Crabs

big fish.jpg

myguy.jpg
together.jpg


shrimp.jpg


Soft Coral

Green star polyps
Radioactive Zoanthids
Hulk Zoanthids

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Anemones

Red rock anemone
Red-Green Hybrid Bubble Tip Anemone

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All my livestock, besides the female clownfish (bigger of the two), came from vividaquariums. I highly recommend them! It is the second time I have gotten shipments from them and they are world class and very professional. I ordered a pair of clownfish but one died within 12 hours and they were great about refunding me the next day!

If you cannot tell, I love photography so if you're looking for a thread with some cool photos, stay tuned for more. I will be trying my very hardest to post every ~2-weeks about the tanks journey. The good, the bad AND the ugly! Thank you for reading.
 
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Reefjunky21

Reefjunky21

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Looks great! Nice photographs. Sexy Shrimp are probably my favorite invert :)
Thank you! And same, I have been looking at getting some for years but could never find them. I specifically got the green star polyps with them in mind and they love it. They live in a little cavern under the GSP and constantly will walk on the GSP waving their butts. It's quite amusing ;Shamefullyembarrased
 
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Reefjunky21

Reefjunky21

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New invertebrate alert: I just picked up a RBTA. It is actually from an anemone I had 3 years ago in my original 30 gallon tank (pictured in my profile picture). I donated all my livestock to a local elementary school when I left for college and often will go back and visit. This time I took a small anemone back with me :D I dont have my camera on me at the moment but pictures coming soon.
 
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Reefjunky21

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New RBTA Pictures: I have now had my RBTA for about a week and it is doing great! I originally placed the anemone in the front of the tank but as they do, it moved and unfortunately moved to the back of the tank. It has made a home for itself in the back right corner of the tank. I am actually OK with this placement because it is right where the clownfish sleep at night. My clownfish have not started hosting the RBTA yet but I know its coming. The female will rub her back against the tentacles of the anemone as she swims underneath it.



It barely pokes out from the back of the tank.

















 

Ds04384

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I started my first tank in college as well. It was a great stress reliever. If you need to upgrade again before you graduate I would look into a nanocube or biocube set up. Mine was the 24 gallon nanocube and it was easy enough to move and transport as you have to do periodically while in school.
 
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Reefjunky21

Reefjunky21

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I started my first tank in college as well. It was a great stress reliever. If you need to upgrade again before you graduate I would look into a nanocube or biocube set up. Mine was the 24 gallon nanocube and it was easy enough to move and transport as you have to do periodically while in school.
Unfortunately the college I attend has a 10 gallon max. I am not a huge fan of the all in ones because I usually like to customize a lot of the tank myself but the biocube does offer a desirable simplistic design.
 

Ds04384

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Unfortunately the college I attend has a 10 gallon max. I am not a huge fan of the all in ones because I usually like to customize a lot of the tank myself but the biocube does offer a desirable simplistic design.
Ah I didn't set mine up until I moved off campus. And I agree about the lack of customization being an issue. I ended up modifying mine quite a bit but you are definitely limited with what you can do
 
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Reefjunky21

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Moved the Tank Back to College: Well, it is the start of a new semester, which means new classes, new professors and time to move the tank back to college! I live about 6 hours away from the school I attend so the move is no small task. Luckily I do have my own car on campus so I packed up the car with two five gallon buckets containing the livestock and live rock, the tank with the sand, and a plastic tub with maintenance equipment and electrical components, and made the trek a week ago.

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It was very cold when I made the trip so I was a little worried about keeping the car as warm as possible so the water temperatures of the buckets didn't get too low. I personally was sweating in my own car but I mean it's for the fish right? Well, it turned out when I set the tank back up at school the water was at 62.5 deg F..... I was very worried but everything seemed to be fine. Since everything was disassembled I took this time to try to get my clownfish and RBTA familiar with each other in hopes of having my clownfish host it. I put them together in a small tub and floated it.

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While this picture looks promising, 5 days later and they still do not host the anemone :(

Here is everything as of today:

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(Also very deceiving picture haha)

IMG_0918.JPG
 
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Reefjunky21

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One issue with moving the tank is it disrupts the tanks equilibrium a little bit, so when I originally moved it home at the start of winter break the tank experienced some nuisance algae issues. A month later I am still fighting off the algae with constant water changes and very time-consuming periods of hand picking the algae. While it is not ideal, it has been reduced substantially and I am hoping that the new move does not cause the same outbreak. I have bryopsis, which is a pain in the butt to get rid of but luckily grows relatively slowly in my tank so I can target it pretty fast. I also have Cladophoropsis or Green Wirey Algae, which grew super fast and is very hard to remove. Each of the strings is very thin and break easily which makes it very hard for manual removal. The good news is that as of today the algae outbreak has been contained and I hope that the continuation of water changes and manual removal will eliminate it all.
 

chamjack

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That’s really cool what you have done. Just the stress of moving that back and forth would make me tap out, lol. Keep up the good work because that a very nice looking 10 gallon setup.
 
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Reefjunky21

Reefjunky21

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That’s really cool what you have done. Just the stress of moving that back and forth would make me tap out, lol. Keep up the good work because that a very nice looking 10 gallon setup.
Thank you, I appreciate the support!
 

YogiReef

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This tank looks awesome! I’m in high school and I’m like the only kid with a saltwater tank. I have high hopes of taking my tank to college and this thread has been very informative, thanks.
 
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Reefjunky21

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This tank looks awesome! I’m in high school and I’m like the only kid with a saltwater tank. I have high hopes of taking my tank to college and this thread has been very informative, thanks.
I am glad to hear that you hope to bring it to college. I was also the only one I knew that was my age and had a saltwater aquarium. It is definitely worth keeping it. The tank is very therapeutic and relaxing in the crazy life of a college student.
 

Ramiro Casal

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I also have a tank in college here at the university of miami. Your tank is awesome but do you feel like you spend way too much time on the tank instead of school? sometimes i legit just stare at it for hours knowing I have 2 exams the next day lol.
 

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