Cookie Monster Reef

LardLad

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I wanted to document my little cookie jar reef project. My theme for this project was simplicity and quality. I wanted to have a small tank for corals only. No fish, no snails, no shrimp, no murdering hermit crabs. Just coral, sand, rock, and saltwater. I hope you like it.
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I found this wooden cigar box and drilled some holes in the side. The large hole to pass lines thru. The little holes for air flow.

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I found a cookie jar at a grocery store and put about 1.5 inches of Caribe Pink Fiji Aragonite in the bottom. This was leftover from my EVO build. I rinsed it very well. I also added a Cobalt Minitherm 10w and an Inkbird sensor. Then placed an airline and connected it all with suction cups and zip ties. I hate cables and mess. I love zip ties and suction cups. I also added a little magnet glass cleaner. This proved to be an essential component.
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I cut out a circle of yoga mat rubber and placed it on my kitchen bar with the cigar box next to it.
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I used velcro, hot glue, and zip ties to hide all of my controls in the cigar box. I started with a small 5 outlet powerstrip velcro'd to the middle of the box. It has a very short 1.5 foot cord as it is placed so close to a GFI outlet in my kitchen. Later this made water changes super easy as I just sucked waste water straight to my kitchen sink.
Clockwise from top left is the power ballast for the lights, an old school analog timer, the Inkbird controller (set to 78F with 1F limit) a Danner Oxy-Flow AP2 air pump and a ReefMaster light controller (controls knobs are white and blue saturation).
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Here, I have added the ReefMaster Pico Pro light to the jar.
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I am testing the white light level before water is added. And then testing the blue level.
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I used Red Sea Coral Pro salt in RODI water at a rate of 38.2 grams per liter. The jar is 2 gallons. Here, I am trying a Lee's limewood airstone. But the small nature of the bubbles created too much visual disturbance. Then I tried just straight airline with no stone because I have heard from many others that this was best for flow and bubble size. However, this was too noisy for my taste. I settled on a plain blue ceramic airstone. It had the best combination of flow, bubble size, and noise reduction. The added benefit is that the jar performs like a big skimmer. Later, one of my twice-weekly rituals became to hit the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel to remove any "skimmate". Perfect!
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Taming the cords and lines with velcro strips. I added a little digital temperature probe inside the cigar box because a fellow reefer was concerned that there may be too much heat building in the box.I found that the internal temp of the cigar box never exceeded one degree F higher than the room air. The intake of the OxyFlow air pump assured that air was always being drawn into the box thru the holes that I drilled. The yoga mat circle under the jar also helps to limit noise and vibration. Here I added a 3.8 pound live rock that had been curing in a big damsel tank at my LFS for two years. I got lucky with this one. The fit and size were perfect and no algae. The flow with the air pump is pretty ideal. Lots of updraft. I may upgrade to the OxyFlow AP3 in the future, though only about 50 cu LPM difference. At this point I added a chunk of Blue Sympodium to the top of the rock. A real beauty!
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A little Nuclear GSP on the sandbed. The Blue Sympodium on top of the rock plumped up fast under the lights.
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A little chunk of Pumping Xenia. It had one Green Death Palythoa hitchhiker on it. Not worth it to carve it off tho.
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Speaking of hitchhikers... a Lettered Olive snail. I pulled him out and put him in my "big" nano so he wouldn't starve.
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A little Mame Bonsai in the foreground.
More updates soon.
 
Budmans
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LardLad

LardLad

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Following along here. Any significant growth since the start?
Yes. This is a coral growing machine. Since there is virtually no evaporation stability is a breeze. Salinity is Rock Solid and the use of the inkbird thermostat keeps the temperature from varying less than a degree. So there's two big points of stability Tech down 100%. Plus with 100% water change once a week you can feed the hell out of them. So about an hour or two before I do a water change I throw in some Reef roids and let them marinate in that. In fact I have used this to grow out several zoa Fragsright before I sold them
 
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LardLad

LardLad

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Currently feeding Reef Energy 0.3ml twice per week and 2 ml of phytoplankton twice per week as well. I also like Brightwells Coral Amino a lot. I will put that in once a week for a treat when I'm feeling saucy.
 

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