Dawn's 56 gallon natural nutrient garden

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vlangel

vlangel

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Nice to be so stable so fast.
How old is this tank??
Great job!
That is a complicated question Kevin. I set this tank up in October 2016 as a bare bottom seahorse reef. I was getting bored with it so in January 2018 I moved the rockwork to make a retaining wall to create a place for a deep sandbed. I also began adding fish. Unfortunately it was only a few months and my seahorses got skin infections, so that is when I dragged out the 30 gallon XH, and connected it to the basement sump and moved this tank over to the left of the 30 and turned this tank into an AIO. So I guess technically this tank in its present state is just over a year old, even though a lot of the rock in it is 20 years old, ( and I got it from a tank tear down).
2018-01-23_04-49-06 by Dawn Gilson, on Flickr
A pic of the rockwork just before I added sand.
2019-03-29_05-54-11 by Dawn Gilson, on Flickr
This newer version is much more appealing to me and I am glad that I made the change, (even though it means having 2 tanks, at least until the ponies live out their natural lives).
 
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In the above post you can see where I added another scape feature (a 3rd tiered level of sand in the front right of the tank). Unfortunately the rock I used as a retaining wall was not retaining the sand and it was leaking back down to the lowest level or being lifted out by the gyre. I decided what was needed was a much larger rock to retain and hold the sand in place. You can see the new rock in this video. I did not feature the inverts but they are still doing well as are all the fish. I did lose one of the blue dartfish as it managed to jump out in spite of my screen cover.
 
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I just came home from watching my SC grandchildren and my son sent me with 6 coral frags. He gave me an orange and a purple monticap, a pink birdsnest, a green pocillipora, a war coral and a reddish purple favite with sky blue dots. It was a pretty sweet deal for me, a win win.

I will take a pic after I place them and they settle in.
 
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That is super cool. Love the blenny. JP
Actually there are 5 blennies in there, an orange spot, a linear, a yellow head fang and 2 barnacles. They amazingly all get along fine. I love blennies for their wonderful personalities.
 
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My tank is doing very well. I am loving the new tier of sand that I added. It was a huge improvement aesthetically and I put a layer of rubble rock on top to encourage pod growth since at present this tank is an aio so pods have to take their chances against the fish.

I added a cleaner shrimp and a tiger conch this past Sunday from Aqua World. Today I went to Elmer's to buy food but came home with a feather duster too. I really wanted a diamond sandsifting goby and a few other nice fish I saw but am not adding more fish to this tank until I can hook it up to the basement sump for easy water changes.
 
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It looks like I am way overdue for an update. This tank has been chugging along quite well and I have not lost any fish or shrimp in forever. The coral are also doing reasonably well. I have kept up with my 5 gallon weekly water changes (about 10%) and I periodically clean the glass but not much else is needed. The combtooth blennies keep most algae under control except occasional bubble algae that I syphon out about 3Xs a year.

I have been anxious to add more fish but am not anxious to carry more than 5 gallons of water up the stairs every week, ha ha! This past weekend changed things when my matriarch seahorse Eve passed at the grand age of 6 and a half. With her passing I am moving into an era of not keeping seahorses any longer and that opens up the basement sump to be used for this reef display. Also I now have an empty 30 gallon tank that can be plumbed into this system for more water volume and perhaps a habitat for fish bullys. I may even try my hand at sea grasses since tanks with vegetation appeal to me. The display in the living room can gravity flow into the 30 gallon in the basement. Since the 30 gallon will be placed next to the 20 gallon long sump it can gravity flow into the sump where the water will be pumped back up to the livingroom display. This plan will almost double my water volume from what I have right now. That should mean that as long as they get along that I should be able to add more fish which will increase interest and movement in the display.

The basement sump makes WCs simple and but the macro algae takes up significant nutrients also. I have thriving red and green macro algae and that helps encourage copepods and amphipods. Hopefully I will finally have a system that can support a mandarine goby which I have always wanted.

I will take a pic when I have implemented this plan so you all can see the upgrade.

Dawn
 
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The tank system is still quite cloudy as you can see but everything seems to be working well. I built a DIY overflow and it appears to work although I will confess I am a bit nervous. I turned it off and on many Xs today and the syphon started every time. I do have an aqua lifter pump at the U portion to give me reassurance, ha ha!
 
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The 30 gallon and the sump are as utilitarian as always. I removed the protein skimmer hoping the macro algae and eventually seagrasses will take up all the nutrients that need removed.
 
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I took a video last night of the 56g display tank, the 30g fuge and the 20g sump. Although it does not look like it there are currently 10 fish in the display. 2 pajama cardinals, 2 green gobies, 2 barnacle blennies, 2 combtooth blennies, a fang blenny and a blue dartfish. I would like to add 6 more fish: a McCosker's flasher wrasse, a royal gramma, 2 fire fish, a yellow watchman goby and a small ocellaris clownfish.

I thought I had a home for my last Male seahorse but that does not seem to be working out. Currently he is in the 30g fuge which is not an optimal environment for a seahorse but I tore down the seahorse tank on the premise that he was going to a new home. If anyone knows of a good home for Samson I will be glad to give him away.
 
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Big news for the tank...9 new fish coming from LiveAquaria! 3 yellow tail damsels, 2 firefish, a flasher wrasse, a watchman goby, a royal gramma and an ocellaris clown!
 
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All the fish arrived alive. 1 or 2 of the damsels does not look good but everyone else does. When I feed them some frozen food tonight I will have a better idea. For now I am letting them have quiet time in the QTs.
 
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Well none of the damsels made it. They were all in a smaller QT and I can't help but wonder if that tank was off somehow. The other QT's inhabitants seem fine and they are the trickier ones to acclimate, like a carpenter flasher wrasse.

I really hate the acquiring new fish because that is when I deal with losses. If I can get them through the 1st 2 weeks then generally I have them for years.
 

Do you have any coral frag mounting tricks or tips you have learned that really help you?

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