Dual 40g aio tanks

Ron Reefman

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I've been around for a long time now, in the hobby for 20+ years. For the last 5+ years I've been steadily downsizing the saltwater footprint inside my house. At one point I had well over 600g of saltwater spread over 3 DT's, a frag tank and 2 sump/refugiums. For the last year I've been doing two 40g aio tanks. First was a 40g breeder for some local (I live in SW Florida and snorkel the Keys frequently) stock that I have collected. Then I built a 40g cube as an aio tank for just coral, anemones and CUC... no fish.

I now consider myself a 'Minimalist Reefer' as the only hardware I use (currently) are good quality led fixtures, filter socks, a wavemaker, a small amount of filter media, an ATO and a return pump. No skimmer, no refugium, no dosing pumps, and certainly no Apex!

This is what the 40g cube looks like today at not quite a year old. It's mostly sps and lps corals with a few zoas and 6 anemones, some CUC and a coral banded shrimp and a couple serpent stars.

20240207_104342.jpg


The other tank isn't very pretty. It's all stuff I've caught in the wild and made up of mostly green zoas, some not very colorful RFA's, 2 sea cucumbers, 2 rock boring urchins, 2 rescue clownfish and my pride and joy, a 3" mantis shrimp. I have found the mantis to be very difficult to collect. Usually I'll pick up a rock and they will dart across the sand to the next rock with rocket speed. But this one hung onto the rock when I lifted it up, then it let go. As it drifted down I put my collection cup (a customize peanut butter jar) under it and it became mine! Next time I feed, I'll try for a photo.
 
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Ron Reefman

Ron Reefman

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I went to the frag swap at Lakeland, Florida last weekend. I bought 5 coral frags and a BTA. I put them all in my 'local' tank for now and everybody seems fine... except the BTA ended up getting out of it's PVC end cap overnight and is currently out of sight. I'll probably go looking for it sometime this week if it doesn't reappear on it's own.

I'm considering pulling some rocks out of the 'local' tank that are covered in green zoas or encrusting gorgonians (both from the keys). At some point I may go to Miami and hit a couple of LFS that I know keep lots of VERY colorful RFAs. Prices seem to have come down as PV Reefs was selling absolutely gorgeous RFAs at the frag swap for $40/ea. I just wasn't ready to buy. But now I'm thinking the 'local' tank doesn't have to be all local stuff collected by me personally. LOL! And VIP Reef is just a few miles down the road from PV Reefs and that's who I think started the colorful RFA introduction into the hobby. I could see myself spending $200-$300 for 5 to 8 RFAs and making them fill one end of my local tank.
 
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Ron Reefman

Ron Reefman

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I've started pulling rocks (slowly) from my local tank. Some have nothing on them or just a few green zoas or some encrusting gorgonian corals. I'm just cleaning them.

I had a small rock that was covered with a more red/orange zoa (I really don't pay any attention to names). The zoa were starting to spread out onto the sand. So I took all the 'loose' zoas off and created 13 frags and most of them look OK after just one day.

I then cut the end of the rock off (no zoas) and now it stands up in the sand and the zoas can grow around to the back that used to be in the sand.

I think I'm going to go to Craigslist and offer some corals up for very cheap or free (red zoa frags and some bigger rocks covered in green zoas and some with encrusting gorgonians).
 

Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

  • I regularly feed unusual items.

    Votes: 6 4.1%
  • I occasionally feed unusual items.

    Votes: 19 13.0%
  • I have fed unusual items in the past.

    Votes: 14 9.6%
  • I stick with feeding standard items.

    Votes: 106 72.6%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.7%
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