EithelSirion's 75 Gallon DIY SPS & Gorgonian Reef

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EithelSirion

EithelSirion

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Here are some photographs of the completed assembly of the stand. Notice the far superior protection of light spill.
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Now to coral livestock. As originally planned, the tank was designed to be high flow and high light, geared towards SPS and gorgonians. I introduced a number of different varieties of coral as well, with a few highlighted here:
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Goniopora
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Duncan coral
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Ricordea florida (eating an ambitious piece of mysis)
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War coral
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Bowerbanki
 
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A notable new arrival was this Sun Coral. While beautiful, the coral came from the ocean and I broke my previous rule about keeping out hitchhikers by starting the tank with dry rock. When I placed the large coral in the tank, a few small white creatures blew off of the colony underside.

At the time, I remarked on what it was but did not look up or recognize what I know now was large montipora eating nudibranchs. More on this obvious misstep later.
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The tank grew alright for a time but the montipora eating nudis grew slowly. By the time I realized what they were and recognized the hairy white hitchhikers from the sun coral, it was far too late to do anything about it. It was about a year down the line at that point, and I had a few small acropora frags as well as many growing small colonies and large frags of montipora.

Among my list of montipora at the time of discovery were:
-3 different encrusting varieties including a verrucosa variant
-Tyree Aequituberculata
-Grape Capricornis
-Starburst Capricornis
-Season's Greetings Capricornis
-Forest Fire Digi
-ROAB Digi
-Spongodes
-Setosa
-Tubb's Stellata

And maybe not montipora but eventual victims of the MENs,
-Pink Sanddollar
-JF Special Porites

The worst affected colonies were the monti caps and the encrusting montipora. I didn't take great pictures of this at the time but the months would all grow until the nudis found them next and then that frag would take a turn for the worst.

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A Tyree aequituberculata with the death of the middle section while the plating sections are relatively unaffected so far.
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A picture of the tank under heavy blues before more of the montipora frags were affected. You can see the bald spots on the Tubb's stellata frag and the red cap frag.
 
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I tried to manage the nudis by removal and introduction of a wrasse etc. but there was no beating the MENs with how long they had been in the tank. At least not while I had so many potential victims in the tank. So I decided to go the route of no SPS additions for over a year and removal of all the affected frags. It was a sad decision considering the tank was set up expressly for those types of corals, but I had a wedding and progression towards my doctorate going on so the year actually went by faster than anticipated.
 
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To replace the SPS in the tank and make it fell less barren, I got really into photosynthetic gorgonians. I purchased a number of different gorgonians and they all grew very well in the system.
 
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After my 14 month hiatus from SPS, I decided to start to get back into sticks. This time I wanted to be careful with where I receive my corals. I decided to only buy from sources I trust (Adam at BattleCorals, H@rry at H@rrysfrags, etc) and inspect every piece carefully and try to prevent coral pathogens from entering the tank. I have always practiced ich management etc for fish pathogens, but I learned my lesson with corals this time around. I started with a small addition of SPS corals from Adam as testers again. My flame angel who had been good with SPS before the hiatus turned into a polyp nipper and had to be rehoused.

Here is a video about a month after the first SPS frags. I had already trimmed the gorgonians considerably but they are still quite dominant in the tank.
 
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Most of the tester frags survived, I bought more frags, and that brings us rather quickly to today.

Stocking as of today:

Fish-
-4 Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
-Resplendent Anthias (Pseudanthias pulcherrimus)
-Lamarck's Angelfish (Genicanthus lamarck)
-Exquisite Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus)
-Splendid Pintail Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus isosceles)
-Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus binotatus)
-3 Panamic Barnacle Blenny (Acanthemblemaria hancocki)
-2 Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
-Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterepogon kauderni)

Invertebrates-
-5 Porcelain Crabs
-5 Emerald Crabs
-8 hermit crabs various
-Black Brittle Starfish
-Hitchhiker small brittle starfish
-Snails various

Gorgonians-
-Spiny Gorgonian (Muricea laxa)
-Purple Candelabra (Eunicea flexuosa)
-White Candelabra (Eunicea sp.)
-Golden Plume (Antillogorgia bipinnata)
-Purple Ribbon (Pterogorgia anceps)
-Purple brush (Muriceopsis flavida)
-TG Amber Sea Fan (Pinnigorgia flava)

Acropora-
-RR Pink Cadillac (Acropora divaricata)
-Tyree Blue Matrix (Acropora hoeksemai)
-Green Slimer (Acropora yongei)
-GC Acroberry (Acropora sp.)
-ORA Cali Tort (Acropora tortuosa)
-Tyree Ponape Rainbow (Acropora subulata)
-JF Fox Flame (Acropora sp.)
-BC Secale (Acropora secale)
-BC Firecracker Table (Acropora sp. tabling)
-BC Purple Miser 2.0 (Acropora sp.)
-BC Bohemia (Acropora sp. tabling)
-BC Pearly Cadaver (Acropora sp.)
-CC Dark Knight (Acropora sp. staghorn)
-ATL Tulip Milli (Acropora millipora)
-Sunset Milli (Acropora millipora)
-TGC Pearly Gates (Acropora sp.)
-TCK Pikachu (Acropora microclados)
-TSA Bill Murray (Acropora sp. tabling)

Montipora-
-Green Spongodes (Montipora spongodes)
-Red Setosa (Montipora setosa)
-Reeftech Starburst (Montipora capricornis)
-Tubb's Stellata (Montipora stellata)
-Forest Fire Digi (Montipora digitata)
-Green Digi (Montipora digitata)

Miscellaneous-
-Rose Coral (Manicina areolata)
-Sunburst BT Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
-Electric Lemonade Anacropora (Anacropora forbesi)
-Green Star Polyps (Briareum sp.)
-Corky Sea Fingers (Briareum asbestinum)
-Purple Ricordea (Ricordea yuma)
-JF Captain Jerk (Palythoa sp.)
-Toxic green zoas (Zoanthus sp.)
-Green Caulastrea (Caulastrea furcata)
-Green duncan coral (Duncanopsammia axifuga)
-Hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora)
-Green Hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora)
-Lime Green, Pink Tipped Bicolor Hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora)
-Yellow ball sponge (Cinachyra allocladia)
 

Resetting your reef: Have you ever had to unstack and restack the aquascape?

  • I have re-aquascaped the entire tank.

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  • I have not ever re-aquascaped the tank.

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  • Other.

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