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Fluval Flex 15g saltwater. A first saltwater tank.

EcoFriendlyMouth

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Well I guess welcome to my build thread. I have been wanting to do a saltwater tank for a minute now. However, due to stability in living situation and work, I havent had a chance until now. With all of my classes for my undergrad online, I decided to dive headfirst into a reef tank build. I had a Fluval flex 15g sitting around from my dorm last year that only had a Betta so 'ol Jessi my Betta got put into a new Walstad tank. This gave me the tank and Filter setup I needed.

As for the build, Here is what I did to modify the tank for initial startup:
-Nano protein skimmer in the first chamber
-Biomedia, charcoal, sponge into the second chamber of the filter
-Sponge butted up into the transfer from the first to second filter stage
-Heater and stock pump in third chamber. Might convert second and third to refugium later if I wanna get fancy
-13 lbs liverock
-Amazon cheap 400gph powerhead
-Live sand, 1.5"
-Hunk of snowflake obsidian bc its a nice looking rock

Right now, I have a luminie P30 for the tank. However I do not have an auto- topoff at the moment so the stock lid and light are still running. However, a family has a CNC laser that I am gonna use to cut some custom plexiglass lids for my tanks. These lids will have a series of airholes, as well as ports to allow the protein skimmer, power and air lines, as well as lighting mount point on them. If this doesnt pan out, I will likely cut up the lid and install the P30 into it, hovering above a hole with plexiglass silicon'd into it. The tank is finally cycled so this will happen to it fairly soon.

As for stock, the current livestock plan:

-1 Ocellaris (black or mocha)
-1 Firefish
-1 Prawn goby
-Couple snails, hermits
- GSP
-Xenia
-Candy cane
-Easy leathers

I had a piece of live rock come with some ZOAs (I haven't id'ed what kind yet) and Aiptasia. I have been controlling the aiptasia babies on the glass, as well as killing the ones that came on the live rock with a syringe filled with lemon juice. I just squirt it on the buggers and they shoot out bubbles. Idk if that means there dying, but I haven't seen the ones I've squirted appear again so I think it worked. Hopefully I will have the Ocellaris going in this weekend, along with maybe an invert or two. I also have some tiny starfish that have appeared since starting the tank.

Anyhow, this will sort of serve as a tank journal for me so follow along with me on this adventure into saltwater and sustainably recreating one of the most fragile, complex, and beautiful ecosystems in the world.
 
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EcoFriendlyMouth

EcoFriendlyMouth

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Here is the tank post-cycle. Apologies for the salt and smudgy glass, I just did a small water change to cut down some nitrates and get my salinity down just a bit. Went out to buy a cured piece of liverock (the purple coralline) just to increase the amount of liverock in the tank.

IMG_20200924_202824[2974].jpg
 
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EcoFriendlyMouth

EcoFriendlyMouth

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Nice tank and nice sharing! I think you should stock some more coral to make your tank more lively.
I have a Coralife tank and just stock mollies and guppies but it looks as nice as yours.
Right now that is indeed the plan. The LFS charges a ridiculous price for tiny frags (think $40 for the tiniest of GSPs or a clump of 10 ZOAs), however there is also a petco and local reefers that have a good selection of healthy stuff (the petco has a frag tank and some of the healthiest saltwater selection of any shop LFS or not that ive been to, zero visible parasites and minimal algae, well cured LR) so once this tank is up and going for a few more weeks and I get the livestock I want settled, it will be coral time. Gonna do some GSPs, xenia to start out. One piece of liverock had a few ZOAs on it, and they were pretty indestructible considering they survived the startup cycle after sitting out of water for a minute, so that gives me faith on the corals haha! Got any pics of your current tank?
 
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EcoFriendlyMouth

EcoFriendlyMouth

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Update from today:

The zoas on the liverock are looking fairly good, all open and they look wonderful in the new light. Will add pics tomorrow.
Aiptaisia that also came on the liverock released some baby polyps that have attached to the glass. I tried the lemon juice trick and the anenomes retracted and released streams of bubbles, but it seems that several days later they have popped back open. Will try actually injecting them next time, rather than spraying them (only had a spore syringe from growing oyster mushrooms, big 'ol needle). next time in hopes of better results. It would be a bummer to have a tank fail from aiptasia this early on. Will also look into maybe a peppermint shrimp to deal with it, or a nano fish that eats them (if they exist, I havent looked too hard into it yet).
 

Bellasmith

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Right now that is indeed the plan. The LFS charges a ridiculous price for tiny frags (think $40 for the tiniest of GSPs or a clump of 10 ZOAs), however there is also a petco and local reefers that have a good selection of healthy stuff (the petco has a frag tank and some of the healthiest saltwater selection of any shop LFS or not that ive been to, zero visible parasites and minimal algae, well cured LR) so once this tank is up and going for a few more weeks and I get the livestock I want settled, it will be coral time. Gonna do some GSPs, xenia to start out. One piece of liverock had a few ZOAs on it, and they were pretty indestructible considering they survived the startup cycle after sitting out of water for a minute, so that gives me faith on the corals haha! Got any pics of your current tank?
here is my Coralife tank

maxresdefault.jpg
 
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EcoFriendlyMouth

EcoFriendlyMouth

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School has been rough. I've been feeding the ocellaris hikari carnivore pellets, marine flakes, and my sis. I have a randall's shrimp goby going in next. Waiting for diatoms to swarm to add corals. New aiptasia so need to go get a smaller syringe needle. Have more popping on rocks and one on a cerith snail that need elimination.
 
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EcoFriendlyMouth

EcoFriendlyMouth

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Quick water change, the nano skimmer has been working perfectly. Wishing I could get hit with a diatom bloom to begin adding corals. Attempting to source a Randall's goby but it seems theyre hard to come by as no LFS within an hour or two has em.
 

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