I received a box of rocks today.

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NY_Caveman

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I am an anxious person. My return to reefing has really helped me exercise more patience. So far, I find the patience I am exhibiting toward my reef is extending into other areas of my life which has proved beneficial. In this thread I have often posted things I will do in the future and sometimes, it leads me to anxiousness. I told myself I would no longer do that. Now that the build is in progress, I will concentrate this thread on the current state of affairs.

I am now going to go against everything I wrote in the last paragraph.

Tomorrow I plan on picking up my live rock. To me, this is the most important stage of any build. Live rock is the bedrock of any system (not sure if that is a pun, or just a correct use of the term). It provides the bulk of the filtration, it provides a home for livestock and it helps establish crucial biodiversity. It also dictates the aesthetic of the reef that will grow around it. In terms of both form and function, live rock is the reef.

The key to setting up my system is to get the rock in and then let it mature. Getting the stand and tank up was an accomplishment, but now I will truly be setting up the tank. I already called the LFS and warned them I am coming tomorrow and I will be very picky (the employee laughed and said, “we understand and we will work with you.”). I am looking for about 22 pounds of rock and, because this is a small aquarium, the shape, size and look of each piece is important.

I am writing this because I am just too excited. I feel like tomorrow is a childhood Christmas and I will probably have trouble sleeping tonight. Discovering life in live rock is simply the most fascinating experience in reefing for me. Tomorrow it begins.

:)
 

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I am an anxious person. My return to reefing has really helped me exercise more patience. So far, I find the patience I am exhibiting toward my reef is extending into other areas of my life which has proved beneficial. In this thread I have often posted things I will do in the future and sometimes, it leads me to anxiousness. I told myself I would no longer do that. Now that the build is in progress, I will concentrate this thread on the current state of affairs.

I am now going to go against everything I wrote in the last paragraph.

Tomorrow I plan on picking up my live rock. To me, this is the most important stage of any build. Live rock is the bedrock of any system (not sure if that is a pun, or just a correct use of the term). It provides the bulk of the filtration, it provides a home for livestock and it helps establish crucial biodiversity. It also dictates the aesthetic of the reef that will grow around it. In terms of both form and function, live rock is the reef.

The key to setting up my system is to get the rock in and then let it mature. Getting the stand and tank up was an accomplishment, but now I will truly be setting up the tank. I already called the LFS and warned them I am coming tomorrow and I will be very picky (the employee laughed and said, “we understand and we will work with you.”). I am looking for about 22 pounds of rock and, because this is a small aquarium, the shape, size and look of each piece is important.

I am writing this because I am just too excited. I feel like tomorrow is a childhood Christmas and I will probably have trouble sleeping tonight. Discovering life in live rock is simply the most fascinating experience in reefing for me. Tomorrow it begins.

:)
Wishing you happy hunting as it relates to the rock. I agree it's one of the most crucial steps to a successful and pleasing looking reef system
My advice would be to resist the urge to go tall - leave vertical space for coral to grow into. In the long run, it makes for a much nicer looking Coral display, as the coral will fill in the space - particularly if you shooting for a mixed reef or SPS dominant display.

plus, it's easier to add some rock down the road than remove it after everything starts growing.
 
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Wishing you happy hunting as it relates to the rock. I agree it's one of the most crucial steps to a successful and pleasing looking reef system
My advice would be to resist the urge to go tall - leave vertical space for coral to grow into. In the long run, it makes for a much nicer looking Coral display, as the coral will fill in the space - particularly if you shooting for a mixed reef or SPS dominant display.

plus, it's easier to add some rock down the road than remove it after everything starts growing.
Agreed. It will be quite minimalistic. About 30 pounds total rock in 36 gallons of actual water volume. Water level is about 17 inches so I plan on two structures at a height of 10-11” and 6-7”.
 

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Agreed. It will be quite minimalistic. About 30 pounds total rock in 36 gallons of actual water volume. Water level is about 17 inches so I plan on two structures at a height of 10-11” and 6-7”.
Minimalistic is good. More room for coral to fill in!
 

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love what you did with the ADJ power bar! I may steal your idea... :)
Thanks! I love it. Everything is easy and centralized with its own power switch. I was worried about a few cords, but they were all long enough for drip loops. Power separated from controllers and sensors. Now I just need to tidy up the wires a bit.
 
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Sarah24!

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Hello,

I just wanted to say very nicely done. As a point of fact my lfs just received one of these little guys in. I have been wanting to see if work will let me have that small one in my shared office space. Usually more like always I’m the cleanest of everyone a few times over. I usually avoid the couch at all costs because I find so many of my other office co workers sleeping on it. (Only those assigned which are four of us) (Yes I’m a clean freak).

But in my zoned Sarah space, I have my desk aka dicatation desk and my own tiny fridge. But I have tons more space so I was thinking about getting the same one you have, which is perfect for the space, plus my own comfty chair or recliner . Knowing my luck they will merge to that as well when the couch is full, or my side lol. I already find things not mine in the fridge. But I’m such a push over, that most of the time I just put it back in one of the other three fridges. Of course I usually have no idea who’s it is.

But love your tank, the only thing I have to really make sure is that it’s super super quiet. Plus your lfs sent me all the live rock you want and yes I received a box of rocks today. :)
Have you thought of what kind of corals, or fish etc? I’m assuming since everything is live, your cycle should be pretty quick. Maybe three weeks and you should be set to go.
 

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I am an anxious person. My return to reefing has really helped me exercise more patience. So far, I find the patience I am exhibiting toward my reef is extending into other areas of my life which has proved beneficial. In this thread I have often posted things I will do in the future and sometimes, it leads me to anxiousness. I told myself I would no longer do that. Now that the build is in progress, I will concentrate this thread on the current state of affairs.

I am now going to go against everything I wrote in the last paragraph.

Tomorrow I plan on picking up my live rock. To me, this is the most important stage of any build. Live rock is the bedrock of any system (not sure if that is a pun, or just a correct use of the term). It provides the bulk of the filtration, it provides a home for livestock and it helps establish crucial biodiversity. It also dictates the aesthetic of the reef that will grow around it. In terms of both form and function, live rock is the reef.

The key to setting up my system is to get the rock in and then let it mature. Getting the stand and tank up was an accomplishment, but now I will truly be setting up the tank. I already called the LFS and warned them I am coming tomorrow and I will be very picky (the employee laughed and said, “we understand and we will work with you.”). I am looking for about 22 pounds of rock and, because this is a small aquarium, the shape, size and look of each piece is important.

I am writing this because I am just too excited. I feel like tomorrow is a childhood Christmas and I will probably have trouble sleeping tonight. Discovering life in live rock is simply the most fascinating experience in reefing for me. Tomorrow it begins.

:)
This is all very exciting, and I’m excited for you as well! Lol

We will of course need lots of pictures of the rockwork ideas for ‘our’ approval!
 
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Thanks all! I am happy to share the excitement!

Hello,

I just wanted to say very nicely done. As a point of fact my lfs just received one of these little guys in. I have been wanting to see if work will let me have that small one in my shared office space. Usually more like always I’m the cleanest of everyone a few times over. I usually avoid the couch at all costs because I find so many of my other office co workers sleeping on it. (Only those assigned which are four of us) (Yes I’m a clean freak).

But in my zoned Sarah space, I have my desk aka dicatation desk and my own tiny fridge. But I have tons more space so I was thinking about getting the same one you have, which is perfect for the space, plus my own comfty chair or recliner . Knowing my luck they will merge to that as well when the couch is full, or my side lol. I already find things not mine in the fridge. But I’m such a push over, that most of the time I just put it back in one of the other three fridges. Of course I usually have no idea who’s it is.

But love your tank, the only thing I have to really make sure is that it’s super super quiet. Plus your lfs sent me all the live rock you want and yes I received a box of rocks today. :)
Have you thought of what kind of corals, or fish etc? I’m assuming since everything is live, your cycle should be pretty quick. Maybe three weeks and you should be set to go.

I really like the tank. Really. The stand is sturdy, but I would prefer even sturdier with little kids. It is very quiet. Only the 9004 Skimmer is really audible, but less so each day. The stock returns are quiet. I am shocked how silent the IceCap 1k Gyre is at 70-100% (I note, I have lived most of my life with pumps and filters and my idea of silent is relative. That said, my last freshwater planted tank was much louder).

As far as stocking, I have ideas. Definitely an anemone and 2 cleaner shrimp for inverts. Fish will probably be Pink-Streaked Wrasse, 2 Clarkiis and a Midas Blenny in that order. I will only have the Wrasse for a while. After the anemone, I will add the rest of the fish.

This is all very exciting, and I’m excited for you as well! Lol

We will of course need lots of pictures of the rockwork ideas for ‘our’ approval!
Pictures for sure. Hopefully some video soon too.

so do we thank the reef gods or was it just all the prayers we said to get this thing done?glad things are going your way and "rock"on my friend.
Believe me, I felt the support throughout and it made this journey so much better.
 
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I Received Some Buckets of Rock Today!

Holy cow! I am absolutely elated about the live rock purchased today! First, let us get right to the pictures (iPhone 7 Plus with minor Photoshop enhancement)...
77421EDA-1883-46DE-97A6-0B97ACEAACA8.jpeg

3BF737E2-6910-404E-838C-932E279399A9.jpeg


Ambient light
EABDD377-4527-4C14-B24C-B1C97DA4A6F0.jpeg


Left Structure (3 rocks)
4204DAEC-57AB-4322-80E3-1CB9F8518756.jpeg

D9298ABB-5C6B-4A5F-A6CA-2E3CE4658CD1.jpeg


This shape is just incredible to me. I am loving these protrusions and caves.
EB828980-93CE-41C7-9449-E062CD8A5489.jpeg


Ambient light
27E3C3DB-5A35-4A10-BA11-2F5EFFF953CE.jpeg


Right Structure (2 rocks)
930FF557-56D8-4AD9-89EF-9B05979E590E.jpeg

975EBBF8-2AEB-460F-80D8-53B437BB7A2B.jpeg


Closeup of the sponge
C089209A-E662-4E95-AAB8-28376798D7A4.jpeg


Ambient light, side view
B4274CD4-DE44-4E00-B8A1-2A5F601E2B53.jpeg


Found what I think is a Porcelain Crab but he scurried off before I could get a great picture.
173A3DFA-E6E7-40FF-9FDB-2717F1D612FE.jpeg


So far we have seen a ton of life. Snails, worms, crabs, pods, starfish and many colors of coralline algae. I am at work now and all the way into the city on the train my kids were texting me nonstop about all of the critters they discovered. I did see a couple of Aiptasia as well, but they should be easy to eradicate this early in the build.

Now to the details. This beautiful rock is from House of Fins in CT. Peter, who helped me, was excellent and offered me many options. I went in seeking around 22 lbs. and went home with three rocks weighing 24.5 lbs. my total weight in rock now is 32.5 lbs. the total water in the tank after rock displacement is 34.5 gallons. My plan was at least 0.75 lbs. per gallon and am now at 0.94 lb. per gallon. That is fine with me. I will still do some minor aquascaping tweaks when I have some time, but the big structures will be about the same.

One last thing, I have been considering I would eventually add a couple of Clarkii clowns, but saw this Spotcinctus (Amphiprion bicinctus) today and loved it.
EC0AF893-9A25-457A-B272-F503CD175DD6.jpeg

I love how the white goes into his tail.


An incredible day for the Caveman household. I feel today, after months of planning, we really have a living reef aquarium!

:)
 
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Sarah24!

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Hello,

First off lol happy fourth which took me half a day to realize. Second, the rock looks amazing and if you think it has life now, just wait a few months when the tank has cycled. Not only will you find day time critters but night time critters. They are all fascinating, and yes you should nuke the aptasia before you put them in your tank. They can release eggs as soon as they feel threatened.
 
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Hello,

First off lol happy fourth which took me half a day to realize. Second, the rock looks amazing and if you think it has life now, just wait a few months when the tank has cycled. Not only will you find day time critters but night time critters. They are all fascinating, and yes you should nuke the aptasia before you put them in your tank. They can release eggs as soon as they feel threatened.

Thank you! I really wanted to hit those Aiptasia immediately, but I had to get all of the rocks in and the tank back running (and clean up) before heading to work. I am not so happy I have to pull those rocks back out, but it is the best way to do it, outside of the tank with boiling water.
 
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