Icy's Reef. My very first saltwater tank

Icylder

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This will be a slightly unconventional build thread. I won't be starting from day 1. It will be 8 weeks after I assembled my tank. It's taken me a while to understand how bottomless this rabbit hole just might be.


Just picking out my components and my tank was thrilling. Let me tell you about what I have so far.

Tank: Innovative Marine Nuvo 20.
I love it. An all in one tank with a great price and glass clarity.

Stand: A matching stand from Innovative Marine.
Easy to build and sturdy. Nice faux-wood finish.

Pump: model included in the AIO.
It's loud. This needs to disappear, and fast. I don't like it.

Wavemaker: Jebao OW-10.
Comes with a controller and has a great price. Quoted as 132-1057 GPH. Very quiet.

Heater: Fluval-E 100W.
Always-on LED shows the temperature. Comforting for a newbie. Slow to heat up, but holds steady.

Lighting: HIPARGERO LED. 9X3W CREE LEDS.
Good brightness, and pleasing blues. I've read good things. I personally have no clue though.

Substrate: 20lbs Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Live Sand 0.5-1.5 mm.
Kinda pink. Looks very white to me. I think they've taken some liberties here.

Rock: 9 lbs of live rock from my LFS.
Had been curing for 6 months. I walked out with $90 less, a bag of rock and water. What.

Filtration: Chemi-pure blue, Marine-Pure GEMS, and Dr. Tims Ammonia+Bacteria starter.
My tank was cycled in 2 days according to my tests. I let it run for 3 weeks more to be sure.

Test kits: A combination of Salifert, Red Sea and API (Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate).
The salient one's are finicky but cheap. I really like the screw on titrator by Red Sea a lot more.

Salt: Started with regular Instant Ocean. Slowly switching over to Red Sea Coral Pro mix.
I bet you already know why. Yes, I got those. Let's leave that out for now.


It was good. Then I got my fish.

After I had them acclimated and in quarantine they really didn't want to eat. Thankfully I had plenty of experience reefers on here to ask for help: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/feeding-wild-caught-percula-clownfish.545327/

Patience was the key. They are now doing well in my main tank. From the few foods I've tried so far they love TDO Chromaboost the most. I switch in some New Life Spectrum pellets as the TDO seems very high in protein and lacks a variety of seaweed like spirulina in NLS. A balanced diet including vegetal matter seems as important for carnivores as for herbivorous fish to have a source of meat-protein in captivity. There's a lot of studies around this. I doubt this is the be-all and end-all though and would love to here what everyone else does.

Finally we get to 1 week ago today. A stable tank with 2 happy Percula clownfish.

I then made another mistake. I've been researching coral on here and what I'd need to provide for them since I first started my tank. I figured I should go 'look' at coral at my LFS in person. I now have 1 branching Hammer and 3 Accropora frags. I did a water change yesterday of 3 gallons to slowly introduce the black bucket of Red Sea's coral pro salt afterwards. I think things are going to get 10 times harder but I'm looking forward to it. Stay tuned, I hope you enjoy following along.
 
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NY_Caveman

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Welcome to R2R! Sounds like a great start. Your Clownfish would not be the first to be hosted by a powerhead, LOL.

I walked out with $90 less, a bag of rock and water. What.
This may be the quote of the day!

 

Reef Nutrition

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This will be a slightly unconventional build thread. I won't be starting from day 1. It will be 8 weeks after I assembled my tank. It's taken me a while to understand how bottomless this rabbit hole just might be.


Just picking out my components and my tank was thrilling. Let me tell you about what I have so far.

Tank: Innovative Marine Nuvo 20.
I love it. An all in one tank with a great price and glass clarity.

Stand: A matching stand from Innovative Marine.
Easy to build and sturdy. Nice faux-wood finish.

Pump: model included in the AIO.
It's loud. This needs to disappear, and fast. I don't like it.

Wavemaker: Jebao OW-10.
Comes with a controller and has a great price. Quoted as 132-1057 GPH. Very quiet.

Heater: Fluval-E 100W.
Always-on LED shows the temperature. Comforting for a newbie. Slow to heat up, but holds steady.

Lighting: HIPARGERO LED. 9X3W CREE LEDS.
Good brightness, and pleasing blues. I've read good things. I personally have no clue though.

Substrate: 20lbs Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Live Sand 0.5-1.5 mm.
Kinda pink. Looks very white to me. I think they've taken some liberties here.

Rock: 9 lbs of live rock from my LFS.
Had been curing for 6 months. I walked out with $90 less, a bag of rock and water. What.

Filtration: Chemi-pure blue, Marine-Pure GEMS, and Dr. Tims Ammonia+Bacteria starter.
My tank was cycled in 2 days according to my tests. I let it run for 3 weeks more to be sure.

Test kits: A combination of Salifert, Red Sea and API (Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate).
The salient one's are finicky but cheap. I really like the screw on titrator by Red Sea a lot more.

Salt: Started with regular Instant Ocean. Slowly switching over to Red Sea Coral Pro mix.
I bet you already know why. Yes, I got those. Let's leave that out for now.


It was good. Then I got my fish.

After I had them acclimated and in quarantine they really didn't want to eat. Thankfully I had plenty of experience reefers on here to ask for help: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/feeding-wild-caught-percula-clownfish.545327/

Patience was the key. They are now doing well in my main tank. From the few foods I've tried so far they love TDO Chromaboost the most. I switch in some New Life Spectrum pellets as the TDO seems very high in protein and lacks a variety of seaweed like spirulina in NLS. A balanced diet including vegetal matter seems as important for carnivores as for herbivorous fish to have a source of meat-protein in captivity. There's a lot of studies around this. I doubt this is the be-all and end-all though and would love to here what everyone else does.

Finally we get to 1 week ago today. A stable tank with 2 happy Percula clownfish.

I then made another mistake. I've been researching coral on here and what I'd need to provide for them since I first started my tank. I figured I should go 'look' at coral at my LFS in person. I now have 1 branching Hammer and 3 Accropora frags. I did a water change yesterday of 3 gallons to slowly introduce the black bucket of Red Sea's coral pro salt afterwards. I think things are going to get 10 times harder but I'm looking forward to it. Stay tuned, I hope you enjoy following along.
Happy to hear TDO is working for your animals. Just so you know, this product does have a microalgae component. The species that we've incorporated into the food is Haematococcus pluvialis - a species of freshwater algae known for it's carotenoid production. So you are definitely getting vegetal matter into the diet when feeding with TDO.

By the way, you can also feed TDO to corals.

Best,
Chad
 
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Icylder

Icylder

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Happy to hear TDO is working for your animals. Just so you know, this product does have a microalgae component. The species that we've incorporated into the food is Haematococcus pluvialis - a species of freshwater algae known for it's carotenoid production. So you are definitely getting vegetal matter into the diet when feeding with TDO.

By the way, you can also feed TDO to corals.

Best,
Chad
Nice to see you here!
I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. TDO is by far the food they seem to be doing the best on. It’s surprising to see just how much they’ve grown in the 2 weeks of being fed on it. I am so impressed. I just wanted to supplement their diet with an additional source of seaweed different from the H. pluvialis in TDO. The spirulina in NLS seemed like a good match to provide a varied mix of vitamins to what they usually get. I’ve read that spirulina helps to bring out blue colorations in particular.

As for corals - wow! I’ve dropped in a little piece of reef frenzy once for my branching hammer coral. Have your team fed hammers TDO? I might try that.
 

Reef Nutrition

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Nice to see you here!
I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. TDO is by far the food they seem to be doing the best on. It’s surprising to see just how much they’ve grown in the 2 weeks of being fed on it. I am so impressed. I just wanted to supplement their diet with an additional source of seaweed different from the H. pluvialis in TDO. The spirulina in NLS seemed like a good match to provide a varied mix of vitamins to what they usually get. I’ve read that spirulina helps to bring out blue colorations in particular.

As for corals - wow! I’ve dropped in a little piece of reef frenzy once for my branching hammer coral. Have your team fed hammers TDO? I might try that.
We've had a few customers feed it to Euphyllia sp., and we've also had success feeding it to them. Don't have any videos, though.

I do have these for your amusement:
This is TDO Chroma BOOST A (75-250 micron) being feed to Caulastraea furcata - kryptonite candy cane

Here is a mushroom coral eating TDO Chroma BOOST Medium (1.7 mm)

A Fungia sp. eating TDO Chroma BOOST Medium (1.7 mm)

Finally, a brain coral being fed TDO Chroma BOOST Small.

Best,
Chad
 
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Icylder

Icylder

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We've had a few customers feed it to Euphyllia sp., and we've also had success feeding it to them. Don't have any videos, though.

I do have these for your amusement:
This is TDO Chroma BOOST A (75-250 micron) being feed to Caulastraea furcata - kryptonite candy cane

Here is a mushroom coral eating TDO Chroma BOOST Medium (1.7 mm)

A Fungia sp. eating TDO Chroma BOOST Medium (1.7 mm)

Finally, a brain coral being fed TDO Chroma BOOST Small.

Best,
Chad
Incredible. Definitely will try it out!
 

BestMomEver

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Welcome to the reef! I have four salty tanks but the tank you have is what I really want. It’s beautiful! It sounds like you’re doing everything right. And you seem to be very patient, which I am not! Good luck and keep sending us updates!
 

Captain Quint

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Welcome to R2R and really like your set up.

If you're not happy with the stock pump and several feel the same including yours truly, try switching it with a Maxi-Jet 1200.

I really loved it after doing so. I coaxed at least one member here into using an MJ1200 and he absolutely loved the upgrade and better flow as well.

Thanks for sharing your build. :)
 
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Icylder

Icylder

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Got back from a relaxing Presidents’ Day long weekend yesterday. Now it’s time for more reefkeeping!

After doing some reading I picked up the Tunze silence return pump. Should be here tomorrow (Amazon one day is so nice). I saw a big and scary spike in the uglies this morning that I was hoping my tank would skip out on but no such luck apparently!

Read an interesting thread about algae control today: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/what-if-i-told-you-ammonia-was-causing-your-algae-problems.558661/page-2

It does seem to be slightly controversial although a lot of it seems obvious and what I’ve usually read about controllling algae. At the very least there’s consensus on removing detritus and then physically removing algae growth. I have some sand that’s stuck in the back of my sump from when I first set it up that got sucked in so I’ll be sure to get that out today too.

Goals today:

1) Gravel vacuum and blast rocks to remove detritus.
2) remove sand from back of sump
3) remove algae growth
4) water change to reduce nutrient load and continue transition over to Red Sea coral pro salt.
 
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Icylder

Icylder

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2 mornings later, and I’ve switched over to the new return pump after cleaning out the tank. Wow o wow is it quiet! They really weren’t kidding when they called it the Tunze Silence. :rolleyes:

I also got some amazing shots using my new pair of filter goggles that make viewing the tank under actinic lighting look otherworldly. Here’s a clip of my Hammer coral swaying in the current:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuL05SsnNeF/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=5mewj1x8xkm0
 
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Icylder

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Weird development today.

Corals didn’t seem to be extended much and the clowns showed no interest in food. Not sure what to think. The only changes to the tank have been the new return pump which seems to be working.

Weird. Time to do some tests?
 
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Icylder

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Things are moving along nicely and the algae bloom has died down. The dinoflagellates that were there are also slowly receding after adding a small cleanup crew of 3 red reef hermit crabs. Beautiful and a joy to watch!

Sadly I think I lost one of my Acro's which bleached overnight after a water change. A second Acro seems to be losing color. The third one which is blue in color and perhaps my favorite seems to be hanging on okay and has 2 extra heads of growth since I first got it. The hammer coral is also doing well.

Getting some Granular Ferric Oxide from the ROWAphos brand on Saturday. Hopefully this will allow me to bring my nutrient load lower. Water changes itself are risky it seems in controlling nutrients :(.
 
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Icylder

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My tank finally settled out two weeks ago. I've done one two gallon water change since then.

My nitrates are near zero but not quite from what I can tell on the API test kit. My phosphates are around 0.25/0.5. The ROWAphos and the hermit crabs have done wonders for the tank. I'm monitoring my alkalinity and calcium weekly to see if there are any noticeable dips as it's used up. With only two stony corals it should be okay with biweekly water changes I hope. I've got some Kalkwasser and magnesium dosing ready to go for the future though.
No more Dino's or green hair algae in sight. Managed to save one of my acropora which seems to have encrusted a little on the rock too. The hammer coral is roughly twice the size it was when I got it I think.

Picked up some Torch corals yesterday. One was an Euphyllia glabrescens and one was sold as a short tentacle torch which I think is E. Cristata (grape coral).

I've also upgraded my lights to an AI Prime HD. The ability to automate and adjust the light spectrum is incredibly useful. I'm currently running BRSTvs approximation of SPS AB+.
 
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Icylder

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Updating here after a couple months out. The tank has settled in nicely. I've added an extra AI PRIME HD so that I have two over the tank at 100% running AB+. The tank now has 5 sps total and 3 lps. Big update to come soon!
 
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Icylder

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Switched out salts again after a lot of back and forth from watching BulkReefSupply's videos on salt mixes.

I'm using Tropic Marin now and the algae has slowly withered back and back. The back wall of my aquarium is now covered in coralline with no foothold for algae there - one less place to scrape weekly algae off. Always felt weird seeing some of the sediment built up from Red Sea's Coral Pro salt but none anymore with the Tropic Marin Pro. I really like this salt. I can't say if it was solely my switch or the lower alkalinity in the Tropic Marin but the algae has receded massively. I expect it'll be gone completely within the week or so as I switch out the seawater mix in my aquarium.
 

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