Let’s Begin Z Build!

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hello Reefers!

I finally took the leap into saltwater and I’ll be honest I’m a bit intimidated to get going. My local LFS was able to help break a deal with me to get up and running. I will be keeping the aquarium in my daughter’s room as she has been really digging fish and she loves Finding Nemo however… we all know this is really just a front for me to an enjoy this addictive hobby.

Coming over from the freshwater side of things, I really want to do this the right way and take my time. I’ve had a terrible habit of jumping into things so quickly only for it to crumble twice as fast.

That being said, here’s to documenting my journey at my first attempt at reefing. Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Equipment List:
Tank: Aqua Japan AJ-Q60 AIO 30 gallon (23.6in x 17.7in x 16.9in) - Curved front side edges w/ glass lid (exact cut)
Lighting: AJ-LED-BW600B
Flow: None
Return Pump: Sicce Syncra 1.5
ATO: None
Heater: 300w hygger Aquarium Heater with Controller
Sand: 20lb. CaribSea Reef Grade Arag-Alive!
Rock: MarcoRocks

Buying List (misc):
Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152
AI Prime 16HD Reef
RO/DI 50 4 Stage (need suggestions on this)

Livestock (Hopefuls)
Corals

GSPs
Zoas
Candy Canes
Neptheas
Sinularias
Toadstools
BTA (wayyy in the future)

Fish
2 Clownfish (to start)
1 Purple Firefish
1 Tailspot Blenny
1 Yellowspot Goby
1 Banggai Cardinalfish
1 Bluespotted Jawfish

Corals, corals, CORALS! My biggest draw to the saltwater side of things are corals so I’d want this to be the focus. Since I’m just starting out I’ve been told to look towards building a softy tank. Hoping I picked a few good ones above. I also included several fish that would be on my wishlist however the only real nonnegotiable would be including a pair of clowns.

I seem to have most things to get started but I’m going to take about a month breaking my MarcoRocks and building some sorta habitat negative space aquascape and hopefully take you guys along for the ride.

One question I do have and I hope y’all can help, is in the back portion of the AIO (reservoir?). What do I actually put in there besides the return pump and housing the heater? The tank came with bio media and a large piece of foam but I’m not sure how that portion should be laid out and built. In terms of dimensions the chambers from left to right are 8in x 2.5in, 7.5in x 2.5in, and 7in x 2.5in for those that may be interested.

Thanks for joining me in my reefing journey!

~Z

IMG_9221.jpeg IMG_9225.jpeg IMG_9237.jpeg
 
Last edited:

lil sumpin

Digital Sponge
View Badges
Joined
Aug 13, 2023
Messages
592
Reaction score
1,142
Location
New York
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
That’s a great looking tank, gonna be a fun way to get into the hobby! About the AIO compartment, folks usually keep mechanical filtration like a sock or floss. Your bio media will also go in there and it’ll serve to keep beneficial bacteria populations going until your rock becomes live. Chemical media like carbon is also added to further polish the water and remove organics. Eventually you may even want to start up a little refugium back there which will help to export excess nutrients and also provide dwelling for microfauna. There’s a lot you can do with the AIO compartment! Really boils down to what your tank needs. I think it’s best to avoid chemical media at first and start with mechanical and bio media.

Good luck with your journey, glad to follow along and see what kinda scape you come up with!
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
UPDATE 3/24/24

Here’s a bit of an update to the tank. Finally got around to finishing aquascape and started the cycle!!!

IMG_9470.jpeg


Spent so much time after trial and error getting my reef rock just as I like it and even had to settle with flipping the entire structure instead of redoing it yet again (forgot to account for the nozzle of the return pump). Overall I thim it’s still a success. A bit of trial and error and lessons to learn as I go along.

Dosed a bit of Dr. Tim’s Ammonia Chloride and Microbacter 7. This hobby is addicting and I just wanna rush in and add fish/coral but I need to curb my appetite and take things slow.

If y’all see a bit of changes to my tank, you’d be correct. My Aqua Japan ended with a leak and I decided to opt into buying the UNS 60A and stand. It’s a significant smaller size…20 gallons opposed to 30 but I haven’t had any issues thus far.

Thanks for staying tuned. I’ll add more photos to come but here’s a bit of a photo dump from the last couple weeks. Again, any advice, tips, or insight would be greatly appreciated!

-Z

IMG_9210.jpeg
IMG_9334.jpeg
IMG_9338.jpeg
IMG_9417.jpeg
 

Cthulukelele

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
2,941
Reaction score
5,817
Location
Durham, North Carolina
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Pretty looking tank! Especially now that you're at 20 gallons, I'd choose between either they yellow spot goby or the blue spot jawfish, and you may even want to consider one of the smaller shrimp gobies.
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Pretty looking tank! Especially now that you're at 20 gallons, I'd choose between either the yellow spot goby or the blue spot jawfish, and you may even want to consider one of the smaller shrimp gobies.
For sure I’m going to be trimming down my stocking list quite a bit, at least fish wise. I may even just stick with two clowns only. Just having to decide which variation of clowns has been quite a doozy.

In terms of shrimp gobies, do you have any recs?
 

Cthulukelele

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
2,941
Reaction score
5,817
Location
Durham, North Carolina
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
For sure I’m going to be trimming down my stocking list quite a bit, at least fish wise. I may even just stick with two clowns only. Just having to decide which variation of clowns has been quite a doozy.

In terms of shrimp gobies, do you have any recs?
My favorite is the one you listed though could be a bit big, but yashas, hi fins, pink bars, Dracula, and Randall's shrimp gobies would all work well at that tank size
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
My favorite is the one you listed though could be a bit big, but yashas, hi fins, pink bars, Dracula, and Randall's shrimp gobies would all work well at that tank size
Oooh the yashas are pretty cute. My LFS has a pink spotted watchman which I found quite a beaut in person. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what’s available and around once cycled. Thanks for other suggestions.
 

Cthulukelele

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Messages
2,941
Reaction score
5,817
Location
Durham, North Carolina
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Oooh the yashas are pretty cute. My LFS has a pink spotted watchman which I found quite a beaut in person. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what’s available and around once cycled. Thanks for other suggestions.
A pink spot would be my next shrimp goby. They can also get big, but those spots are BRILLIANT on a mature one in person. I've had a ywg for 6-7 years. Here they are last week
1000004755.jpg
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
A pink spot would be my next shrimp goby. They can also get big, but those spots are BRILLIANT on a mature one in person. I've had a ywg for 6-7 years. Here they are last week
1000004755.jpg
Such a sweet looking fish. The colors are really eye catching! I’m leaning towards getting some variation of black or mocha clowns so a pop of color would be a necessity.
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hope everyone had a great Easter for those who celebrated. Thought I’d share an update on some new inhabitants!

Was able to find a pair of storms which have been swimming together for about a week now. They seem to be doing great and are eating a mix of flakes and frozen music for the time being. Have been limiting feeding to once a day for the time being to prevent any potential spikes.

I also went back and forth on whether or not to add a nem. I had been given insights from both sides on whether to start early or to wait but my head got the best of me and I took the leap. One of the main consideration was due to the sir ability to move it’d be best to see where it’ll settle before placing any corals. So far it’s stuck its foot in a little cave and has stayed put now just starting to bubble. The color on this nem is absolutely wild and I enjoy it very much. The clowns have yet to entertain going near it but I hope in time it’ll settle.

As far as corals go, one of my LFS had a pretty decent deal going with frags and got the following:

Duncan
Gold tip frogspawn
Three variations of zoas
Candy cane
Some finger leather (was told a Kenya tree but I think it’s nepthea)

They were closed much since I got them over the weekend but seemed to open up after a 20% water change and feeding of reef roids.

I’ll be sticking with this in terms of stocking for the time being just to work with monitoring and adjusting parameters but also working through anything that may come. A tad bit concerned that if (crossing my fingers for a big if) my nem fails I’ll be able to still work through keeping the other corals alive and hopefully manage some growth. Nothing had been permanently glued down so I can see where everything likes being placed.

Off to learning more about dosing as this will be the next step in this reefing journey. As always any advice would be appreciated!

-Z
 

Attachments

  • IMG_9541.png
    IMG_9541.png
    818.4 KB · Views: 26
  • IMG_9621.jpeg
    IMG_9621.jpeg
    193.3 KB · Views: 24
  • IMG_9623.jpeg
    IMG_9623.jpeg
    163.6 KB · Views: 20
  • IMG_9624.jpeg
    IMG_9624.jpeg
    167.6 KB · Views: 26
  • IMG_9625.jpeg
    IMG_9625.jpeg
    138.7 KB · Views: 27
  • IMG_9627.jpeg
    IMG_9627.jpeg
    174.4 KB · Views: 24

NotReefsafe

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
303
Reaction score
215
Location
USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Do not do a blue spot jawfish without a chiller. These are very specialized fish.
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Do not do a blue spot jawfish without a chiller. These are very specialized fish.
Ended up getting a pink spotted watchman goby that was already paired with a pistol shrimp. I’m about to start QT on my pair of clowns so I decided to get the goby and start the process all in one go while his mate is happily digging burrows in the DT.

Just trying to figure out how to keep him comfy during the QT process. Not sure how they fare with copper treatment.

IMG_0020.jpeg
 
OP
OP
Z

zyrzyxen

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 11, 2024
Messages
338
Reaction score
293
Location
Sunny SoCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thought I’d give a bit of an update! Things have been moving and grooving. Clowns are in QT about to start copper treatment. New pink spotted watchman goby added to the mix. The DT has a BUNCH of new corals after having acquired some of my favorite corals (weeping willows). Anywho hope y’all enjoy this quick photo dump/update!

-Z

IMG_9961.jpeg IMG_9962.jpeg IMG_9967.jpeg IMG_9970.jpeg
 

How much do you care about having a display FREE of wires, pumps and equipment?

  • Want it squeaky clean! Wires be danged!

    Votes: 104 44.3%
  • A few things are ok with me!

    Votes: 109 46.4%
  • No care at all! Bring it on!

    Votes: 22 9.4%
Back
Top