Marcus' Reef - 80 Gallon Mixed Reef

ReefNerd

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Hey Everyone

Been meaning create a thread to document the journey of my tank for a while now. As of today (12 Feb 2019) my tank is been wet for about 10 months

So to start off this first post I am going to outline my equipment, the journey so far, and some select full tank shots. Going forward I will post updates roughly monthly or whenever I have something interesting to post about.

Last Update 29 July 2019

Equipment
Tank - Neptunian Kube K90
Return Pump - Maxspect Turbine Duo
Flow - 1x Maxspect Gyre XF230 and 1x Glamorca GP02
Lighting - 2x Kessil A360X and Key Lighting T5HO Enhance Tube Bar (2x 39watt T5)
Filtration - RAIN2 Algae Turf Scrubber, Nyos Quantum 120 Skimmer, ~20 Small Marine Pure Cubes and 4 Mantis Bio Blocks
Auto Top Off/Auto Water Change - Auto Aqua Smart AWC
Heater - Forget the brand, ill look it up and edit this later... but its a titanium one I had a glass one that failed after less than 6 months
CO2 Scrubber - Pacific Sun Medium Size
Hmahli Phosphate Resin Reactor - Running BlueLife Phosphate RX Resin

Dosing - Pacific Sun Kore7th with KH Lab
I run Kalkwasser in an Avast Marine K1 Kalk Stirrer - 3.5L per day
I dose Randy's Recipe 1 mixed with Reef Anabolics Trace Program - 45ml per day


Water changes
Currently ~2.5 liters per day auto water change

Feeding
I have 3 different pellets mixed together in my autofeeder which spins 3 times a days
Every morning I add a small square of nori to a clip for the tangs
Once or twice a day I manually add a pinch of random flake foods
I add a cube of frozen every day (rotate between mysis, brine and others)


Coral Nutrition
Coral Essentials Black Label
AquaForest Coral nutrition range
Reef Anabolics Coral Nutrition Range
Every 2-3 days I add 1/4 of a teaspoon of reef roids to the frozen food and target feed it over my LPS

Livestock
2x clownfish
1x blue tang
1x yellow tang
2x dispar anthias
2x lyretail anthias
2x Mandarins
1x Coral banded shrimp
1x Blood shrimp

Clean Up Crew
Bunch of stomatella snails (they breed in my tank)
2x Nassarius Snails
2x Strombus Snails
1x Sand sifting starfish

Coral - too many to document, look at the photos and ask me if you have a specific question :p

Pictures speak louder than words so here is a series of full tank shots to show my tank progression :)


June 2018


July 2018


August 2018


September 2018


October 2018


November 2018


December 2018


February 2019


March 2019


April 2019


May 2019


June 2019


July 2019


August 2019


Sump
As at approx October 2018

As at July 2019


Algae Scrubber Growth
 
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Big G

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Excellent work. Wow! The colors in your tank are incredible. Well done!
 
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ReefNerd

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Challenges I have faced to date

As you look through the progression of my tank you may notice some fish disappearing and re-appearing, some coral being added and then removed etc... So I'll discuss the challenges I have had below:

Ich Outbreak - Roughly June through end of September 2018
Once of my original fish (I believe it was the yellow tang) introduced Ich into my tank. I did not quarantine new fish originally. As a result of this outbreak, I lost my original yellow tang, 2x clowns and a royal gamma. The only survivor was my blue tang, still in the tank today.
I dealt with this outbreak by removing the fish into a quarrantine tank and treating them with copper followed by a round of tank transfer method transfers.
The main display was run fishless for 90 days to eradicate the ich.
Lesson: quarantine your new fish. All my new fish go through TTM quarantine now.

SPS false start - August to end of October 2018
I started introducing SPS throughout August. While initially they seemed okay, over the next 2 months I lost most of them. Looking back I realize the tank was not yet stable, there were parameter swings, the lighting at the time was LED only and probably not on the right spectrum, the flow was less (only one gyre at the time) and the overall maturity was not yet at a point for SPS to do well.
In November I added some more hardy SPS such as birdsnest, stylopora and poci's. Also some montipora. In December I added some more acro's. As at Feb 2019. All of this second round of SPS are still alive and doing well. So it appears I have reached a point where the tank is mature and stable enough for SPS. The addittion of the T5's, more flow, and more stable dosing/overall maturity appears to have been key here.
Looking at the SPS between the December 2018 and Febuary 2019 photos you can see some real improvement in the coloration of the larger colonies which is a great sign.
Lesson: dont bother adding SPS until you tank is at least 9 months old, and when you do, start slow with some cheaper or more hardy SPS.

Heater failure - November 2018
Luckily I caught this early, and it was not cold in Melbourne at the time, so the impact to the tank was minimal. I plan to add a redundant heater in the near future.
Lesson: Glass heating tubes are rubbish, go with the more expensive titanium ones, consider redundancy.
 
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ReefNerd

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So here is my monthly update for Feb 2019.

This month I have
- noticed better coloration and growth on my SPS, in particular check out the difference in the strawberry shortcake acro from my last update to this one, gone from basically white, to full coloured!
- re-arranged my torches, moved them a little lower down onto the sand-bed and away from the orange hammers which were starting to sting them
- added some new SPS and re-arranged a couple of them
- changed nothing as far as tank chemistry, maintenance and lighting goes. Just tried to let everything stabilize further around the addition of T5's from December

I have had no moralities of fish or coral for a while now. I am still running kalkwasser and vinegar in my ATO And my parameters have been very stable averaging:

My water parameters are averaging:
Alkalinity 8.0 dkh
Calcium 430ppm
Nitrate 0.25 mg/L
Phosphate 0.06ppm
Magnesium 1350ppm


My last RAIN2 harvest was the biggest yet, to 99grams of the more 'fluffy' or 'krinkly' green hair algae.

Anyway here are some pictures!

Full Tank Shot


Strawberry Shortcake Acro - check out the coloration improvement from the picture of it in my last update!


Zoa Garden


Top of the birdge is looking great


New Chalice that I added last week


Scollys are starting to crowd each other a bit, will likely need to move them soon to make space


Hammers were stinging the torches which were stinging the duncan. So moved the torches to the sandbed below and put the new chalice in their place, which hopefully will sit underneath any tentactles from the hammers, ill watch it closely


Side View


Goni Garden - the one on the lower right has been slowely recovering for the last 2-3 months now, slowly but surely getting better


Most recent RAIN2 Harvest pictures, biggest harvest yet (it was 10 days from previous harvest)


 
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ReefNerd

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I recently started a Youtube Channel where I am going to do reviews, videos about my tank, some DIY and other stuff

Here is my first video a review of the Coral Box WF-01 Wifi Dosing Pump that I am doing to use to dose Kalkwasser through a reactor rather than having it tied to my ATO as it currently is

 
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ReefNerd

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March 2019 Update

This month I have
- installed an Avast Marine K1 Kalk Stirrer
- upgraded my ATO reservoir to a 70L custom acrylic one inside a new cabinet next to my tank
- added some new SPS and re-arranged a couple of them
- extended my photo period on my LED's by 1 hour. Now they come on at 11am and turn off at 10:30pm

My paramters have been very stable averaging:

Alkalinity 8.6 dkh
Calcium 425 ppm
Nitrate 0.5 mg/L
Phosphate 0.08 ppm
Magnesium 1320 ppm


My last RAIN2 harvest is going strong, averaging around 80grams a week

Anyway here are some pictures!

























 
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ReefNerd

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I also made a video on my youtube channel regarding my new acrylic ATO reservoir and ATO/ Kalk dosing setup


and a video on my T5 Hybrid Setup

 
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ReefNerd

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Its about the 1 Year anniversary of my tank!

Had such a great time since I started this journey, enjoy some b-roll of my tank with a cool montage month-by-month of the evolution it has gone through!

 
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ReefNerd

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Settle in because this is a long one! I walk through the full journey I have gone through, the equipment that makes my tank tick, the fish that call it home and the challenges that I have faced to date.

Of course there is plenty of b-roll, and right at the end, an awesome montage of my tank, month by month for the last year!


 
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ReefNerd

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May 2019 Update

Overall super happy with the tank, no deaths or losses, almost everything is growing and coloring well, and no algae issues except for a cyano outbreak I had in April due to phosphate rise; that appears to be under control now though.

This month and last month (sorry no update in April) I have
- swapped out the Illumagic Blaze X for 2x Kessil A360X - full review coming soon once I have been running them longer
- installed the Auto Aqua Smart AWC Touch system for Auto Water changes - absolutely awesome, recommend for everyone!
- added a frag rack to hold various existing and new frags more elegantly than just shoving them in the sand-bed :p
- begun running 50grams of rowaphos in a filter sock, changed weekly

My paramters have been very stable averaging:

Alkalinity 6.5 dkh - feel like I am coming to the end of what Kalk can do for me, as my alk has been dropping and I dont think it will keep up for much longer
Calcium 400 ppm
Nitrate 1.5 mg/L
Phosphate 0.07 ppm - although it rose well above 0.1 during April which led to a cyano outbreak which has only really gone away in the last week or so having now gotten phosphates back under control
Magnesium 1365 ppm


Anyway here are some pictures!


Full Tank Shot May 2019














 
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June 2019 Update

Everythings been doing great! Cyano outbreak from April/early May is definately over. SPS is growing super well, and I have added more! 3 New fish as well, a 6 line wrasse and another pair of mandarins, this time the spotted type, which go in to join the existing pair of green mandarins, hopefully they can all get along...

This month I have
- setup a DIY auto refill controller setup for my RO reservoir
- converted my 70L acrylic reservoir which was for RO to now be for salt water, so I added a heater and powerhead to it
- added 3 new fish, a 6 line wrasse and 2 spotted mandarins
- glued down a bunch of my sps frags and added some cool new ones
- installed the Hmahli resin reactor which is running Phosphate RX, its super effective so I dont run it 24/7

A couple of my Acans were receding and losing heads, this was really concerning as I had no idea why, and only effecting certain colonies. I pulled one out of the tank and found the cause! Boring Clams!!! Underneath the acan on the bottom of its skeletion, something wasnt right, using my bone clippers I had a bit of a dig and found a Boring Clam. Once I knew what to look for a found a couple more. Pulled out the other acans that werent doing so well and found the same thing! So my acan garden is looking a bit hacked up compared to its glory days but overall I think this will be for the best and hopefully I got all of them. I also added a new yellow acan that I fell in love with ... and yes I checked it for boring clams :p
My paramters have been very stable averaging:

Alkalinity 7 dkh - managed to extend my usage of Kalk for now by dosing more (cold weather has allowed this due to more evaporation) and a little bit of manual 2 part dosing. Going to upgrade with a calcium reactor hopefully in July/August
Calcium 435 ppm
Nitrate 1.5 ppm/L
Phosphate 0.03 ppm
Magnesium 1355 ppm


Anyway here are some pictures!















 
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ReefNerd

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July 2019 Update

Everythings been doing great! SPS is growing super well, and I have added even more! Some eew fish as well, a pair of lyretail anthis (blue eye anthias), unfortunately the spotted mandarins I added did not get along with my existing pair, so I give them to my friend Billy who has a large established tank with no other Mandarins. They are doing fine in his tank :)

This month I have
- setup the Kore7th and KH Lab! Too early to give impression or review, but expect to see a video on that soon on my YouTube channel
- well and truely gone past what I can support with Kalk, I am currently dosing 3.5L of Kalk a day with 45ml of 2 part per day as well... calcium reactor cant come soon enough
- added some cool new SPS, a toxic green hammer and another clam
- started the Reef Anabolics Trace range, Coral Essentials Black Label range, and the Reef Anabolics and AquaForest Coral food range!



Unfortunately the Acans that were infested with boring clams have not done well and arent going to make it. So I will be adding some new acans soon to replace them.

My paramters have been pretty stable averaging:

Alkalinity 7.3 dkh - this has been a little unstable lately as I battled to meet consumption... with the new Kore7th I am dosing 45ml of 2 Part on top of the 3.5L of Kalk i do through the reactor.
Calcium 435 ppm
Nitrate 4.0 ppm/L - with all the extra coral foods my nitrates have increased a bit, but I am not concerned at this level.
Phosphate 0.06 ppm
Magnesium 1335 ppm


Anyway here are some pictures!



















 
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ReefNerd

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August 2019 Update

Everything continues to dogreat! SPS is growing super well

This month I have
- flipped the Kore7th and KH Lab into auto control mode. Its now dosing my alk/cal/mag with Reef Anabolics trace automatically and adjusting the dose on the fly as it tests Alk.
- I lowered my Kalk dose to 3L a day, and allowed the Kore7th with 2part to pickup the slack, at time of writing its dosing ~115ml of each of the 3 components of my randys mixture per day.




Unfortunately my gold torch got brown jelly and died overnight :(

My parameters have been pretty stable averaging:

Alkalinity 7.4 dkh - this has been a little unstable lately as I battled to meet consumption... with the new Kore7th and KHLab in auto mode, testing 6 times a day and ajusting the dose to match, its been better and is honing in on real stability!
Calcium 435 ppm
Nitrate 4.0 ppm/L - with all the extra coral foods my nitrates have increased a bit, but I am not concerned at this level.
Phosphate 0.06 ppm
Magnesium 1335 ppm


Anyway here are some pictures! Top downs this month!

New blue digi frag, gunna be epic once it grows




These touched about a week after I took the photo and I have since fragged the green one back a bit






Whats left of my acan garden after the boring clam infestation :/




RIP Gold torch... why u get brown jelly!








Probably the best picture I have ever taken of my tank... its the new banner image of my YouTube channel :p
 

fishead

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Hey Marcus, looks like you've nailed this reefing thing! Tank looks great. I got an orange tip milli from Exotic Aquaculture down your way maybe two months back. Is that one in your last pic from the same lineage?
 

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