Mike's 45 Gallon Zoa Garden (Max E 170)

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by tablesalt, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    A strange thing has happened. While I have been waiting on my tank, I have been cycling rock in the basement with the dead shrimp method and ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are now all reading 0. I can understand Nitrates going to 0, but not nitrites. I have had dead shrimp in the whole time, and just added another one just in case.

    As I have been waiting I have been watching the excellent BRS 160 series (1/2 way through now) and been doing some more research on livestock. I'm thinking of starting of with a pair of captive bread clown fish, adding a clean up crew, and then adding a fish or 2 a month for the next few months for a max of 7 (with the clowns being the largest fish). I am in love with the 6 line wrasse, but from what I have read those guys need to go in last. The lean up crew is the most fun part and I really am looking forward to getting those in more than the fish. I'm thinking going mostly softies specializing in zoas with a GSP island, and possibly adding a torch or hammer coral as a certerpiece. I'd love to do an anemone, but everything I've read is that they like a really established tank, but they like to move so it is difficult to get them in after corals.

    I am now 1 month post ordering a tank with guaranteed expedited replacement if damaged in shipping from saltwateraquarium.com and still have no tank. I'm going to be doing a chargeback with them soon if I don't get my tank.

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  2. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I went to the National Aquarium today for a little inspiration while I wait on my tank... This is a swimming pool sized tank... complete with sea turtle.

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  3. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Got a note from Red Sea yesterday, "Your replacement tank was shipped via Roadrunner freight with tracking # xxx".

    Yay! It's finally happening, I'm going to get my tank! On the upside the month I have been waiting has allowed me to read up a ton on reef keeping. I think I'm going all softies with a light clean up crew, a pair of fancy Perculas, a 6 line wrasse, a goby TBD, a Gramma or Dottyback TBD, and another mystery fish. I'm thinking primarily zoas on the sides/bottoms with leathers on top, some ricordia or fancy mushrooms on the bottom, and Green Star Poly island... I think this forum might have scared me away from my old favorite... pulsing xenia.

    Happy reef keeping!
     
  4. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I may get my tank as early as tomorrow (although the current status with the shipper is "delayed due to weather". It seems that my rock is fully cycled, and I think I’m ready to go. I’ve still got my box of rocks in the basement with dead shrimp, and ammonia/nitrates/nitrites read 0 (I didn’t think nitrates would do this, but they are).

    My stocking plan is as follows.

    Fish:

    2 Percula Clows (Fancy Variety TBD)

    6 line wrasse

    Orchid Dottyback (or other dottyback TBD)

    Goby/pistol shrimp

    Blenny TBD

    Coral:

    10 Varieties of Zoanthids (looking at fishnreef for this at the moment) to go along the sides of my live rock.

    A green toadstool leather at the top of my rock pile (hopefully the clowns will take to it).

    Ricordia Island in the bottom corner of my tank.


    Clean up crew:

    1 Emerald Crab

    3 Trochus Snails

    1 Scarlet hermit

    2 Nassarius Snails

    2 Cerith Snails

    1 Dwarf Zebra Hermit

    1 Fire/Flame Shrimp

    The only non-stock additional equipment I am planning on adding to my tank is a Gyre and and Aquafuge2 sump with some Chaeto.

    Any thoughts on this setup? The plan is to let mostly the Zoas take over the tank. I may put another leather of some sort at the top of the tank like a green sinularia, but I think that would be it. My plan is to grow out coral in the tank that I can eventually frag out to partially pay for this expensive hobby. I’m thinking high end Zoas and Riccordia are likely the way to go, along with occasional clippings from the leather.

    Super excited to finally (hopefully) be getting the tank in.
     
  5. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yay!!! more than a month after I ordered my tank I finally got an unbroken one in! Even if retailers don't deliver, Red Sea does. It's beautiful! Can't wait to start playing with it. I dumped 38 gallons of saltwater into my tank with the fully cycled life rock (6 weeks of dead shrimp method) and ordered my first fish. I've got a pair of fancy Picaso Percula clowns I've been eyeing for a while coming in the mail on Wednesday now along with a light clean up crew. It looks like I'll have to do some supplemental feeding for a few weeks until the algae shows up for the CUC but things are looking good. Assuming all is well with the tank and there is no mini-cycle. I am looking to order some Zoas next week... looking specifically at fishnreef.com for zoas unless anyone has any other suggestions. Also used the last of my store credit with saltwateraquarium.com before swearing them off in favor of bulk reef supply (been enjoying their BRS 160 videos). The way their reward coupon codes work is funny, so I essentially had a $100 discount, a $20 discount, and a $20 discount, that all had to be used on separate purchases. I have a Tunze Osmosilator 3155 coming, some Kalk powder, and a fancy fish food dethawer that looked cool. We shall see how it goes. I had agonized over the exact layout I was going to use in my tank and ended up with what looks to me like a wall of rock... O well. I got a little nervous with my unscatched tank and my live rock and was worried about scratching things. O well. I will show off the scape once the tank clears off tomorrow. In the mean time, here is a milky preview.

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  6. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here is the milky preview... Can't wait to see how things turned out in the morning.

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  7. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here it is my scape from this morning on center.

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  8. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    From left
     
  9. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    And from right

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  10. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    And from right... messed this up
     
  11. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    And from right...
    Gotta remember to post things the right way.

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  12. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    This is going to be interesting as this tank is acting as a mini-peninsula, with seating on all sides... First 2 fish (Picasso Clowns) and CUC should arrive tomorrow. Can't wait.
     
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  13. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I put in a hermit crab last night as a canary to make sure everything was good to go. Kids are losing their minds now watching this little guy. Little do they know that a pair of clowns and the clean up crew are showing up tonight. They have dubbed him, "Shelly Krusty Boat". Am looking forward to the other names they create for the fish.

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  14. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Love this photo!
     
  15. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here is the overall scape so far. As predicted the kids lost their minds over the first couple of fish. If all goes well I will be ordering some Zoanthids next week. I'm thinking about making this a Zoa dominate tank, ordering 10 or 12 varities, and tracking their progress (counting heads) month by month to see what happens. Still may add a fancy leather on top to have some movement and I'm thinking about adding Ricordia island. Still have to set up the ATO and the HOB fuge, but we are getting close to finishing out the equipment build.

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  16. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here is the overall layout and plan. I have the Hydra 26 LEDs set to the recommended REEF spec settings and it's way too blue, and probably too bright for this tank since I'm going all softies at the moment (may throw in a hammer on the left arm down the line). Does anybody have any recommendations for light settings on these other than starting low and ramping it up on "assimilation mode"?

    Reef Plan.png
     
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  17. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, I did it. I bought an aquafuge 2, some miracle mud, and the CPR light off of bulk reef supply. The bad news is that it doesn't fit. The good news is that with some modifications, I got it to fit. There absolutely is enough space to put it in the back, but I had to take a hack saw to it in order to get it to fit. Additionally, I put my tank a narrow DVD case away from the wall and the wall itself is holding the AQUAFUGE 2 up now. It fits fine, but you can't get he Protein skimmer in without removing one of the center braces, and the little nipple next to the return. I took a hack saw to mine and it fits perfectly, if you disassemble the lights to get it on. The only drawback (aside from an alter Aquafuge) is that the gate to the protein skimmer no longer goes all the way up. I will make adjustments tomorrow after the 2 part I used in the tank to re-arrange rocks stops making my skimmer go nuts. I have plenty of pictures for you guys on the process below. The only dumb thing I did was I accidentally dumped my tank LED into the water. Luckily I had unplugged it first, so it is currently drying out with a fan on it. I'm going to give it a good 24 hours so fingers crossed. As promised, here are the photos of the process. Everything fits perfectly, and I used the medium. I did have to remove the media rack so I threw the carbon in the fuge for now. 20180127_090632.jpg 20180127_090632.jpg 20180127_080801.jpg 20180127_075857.jpg 20180127_075331.jpg 20180127_064742.jpg
     
  18. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Re-did the scape a little to allow for more space at less PAR. I have decided to make this tank a ZOANTHID tank for atleast the year, and to put in a bunch of different polyps and count polyp growth year over year. To that end I have a couple of dozen different ZOA/PALY frags coming in from FISHNREEF next Friday. I'll post you guys on how they look and turn out. I'm planning on doing a monthly or bi-weekly "Zoa Census" to count polpys/polyp types and track growth. Also going to turn LED settings to 60% and slowly crank up to 100% over a monht. Here is the list of what I'm getting. If anybody has any recommendations on placing these I'm all ears.
    Agent Orange
    Candy Apple Red
    Caribbean Beauties
    Electric Boogaloo
    Fire & Ice
    Giant Green Cinnamon Paly
    Green Button Palys
    Japanese Deepwater
    Japanese Firecracker
    Keds Red
    King Midas
    Lemon Pinwheels
    Mean Green Zoas
    Orange Bam Bam
    Radioactive Dragon Eyes
    Rastas
    Red Hornet
    Reverse Gorilla Nipples
    SBC Blue Spirit Palys
    SBC Guava pinwheels
    SBC Ring Of Fire
    Space Magic Polys
    Toxic Green Palys
    True Blue Hornets
    Tubbs Blue

    I also have some Chaeto, a barnacle cluster, and an undersized clean up crew coming in from Reef Cleaners. I'm thinking about plugging the cave in the center with a barnacle cluster and either getting some Barnacle Blenny's or seeing if a Two Spot Blenny would live in one.

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  19. tablesalt

    tablesalt Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The Reef Cleaners order came in today! I couldn't be any happier with the tiny little snails and crabs they shipped me. Despite them being in the mail for 5 days, all is well. I didn't receive the Barnacle cluster I ordered, but have sent an email and will see how they do. I am really impressed with the diversity of life that showed up in the Chaeto. There are all sorts of little creepy crawlies and things in it that I'm sure will provide great biodiversity for my tank. It's also good to have something competing with the tank algae for nutrients. The next big marker is getting in my Zoas next Friday. Can't wait to have some color on the rocks. 20180202_175632.jpg 20180202_175615.jpg
     
  20. Pelagic One

    Pelagic One Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Following, and thanking you for your service to our country! I can imagine a PCS transfer would’ve been brutal on a glass tank, too.
     
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